From Al Capone to the most recent Chicago Outfit Bosses – all have dreamt of the day that a Cook County Democratic Machine‘team player’ would live in the White House. The last time the Chicago Outfit had influence in the White House was in the 1940s when President Truman and Attorney general Tom C. Clark arranged for an early release for some Chicago Outfit members who were serving prison sentences relating to the Willie Bioff case (Hollywood extortion case). President Truman was obviously an Outfit loyalist, and most definitely a Cook County Democratic Machine crony.
My fellow Americans, putting a Registered Cook County (Illinois) Democratic Machine-team player in the White House is equivalent to putting a registered sex offender in the castle at Disney Land, or a cocaine addict in a crack house. Almost everyone in Chicago knows about the Chicago Outfit’s long-lasting and undying presence within the Cook County Democratic Machine, via jobs-for-political-work.
If you are wondering if Chicago Outfit cronies still exist in Cook County, just ask the U.S. Government. The U.S. Attorney’s office contended in 2006 that the machine had been rebuilt. Although jobs-for-political-work still are a significant component of the machine, the exchange of lucrative contracts for political contributions, such as documented in the investigation of the Hired Truck Program scandal, probably has eclipsed classical patronage as a tool of machine politics in Cook County. No doubt, plenty of Chicago Outfit cronies have benefited by holding various political jobs within the machine (just ask Barack Obama’s good friend, convicted felon Tony Rezko, who helped the Obamas buy their current home).