Raw tape #15 for Vito Marzullo documentary. Color bars only for visual. Continuation of conversation on raw tape #14 and contains Marzullo's candid remarks on allegations made against him, ranging from financial misdeeds to mafia connections, and his "machine" politics.
00:00Copy video clip URL Marzullo answers director Tom Weinberg’s question from the previous tape, asking if there exists any challenge to his authority in his political structure. Marzullo says that people are free to run against him, but he seems assured that they wouldn’t win.
01:18Copy video clip URL Weinberg asks Marzullo about the “inside circles” of the city council. “There is no inside circle,” Marzullo says. He goes on to explain that then-Mayor Michael Anthony Bilandic calls together the heads of committees, a select group of 16 or 17, before city council meetings to ask their opinion and tell them his opinion. He also talks about young, overly ambitious politicians who haven’t yet “waited their turn.” “They gonna take the place of someone who’s been there 15, 20, 25, 30 years?” Marzullo says. “He’d better learn the procedure of the city council.”
03:17Copy video clip URL Weinberg tells Marzullo about other peoples’ opinions of him, which he says is that Marzullo “runs his ward like nobody’s ever run a ward before.” He then asks Marzullo about harmful allegations that such people launch at him, including accusations of financial misdeeds and mafia connections. “None of that stuff bothers me,” says Marzullo, who insists his politics have been honest. He even claims that he needed police protections at times against kidnapping attempts from organized crime members.
06:33Copy video clip URL Talk shifts to the related issue of scandals involving money, and Marzullo even pulls out the 25th Ward Democratic Committee’s checkbook to insist that he’s done no wrong, since he’s only used the money to support his “beliefs,” candidates, and “people.” Weinberg asks him about his personal finances, at which Marzullo launches into an explanation of his “struggle,” working at various aboveboard jobs — undertaker, insurance salesman, real estate salesman — to support his wife and six children. He insists that he never solicited his constituents for business. “These so-called suggestions and criticisms, they’re all ridiculous. The people are just looking for something to say,” Marzullo says.
10:48Copy video clip URL Weinberg asks Marzullo about an controversial newspaper article about him that ran just that morning. Marzullo gives a partial answer before answering a phone call. “I’m happy with the content if you can hear it,” Weinberg murmurs into the mic while Marzullo is occupied on the phone. “We’ve got ourselves a nice tape.”
16:38Copy video clip URL After hanging up the phone, Marzullo sees a young man about “the same thing from the other night” — namely, finding the man a job. Marzullo says he hasn’t had any calls asking for employees but that he will call the man if he hears anything.
17:35Copy video clip URL A woman from his ward, Earline Oglesby, approaches Marzullo about “another favor.” She currently holds a position that Marzullo helped her land, and needs a letter of recommendation from him to be able to work more hours and receive benefits. Marzullo promises to write a letter for her.
20:43Copy video clip URL After the woman leaves, Weinberg asks about the mafia threats that Marzullo claims were made against him, and confronts him with the allegations of mafia connections often made against him. “Let them say anything they want,” he says. “If I can exist 58 years in this game of politics under all weather conditions… and I’m still here when all the others are gone.”