President Ronald Reagan condoned fiscal irresponsibility and political corruption and this allowed a revolving door effect between government and industry. Reagan was surrounded by government employees who dedicated their allegiance to the business industry. Individuals with a genuine dedication to public service were typically excluded from Reagan’s political circle. The Reagan Administration represented a period when the president viewed the government as trite, and those government employees with a penchant for greed and a lack of ethics profited well under this administration. The Wedtech scandal, a scandal that involved military contracts to the armed services of the United States, is an example of the hands-off approach to fiscal responsibility within the White House during the Reagan Administration.
Ronald Reagan was not surrounded by people who held the federal government or public service in high regard. An attitude of contempt towards government and the public sector was a common viewpoint held within the Reagan Administration. Several of Reagan’s top government officials, such as Attorney General Edwin Meese and Reagan’s political director Lyn Nofziger, were engaged in political corruption that included influence peddling, fraud, bribery and conspiracy. Such a violation of ethics by Meese and Nofzinger allowed a once struggling machine shop in Bronx, New York, to receive U.S. Pentagon no-bid contracts that totaled $250 million.
The Wedtech Corporation, formerly known as the Welbilt Electronic Die Corporation, was a struggling minority business during 1981. By the end of 1981, the machine shop accumulated a net loss of $1 million. The business was trying, albeit unsuccessfully, to win a five-year defense contract to produce small gasoline engines for the Army. The machine shop did not win such contract because its bid was deemed too high. The Army wanted to pay $19.5 million for the engines, but the machine shop placed their bid at $39 million.
Young Franklin Delano Roosevelt was politically impartial to helping laborers.Tammany district boss, George Washington Plunkitt, helped change the political perspective of FDR. During the United States Depression, FDR eventually became the voice which brought back the crippled labor workforce, and he helped lay the foundation for collective bargaining for the American worker.
During the coal strike of 1902, FDR criticized his cousin, President Theodore Roosevelt, for getting involved with the strike on behalf of the American workers. As a law student at Harvard University, Franklin Roosevelt was politically conservative but he received beneficial political advice from a Tammany district boss named George Plunkitt. Mr. Plunkitt suggested that a true political education came from listening to the people. Franklin Roosevelt heeded such advice during his political career, and made a point to understand the concerns of the American people.
During 1913, Franklin Roosevelt was the Assistant Secretary of the United State’s Navy under President Woodrow Wilson. During such employment, FDR learned to listen to the worker and to the complaints of organized labor. Franklin had to deal with the organized pressure of the Navy League of the United States, which was mainly comprised of steel and shipping merchants and industry leaders. He once told a group of machinists “I want you all to feel that you can come to me at any time in my office and we can talk matters over.” FDR carried the Navy experience into his position as United States President.
During the mid 19th century throughout many northern states such as New York and Pennsylvania, Catholics were socially and politically ostracized by Protestants. During this time, Catholics living in Florida did not experience a strong anti-Catholic movement like the Know-Nothing political party that campaigned around several northern states. But by 1910, anti-Catholic feeling was on the rise in Florida. The propaganda campaign initiated by a disillusioned populist politician, Tom Watson, corrupted rural areas in Florida with anti-Catholic propaganda. Between the years of 1910-1917, the misinformation initiated by Watson helped rupture Florida’s church-state relationship with Catholics.
During 1855 residents of Florida, notably the political participants in the American Party that represented Leon County, expressed resentment towards the arrival of new Catholic immigrants to the state; however, the majority of Florida did not hold any strong animus towards Catholic immigration. Florida differed from the national trend during the mid-19th century because the state did not engage in a heavy anti-Catholic campaign like many northern states. Catholics were typically viewed unfavorably in Florida, as there was a distrust of Catholics held by Protestants, but these feelings did not manifest into any significant anti-Catholic movement until the 20th century.