NICE PUSSY

To many it will come as a distinct surprise that Tammany Hall has really surrendered to the enemy. Faced with a severe financial crisis, it has been forced to go to the bankers for aid. Without assistance the city cannot balance its budget and Tammany's organization must meet specific terms or perish; the bankers have demanded that long desired economical reform be put into effect. So it is that all the budget slashes and salary cuts which were called for by Mayor McKee and which were immediately nullified by the Tammany-controlled Board, will at last be realized. Nor will this work be easily undone, for so long as the bankers hold the mortgage, they can crack the whip.

The reason for Tammany's long sway, which has never been broken more than temporarily, is not always understood. It is generally assumed that it is a matter of graft, of efficient wardheeling, and of reciprocity from all protected interests. People forget that Tammany paid the rent for the family that was about to be evicted, that they distributed free coal during a hard winter, that last summer they gave the children of the neighborhood an outing when the city sweltered. There are those, however, who do not forget, who know that the organization which is no doubt making a little graft on the side, stands ready to help the desperate supporter.

In the past there have been many attempts to reform Tammany Hall; but all save a few have been reform tickets,--appeals to the voter--and they have failed in that they attacked the Tiger in his stronghold. The Scabury investigation, one of the most successful attempts at reform, did not try the voter but worked through the law courts. Reforms must come through the top to be effective, and the surest method is to strike at Tammany's purse. Hence the bankers can at last make the tiger toe the line; and willy nilly he must lick the hand that feeds him or he will not be fed. Only when the future sees present debts paid off will he be able to stalk through the streets with his wonted arrogance.