The Blongers' ties to politicians and law enforcement
were longstanding, and critical to their success.
So what was the nature and extent of the Blongers' influence? It's obvious now that in the Eighties and Nineties, bunko men were hardly immune from prosecution, or at least harassment, though they were always back on their feet in no time. Friends in the right places could keep things from going sour, and the long con, executed in assembly line fashion, was generating lots of cash to skew the scales of justice.
A good fixer had a wide array of tools at his disposal. Victims could be negotiated with, or bought off. The cop on the beat might be bribed, as could the DA, the judge, the bailiff, the jury, the witnesses. Or blackmailed. Or intimidated. Friendly detectives might give a victim the runaround, or tip off the fixer. Under the right mayor, a single phone call might be enough. Even after sentencing, parole could be arranged by transferring prisoners from the penitentiary to the county jail.
But in the end, these tools were needed because not every cop was dirty, not every politician receptive, not every jury compromised. Reform periodically swept the town, forcing things underground for a time. And yet, by the Twenties Lou is often hyperbolically described as having the run of the town, an untouchable. Much of that hyperbole originates with DA Van Cise and Fighting the Underworld, so it was self-serving, true, but he was not alone in his assessment of Lou's clout.
Of course, once his organization went down, Lou went down with it, influence or not. His friends couldn't save him, or didn't, nor his money, nor the goods he had on so many powerful men, nor his powers of persuasion. An honest district attorney, with an honest case, was enough. But until that very moment, he did seem to enjoy the kind of protection one gets with powerful friends in high places. So who were they?
Mayor Dewey C. Bailey
Mayor Wolfe Londoner
Mayor Robert W. Speer
Judge Dan Sullivan
Capt. Perry Clay
Deputy Tom Clarke
Detective Leonard DeLue
Detective Peter Eales
W. H. Arnett
E. M. Bernard