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The Boss
SOURCES OF POWER: THE MACHINE

By David Dayton McKean
This Web version, edited by GET NJ, COPYRIGHT 2003

Only an estimate can be made of the amount the organization collects, and no doubt the amount varies from year to year with the number of elections, the importance of the elections, the intensity of the collection drive, and the changing sources of funds. It would seem conservative to assume that the total varies from three quarters of a million dollars to one and one half million dollars a year.

In general, organization money is, for obvious reasons, handled in cash. It comes in to headquarters in cash, and it goes out in cash. When workers are paid before election day they are not paid with checks, and when money is sent from Hudson County to support a weaker organization in another county it goes out by messenger, in bills. One newspaper reporter, wandering about in City Hall shortly before an election, once strolled into Mr. Malone's office. There was no one in, and the safe, standing open, was piled high with greenbacks neatly arranged in packages. In a moment Mr. Malone came in and indignantly slammed shut the door of the safe, saying, `What the hell are you doing here?' That safe might be `the ultimate depository' that the Case Committee was unable to discover.

In a speech in Jersey City on January 7, 1938, Mayor Hague boasted that `recently I was re-elected by the almost unanimous vote' of the people of Jersey City. In its municipal publicity the city has recently made the same point: that the government is so stable that the administration is returned to power `almost unanimously.' There is no question of the virtual unanimity, and some reasons for it have now been examined, but there are still others.

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