There was corruption associated with political machines and with political bosses. The political bosses found ways to justify this graft or corruption.
The political machine formed because the local government wasn’t able to meet the needs of the people living in the cities. People, especially immigrants, were having a difficult time finding jobs, paying bills, getting medical care, and making ends meet. The local government wasn’t able to meet the needs of the people, so the political machines stepped in to do this.
The bosses justified their corruption because they believed they were helping the people in the cities meet their needs. There was a cost associated with providing medical care, providing jobs, and helping people pay their bills. The bosses believed that some of the money they received through corrupt actions was going to help those people in need. They also felt there was nothing wrong in asking for votes from the people whom they helped. They believed this was the way the people who received assistance could repay the bosses and the political machine for the help they received.
The political machines and the bosses were corrupt. However, they were able to justify their corruption by helping people who needed various forms of assistance.