Washington helped found our country. For instance, the city is repavin' a street and has several hundred thousand old granite blocks to sell. Because these administrations, with their daily rows, furnish as racy news as prizefights or divorce cases. New York City Is Pie for the Hayseeds. He at once bought a duplicate set and added a silver tea service. The other downtown leaders, Barney Martin of the Fifth, Tim Sullivan of the Sixth, Pat Keahon of the Seventh, Florrie Sullivan of the Eighth, Frank Goodwin of the Ninth, Julius Harburger of the Tenth, Pete Dooling of the Eleventh, Joe Scully of the Twelfth, Johnnie Oakley of the Fourteenth, and Pat Keenan of the Sixteenth are just built to suit the people they have to deal with. To discover the details, however, investigation and explanation is required.
Tammany has raised a good many salaries. Four hours under a big silk hat in a hall where the heat registers 110 and the smoke 250! And then see how the Greater New York Democracy worked the game on the reformers in 1901! Above all things, avoid a dress suit. Through the eyes of one of the machine politicians--George Washington Plunkitt. Not one of them steals anything. Out of respect for the tender consciences of these pious people, the Raines law ought to exempt them from all contamination from the plunder that comes from the saloon traffic.
They just seen their opportunities and took them. Now, the primary election law threatens to do away with the boss and make the city government a menagerie. Do you ever hear of Good Government Club D and P and Q and Z any more? Martin, leader of the Twenty-seventh, is also something of a hightoner. In campaigns he was sometimes on the fence, sometimes on both sides of the fence, and sometimes under the fence. Then the board of this or that makes its plan public, and there is a rush to get my land, which nobody cared particular for before. He went to Cuba, enlisted in the Spanish army at the brain' out of the war, and died fighting' his country.
Before long I had sixty men back of me, and formed the George Washington Plunkitt Association. It can be very easy to disagree with Plunkitt on many, or all of his philosophies given the benefit of hindsight. The distinction between honest and dishonest graft is one that eludes most voters, but explains so much political behavior. What is there in it for them? As a matter of policy, if nothing else, why should the Tammany leaders go into such dirty business, when there is so much honest graft lyin' around when they are in power? Tammany would take care of everything for them in its nice quiet way. He served in both the State Assembly and the State Senate and for years was part of the Tammany machine. I know the awful consequences. They would understand fast enough if they were district leaders.
Tammany has raised a good many salaries. Or supposin' it's a new bridge they're goin' to build. Then a czar or a sultan will turn up, which brings me to the fourthly of my argument — that is, there will be h— to pay. It got some outside men to come over from Brooklyn and New Jersey to bid against me. For all I know, these senators may have been as honest and high minded about the gas bill as I was about the Remsen and Spuyten Duyvil bills. I had a sort of monopoly of this business for a while, but once a newspaper tried to do me.
Nobody ever said anything truer, and nobody lived up to it better than Croker. It never was assigned in any history class that I took, but apparently has been for plenty of other students. He explains the difference using Tammany Hall and the Philadelphia republicans as the examples. Some of the poor liquor dealers in my district have been forced to sell wood alcohol for whisky, and many deaths have followed. But just let Brooklyn be mentioned, or a bill be introduced about Gowanus Canal, or the Long Island Railroad, and he was all attention. Found several tenants who had been burned out, took them to a hotel, supplied them with clothes, fed them, and arranged temporary quarters for them until they could rent and furnish new apartments.
Did you ever consider that? Well may the Tammany leaders be alarmed; panic has already broke loose in Fourteenth Street. There's an honest graft, and I'm an example of how it works. Even a Jap or a Chinaman can become a New Yorker, but a Brooklynite never can. The drinking records, as given out, are still more phenomenal. But as a matter of business I leave whisky and beer and the rest of that stuff alone. This, of course, led to corrupt bargains, but did the poor butcher, who can now practice his trade and support his family care? Of course, it all cost a pretty penny, but what of that? Of course, we ain't all bookworms and college professors. The Cits take the Fourth like a dog I had when I was a boy.
But we don't make them district leaders. He makes a cogent argument, and says it like he means it. I would have loved to gauge a crowd that Plunkitt told that story and see their reaction. In 1905, he published them in a book, which became a classic on American urban politics, one still widely read today. How did he do it? Nobody pays any attention to the Fourth of July any longer except Tammany and the small boy. Some young men think they can learn how to be successful in politics from books, and they cram their heads with all sorts of college rot. Note This is one of the most famous talks on practical politics by the Democratic senator of New York District of Tammany , George Washington Plunkitt, at the beginning of the 20th century.
Any other day George and I are the best of friends. There's an honest graft, and I'm an example of how it works. He does not analyze or explain. Look at the last three State elections! In this book, Plunkitt is able to show us how he has been so successful in politics for forty years and will continue to be. He wore a dress suit for the first time in his hie. The correct answer should be An honest graft not only thinks of the recipient but of his city and his political party A dishonest one only looks out for their own self-interest, while an honest one finds a way for them to benefit, for the society to benefit, and at the same time for the political party to benefit.