Politician George Washington Plunkitt Part 3: Bosses Preserve the Nation

About politician George Washington Plunkitt and some of his plain talk style politics including this example on bosses.

GEORGE WASHINGTON PLUNKITT (1842--1924). Politician.

Bosses Preserve the Nation

"Look at the bosses of Tammany Hall in the last 20 years. What magnificent men! To them New York City owes pretty much all it is today. John Kelly, Richard Croker, and Charles F. Murphy--what names in American history compares with them, except Washington and Lincoln?"

On the Use of Money in Politics

"The civil service gang is always howlin' about candidates and officeholders puttin' up money for campaigns and about corporations chippin' in. They might as well howl about givin' contributions to churches. A political organization has to have money for its business as well as a church, and who has more right to put up than the men who get the good things that are goin'? Take, for instance, a great political concern like Tammany Hall. It does missionary work like a church, it's got big expenses and it's got to be supported by the faithful. If a corporation sends in a check to help the good work of the Tammany Society, why shouldn't we take it like other missionary societies? Of course, the day may come when we'll reject the money of the rich as tainted, but it hadn't come when I left Tammany Hall at 11:25 A.M. today."


"Now, in conclusion, I want to say that I don't own a dishonest dollar. If my worst enemy was given the job of writin' my epitaph when I'm gone, he couldn't do more than write:

" 'George W. Plunkitt. He Seen His Opportunities, and He Took 'Em.'"

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