Thoughts On Local Government_>>>6

[The following is a point-form note series on Local Government Politics aggregated from an academic course on that subject.]

Richard J. Daley:  – Introduced in the A. Ehrenhalt chapter excerpt from the Lost City

  • Quintessential boss rule Mayor (Chicago)
  • Daley’s ways may not have been democratic, but his defenders have argued that he got positive things done for Chicago which a non-boss would have been unable to do.
  • Their eldest son, Richard M. Daley, was elected mayor of Chicago in 1989, and has served in that position ever since. The youngest son, William M. Daley, served as US Secretary of Commerce from 1997-2000. Another son, John Daley, is a member of the Cook County Board of Commissioners.
  • Major construction during his terms in office resulted in O’Hare International Airport, the Sears Tower, McCormick Place, the University of Illinois, Chicago campus, and other major Chicago landmarks. O’Hare was a particular point of pride, with Daley and his staff regularly devising occasions to celebrate its “opening.”
  • John Fary was a loyal servant to the Daley Boss rule, used as an example of the order and rules followed at the time, less choice/freedom, but effective
  • Manipulated media and local oppostion forces by cleaning up certain areas of corruption, for example the seeling of drivewayy permits to homeowners for whatever price the homeowner was willing to pay under the table
  • Sinner but effective in countradistinctio to Martin Kennelly who was an ineffective saint
  • Slavish loyalty to obedience was essential
  • Richard Joseph Daley (May 15, 1902 – December 20, 1976) was an Irish-American politician who served as Chairman of the Cook County Democratic Central Committee from 1953 and Mayor of Chicago from 1955, retaining both positions until his death in 1976. He is also known as “Old Man Daley,” “Daley Senior” to residents of Chicago.
  • Daley was Chicago’s third mayor in a row from the heavily Irish Bridgeport neighborhood. He served in that position longer than any other person. According to Chicago folksinger Steve Goodman, no man “could inspire more love, more hate.”
  • First elected in 1955, he served six terms as mayor. Known for shrewd party politics, Daley was the prototypical “machine” politician, and his Chicago Democratic Machine, based on control of thousands of patronage positions, has been considered by some to have been instrumental in helping to elect John F. Kennedy in 1960.
  • It was often alleged that his administration used questionable tactics to acquire votes, with the ironic phrase “vote early and vote often” frequently used to describe to his method of delivering votes.
  • Daley’s chief electoral method was his reliance on the local precinct captain, who marshaled and delivered votes on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis. Many of these precinct captains held patronage jobs with the city, mostly minor posts at low pay. Each ward had a ward leader in charge of the precinct captains, some of whom were corrupt. A few wards were tied to the local mafia or crime syndicate.

Boss Rule, Machine Politics and Utility Enterprises: – Referenced in the chapter Excerpt from V. Ostrom, R. Bishe & E. Ostrom “The Struggle for Local Self Government”

  • William M. Tweed was the New York City’s political boss. His headquarters, located on East 14th Street, was known as Tammany Hall. He wore a diamond, orchestrated elections, controlled the city’s mayor, and rewarded political supporters. His primary source of funds came from the bribes and kickbacks that he demanded in exchange of city contracts.
  • Boss-rule, machine politics, payoff and graft, and the spoils system outraged late nineteenth century reformers. But were bosses and political machines as corrupt as their critics charged?
  • Many machines professionalized urban police forces and instituted the first housing regulations. Political also bosses served the welfare needs of immigrants. They offered jobs, food, fuel, and clothing to the new immigrants and the destitute poor. Political machines also served as a ladder of social mobility for ethnic groups blocked from other means of rising in society.
  • In The Shame of the Cities, the muckraking journalist Lincoln Steffens argued that it greedy businessmen who kept the political machines functioning. It was their hunger for government contracts, franchises, charters, and special privileges, he believed, that corrupted urban politics.
  • A radical transformation occurred in American society, industrial applications of new technologies brought new sources of energy, new services.  Transformed system of government, primarily in the local and state levels

Three elements led to Boss rule:

  • Population size led to changes in political organization
  • Essential role of political decisions ion the variety of utility enterprises including railways, etc.
  • Reliance upon a theory of the single sovereign in construing the authority of state legislatures with reference to local government
  • In the south Machine politics and boss rule was perpetuated as well by the fear of African American participation, and gaining effective power.
  • Immigrant communities would be heavily targeted by hopeful “bosses” they would recruit leaders in the respective minority communities and convince them that they would be beneficial to their needs through kickback and deals in the future
  • Utility enterprises depended upon the granting of franchises to use public rights of way, an extension of the power of eminent domain, or both.  The power of eminent domain is the power of a government to acquire property by forced sale upon compensation for fair market value, this can be extended to public utilities, creating natural monopolies
  • Plus these industries would have to use public property such as pipelines.
  • Used as bargaining chips for political support.

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