Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Democrat National Convention was almost Fixed by the Mafia

After a dramatic Republican National Convention in Cleveland which saw Donald Trump finally become the party’s official nominee, Hillary Clinton will this week accept the formal nomination of the Democratic Party.

U.S. national conventions have always been big business opportunities. As one long-time ally of the Bush family reportedly said, “For people who operate in and around government, you can’t not be here.” Although some of the usual donors to the Republican National Convention, like Ford and UPS, stayed home this year, the host committee was able to raise nearly US $60 million from American businesses. Yet historically the “people who operate in and around government” are not only legitimate businesses but also, sometimes, less-than-legitimate ones.

Take the 1932 Democratic National Convention. As I explain in my book Hidden Power: The Strategic Logic of Organized Crime, from which this article is adapted, the nomination that year had come down to a contest between two New York politicians. Al Smith was a reform-minded former governor aligned with Tammany Hall, the Manhattan-based Democratic political machine. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the sitting governor, was running against him, and he was not aligned with Tammany.

If Roosevelt was to win the nomination at the Democratic National Convention, he needed to neutralize the Tammany threat. That meant figuring out what to do about the Mob.

Through their control of liquor and vice-markets in southern Manhattan, Tammany’s stronghold, the Italian-American Mafias and Jewish-heritage gangs that made up the New York Mob had developed growing power in Tammany affairs over the preceding years.

The Mob leadership now saw a huge strategic opportunity at the Democratic National Convention to leverage that power into something even bigger: influence over the next occupant of the White House.

Mob leaders Lucky Luciano, Frank Costello and Meyer Lansky all accompanied the Tammany Hall delegation to the convention in Chicago. Their Mafia associate Al Capone provided much of the alcohol, banned under prohibition, and entertainment.

Costello shared a hotel suite with Jimmy Hines, the Tammany “Grand Sachem,” who announced support for Roosevelt. But another Tammany politician, Albert Marinelli, announced that he and a small bloc were defecting and would not support Roosevelt.

Marinelli was Tammany’s leader in the Second Assembly District, its heartland below Manhattan’s 14th Street. During Prohibition he had owned a trucking company – run by none other than Lucky Luciano. Luciano had helped Marinelli become the first Italian-American district leader in Tammany, and in 1931 forced the resignation of the city clerk, whom Marinelli then replaced. This gave Luciano and Marinelli control over selection of grand jurors and the tabulation of votes during city elections.

Now, the two were sharing a Chicago hotel suite.

Why were Costello and Luciano backing rival horses, and through them, rival candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination? Was this a disagreement over political strategy?

On the contrary, the evidence suggests that the Mob was playing both sides, to place themselves as brokers in the Democratic nomination process.

Roosevelt needed the full New York state delegation’s support – and thus Tammany’s – if he was going to win the floor vote at the convention. But he also needed to avoid being tainted by the whiff of scandal that hung stubbornly around Tammany – and the Mafia.

Roosevelt responded to the split by issuing a statement denouncing civic corruption, while carefully noting that he had not seen adequate evidence to date to warrant the prosecution of sitting Tammany leaders, despite an ongoing investigation run by an independent-minded prosecutor, Sam Seabury. Picking up his signal, Marinelli threw his support behind Roosevelt, giving him the full delegate slate and helping him gain the momentum needed to claim the nomination.

The Mob’s role may not have been decisive. Roosevelt’s nomination had numerous fathers, not least John “Cactus Jack” Garner, a rival presidential candidate to whom Roosevelt offered the vice presidency in return for the votes of the Texas and California delegations. But it was a factor.

If the Mob leaders were not quite kingmakers as they had hoped, they were certainly players. As Luciano reportedly put it, “I don’t say we elected Roosevelt, but we gave him a pretty good push.”

Luciano was nonetheless a newcomer to national politics, and seems to have been quickly outsmarted by his candidate. Having secured the nomination, Roosevelt loosened the reins on Seabury’s corruption investigation, making clear that if it developed new evidence, he might be prepared to back prosecutions after all.

Seabury quickly exposed significant Tammany graft in the New York administration. The city sheriff had amassed $400,000 in savings from a job that paid $12,000 a year. The mayor had awarded a bus contract to a company that owned no buses – but was happy to give him a personal line of credit. A judge with half a million dollars in savings had been granted a loan to support 34 “relatives” found to be in his care. Against the backdrop of Depression New York, with a collapsing private sector, 25 percent unemployment and imploding tax revenues, this was shocking profligacy and nepotism.

By September 1932, the mayor had resigned and fled to Paris with his showgirl girlfriend. In early 1933, Roosevelt moved into the White House and broke off the formal connection between Tammany Hall and the national Democratic Party for the first time in 105 years. He even tacitly supported the election of the reformist Republican Fiorello La Guardia as New York mayor.

Luciano was pragmatic about having been outsmarted. “He done exactly what I would’ve done in the same position,” he reportedly said. “He was no different than me … we was both s—ass double-crossers, no matter how you look at it.”

Thanks to James Cockayne.

The Crime Classification Manual: A Standard System of Investigating and Classifying Violent Crime

The landmark book standardizing the language, terminology, and classifications used throughout the criminal justice system

Arranged according to the primary intent of the criminal, the Crime Classification Manual: A Standard System for Investigating and Classifying Violent Crime, Third Edition features the language, terms, and classifications the criminal justice system and allied fields use as they work to protect society from criminal behavior.

Coauthored by a pioneer of modern profiling and featuring new coverage of wrongful convictions and false confessions, the Third Edition:


  • Tackles new areas affected by globalization and new technologies, including human trafficking and internationally coordinated cybercrimes
  • Expands discussion of border control, The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Homeland Security
  • Addresses the effects of ever-evolving technology on the commission and detection of crime

The definitive text in this field, Crime Classification Manual, Third Edition is written for law enforcement personnel, mental health professionals, forensic scientists, and those professionals whose work requires an understanding of criminal behavior and detection.

A History of the Jews

Less a seminal contribution than a distillation of a wide range of sources, this history of the Jews focuses on their four-millennia interplay with, and adaption to, other, often hostile, civilizations a "world history seen from the viewpoint of a learned and intelligent victim.'' Weaving biblical and archeological data, Johnson (Modern Times Revised Edition: The World from the Twenties to the Nineties), History of Christianity) is particularly deft at placing the patriarchs and early Israelites (the Bronze Age through the destruction of the First Temple) in their historical context. His dense, somewhat arbitrary, capsule extols Judaic rational scholarship which contributed to ethical monotheism and the 18th-century economic system, in turn and denigrates mystic kabbalah``heresy of the most pernicious kind.'' Although Johnson, who seeks to acknowledge ``the magnitude of the debt Christianity owes to Judaism,'' traces ``an inherent conflict'' between the religion and the state of Israel through the various ages, the work is incontrovertibly sympathetic to Zionism.

A History of the Jews.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Explosion of Chicago's Black Street Gangs

Explosion of Chicago's Black Street Gangs-1900 to Present, is the bible on the social pathology of street gangs in Chicago. It should be read by all professionals working with young adults, especially those involved in law enforcement.

Preface:

"This commentary is not intended to be a comprehensive analysis of Chicago's Black street gangs, nor does it purport to be based on scientific data. However, as one who has worked with and observed Black street gangs for over twenty-five years, I believe I do have some insight about them. Furthermore, I believe as a Black social practitioner my insight gives a perspective on Black street gangs that has not been provided by many white academicians and social scientists.

What this commentary attempts to do is to trace the evolution of Chicago's Black street gangs and identify those factors that have made many of them the violent gangs they are today. In doing so, I have tried to separate myth from fact and list critical realities we must face if we are to have a significant impact on Black street gangs. Although I do not provide solutions to the Black street gang problem, I believe some strategies for remedying the problem can be extrapolated from my commentary."

Official Mafia III Accolades Trailer - The Fall's Most Promising Open-World Game




With over 60 E3 accolades, 12 awards and a host of top-ten recognitions, Mafia III is poised to be Fall’s Most Promising Open-World Game.

Mafia III Deluxe Edition - PlayStation 4: - It’s 1968 and the rules have changed. After years in Vietnam, Lincoln Clay knows this truth: Family isn’t who you’re born with, it’s who you die for.


Deeply Discounted Books

Crime Family Index