Other Voices: It doesn’t take much to buy a politician these days
It’s not surprising that politicians take bribes ” but it’s shocking to find out how cheaply they are bought.
A nice dinner at a fancy restaurant, the use of a corporate jet, a golf outing overseas, the use of a skybox, a few thousand dollars to read the contents of a Justice Department investigation into the malfeasance of a multi-millionaire into congressional records thus making the Justice Department’s case clear to the lawyers of the millionaire.
The last was done by the man who’s supposedly representing us ” John Doolittle. And Doolittle did this service for a Texas millionaire who stood to lose a trunk full of money. But because Doolittle made Justice’s case public, the Justice Department dropped the case. Sneaky isn’t it. But, as I said, that’s not surprising. What’s really shocking is how little he got paid for this big of skullduggery. Just a few thousand.
But perhaps Doolittle thought he (and his wife) were collecting enough money from Abramoff to justify this little deed. Since 1999 Doolittle and his PAC’s have been given $50,000 by Abramoff and his Indian clients. Plus Abramoff hired Doolittle’s wife to assist in a single PR promotion for a reputed $153,000. Is there anyone foolish enough to think Mrs. Doolittle would have gotten this plum if her husband weren’t a senior Republican representative?
Those gifts plus Doolittle’s salary and expenses may justify in his mind doing a “favor” for a wealthy man (who could be a big campaign donor someday).
In any case, I think our politicians should raise their prices for their (illicit) services to corporations and millionaires.
Get with it guys. Stop giving it away.
Now, what we really need is a new political party such as the “Kadima” party that Sharon formed recently in Israel. And the perfect man to do this is John McCain.
The American people need McCain to lead us out of the wilderness of corruption and bribery that now exists in our congress.
We need him to create and lead an American “Kadima” party beholden neither to the extremist of the Right or Left but in step with the “middle of the road” mindset of the vast majority of the American people.
Some basic planks of this party would be:
1. Establish Term Limits for Senators and Representatives. Lets’ get back to our Founders’ concept of private citizens serving briefly as a duty to their country.
2. Establish a national tax to pay for electioneering and prohibit the use of corporate or private money for this. And make the user of the latter subject to substantial jail terms and the donors too.
3. Outlaw lobbying and lobbyists. (Turn K street into condos or a nice park.)
4. Pass a law that prohibits Gerrymandering and make it applicable immediately. Appoint a committee of retired non-politicians to redraw the boundaries of every Representative’s district.
5. Make “Earmarking” illegal. No longer will Congressmen be able to slip, after midnight, a few lines into a big budget bill allocating a few hundred million dollars to their favorite Pork Project. No more bridges to nowhere.
6. Before a budget bill is passed, make it mandatory that there be a one week “Read every word” period. And then require every congressperson who votes on that bill to publicly sign a statement that they have read every word in said Bill and understands it.
That’s just for openers, Senator. But know that we the people of America are sorely troubled by the dishonesty and greed of our representatives in Congress. And the itty-bitty changes being proposed by both Democrat and Republican congresspeople in lobbying laws are boy laughable and unacceptable. We want and demand real change. Let’s get those congresspeople and lobbyist out of Washington DC. Let them go earn an honest living.
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