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in which party feeling and patriotism become meaningless words; and politics and money are everything. Money is absolutely necessary for its support; money raised by 'assessments' from rich candidates, sometimes by means such as
'The Machine can practically put up the offices at auction to the highest bidder, and impose such assessments as they see fit. If the natural expenses of the campaign are heavy, so much the better for the Machine, and so much the worse for the people. The Machine can raise the money; the advocates of an independent and honest movement cannot. And yet in the long-run the people pay these expenses. They are unwilling to contribute to secure good government, but in effect they contribute to perpetuate the bad; for those who pay the assessments to run the Machine get the money from the people by way of salary, and eventually it all comes into the tax budget. But the average ratepayer is politically torpid, or timid and shortsighted.' (Ivins.)
The duties of an Assembly District leader of the Machine are manifold, and are thus described by Mr. Ivins :—
'If he wishes a strong following in his district, he must be at the service day and night of his neighbours, who, in return for the services rendered them, are willing to attend primaries or vote at elections. A young man is arrested for fast driving: the district leader must visit a police-justice and intercede for him. An old man wants to keep an apple-stand on a frequented corner: the district leader must see his Alderman and have a special ordinance passed over the Mayor's veto. A city ordinance has been violated, and the violator reported by the police to the Corporation Attorney: the district leader must see the Corporation Attorney and have the complaint pigeon-holed; or, if he fail in this, he must see the Justice. and have it dismissed when it is called for trial. If a labourer who can serve him is out of work, he must find something for him to do on the streets, or on the aqueduct, or in the parks. If a builder, employing a number of men, or a lot-owner, who is putting up a house, wants four or five feet of the city's property, free of cost, on which to build a "swell front" or a bay-window, the leader must see that the application runs through the Board, with or without the Mayor's consent. If a Corporation wants to dig a vault under the street to its very centre, he must lend a hand to put the matter through. If a liquor dealcr is arrested for selling without a license, he must leave no stone unturned to secure his escape unpunished. Finally, if a poor devil is in want of a dollar, he must let him have it. He must attend all political meetings, go to club picnics, attend church fairs, not permit himself to be forgotten in the liquor stores and other places of frequent resort, and must hold himself generally in readiness to do whatever is required of him by the superior chiefs.'
He has under him a number of captains, generally one in each of the election districts.
'Each of these captains has some sort of place for himself, or his son, or his nephew, and has some sort of control over the voters of two or three thickly populated houses. If he is enterprising, he buys a horse and cart and hires a driver, and then has them employed in the service of the city, in street repairs, in removing ashes and sweepings, or in sprinkling the streets. If he is enabled to put two or three carts to work, he is peculiarly fortunate, is sure of an income, can enjoy his leisure, and devote himself to demonstrating the honesty, capacity, and superior democracy or republicanism of his employers, besides doing all manner of neighbourly offices for those who may need them. He obeys his Assembly District leader, whoever he may be, respecting the office rather than the man. Whenever the central caucus or the boss desires it, they can re-organize the Assembly District, and select a new leader, to whom all the captains must report, or surrender their livings. They consequently succumb, and give the most perfect demonstration of the "cohesive power of public blunder," or, as Demosthenes called it, the "cement of office." There is no patronage, however, that a District leader desires so much and seeks so eagerly as places on the police force. As a patrolman his friend can, in an unobtrusive and quiet way, render him and the party valuable service. A roundsman is more desirable still, while a sergeant or captain is a real power if he takes any interest in politics-and some of them do.'
The Machine, says Mr. Ivins, suffices for all things, even for the support of a powerful newspaper organ.
'Nothing,' he adds, could excel the simplicity of the device by which a certain daily paper in this city was at a critical time kept alive as a distributor of news, as a defender of the "bosses," and at the same time made self-supporting, and even enabled to pay a dividend on its stock, the majority of which was held by those very bosses. There are a good many liquor dealers in New York; they are numbered by thousands, and are all required to have licenses. These licenses are given by the Board of Excise. This Board, being agreed on party policy, had only to demand of every liquor dealer the production of his receipt for one or more subscriptions to the daily organ before granting a license; and the circulation of the paper was assured, and in those very places, the liquor stores and political exchanges, where it would do most good. And this is no fanciful case, but matter of party history.'
Besides being close corporations in which money is everything, and organizations devoted to party politics, the action of the Machines sometimes results in a very curious fusion of parties. Not only are there no really distinctive principles in either Republican or Democrats, so that they exist practi
cally for the sake of filling certain offices' (Bryce), but there are, as a prominent politician once remarked, 'no politics in politics.'
'The Democratic leader either finds a place for the friends of the Republican leader, with whom he is co-operating, or, when the Republican leader is in power, it is the latter who finds places for his friends and coadjutors; for the professional or caste feeling is very strong, and the politicians of all parties recognize their ultimate community of interests at all times.' (Ivins.)
Unless indeed a quarrel should arise over the division of the spoils, or over the keeping of certain terms of agreement; when there ensues an edifying spectacle of the methods of party politics. An investigation is held, and, when politicians fall out, honest men come by their due. Such a case has recently occurred in the dispute between the Republican 'boss' and Tammany Hall; and, as the 'New York Times' remarks, the exposure of abuses seems to depend on the personal spite of the party leaders.
Not only do the Machines raise money by assessments, but, having first made it impossible for any outsiders to contend against them, they have taken upon themselves the entire charge of providing all election officers-except the United States Marshals-and all necessary machinery, ballot papers, &c. Consequently they appropriate to themselves whatever funds are granted by the State for election expenses, polling clerks, and so on. This fund amounts to a minimum of $290,000 [58,0007.], paid to the officers of the law; or as Mr. Ivins says:
This fund of $290,000 is practically used, if not to purchase, at least to assure and guarantee the vote of at least ten persons for each election district. The election districts will average about 300 voters, so that 3 per cent. of the voters are employed in or about the elections in accordance with the provisions of law as officers of the law, and the election leader sees that they are the first men to vote, and to vote right.'
The expenses of the different Machines are, of course, enormous. The total amount of money spent in New York City at an election, including assessments of candidates, legal expenses, &c., is estimated at $700,000 [140,0001.]. New York City has a population of under two millions; the total cost of the election of 1886 for the whole United Kingdom was 624,0867.
We have seen that the professional politician,' whether Irish 'ward-heeler,' or 'party boss,' does not care very much for
political principles, except as part of his business'; still there are party organizations, and party divisions in plenty. New York City is Democratic, while in the Legislature the Republicans have a majority under a Democratic Governor. Philadelphia is Republican. There is not much to choose between the two parties in either State. At the time of the 'Ring' power-1870, 1871-the Republican Senators were as much responsible for the condition of affairs as were the Democrats themselves. The Ring's money was the full extent of the patriotism of Republican Senators, and so long as the Senators were well supplied with cash their consciences were as elastic as rubber.*
The New York Star' is Democratic, and so may fairly be suspected of party bias; let us see what a Republican paper has to say about the matter: The passage of the new charter and of the election law, the latter by far the more substantial reform of the two, could not have been secured without the help of the Republicans in the Legislature, and hence the credit is as much theirs as it is that of the Tweed Democracy.' This is the election law which gave New York City to be governed by the Ring 'like a conquered province' for four or eight years.
Nor are' politics' very different in New York to-day; since the spoilsmen of both parties are ready, at any election, to sacrifice a candidate for one office in order to secure the election of a candidate for some other office. Politics are a trade, just as they are in Ireland, though in a different form; and it is a common practice for the Machine politicians to come to an understanding regarding what is technically known as the 'trading of votes. The effect of this vote-trading was very clearly illustrated in the results of the election for President in New York State in 1888. At that election, Mr. Cleveland, the Democratic candidate for President, was defeated by 14,373 votes; and, as New York was the State on which the election turned, he failed in his re-election to the Presidency; while Mr. Hill, the Democratic candidate for Governor, was elected by 19,171-the votes for both being cast at the same time, and at the same polling-booths. As there were no other Democratic candidates for the respective positions, it is evident that the difference between the two results was due to the fact that not less than 16,000 or 17,000 Democratic spoilsmen, followers of Mr. Hill, voted for Mr. Harrison, the Republican candidate for President, in exchange for a like number of votes of Republican spoilsmen cast for
*New York Star: 'History of Tammany,' ch. xxi., 1883-84.
+ New York Times,' April 13, 1870.
Mr. Hill. If the correct number of traded votes could be ascertained, it would undoubtedly be much in advance of these figures; as it is well known that a small army of Independents voted for Mr. Cleveland for President, and against Mr. Hill for Governor. An honest vote would have elected Mr. Cleveland by a majority of about 2500 (more than double the majority he had in the State in 1884), while Mr. Hill would also have secured his election by a like majority. This action, by which a popular candidate is sometimes sacrificed to promote the success of a nominee of the same party for a different office, voted for at the same time, is, not inappropriately, termed 'knifing.'
The majority of the same classes are Democratic in New York, and Republican in Philadelphia; not from any political convictions, but simply because a certain scum, of Irish immigrants and others, always goes with the dominant party. The intellectual status of the Democratic party would not seem to be a very lofty one, whether in the Board of Aldermen, or in the State Legislature. The subjoined story, which is literally true, will give a fair idea of their mental capacity. After swans had been introduced into the lakes in Central Park, the Board of Aldermen were requested to authorize the placing on the same waters of several gondolas, and the charging of a fee to persons wishing to use them. When the subject was under discussion, one city Solon remarked that the purchase of a number of gondolas was a useless expenditure, and suggested that they should obtain only a pair, and trust to the course of nature for the increase.' That was many years ago; let us see what the 'New York World' (Dec. 22, 1889), a Democratic paper, has to tell us about the Aldermen of to-day :
'There ought to be some statutory or other effective restraint placed upon the recklessness with which Boards of Aldermen ignorantly trifle with street names in this city. The name of a street is a historic record. It is given in the first place in memory of some event or in honour of some distinguished person. It is perpetuated as a record of the sentiment which first conferred it. But ignorant Aldermen have discovered that they have a legal right to change street names at will, and are disposed to exercise the power as their prejudices or whims suggest. New York had a street named after the best friend America had in England in Revolutionary times, the Earl of Chatham. The thoroughfare had borne the honoured name for a century, but because the keeper of a liquor shop thought the change might help his business, Chatham Street was converted into Park Row, though it is not a row and touches no park. Another New York street bears the name of the great philanthropist Howard. But because Howard happens to have been an Englishman, and some