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"Graft Elimination" from Saturday Evening Post

by Ellis Parker Butler
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from Saturday Evening Post
Graft Elimination
by Ellis Parker Butler

This graft, gouge and general sinfulness on the part of our public officials from one end of the line to the other is now a nuisance. We have put up with it for quite a while because we are a patient people and don't care a darn anyway, but recently there has been so much of it in the newspapers that we have not had time to read all the baseball and football news, and we have got to do something about it.

These sporadic graft investigations cure nothing. As soon as one investigation is over and one bunch of sinners is in jail, a new bunch begins to graft and gouge, and everything gets worse and worse all the time. It is all nobody's business except by fits and starts. And yet the cure is simple.

The republic of Yump has a mighty good system and there is no graft at all over there. The sooner we wake up and adopt the Yump election laws the sooner we will settle this whole graft matter. In the republic of Yump every candidate who runs for an office gets elected and every elected candidate can and must appoint a man for every appointive office.

For instance, suppose the mayoralty salary is $30,000, and 3,000,000 votes are cast. The election result is this:

Bones, Dem. ........... 2,000,000
Cuff, Rep. .............. 700,000
Jurm, Soc. .............. 300,000

Over here we give Bones, Dem., the job and the $30,000; over in Yump they give Bones, Dem., the job of mayor and $20,000 salary, but Cuff, Rep., who is the man who would watch the mayor like a mean old hawk if he could afford to do it, is given the job of mayor-snooper, and a salary proportionate to the votes he has received -- which would be $7000. All he has to do is watch the mayor and try to catch him grafting, gouging or being civically sinful, and get him indicted and tried and into jail. And you bet he does it! If he can, of course. He is the man the mayor called a "diabolical old platypus" during the campaign, and he is the man who gets the mayor's $20,000 job if he ditches the mayor. He earns his money as mayor-snooper.

Of course, there is always the danger that the mayor may fix up a deal with the mayor-snooper and split fifty-fifty with him, but that is where Jurm, Soc., who got 300,000 votes and $3000 salary comes in. His office is mayor-snooper-snooper, and he snoops the Hon. Cuff, Rep., who is mayor-snooper. And you can bet he does it, too, because the third fellow in a race is always one of these keen, intense fellows with a lot of ideas and things. So, if the mayor-snooper doesn't watch the mayor like a cat at a mousehole, the mayor-snooper-snooper has the mayor-snooper jugged for official dereliction and takes his job and a $4000 jump in salary.

This thing continues all down the line. When Mayor Bones, Dem., appoints a chief of police at $10,000, the Hon. Cuff, Rep., appoints a chief-of-police-snooper at $3500 salary, and the Hon. Jurm, Soc., a chief-of-police-snooper-snooper at $1500. The result is that not a chief of police in Yump has so much as dared to accept a cigarette from anyone in the last thirty-eight years. There was a police magistrate named Brellick, Dem., whose own mother-in-law was brought before him for speeding, and her husband was the boss of Yammany Hall, and Brellick sent her to jail for six months. And she was driving only twenty-six miles an hour. But Police-Magistrate-Snooper Panks, Rep., was in court with his eyes sticking out two inches, and behind Mr. Panks, Rep., was Police-Magistrate-Snooper-Snooper Gallomb, Soc., with his nose twittering like a rabbit's, and you can bet six dollars there was no pull or favoritism shown in that court!

Certainly this makes a few more offices, but it helps lessen the unemployment problem in Yump just that much.

I am calling this to your attention now, because I mean to run for the state legislature on a "Do it like Yump" platform at the next election. I don't care whether I am nominated for the state senate or for the state assembly. I am willing to run on either the Dem. or Rep. ticket, and if necessary I will run as a Soc. All I want is to see the Yump system adopted in the state.

I assure you I am not thinking of the salary. I know a way to get around the Yump system and get mine.



Saturday, October 07 at 1:12:32am USA Central
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