December 10, 2006

The Black Curley?

William Jefferson, the Louisiana Congressman, was reelected in spite of being under investigation for bribery. Although lately the quality of black elected officials has been particularly bad, and their dishonesty often fails to deter the electorate from reelecting them. Consider Marion Barry.

In earlier days, this phenomenon has not been confined to black elected officials. James Michael Curley, Mayor of Boston, was reelected as an alderman in Boston while in prison:
He is noted for having been elected to the Board of Aldermen in 1904 while in prison, having been convicted of fraud. Curley and an associate, Thomas Curley (no relation) took the civil service exams for postmen for two men in their district to help them get the jobs with the federal government. Though the incident gave him a dark reputation in respectable circles, it aided his image in working class or poor circles because they saw him as a man willing to stick his neck out to help a poor man.
This is not the only similarity between Irish and black Americans, but it will do for now.

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