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Old 10-12-2014, 10:29 PM
Location: Tucson/Nogales
20,252 posts, read 23,764,959 times
Reputation: 28018


A couple of weeks ago I read the bio Richard J Daley, American Pharaoh, and I thought: No, Chicago couldn't have been an isolated case of corruption, there had to be others!

I just finished reading The Epic of New York City, a narrative history, by Edward Robb Ellis, and I was introduced to such corrupt mayors as Boss Tweed and Jimmy Walker, and they made Richard Daley appear like an angel in comparison.

Sheesh! Boss Tweed asks the voters for $9 million to build a new City Hall, he pockets $7 million and only spends $2 million on it, resulting in structural defects. He has city workers painting light poles with a paint that washes off during the next rainstorm, keeping them forever busy painting light poles. When the scandals started to be revealed in the papers, they asked Boss Tweed if he was worried. "All my constituents are illiterate, they can't read, why should I worry!!"

Did most American cities all go through this corruption stage, or were there exceptions?

Yes, I'm aware corruption still exists, but it's become much more sophisticated, more difficult to detect, than in the past, when it was more blatant.
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Old 10-12-2014, 11:11 PM
48,508 posts, read 88,507,910 times
Reputation: 18187
That was when local politics mostly were dominated by the bankers; newspaper publishers and political machines in America. But it was worse in big cities that held more power. Some regions where handicapped by the cutting of the tax pie being dominated by certain regions; that started to end after really world II. In many places in the world its still the accepted system. In colonial nations it often was worse.by the time JFL left office most knew the Camelot feed story was a falsehood spread thru politicians and the third estate. Being a teen I saw the disappointment and trust evaporate and its just keep going since.
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Old 10-12-2014, 11:53 PM
Location: StlNoco Mo, where the woodbine twineth
8,276 posts, read 5,877,146 times
Reputation: 11922
Google Eagan's Rats of St.Louis.
They started as political enforcers around 1900 for a corrupt politician and hired themselves out as assassins for bosses like Al Capone.
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Old 10-13-2014, 04:40 AM
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
14,287 posts, read 8,744,402 times
Reputation: 18347
It wasn't just big-city governments -- in many county courthouses and larger school districts in Pennsylvania, you paid for a job; the works of John O'Hara document this, and while I never actually saw it in force, applicants at a smaller district in which a relative of mine was supervising principal were still asking about the practice in the 1960's.
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Old 10-13-2014, 08:22 AM
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
48,571 posts, read 20,525,164 times
Reputation: 20981
I grew up in the South where there seemed to be a genuine appreciation of successful con men. My grandfather had been a lobbyist on behalf of Greyhound racing interests and I heard all about how to grease the politicians of the Florida legislature.

The city of Hialeah is the major suburb of Miami in the northern part of Dade County and they had the same mayor, Henry Milander since 1942, getting elected over and over for two year terms. Then in the early sixties he was caught stealing public funds and convicted of conspiracy and grand larceny. He ran for reelection from jail, won, and resumed the office upon his release. He wound up serving right up to his death in 1972.

I had a pretty decent exposure to the good ol boys way of operating politically and there was an inherent corruption built in to nearly everything, which did not seem to bother these fine Christian gentleman in any manner, that was just the way one conducted "bidness" in the South in those days.
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Old 10-13-2014, 11:07 AM
4,081 posts, read 4,616,155 times
Reputation: 4912
In the past and in the present, corruption exists wherever there is power. Power creates an imbalance. In order to maintain status quo, all power corrupts. Disharmony will always ensue, as a result.

Ego, pride, they're all the same.
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