Monday, September 18, 2017

And another politician bites the dust

Politicians and fraud walk hand in handTypically, when I read the newspaper, I skip right to the comics section because they're (mostly) funny and free from political deceit.  Then there was the front page story about Ref Rodriguez that caught my eye (and prevented my reading of the comics). 

Seems Ref (yeah, that's his real name and he's not even a referee) had been arrested and charged with three felony counts of conspiracy, perjury and procuring and offering a false or forged instrument not to mention the other 25 misdemeanor counts of assumed-name contributions. 

Seems Ref took little over $24,000 of his "own money" and donated it to his "own" campaign fund in his run to be elected as the Board President of the Los Angeles School District.  On its face, it doesn't sound like much but what actually happened is that instead of saying that he was donating his "own" money, he made it sound like 24 other people were actually submitting donations.

Why would someone do that?  Did he need to warp the statistics to make it sound like more people were donating to his campaign.  Why did you think you had to lie about who paid for your campaign?  It was Ref's money, wasn't it?  Why lie about who paid for your campaign?!   Heck, what it sounds like is that Ref laundered the money for someone else. That's what it sounds like.

Then, instead of dealing with all that, Ref goes and tells the press:
As the product of a immigrant family, nobody has more respect for the integrity of the American justice system than I do... 
What is Ref really saying here?  Is he saying that because he is the product of an immigrant family that has more integrity everyone else?  Or is Ref saying that because he is the product of an immigrant family, he knows how best to play the system.  What being a consummate politician, I'm guessing it's the latter.  See, it's that word "integrity."  Why bring it up at all - unless you're being sarcastic - in which case, you have no integrity.

Fact is, pal, EVERYONE who lives in America is the product of immigration.  Everyone. Whether you are white, black, brown, purple, or green, everyone came from somewhere. America was built on the backs of immigrants.  

But just because you're an immigrant, it does not mean you have an edge on the integrity market suggesting that Ref is a system player.  I mean, if being an immigrant meant you had integrity, there would be no scofflaws.  As it turns out, some of us came to America legally and some chose to...well, they chose to come here (or were brought here) illegally and are now players of the system.

Seems that there are not a few persons who are unclear on difference between legal and illegal immigration. If you are unclear on the concept, might I suggest you head over to your local county law library and take a look at:
What is funny is that when politicians get in trouble, they try to obfuscate the issues instead of dealing with the problem(s) at hand.  What is sad is that this guy really showed promise.  Upstanding, good track record, no obvious record of corruption (well, not yet anyway), and then he got tripped up.  Well, I guess even the best fall.  Maybe his status as an immigrant will save him.  Not the best argument but if that's all he's got, then I say run with it.