Lobbyist Jack Abramoff is in the news. He has agreed to plead guilty and cooperate in an ongoing action against members of Congress. Mr. Abramoff is a lobbyist who gave gifts and goodies to various Congressmen who could benefit his clients. The present understanding is that this ongoing prosecution is going to lead to some prominent Republicans going down in flames. Of course, we aren't hearing more about this from the usual brayers (Pelosi) and bawlers (Schumer) because it looks as if some prominent Democrats might likewise be revealed to be a little sticky of finger.
In fact politicians of both parties are tripping over themselves in the rush to return campaign contributions, so as to be able to appear merely greedy, but not greedy and corrupt. The total so far amounts to over $200,000.00.
This is exactly wrong. We know damn well the politicians were going to keep the goodies and are only giving them up because Abramoff got caught.
Abramoff is going to take a fall, and he's going to take a few with him, but likely it won't be enough. Each party is going to make noises about a few bad apples in the bunch, and each will try to "get this behind them" as quickly as possible.
What would be right - don't expect to see it - would be if the leaders of both parties were to announce, either together or separately, that their parties would expect the resignations of everybody who accepted goodies for political favors. Their continued presence in Congress and as members of either party affects the reputation of all in politics.
And that isn't enough. I think the identity of the clients on whose behalf Mr. Abramoff made these expenditures in return for favors should be known. They were the ones who were paying the money out for political influence. They were the source of the corrupting influences $$$$ that Mr. Abramoff has admitted. Officers and/or directors authorized payments, for sure. I suspect that prosecution of a corporate client or two would be a good thing, and disclosure of the identities of all the individuals seeking political influence would be a very good thing.
Make them face the purifying ordeal of being the hot gossip at the country club.