10 Corrupt Politicians who we elected

William Magear

William Magear
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William Magear

Boss Tweed was an American politician most notable for being the "boss" of Tammany Hall, the Democratic Party political machine that played a major role in the politics of 19th century New York City and State. At the height of his influence, Tweed was the third-largest landowner in New York City and a director of the Erie Railroad, the Tenth National Bank, and the New-York Printing Company, as well as proprietor of the Metropolitan Hotel.
The Scandal
After the election of 1869, Tweed took control of the New York City government. His protégé, John T. Hoffman, the former mayor of the city, won election as governor, and Tweed garnered the support of good government reformers like Peter Cooper and the Union League Club, by proposing a new city charter which returned power to City Hall at the expense of the Republican-inspired state commissions. The new charter passed, thanks in part to $600,000 in bribes Tweed paid to Republicans, and was signed into law by Hoffman in 1870. Mandated new elections allowed Tammany to take over the city's Common Council when they won all fifteen aldermanic contests.
For example, the construction cost of the New York County Courthouse, begun in 1861, grew to nearly $13 million—about $178 million in today's dollars, and nearly twice the cost of the Alaska Purchase in 1867. "A carpenter was paid $360,751 (roughly $4.9 million today) for one month's labor in a building with very little woodwork ... a plasterer got $133,187 ($1.82 million) for two days' work".
Tweed was released on $1 million bail, and Tammany set to work to recover its position through the ballot box. Tweed was re-elected to the state senate in November 1871, due to his personal popularity and largesse in his district, but in general Tammany did not do well, and the members of the Tweed Ring began to flee the jurisdiction, many going overseas. Tweed was re-arrested, forced to resign his city positions, and was replaced as Tammany's leader. Once again, he was released on bail—$8 million this time—but Tweed's supporters, such as Jay Gould, felt the repercussions of his fall from power.
Tweed's first trial, in January 1873, ended when the jury was unable to agree on a verdict. His retrial in November resulted in convictions on 204 of 220 counts, a fine of $12,750 (the equivalent of $251,848 today) and a prison sentence of 12 years; a higher court, however, reduced Tweed's sentence to one year. After his release from prison, New York State filed a civil suit against Tweed, attempting to recover $6 million in embezzled funds. Unable to put up the $3 million bail, Tweed was locked up in the Ludlow Street Jail, although he was allowed home visits. On one of these, Tweed escaped and fled to Spain, where he worked as a common seaman on a Spanish ship. The U.S. government discovered his whereabouts and arranged for his arrest once he reached the Spanish border; he was recognized from Nast's political cartoons. He was turned over to an American warship, the USS Franklin, which delivered him to authorities in New York City on November 23, 1876, and he was returned to prison.
Desperate and broken, Tweed now agreed to testify about the inner workings of his corrupt Ring to a special committee set up by the Board of Aldermen, in return for his release, but after he did so, Tilden, now governor of New York, refused to abide by the agreement, and Tweed remained incarcerated. He died in the Ludlow Street Jail on April 12, 1878, from severe pneumonia, and was buried in the Brooklyn Green-Wood Cemetery.[ Mayor Smith Ely would not allow the flag at City Hall to be flown at half staff.]
There is a lot of talk about political corruption and there is a lot of talk about how the system defends and protects corrupt politicians but that is not quite true. These 10 politicians will make you believe that corruption in high places will almost always break your career. Do not trust me? Just watch these slides and read.
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