Monday, September 25, 2017

Get it together

All politicians are corrupt - but that's just my opinion
Once upon a time there was a mayor named Marion Barry. Marion was a nice enough fellow except for the fact that he had a rather nasty drug habit.  In fact, while in office, Marion was arrested for possession of cocaine following an investigation by the FBI and the D.C. police. Subsequently, Marion was found guilty and was sentenced to 6 months in prison

After his release in 1992, he was promptly elected to the D.C. Council and in 1994 he was re-elected mayor. So, to recap: convicted of drug possession (and subsequent use of illegal drugs), womanizer and still permitted to run for public office. 

Fast forward a few years and move to the west (left) coast and we read how ex-Palm Springs mayor is being charged with bribery.  Yep, Riverside District Attorney Mike Hestrin held a news conference and revealed that John Wessman and Richard Meaney (both developers) paid former mayor Stephen Pougnet $375,000 in bribes in exchange for his vote on city council approved land projects.  If convicted, ex-mayor Pougnet could be barred for life from holding public office.

Wait a second.  Barred for life?!  A conviction for drug possession (and violation of public trust) warrants a mere 6 months in prison but bribery (and violation of public trust) can get you barred for life from public office?!?  Looking at Marion's political career, you'd think he was being rewarded for being prosecuted/convicted.

The problem is that the courts are sending mixed messages when it comes to politicians. The message courts should be sending every time is if you are an elected "public servant" and you are convicted of anything (misdemeanor or felony or anything that "violates the public trust"), that you should be barred from ever holding public office in the future (state, federal, local, HOA - I don't care, you're done). 

Anyway, enough with my ranting opinion. I now return you to your regular programming.