George Washington Plunkitt (1842 - 1924)
George Washington Plunkitt (1842–1924) was an American politician from New York. He served in both Houses of the State Legislature, and was as a member of the Tammany Hall machine in New York City. He was a member of the New York State Assembly (New York Co., 17th D.) in 1869 and 1870. He was a member of the New York State Senate from 1884 to 1887 (11th D.), in 1892 and 1893 (11th D.), and from 1899 to 1904 (17th D.); sitting in the 107th, 108th, 109th, 110th, 115th, 116th, 122nd, 123rd, 124th, 125th, 126th and 127th New York State Legislatures. Plunkitt became wealthy by practicing what he called "honest graft" in politics. He was a cynically honest practitioner of what today is generally known as "machine politics," patronage-based and frank in its exercise of power for personal gain. In one of his speeches, quoted in Plunkitt of Tammany Hall, he describes the difference between dishonest and honest graft: for dishonest graft one worked solely for one's own interests, while for honest graft one pursued the interests of one's party, one's state, and one's personal interests all together.
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