November 1, 2006

Corruption is Wrong

Let me repeat this simple statement again. Corruption is wrong. I will take a stand, I'm against political corruption. The use of a position of trust for dishonest gain is improper, unacceptable and it's contrary to liberal principles. Bribery, extortion, robbery, patronage, nepotism, cronyism, embezzlement and kickbacks all forms of corruption. It cripples democracies. It undermines the common good.

In Mexico there is an old saying about politicians, Show me a politician who is poor and I will show you a poor politician. A political position in Mexico is seen as way to get yourself and your people rich. The wealth of oil, natural gas, gold, beaches, fish, water, historic treasures, museums, industrial centers is not used for the common good of the people rather it is used to line the pockets of the well connected. An example, a small school needs new books. The teacher asks the school principal for 15 books. The school principal ask school board for money for 30 books. The School board asks the state for money for 60 books. The state gives the school board the money for 60 books. The school board then gives the principal money for 30 books and keeps the rest. The principal gives the teacher money to buy 15 books and keeps the rest. The teacher then goes to buy 8 old school books and keep the rest. Everyone get a share of the pie but at the end of the day money for 60 new school books was only use to buy 8 old school books. Inefficiency at it's best. Exchange the principal, teacher, school board for corrupt Mexican politicians and the well connected and you get failed government at all levels. Political corruption is allowed to strive in government that lacks accountability, transparency, freedom of speech and a freedom of the press.

One more example, a politician uses his/her position of trust to only hire city workers who support his/her political machine. City officials fixed the results of job tests, manipulated the interview and selection process for certain city jobs by conducting bogus interviews, falsely increase interview scores, and otherwise guaranteeing that certain pre-selected candidates who were favored by the politician gets to work for the city. The city tax payers spend over 40 million for inefficient city works program.

Final example, a politician daughter receives a gift of check worth $1,500 from a long life friend of the politician. Then soon after, long life friend gets a job working in the government. Or, staff members working under the politician demands consulting fees from investment firms wanting to do business with a government pension fund. Or, the politician wife earning more than $113,000 in real estate commissions thru a family friend with no-bid government contracts.

The examples I state above are all wrong, it is pure political corruption. What if I say the politicians might be Democrats and that I’m a loyal Democrat. I will be willing to give the Democratic politicians the benefits of the doubt and I will be the first one to support them if corruption charges are proven to be untrue. But, what happens if the charges are true? Are you willing to give corruption a free pass if it has a ‘D’ in front of there name? I’m not, I will vote against them in Democratic primaries and if they win I might not vote in that race at all.

Yesterday I posted a diary on Daily Kos. I committed a Meta sin, I wrote that I might vote for a Green candidate. I never advocated for anyone else to vote for a Green candidate. I clearly state, I have no alternatives in the race for governor and I understand why some people do not vote.

I was attacked. A few diarists called me a troll, that I put my own principles and purity above Democratic Party, that I’m self-centered, and that I should not consider myself a liberal, progressive or sane anymore. Worst of it all, that I should help to get out for vote for Lyndon LaRouche.

It was an over-reaction by my fellow diarist. It should not be a Meta sin to be still undecided on voting for deeply flawed Democratic politicians. I will not make up my mind in till I enter the voting booth on who I’m voting for Illinois Governor. But, I will not rail against Republicans deep-seated corruption without booting out our politicians and I won’t apologized for taking a liberal position.

Corruption is wrong.


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