Download Mayor Crump Don’t Like It: Machine Politics in Memphis by G. Wayne Dowdy PDF

By G. Wayne Dowdy

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Williams. The machine ticket failed to excite interest and unraveled when Bacon withdrew from the race in October. 33 The Citizen’s League slate prevailed over Williams by 2,700 votes, which made it appear that the county organization was instrumental in Paine’s victory. It is doubtful, however, that their involvement had any significant impact on the outcome when we consider how controversial the machine was in 1919. In reality Rowlett Paine was elected mayor because of voter dissatisfaction with factional politics that E.

103 The exchange of barbs made some uneasy over the direction of local government, but it was the arrogance displayed by Crump that led many to break with the mayor. From the perspective of the middle classes, the mayor should have resigned in order to run for sheriff. Holding both offices, they felt, was nothing more than a naked grab for power. Memphis Commercial Appeal editor C. P. J. Mooney argued: “Mr. ”104 Even his loyalists were uneasy over this decision. 105 Not wanting to give up the mayoralty, Crump withdrew his candidacy for sheriff.

Early in Paine’s term they had squabbled over the mayor’s failure to increase the pay of African American schoolteachers and Paine’s removal of a Crump stalwart from the park commission. But these were minor affairs. Both men shared the political values of the progressive movement. 63 From Crump’s perspective the problem with Paine was not in his policies but rather his lack of allegiance. As the campaign approached, Crump compiled a list of Paine’s weaknesses, such as “do not cut weeds, which are lapping over sidewalks all over city .

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