Wednesday, January 07, 2009
And they want to impeach Blagojevich?
by Larry Geller
Small stuff, asking for money in exchange for a political favor.. Read this:
An upstate New York developer donated $100,000 to former President Bill Clinton’s foundation in November 2004, around the same time that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton helped secure millions of dollars in federal assistance for the businessman’s mall project.
Mrs. Clinton helped enact legislation allowing the developer, Robert J. Congel, to use tax-exempt bonds to help finance the construction of the Destiny USA entertainment and shopping complex, an expansion of the Carousel Center in Syracuse.
Mrs. Clinton also helped secure a provision in a highway bill that set aside $5 million for Destiny USA roadway construction.
The bill with the tax-free bonds provision became law in October 2004, weeks before the donation, and the highway bill with the set-aside became law in August 2005, about nine months after the donation. [New York Times, 1/3/2009]
Let’s face it, our government runs on corruption. As long as companies can pay for favors (and why else is the money given?), and as long as these arrangements can be kept secret, the public is cheated of its representation in our “democracy.”
The contributions, and the relationship they created, would have remained hidden from the public except that:
Mr. Clinton’s foundation last month revealed the identity of its donors as part of an agreement with President-elect Barack Obama, who selected Mrs. Clinton as his nominee for secretary of state.
Of course, this is but a single example. Money greases the skids in Washington.
Oh, the Senate has decided to seat Burris as senator from Illinois. In the end, it may turn out that Blagojevich has done nothing wrong. Except maybe using swear words instead of making his arrangements more politely, as is the custom.