However, Plunkitt had to defend himself against reformers by distinguishing between honest graft and dishonest graft. He would explain this difference as well as his wealth by saying, "I seen my opportunities and I took 'em." In Plunkitt's own mind, as seen through his writings, he did not regret his actions because he did so much to help the Tammany supporters. Plunkitt's main complaint was against civil service examinations, but in his talks he also instructed young men how to be successful in politics by examining human nature and doing as he...
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... in their neighborhoods than the rich have in theirs." Plunkitt certainly understood people and knew how to attract them to his ticket.
The book Plunkitt of Tammany Hall is not only a monument to George W. Plunkitt's 40 plus years as a senator, it is also a monument to his enormous ego. G. W. Plunkitt was a well-liked man among his supporters and Tammany men alike. He had opposition from reformers who accused Tammany Hall of illegal activities involving graft. But, according to Plunkitt he never engaged in, "blackmailin', gamblin' or disorderly people." He said that "the politician that steals is worse than a thief. He is a fool." Plunkitt made a fortune in politics, and he did it all through honest graft. He says that even if his worst enemy wrote his epitaph that he could not do more than write: "George W. Plunkitt. He Seen His Opportunities and He Took 'Em."
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