Thursday, November 10, 2011

Be a politician if you want to get rich quick. Why would anyone ever run for a political position? Your history, finances and family are all exposed as public knowledge to anyone in the world. Who wants that? You are constantly traveling and having to smile always even if you don’t want to. Well, it is all worth it because you can become filthy rich from lobbyists wanting you . Every President left office being multi-millionaires after their terms in office. How did that happen? The taxpayers don’t pay for that much salary.
It is also a man’s world. Women are still slaving in the offices keeping the businesses together while men are making deals in the most fun places. That is how men do business. One guy got caught. Jack Abrahamoff. He was the most crooked lobbyist in modern time. He got nailed on corruption, and influence peddling. He was a Republican lobbyist starting in the mid 1990’s.
He went too far by being the master at his job by flooding gifts and perks to politicians with the return on votes of legislation and tax breaks favorable to his clients. He was so good at it that he took home $20 Million dollars a year. Then 5 years ago he pled guilty to corrupting public officials, tax evasion and fraud. He served 3 and a half years in prison. This is just his case. Lobbying in politics is still alive and well.
Today he is a symbol of how money corrupts our politicians in Washington; yes the most highly elected officials in our country. Lobbyists use their clients money the money from a business to buy powerful friends and to influence legislation to support the success of the clients business. He did it by making hefty campaign contributions to congressmen.
He would provide freebees and gifts looking for favors for his clients in return. He would provide certain congressmen and senators with access to private jets, and junkets to the world’s best golf locations like St. Andrew’s in Scotland. Free meals were given at his own fine Restaurant called Signatures in Washington as well. And access to the best tickets to all the area’s sporting events including two skyboxes at Washington’s Redskins games.
Millions a year was spent on tickets to sporting events and concerts. Two people on his staff’s jobs were to book the best seats to the best show or event in town. These perks were given to the congressman or senator to take whoever they wanted to the fun event. He would try to make the activity legal but most of the time he didn’t care. Bribe the politician and get the desired vote for the client. Mission accomplished.
The best way to get a politician’s vote was to bribe the staffer and triple his salary because most of the time, the politician listened to and did whatever the staffer suggested. After all, they were having too much fun to actually read the legislation and decide anything for themselves. This actually happened. The chief of staff to Congressman Bob Nay was Neil Volz. Neil Volz was promised a great job after serving the Congressman and Neil made sure all the votes went the client’s way.
The Congressman was the chairman to the House Administration Committee. Neil remembers being at a big Hockey game being told how he should suggest the Congressman vote on something. This practice was both brilliant and evil at the same time. One of the highest people he tried to influence was the Majority Leader Tom Delay. Eventually he gave great jobs to Tom’s chief of staff and press secretary. He even went into business directly with Tom’s chief of staff.
At the end of Abramoff’s day he probably owned about 100 congressional offices in influencing the staff there. He personally regarded this as a personal failure because it left 335 offices he did not control. This guy was brazen and oddly too self confident. Why would any Congressman or Senator that was already under great scrutiny by everyone take the “influence” risk?
Former Republican Congressman Bob Ney was looking to be the Speaker of the House some day and he thought that corruption was the way to get there because he trusted Abramoff so very much. Jack paid off people to help him get closer to the white house and the majority leader. Jack invited Ney to golf trips to Scotland, food and drinks on the house at Jack’s restaurant all in violation of the Congressional gift limit laws.
Ney justifies his acceptance of the freebees by simply saying that he was not the only one being bought off. He says the bar at the restaurant was full of Bush’s white house staffers. Ney eventually spent 17 months in prison. The only Congressman that served time in prison.
The reason why there are so many Indian Tribe owned Casinos is because Jack Abramoff had them as a client. He bribed the politicians to approve the legislation. The reason why the Indian Tribes are still so poor? Because Jack Abramoff billed the tribes $45 Million over three years for his services. Then he didn’t even pay his taxes!!!!!!
Jack is right in that he was able to do all this because our governmental system is flawed. It is run by humans and humans are weak. He went to jail. They changed the law in that a company cant give politicians freebees but you can donate any amount of money or freebee to a politician’s FUNDRAISER.
Yes, business as usual, the politicians are getting very very rich. Every time your guy is going to another fundraiser, you might as well hear the cash register bells going off in his pockets.

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