Some people think I pulled the nickname “Boss Hogg” for John Mauro out of thin air. Well, in far headier times, before CIETC and Creative Visions made membership in the Polk County Democrat Machine a matter of such delicacy, John boasted of his “bossdom”. Consider the following from page 16 of the July 17, 2004 U.S. News & World Report:
Meet the Machine
When you think of Iowa--if you ever think of Iowa--you think of farmers on tractors, cornstalks in the field, and hogs in their pens. You do not think of John Mauro. Mauro, 63, is a small, solidly built man with curly gray hair, a firm handshake, and a ready smile. He wears a gold watch with a thin gold band and dresses very, very well (though he gives full credit to his wife of 41 years, since he is colorblind). He is the unlikeliest of things in this bucolic farm state: a political boss. He does not use that term, though when it came time for him to name his Italian-American political organization, he had a name handy: La Macchina, which is Italian for The Machine. It was his way of saying maybe we really don't have political machines and political bosses in Iowa, but you don't want to mess with me and find out. Mauro, a Polk County supervisor in a state where county supervisors are powerful figures, controls thousands of votes on the sprawling Italian South Side of Des Moines, almost all of them through absentee ballots. Decades ago, it occurred to Mauro that people didn't really like to go out and vote and that if you could make it easy for them, if you could get a ballot mailed to their home and then pick it up from them, that was a guaranteed vote. In the old days, absentee ballots had to be notarized (which meant that few people bothered with the process), but Mauro hadn't built up a successful insurance business by being dumb or lazy. He had an idea, and he and about 25 of his boyhood friends (who would become the nucleus of La Macchina) became notaries and carried the heavy seals around in their pockets as they went door to door collecting absentee ballots. You wanted service? John Mauro would give you service. You could vote without ever getting off your couch. Today in Iowa, getting an absentee ballot notarized is no longer required, which makes Mauro's job even easier.
The ‘Real Sporer strongly recommends the entire article, which may be found at:
Even the flattering description of machine politics that appears in this U.S. News article provides frightening insight into the means by which the Dems obtain their usual big margin in Polk County. More to the immediate point, the foregoing paragraph is pretty much an admission of everything we’ve been talking about here at The Real Sporer. There is an operation and it permeates everything that happens with your tax dollars in Polk County and the City of Des Moines.
Last week, Boss Hogg Mauro flatly denied using the quote “La Macchina” to describe his operation here in Polk County. So this means Roger Simon either misquoted Mauro, fabricated the quote (we call that a “Dan Rather” here at Real Sporer) or Mauro went down the Archie Brooks route of falsely denying his previous public statements. Maybe Pete Rose will contact Simon and get to the bottom of this dispute?
In any event, this year the voters have an option. The Republicans have a strong candidate in District 3, Wes Enos. A vote for Wes is a vote for open government in Polk County, taking a fresh look at the books and dehydrating the trough at which the Democrat succubae have drunk for the last 58 years.
SWEEP OUT THE COURTHOUSE-VOTE REPUBLICAN!