Illinois Governor A National Disgrace
The latest example of horrendous corruption in government was the arrest of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Among the many charges brought against him by Federal prosecutors was that the Governor was attempting to sell a senate vacancy to the highest bidder. Given the level of corruption we have witnessed in this country lately, I think it would be more appropriate for a vacant seat to be filled by an election rather than appointment. The temptation by politicians to profit from their positions of power is obviously too great a temptation for many of them.
This latest brazen example of an elected public official betraying the power of his office and the trust of his employers (the voters) is all too common. Even when captured with indisputable video and audio proof of their crimes, these criminal politicians have the audacity to deny their guilt and then attempt to continue in office as if nothing had happened. The Illinois Governor is symptomatic of a society that has lost its moral compass. Respect for the law is what makes a society civil. When our highest elected officials commit criminal acts as a matter of routine it sets an example too easily followed by others.
Not Just An Isolated Example – Connecticut Governor Rowland Sent To Jail
Former Gov. John G. Rowland was sentenced to a year in prison and four months of house arrest Friday for selling his office in a corruption scandal.
Rowland, 47, pleaded guilty in December to a corruption charge, admitting that he sold his office for more than $100,000 in chartered trips to Las Vegas, vacations in Vermont and Florida, and improvements at his lakeside cottage. He resigned last summer amid a gathering drive to impeach him.
Through it all, Rowland maintained that he never did anything wrong and predicted the corruption investigation would never touch him.Rowland will become one of more than a dozen former governors to serve prison time and only the second in New England. The first was former Rhode Island Gov. Edward D. DiPrete, who was sentenced to a year in prison in 1998 for bribery, extortion and racketeering.
Rowland will become one of more than a dozen former governors to serve prison time and only the second in New England. The first was former Rhode Island Gov. Edward D. DiPrete, who was sentenced to a year in prison in 1998 for bribery, extortion and racketeering.
The real injustice here is that the Governor was subsequently let out of jail after serving only 10 months and then proceeded to get a high paying job with no difficulty. Those without political connections have served far more time for far less crimes. Obtaining a high paying job straight out of prison would seem to indicate that the Governor can still command a high price for his connections and past favors to various interest groups.
New York Governor Elliot Spitzer Resigns After Prostitution Charges
The former crime fighting district attorney, ex Governor later had the charges dropped. Apparently the Governor still has friends in the law enforcement community.
Alaska Senator Ted Stevens Guilty On 7 Felony Counts- Senator Maintains His Innocence
Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, one of Congress’s most powerful Republicans, was convicted yesterday of lying on financial disclosure forms to conceal his receipt of gifts and expensive renovations to his house, just eight days before he faces voters in a tight reelection contest.
The 84-year-old lawmaker, the first sitting U.S. senator to go on trial in more than two decades, sat quietly as a jury foreman in federal court read the verdict after less than a day of deliberations: guilty on seven felony counts, each with a maximum penalty of five years in prison. The senator, who probably will face a less severe penalty under federal sentencing guidelines, left the courtroom without answering reporters’ questions.
In a statement issued by his office, Stevens maintained his innocence, accused Justice Department lawyers of “repeated instances of prosecutorial misconduct” and vowed to fight for reelection to a seventh full term.
This country’s pattern of civil and fiscal decline echoes the warnings issued by David Walker, of the Peterson Foundation, an organization that has been trying to educate America about the fiscal emergency we face due to reckless borrowing.
Walker compares our nation’s fiscal morass to the one that helped topple the Roman Empire. In one speech he argued, “Rome fell for at least four reasons, and please listen carefully: A decline in moral values and political civility at home, an overconfident and overextended military, fiscal irresponsibility by the central government and inability to control one’s borders. Does that sound familiar?”
Is this democracy at its worst with a betrayal by our elected leaders, or is it a failure equally shared by both the voters and its elected leaders?