Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wisdom for the Ages from the Ages...Shh, I Think They're Democrats

Adlai E. Stevenson III (ed.) The Black Book of Senator Adlai E. Stevenson, 1939- , Governor Adlai E. Stevenson, 1900-1965, Vice President Adlai E. Stevenson, 1835-1914: American Politics and History as Explained by Five Generations of an American Family.

This book is an edited compilation of advice, witty stories, commentary, etc. collected by generations of Adlai E. Stevensons and their relatives. Much advice stands the test of time. Adlai II’s great great grandfather Jesse Fell was a political advisor to Abraham Lincoln. Fell suggested Lincoln debate Douglas. Adlai III notes how observations made by his grandfather on China resonate still. The book was a useful reference for many Stevenson speeches.

The editor hails the election of Barack Obama as President, not that Obama, like Adlai II, is an intellectual and an idealist.

Politics has changed through the generations. In the 1890s, more people make longer distance journeys to hear speeches by Presidential candidates than does today’s public. Thousands would march in support of the candidates, something little seen today.

Adlai III notes the political corruption that was traditional in the 1870s through the 1920s concerned elections and favors. Yet, political organizations educated voters about ideology and reason. Modern political corruption is more concerned with foreign interests, ideological delusions, and religious fundamentalism misshaping policy. Political policies are today, unlike in the past, more open for sale to corrupt figures.

When Adlai I became Vice President in 1893, his entire staff was a secretary, a stenographer, and a messenger. He walked to his Capitol office.

Patronage used to be an important part of politics. The Illinois Governor could select about 30,000 people to work in patronage positions. Today, “pin stripe patronage” exists on a grander monetary scale with government contracts and Board and agency appointment provided to political supporters.

Adlai II noted that “cleanliness is next to godliness, except in the Illinois legislature, where it is next to impossible.” Adlai II often worked 16 or 17 hour workdays as Governor. As Governor, he doubled funding for education, addressed poor conditions of mental institutions, increased mine safety laws, and created a merit system towards fair employment, and created a merit system for State Police. He had gambling laws enforced. A loyalty oath bill and a bill stating cats should always be leashed were vetoed.

Adlai II was drafted as the Democratic nominee for President at their 1952 National Convention. Dwight Eisenhower told a reporter he wouldn’t have run for President had he known Stevenson would be the nominee. Eisenhower won.

Stevenson lost to Eisenhower again in 1956. Yet many of Stevenson’s policies set the foundation for what would become President John Kennedy’s policies.

Chicago politics used machine organizations and patronage. When an Alderman once accused another Alderman and Democratic Committeeman Paddy Bauler of being a thief, Bauler responded, “Yeah, and the only difference between us is I admit it.”

Political workers could tell my how long voters took to vote and how their feet shifted in polling booths as to whether or not they were voting for the straight Democratic ticket. Voters who didn’t vote straight Democratic would be visited by plumbing marshal, fire marshals, and electrical inspectors and cited for ordinance violations.

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley asked Adlai III to run for the State House. He wanted the Stevenson name on the ticket. Then, 177 House seats were elected at large. Both political parties chose 118 names. The Republicans ran Earl Eisenhower, Dwight’s brother, on their ticket. Stevenson outpolled Eisenhower, though both won.

As a state legislator, Adlai III worked for lobbying reform and legislation disallowing conflicts of interest, yet these bills died in the Senate. He was how legislators were given an “idiot sheet” for legislative leadership telling them how to vote on that day’s legislative votes. Secretary of State and former House Speaker Paul Powell died. $800,000 cash was discovered in his shoe boxes. Adlai II quipped “his shoe boxes will be hard to fill.”

Daley asked Adlai III to run for State Treasurer to help the Democratic ticket appeal to independent voters. Adlai III had won the Independent Voters Award as Outstanding Legislator. Stevenson was elected.

Adlai III was elected U.S. Senator in 1970. Karl Rove was an advisor to his Republican opponent. The Republicans called Stevenson a “radilib” for opposing the Vietnam War and for speaking out against police abuses against war protestors.

Adlai III ran as a favorite son for President in the 1976 Illinois Primary. Daley and he later released the delegates pledged to Stevenson to vote for Jimmy Carter, which helped Carter win the nomination.

Adlai II notes that, from the Chinese perspective, their view of the United States is one of a unilateral military aggressor with 364,000 troops in 130 countries and responsible for almost half of all arms exports. The U.S. has sought over 40 times since 1945 to overthrow a nation’s government and done so with mines, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, and tactics leading to many civilian deaths. Adlai III notes China has much government corruption and much poverty. He urges the U.S. to spread concepts of human rights and freedom by being a good example.

The book contains many interesting stories, including how an Illinois legislator pledged a vote to a lobbyist and then voted contrary. The legislator explained to the lobbyist that “I didn’t know you wanted an all day commitment.”

It is noted that “economic sanctions are a form of warfare…Sanctions typically impoverish and demoralize innocent people, especially the most vulnerable.”

The book warns the U.S. faces many of the same conditions that led to the historical decline of other countries. The U.S. has economically overreached in foreign affairs. The U.S. has moved from a creditor to a debtor nation with little will to either raise taxes or cut public spending.

A Book Shows When Republicans Fight Republicans

Lorraine Yuhasz. The Dwyer Case. Meadville, Pa.: Friends of Dwyer Committee, 1998.

This book seeks to clear the name of Pennsylvania State Treasurer R. Budd Dwyer, declaring he was honest yet worked in an atmosphere of political corruption. It warns that whistleblowers, as the book claims Dwyer was, will be struck down by this corrupt system.

This book presents information about the life and accomplishments of Dwyer. He had a leading role in creating the National Association of State Treasurers. As a State Treasurer, he learned about corruption in the Turnpike system and of the misuse of billions of dollars. The book argues he was set up as the fall guy when improprieties were discovered in the awarding of a contract to a company, CTA. After his conviction in the case, but before sentencing, upon which his pension would legally be stricken, he committed suicide. This suicide preserved his pension benefits for his family.

Dwyer served in the legislature before becoming State Treasurer. He was named Conservationist of the Year in 1972 and in 1978. As State Treasurer, he computerized operations. This allowed $119 million that was sitting idly in banks to be deposited and earn $19.5 million in interest income. A toll free waste line was created for people to report fraud and over 4,000 calls were received. Dwyer hired non-partisan professional employees and got rid of the previous system that required political sponsorship for Treasury employment. A check on illegal double dipping on welfare claims recovered over $800,000 in welfare fraud. Half of Bureau Directors that Dwyer hired were female or members of racial minority groups. A zip code presorting of mass mailings brought cost savings. In 1985, Dwyer made checks tamper proof. The new check system allowed checks to be printed at 30,000 checks per hour, almost double the previous rate. 91 investment portfolios were merged into one mutual fund. A Bureau of Internal Audits was created to improve department operations.

Dwyer maintained his innocence to the end. He believed we saw set up by fellow Republican Governor Richard Thornburgh in retaliation for Dwyer’s questions of Thornburgh’s and his wife’s expenses. He also noted his convicted co-defendant Robert Asher had also broke with Governor with Thornburgh for refusing to shift Republican State Committee funds by removing 25 staff people and putting the funds for their salaries into the Leroy Zimmerman for Attorney General campaign. Dwyer noted the U.S. Justice Department uses legal maneuvers to bankrupt and harass indicted people and they thus have a 95% conviction rate. Dwyer’s conviction hinged on a changed story in testimony from Bob Smith that he Smith offered a bribe to Dwyer to award his company CTA a contract. Dwyer insists Smith mentioned no bribe and that CTA would have won the contract without bribery. Smith admitted bribing others but the Justice Department wanted a bigger name, and Smith gave them Dwyer. Dwyer offered to take a lie detector test to prove his innocence, but the Justice Department declined the offer.

Smith testified he was pressured into the CTA case by John Torquato, who threatened to kill Smith’s son. Torquato was a drunk who made wild boasts, according to this book, who claimed he used bribery to gain influence. Smith originally stated under oath he did not bribe Dwyer.

Dwyer believed the CTA contract would recover $40 million into the Treasury more quickly. This speeded recovery would earn about $2 million in interest. He felt the contract stood on its own merits.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Yale Unversity Press Publishes a Harvard Professor's Book and the World Goes to Pot

Lester Grinspoon and James B. Bakalar. Marihuana: The Forbidden Medicine. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1997.

The authors argue that “it has become clear that cannabis is a remarkably versatile as well as a safe medicine”. Grinspoon began studying marijuana in 1967 with the preconceived notion it is harmful. He not only found it beneficial to health but predicts its legalization. He is concerned that many people are being imprisoned for using marijuana.

The intoxicating portion of marijuana comes from a resin produced by the female plan only during reproduction as a guard against heat and moisture. More resin is produced in areas with higher temperatures. The pure resin, charas, is hashish and is the most potent. Ganja is the flower top. Bhang is dried and crushed leaves, seeds, and stems and is half to a third the potency of ganja.

Marijuana plants contain 1 to 5% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is psychoactive and stimulates brain nerve receptors that control body movements. This reduces spasms and calms body movement pain. Marijuana was used as a medicine for at least 5,000 years in China. From 1840 to 1900, over 100 medical papers published findings of medicinal uses for marijuana. These articles found marijuana useful for relieving pain in many medical situations, asthma, postpartum psychosis, bronchitis, gonorrhea, and migraine prevention. A 1940s study in New York City found most myths about marijuana causing aggressive and antisocial behavior were false. A 1942 study indicated marijuana might be useful in treating depression, opiate addiction, and loss of appetite. Harry Anslinger and the Federal Bureau of Narcotics denounced these 1940s studies as unscientific.

The military contracted with the Arthur D. Little Company to determine if there were any military uses for marijuana. They did not discover any but they found marijuana may have therapeutic value, the details of which are classified.

When Congress placed marijuana as a controlled drug, Administrative Law Judge Francis Young stated in 1968 that “marihuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man…One must reasonably conclude that there is accepted safety for the use of marihuana under medical supervision. To conclude otherwise, on the record, would be unreasonable, arbitrary, and capricious.” The Judge’s decision was overturned by the U.S. First Circuit Appeal Court.

New Mexico passed the first state law allowing marijuana for medical use in 1978. By 1994, 35 states had do so. Federal laws prevented may of the state laws from being implemented, except for 17 states between 1978 and 1984 that allowed marijuana for chemotherapy nausea and for glaucoma and for 10 states that had medical marijuana studies.

A 1978 to 1986 New Mexico study of 250 cancer patients with nausea that did not respond to conventional medication found over 90% had complete or significant relief from nausea while three patients reported worse conditions that were found to be related and treatable due to anxiety.

A Florida court case overturned a lower court conviction and allowed a couple to possess marijuana for medical purposes.

In the 1990s, Deputy National Drug Control Policy Director Herbert Kleber announced medical marijuana would be allowed. The Public Health Service reviewed this for nine months and killed this idea but allowed 13 people who had been approved to continue taking medical marijuana.

Marijuana is useful in reducing chemotherapy vomiting (which can pose health problems as it can last for hours and even for days). A 1990 study of about 100 members of the American Society of Clinical Oncologists found only 43% stated that legal drugs were useful in controlling chemotherapy nausea. 44% admitted suggesting the use of marijuana to a patient.

A study of 19 patients found marijuana stops vision deterioration of glaucoma. Animal studies found cannabis helps eyes even when placed on the eyes with eyedroppers as well as taken internally. No similar human study has been done.

Marijuana was a known treatment for epilepsy seizures until it was banned. A 1975 study of patients given marijuana whose grand mal epilepsy was not responding to treatment found three patients improved totally, two improved partially, two had minor improvements, and one had no improvement.

The medical literature notes that marijuana reduced the tremors and improved mobility of a couple of multiple sclerosis patients.

A 1990 study in Switzerland found marijuana reduces painful spasms that afflicted paraplegics and quadriplegics. A 1983 U.S. Veterans Administration study found similar results with 22 of 43 people with spinal cord injuries.

A study of AIDS wasting syndrome found 70% of those using Marinol, a synthetic form of marijuana, reversed their wasting and increased weight. A subsequent study had similar findings and noted 20% found Marinol unpleasant and preferred illegal cannabis.

Chronic pain is often treated ineffectively with analgesics like aspirin and Tylenol that may include toxic side effects such as ulcer, gastic bleeding, liver disease, and kidney disease. Analgesics may cause over 7,500 death and 76,000 hospitalizations per year. Several studies found that THC, even applied orally, was more effective in relieving pain and had fewer side effects, in addition to reducing muscle spasms and seizures that are often experienced by people with chronic pain.

Marijuana was a medication for migraines until it was banned. THC reduces serotonin during migraine attacks which reduces the painful effects.

Marijuana relieves pains and has anti-inflammatory qualities. This helps patients with rheumatic diseases such as osteoarthritis and ankylosing spondylitisipruritus.

Marijuana was prescribed for premenstrual syndrome, menstrual cramps, and labor pains before it was banned.

Marijuana was prescribed for depression until it was banned. A 1947 study of 50 patients in England noted 36 had marked improvement. A subsequent study using lower doses of THC found no improvement. A 1993 study of eight hospitalized patients for one week also found no improvement. Advocates note that the 1947 study, with higher doses over longer period with generally less troubled patients, may attribute for the difference in results.

A Czechoslovakia study found marijuana is useful in treating microbial ailments.

The authors present anecdotal evidence that marijuana may be useful for treating asthma, insomnia, severe nausea, kidney failure, dystonia, adult attention disorder, schizophrenia, scleroderma, Crohn’s disease, diabetic gastra paresis, pseudotumor cerebri disorder, phantom limb pain, treating alcohol and other addictions. It can be also be a topically applied anesthetic. The author defends anecdotal evidence by noting that thousands of years of use by millions of people has shown marijuana has very low toxicity while relieving multiple symptoms with less side effects than other medications.

The risks of marijuana are impaired coordination, impaired judgment, altered state of consciousness that can least several hours, risk that some have psychological reactions (which are treatable with self assurance), and a risk that some develop anxiety and paranoia.

Numerous Federal government studies attempting to find chronic effects of long term marijuana use failed to find any.

A study was found that monkey brain cells were damaged from long term marijuana use. Studies in Greece, Jamaica, and Costa Rica did not find human brain cell damage from long term marijuana use.

Several studies show marijuana can be harmful to the pulmonary system by damaging bronchial cells. Fortunately, most marijuana users do not smoke enough to make this a major health threat. No case of lung cancer, emphysema, or pulmonary pathology has been found in the U.S.

Moses Said Forget Walking Out of Egypt, Instead Build Lots of Highways

Roberta Brandes Gratz. The Battle for Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs. New York: Nation Books, 2010.

The argues that the construction projects led by New York planner Robert Moses, many of which was subsidized with Federal funds, served to diminish New York City to an economic low point. It was community activists, personified by Jane Jacobs, who fought these projects and solidified their neighborhoods. It was the movement towards neighborhood preservation that turned around and helped improve New York City.

The authors’ home and her father’s business were destroyed and replaced by a Moses project. She experienced the dislocation many others felt. She notes Moses and Jacobs had contrary philosophies on urban issues. Moses saw the city as something that had to be reshaped by government. Jacobs believed cities could be vital on their own without government control.

Moses followed the then current urbanism ideas of Le Corbusier, who proposed modern high rise buildings taking the place of older, historic buildings. Jacobs argued that cities should have a “mix use” of residential, industrial, educational, and play areas.

Moses emerged during the World War II era where expert planning on a large scale was seen as the best way government should operate. New ideologies emerged in the 1950s. Lewis Mumford and William Whyte questioned the emphasis on planning to accommodate automobile use that was prevalent in the large scale government plans. Charles Adams noted the racially discriminatory effects of slum removal. Herbert Gans noted how people value neighborhood cohesiveness. Paul Davidoff urged planners to listen to public input.

The author notes New York’s current decision makers have not learned the lessons Jane Jacobs taught. The Atlantic Yards construction destroyed a Brooklyn neighborhood. Columbia University displaced 400 families and 1,600 people in its expansion into Harlem that could have been built elsewhere. The Willets Point project in Queens used eminent domain at great cost and gave the land with tax breaks and government incentives to private developers.

The author believes that individuals using local knowledge have been keeping neighborhoods vibrant. She notes where this has happened in Red Hook in Brooklyn and in the South Bronx. The development in the Bronx, incidentally, is happening where Robert Moses and Housing Commissioner Roger Starr previously wanted torn down, believing development would never otherwise happen there.

Positive signs the author notes include Mayor Bloomberg’s solid waste management program which shifted transporting waste from truck to rail, thus significantly reducing vehicular traffic; the 1,500 job expansion at the Brooklyn Navy Yard due to rezoning and attracting light industry; and the $2 billion over a decade Parks Department build and repair capital program.

The urban policies of the Moses era was part of a problem found nationwide. St. Louis destroyed its waterfront and hurt its local economy in building the Saarien Arch. Chicago destroyed neighborhoods to build high rise public housing that failed to provide economic improvement. Pittsburgh removed many African Americans from its Hill District and then left much of this area vacant for decades. Los Angeles destroyed its Bunker Hill downtown economy. Miami built a highway that destroyed its mostly African American Overton neighborhood. Buffalo destroyed its west end. These patterns were repeated in numerous other cities.

The SoHo neighborhood that Moses wanted to destroy became a leading arts district. People moved into SoHo beginning in the 1970s with the rise of “urban pioneers”. An influx of immigrants, many from India, China, and Korea, bought and renovated urban dwellings.

In 1977, New York had 20,000 abandoned buildings. Neighborhood groups, with the encouragement of Mayor John Lindsay, took many of these buildings and revitalized them. The historic preservation movement gained strength, which turned the focus on saving old buildings rather than tearing them down. The projects of Moses included some scandal. The press found instances of the city selling land at reduced prices to developers who failed to make promised repairs while collecting rents.

New York created a historic preservation law. Its opposition diminished by a weakened law that allowed designations to be made only during six month periods every three years. 360 landmarks were designated in the first ten years, which critics noted and developed applauded as being fewer than originally expected. The law was changed in 1974, yet the Commission that designated landmarks was slow to use its new abilities to make new designations. Eventually, such sites as Radio City Music Hall and Tweed Courthouse were saved from threatened developments.

The fight against Moses’s plan to tear down parts of Lower Manhattan and the fight to ban vehicular traffic near Washington Square upset Moses. Moses saw Washington Square as the site of a ramp for his proposed Lower Manhattan Expressway. Moses claimed that failing to build this would create higher traffic jams. Groups opposing Moses claimed that was a tactic Moses was using to divide local residents. They stated Moses failed to grasp that building more roads encourages more vehicle traffic. A study showed a 10% increase in road capacity creates a 9% traffic volume increase in five years.

The Mitchell-Lama Law, passed in1 955, gave landlords low loans and tax breaks for keeping rents low for low income and middle income renters. These landlords could end their reduced rents by paying off mortgages and other debts after 20 years. Many of these rented units have switched to higher market rates. The number of Mitchell-Lama rented units decreased from 67,000 in 1990 to 44,000 in 2005.

The author notes it is counterproductive to declare an area as blighted where people and businesses exist. That mere designation is an economic death sentence that dissuades current occupants from making any improvements and upkeep.

The author argues Moses was a racist. His first major project, Jones Beach, was deliberately designed with an overpass that kept out city buses. It was accessible to people in the 1920s who had cars. Moses then had 658 playgrounds constructed, but only one of these was in predominately African American Harlem and none in predominately African American Bedford Stuyvesant. Other construction projects consistently ignored benefiting communities where racial minorities were dominant in population.

Moses helped middle class communities, but only those with large car ownership. Moses saw vehicular traffic as an important part of city life. Moses believed roads should go through cities rather than going around them. This made it more difficult to encourage residents to use mass transit alternatives. The legacy of Moses left behind includes the Cross Bronx Expressway, which dislocated 60,000 with three months notice, which today has several of largest traffic bottlenecks found in America.

Moses created the idea of a public agency that operated separately from other government control that could meet in secret and had bond issuing authority. He made his own agency rules. He would threaten to resign when he wasn’t getting his way. No Governor until Nelson Rockefeller dared to not cave in to Moses.

Moses used Red baiting tactics against opponents. He was found to have falsely accused several critics of being Communists, calling them “Pinkos” or “Planning Reds”.

The slum removal programs of Moses have left New York City with crumbling housing for the city’s poor. The poor are often relocated into neighborhoods that deteriorate. Many of these new homes are again sold at below cost to a developer which causes more relocation of more people and the destruction of any neighborhood cohesiveness.

New York will probably not return to being an industrial city, the author argues. Yet it may find economic growth in entrepreneurial endeavors. The city provides incentives to industries to locate in special business zones, yet these zones allow hotels and big box retail stores that drive up real estate values such that industries have trouble affording to remain in the zone.

Big box stores receive sales from customers yet these funds go to an international corporation and are not re-spent in the local community. Cities should encourage more local retain stores.

The debate between building more highways versus improving mass transit continues. Community activists helped defeat a proposed Westway highway. Many past issues remain the same.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

What Republicans Faced in Chicago

Jane Byrne. My Chicago. Evanston, Il.: Northwestern Pres. New Edition, 2004. First published 1992.

In 1964, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley met and encouraged the 26 year old Jane Byrne, who he kept seeing at meetings, to contact her Alderman and become politically active.

She knew the history of Chicago politics. The Democratic Party under Mayor Anton Cermak created an ethnic coalition that excluded Italian Americans and African Americans, who tended to be more loyal to Bill Thompson’s Republican organization. The Cermak organization campaigned for the party slate and not for individual candidates. When Cermak died, there was a scramble to take power that was full of secret meetings.

In 1960, Mayor Daley was upset when the John Kennedy for President campaign opened a campaign office in Chicago. The office recruited many ant-Daley Democrats. Daley insisted he ran all Democratic campaigns in Chicago. Bobby Kennedy met with Daley and explained the Kennedy campaign had an office in all big cities and it would seem the Kennedy campaign was ignoring Chicago if they didn’t have one. Daley demurred but insisted on being in charge of all campaign events. Daley refused to meet with any Kennedy campaign officials except for John’s father, Joseph Kennedy. The Democrats were concerned about Republican vote stealing in downstate Illinois. Daley deliberately withheld full reporting of Chicago’s results so downstate Republicans would not know how many votes they needed to falsify in their totals.

Byrne volunteed for the local Democratic Party organization. She campaigned door to door. Mayor Daley sponsored Byrne to work on the War on Poverty. She heard complaints about crooked Health Board inspectors allowing spoiled food to be sold to poor people. Building code violations continued long after court orders to correct them were issued. Police were not enforcing laws on sales to alcohol to minor in poorer neighborhoods. The poverty program reduced criticism of Daley’s government by hiring more poor people. Many jobs had yet been given job descriptions. The criticisms continued. A police shooting and wounding of a Hispanic protestor who drew a gun led to two days of riots.

Violent protest continued through much of the summer of 1966. Daley promised to build some swimming pools and opened fire hydrants with sprinklers in poorer African American neighborhoods. Daley though failed to significantly diminish his critics of his poverty programs.

In 1967, Daley appointed Byrne as Commissioner of the Weights and Measures Department. She was the first female Cabinet level Commissioner in any large American city. Byrne began giving daily assignments to her 50 inspectors to guarantee they were on the job.

After being appointed as Commissioner of Consumer Affairs in 1968, Byrne discovered there was a continuation of a long history of corrupt weights and measures inspectors. She notes Chicago has a long history of business influence and payoffs to government leaders.

Byrne learned that violating merchants usually faced office hearings where they were dealt with lightly. Byrne insisted citation be issued to appear in court and she was to receive copies of all citations. Byrne went along on inspections. She realized she needed more African American inspectors to go into mostly Black neighborhoods for inspections.

Byrne refused a suggestion of a bribe. Daley told her she did the right thing. Daley stated he didn’t take bribes, either.

Byrne learned some inspectors increased their payoff demands from businesses after she became stricter. She notified the Department of Investigations. Some inspectors began harassing the stores that spoke up, by issuing them many citations, including for mislabeling oyster crackers because they don’t contain oysters. Byrne realized if she halted even frivolous citations she could be accused of playing favoritism. She let them all proceed to court, the the Judges dismissed the frivolous suits.

Patricia Daley, the Mayor’s wife, told Byrne that Daley wanted to support Robert Kennedy for President in 1968, yet Daley feared supporting Kennedy would get him assassinated. He feared Kennedy’s eventual assassination was part of a plot.

Meanwhile, Daley insisted on loyalty. He refused to slate his previous top vote getter Adlai Stevenson III for Governor because Stevenson opposed President Lyndon Johnson’s stance on the Vietnam War. Daley though advised Johnson that Daley thought Johnson would lose reelection. This could have factored into Johnson’s decision not to run for reelection.

Daley blundered badly when rioting began and he ordered the Police Superintendent that officers should “shoot to kill”. Daley tried to explain he meant that order only for arsonists. There was a great resulting public outcry.

Daley faced further criticism when police shot and killed Black Panther leader Fred Hampton. The press discovered inconsistencies in the police report. Daley responded to criticism by attacking Nixon and Republicans for inflation. The economic issues worked more with the public and Daley held onto power.

Byrne believes Mayor Daley took too much credit for downtown economic development. She believes most of it would have happened regardless of who was Mayor. She does note Daley was close to big business and that he reduced their assessment for lower taxes. Daley controlled 40,000 city jobs which added to his political strength in his dual role as Democratic City Chairman.

New Democratic Party rules required more party official representation of women and racial minorities. Daley made Byrne a Democratic National Committee woman.

Daley had Byrne establish a separate independent Democratic organization in two wards. The organization would attack Daley but would be secretly funded by his supporters.

Daley became ill. He appointed Byrne Co-Chairperson of the Cook County Democratic Center Committee and this was ratified by the Central Committee. Daley’s son began cutting off long time associates form their ill father. Daley then died.

The President Pro Tem of City Council, under law, serves as Mayor until the Aldermen select an Alderman to be Mayor. The new Mayor, William Frost, was not acceptable to the party machinery. He was denied entrance to the Mayor’s office by the police.

The aldermen elected Michael Bilandic as Mayor. Bilandic went on to win the next scheduled election for Mayor.

There were no campaign finance disclosure laws then. Daley’s son, Michael, the Cook County Democratic Party Counsel, announced the party was out of money. Critics claimed as much as $20 million might have been missing. This issue has never been resolved.

Chicago cab owners reduced costs by making many of their drivers as independents who leased their cabs. Thus the drivers no longer had benefits paid for by the employer. Byrne challenged a rate hike. The cab companies refused to provide financial data. Byrne was upset by this.

Mayor Bilandic fired Byrne. Public opinion sides with Byrne over her firing. Jobless, Byrne decided to run a low budget campaign for Mayor. Byrne was elected.

Mayor Byrne distrusted powerful Alderman Ed Vrdolyak. She refused to meet him without another person being present.

Byrne learned as Mayor that Daley kept spending even as Federal funds disappeared. The city had no funds and was near bankruptcy. Financial advisors recommended she keep this a secret from bond rates and the public and that a midyear correction be announced with 2,000 city employees being laid off to fill the gap. Byrne decided not to hide the truth and announced the crisism

As Mayor, Byrne was upset the police were not as concerned as she felt that should be concerning gang killings.

As Mayor, Byrne met Ireland’s Prime Minister Jack Lynch. Lynch explained that it was the strongest of the Irish who found ways to obtain and survive passage to America. Irish Americans were a leading segment of the Chicago Democratic Party organization. Irish Americans also had an organizational advantage over other newly arriving ethnic groups as they already spoke English.

Criminal elements sometimes persuaded government leaders to let their criminal activities operate. Even rival newspapers were not above unethical behavior by hiring people to attack newsstand owners and newsboys selling rival newspapers. Even a paper’s own newsboys could be beaten, and some died, for failing to sell their quota of papers.

When Pope John Paul II scheduled a visit to Chicago, the ACLU won a lawsuit to guarantee no public funds would be spent on the visit. John Cardinal Cody mentioned to Mayor Byrne the streets and curbs near where the Pope and his party would stay required work. They were repaired. Byrne was upset to discover reports she had failed to invite the widow of Mayor Daley to meet the Pope. The Mayor’s office did not create the list invitation first. Further, she learned Mrs. Daley had been personally handed a schedule of events. Byrne realized that continuations of feuds were all parts of politics.

Mayor Byrne met with President Ronald Reagan. Reagan agreed with an idea of categorizing people and moving poorer people with Federal assistance in live in Enterprise Zones of empty land that was hard to develop. Byrne was horrified by the concept Reagan suggested of forcibly removing people to live in designed areas.

Byrne observed President Reagan wore one blue contact and one brown contact. She found he tended to ramble. She was pleased when Reagan helped cut red tape to get projects implemented.

Byrne learned the school board had a debt of about $150 million to $300 million. The years of no tax increases had take its tool after years of rolling over debt.

Mayor Daley did not like movies being filmed in Chicago and permits were delayed and requests to close streets for filming would be denied. Daley feared films would sow Chicago in a poor light. A nervous John Belushi asked to film “Blues Brothers” in Chicago and to drive a car through a Daley Plaza window. Byrne approved the idea, believing it would make Chicago appear more open.

A City Attorney hostile to a Mayor engages in a practice called “dirtying someone up”. They create grand juries and make it appear the Mayor is corrupt. City Attorney Benjamin Adamowski fought with Mayor Daley. City Attorney Richard Daley Jr. fought with Byrne.

Daley, Jr. investigated payoffs for concession booths at a city festival and street sweeping contracts. No Byrne Cabinet members were jailed but Daley received much publicity for investigating.

Byrne was concerned about killings in public housing. Many of the deaths were between Stones and Disciples drug selling gangs who were fighting. She moved into a public housing unit for awhile and spoke with residents. She learned how many children felt intimated by gang members and stayed off playgrounds. Gang members spied on children and intimated them.

Harold Washington defeated Byrne in the primary when she sought reelection. Washington received strong support from African American voters while another candidate, Richard Daley, Jr. cut into Byrne’s ethnic support. Washington died in officer and was replaced by Alderman Eugene Sawyer. Daley defeated Sawyer in the next primary and became Mayor.

Byrne notes the difficulties of running a bit city. The tax base often is shrinking. Yet, higher taxes, which she imposed for needed revenues, are unpopular.

Do Republicans Like Liberal Lions?

Edward M. Kennedy. True Compass: A Memoir. New York: Twelve Hachett Book Group, 2009.

The Senator from Massachusetts writes of growing up with a family who had strong connections to each other. They were encouraged from childhood to stick together by gathering at meals and conversing, which proved to be very bonding. His father was a leader advocating against intervening in World War II. His brother Joe was the first sibling to become involved in politics, serving as a Delegate to the 1940 Democratic National Convention as a supporter of James Farley over Franklin Roosevelt.

Ted’s brother, John, 15 years older than Red, was also Ted’s godfather. This was a role John took seriously, as was expected of John, in helping guiding Ted.

His brother John was elected to Congress and then to the U.S. Senate. Brother Bobby became a staff member of Joseph McCarthy’s committee and was among the Democratic staff members who resigned to express their outrage at McCarthy’s tactics. Yet Bobby was loyal, a lifelong trait of his, and he would remain personally friendly to McCarthy. Bobby then became Chief Counsel to Senator John McClellan’s committee that investigated illegal Teamsters activities. Bobby forever became known from then on for his ruthlessness, a trait Ted writes was not Bobby’s true nature.

Ted attended Harvard, where he played varsity football and the University of Virginia, where his roommate John Tunney would also become a U.S. Senator. Ted and Tunney together won Moot Cour., He met prospective law student George H.W. Bush , beginning a friendly relationship between them.

When John ran for President in 1960, Ted’s role was to campaign in 11 Western states. At one rodeo rally, Ted was told the only way he’d be introduced was if he rode a bronco. He agreed, lasted seven seconds, and was uninjured. That won for John the support of several Delegates to the Democratic National Convention. Ted also had a pilot’s license and would impress local Democrats by being able to reach them, even by landing a plane in the snow. Another time he had to ski downhill in Wisconsin and jump 190 feet in the air, something he’d never done before.

At the convention, the Kennedy forces were worried they would fall short of a majority for the nomination. They were concerned that Wyoming, which voted last and had pledged 11 ½ of its 15 votes to Kennedy was led by a Chairman who favored Lyndon Johnson. Ted asked the Chairman if Wyoming could put Kennedy over the top by casting all 15 votes for Kenney. The Chairman, thinking such as scenario was unlikely, agreed. When Wyoming was called, Kennedy was within 12 votes. The Chairman, in a split second decision, cast all 15 votes for Kennedy, giving him the nomination.

Ted became as Assistant District Attorney. His first case was a drunk driver who crashed his car after consuming 26 drinks. Ted assumed it would be an easy conviction. Yet the defense attorney pleaded how the conviction would put his family on welfare at cost to the taxpayers and how his crime had been drinking in celebration of the Red Sox winning a doubleheader against the Yankees. The jury found him not guilty.

Ted ran for the U.S. Senate in 1962. He recalls one voter who came up to him declaring “they say you haven’t worked a day in your life. Lemme tell you. You haven’t missed a thing.” Ted easily won the primary with 73% of the vote and the special election 53% to 44%.

Ted joined the prayer breakfasts, consisting of about 12 to 15 Senators. He learned this was a power clique that discussed matters and, except for partisan matters, often voted together.

Ted observed Senator Willis Robertson once give a speech on one side of an issue and then vote the other way. Ted asked him about it and Robertson explained “in my state, the people are evenly divided on this bill. To those who favor it, I send my speech. To those who oppose it, I send my vote.”

As Senator then , Ted employed one administrative assistance and one legislative assistant. Today, Senators often have over 50 staffers.

To get his Senate committee assignments, Senator James Eastland required him to drink three shots, one for each assignment. He did, although some of the drinks were poured over plants when Eastland wasn’t looking.

Ted writes he reviewed the Warren Commission report on the assassination of his brother John and he questioned Earl Warren for four hours about the report. He accepts the report.

Ted also believes John was planning on withdrawing troops from Vietnam and never got the change to do so.

After voting for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Ted flew to attend the Massachusetts Democratic Convention with Sen. Birch Bayh. The plane crashed. The pilot and an aide died. Ted suffered a broken back among other injuries. While injured, Ted took the time to meet with experts on issues and improved his awareness of policies. He developed a special awareness of health care issues.

Ted fought to eliminate the poll tax. Some leading liberals opposed him, fearing this might cause a backlash. He lost the fight 49 to 25 but notes the Voting Rights Act directed the Attorney General to file suits against states with poll taxes. The Attorney General did so and won all his suits.

Ted did not want Bobby to run for President in 1968. Ted believed Lyndon Johnson was going to be reelected and Bobby should wait until 1972 when he would be an obvious front runner.

Ted worked with Republican Sen. Howard Baker to require Congressional districts to have proportional representation with a small deviation that others wanted. The Senate sided with Kennedy and Baker by 51 to 22.

Kennedy visited Vietnam in 1968. He insisted on seeing areas not on the official military tour. He canceled meeting that later was destroyed by a planted bomb. He found that military and South Vietnamese government officials were stonewalling him. Kennedy criticized the corruption of Vietnamese officials who were pocketing funds meant for refugees. Ted finally agreed with his brother Bobby to oppose the war.

Ted states Bobby cared about many issues, not just about ending the war but also about ending poverty and was for civil rights. Ted believe if Gene McCarthy had included these issues and not just the war that Bobby would not have run for President. Ted also states Bobby told him that if he lost he would never again run for President.

After Bobby was assassinated, Mayor Daley and Allard Lowenstein asked Teddy to run for President. He declined, stating he couldn’t find the desire to run in his dead brother’s place. Humphrey asked Ted to run for Vice President, but he also didn’t feel like running, especially since Humphrey still supported the Viet Nam War.

Ted decided to challenge Sen. Russell Long for Assistant Senate Majority Leader. He won, which to then he considered was the height of his Senate career.

After Bobby’s death, Ted started drinking heavily and driving fast. His tragedy where he drove off a bridge at Chappaquiddick Island and Mary Jo Kopechne died is something that haunted him every day from then on.

Sen. Robert Byrd ousted Kennedy as Assistant Majority Leader. Ted lost the support of two Senators from Washington because he was against funding supersonic planes that were to be built in Washington. His loss forced him to focus more on the traditional work of a Senator. He studied issues, sought advice from experts, and became proficient in Senate procedures.

In 1970, Kennedy proposed and became a champion for national health insurance. In 1972, he wrote a book “In Critical Condition” supporting this position.

Ted worked with Senator Jacob Javits to create a national cancer department. Ironically, a few years later, his son Ted, Jr. developed cancer. His leg had to be amputated.

Kennedy took pride in his role on the Senate Judiciary Committee. He successfully opposed the nomination of Clement Haynsworth to the U.S. Supreme Court. He found Haynsworth was not sensitive to minorities and poor people. Ted then successfully opposed the nomination of G. Harold Carswell to the Supreme Court, who had opposed segregation, slowed desegregation, and declined to consider habeas corpus cases concerning African Americans. Carswell was defeated 51 to 45.

William Rehnquist was nominated to the Supreme Court. Rehnquist had opposed school desegregation and supported restricting races from housing. Kennedy questioned Rehnquist yet few wanted a third fight over a nominee. Kennedy notes the Senate has a tradition of not fighting a President too often, even though Kennedy thought Rehnquist was not qualified.

The Nixon Administration halted three antitrust suits against ITT in 1971. The prosecutor Richard McLaren was suddenly made a Federal Judge. An informant tipped off columnist Jack Anderson that ITTpaid$400,000 to sponsor the Republican National Convention. Kennedy held hearings that exposed Nixon campaign irregularities. This was a prelude to the Watergate hearings.

Kennedy faulted President Carter for failing to deliver on his 1976 c campaign pledge to support universal health care insurance. Kennedy had realized they was not politically viable and formed a coalition with the AFL-CIO and the UAW for universal health care that allowed for private insurance. The Carter Administration wanted to achieve health care reform piecemeal.

Ted was surprised that Carter would not appointed former Watergate Prosecutor Archibald Cox to the Federal Appeals Court. Kennedy argued he was well regarded for his legal experience. Carter told Kennedy he wouldn’t do it because Cox had supported Morris Udall over Carter in 1976.

Carter’s public support fell to 25% approval. Kennedy considered running for President. He admits he stumbled when Roger Mudd asked him “why do you want to be President?” He hadn’t yet announced he was running and his fumbling of an answer hurt him when he did run for President. The Iran hostage situation created a new political environment that put more focus on President Carter.

Kennedy realized too late that his campaigning in the Iowa Caucus with lots of security and press did not appeal to the voters. The campaign soon was low on funds. Kennedy kept raising issues. He became the first major Presidential candidate to support gay rights.

Ted opposed President Reagan’s proposal to cut Federal programs. With help from Senator Lowell Weicker, many cuts for health and education were spared. Most of the other cuts were approved by Congress. Kennedy found it difficult to get President Reagan to concentrate on issues at hand. He did find Reagan very warm and personable.

Ted considered running for President in 1984. His sons advised him that he should instead concentrate instead on the Senate. Other advisors warned it would be a tough campaign. He decided not to run, which was a wise choice as Reagan was very popular and easily reelected.

Ted noted John Kennedy believed Americans were mostly conservative yet desired progress. Skilled politicians are ones who speak conservatively yet enact liberal programs.

President Clinton learned to listen to the advice of Senator Robert Byrd. Byrd was a Senator was commanded respect from most other Senators. Senators listened to Byrd. Senator Byrd’s refusal to let health care be considered as an extraneous amendment to a reconciliation bill killed that health care bill. Byrd’s fight for a North American Free Trade Agreement, in contrast, was successful.

Kennedy observes that “being a Senator changes a person…it fills you with a heightened sense of purpose.” He also notes that while great Senators leave, new great leaders always emerge. When Kennedy first arrived in the Senate, the senior Senators met at a country club for gold every morning. They would spend their afternoon in their offices or the Senate floor and then socialize over drinks in one of the Senate offices before evening social events. Senators interacted and socialized with each other. In this ear, staff does almost all the work and Senators seldom meet and discuss with each other.

Kennedy opposed entering a war against Iraq. He based his views on the ideas of Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas Aquinas that a war has to be just, legitimately beneficial to people, be driven by justice and not ulterior motives, must be done as a last alternative, must do more good than harm, and must have a good possibility of being won.