Nancy D’Alesandro’s Culture of Corruption
Special to FreeRepublic ^ | 23 December 2006 | John Armor (Congressman Billybob)
Most of you know her as Nancy Pelosi. When I first met my one-time neighbor, she was daughter to one Mayor of Baltimore, Tommy D’Alesandro, Jr., and sister to Tommy, III, who’d later become Mayor.
Some of the stories about her, as she prepares to become Speaker of the House, have mentioned her past, but not honestly. At most, the glowing stories refer to the Baltimore City politics she grew up in as “rough and tumble.” Politics there and then were much more than rough and tumble. They were crooked as a dog’s hind leg.
I know. I grew up there. I made my first run for public office there, in 1971. Lemme tell y’all how Baltimore politics were conducted, then.
First, it was all Democrats. The last Republican was elected to the City Council in 1943. And among the Democrats, the law of the jungle applied. The strongest won, and prospered. The weakest lost, and were destroyed.
Elections in Baltimore were run by the machines, which had a feudal relationships like barons in the Middle Ages. Strongest was the D’Alesandro machine. Second to that, but working hand and glove with it, was Jack Pollack’s machine. Pollack personally was a frugal man, never accused of taking a penny for himself. But he kept hundreds of thousands of dollars in safe deposit boxes, to be dispensed as needed. Pollack had, in his pocket, many politicians including Congressman and State Senators, plus more than a few judges.
Election day funds were called “walking around money.” Each precinct captain got a stack of money proportionate to the vote he was expected to produce. Sure, the captain would keep some for himself. But a wise captain would keep his greed within limits, and use most of his allotment to buy votes.
Was this illegal? Absolutely. Then, now, and all years in between. But that’s the politics that Nancy D’Alesandro Pelosi grew up in. And what did the successful politician do in Baltimore when he, and now she, had won? Reward your friends. Punish your enemies. Start gathering the money and allies to win the next election.
Honesty or corruption had nothing to do with this process. Results were all that counted. This was displayed in the D’Alesandro family history. Tommy, Jr., was never indicted for anything. But Tommy, III, was sloppy.
He was indicted for rape as a young man. He was indicted for corruption as Mayor. Both times, the charges were dismissed when the principal witness made herself / himself scarce until the charges were dismissed. In the latter case, the witness turned up alive and well in a Las Vegas casino, after the charges against D’Alesandro were dropped. The same charges against Councilman Mimi DiPietro, had not been dismissed. When I as a candidate pointed out that DiPietro could still be tried for corruption, the D’Alesandro response was to send a compliant State’s Attorney before a compliant judge, to drop those charges also.
With a clear understanding of how her politics were developed, D’Alesandro’s actions as pending Speaker make more sense. She stood by Jack Murtha in his bid for Majority Leader, because Jack had stood by her. It was irrelevant that Murtha missed being indicted in Abscam because he decided to take his agreed-upon bribe of $50,000 later, rather than right away.
D’Alesandro/Pelosi’s background also explains her actions concerning the Chairmanship of the House Intelligence Committee. She is crosswise with Jane Harman, the senior Democrat, so she dropped Harman like a hot rock. Next in line was Alcee Hastings, a loyal ally and leading member of the Congressional Black Caucus. But he’d been removed as a federal judge for taking bribes from drug dealers. She dropped Hastings the same way that the D’Alesandro machine had relied on black votes, but then turned their backs on blacks after the election.
Even something that may happen January 2nd, when the House is sworn in, may reflect D’Alesandro’s culture of corruption. According to the official results from Florida, Republican Vern Buchanan, won the 13th Congressional District by 369 votes. But D’Alesandro can use her power as Speaker to steal that election for the Democrats and install Christine Jennings as the “winner” and new Congresswoman. The Democrats did that in 1984 over a seat in Indiana. It would be in character for D’Alesandro to do that in 2007.
The more you know about a politician, the better you can predict his/her motive and actions. You now know more about Nancy D’Alesandro Pelosi than most of the MSM reporters and editors either know, or dare to report. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
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About the Author: John Armor is a lawyer specializing in constitutional law, who may again be a candidate for Congress in the 11th District of North Carolina. John_Armor@aya.yale.edu