Organizing Portland Organized Crime, Municipal Corruption, and the Teamsters Union

In mid-twentieth-century Portland, gambling dens, brothels, and unlicensed bars operated virtually uninhibited by police as long as vice racketeers paid scheduled kickbacks to key city law enforcement officials. Despite Mayor Dorothy Lee’s efforts to reform city government from 1948 to 1952, some municipal officials, both before and after her administration, tolerated, sanctioned, and may well have profited from the city’s vice economy. By the 1950s, word of Portland’s reputation as a “wide open” city whose local officials entertained payoffs had traveled north to Seattle, where racketeers, with help from some Teamsters Union officials, had been exploiting that city’s criminal operations. By 1954, the Teamsters and local racketeers, with support from the Multnomah County district attorney, were operating profitably in Portland and were well on their way to controlling the city’s booming vice industry. Clearly, political reform efforts in Portland had not been successful.

In 1956, however, Oregonian crime reporters Wallace Turner and William Lambert — using information provided by Portland’s own crime boss, James Elkins — exposed organized crime and municipal corruption in Portland and unwrapped a scheme by corrupt Teamsters officials to take over the city’s vice rackets. Union racketeering had already caught the nation’s attention, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and U.S. Senate investigators had gathered evidence on the Teamsters’ organizational tactics and the illegal activities of certain Teamsters officials. By 1957, the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Improper Activities in the Labor or Management Field, better known as the McClellan Committee, concluded that Portland not only had a local crime problem but also a situation that had serious national ramifications.

Those who were eventually accused of corruption and criminal activity also played a part in their undoing. “Were it not that the conspirators in this particular case had a falling out,” the McClellan Committee concluded in its 1958 interim report, “the Committee believes that gambling and law enforcement in Portland would now be completely under the domination of a teamster-backed [sic] underworld. In other cities of the United States, where similar tactics have been employed, this type of domination has been achieved successfully.”[1] The Portland case was not unique, but it offers insights into how urban crime, municipal corruption, and illegal union activities worked together to open the city to organized crime.

When the International Brotherhood of Teamsters began to recruit unskilled laborers in the early 1930s, the union broke from its traditional policy of limiting its representation to specialized crafts and laid the groundwork for the rise of a more militant membership. At the time, the Teamsters were less a national union than a “loose confederation of locals controlled by powerful bosses. [2] The criminality that existed, historian Nelson Lichtenstein explains, “was largely concentrated in highly decentralized, multi-employer industries, which gave individual union leaders …the opportunity to skim the pension fund, cut sweetheart deals, or simply run the local as a family business.” [3] When the Teamsters opened its ranks to unskilled workers — generally, laborers who were hired for tough, physical jobs — the union fragmented, pitting old-line union officials who had fought for collective bargaining, better wages, and safer working conditions against a new legion of “hard-fighting and ‘troublesome’ recruits,” many of whom were motivated to join the labor movement to acquire wealth. [4]

By the 1940s, the Teamsters had become top-heavy with officials, and “internal oligarchies” exercised control over certain industries. After World War II, a large group of full-time labor officials assumed leadership of the union, according to Lichtenstein, “open[ing] the door to a whole set of corruptions that became an integral part of the postwar union mythos.”[5] There were many opportunities for corrupt behavior. Labor unions were responsible for negotiating and administering pension benefits, seniority systems, wage schedules, and unemployment and health insurance; and union leaders directly lobbied local, state, and national legislators, endorsed candidates, and provided troops and money for campaigns. In several U.S. cities — including Portland, Oregon — zealous Teamsters officials supported illegal and sometimes violent methods to gain control of lucrative industries and to command political cooperation.

Teamsters officials had first attempted to organize Portland labor in 1903 and had achieved some success, but there was no solid local membership in the union until the 1930s. The International Brotherhood and the union’s general president, Daniel J. Tobin, had refused to give any support to Portland Teamsters, and the small locals that operated in the city were weak in comparison to locals in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle. All that changed when Dave Beck rose through the ranks of Seattle’s Teamster’s Local 174 to take a position of power within the union. When Beck became international organizer for the Pacific Northwest in the 1930s, he assumed responsibility for organizing Portland and turned to the Seattle Joint Council and its affiliates, especially Local 174, to help finance the organizational drive.[6] Under Beck’s leadership, and later during Frank Brewster’s tenure, the Pacific Northwest emerged as one of the most heavily unionized regions in the United States. “Those were the days when they were doing a lot of organizing,” Teamster Thomas Malloy later remembered, “and some of it had to be done the hard way….”[7]

By the 1930s, boycotts, strikes, and violence had become proven methods of establishing a union presence in Portland. In 1937, for example, the American Federation of Labor (AFL) granted the Teamsters Union jurisdiction over the Brewery Workers Union (BWU) in an attempt to consolidate smaller unions. BWU officials refused to recognize the Teamsters’ jurisdiction, however, and the Teamsters began a delivery strike against what Beck called “red label” beer — that is, beer brewed by BWU labor. The boycott affected the breweries, but it was primarily intended to force distributors and grocers to support the union’s interests. If a grocery stocked “red label” beer — such as Lucky Lager, Budweiser, Rainier, and Schlitz — then Teamster drivers were not allowed to deliver “white label” beer, which was not brewed by the BWU.

The boycott strangled grocery beer sales and distributor deliveries in many cities and towns in Oregon and Washington, and the targeted businesses eventually decided to cooperate with the Teamsters’ position. The owner of the Eastmoreland Grocery in Portland, for example, later explained to FBI agents that he had stored seven thousand dollars’ worth of keg beer in his cooler that he could not sell and feared that he would have to close the store if he could not sell both “red” or “white label” beer.

On about September 21, 1937, I ordered some Rainier, Acme, and Lucky Lager beer from the Lombard Distributor Company. The beer was delivered and at that time there was a small yellow coupe following the truck. At the time the beer was delivered, one of the men in the yellow coupe told [name deleted], one of my clerks, that no more “union” beer would be delivered…. The next night someone threw a rock through one of the windows in my grocery store. On a Friday after this, two men from the Teamsters Union came out and told me I would have no more trouble if I (stopped stocking) the “red label.”[8]

Two men, presumably pickets, stopped a driver attempting to make a bread delivery to the Crutchfield Food Store on East Burnside and asked him if his was a union bakery. The driver replied that it was, and the men told him that “there was trouble over some beer” at Crutchfield’s and not to deliver his goods. Pickets outside Crutchfield’s also stopped a mayonnaise driver, a Teamster, from making deliveries there. A driver for Davidson’s Bakery tried to deliver to Peterson’s Pay-Less Grocery and Market on Northeast Sandy Boulevard but was stopped by men who explained: “This fellow isn’t right on the beer and we are trying to get all of you fellows to cooperate.” Local FBI agents found that Dave Beck’s men turned away many union drivers who attempted to deliver goods to uncooperative groceries, hotels, and cafés in and around Portland.[9] A federal judge in Portland responded by issuing a restraining order that prohibited the Teamsters from interfering with the delivery, transportation, or handling of beer manufactured by the BWU and the California State Brewers Institute. According to the FBI investigation, the Teamsters violated the order. The Teamsters and the BWU soon reached a settlement, however, and the union escaped prosecution.[10]

The Teamsters employed the same tactics to organize the macaroni, apple, bakery, and retail industries on the West Coast. The United States Macaroni Manufacturing Company, for example, complained that it had been picketed by the Teamsters for refusing to force their employees to join the Bakers and Confectionary Workers Union. By the late 1930s, the federal government had stepped up its investigation into allegations of a Teamster monopoly, and the FBI was investigating Beck and other labor officials for “Interference by Violence with Interstate Commerce.” Beck and other union leaders became the subjects of an antitrust investigation in 1941 when the Teamsters placed a “hot cargo” ban on all apples shipped out of Washington’s Yakima Valley and forbade members of its local unions from handling apples grown by orchards that had refused to ship their apples on Teamster trucks. Beck and the Teamsters Joint Council of Seattle were the subjects of another antitrust and racketeering investigation in 1944, this one triggered by an allegation that Beck had demanded that a bakery in Portland ship its wares by truck, using Teamster labor rather than the railway. No action was taken by the U.S. attorney’s office, but the FBI continued its investigation.[11]

As the union’s executive vice president, Dave Beck continued to force businesses and other unions to comply with the Teamsters’ interests. A May 1949 FBI report described how Beck and Teamsters leaders trucked in “goons” from Seattle, Detroit, Chicago, and St. Louis to physically intimidate those members of the Retail Clerks Union of Los Angeles who stood in the way of the Teamsters’ organizational drive.[12] Newspaper reporters and the FBI believed that many of the “goons” were members of the Al Capone crime syndicate who were assisting a Teamster takeover of West Coast businesses and labor unions. The Retail Clerks Union eventually signed a two-year contract with the Teamsters.[13]

Under Beck’s dynamic leadership, the Seattle Joint Council of Teamsters organized Vancouver, British Columbia, Los Angeles, Portland, and other cities by using its manpower, money, and strike assistance. Once Oregon Teamsters began to make progress, meetings were held between Seattle and Portland’s Joint Councils, establishing a high level of cooperation between the Teamsters’ movements in the two states and considerably expanding Beck’s influence within the union. [14] Since the 1940s, Beck had established a powerful base from which to operate, a position that gave some Seattle Teamsters officials the confidence to influence other unions and unorganized labor and, as importantly, strengthened their conviction to organize illegal industries. Federal officials suspected that Dave Beck, who was elected International Brotherhood of Teamsters president in 1952, was directly involved in Seattle’s vice industry, although they were never able to confirm these suspicions. There is no question, however, that Frank Brewster, Beck’s number-two man in Seattle, was directly involved in vice activity and that he associated with organized crime figures.

Brewster played a critical role in Beck’s quest for power and in the success of the Western Conference of Teamsters. He joined the Teamsters in 1913, a few years before Beck went in as a laundry-wagon driver. Although the two men had a rocky relationship, Brewster supported Beck in the 1920s, was part of Beck’s reorganization in Portland and Seattle in the 1930s, and became secretary-treasurer of Seattle’s Local 174 in the 1940s. In January 1954, Frank Brewster had become even more powerful when he was elected vice president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and president of the Western Conference of Teamsters, and many Teamsters and government investigators considered him to be second in the union behind Beck. A “business agent” for the Teamsters, Brewster reportedly headed the Teamsters’ West Coast “goon squad,” a term the FBI frequently used to describe those union members responsible for physical intimidation. To ensure that acts of violence and any resultant controversy would not tarnish Beck, the FBI concluded, Brewster made the calls and directed the union’s strong-arm operations.[15]

Brewster may also have had interests in activities outside the union. A 1945 General Crime Survey Report, compiled by FBI officials in Seattle, insisted that Brewster was “in control” of a Seattle “crime syndicate” that had a controlling influence in Seattle’s political and vice operations.[16] According to investigators, Brewster had developed a business and personal relationship with Seattle and Spokane vice racketeer Thomas Maloney, a relationship built on real estate and organized crime. The FBI uncovered evidence that Maloney, an established gambler and prostitute broker and an associate of the Frank Colacurcio crime family, and Joseph McLaughlin, a Seattle crime figure and close friend of Brewster, were on Teamsters payrolls.[17] Brewster also reportedly arranged for Maloney to receive a loan from Local 690 to bail out his Spokane restaurant and gambling operation.18 Brewster’s personal secretary later testified that she frequently made travel arrangements for Maloney, which were paid for by the Western Conference of Teamsters. The Spokane city directory listed Maloney as “organizer, Teamsters Union,” and his Oregon driver’s license indicated that he was employed at the “A.F. of L. Teamsters Building … Portland, Oregon.” In August 1955, Maloney listed Oregon Teamster leaders Clyde Crosby and Lloyd Hildreth as references for an apartment rental and informed the property managers that he was a “Business Agent” for the Teamsters.[19] Federal investigators believed that Maloney and McLaughlin were part of Brewster’s “goon squad” that had helped organize the beer, bakery, and pinball industries in Portland during the 1930s and 1940s.[20]

By the 1950s, Frank Brewster and the Seattle racketeers were enjoying the benefits of their city’s vice industry. Through their contracts in organized crime, they learned that Portland’s booming vice industry was ripe for organization, and they quickly recognized who they needed to approach for help. James Elkins, who had been incarcerated for attempted murder in Arizona, had arrived in Portland by the late 1930s to help his brother run his prostitution rackets in the city. In 1954, Elkins wanted to place his gambling machines in the Portland Labor Temple, and he drove to Seattle to speak with Teamsters officials about the deal. Brewster and Teamster official John Sweeney gave Elkins permission to enter the Labor Temple if he agreed to help Thomas Maloney set up a small gambling operation in Portland.[21] Elkins, Brewster, and the Seattle racketeers ultimately agreed to organize Portland’s pinball, slot machine, and punchboard operations — gambling vices that the union controlled and that Portland Mayor Dorothy McCullough Lee and the city council had outlawed five years earlier.[22]

The mayor’s reform campaign had placed the gambling operations “in jeopardy,” and without that threat, sociologist Joseph Uris concludes, “there would have been little opportunity for the Teamsters to use the pinball dealers association” to aggressively organize in Portland.[23] Teamster officials saw the prohibition of the gambling machines in 1949 as an opportunity to increase union dues by bringing the Coin Machine Men of Oregon into the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The Teamsters could then control the distribution of gambling machines by dominating the trucking industry. The effort paid off. By 1954, the pinball industry was organized, and local Teamsters official Clyde Crosby was ready to lobby the Portland city council to reevaluate the ordinance and legalize pinball machines. City Councilman Stanley Earl, a longtime union officer who had originally favored legalizing the pinball machines, later testified that Crosby approached him on May 18, 1955, and told him that if he “did not support pinball legislation, licensing those devices, I would have the opposition of the Teamsters in the election in 1956.” In the end, Earl voted to continue the ban, later claiming before the McClellan Committee that he had changed his mind “in one week’s time” after learning from the wife of a railroad worker who had lost his paycheck playing pinball machines.[24]

The Seattle group’s next target was the punchboard industry. Punchboards were pieces of cardboard that had hundreds of small holes covered with paper. A gambler would pay the operator — the “bet” was usually a nickel — for the chance to use a metal pin to “punch” a hole and pull out a piece of paper that listed a prize of merchandise or cash. Elkins later told Senate investigators that he had introduced Maloney and McLaughlin to Norman Nemer, a Portland punchboard distributor. Their plan was to bring Nemer into the union and make him their front. He would receive Teamsters Union stickers to put on his punchboards, distinguishing them from nonunion punchboards, and businesses that used non-union punchboards would face the Teamsters’ pickets and disruption of merchandise deliveries. In this way, businesses would be forced to use Nemer’s equipment. In return, Elkins and Nemer each would receive 25 percent of Nemer’s profits, and McLaughlin, Maloney, and the Teamsters would share 50 percent. The profits in Portland alone from this operation, Elkins later reported, were approximately a hundred thousand dollars a year. The plan began to fall apart, however, when Nemer became uneasy about McLaughlin’s connection to Brewster, Sweeney, and Crosby and when Sweeney complained that McLaughlin and Maloney were not getting enough money. In the end, the plan was dropped. [25]

The Coin Machine Men used the same tactics to take control of the pinball industry. This time the front was Budge Wright, a Portland pinball machine operator and distributor and also Stanley Terry’s chief rival. Terry was a successful distributor of gambling machines, especially outside Portland’s city limits, but the Teamsters had withdrawn his union card, which he needed to transport the machines.[26] Wright joined the Teamsters and had no trouble getting his machines distributed throughout the city. He created Acme Amusement Company with McLaughlin and Fred Elkins, James Elkins’s brother, and prepared to move in on other pinball machine operations. Whenever Acme Amusement met opposition, Teamsters picket lines formed. Among the first targets was the Mount Hood Café. One morning in 1955, Portland Teamster Frank Malloy warned Horace Crouch, the owner of the café: “You better take these machines out because in a few days you might be picketed.” Crouch was a union member and was surprised by the threat. The pickets were not personal, Frank Malloy explained: “You take Stan Terry’s machines out, and we will pull the pickets.”[27] Crouch later lamented:

I couldn’t get coffee; I couldn’t get bread; I couldn’t get meat deliveries. I called these outfits up. I have been in Portland 30 years or more in business. They said, “Well, you meet me up the street and we will transfer the food into your car and you can haul it yourself.”… Frank Malloy and another fellow followed me in the car, and got out and told the coffee man to take the coffee out of my car and put it back in his truck. I pulled out a monkey wrench, and I said, “Nobody touches this coffee. The first one that does will get this over his head. You better get in that car,” I said, “and drive away or this wrench will go through your windshield.” He got in and drove off.[28]

The union had the power to disrupt deliveries in almost every industry. FBI documents and testimony before the McClellan Committee clearly describe how Teamsters representatives in Portland helped disrupt business wherever Maloney, McLaughlin, and Elkins thought it was beneficial to the plan. To organize Portland’s vice industry, however, the Teamsters officials required more than threats and pickets. “A necessary element in all successful underworld operations,” the McClellan Committee concluded in its interim report of 1958, “is a corrupt public official, with whom the gambling operations and others can do business.” [29]

In 1954, according to elkins, Clyde Crosby asked him to set up a meeting with William Langley, a Portland lawyer who was seeking the Democratic nomination for Multnomah County district attorney. Langley, the son of a former district attorney, had been co-owner of the China Lantern, a nightclub in Beaverton. His partner was James Elkins. Langley had disposed of his restaurant interests before his first bid for the district attorney seat in 1950, which he lost to the incumbent, union-supported John B. McCourt. By the 1954 election, however, McCourt had lost the Teamsters’ support when he publicly threatened to raid the sites of any slot and pinball machines in the city. [30] Crosby, Sweeney, and Elkins met with Langley at the Portland airport to discuss what the Teamsters would get in return for their support of his candidacy. For his part, all Elkins wanted was prior notice when a warrant was issued to raid his gambling joints and assurance that Langley would not press the state law requiring that a building be padlocked if there were two arrests for gambling or other vice on the premises. [31] The Teamsters wanted protection for Maloney’s new gambling operations and cooperation from local law enforcement agencies during union strikes and boycotts.

A deal was struck, and Thomas Maloney traveled to Portland to take an active part in Langley’s campaign. By the time of the election, which Langley won, Elkins reportedly had paid Maloney thirty-six thousand dollars and had given Langley eighteen hundred dollars for campaign materials. He paid an additional four hundred dollars to Teamster Frank Malloy and his wife and gave gifts to other Teamsters involved in organizing votes for Langley. The Teamsters’ representatives, moreover, allegedly treated the new district attorney and his family to a vacation following the difficult campaign.[32]

Shortly after the election, Frank Brewster and John Sweeney called Elkins and Langley to Seattle to discuss what was “going to go on” in Portland, Elkins later testified, “when Langley went in.” It was decided that Maloney would move to Portland to direct the vice operations that the district attorney had agreed to allow. To guard against any connection between the district attorney’s office and the vice operations, Brewster ordered Joseph McLaughlin to serve as the middleman between Langley and the racketeers.[33] In return for protection, Elkins later testified, the Seattle group ordered him to pay District Attorney Langley two thousand dollars a month and to cover many of Maloney’s and McLaughlin’s bills, a demand that convinced Elkins to reconsider his relationship with the Seattle group. On one occasion, Langley received a five hundred dollar bonus for allowing two brothels that were connected to Maloney to operate.[34] Although Langley was allegedly compensated directly for his involvement, other Oregon politicians would simply be called upon to return a favor in exchange for union support at the polls.

Just as local Teamsters had helped Langley, a Democrat, win the district attorney’s post in 1954, the union also helped Republican Paul Patterson win the governor’s race. According to Howard Morgan, former chair of the Oregon State Democratic Party and a public utility commissioner, most of Oregon’s labor unions supported Democrat Joe Carson, but the Teamsters supported Patterson. Morgan later testified that Clyde Crosby had told him that the “decision was made in Seattle to back Patterson,” an indication, Morgan believed, that Teamsters officials pushed candidates for personal reasons rather than for the good of labor.[35]

At a party in December 1954, Thomas Maloney reportedly ordered Morgan to pass a message to the new governor and the state’s attorney general. Morgan later testified:

… with a cigar between his first two fingers, [Maloney] thumped me on the chest, scattering cigar ashes all over a dark blue suit I had on, and said, “You make [Attorney General Robert] Thornton lay off that liquor commission investigation,” in a very loud voice. Of course, I was angry. “That sounds like an order,” and he said, “That’s an order.” I then told him to go to hell, but the immediate question I then told him was, “What is your interest in the liquor control commission? Why don’t you want that investigated? Why do you care whether it is investigated?” He said, “You know damn well what this means to us.”[36]

Shortly thereafter, Clyde Crosby asked Morgan: “Has Maloney been trying to give you a bad time? Well, I would put it a little differently, but it amounts to the same thing. We wish Thornton would lay off.”[37]

According to both Morgan and Elkins, Teamsters representatives paid Oregon Liquor Control Commissioner Thomas Sheridan a bribe to support specific liquor and gambling operations.[38] Certain union officials wanted someone on the state liquor commission, Morgan testified,

because they had bargaining disputes and membership disputes with certain distilleries in the East…. [They] wanted to arrange whereby they could prevent liquor from certain distilleries being purchased and sold within a monopoly state like Oregon … until a particular distillery signed up with the Teamsters.[39]

Because the state controlled liquor distribution, a liquor commissioner could prevent the purchase of liquor from certain distilleries. Manton Spear, Portland representative of Seattle’s K & L Distributing Company, corroborated Morgan’s testimony and told investigators that Dave Beck’s son owned K & L. Sheridan later told the Senate committee that when he was discharged from the Oregon Liquor Control Commission for “accepting gratuities,” he contacted James Elkins, who took him to see Clyde Crosby. According to Morgan, Crosby called John Sweeney, who allegedly said: “… we might as well see if we’ve bought a pig in the poke or if he’ll perform for us” — a reference to Governor Patterson. Sweeney reportedly set up a meeting between Crosby and the governor, and Sheridan was reinstated a few days later with only a month’s salary lost.[40]

Governor Patterson, according to Morgan, would not allow Oregon Attorney General Robert Thornton to investigate the liquor commissioner and reassigned the case to Portland’s district attorney, William Langley. Langley “white washed” the investigation, Morgan claimed, and no indictments were issued. “There was no question in my mind,” Morgan opined, “that an attempt was being made to take over law enforcement” in the state, in Multnomah County, and in Portland.[41]

The teamsters also ensured the election of a pro-union mayor by 1953, someone union leaders could count on to support their interests in Portland. Fred Peterson, who had earlier won election to the city council with Teamsters support, may have felt obligated to the union because its endorsement had helped him defeat Dorothy McCullough Lee in 1952. In 1953, Mayor Peterson appointed Clyde Crosby to the five-man Exposition–Recreation Commission, a panel of city leaders with the authority to select the location for an eight million dollar entertainment and sports events arena. The commission hired the Stanford Research Institute to survey possible locations. [42]

In early 1955, Crosby met with James Elkins in the Teamsters’ office. When the Portland bankroller arrived, Crosby had a large map spread out over his desk highlighting the sites for the sports arena. The two discussed the Stanford study, Elkins later testified, and the possibility that Crosby could influence the selection of the site. Crosby gave Elkins a list of the locations and ordered him to buy property around one of the recommended locations, the Broadway–Steel Bridge area. Maloney and McLaughlin provided some of the $340,000 raised for the acquisition, and Crosby lobbied heavily for the site, knowing that the city would need to purchase the surrounding acreage for the construction plan. [43]

Crosby proposed Resolution 30, which sponsored the Broadway–Steel Bridge site and referred to the Stanford Institute’s recommendation. Realtor John Kelley of John Kelley and Sons reported that Elkins and Joseph McLaughlin visited his office inquiring about the property. He “received an inkling” that the two men had information about the property because Elkins told him they had a friend who had an “in.” Kelley later testified that Clyde Crosby was mentioned “on at least six occasions and, at one point, when a question of the extension of the area to be acquired came up, McLaughlin stated that he wanted to use the phone to call Crosby….”[44] Kelley continued:

It is my belief that McLaughlin called because, apparently, Jim Elkins, who was paying for the options and, for that matter, this whole venture, wanted to be sure that before he paid for any further options on the extended area, he would receive some assurance that this area would be profitable in the exposition-recreation venture. It is my best recollection that the total gross options held by Elkins, McLaughlin, and Johnson was about a half million dollars.[45]

Later, according to Elkins, McLaughlin told him that Sweeney and Brewster were unhappy about Crosby’s scheme but that they would forego their hostility for one-third of the take. The commission chose the site, but Elkins failed to deliver the deeds. He had apparently purchased the options to the land, but hearing of Brewster’s disapproval and anxious over the deal struck with Crosby, McLaughlin, and Maloney, Elkins let the options run out. Crosby, fuming over the $340,000 loss, began to feel more pressure from Seattle, where he was being criticized both for his involvement in the sports arena scheme and for the failure of the vice rackets in Portland to produce the revenues that Sweeney and Brewster expected.[46]

Elkins admitted that things “got off to a slow start” and that city hall was hindering him from opening up new gambling dens and houses of prostitution. One of the problems was Police Chief James Purcell, who was fighting the group’s plan to capitalize on Portland’s vice industry. Elkins reportedly had paid Peterson $100,000 to appoint Purcell, who as a police officer had a reputation for being friendly to the city’s after-hours clubs and who had at one time been a co-owner of the Penguin Club off Sandy Boulevard.[47] When the Teamsters began to move into Portland’s vice rackets, however, Chief Purcell ceased to cooperate. Setting up the rackets would be easier for the Teamsters with Jim Purcell out of the way.[48]

In July 1955, Maloney reportedly approached J. Bardell Purcell, a former vice detective and inspector for the Portland Boxing Commission. Maloney, Purcell later claimed, “suggested I speak to my brother, Jim Purcell, Jr., the chief of police, about allowing some illegal activities to operate within the city.”[49] That same month, Maloney went to Mayor Peterson and asked him to allow two men to operate vice properties on Portland’s north side. Peterson later denied giving Maloney and his group authorization to operate, but he admitted to congressional investigators that he gave Maloney permission to take the request directly to Chief Purcell. Peterson acknowledged that Clyde Crosby visited him a few months later. According to Peterson, Crosby told him: “Brewster, Sweeney, and I talked this over and I have been instructed to tell you that if Purcell continues to be chief of police, we will have to find another candidate for mayor to support.”[50] In the end, Peterson did not replace Chief Purcell and the Teamsters withdrew their support of him in the upcoming election.

By late 1955, the Seattle group’s plan to take over Portland’s lucrative vice industry began to unravel. The business relationship among James Elkins, corrupt Teamsters officials, and the Seattle racketeers ended when, according to Elkins, Thomas Maloney suggested opening three or four houses of prostitution and establishing an abortion ring. Maloney arranged a meeting between Elkins and Ann Thompson, a successful Seattle madam, who later testified that Elkins had become uneasy about becoming involved in prostitution. Elkins said that he “drew the line” at operating brothels, having “never been involved” in prostitution (a claim that was contradicted later by the congressional investigation). “He just discouraged me and talked me out of it,” Thompson later testified about her meeting with Elkins at the Heathman Hotel, but “I was already talked out of it to start with.” Soon after, Maloney arranged for a meeting between Elkins and Seattle vice operator Frank Colacurcio, who “wanted me [Elkins] to arrange so that he could take over three or four houses.” Elkins remembered: “I told him if he wanted the houses to go buy them.” The two did not reach an agreement, and Colacurcio went back to Seattle.[51]

Earlier that year, Elkins had told Brewster that he wanted out of their partnership in Portland. He later explained that Maloney, McLaughlin, Brewster, and Crosby were putting too much pressure on him to open more vice properties. Crosby had complained that he was not receiving his cut of the profits from Maloney and McLaughlin, and Brewster was angry. “I am going to tell you something,” Elkins claimed Brewster had threatened. “I make mayors and I break mayors, and I make chiefs of police and I break chiefs of police. I have been in jail and I have been out of jail … nothing scares me…. If you bother my two boys, if you embarrass my two boys, you will find yourself wading across Lake Washington with a pair of concrete boots.”[52]

James Elkins claimed to have been a “reluctant partner” of the Teamsters Union officials, a pawn in their scheme to organize the vice rackets and to establish a hold in Portland and Oregon politics. He must have realized, however, that he would need help if he were to overthrow the Seattle gang. He was fully aware that Portland’s district attorney was cooperating with the Seattle group and that Mayor Peterson and Chief Purcell were apprehensive about their plans. Elkins also understood that the mayor and the police chief were unlikely to risk a scandal that could jeopardize their political careers and, ultimately, place someone in the mayor’s office who would be unfriendly to Elkins’s operations. To give himself a stronger position from which he could resist the Teamsters, Elkins found an influential ally that not only had a large voice that would reach the public but also had the ability to pressure city leaders to crack down on any union attempt to control Portland’s political machinery and take over the city’s vice industry.

In February 1956, Oregonian crime reporter Wallace Turner contacted Elkins to interview him about rumors that a mayoral candidate was connected to the vice industry. Elkins, who Turner later remembered as looking tired or ill, told the reporter that he had been “fighting with the Teamsters.” He explained that the Seattle mobsters had threatened to frame him on a felony charge or to kill him for failing to deliver the sports arena land and for backing out of their plans to link the Portland and Seattle crime syndicates. He also described the group’s relationship with District Attorney Langley. [53]

Months before going to the Oregonian, Elkins had persuaded Thomas Maloney to move into an apartment in Portland’s King Tower Apartments, which Elkins and his employee, Raymond Clark, had wired with recording bugs. Elkins took the recordings from the apartment to Turner and his partner at the newspaper, William Lambert. Sometime around the second week in April 1956, senior Oregonian editors got in touch with Governor Elmo Smith to give him a “heads up” on the story. According to Turner, the governor sent an assistant and two state police officials to meet with the Oregonian and to listen to the King Tower tapes.[54] The tapes provided evidence that Langley was accepting money to overlook gambling, bootlegging, and prostitution violations; and Langley, McLaughlin, and Maloney had discussed how they planned to sever their relationship with Elkins. The tapes also revealed that Langley had received information from a “spy” who had insisted that Chief Purcell and Mayor Peterson had protected city vice operations. “I can threaten Peterson,” Langley had said. “I won’t hesitate if that spy tells me one of ’em going, I’m going to call up Peterson and tell him: ‘What do you want? A grand jury investigation here over prostitution like [Attorney General Robert] Thornton had over the liquor commission?'”[55] The recorded conversations indicated that McLaughlin and Maloney relied on the cooperation and support of the Western Conference of Teamsters and further confirmed that key Teamsters officials were aware of their plans and were deeply involved in the rackets.[56]

Given the magnitude of the evidence implicating Portland’s public officials and top Teamsters Union officials, Governor Smith hesitated to take action because either he believed the evidence was insufficient, Attorney General Thornton later explained, or he was reluctant to hand over evidence to the Democratic attorney general. Thornton, who was running for re-election, later claimed that the Republican governor did not give him the evidence and because of the delay Turner and Lambert went ahead with their plan to publish the story. On April 19, 1956, the Oregonian launched the first article, headlined “City, County Control Sought by Gangsters,” which described the Seattle group’s attempt to take over law enforcement policies in Portland and to dominate the city’s vice industry. Langley denied the paper’s allegation that he had plotted with Teamsters officials but said he did not doubt that “thugs in the Teamster [sic] union might have tried to move in on Elkins.” Even though he had been endorsed by the union in 1954, he said, he had “never taken a cent from them and have not seen any of their officials in months.”[57]

After the article appeared, Governor Smith met with Langley, Assistant District Attorney Howard Lonergan, and state law enforcement officials to discuss the accusations. Langley then returned to Portland and immediately ordered a county grand jury hearing. He subpoenaed Elkins, Raymond Clark, Clyde Crosby, McLaughlin, and Maloney. City, county, and state officials customarily receive invitations to testify at such hearings, and Mayor Peterson, Police Chief Purcell, and Sheriff Terry Schrunk were all invited. Langley subpoenaed Turner and Lambert and Oregonian editor Herbert Lundy, all of whom refused to answer Langley’s subpoenas, claiming that they had been issued to stop any further publication of the exposé. For their part, the Teamsters threatened the newspaper with a strike if anything more was printed about Teamster corruption. “[A]ll [the Oregonian’s] got to do,” Thomas Maloney explained, “is [mess] around with the Teamsters and the first thing you know them guys will be up there wanting 10 or 15 cents an hour and The Oregonian can’t afford it…. So, when they can’t afford it, they’ll have the pickets around the ——ing joint and the ——ing paper’ll lay dead still….”[58]

In a dramatic series of legal maneuvers, Governor Smith shut down the grand jury investigation on April 22 and announced that the state would take over the inquiry. In response, Oregonian managing editor Robert C. Notson publicly announced that Attorney General Thornton would have the newspaper’s full cooperation and access to all of Turner’s and Lambert’s information.[59] The two reporters continued their series on Portland’s record of vice crime, municipal corruption, and corruption within the Teamsters Union for nearly a month.

After many delays, Judge Alfred P. Dobson ordered a new Multnomah County grand jury, directed by Attorney General Thornton, to begin hearing testimony in June 1956. In late June, delegates at the Twentieth Annual Session of the Western Conference of Teamsters passed a “resolution of confidence in International Representative Clyde Crosby,” who had been characterized as a “target of newspaper attacks.” Shortly after the Oregonian exposé hit newsstands, Crosby filed a slander suit against the newspaper.[60] In August, after nine weeks and two hundred witnesses, the grand jury handed down thirty-two indictments, including charges against District Attorney Langley, Chief Purcell, Clyde Crosby, and James Elkins. Langley was indicted for, among other things, hindering and obstructing public justice.[61] The jurors also found enough evidence to indict the Coin Machine Men of Oregon on extortion charges for threatening, among other competitors, Stanley and Gladys Terry and their pinball customers. Crosby was indicted for extortion and conspiracy to commit a felony in connection with the location of the exposition-recreation center site.[62]

Chief Purcell was indicted on August 3, 1956, for incompetence, delinquency, and malfeasance in office. The grand jury concluded that Purcell had failed to suppress illegal activities in gambling, bootlegging, and prostitution and had also failed to suppress graft in his department (the indictment was later quashed when a new administration replaced Purcell). The grand jury also listed more than a dozen local prostitutes, gamblers, bootleggers, and vice racketeers, including James Elkins, who had been allowed to operate during Chief Purcell’s tenure.[63]

Mayor Peterson was badly hurt by the grand jury indictments, the newspaper publicity, and the implication that his administration was soft on organized crime. One of the ways in which he and Purcell responded was to drop a bomb on Terry Schrunk’s mayoral campaign. Multnomah County commissioners had appointed Terry Schrunk as sheriff in 1948. At the time, he was a captain in the Portland Fire Bureau and had been the Northwest representative of the Fireman’s Union. Schrunk’s relationship with the Seattle group may have begun during the 1954 election, when he ordered the removal of a sound truck from the International Livestock Show in Multnomah County. Elkins later testified that he and the Teamsters had paid for the truck, which was used to promote Langley’s campaign for district attorney. Elkins later testified that Thomas Maloney had called Teamster Jim Sweeney in Seattle and that Sweeney had then contacted Schrunk in Portland. The next day, the truck returned to the show, along with campaign material to re-elect Schrunk. [64]

The King Towers tapes offer some insight into Schrunk’s relationship with local vice operators. While there is no indication that the sheriff was paid for turning a blind eye to the vice operations in Multnomah County, it appears that he was not opposed to some of them. In one conversation among Langley, Maloney, and McLaughlin, they considered what would happen if they opened vice operations in the county:

Langley: The only thing that’d happen there is that [Stanley] Terry’d scream like hell.
McLaughlin: Oh, I don’t think he’d care.
Maloney: He’s the only one that can go into Schrunk?
Langley: Well, you guys got — gotta change your tactics. You either get rid of the mayor and that finishes the Character [Elkins] or you go into the County …
McLaughlin: You say Terry’s the only one who can talk to Schrunk?
Maloney: That’s right. He’s the only one that can go direct into him and hand him some money.
That I know for a positive fact…. Now, I went into Schrunk cold turkey about that thing — about that out in the county thing. Like places Al Winters and them guys has. And … here’s the answer he give me, he says, “Tom, the reason why I don’t want to give you an okeh on it, I just want to help a friend of mine.” He says, “Tom, I closed it, because Mr. Al Winters and Sonny Heath thought they were too big for me….” … that Schrunk is the one that went out there and raised hell and closed (indistinct) because they didn’t tell him — they didn’t tell him to see ’em …
Langley: … it looks to me like either you knock … Purcell out of the box or else you try to go into the county and use your connections with Schrunk … [65]

Schrunk announced his candidacy for Portland mayor in February 1956, promising to create an environment for employment opportunity and a “good, clean, decent police department.”[66] His decision to run for mayor, according to Joseph Uris, may have motivated Elkins to go to the Oregonian with his recordings and may have encouraged the newspaper to print the exposé implicating Teamsters officials and Schrunk. The sheriff was a pro-labor Democrat, and there is evidence that the Democratic Party was gaining in Oregon, especially in Portland. The Oregonian, a Republican newspaper, had an interest in curbing Democratic success, and arrangements between racketeers and the city’s law enforcement officials, Uris asserts, “may have depended upon the maintenance of the predominantly Republican city administration led … by Fred Peterson….” Uris maintains that there is n.,o evidence that Peterson gained financially from a relationship with the vice industry, and Peterson himself denied that there was a policy of tolerance in his administration. Uris also concludes that Schrunk “did not share the attitudes of the Portland police toward vice and its operations.”[67] There is some evidence, however, that Sheriff Schrunk cooperated with certain vice operators.

In the early morning hours of September 11, 1955, two Multnomah County deputies entered the 8212 Club on Denver and Kilpatrick avenues in North Portland searching for evidence of illegal gambling and alcohol service. The 8212 Club was operated by Clifford Bennett and owned by James Elkins. Elkins later testified that he had been paying McLaughlin and Maloney a percentage of the club’s profits; and when the Seattle racketeers became unhappy with the size of their payout, they contacted Ray Kell, a Portland lawyer and Schrunk’s campaign manager. According to Elkins, McLaughlin and Maloney told Kell that Schrunk should raid and close the club, sending Elkins a message that the Seattle group was not happy. Elkins charged that Schrunk then warned Bennett that he would arrest everyone leaving the club unless he was paid a bribe. Elkins’s account was corroborated by the congressional testimony of club employees and Portland police officers.[68]

Virginia Jenkins, a hatcheck girl at the 8212 Club, later testified that two deputies came in at 3:30 am while drinks were being served and gambling “was in full swing.” She told the McClellan Committee that Bennett went outside with one of the deputies. When he returned, she overheard him explaining that Schrunk was unhappy because Bennett “had taken care of everybody else, but … he had forgotten to take care of him [Schrunk].” According to John Vance, an Elkins employee responsible for making spot checks on the racketeer’s various clubs, Bennett then “tried to make a phone call to Mr. Elkins, and he was unable to reach him. So, he asked me if I didn’t think it was better to pay out $500 tonight rather than $1,500 the next day, and I told him that I thought it was a pretty smart thing to do.” Bennett then asked Jenkins for a manila envelope and counted out what Vance believed was $500.[69]

Elkins told the Senate committee that Bennett was given a $1,500 bankroll to operate. Laura Stone, one of Elkins’s accountants, later testified that Bennett was supposed to return a $1,500 bankroll to her the day after the raid but that he only turned in $1,000. “I asked him where the other $500 was, and he said he used it to take care of someone. So I had never heard that expression before, and I asked him what he meant. He said, ‘Well, I gave it to Terry Schrunk.’ So I said, ‘Well, you will have to take that up with my employer. I don’t know anything about that.'” When confronted, Elkins later testified, Bennett told him, “It was better to give him that than to pay $1,500 or $2,000 for having the place pinched.”[70]

Portland Police Officer Merlin Tiedeman told the McClellan Committee that he was called to the 8212 Club and saw Bennett talking to Schrunk. Bennett returned to the club, Tiedeman testified, and a few minutes later the club operator emerged from the building, walked across the street, and dropped an envelope behind a telephone pole. Tiedeman told the committee that he then witnessed Sheriff Schrunk walk over and pick up the envelope. Tiedeman’s partner, Officer Lowell Amundson, and Portland Police Officer Richard Sutter told the Senate panel the same story. Officer Kenneth Lindhom testified in an affidavit that he had seen Sheriff Schrunk pick up a package near the utility pole on the northwest corner of Kilpatrick and Denver avenues.[71]

The allegation that Schrunk had participated in the payoff system originally came during the June 1956 grand jury investigation of Portland’s vice scandal. Attorney General Robert Thornton’s assistant, Bob David, had been preparing a former Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office employee for his testimony before the grand jury when the witness told the story to investigators. David later presented the evidence to the grand jury, but the jurors concluded that it was not sufficient to warrant an indictment. In the fall of 1956, Attorney General Thornton presented more evidence of the Schrunk payoff to the grand jury. Schrunk was called to testify, and he agreed to take a lie-detector test, which was executed by the Oregon State Police. The test, Thornton recalled, showed that Sheriff Schrunk lied about the 8212 Club incident, particularly about whether or not he had received a package that night from Clifford Bennett. The grand jury nonetheless determined that the evidence was insufficient for an indictment.[72]

At a press conference held on November 1, three days before the election, Police Chief James Purcell read a twelve-page indictment against Sheriff Schrunk that accused him of laxity in law enforcement and of staging “token and phony” vice raids in the city to embarrass the mayor and the Portland Police Bureau. Schrunk, according to Peterson and Purcell, had selectively released information to the press, deliberately putting the city in a bad light and protecting the sheriff’s department. The mayor and police chief also said they had evidence connecting Schrunk to James Elkins and corrupt Teamsters officials and claimed that Portland police officers had witnessed the sheriff receiving a bribe outside a North Portland club. At a news conference on November 3, 1956, Schrunk condemned the “kamikaze” actions of the two city officials and stated that he hoped the public saw it as a political maneuver. A week later, Schrunk was elected mayor by a margin of more than thirty-eight thousand votes.[73]

The local inquiry into Portland’s vice scandal was postponed when Robert F. Kennedy, chief counsel for the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Investigations, issued subpoenas. By the end of 1956, Kennedy, on behalf of the Senate subcommittee, had been in touch with the Oregonian to obtain Turner’s and Lambert’s information. In December, Robert Kennedy and Chief Assistant Counsel Jerome Alderman flew to Portland to collect data on allegations that certain Teamsters Union officials, especially Frank Brewster and Clyde Crosby, were associated with local vice racketeers. It was during this visit that Kennedy met James Elkins, whom Kennedy described as “a slim, rugged-looking man with a rather kindly face and a very attractive and devoted wife.” At their first meeting, Elkins was “reluctant to talk,” but after he made up his mind to cooperate he spoke freely with the chief counsel. “Because his background was so unsavory,” Kennedy later reported, “we checked his story up and down, backward and forward, inside and out. We found he didn’t lie, and that he didn’t exaggerate.” Turner later explained that “Kennedy knew how to deal with nefarious sources.” Elkins was one of the McClellan Committee’s star witnesses, and Kennedy and Elkins ultimately became very cordial. After the McClellan Committee hearings, Kennedy reportedly attempted to protect Elkins from the FBI and prosecution and reportedly ordered U.S. Attorney Sidney Lezak to fire a deputy U.S. attorney for his enthusiastic prosecution of the Portland racketeer. [74]

At the Heathman Hotel in Portland, Kennedy and his investigators examined Clyde Crosby’s personal and professional background and his extra-union activities as a Teamster official, and they investigated his connection to Elkins, Thomas Maloney, and Joseph McLaughlin. Subcommittee investigators looked into the union’s participation in Portland’s vice rackets and the Seattle group’s plan to take over the city’s criminal enterprises. Kennedy also investigated the Teamsters’ role in William Langley’s 1954 election campaign.[75]

On January 30, 1957, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously to create and empower a special select committee to conduct hearings on labor racketeering. Historian Nelson Lichtenstein asserts that the 1957-1958 hearings “had a devastating impact on the moral standing of the entire trade-union world, belying labor’s claim that it constituted the most important and efficacious movement for democracy and social progress.” The much-publicized spectacle, Lichtenstein continued, “marked a true shift in the public perception of American trade unionism….” The AFL-CIO accepted all unfavorable congressional findings and expelled the Teamsters from the federation in December 1957.[76]

The Teamsters, including many local Portland members, believed that they were being used as scapegoats and that Teamsters officials had been “railroaded.”[77] “No organization in history has been called upon to withstand the kind of attack the Teamsters Union has experienced,” Jimmy Hoffa explained in The International Teamster. “The McClellan Committee, big business and its political stooges in the Federal government have gone all out to destroy us.”[78] Nevertheless, the public now associated the Teamsters Union with corruption and organized crime. Dave Beck was convicted in 1957 of grand larceny for taking union funds and in 1959 for tax evasion.[79] The FBI arrested Jimmy Hoffa in 1957 for attempting to bribe a McClellan Committee investigator, and he was convicted in March 1964 for jury tampering. In July, he was convicted for conspiracy and mail and wire fraud.[80] The Teamsters Union expelled Frank Brewster in May 1960.

From August 1956 to September 1957, 115 indictments were handed down by three different grand juries in Portland. Of those, 59 — including 4 additional counts against Mayor Schrunk — were ultimately dismissed. Only William Langley, James Elkins, and Elkins’s employee, Raymond Clark, were convicted. Langley was convicted of refusing to prosecute gamblers and ultimately was fined $428. Elkins and Clark were convicted under federal wiretapping laws. After two appeals, however, the convictions were overturned.[81]

From the 1930s, reflecting the FBI’s new mission of monitoring “subversive” activities, federal investigators began to intensively keep track of organized labor and, specifically the Teamsters in Portland and Seattle. The records of those investigations provide insights into the Teamsters’ organizational tactics and political activities and, as a byproduct, into the role that Portland businessmen, politicians, and law enforcement officials had played in vice operations in the city. Reports of Teamster-inspired corruption from Portland, Detroit, New York, Seattle, and other cities led powerful leaders in Washington, D.C., to investigate union racketeering and to expose those labor leaders who, for their personal benefit, had exploited honest, dues-paying, union members.

The investigation and subsequent indictments in Portland were portrayed in the local newspapers as attacks on vice crime and a call for municipal reform. Even though no reform movement emerged from Mayor Schrunk’s office, the national publicity that characterized Portland as a seedy, vice-ridden, and corrupt town seemingly brought an end to municipal corruption. Public activism closed many brothels and pushed gambling dens and bootlegging operations underground or completely out of the city. Negative publicity, moreover, threatened the legitimacy of the Teamsters Union, and union officials spent the next three decades trying to clean up its image.[82]

For at least thirty years, city and state law enforcement officials tolerated and cooperated with organized crime figures and union racketeers. The connection between government and organized crime in Portland was not unusual; similar activities took place in many cities in the nation in the middle years of the twentieth century. Still, the multitude and variety of sources available on municipal, criminal, and labor activities in post–World War II Portland — from the transcripts of the McClelland Committee hearings and FBI documents to newspaper articles and personal interviews — give a reliable account of how labor, business, and government operated in the “open city” of the 1950s.


1.� U.S. Congress, Senate, U.S. Senate, Interim Report of the Select Committee on Improper Activities in the Labor or Management Field, 85th Cong., 2d sess., March 24, 1958, 39 [hereafter Interim Report].
2.� Donald Garnel, The Rise of Teamster Power in the West (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972), 40.
3.� Nelson Lichtenstein, State of the Union: A Century of American Labor (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2002), 163.
4.� Thaddeus Russell, Out of the Jungle: Jimmy Hoffa and the Remaking of the American Working Class (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2001), 33, 43.
5.� Lichtenstein, State of the Union, 142.
6.� Garnel, Rise of Teamster Power, 86.
7.� Thomas Malloy, oral history interview, transcript, MSS 1605, Research Library, Oregon Historical Society, Portland [hereafter OHS Research Library].
8.� Report, Portland SAC (unidentified) to Director, October 17, 1937, FBI 69-516-17. FBI materials obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.
9.� Report, Portland SAC (unidentified) to Director, October 19, 1937, FBI 62-516-8.
10.� Memo, Seattle SAC (unidentified) to Nichols, January 28, 1954, FBI 62-100749-1.
11.� Ibid.
12.� Telegram, Hood to Rosen, May 20, 1949, FBI 6-128-3.
13.� Telegram, Hood to Rosen, June 2, 1949, FBI 6-128-7; Telegram, Hood to Director, September 21, 1949, FBI 6-128-18.
14.� Telegram, Hood to Rosen, June 2, 1949, FBI 6-128-7, 86-7.
15.� Correlation Summary, March 26, 1964, FBI 122-1812-18; memo, Director to SAC Seattle, June 6, 1960, FBI 159-206-4.
16.� Ibid.
17.� Letter, SAC Seattle R. D. Auerbach to Asst. Dir Lou Nichols, October 16, 1956, FBI 122-1812-17; Robert F. Kennedy, The Enemy Within (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1960), 258.
18.�Interim Report, 35. See also U.S. Congress, Senate, Select Committee on Investigations, Investigation of Improper Activities in the Labor or Management Field: Hearings, 85th Cong., 1st sess., February 26, 1957, 17, 57–8, 67, 81, 372 [hereafter Investigation]. These are the final transcripts of the McClellan Committee hearings.
19.�Investigation, 150–6, 426.
20.� Letter, Auerbach to Nichols, October 16, 1956, FBI 122-1812-17; Letter, Robert Kennedy to Bernard Nossiter (Washington Post), April 16, 1957, Robert F. Kennedy Pre-Administration Papers, John F. Kennedy Library, Boston, Mass [hereafter Kennedy Papers].
21.�Interim Report, 9. According to former Oregonian reporter Wallace Turner, James Elkins was nicknamed “Big Jim” by Oregon Journal reporter Brad Williams. In criminal circles, Turner explained, Elkins was referred to as “JB” or “The Man.” Letter, Wallace Turner to author, August 21, 2003.
22.� See Oregonian, December 25, 1950; Scott Lee, untitled biography of Dorothy McCullough Lee, MSS 2772, OHS Research Library; Fred Leeson, Rose City Justice: A Legal History of Portland, Oregon (Portland: Oregon Historical Society Press, 1998), 145.
23.� Joseph Uris, “Trouble in River City: An Analysis of an Urban Vice Probe” (Ph.D. diss., Portland State University, 1981), 221. Pinball was sometimes unfairly associated with gambling machines because it was coin operated and was legally defined as a game of “chance,” although by the 1930s some pinball manufacturers were building machines that paid out in cash.
24.�Investigation, 161; The McClellan Committee Hearings, 1957 (Washington, D.C.: Bureau of National Affairs, 1958), 13, 163, 326 [hereafter Hearings]. This is a day-by-day report of the Senate Select Committee’s investigation of labor racketeering and other abuses by union leaders, fully indexed and keyed to the official record of the hearings. The Teamsters supported Jack O’Donnell in 1956.
25.�Interim Report, 14; Investigation, 139, 141; Kennedy, Enemy Within, 259.
26.� Stanley Terry, interview by Linda Brody, 1982, SC 9511, Stanley Terry Oral History Collection, tape 92T3295 B1982, nos. 1-2, transcript, pp. 14-17, OHS Research Library; Investigation, 246-7.
27.�Investigation, 184.
28.� Ibid., 185. In his testimony before the McClellan Committee, Lloyd Hildreth, secretary of Portland Teamster Local 223, claimed that Clyde Crosby, an organizer for the International, had taken the unusual step of ordering the pickets at the Mount Hood Café. See ibid., 198.
29.�Interim Report, 38.
30.�Oregonian, April 25, 1956.
31.�Interim Report, 9.
32.�Interim Report, 11.
33.�Investigation, 91, 104–7; Letter, Kennedy to Nossiter, April 16, 1957.
34.�Investigation, 86, 109–12.
35.� Ibid., 315–16.
36.� Ibid., 320.
37.� Ibid.
38.� Ibid., 333.
39.� Ibid., 320.
40.� Ibid., 320, 26, 25-6; Interim Report, 25, 26.
41.�Hearings, 16–19; Investigation, 320, 324.
42.�Investigation, 15; “E-R Commission Report on Activities during the year 1956,” Fred Peterson Papers, City of Portland Stanley Parr Archives and Records Center, Portland, Oregon [hereafter Peterson Papers].
43.�Investigation, 441.
44.� “Report to the Mayor of the Exposition–Recreation Commission,” 1955, Peterson Papers; Investigation, 453, 454.
45.� Ibid., 454.
46.�Hearings, 21; Investigation, 444.
47.�Portland Tribune, August 23, 2002; Portland Tribune, June 22, 2001, available online at (August 26, 2003).
48.�Oregonian, April 23, 1956.
49.�State of Oregon v. William Langley, Thomas Maloney, Joseph McLaughlin, February 14, 1957 Circuit Court of the State of Oregon for Multnomah County, Multnomah County Courthouse, Records, Case 34909, 34910, 34911; Investigation, 543.
50.�Hearings, 21; Investigation, 553; Oregonian, April 23 1956.
51.�Investigation, 113-14, 117.
52.� Ibid., 134, 100.
53.� Wallace Turner, interview with author, August 5, 2003; Oregonian, April 19, 1956.
54.� Turner interview.
55.� King Tower Tapes, transcripts, Department of Justice/Attorney General Records, 61A-007, Oregon State Archives, Salem [hereafter DOJ/AG Records]; Investigation, 535.
56.�Interim Report, 8–9; Raymond Clark affidavit, November 19, 1956, in State of Oregon v. William Langley, Thomas Maloney, Joseph McLaughlin, July 31, 1956, case 34316; Oregonian, April 30, 1956.
57.� “History of the Portland Vice Investigation, 1953-1959,” unpublished, dictated by Attorney General Robert Y. Thornton, June 1959, DOJ/AG Records.
58.�Oregonian, April 20, May 3, 1956.
59.�Oregonian, May 5, 1956.
60.�The Teamster 53:8 (August 1956): 14.
61.�Oregon v. Langley.
62.�State of Oregon v. Clyde Crosby, April 19, 1956, Case 35168, 35169, 35170; Oregonian, August 5, 1956. Shortly after the Oregonian exposé hit the newsstands, Crosby filed a slander suit against the newspaper. See The Teamster 53:8 (August 1956): 14.
63.�State of Oregon v. James Purcell, August 3, 1956, Case 34334; Oregonian, August 4, 1956.
64.�Oregonian, November 2, 1956; Investigation, 90; Turner interview. The sheriff’s position had opened up after Wallace Turner had reported that Sheriff Mike Elliot had been vacationing with prostitutes in Nevada.
65.� King Tower Tapes.
66.� Mary V. Tobkin, Oral History Collection, SC 9661, tape 979.111T6298 B1981, recording, February 6, 1981, OHS Research Library.
67.� Uris, “Trouble in River City,” 210–11.
68.�Interim Report, 30; Oregonian, March 8, 1957; Oregonian, March 29, 1957.
69.�Investigation, 573, 577; Oregonian, March 8, 1957.
70.�Investigation, 564, 579; Oregonian, March 8, 1957.
71.�Investigation, 585, 781; Oregonian, March 8, 1957.
72.�Oregonian, November 3, 1956; “History of the Portland Vice Investigation.”
73.�Oregonian, November 2, November 8, 1956.
74.� Kennedy, Enemy Within, 256; Robert Kennedy to Wallace Turner, December 27, 1956, Kennedy Papers; Turner interview; Sidney Lezak, interview by author, November 19, 2002.
75.�Oregonian, December 6, 1956; Oregonian, December 19, 1956.
76.� Lichtenstein, State of the Union, 162–3; Ralph C. James and Estelle Dinerstein James, Hoffa and the Teamsters: A Study of Union Power (Princeton, N.J.: D. Van Nostrand, 1965), 22.
77.� Amil Spada, interview by author, October 8, 2002.
78.�International Teamster 55:10 (October 1958).
79.� James and James, Hoffa and the Teamsters, 19.
80.� Russell, Out of the Jungle, 222–3.
81.�Oregonian, September 25, 1957.
82.� Steven Brill, The Teamsters (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978), 14–30; Anthony Baltakis, “Agendas of Investigation: The McClellan Committee, 1957–1958,” Ph.D. diss., University of Akron, 1997, 414–18.

By Robert C. Donnelly