10.01.2008 0

Contempt of Congress

  • On: 10/20/2008 12:35:09
  • In: Term Limits
  • ALG Editor’s Note: The following featured editorial from the Augusta Chronicle articulates once again that Washington has become out-of-touch and too big for its own good, corrupting good people on account of simply staying there too long:

    Contempt of Congress

    Sen. Ted Stevens’ indictment won’t help the institution’s dismal image
    Friday, August 01, 2008

    There are a lot of good people in Washington, D.C.

    Some of them are even in Congress.

    But where big money goes, corruption follows. And there is big money in Washington.

    There is big money there because federal officials make laws and carry out laws and fashion regulations and foist regulations that affect every one of us in some way. And so we form groups, join associations and send people called lobbyists to Washington to try to get the chips to fall our particular way.

    One of the main reasons Washington sees so much money, and sows so many seeds of corruption, is that lawmakers have found over the decades that they can take money from us, put it all in a big pile — and even go out and borrow more money from banks and such — and give that money out as favors.

    It’s called pork, it’s called largesse, it’s called constituent services. To make it sound constitutional, it’s called the “general welfare.”

    Whatever you call it, it’s our money they’re playing with. And it’s wrong and it’s corruptive.

    The latest incident to draw attention to that fact is the indictment of legendary Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens — Santa Claus shaved and svelte and in a suit.

    Stevens, a former Appropriations Committee chairman who has siphoned tens of billions of our money to Alaska, was indicted this week on seven federal criminal counts accusing him of “failing to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of home renovations and other gifts from VECO Corp., an Alaskan oil company that in turn asked for favors in the Senate,” according to one report.

    “The indictment,” says Politico.com, “charges Stevens, 84, with engaging in a nearly eight-year scheme to conceal his receipt of more than $250,000 in ‘things of value’ from VECO. The stunning indictment, laid out at a Department of Justice press conference Tuesday afternoon, accuses Stevens of failing to report ‘gifts’ ranging from a Land Rover car deal to a Viking stove to plumbing and electrical work.”

    Politico adds, “Stevens, who was already facing a tough re-election campaign this fall, now finds his five-decade political career in serious jeopardy.”

    You think?

    Well, guess what: It’s not automatic that he’ll be thrown out of office by the voters. This day and age, Americans tend to reward congressmen and senators who bring home the bacon, even if they get fat doing it. In Stevens’ case, authorities allege his son got a $44,000 Land Rover in exchange for Stevens’ 1964 Mustang and $5,000.

    Stevens, remember, is the architect of the famed “bridge to nowhere,” a pork-barrel waste of money he pushed for an unnecessary project in his home state. It became the very symbol of Washington waste.

    How do you suppose his indictment will affect public opinion of a Congress that 91 percent already have contempt for?

    Make it unanimous?


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