Thursday, November 17, 2005

Corruption, Rebuilding, and Politics

All three go hand in hand these days. We're seeing the effects of corruption and political favoritism in the post-mortem of the levee failures around New Orleans. Now, we learn that politicians on both sides of the aisle were working with Jack Abramoff to thwart a Louisiana Indian tribe from opening a casino:
Nearly three dozen members of Congress, including leaders from both parties, pressed the government to block a Louisiana Indian tribe from opening a casino while the lawmakers collected large donations from rival tribes and their lobbyist, Jack Abramoff.

Many intervened with letters to Interior Secretary Gale Norton within days of receiving money from tribes represented by Abramoff or using the lobbyist's restaurant for fundraising, an Associated Press review of campaign records, IRS records and congressional correspondence found.
Why does this particular deal affect the rebuilding? Because it throws into question the political leadership in Louisiana on both sides of the aisle. Both former Senator John Breaux (D) and current Senator Mary Landrieu (D) are implicated in this mess. As are Mississippi Senators Trent Lott and (R) and Thad Cochran (R).

Can they do the right thing by their constituents or is the bright lights and big bling of multi billion dollar rebuilding contracts going to overwhelm and corrupt those in the delegation?

It is increasingly clear that corruption is a way of life in Louisiana. In fact, one could argue that it is an art form. The problem is that the nation's taxpayers are going to be pouring billions of dollars into the region to assist in rebuilding and the last thing we want is politicians lining their pockets or lining the pockets of their favorites at the expense of their constituents.

Cross linked to the following open postings: Don Surber, Adam’s Blog, Indepundit , Brussels Journal, bRight&Early, Big Dog, California Conservative, Cao’s Blog , Euphoric Reality, It's A Pundit, Jo’s Cafe, Lone Elm, Military Outpost, NIF, Point Five, Political Teen, Stop The ACLU, Stuck on Stupid, and TMH’s Bacon Bits (more added as located).

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