There was something evil about the walk, and the eyes. The man seemed like a borderline obese monster dressed in a fine suit and polished boots. His gait both wobbled and strutted into public buildings. The protruding, balding head had tufts of oiled hair pasted on the side, and the beard possessed a stench mix of tobacco reek, whiskey, rancid beef and pungent perfume. A grotesque and large cretin at first glance, this fetid human specimen was also one of the most powerful politicians in the United States, from the 1850s to the 70s. Boss Tweed was the name of infamy.
He started his nefarious political career as a gang leader in New York City within the rough neighborhood of the Lower East Side, or L.E.S. for short. He grew into one of the top gang leaders through swinging a large axe on rival fire fighter guys during street fights. Houses were of wood in those days, and so for those poor unfortunates that lived inside of those hovels, fires were quite common. Poor tenants had to pay protection money to the fire gangs – if they wanted to save their personal stuff and lives from the flame inundations. And if business was ever slow, the fire and cop gangs could do a little arson action on tenement buildings too.
The obese, axe wielding brute soon caught the greedy eyes of some corrupt NYC officials needing some muscle in extorting votes from the lower class lowlifes, the white ones living in the L.E.S. The politicians were members of a notorious Democratic machine and gang called ‘Tammany Hall.’ Boss Tweed gleefully took on the role as the ward boss, and then slithered into becoming the greatest boss of the city, where even national Democratic and Republican party politicians sought out the chubby thug of destiny.
Starting his illustrious career in public service, He purchased for himself a phony attorney credential, which the state government of New York duly certified as legitimate. Next, he continually got himself ‘elected’ to various political positions, such as city alderman, chairman of the NYC Democratic Club, city commissioner, NY state assemblyman – and even a stint as a NYC congressman in the House of Representatives. Every time he placed his name on the ballot, he miraculously won the election and served out his time in office. Yet with all of his important and innovative political work, nothing ever changed in NYC.
Meanwhile, behind the scenes, he constructed a stronger pre-mafia gang at Tammany Hall where all the parasites received their cushy jobs. They did not have to work at all really, yet they regularly collected nice salaries and pensions. He also handpicked local, rich bums with distinguished faces to run as mayors of New York. Most of them were from the Lower East Side wards of Irish Catholic immigrants. All of his mayoral candidates fantastically won. Everybody understood: the real power behind city hall government mob was Fat Bastard Tweed.
Tweed monopolized most government posts, and he also monopolized all NYC government construction contracts. Any building that needed repairs or a new facelift had to go through ‘his companies.’ Tweed further capitalized on his loot and became the biggest property pimp landlord in the City through buying up expensive buildings on Fifth Avenue, and then purchasing farm landholdings in the Harlem section of Manhattan.
Some years later, the railroad capitalists Jay Gould and Jim Fisk put up some flim flam municipal bonds in order to raise the stock in their ‘new company’. They needed the master con man Tweed to certify the deeds. Tweed made sure the stock hoax was legit – and demanded that his horde rob a few inflated dividends.
Tweed was such a corrupt master, that the rival Republican machine gang in the City, finagled a deal with the all-powerful boss to completely rewrite New York City’s Charter. Most importantly, Tweed successfully used the different NYC cop gangs as his personal foot soldiers, whether the Municipal Police Force or the Metropolitan Police Force.
Crap historians often look at the Tweed and Tammany Hall Era of New York history as a type of aberration in American urban government. Those historians are not just bad historians, they are also liars. This corrupt urban system in Amerika still functions marvelously, and not just in megalopolis cities, such as New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit and Los Angeles, but also in supposedly progressive cities, like San Francisco, Seattle and Portland, Oregon – and this Amerikan urban gangrene exists in even medium to small cities across the country.
Amerika’s urban juntas have represented the most foul epitomes of criminal neglect against the poor and lower classes, while those same city bosses have continually colluded with urban elites in order to shortchange the local political economy. Amerika’s city father hoodlums have consistently brutalized the poor lives of those unfortunates that must survive inside those infernos of cruelty.. They legally steal, cook the books, monopolize, extort, graft, bribe, and they rewrite the tax codes, public education system, criminal laws, and urban boundary lines to their sick whims.
They have even used the police as paramilitary murderers and jailers against those honorable people who have resisted such tyranny. While the official US propaganda system has brazenly extolled the lies of freedom and democracy, Amerika’s urban states of sinister corruption and criminality have crafted the inner city horrors of abject slums and ghettos.
We are not dealing with Boss Hogg buffoons. These are shrewd card sharp players that know how to filch and swindle through legal fiat and institutional switch and bait. They are merciless to the working class and lumpen populations that lack money, while they offer innumerable monetary benefits to corporations, real estate conglomerations, large business owners and white yuppie transients with money. These municipal crooks have coated their own pockets for their very own individual perks, like free travel and multiple bodyguards, permanent post-retirement mega-salaries and hoarding public tax monies for their own private initiatives.
A short list of some of their more contemporary frauds and rackets will suffice. These gangs of respectable criminals have often used the improper use of TIF monies and economic gerrymandering of ‘enterprise business zones.’
In order to receive more property and city taxes, which also increase their personal salaries, the city hall bosses continually extend the city limits. Once they illegally rob the outlying lands, they hand over the cheap disused fields or farmlands within those ‘limits’ to a low-cost private developer who then receives a monopoly on all work contracts. This nefarious practice also limits other companies from competing for scarce work opportunities and jobs.
Ultimately, a sprawling area of real estate either sits vacant or fills-up, whether for residential or commercial use. Even if it is a bust for the local economy, the privileged property owner continues to pay the low tax rates, while the city government stooges collect their tax bribes.
University administrator hacks have also worked in tandem with these legal gangsters. Local city judges in on the fix will then allow a ’eminent domain’ section to enter the urban map plan. A new satellite university campus is now under construction. The university administrators pay nothing, while the students pay another tuition increase.
The city bosses have used another popular money laundering-bribery scheme through increasing municipal taxes in order to pay for professional sports stadiums. The multi-billionaire sports team owner pays very little and receives his very own team stadium.
City Hall has even more legal and legit frauds under its sleeves, such as Community Development Block Grants, Corporate Income Tax Credits, Industrial Revenue Bonds, Property Tax Abatements, Sales Tax Exemptions and Tax Formula Changes. Meanwhile, the average citizen living in the cockroach and rat infested tenement building receives the icy stare of the donut cop.
Most of Amerika’s City Hall overseers are also the most rabid supporters of gun confiscations among the local citizens. They are not anti-gun for their own bodyguards or for the local donut brigades, but they will imprison the average citizen for even possessing a shotgun in the home. Crime in these urban Amerikan cauldrons is often rampant and brutal. The urban citizen that defends himself from a criminal act often has to endure a long legal battle or a hard prison term.
These urban bullies only want more control, and more money flowing in to their bank accounts. They also want some extra desserts for their rich friends. The only other group that they tend to stomach are transient yuppies with white skin privilege – as long as they have money to spend. They say they like ‘artists’ too, but the ‘artistes’ only work as the first wave of rent paying transients for their gentrification projects. They have to displace the African-American and Latino poor first. And then the privileged landlords will come for them too.
The cycle of deceit and legal crime continues within Amerika’s cities. Politicians, Financial Banks, Real Estate Conglomerates and Insurance Fraudsters are always the big winners in urban sprawl Amerika. Now we understand why so many big cities in the United States have had all-powerful Mafia families. The regular people have always known that City Hall was on the take, so they went to the wise guys instead for some meager justice. And for the rest of us in the city, we just have to sell ourselves on the rigged market for the bare basics of life: a wage slave job that robs our time and our energies, while paying the rent debt for some privacy and some sleep.