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There is a lot of talk now about Jack Murtha's Corrupt practices as he goes for Majority leader position. However, Its interesting to note ABSCAM was 26 years ago. And if apprpropiations scheming is the only other ammo his enemies have, then that would disqualify quite a few people in Government leadership.
Everyone does it. Just not in the form of Bribery like the ignoble Duke Cunningham.

So is there a certain baseline corruption builti n to this system. At this point it sure seems there is. At least a baseline that any puirst would not tolerate.

Yet, as far as corrpution practices go, our government seems to be less corrupt than many others.
If we stop thinking of America is "above the world" but rather, as part of the world, than we realize that our corruption levels are present but dont compare to those in countries like Nigeria, and pakistan.
Further, once we start thinking that we are part of the world, we rezlize our health care system is not amongst the the best in the world in terms of providing health care to all, and our schools have much worse off than countries like japan and china.

So its all a mindset.
Its all about leaving the purist position, and living in the real world.

ELect Jack murtha.
SO be it.

Originally posted to Taz Man on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 04:04 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I watch the ABSCAM video (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    empathy

    It is hard to watch but I thought Murtha came off very well, as a Congressman who is happy to try to help bring investment into his district along with new jobs, but not by doing anything unethical. He doesn't want to offend the men making the offer, but he is very clear that it has to be done his way, "the legitimate" way. When he talks about "doing business" he means that the interest they represent needs to do some business in his district, and only then would there be a legitimate reason for Murtha to help out. Then he goes further and says that in his judgment, there actually shouldn't be any reason for him to be involved because he just doesn't see that there should be any problems.

    Basically, Murtha is saying that there is no reason for them to come to him to get this guy into the country because there should be no problems getting him into the country on the up and up. He keeps pressing them for details and talks about investing in the district. He wants to do business to make sure these guys are legitimate. If there is a legitimate reason, i.e., guy is tied to the district, then he can legitimately do something to help him as a constituent. Of course he wants to help his constituents and his district but he is very clear that he doesn't want to do anything illegal. And he goes on to give examples and say that you probably don't need me. He refuses to be a middleman. He's trying figure out how to help local businesses, but he's clear that he wants to be in Congress for a long time and doesn't want to screw it up by doing something illegal or unethical. He's trying to find some ground to help these guys and help his district, but is very clear that he's not willing to do anything illegal. When he says "let's do business for a while," it's after going around and around with these guys explaining what he can and cannot do. He goes on to say, "I wouldn't do it any other way." All he's interested in helping his constituents. There's small bank that's he's always wanted to a favor for and mines that are going bankrupt, but he's not willing to break the law, he's only willing to do try to help legally.

    They have to know "what a guy can do and what a guy can't do." They have "to do it properly."  He wants the jobs and investments but the only way he can do that is to be completely independent. In other words for 54 minutes Murtha said no, while trying not to offend potential investors in his district. He said that "in politics it's too easy...as long as you have nothing to worry about you can go forward, make speeches..."

    By the end of the tape Murtha is clearly getting impatient to being browbeaten by these guys. He's said no thanks nicely dozens of times. After he leaves, the FBI guy chews out his informant for saying that Murtha would take the $50,000, when in fact all Murtha was interested in was bringing investments and jobs to his district. And I know Johnstown. Times haven't been good there for a long, long time.

    If anything I am very impressed with his commitment to his the best interests of his district but what's clearly most important to him is staying clean.

    Outlaw ALL robocalling. I want my phone back.

    by Grassroots Mom on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 04:12:40 PM PST

  •  The Relevant Standard (0+ / 0-)

    The question is not whether Murtha lives up to some abstract standard of purity, still less whether the United States is more or less corrupt than other questions. Corruption  was number 2 and in some places number 1 in the exit polls in the reasons Dems were elected. We have a specific mandate not to do this, and sacrifice our credibility out of the gate if we do not hold ourselves to the highest standards here. I'm all for ethical realism, but I'm speaking here as a political realist.

    •  But as a political realist (0+ / 0-)

      you have to recognize that the voters don't seem to care much about this brand of corruption.  After all, they reelected Denny Hastert, right?

      Which is not to say we give the rubber stamp, but we should let bygones be bygones and enact some rules, so that no one can engage in corruption.

      Never give up! Never surrender!

      by oscarsmom on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 04:15:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What the Voters Care About (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        oscarsmom

        is dictated largely by the media, and they will trumpet this for all it is worth.  The public is not going to take the time to look into gradations of corruption; if the media screams corruption, they will react. Of course, whoever wins, we should up the ante by looking at major corruption (Iraq, NOLA rebuilding) that makes Abramoff etc al look like kids stealing candy. But we still have to realize that the media is hostile, so we will not be judged fairly. And that is also realistic.

  •  I am not a big fan of the "but they are all (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lunacat

    corrupt" theory.  Corruption in government is wrong, period, but the fact is that it is up to us to stop it.  We need to demand reform and we need public financing of elections.  We can't expect politicians to clean up the system until we make them do it.

    I support Murtha for Majority Leader.  I don't like his past actions, but his stand on Iraq has earned him this position at this time.

    We also need to pressure Pelosi to stick to her word about lobbying reform and we need to look to other ideas to clean up government.

    Any party that would lie to start a war would also steal an election.

    by landrew on Tue Nov 14, 2006 at 04:18:51 PM PST

  •  He was investagated (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChiGirl88

    and no charges were brought.  To me that was all I needed to hear.  Go Murtha.

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