William Magear Tweed, or, as history more frequently refers to him, Boss Tweed, is perhaps America’s most infamous symbolic representation of the corrupt politician. Made infamous by the Tammany Hall scandal and the political corruption exposed in the scandal.
Tweed’s downfall came in the wake of the Orange riot of 1871, which came after Tammany Hall banned a parade of Irish Protestants celebrating a historical victory against Catholicism, because of a riot the year before in which eight people died when a crowd of Irish Catholic laborers attacked the paraders. Under strong pressure from the newspapers and the Protestant elite of the city, Tammany reversed course, and the march was allowed to proceed, with protection from city policemen and state militia. The result was an even larger riot in which over 60 people were killed and more than 150 injured.
Although Tammany’s electoral power base was largely centered in the Irish immigrant population, it also needed the city’s elite to acquiesce in its rule, and this was conditional on the machine’s ability to control the actions of their people, but the July riot showed that this capability was not nearly as strong as had been supposed.
Nast shows Tweed’s source of power: control of the ballot box. “As long as I count the Votes, what are you going to do about it?”
Tweed had for months been under attack from the New York Times and Thomas Nast, the cartoonist from Harper’s Weekly – regarding Nast’s cartoons, Tweed reportedly said, “Stop them damned pictures. I don’t care so much what the papers say about me. My constituents don’t know how to read, but they can’t help seeing them damned pictures!” – but their campaign had only limited success in gaining traction. They were able to force an examination of the city’s books, but the blue-ribbon commission of six businessmen appointed by Mayor A. Oakey Hall, a Tammany man, which included John Jacob Astor III, banker Moses Taylor and others who benefited from Tammany’s actions, found that the books had been “faithfully kept”, letting the air out of the effort to dethrone Tweed.
The response to the Orange riot changed everything, and only days afterwards the Times/Nast campaign began to garner popular support. More importantly, the Times started to receive inside information from County Sheriff James O’Brien, whose support for Tweed had fluctuated during Tammany’s reign. O’Brien had tried to blackmail Tammany by threatening to expose the ring’s embezzlement to the press, and when this failed he provided the evidence he had collected to the Times. Shortly afterward, county auditor Matthew J. O’Rourke supplied additional details to the Times, which was reportedly offered $5 million to not publish the evidence. The Times also obtained the accounts of the recently deceased James Watson, who was the Tweed Ring’s bookkeeper, and these were published daily, culminating in a special four-page supplement on July 29 headlined “Gigantic Frauds of the Ring Exposed”. In August, Tweed began to transfer ownership in his real-estate empire and other investments to his family members.
The exposes provoked an international crisis of confidence in New York City’s finances, and, in particular, in its ability to repay its debts. European investors were heavily positioned in the city’s bonds and were already nervous about its management – only the reputations of the underwriters were preventing a run on the city’s securities. New York’s financial and business community knew that if the city’s credit was to collapse, it could potentially bring down every bank in the city with it.
Thus, the city’s elite met at Cooper Union in September to discuss political reform: but for the first time, the conversation included not only the usual reformers, but also Democratic bigwigs such as Samuel J. Tilden, who had been thrust aside by Tammany. The general consensus was that the “wisest and best citizens” should take over the governance of the city and attempt to restore investor confidence. The result was the formation of the Executive Committee of Citizens and Taxpayers for Financial Reform of the City (also known as “the Committee of Seventy”), which attacked Tammany by cutting off the city’s funding. Property owners refused to pay their municipal taxes, and a judge – Tweed’s old friend George Barnard, no less – enjoined the city Comptroller from issuing bonds or spending money. Unpaid workers turned against Tweed, marching to City Hall demanding to be paid. Tweed doled out some funds from his own purse – $50,000 – but it was not sufficient to end the crisis, and Tammany began to lose its essential base.
Shortly thereafter, the Comptroller resigned, appointing Andrew Haswell Green, an associate of Tilden’s, as his replacement. Green loosened the purse strings again, allowing city departments not under Tammany control to borrow money to operate. Green and Tilden had the city’s records closely examined, and discovered money that went directly from city contractors into Tweed’s pocket. The following day, they had Tweed arrested.
Mordor on the Potomac, also known as Washington DC, is now being shown to be run little different than New York City’s infamous Tammany Hall, with the position of Boss Tweed being played by both the Speaker of the House and the Majority leader of the Senate. The current Speaker of the House, John Boehner, is proving himself to be no less corrupt than the previous Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, who was so corrupt that she made William Magear Tweed, New York Cities infamous Boss Tweed, look like a genuine Boy Scout.
John Boehner just happens to have the misfortune of being the Speaker of the House when the corruption that has become institutional is being exposed. Boehner, like Boss Tweed before him is even now attempting to prevent this corruption from coming to light by attacking those bring it to light. Where Boss Tweed attacked Thomas Nast, the cartoonist from Harper’s Weekly, in a failed effort to prevent Nast’s political cartoons from being published, John Boehner and company are now attacking Peter Schweizer, whose well researched and extensively documented book “Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets” exposes just how deep the rabbit hole of corruption in Mordor on the Potomac really goes.
House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) spokesperson Brendan Buck has issued an unsubstantiated statement to the National Journal attacking the character and credibility of Breitbart News Senior Editor-At-Large and Government Accountability Institute (GAI) President Peter Schweizer.
This week, Schweizer, who is the William J. Casey Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, released his new investigative book, Extortion. Schweizer’s corruption exposé, backed by GAI’s professional research staff, was featured Sunday night on 60 Minutes with veteran CBS reporter Steve Kroft and has received glowing praise across the political pantheon from everyone from Schweizer’s former boss, former Gov. Sarah Palin, to the editorial board of the New York Times. Sean Hannity says the book is “excellent” and highlighted its “600 footnotes.”
Schweizer’s last New York Times bestseller, Throw Them All Out, exposed insider trading by members of Congress and prompted an ethics investigation into curiously-timed trades by now-retiring Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL). Bachus subsequently stepped down from his chairmanship of the Financial Services Committee. Schweizer’s book also prompted passage of the STOCK (Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge) Act. As Slate put it, Schweizer published “the book that started the STOCK Act stampede.” The late Andrew Breitbart was the first to call for Bachus’s resignation. Bachus was the only member of Congress Breitbart ever called on to resign.
In reference to Schweizer’s new book’s revelations involving Speaker John Boehner’s “toll booth” donation extraction scheme, Boehner’s spokesman Brendan Buck said this:
“The idea that floor votes are scheduled based on campaign contributions is absurd. This ‘expert’ is utterly cluelessness about the legislative process and guilty of pathetically sloppy research. For starters, the short period of time these bills saw between committee action and floor consideration – less than a week in one instance – could not possibly be called a ‘delay.’ This ‘expert’ did not even bother to contact our office. If he had, we would have been happy to explain the facts. He should probably read ‘Congress for Dummies’ before he starts making bogus and salacious claims to sell books.”
Forthcoming Breitbart News investigative reports will reveal the grievously erroneous nature of Buck’s statement.
There have been a great many members of the Republican Base who have long suspected that John Boehner was not working on the behalf of the Republican Base, that the Republican Leadership were betraying the Base. When Boehner and so many others within the Republican Leadership joined in the choir attacking the TEA Party, it became impossible to find valid justifications for thinking that it was anything other than a case of fratricide. The Old Guard Establishment was clearly attempting to protect their own corrupt positions of power and money.
Those self identifying with the TEA Party, contrary to the avalanche of lies and disinformation put forth by the Democrats and the Fifth Column Treasonous Media, are not extremists or terrorist or hostage takers. They are just average American’s who are sick and tired of the institutionalized corruption that has become the hallmark of Mordor the Potomac. While the majority of the TEA Party folk are Conservative Republicans, they are by no stretch of the imagination exclusively Republicans.
When former Rep. Steve LaTourette of Ohio, quoted Barack Insane Obama, “We’re going to be very aggressive and we’re going to get in their faces.” in his opening attack on TEA Party fellow Republicans, it kind of makes you wonder who Rep. Steve LaTourette of Ohio is taking his marching orders from doesn’t it.
Peter Schweizer has pulled the curtain back and exposed the corruption hidden behind it, now those men who were hiding their corruption behind that velvet curtain are scrambling to get the curtain back in place before anyone notices what Peter Schweizer exposed, and by way of getting the curtain back in place they are attacking Peter Schweizer’s creditability. Discredit Peter Schweizer, and you discredit his expose. It is the exact same tactic being used against the TEA Party Republicans, the TEA Party Republicans are fighting tooth and nail to bring an end to the institutionalized corruption that infects Washington DC like a plague. The Democrats, the Fifth Column Treasonous Media and the Republican Old Guard Establishment Leadership are fighting just as hard to keep it alive.
In the months leading up to the 2014 mid term elections the Democrats, the Fifth Column Treasonous Media and the Republican Old Guard Establishment Leadership are going to spread lies, misinformation deceits and propaganda designed to lead you to believe that the TEA Party Republicans are no different than the Taliban or Al Qaeda, terrorist and bomb throws who need to be purged from the Republican Party. But the real truth is, that their only sin, is wanting to put an end to the institutional corruption that Peter Schweizer exposed in “Extortion: How Politicians Extract Your Money, Buy Votes, and Line Their Own Pockets.”