Carlton "Spuds" Dietrich served two terms as mayor of the city of Zenith during the 1930s. He was every bit as corrupt as he was inept, making him the preferred candidate among the movers and shakers in the city's criminal underworld. Dietrich was first elected in 1931, shortly after his release from Winnemac State Prison, where he had served a three-year term for fraud and price fixing while he was a member of the city council.
Most observers attributed Dietrich's victory to the unique touch of his campaign manager, Frenchy Donovan. One of Zenith's most prominent racketeers, Donovan took time off from his duties in order to work full-time for the candidate. During a press conference held to kick off Dietrich's campaign, Donovan announced that he had "found the Lord," and was "turning over a new leaf."
Interestingly, Dietrich received 104 percent of the popular vote. When confronted by the press after it was learned that many of the voters listed in the rolls had in fact passed away weeks or months prior to the election, Donovan made reference to the Biblical miracle of Lazarus and thanked the Lord for His good work.
Dietrich's opponent, Morton Beltrane, demanded a recount and vowed to take his case all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary. He was on his way to the federal courthouse to file the paperwork when he was accidentally run over by an unidentified man driving a car with no license plates. Four times.
One of Dietrich's first acts upon taking office was to officially designate February 9 - 15, 1931, as "Beltrane Memorial Automobile Safety Awareness Week."