Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, Democrat, is learning a huge lesson and is probably going to learn a great deal more as time goes forward. The first lesson is that if you are in politics somebody is probably taping everything you say and do. There are no unopened mikes. There are no secrets. Lest you think I am going to pick on the democrats, no way. The ink is not even dry on the conviction papers of Ted Stevens, Republican, Alaska. Corruption is not exclusive to any particular political party. Corruption pervades the entire political system.
A few years back when legislation was proposed to “get the money out of politics”, I wondered then, who is kidding whom? We were told that good people are corrupted by all the money that is floating around. Nonsense. You cannot corrupt good people with money or anything else. Corrupt people are just looking for ways to steal more money. It is a question of which came first. Will Rogers said back in the 30s that we have the best congress money can buy. Apparently nothing has changed.
We have learned over the past few days that the seat of Senator Obama was for sale to the highest bidder. We were further told that one young congressman had offered $500,000.00 for that job. What? Why would anyone pay that kind of money for a job that pays $165,200.00 a year and it is only a temporary appointment at that. What do you suppose the young congressman was intending to do in that job? Protect the Constitution, promote the general welfare, protect the people of America, any of the above? Call me crazy but I think he might just have had a different thought in mind. Something like stealing millions for himself personally and insuring his seat for many years to come. Well he got caught and also is in trouble with the prosecutors.
William Jefferson, Democrat, Louisiana, was caught by a hurricane with some $90,000.00 in his freezer that was allegedly a bribe from an outfit trying to put up a TV station. He will go to trial next year. He was defeated for re-election, but just barely.
I am sure that with proper investigation I could come up with many more examples, but I think you get my point. The question is can we do anything about this mess? Can we change the system that seems so totally bankrupt?
I have a few thoughts that would appear on the surface to be revolutionary but may deserve closer examination.
I think the money comes from the act of re-election. People buy influence in order to promote their causes, personal or otherwise, by contributing to campaigns. Some would call it freedom of speech. I call it bribery.
You want to get the money out of politics? It really is simple. Make a new rule. No one can be re-elected for any office, period. That would end seniority in the Congress. Our Legislators would then be citizen law makers for a term and then go back to their normal lives. Secondly, anyone caught taking any money or gifts for any reason while running for office or while serving would be sent to prison for life. To whom much is given, much is expected. Next I would disband the Senate. We need this group of millionaires like we need a hole in the head. Let them get a real job. That exclusive club has long since outlived its usefulness.
Those who feel the need to contribute to campaigns could continue to do so. The money would be put in a pot and equally divided among individuals of any party that could prove their viability for the office they were seeking. Probably by petition or something like that. How much money do you suppose would flow if there was no way of determining who would receive it at the time it was contributed?
I can hear you now. Ron you’ve gone over the edge. You’re crazy. Okay, you are probably right. But, we don’t have to take this from our so-called leaders. This country and its government belongs to us the people.
So, short of the revolutionary changes that were proposed earlier, maybe a more workable solution might be this. I propose a chain scream. A loud, long scream that can be heard from coast to coast. Let these clowns hear from you and all your friends. Don’t let them think for a moment that it is business as usual. As Bill Cosby used to say to his kids, I brought you into this world and I can take you out. Our legislators need to know they work for us. We are the only special interest they need to concern themselves with. I understand that this is just a small act but the longest journey begins with one small step.
I know this will not solve the problem, but it might just be a good beginning.
Ron Scarbro December 12, 2008
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