The Commission and the Mafia families

It was Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano, who in 1931 had established The Commission in New Jersey’s Atlantic City. However, its formation did not help prevent the gang wars which ensued. But the frequency and scale of gang wars that did take place got reduced to a considerable extent. Once a Mafia family had declared war on the other group, then the aggressor family automatically found itself at war not only with the other family, but also with that of the Commission and remaining Mafia members. The Families, in this manner were provided with a powerful incentive for having their disputes negotiated without actually indulging in wars or bloodshed of any sort.

Importance of the Commission

The Commission at times appointed a new Don of a Family for settling wars as well as internal conflicts. However, the previous Don or the usurper was assassinated. The Bonanno War fought by the Bonanno Family is a classic example of this type of case.

History of The Commission

Originally, it comprised of Dons from 7 Mafia families, Five Family leaders of New York (Tommy Gagliano, Vincent Mangano, Joe Profaci, Joseph Bonanno and Lucky Luciano), Buffalo (Stefano Magddino) and Al Capone from the Chicago’s Outfit, representing everything present in Western U.S. But after the Apalachin Convention held in 1957, The Commission allowed the entrance of two more family leaders.,  who were Joseph Zerilli ‘Joe Z’ of Detroit Partnership and Angelo Bruno ‘Gentle Don’ of Philadelphia Crime Family. But over 1960’s and 70’s, these positions declined.

Current affairs of the Commission

Currently, the membership of The Commission is said to comprise of bosses from the Five Families, Philadelphia Crime Family and The Chicago Outfit. Due to the recent FBI crackdowns on the Mafia families, its activities were being kept a guard secret from public view.

Enrolling members

Joining the syndicate was also allowed to the non-Italian mobsters. However, voting power was considered to be limited strictly to that of the Italian members. The Commission’s Financial Advisor and Luciano’s chief advisor was Lansky. The Commission had no ‘Boss’, but there was the post of a Chairman, who was nominated.

The aims and beliefs of The Commission were enforced via Murder, Inc. operation, which was notorious and ran from Brooklyn. It was by voting that The Commission approved and authorized the service. With the target numbers limited generally to a few or single individuals, The Commission, in this manner prevented confusion circumstance, which otherwise may have resulted in gang wars, while minimizing exposure to the press.