• Archive Details Secret Attempt to Influence New York Elections -- King Macy

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    C.S. THOMPSON was a magazine writer and a former newspaper editor. He worked for the Theodore Roosevelt presidential campaign of 1912 with the Commission for Relief in Belgium and with the New York State Women’s Suffrage Party. From 1905-1910, he was managing editor of the New Haven Register and previously of the Springfield Union. In 1920, he and a partner opened an advertising firm.


    W. KINGSLAND MACY, known as King Macy, was a political strong arm for the Republican Party from 1930 through the 1950s. He was chairman of the Suffolk County, New York, Republican Committee from 1930 to 1934 and a delegate to both the national and the state Republican Conventions for many years. His hold over the Suffolk Republican Party was so strong that he was called “The Little King of Suffolk County.”


    Macy was elected to the 80th and 81st United States Congresses but was defeated for re-election in 1950. Thompson, a partisan Democrat, had great concern over Macy’s power and felt that Macy was manipulating the political process to achieve promotion of his self-interests.


    This archive, c. 1930, details Thompson’s secret campaign to influence elections and his attempt to be paid by the Democratic Party of New York for doing so. Thompson offers a “Confidential” memorandum assessing the situation (possibly a carbon copy), a “Confidential Political Survey” and a typed version of his column in which he attempts to expose Macy with his handwritten edits. All are on 8 ½” x 11” sheets.


    In a memorandum marked “CONFIDENTIAL MACY MAKES A MONKEY OUT OF THE DEMOCRATIC MULEY – FOR 1932,” he writes, in part, “For the presidential campaign of 1932 the chairman of the Republican National Committee, and the White House look upon New York State as a vulnerable point of attack. They base their opinion on their ability to tie up the New York State Democratic candidate with the cry of ‘We don’t want Tammany Rule in the White House.’ “’Tammany’ is therefore a welcome slogan for the Republicans…With Smith there is also their old cry of Catholicism. With Roosevelt, it will be his poor health, the danger of sending him to his death.


    “…There is no need for Hoover to enter the Ring. His purposes are best served through others. No doubt fearful of the Democratic gain in 1930 congressional election, Hoover sees the advantage of moving now to besmear the Democratic Party, instead of waiting until the summer of 1932.


    “W. Kingsland Macy is the stalking horse of the White House…He at once set forth to establish himself as a crusader for honesty and unrighteousness in politics.


    “The opportunity for Macy to strike home his blow for the White House came with the disclosure of court and police grafting in New York City – under Tammany Rule!


    “…Macy and Hoover and the Republican machine have now disclosed their cards. From now until November 1932, not only New York City but the entire country will be regaled with the mud of Tammany investigations…


    “Macy, a new comer figuratively, makes a monkey out of the Democratic mule.


    “What can now be done to save the situation for the Democratic Party? My answer is to let the public know the full story of Macy – who is, of course, only the errand boy of the White House. Macy is, I find, vulnerable, not only in New York State, but also in his home district of Suffolk County.


    “There is a need of someone to investigate Macy and his political career in Suffolk County. A man of reputed high ideals and character, he is nevertheless open to attack…


    “Macy is chairman of the Suffolk Republican Committee. His treasurer is Otto H. Kahn. [Kahn was a successful investment banker.] Recently their machine; the Planning Board, secretly introduced a proposal for $5,000,000 bond issue -- $3,000,000 of which is to be spent for a bridge to connect the mainland with Shelter Island, where Kahn is a big property owner. Essentially it is a private improvement for Kahn. The proposal is to make this bond issue without submitting it to the voters or taxpayers…Worse yet it appears that Macy and his Republican friends blocked a projected state highway on Fire Island (public improvement), through the influence of Kahn, a big property owner on Fire Island.


    “In the meantime, little or nothing is being printed in Republican papers about the scandals of the Republican rule under Macy. He himself has a financial interest in seven county Republican papers and these papers are printing sickening, laudatory editorials on Macy. His use of a newspaper press to laud his own acts and to satisfy his own political ambition is an insult to the intelligence of the city, state and county. As a Republican boss, he compels his henchman to support him with County advertising. His payment of a political and social debt to his friend, Kahn, by taxing Suffolk County farmers, would be repudiated publicly if it were publicly brought to the attention of the White House…


    “Obviously, the only thing for the Democratic interests to do is to…furnish throwing stones at the opposition party. The time to go after Macy is now. Macy is in the news already. He should be kept in the news with every mention of his Democratic investigation [the Seabury inquiry into police and court corruption].


    “I am personally in a position to dig up the facts but need financial support to do it. The first thing is to go after Macy in Suffolk County. Then in New York state, then in Washington. It cannot be done without funds.


    “…In the Times this morning I read that he is still working with Judge Seabury. Break Macy and you have broken the effect of the Republican attack and investigation…


    “Respectfully submitted, C.S. Thompson” [Thompson hasn’t signed his name.]


    In a one-page typed political survey, marked “Confidential,” Thompson reveals the votes provided in Suffolk County, New York, a stronghold for the Republican Party. He writes, “…Macy is regarded within his own party as dictatorial and unreasoning. Already there is opposition to him in his own organization…Macy is, however, well entrenched in his control of all patronage and worse yet with a whip hand on the Republican Press of the County…”


    Thompson has written what appears to be a column entitled “King Macy.” Filled with handwritten edits, the column attempts to expose Macy’s attempt to slide through a bond issue that will favor Macy and the Republican machine. Some folds and light toning. A couple of tears repaired with archival tape. A very interesting look at how a newspaper writer attempted to get directly and secretly involved in influencing an election and sought money for doing so.


    Wonderful assemblage of attempt at election rigging.


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