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Michael's NY political connections #738016
09/02/13 01:23 PM
09/02/13 01:23 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 17,943
AZ
Turnbull Offline OP
Turnbull  Offline OP

Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 17,943
AZ
Twice in two pages near the end of the novel (pp.412 and 413), Michael and Tom discuss Michael's progress in getting his father's "political connections" "wired into" him. First, Michael regretfully shakes his head and says he needed four more months (before the Don died) to line up all of them, but he adds that he has "all the judges...and some of the more important people in congress...and the big party boys in New York..." Later, after he knows that Tessio is setting him up, he says that it looks bad for the Corleones but adds that "my father was the only one who understood that political connections and power are worth ten regimes."

All well and good. But what we see after that is pure muscle: the Great Massacre, after which Michael picks up and relocates to Nevada. Why did he need all those political connections in NY? confused


Ntra la porta tua lu sangu č sparsu,
E nun me mporta si ce muoru accisu...
E s'iddu muoru e vaju mparadisu
Si nun ce truovo a ttia, mancu ce trasu.
Re: Michael's NY political connections [Re: Turnbull] #738870
09/08/13 05:54 AM
09/08/13 05:54 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 5,255
MI
Lilo Offline
Lilo  Offline

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 5,255
MI
Interesting question. I've wondered the same thing. After the hits Puzo writes "The bloody victory of the Corleone Family was not complete until a year of delicate political maneuvering established Michael Corleone as the most powerful Family chief in the United States."

So it must have been important. Let's go back to the beginning. Why did Sollozzo/Barzini/Tattaglia need Corleone's political connections? Because without some sort of certainty regarding arrests, prosecutions, and convictions they couldn't profitably and safely run their drug businesses. Corleone was evidently the only boss who could guarantee that (as much as anything could be guaranteed in that business).

They basically extort Corleone to provide this protection and later pay him to do so. This gives the Corleones the chance to get even stronger politically/financially in NY, the East Coast and ultimately the US.

So all the political powers that be are dealing primarily if not exclusively with the Corleones, who are giving them even more money than before. It's a small thing perhaps for Vito to introduce Michael as his heir, and explain obliquely that there will be some minor changes upcoming soon but "that this is for us to worry about and has nothing to do with our friendship."
Perhaps after the hits go down police slow walk the investigation or start investigating everyone but the Corleones. Newspapers follow suit.

Also to bring Michael back cleared of the "false charges" and get ownership of the Nevada hotels and casinos despite Michael's clear criminal associations required some deft dealing. The Nevada businesses give the Corleones a legitimate facade and the capital to get things done on a national level. It becomes clear to most would be rivals that they can't run their business without Corleone say-so. Unrealistic? Sure. But that's what I think Puzo was trying to get across.


"When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives."
Winter is Coming

Now this is the Law of the Jungle—as old and as true as the sky; And the wolf that shall keep it may prosper, but the wolf that shall break it must die.
As the creeper that girdles the tree-trunk, the Law runneth forward and back; For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.
Re: Michael's NY political connections [Re: Lilo] #739135
09/09/13 09:54 PM
09/09/13 09:54 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 17,943
AZ
Turnbull Offline OP
Turnbull  Offline OP

Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 17,943
AZ
Points well taken, Lilo. clap

I suppose that, despite being forced by the other Dons to protect the drugs business, Vito's political clout may have expanded because he had more money (as intermediary for the other Dons) to dispense to his police/political allies. And, while Vito's agreement to protect the drugs trade wasn't binding on Michael (any more than Vito's pledge not to be the first to break the peace), I can't see Michael walking away from a source of income.

Control of legal gaming in Nevada ca. 1955, when Michael moved the family, was under the state's Tax Commission. Supervision was lax: all they cared about was bringing money into the state. Still, Michael was a relative latecomer to the gaming industry in 1955, and it probably would have been helpful to him to have "good references" from NY politicians when he moved to expand his Nevada holdings.

Also, since Michael was still in control of the olive oil business through Clemenza, he might have wanted to be certain that Clem could count on police/political protection to the same extent in order to guarantee that Clem would be secure (and constantly able to pay tribute to Michael).


Ntra la porta tua lu sangu č sparsu,
E nun me mporta si ce muoru accisu...
E s'iddu muoru e vaju mparadisu
Si nun ce truovo a ttia, mancu ce trasu.
Re: Michael's NY political connections [Re: Turnbull] #743290
10/07/13 11:37 AM
10/07/13 11:37 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 11,467
With Geary in Fredo's Brothel
dontomasso Offline
Consigliere to the Stars
dontomasso  Offline
Consigliere to the Stars

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 11,467
With Geary in Fredo's Brothel
I am going to spill over to the film (as many of us in the film thread reference the novel)here and go to a line in GFII in Cuba. Hyman Roth understood the imnportance of political connections as well as the Corleone family. He "owned" a general counsel to an importand Senate Committee which investigated organized crime, and during their time in Havana, he speculated to Michael that with the foothold they had with a friendly government in Havana, they could raise enough cash to get one of their people elected president of the United States.


"Io sono stanco, sono imbigliato, and I wan't everyone here to know, there ain't gonna be no trouble from me..Don Corleone..Cicc' a port!"

"I stood in the courtroom like a fool."

"I am Constanza: Lord of the idiots."

Re: Michael's NY political connections [Re: Turnbull] #745023
10/19/13 06:41 PM
10/19/13 06:41 PM
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 341
Iceman999 Offline
Capo
Iceman999  Offline
Capo
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 341
There's also a passage in the novel where it talks about how Tom learns the extent of Don Vito's business dealing, which, according the book, must have been huge. Much larger than Don Vito ever seems to let on.

Perhaps it were those business dealing, hidden business partnerships with high ranking political bosses, Labor union manipulation, that Puzo was alluding to?

It would seem though that Don Vito's power must have been localized in New York though given the way Senator Geary tried to shakedown Michael at the beginning of GF2.


Moderated by  Don Cardi, J Geoff, SC 

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