Raw tape #24 for Vito Marzullo documentary. Despres #2. Continuation of interview. Despres talks extensively about patronage and organized crime in Chicago and about the influence of Saul Alinsky. Last seven minutes shows exteriors of downtown Chicago.
00:00Copy video clip URL Continuing their previous conversation, Despres criticizes Marzullo’s votes in the city council and his “backwards transportation policy.” Despres also explains how the patronage system functions in Marzullo’s Committee on Local Transporation, and accuses it of squandering taxpayer money. “It’s an abuse of democracy,” he says.
05:33Copy video clip URL They discuss Marzullo’s persona and the group mentality of his organization, hostile to outsiders but revered within the ward.
08:03Copy video clip URL Weinberg broaches the often taboo topic of organized crime in politics. “We know that organized crime has infiltrated the political machine,” Despres says, but doesn’t make specific accusations. Citing a newspaper article from the time, Despres estimated that five of Chicago’s 50 wards maintained ties to organized crime, but hoped that Chicago could become a more honest democracy in the future.
12:25Copy video clip URL Despres explains the term “political machine.” “Alderman Marzullo is very, very sensitive about the use of the word ‘machine,'” Despres says. Calling it as “ruthless and efficient” as an actual mechanical machine, he later comments that “there is no [other] city, no county that has an army of 35,000 employees suffering from the lash of patronage. That’s what makes this one a machine.”
13:53Copy video clip URL The video crew shoots seven minutes of exterior footage in downtown Chicago.