Public Men in and out of Office

By J. T. Salter | Go to book overview

27
FRANK HAGUE "Belligerent Suspicion"

BY DAYTON DAVID MC KEAN

WHEN MAYOR FRANK HAGUE HOLDS HIS ANNUAL NEW Year's Day reception in City Hall, Jersey City, his ordinarily sour face glows with pride at the demonstration of fealty shown by the assembled Democratic politicians of New Jersey. There are usually two or more congressmen present, and at times he has had a United States senator and a governor. One or more federal and a dozen state judges who owe their robes to his favor will come to the reception to show that they are not forgetful of the man who made them.

If a United States senator or a governor is to be elected during the year, the nominee-to-be usually stands at the mayor's right hand at the reception to greet the Democratic politicians, large and small, who have come to the one annual meeting of the Hague organization. New Jersey has, of course, a direct primary, but since Frank Hague's rise to power it has been, as far as the Democrats have been concerned, only an elaborate-- and to the taxpayers--an expensive formality. As the mayor once said in another connection, "I decide--I do--me!"

At the reception there are also ex-congressmen and would-be congressmen. There are local lawyer-politicians who would be happy to receive the mayor's blessing the next time a vacancy occurs among the judges on the federal bench for New Jersey or in the United States district attorney's office. Others would be glad to exchange their real estate offices for those of United States marshal or collector of internal revenue.

This crowd of politicians represents the officers of Hague's political army. They and their subordinates are the men who

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