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Payoffs in the Cloakroom: The Greening of the Michigan Legislature, 1938-1946 (Myth and Poetics) Hardcover – April 30, 1995


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Product Details

  • Series: Myth and Poetics
  • Hardcover: 279 pages
  • Publisher: Michigan State University Press (April 30, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 087013387X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870133879
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,051,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Bruce A. Rubenstein is a professor of history at University of Michigan-Flint.



Lawrence "Larry" Ziewacz was a Professor at Michigan State University and taught in the Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures and the American Thought and Language departments until his death in December, 2003. Articles he has authored or co-authored have been published in journals such as Michigan History, the Michigan Historical Review, the Sport Sociology Bulletin, Country Music Annual, the Journal of the Great Lakes History Conference, Midwestern Miscellany, and History Reviews of New Books. He co-authored, with Douglas A. Noverr, The Games They Played: Sports in American History: 1865- 1980.


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By LEON L CZIKOWSKY on March 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This provides much insights into Michigan poltical influences and the investigations into their wrongdoings. The investigators had their own ethical problems, creating a real life historical crime thriller.

Readers learn howm in the 1920s, many Michigan state legislatures were known to pad their $3 a day salary with bribes. Governor Fred Green called them "one of the finest legislatures that money can buy". The Depression only increased t he desire of legislators to find money through any means.

A scandal emerged in 1939 when Janet MacDonald killed her daughter and herself. She left behind notes detailing numerous bribes she had given. The local Prosecutor declined to investigate. Detroit City Council passed a resolution to create a grand jury. A grand jury indicted 25, including the local Prosecutor, the Police Commissioner, and the County Sheriff for bribery and protection criminal activities.

The push for reform moved towards investigating legislators and lobbyists. There was a focus on legislator s accepting money in return for disallowing more chain banks. A legislator, Sen. William Stenson, stated an unknown man put money and a note in his overcoat instructing him how to vote on the bill. State Treasurer D. Hale Brake then claimed a "barrel of money" had influenced the legislature. The Attorney General had resisted investigating yet then decided to form a grand jury.

The Michigan National Bank President, a branch bank, was an ally of Michigan Republican boss Frank McKay.

A lobbyist claimed that Rep. William Green demanded $600 for a vote. Other legislators were reportedly similarly named by a lobbyist and seeking funds for their votes. Rep.
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