I am the same Jim Curley today that I have been for forty years. . . . Where I found a muddy lane, I left a broad highway; where I found a vacant lot, I left a magnificent temple of learning; where I found a weed-grown field, I left a playground: throughout life, wherever I have found a thistle, I endeavored to replace it with a rose. No, this leopard has no desire to change his spots. If to keep faith with the people and lead the fight for liberal legislation, to give jobs to the jobless, food to the hungry, and to rescue children and mothers from malnutrition and exploitation and bring comfort and security to the aged constitutes leopard spots, then I submit that I am covered with them.
Quoted in The Rascal King: The Life and Times of James Michael Curley, 1874-1958, by Jack Beatty (Addison-Wesley, 1992).