Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bribery 101

Today’s local Broward section of the Sun Sentinel had some interestingly juxtaposed articles. In BIG LETTERS on the front page we have an article “CONSULTANT TELLS OF BRIBE CLAIMS” where Beverly Stracher rats out a bunch of elected officials to the Feds, who she said were bribed by the Chait developers to get the golf course land conversion in Tamarac.

She said the Chait boys bragged about how easy it was to bribe elected officials in Broward County. Reminds me of giant developer Terry Stiles who bragged about how easy it was to pave over Broward County and was looking forward to doing the same in Palm Beach County.

Then, on the second page the paper has “BILL SEEKS TO RELAX RULES ON GIFTS FROM LOBBYISTS”; an article about our state legislators who are upset because they aren't allowed to accept gifts from lobbyists and want to change the law so they may.

I am sure I was not the only one who saw the irony in this. Was it deliberate on the part of the paper staff? Naw, that would be too much to hope for.

Elected officials want to legalize their bribes. Imagine how much you could rack up if you were allowed to take $100 at a time from each lobbyist. Never mind how much under the table money you could tack on to that. No wonder the legislators are upset.

 Lobbyists, are very well educated in how to influence people. They take courses such as

  •  Corruption Made Easy 101
  •  Make the Schnook Your Friend 201
  •  Cash in Lunch Bags/Golf bags/Folded newspapers 301
 and also advanced seminars in

  •  Rationalization for Elected Officials,
  •  How to Make Campaign Contributions From Everyone Including the Dog,
 and the most popular one of all,

  •  How to Talk to an Elected Official with a Straight Face (this one is taught by professional poker players to prevent the lobbyist from laughing out loud when the official eagerly agrees to vote in favor of whatever.)
 No official should take anything from someone trying to influence their vote. NOTHING. If the reason they are getting the cup of coffee, the buffet lunch, the ride on the jet is because they are an elected official they should not be allowed to partake. Period.
 
Corruption is subtle, like drug addiction. The eroding of morals and the love of the power of the office go hand in hand. Soon the official, subjected to flattery, kow-towing, and favors from sycophants gets used to being above the common masses and thinks these things are their due. The step from a cup of coffee to $35,000 in a golf bag is not uncommon.

1 comment:

  1. The system is set up for the citizens to lose and the business interest to win.

    Candidates need big money to campaign and get their word out. So they solicit funds from who, big business, and then big business in turn now has someone in power who owes them a favor. Which they have no problem calling those favors in when they need zoning problems ironed out, a little legislation to help increase their profits. This cycle goes on and on. Thank God for Sunshine Laws that allow some of this corruptness to be brought to light by individuals who take the time and keep a watchful eye on those playing the political game.

    We must not fool ourselves into thinking that any politician is beyond reproach, as politics is driven by power. Power derived from money and we all know the want for money and power (avarice) is the root of all evil.

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