Sunday, May 17, 2015

What Do Grover Cleveland & Tammany Hall Have To Do With Fort Worth's 7th Street Gang?

"Ma ma where's my pa" by Frank Beard (1842−1905)
The recent TRWD Board Election featured the most ridiculous mud slinging smears I have ever had the pleasure to witness.

The TRWD Board incumbents have in their employ, for election time smearing, a professional character assassin named Bryan Epstein.

Mr. Epstein came up with the genius tactic of informing voters that an evil Dallas businessman was plotting to take Fort Worth's water while digging up a World War II veteran's grave and if voters did not vote for the incumbents they would soon be drinking toilet water.

Yeah, it's sort of funny when you sum it up like that. But it wasn't so funny finding this absurd propaganda in my mailbox. Or that Fort Worth's highly educated, highly intelligent voters, supposedly, were easily able to be influenced by lies, smears, propaganda and an irrational fear of Dallas.

I do not know if Mr. Epstein was practicing his craft back in 1884. What I do know is the presidential campaign of 1884 had some character assassinating of the sort that some TRWD Board incumbents would be totally okay with.

Corruption in politics was the big issue in the election of 1884, just like it should have been in the Tarrant Region election of 2015.

Grover Cleveland was the reform candidate, a Democrat, with a spotless reputation. James G. Blaine was the Republican candidate. Blaine had a reputation for corruption and scandals being linked to him.

As the campaign began it was said that not since George Washington had a presidential candidate been so renowned for his rectitude as was Grover Cleveland.

Then the Republican character assassins struck.

Something unseemly had been discovered in Cleveland's past.

In cahoots with a publicity seeking preacher named George Ball, the Republicans accused Cleveland of fathering a child without marrying the mother, whilst he was a lawyer in Buffalo, New York.

The Republican's campaign chant became "Ma, Ma, Where's My Pa?"

Cleveland quickly admitted he had been paying child support since 1874 to Maria Crofts Halpin, who claimed Grover was the baby daddy of a boy she named Oscar Folsom. Apparently Miss Halpin led a busy social life, "friendly" with several men, including Grover's friend and law partner, Oscar Folsom, after whom she named the boy.

Cleveland was the only bachelor among the men who had been "friendly" with the baby mama, so he took responsibility for the baby, so as to spare the other's marital woes.

Shortly before the voting took place in the 1884 election the Republican press published an affidavit from Miss Halpin in which she claimed that until Grover corrupted her she was "Pure and spotless and that there is not, and never was, a doubt as to the paternity of our child, and the attempt of Grover Cleveland, or his friends, to couple the name of Oscar Folsom, or any one else, with that boy, for that purpose is simply infamous and false."

Voters in 1884 were not as easily duped by sleazy campaign tactics as Texas voters, well, Tarrant Region voters are in 2015, because Grover Cleveland won that election. At the victory celebration the celebration chant became "Ma, Ma, Where's My Pa? Gone to the White House, Ha, Ha, Ha!"

Grover Cleveland went on to win the popular vote in two more elections.

But he did not become president for a second term after winning his second election.

Even though Grover Cleveland won the popular vote in his second presidential race he did not get to continue being America's president.

New York's infamous Tammany Hall rigged the election.

Tammany Hall was able to deny Cleveland the electoral votes of his home state, giving the presidency to Benjamin Harrison, who did not do too well on the job, so the voters re-elected Grover Cleveland in 1892, with Tammany Hall unable to stop Grover a second time.

New York's infamous Tammany Hall corrupted New York, and national, politics for a long time, from after the Civil War, well into the next century, rigging elections, shady business deals, graft, bribery, all sorts of corruption.

Fort Worth's Tammany Hall equivalent is known as The 7th Street Gang.

I do not know how long this gang has been in control of Fort Worth. Or how many elections they have rigged......

No comments: