Widespread Corruption (Current Issue)
The whole of the history of Gotham City is one of rich men buying control of the politicians and civil institutions that run the city. Politicians legislated favourable tax arrangements, police turned a blind eye to the gambling and prostitutes serving the sailors and teamsters of the wealthy transport and shipping companies. Over the years, as often happens, gangs arose and tried to take control of the criminal enterprises.
In Gotham, though, it didn’t result in a bloody turf war. The people running things were businessmen, and they treated the whole thing as a business. Instead of fighting over the various rackets, they co-opted the gangs to run them as sub-contractors, and retired to management positions.
Now, the Council, as they call themselves, runs all the crime in the city, owns all the politicians, manipulates the press, and uses the police force to run their errands.
Distinction: The Council Runs Things in This Town