There has been a relationship between organized crime and the political and corporate world since organized crime began. These relationship has served a purpose for all and in a sense is looked upon as a normal way of "doing business". Organized crime is not likely to go away in the political and corporate world. This is a relationship that feeds off of each other for the rights to the one thing the world is searching for: money and power. The year 2002 was one of the biggest years yet for corporate scandal.
Corporations were at an all time high for corruption. The fine line between organized and the corporation is being blurred. Enron was one of the big corporate players until the corruption became public in 2002. Enron was a large energy company that was caught raising profits and hiding debts that came to the total of more than $1 billion dollars. Enron was also caught bribing foreign government officials and manipulating prices and supplies in Texas. WorldCom was another huge company who inflated its reported cash flow by nearly $3.
8 billion dollars. Late WorldCom was forced to file bankruptcy with over $400 billion dollars worth of debt. Other companies include Rite Aid, ImClone, and Adelphia, to name a few. (Lyman & Potter, 2004) In the political world it is no different. Organized crime practices and the scandalous and corrupt practices in the political world is a blurred one which is hard to separate. Chambliss argued that political corruption is critical to he survival of organized crime ( cited in Lyman & Potter, 2004).
The relationship between politics and organized crime is a symbiotic one. Politicians give organized crime "official favors" and in returns they get campaign money, private graft, investment opportunities, and direct assistance in bargaining and negotiations. Morrisburg was a comprehensive study of corruption that found organized crime syndicates making above-the-board contributions to candidates and under-the-table cash contributions to political parties which goes back to the street to encourage votes (as cited in Lyman & Potter, 2004).
Some of the classic cases of politics and organized crime working as one include State Senator Frank Mazzei, Anthony Grosso, Mayor of Chester, PA. , and the court system in Reading, PA. In the case of State Senator Frank Mazzei it was shown that him as well as the Lackawanna County Democratic Chairman Patrick Cummings had a series of organized crime figures giving kickbacks for state contracts, extortion, liquor licensing, and bail bond reform legislation. Anthony Grosso was a Pittsburgh bookmaker who made payoffs to the city's district attorney, an alderman, and a constable.
The mayor of Chest, PA. And the chief of police were both linked to organized crime member Frank Miller's huge southeastern Pennsylvania gambling network. In Reading, PA. Organized crime networks has established a case-fixing system where they actually set a price list for the dismissal of cases. (Lyman & Potter, 2004) There is estimates that since the 1960s organized crime has given at least $2 billion dollars annually to public officials. Organized crime is suspected to be linked to such presidential figures as John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, and Ronald Reagan.
(Lyman & Potter, 2004) Chambliss said when commenting on organized crime in Seattle that: "Money is the oil of our present-day machinery, and elected public officials are the pistons that keep the machine operating. Those who come up with the oil, whatever its source, are in a position to make the machinery run the way they want it to. Crime is an excellent producer of capitalism's oil. Those who want to affect the direction of the machine's output find that they money produced by crime is as effective in helping them get where they want to go as is the money produced in other ways.
Those who produce the money control the machine. Crime is not a by-product of an otherwise effectively working political economy: It is a main product of the political economy. Crime is, in fact, a cornerstone on which the political and economic relations of democratic-capitalist societies are constructed. " When talking about the business world and organized crime it is not just about organized crime going into corporations and corrupting them. Organized crime seeks to find legitimate ways to invest and make money.
These investments can also help to conceal other profits which makes way for money laundering and other illegal practices. Many organized crime members seek to open a "legitimate business" that they can claim their profits from. These business can include anything from a hot dog stand, restaurant, or automotive dealership. The business community actually "embraces" these practice because of a few reasons. Organized crime groups provide stolen goods for resale, businesses can use the racketeering services of organized crime to harass competitors and/or secure contracts with employees.
The business world assist organized crime and in turn organized crime assist the business world. In conclusion, It seems that after looking at organized crime in the political and business sense it is not necessarily organized crime that causes the corruption. There is a need for corruption by both parties in order to gain power and money. This need or want feeds off of each other in a mutual relationship which provides exactly what they other wanted. Without one there is not another.