View Full Version : The "Culture of Corruption"

01-18-2006, 06:55 AM
Even Fox News and MSNBC are stating to talk about it as if it were a fact of life. Just imagine what term limits would do, if you think there's corruption now.

01-18-2006, 07:06 AM
OK..Victor...I'll bite...relatively quiet around here anyway..

How would term limits increase the amount of corruption?

cedar savage
01-18-2006, 07:21 AM
Yeah. Explain that.

01-18-2006, 07:54 AM
How do you vote someone out of office if he can't run again anyway?

[ 01-19-2006, 08:28 AM: Message edited by: Victor ]

01-18-2006, 07:57 AM
Victor...you're orignal post suggests that corruption would be worse....with term limits.
That's why I was questioning it...

Ian McColgin
01-18-2006, 10:32 AM
Victor is right. Legislative term limits weaken the legislative side and strengthen the corruption of wealth.

I support executive term limits in general but I oppose legislative term limits.

It often takes years of partial measures and compromises and mistakes to get any good legislative measures along. If elected reps can't be around for that long process, they then have only two guides - stupid flashy legislation for ego gratification or legislation crafted by the folk who are around for a long time - the lobbyists.

I am not knee jerk anti-lobbyist. I was a registered lobbyist out in Oregon several lifetimes ago and lobbyists for both the public and the vested interests serve an important role. But if the lobbyists and perhaps some legislative staff are the only ones with any institutional memories, it will be like the last days of the Chinese Empire with the eunuchs running the palace and the warlords (modern day corporate execs) running everything else. Sorta like Italy.

In that atmosphere, short-term legislators are motivated by what they can get for themselves by voting however the wealthier lobbies tell them. Short-termers are not motivated by starting a process for which some later legislator will take credit.

Without term limits, there is room for a person to craft a real legislative career. This is easier for people independently wealthy or (like Barney Frank) unencumbered by families to support, but there are public service types (my Rep Delahunt springs to mind) who manage on the salary.

Long term incumbents can get fat, lazy and corrupt but citizens, especially at the representative level but even with senators, can throw the rascal out.

If there's only a revolving door for temporary idiots vacationing from their high money jobs, there's no nobility or honor in the legislature.

Alan D. Hyde
01-18-2006, 11:14 AM
Ironically, a careful study that could offer a revealing insight into the culture of corruption--- the independent counsel's report on Henry Cisneros, due out tomorrow--- will come out only with 120 pages of its most telling criticism of the Clinton Administration redacted (expurgated) at the insistence of Congressional Democrats.


Garrett Lowell
01-18-2006, 11:22 AM
Better than term limitations might be limiting the amount a campaign can spend. Instead of spending 50 million dollars, say that's limited to 2.5 million, total, for the entire campaign. Maybe even less than that. This would allow more candidates while simultaneously ending campaigns that literally last for years and allow these folks to do their jobs. When you spend that much money to catch a job that pays substantially less than that, well that's a problem.

Alan D. Hyde
01-18-2006, 11:35 AM
Norman, they're covering for each other now.

Too many of the current Republicans are now simply discount Democrats.

Washington, on both sides of the aisle, has long valued money above honor, and it's not getting any better...


[ 01-18-2006, 11:35 AM: Message edited by: Alan D. Hyde ]

Alan D. Hyde
01-18-2006, 11:41 AM
Oliver Cromwell puts an end to the Long Parliament---

20 April 1653

It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue, and defiled by your practice of every vice; ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government; ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage, and like Judas betray your God for a few pieces of money.

Is there a single virtue now remaining amongst you? Is there one vice you do not possess? Ye have no more religion than my horse; gold is your God; which of you have not barter'd your conscience for bribes? Is there a man amongst you that has the least care for the good of the Commonwealth?

Ye sordid prostitutes have you not defil'd this sacred place, and turn'd the Lord's temple into a den of thieves, by your immoral principles and wicked practices? Ye are grown intolerably odious to the whole nation; you who were deputed here by the people to get grievances redress'd, are yourselves become the greatest grievance.

Your country therefore calls upon me to cleanse this Augean stable, by putting a final period to your iniquitous proceedings in this House; and which by God's help, and the strength he has given me, I am now come to do; I command ye therefore, upon the peril of your lives, to depart immediately out of this place; go, get you out!

Make haste! Ye venal slaves be gone! So! Take away that shining bauble there,* and lock up the doors. In the name of God, go!



* Picking up the weighty mace with great disgust, and throwing it...

[ 01-18-2006, 11:43 AM: Message edited by: Alan D. Hyde ]

Keith Wilson
01-18-2006, 11:55 AM
Yes, we should all aspire to be like Oliver Cromwell as much as ever we can. The rule of the Lord Protector is no doubt preferable to corrupt democracy.


Perhaps what Alan meant by "current Republicans are discount Democrats" was that the real Democrats had a higher price? Nah.

[ 01-18-2006, 12:02 PM: Message edited by: Keith Wilson ]

01-18-2006, 12:02 PM
Gosh, Hyde is actually in paroxisms, trying to distract and spin away what the republicans have deliberately created with their "K Street Project."

Henry Cisneros, that was lame, bringing up the old "Clinton Clinton Clinton" bugaboo.

But the Long Parliament? Thats desperation.

Ian McColgin
01-18-2006, 12:19 PM
The Republicans have always had a prurient interest in petty corruption, as the Cisneros investigation and the Republican accusations of cover-up in its release show. What whiners.

Similarly, after Whitewater was bumped up past many far more outrageous S&L scandals, like Broward Federal Savings and Silverado Savings and Loan, but then petered out as far as crime went, Special Persecutor Starr moved on to his huge interest in oral sex.

Yes, corporate power has coalesced around DC in a most obscene manner, has for years, which is why such huge talents as Jerry Brown are laboring in the paradoxically more cleansable vineyards of municipal politics.

George Clooney was right to thank Abramoff for making his Golden Globe possible.

Corruption is like sin - we all sin to some extent. But just now big crimes are being committed by one organized gang.

Republicans started a war of aggression.

Republicans ordered war crimes, torture and rendition.

Republicans reep the huge corporate profits of every misery from wars to hurricanes.

Republican lobbyists, in the true monopoly spirit, buy only Republican politicians.

Republican soft money liars attack every Vietnam War vetern who dares oppose any little aspect of the Republican Imperium.

Republican politicians stand alone in today's dock precisely because they got rid of most of their criminal competition. They are the victims of their criminal success.

And now Republicans whine that it's all Clinton's fault and Republicans whine that Clinton made them do it and Republicans whine that Clinton was worse because his anatomical feature bent to the left.

And maybe later I'll let everyone know how I really feel. . .

01-18-2006, 12:48 PM
I can see what and where you guys are coming from...and what you say makes sense...
So instead of term limits...an invitation to a firing squad...at 5am. say after serving a max of three terms
Seriously, there has to be an answer to the corruption problem....one that makes sense...
But...bottom line...the legislature makes up the rules...passes the laws and it ain't gonna cut its own throat.
Hence the only alternative is to boot them outta office but again, I'm realistic enough to know that this would not likely happen...just going by the percentages of incumbents losing...their re-elections.

[ 01-18-2006, 12:53 PM: Message edited by: uncas ]

01-18-2006, 01:16 PM
I thought that one leaving gov. could not become a lobbyist for at least three years...
Let us extend that 3 yrs to 20....
Since we don't seem to be able to get rid of them in congress or the senate until they are ready...

01-18-2006, 02:51 PM
Uncas, thats a fantastic idea, and I mean it. IN certain heavily regulated industries, it is like that, people leaving government are not allowed to go work for the regulated industry, and vice versa, usually for 3 years. I would make it, "for as long as the administration you worked for is in power." Make them wait until they have no influence left to sell.

01-18-2006, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by Norman Bernstein:
He's now dead (from a plane crash).Henry Cisneros is dead?

Someone should notify his current employer. (http://www.americancityvista.com/management_team.html)

01-18-2006, 05:31 PM
Legislators don't write laws anyway. They're all written by staffers and paid (by lobbiests and/or PACs) consultants.

Legislators themselves are too busy making their daily quota of campaign contributions so they can buy the next election.

Keith Wilson
01-18-2006, 05:39 PM
Henry Cisneros is dead?
Someone should notify his current employer. Still getting paid after he's dead? By God, those democrats will stop at nothing!


01-18-2006, 05:50 PM
Well...time for dinner...
Some congressman sent me some pork..
Wonder what I will have to do in return...

01-18-2006, 05:56 PM
I have to admit this pains me, but ...

National Review is a conservative publication, founded by William Buckley. Here is a NR column by Rich Lowry, The Abramoff Scandal (R., Beltway) (http://www.nationalreview.com/lowry/lowry200601100816.asp) subtitled Itís the Republicans, stupid. The significant quotes:
But this is, in its essence, a Republican scandal, and any attempt to portray it otherwise is a misdirection.

The GOP members can make a case that the scandal reflects more the way Washington works than the unique perfidy of their party, but even this is self-defeating, since Republicans run Washington.

Republicans must take the scandal seriously and work to clean up in its wake.
- Kevin

High C
01-18-2006, 06:36 PM
Originally posted by Keith Wilson:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Henry Cisneros is dead?
Someone should notify his current employer. Still getting paid after he's dead? By God, those democrats will stop at nothing!

;) </font>[/QUOTE]First voting, and now staying on the clock. What next? tongue.gif :D

01-18-2006, 09:18 PM
Meer, when legislators are writing laws, say some specific provisions dealing with particular practices in a specific industry, it is not improper for that industry to have input, the industry representatives have much more knowledge of the facts onthe ground in those areas.

It will probably shock the conservative members of the forum to know that I am a legislative affairs lawyer for an industry association, and 90% of my time is spent trying to prevent and change laws that unreasonably and intrusively impose excessive burdens on that industry. Proposals I have drafted have been enacted, so in that sense I have drafted laws (parts of them). There is nothing necessarily corrupt about it, I am a liberal, but my goal is ensuring that the laws as encacted are fair and efficient. There are plenty of interest groups on the other side pressing their agenda as well, and hopefully, when all sides are heard, the result is a fair compromise.