Johnny Lazia (born Lazzio) gained prominence in Kansas City’s politics during the 1920s and ‘30s due to his leadership of the North Side Democratic Club, engagement in local organized crime, and involvement with Tom Pendergast’s political machine. Pendergast dominated Kansas City politics not by holding elected offices, but through his machine of alliances and affiliates.
Letter from Jimmy Hurst to Lloyd C. Stark, advising Stark on strengthening certain political relationships for the upcoming campaign, including his connection with Jim Aylward. He also writes that Judge Ross "is one of the very last men T.J. consults with when making an important political move," and that he spoke with the judge about Stark.
A longhand note written by Harry S. Truman while he was a judge for Jackson County, Missouri. In this note, Truman exposes many of the names and relations of those involved with the Pendergast machine in Kansas City. Although supported by Pendergast, Truman comments on the machine thusly: "What chance is there for a clean honest administration of the city and county when a bunch vultures sit on the side lines and puke on the field[?]."
Clipping from the Kansas City Star on March 18, 1932 showing James P. Aylward, Casimir J. Welch, James M. Pendergast, William E. Sullivan (left to right, top) as well as Michael Ross (bottom). They are shown attending the Jackson County Convention at the Jackson County Courthouse once located between 5th Street and Missouri Avenue and Oak and Locust streets.