Wayward Politics

"It is a sin to believe evil of others, but it is seldom a mistake."

- H.L. Mencken

When in January, 1957, 31-year-old Bobby Kennedy helped form the McClellan Committee to investigate mob activity, Momo thought it was just for show (one more step toward shaping his brother Jack’s "good guy" image upward to the White House). After all, Joe Kennedy wouldn’t dare let his sons seriously threaten the mob -- not after the recent bail-out. But, when the committee -- named after its chief tribunal, Baptist goody-two-shoes Senator John McClellan of Arkansas -- started making headlines by dragging the Outfit boys in front of television cameras for questioning, Momo scowled.

Bobby, who served as chief counsel to the sanctimoniously titled Senate Select Committee on Improper Activities in the Labor or Management Field, seemed to be playing his part to the hilt. He arranged to have the spun-off McClellan Committee’s proceedings air live so that the American public could hear for the first time what the phrase "organized crime" was all about. The nation, glued to their Zeniths and RCAs, learned new words, La Cosa Nostra and Mafia. "There does exist," said the broadcast at one point, "a society loosely organized for the purpose of smuggling narcotics and committing other crimes...It has its core in Italy and it is nationwide. In fact, it is international."

Viewers chilled.

Over the next several months, top mobsters -- Momo among them -- were served subpoenas to appear before the committee. And throughout the process, Joe Kennedy kept insisting that this was all a masquerade. In fact, he announced, Jack was going to throw his hat into the 1960 Democratic Party Race and, since he was considered the front runner, would then require Momo to drum up the unions to cast him their hefty votes for Presidency.

Momo agreed, but inwardly remained skeptical. His appearance before the McClellan Committee on live TV did not soften his apprehension. Charade or not, Chief Counsel Bobby seemed to take genuinely sadistic pleasure in ridiculing Momo on a million American TV screens. Despite it, Mooney maintained his cool and answered every insinuation with the words he recited from habit: "I refuse to answer on the grounds it may incriminate me."

Momo worked overtime to prepare a defense against possible Kennedy treachery. Jack was known within underground circles as a lecherous womanizer, so it didn’t take long, with the help of mob whoremasters and local police on Momo’s payroll, to collect incriminating evidence. As he confessed to his brother, "I got enough evidence to ruin two political careers. I’ve got pictures, tape recordings, film, you name it. The American public would be real happy to see their President being serviced by three women!"

judith.gif (24988 bytes)
Judith Campbell Exner
(Archive Photos)
Celebrities like Frank Sinatra and others whose careers were Outfit-dealt also were used as tools to frame the Democrat’s white knight nominee. They introduced Jack to a glittering array of ambitious women for whom he would quiver like an alley cat in heat. One was Marilyn Monroe, the seductive-voiced curvaceous bombshell from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; another was Sinatra’s former girlfriend, social climber Judith Campbell. Mooney himself bedded both these women and from them learned Jack’s most intimate secrets.

The Presidential Campaign now in full swing, Mooney decided to measure the Kennedys’ loyalty to him before he contributed further support. He had had his union men in the field for months promoting Jack and had yet to spot a visible benchmark of their appreciation. A barometer was necessary. He asked Joe Kennedy to yank his son Bobby from that ridiculous witch-hunting committee.

Surprisingly, Joe obliged. Bobby resigned without a whimper and turned his full-time attention to managing Jack’s campaign. Momo was encouraged.

John F. Kennedy, after a series of television debates versus challenger Richard Nixon -- the most historical political face-offs since Lincoln argued Douglas -- became the 35th President of the United States on November 8, 1960. It had been a scrappy fight, for in the end he beat Nixon by only one-tenth of a percent, so close that the Republicans demanded a recount. The obvious was undeniable: Without the Outfit’s forced union votes (which came in strongly for Kennedy) as well as the strong Illinois vote (which Mooney begifted, thanks to threats of broken necks and often double- and triple-voting techniques) the race would never have been won.

1. Fondless Memories

2. Born in Hell

3. Killin' for Capone

4. Changing of the Guard

5. Moving Up

6. Eyeing the World

7. Kennedy Connection

8. Wayward Politics

9. Betrayal

10. Marilyn Monroe

11. Nov. 22, 1963

12. Downfall

13. To Die in Hell

14. Bibliography

15. The Author
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