Far too many political and history writers wrongly conclude Jack Kennedy. his brother Bobby and their father Joe Kennedy Sr. bribed people in West Virginia to vote for JFK. They spent a lot on money during the campaign but it was not to bribe people for their vote. It was for campaign expenses.

What kind of campaign expenses are illegal? Paying someone to vote for a candidate is illegal. Paying someone to work at a polling place all day asking voters to vote for Kennedy is legal.

How much is needed to pay someone to work all day giving out a card that had JFK on it? Some people will do it for nothing. Others are happy to get $100.

How much is needed to pay someone to put JFK’s name on such a card? Regardless of the amount it’s not a bribe.

How much is needed to pay someone to work inside the polling place on election day? Zero. The government pays them.

How much should be paid for a local leader to talk favorably about a candidate and is that a bribe for votes? Probably $500 per committee person and no, that’s not a vote. A committee person only has one such vote but unless some money was offered to get a local committeeperson to actually vote for JFK it’s still not a bribe for a vote. Talking to people is not voting.

Still, the idea persists that JFK bribed people in West Virginia to vote for JFK. Unfortunately for them there’s no evidence JFK did that.

There are many ways to spend money in a political campaign. The little campaign signs cost about $5 each. People are paid to go around and set up the signs and to take them down after the election About 2,000 signs are needed to run a county race. If workers are paid $2 per sign to put them up and take them sown that’s $14,000 and it’s not a bribe to get people to cast their vote.

None of the many allegations that JFK and/or his father actually bribed anyone in West Virginia have proven to be true.

They spend a lot of money to get JFK elected. None of it was to bribe people for their vote.

 

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