5

November 14, 1957: The Apalachin Meeting

A Mafia summit meeting was held at the home of Joseph “Joe the Barber” Barbara in Apalachin, New York on November 14, 1957.  Head of the Luciano crime family Vito Genovese  called the meeting to discuss various matters and to attempt to take control of the governing body of the Mafia in America, the Commission having long been divided between a “Conservative Faction” that wanted to run the Mafia in America as the Mafia was conducted in Sicily, and a “Liberal Faction”, led by Genovese, that wanted the Mafia in America to chart its own course free of any Sicilian traditions.  About 100 Mafiosi showed up, with local law enforcement and the New York State Police quickly wondering why all these expensive cars were showing up at a house in sleepy Apalachin.  “Joe the Barber” had been under occasional surveillance by the State Police prior to the meeting.  A raid was conducted and about 58 members of the Mafia, including Genovese, were picked up.  They all claimed that “Joe the Barber” had been sick and they had come to visit him.

 

 

For the Mafia the Apalachin meeting was a long term disaster as it confirmed in the public mind the existence of the Mafia.  After Apalchin, J. Edgar Hoover could no longer ignore the Mafia, and a long term war began between the Federal government and the Mafia which would eventually reduce the Mafia to a shadow of its former self.

20

Trump and the Mob

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I expect the Democrats to highlight Trump’s well known connections to the Mafia and various independent gangsters and swindlers. Reporter David Cay Johnston outlines what is known about such contacts:

These questions ate at me as I wrote about Atlantic City for The Philadelphia Inquirer, and then went more deeply into the issues in a book, Temples of Chance: How America Inc. Bought Out Murder Inc. to Win Control of the Casino Business. In all, I’ve covered Donald Trump off and on for 27 years, and in that time I’ve encountered multiple threads linking Trump to organized crime. Some of Trump’s unsavory connections have been followed by investigators and substantiated in court; some haven’t. And some of those links have continued until recent years, though when confronted with evidence of such associations, Trump has often claimed a faulty memory. In an April 27 phone call to respond to my questions for this story, Trump told me he did not recall many of the events recounted in this article and they “were a long time ago.” He also said that I had “sometimes been fair, sometimes not” in writing about him, adding “if I don’t like what you write, I’ll sue you.”

I’m not the only one who has picked up signals over the years. Wayne Barrett, author of a 1992 investigative biography of Trump’s real-estate dealings, has tied Trump to mob and mob-connected men.

No other candidate for the White House this year has anything close to Trump’s record of repeated social and business dealings with mobsters, swindlers, and other crooks. Professor Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian, said the closest historical example would be President Warren G. Harding and Teapot Dome, a bribery and bid-rigging scandal in which the interior secretary went to prison. But even that has a key difference: Harding’s associates were corrupt but otherwise legitimate businessmen, not mobsters and drug dealers.

This is part of the Donald Trump story that few know. As Barrett wrote in his book, Trump didn’t just do business with mobbed-up concrete companies: he also probably met personally with Salerno at the townhouse of notorious New York fixer Roy Cohn, in a meeting recounted by a Cohn staffer who told Barrett she was present. This came at a time when other developers in New York were pleading with the FBI to free them of mob control of the concrete business.

From the public record and published accounts like that one, it’s possible to assemble a clear picture of what we do know. The picture shows that Trump’s career has benefited from a decades-long and largely successful effort to limit and deflect law enforcement investigations into his dealings with top mobsters, organized crime associates, labor fixers, corrupt union leaders, con artists and even a one-time drug trafficker whom Trump retained as the head of his personal helicopter service. Continue Reading

11

PopeWatch: Mafia

VATICAN-POPE-AUDIENCE

 

 

Pope Francis, as did his two immediate predessors, has spoken out against the Mafia:

 

Pope Francis has warned Italy’s mafia they will go to hell unless they repent   and reminded them they cannot take their “blood stained money and blood   stained power to the next life.”