The Republicans are spinning this so fast it makes my head spin. Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) was apparently filmed accepting $100,000 in bribes–all neatly stacked in $100 bundles–as part of an influence peddling case that is currently building against him. According to the Yahoo! News article, it was supposed to have been used to bribe an unnamed Nigerian official to ensure success of a business deal in their country. It also happens to center on Jefferson’s children getting a portion of the communications work to be done in Africa.
This proves the stereotype that ALL politicians are corrupt. Now, while I know this is not true in 100% of the cases, it’s still reads like it is. And the Republicans will use this to gain every advantage over the Democrats come November. This differs, however, from the Duke Cunningham, Brent Wilkes, Jack Abramoff scandal in that this appears to be an isolated case involving only Rep. Jefferson. I believe that is how the Democrat spin needs to be addressed. When Dems state there is a “Culture of Corruption” among Washington Republicans the recent investigations of the aforementioned individuals prove that. Bear in mind that I am not excusing the alleged misconduct of Rep. Jefferson. I am only showing the difference between Republican scandals and this Democratic one. The bottom-line is that corruption in government is present on both sides of the aisle and needs to be stamped out.
Come November, we need to get rid of the corruption and elect some honest politicians (go ahead and laugh, you know you want to!) who will have some integrity and actually work on behalf of their constituents instead of their own pocketbooks. Obviously I have a progressive bent to my politics and want to see some upstanding Dems elected to take back Congress, but with issues like this coming out in the media, it’s proving to be an uphill battle. I’d love to see the Progressive Democrats of America split off and form their own party, but the money will NOT follow them. The money is firmly entrenched in both the RNC and the DNC. However, I do agree with DNC Chairman Howard Dean (YEEEAAARRGGGHH!) that we Dems need to continue working on a 50-state strategy that will not just target the races we think we can win, but to get the message out to each and every state that Dems are truly working for the American people. Poll after poll shows that people are sick and tired of Republican corruption and don’t like their vision for America. I’ll take that one step further and state that Americans are sick of corruption period! At least I know I am. It needs to be rooted out at all levels, not just federal and among both of the major parties in this country. Then, and only then will we begin to see change among our elected officials.