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Monday, May 22, 2006

Sounds like corruption is a bi-partisan thing

--posted by Tony Garcia on 5/22/2006

Remember how the media portrayed the Abramoff scandal as a Republican problem? Remember how the Democrats portrayed the "corruption" as a Republican problem?

It seems that BOTH parties have issues with corruption.
A congressman under investigation for bribery was caught on videotape accepting $100,000 in $100 bills from an FBI informant whose conversations with the lawmaker also were recorded, according to a court document released Sunday. Agents later found the cash hidden in his freezer.

At one audiotaped meeting, Rep. William Jefferson, D-La., chuckles about writing in code to keep secret what the government contends was his corrupt role in getting his children a cut of a communications company's deal for work in Africa.

As Jefferson and the informant passed notes about what percentage the lawmaker's family might receive, the congressman "began laughing and said, 'All these damn notes we're writing to each other as if we're talking, as if the FBI is watching,'" according to the affidavit.

Jefferson, who represents New Orleans, has not been charged and denies any wrongdoing.

As for the $100,000, the government says Jefferson got the money in a leather briefcase last July 30 at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Arlington. The plan was for the lawmaker to use the cash to bribe a high-ranking Nigerian official _ the name is blacked out in the court document _ to ensure the success of a business deal in that country, the affidavit said.
Some things I am going to predict...the Democrats will circle the wagons around Jefferson and use some of the same language or themes the Republicans used while circling their wagons in recent scandals. Both sides will engage in relative morality...there are a number of reasons why it is OK to brand the other party as deep in corruption while their own party is just a victim of isolated incidents.

Neither of those are going out on a limb, I admit. But the partisans on both sides will be busy doing everything they can to make certain the rest of the world forgets those two realities (which I am calling predictions).

The truth is corruption in politics is a bi-partisan issue. More correctly it is a non-term limits issue. But since neither party can see beyond their own party for the good of the nation this will not be solved without a complete overhaul in membership of the Senate and Congress.

Oh, one final reality/prediction: the media will not run with this story for weeks like they do with the Republican scandals of recent months.


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