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A member of the Young Republican Club charged last night that the organization's leadership had "blackmailed" an opposition group to force its withdrawal from tonight's election of officers.
The member, Thomas J. Wilson '51, said the leadership had used wire recordings of an "embarrassing" conversation to eliminate the opposition candidate for vice-president of the club.
Wilson gave the following account of the pre-election developments:
William H. Gribble '51, incumbent vice-president, who is graduating in February, had supposedly sided with the leaders of the opposition, John M. Gregg '52 and Sanford J. Langa '51. He had been assigned to keep tabs on the leadership's plans.
Gribble remained loyal, however, to the administration of Gordon L. Poole 2L, and was keeping it informed of opposition activities.
Gribble recently invited Gregg to his Eliot House room to "discuss the whole thing over a bottle of beer." While they talked, a wire recorder, which Gribble had previously concealed under a pile of dirty laundry, took down the conversation.
Gribble made two copies of the recording and with them forced a political bargain. John L. Easton, Jr. 2L, the administration's choice for the vice-presidency promised never to run for president if Gregg and Langa would cease their opposition to his campaign. Gribble also promised to surrender the record.
Wilson did not specify what the recordings contained but said they would make Gregg a "laughing stock."
Gregg and Langa were Secretary and Operations Director of the club respectively until last month, when they resigned. It was understood, Wilson said, that one of the pair would run for the vice-presidency.
Another opposition candidate for office, allied with the Langa-Gregg faction, Walter S. Rosenberry, III '53, was forced out of the election by the threat of releasing the recordings, Wilson claimed.
Only the positions which will be vacated through graduation or resignations will be voted upon tonight.
During the campaign preceding last spring's election campaign, several club members alleged that unfair election practices were used. At that time, Arthur W. Bingham, III '51, a strong contender for the presidency, was alleged to have antagonized a certain McCarthy who was an official of the state Young Republican organization.
Opposition developed against his candidacy to insure that the H.Y.R.C. would stay on good terms with the state organization.
Backers of Bingham alleged after the election that their opponents recruited members for the H.Y.R.C. shortly before the election to make Bingham's defeat a certainty.
Wilson said that he had not lined up with either side in the present election controversy.
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