A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Nothing makes a fish bigger than almost being caught” (8/31)
“I eat cake because it’s somebody’s birthday somewhere” (8/31)
Corporate News Network (CNN nickname) (8/31)
“Hard work is equal to prayer” (8/30)
“If you’ve seen one chamber of commerce, you’ve seen one chamber of commerce” (8/30)
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Entry from November 18, 2011
“A fool and his money are soon elected”

"A fool and his money are soon parted” is a popular English proverb that dates to the 1500s. An American version is “a fool and his money are soon elected,” meaning that money and foolishness are what win elections.

“A fool and his money are soon elected” has been cited in print since at least 1967. The line is often credited to humorist Will Rogers (1879-1935), but there’s no evidence that he ever said it.

Another saying from the same proverb is “A fool and his money are soon partying.”


Wikipedia: Thomas Tusser
Thomas Tusser (1524–1580) was an English poet and farmer, best known for his instructional poem Five Hundred Points of Good Husbandry, published in 1557. It contains the lines

A foole and his monie be soone at debate,
which after with sorrow repents him too late.


That is an early version of the proverb “A fool and his money are soon parted.”

The Phrase Finder
A fool and his money are soon parted
(...)
The precise wording of the expression comes just a little later, in Dr. John Bridges’ Defence of the Government of the Church of England, 1587:

If they pay a penie or two pence more for the reddinesse of them..let them looke to that, a foole and his money is soone parted.

8 August 1967, Seattle (WA) Daily Times, “Hits, Misses,” pg. 12, col. 4:
In the United States, a fool and his money are soon elected.

18 December 1975, Atchison (KS) Daily Globe, pg. 5, col. 2:
A fool and his money are soon elected.

Google Books
Wise Crackers for Smart Cookies: Better Mottoes for Our Time
John Yeck
Random House, Jul 20, 1992 - 124 pages
A collection of wise cracks for the nineties features “A fool and his money are soon elected,” “A friend in need is a friend to avoid,” “Crime wouldn’t pay if the government ran it,” and others.

Google Books
Murphy’s Law (26th anniversary edition)
By Arthur Bloch
New York, NY: Perigee
2003
Pg. 106:
Walton’s Law of Politics
A fool and his money are soon elected.

New York (NY) Times
Singer-Humorist Wants to Add Texas Governor to List of Titles
By RALPH BLUMENTHAL
Published: February 4, 2005
As threatened, Kinky Friedman, the gadfly country singer and humorist, declared for governor Thursday as an independent candidate in the 2006 race, saying, ‘’The choice should be something besides paper or plastic.’’

Appearing live from the Alamo in San Antonio on the Don Imus television and radio show broadcast nationally on MSNBC, Mr. Friedman, 60, said that although ‘’a fool and his money are soon elected,’’ he had high hopes of beating the Republican incumbent, Rick Perry, who ‘’appears to be more interested in ironing his shirts than ironing out the problems of Texas.’’

Screen Junkies
American Cowboy and Oklahoma’s Favorite Son, Will Rogers Quotes
Monday, October 24, 2011 by Irving Oala
(...)
“A fool and his money are soon elected.” This Will Rogers quote is an excellent piece of satire about how foolish people with a lot of money are often made our leaders. What’s slightly disturbing and true about this quote is that money can often help people get their way.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Friday, November 18, 2011 • Permalink