Monday, April 12, 2010


The “culture of corruption” recently lost one of its adherents with the passing of Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), the self-styled “King of Pork”. His passing doesn’t alleviate the endemic problem in Wash. D.C., but it points up how pervasive the problem really is. It is one of the reasons why the public, according to recent polls, have Congressional approval poll numbers in the low teens. Besides the health care debacle, the honesty and integrity of the members of Congress will be one of the reasons why it looks like a major overhaul will occur in the elections of 2010. We must CLEAN the HOUSE!

Remember in 2006, right after the Democrats took control of Congress, Nancy Pelosi said that she was “going to drain the swamp of corruption” that the Republicans left for the Democrats. Well, how did those words turn out? It looks like dike has cracked again and the polluted water is again poring back into the swamp.

The erstwhile Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), has had his “wrist slapped” because he didn’t report that some corporations paid his way (and other Congressmen) to a conference in the Caribbean. Out of all the charges that have been leveled against him, that was probably the least damning, as the other charges of submitting false income reports to Congress, using Congressional stationery to solicit funds to erect a college wing bearing his name, his abuse of the rent-control laws of the City of New York by taking 4 apartments for his own personal use, etc., etc. Shouldn’t Nancy Pelosi have been shocked at these revelations? Of course not, she only gets shocked when a Republican is accused of malfeasance (real or imagined), like in the case of former Rep. Tom DeLay. In fact, she has come to Rangel’s defense by saying that the ethics committee said that he didn’t “violate” House rules. What does ole Charlie have to do, hold up a bank to get condemned by the Speaker? But, being the good “party soldier” that he is, he requested a leave of absence of the Chairmanship of Ways and Means until the OCE has completed its investigation. He really thinks he has done no wrong, but what the hell, neither does Nancy Pelosi. What a country?

Last spring, the House agreed to investigate 7 members of the House subcommittee on defense spending, including the now deceased Rep. John Murtha, for soliciting clients of the PMA Group (a lobbyist organization - Paul Magliocchetti Associates) for campaign contributions. According to the Seattle Times, in the 2008 defense bill alone, lawmakers gave PMA clients 172 earmarks. Everything about this arrangement smacks of the “one hand washes the other” theory of taking care of friends who take care of friends. Only it happens to be our tax money they are divvying up to buy up campaign contributions from selected clients.

By putting fellow Congressmen in charge of investigating their fellow Congressmen is like putting the fox in charge of the hen house. Nothing worthwhile will come of it and, so far, it hasn’t.

Congressional earmarks, as any rational person can figure out, is used as a fund raising tool by the Congressmen to fill their campaign coffers by directing federal funds to “worthy” constituents. They hope that in return, their largesse will be rewarded by the “worthy” constituents in the form of hefty campaign contributions which all Congressmen need to help them get re-elected. The culture of earmarks, of which there were 10,000 in the FY 2010 spending bills, will not be cancelled by the Congress because they have nothing to fear from the OCE (Office of Congressional Ethics) or from Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker.

The “Culture of Corruption” lives on, and on, and on.

Written by Chuck Lehmann

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Grover Jones said...

From the most "honest" Administration (according to Pelosi and Obama), how come bribes, payoffs and special favors and exemptions were given out to pass that monstrosity of a health care bill? Has the definition of the word "corruption" changed since the election of 2008 or am I missing something?

Triple Net Leased said...

If this REGIME is not corrupt then why did Darrell Issa query White House on use of Gmail Account as Back Channel to Communicate with Lobbyists?