It’s true. When corruption wins, taxpayers and citizens lose. When an elected official crosses the line into corrupt behavior, either actual or perceived, the real victim of their wrong doing are the citizens living in the district or state. Furthermore, this corruption threatens the basic fabric of our democracy in cheating the basis of which elected officials are supposed to live under the same rules and regulations of those they are supposed to represent.
It really doesn’t matter if it’s at the federal, state, or local level. Their is an opportunity cost to the citizens. Unfortunately, professional politicians and most operatives have managed to over complicate the political process to the point where most regular citizens tune out everything having to do with politics and current events that affect them on a day to day business far more than what Justin Bieber said or how long Lindsey Lohan will be in rehab.
The fact that a Member of Congress may repeatedly abuse their office for personal gain cheats out other businesses that do not have their own special representative in Congress, nor personal staffers paid for by taxpayers, and puts their business at a significant financial disadvantage in competing in the private sector. That includes requests for rezoning, road maintenance, and so forth. For example, there are other salvage businesses in North Georgia that would have benefited had they been able to compete in the open market to provide the title inspection service that Congressman Deal so quietly and deceitfully tried to protect from competition. Additionally, being able to exercise influence to request meetings with state and county officials for one’s private business puts other businesses and private sector companies at a disadvantage, especially when they attempt to operate within the current rules of the law.
Self enrichment of an elected official while in office by means of official acts, if not illegal, is certainly unethical and the means by which an elected official goes to hide their activity and actions is demonstrable of their core character and value system, especially when there is a pattern of the behavior.
There is a real opportunity cost to the citizens and taxpayers of our state when the corruption of elected officials occurs, and when that corruption is defended and even outrageously justified, there is an erosion of our fragile democracy.
While some of you sit back and justify Nathan Deal’s various excuses and reasons that he abused his Congressional Office for his personal gain and make light of the Congressional Ethics Investigation because of the group which made the actual referral, it doesn’t change the facts of the alleged abuses made by Deal or carried out by his office, nor does it absolve him of responsibility for cheapening the office of a US Member of the House of Representatives and the shame that it brings on an already tainted Congress.
It should be beneath our elected officials and the leaders within the Republican Party to continue to push this person on the people of Georgia as a candidate for Governor simply because of the letter that comes behind his name. When you lie on his behalf and use your credibility to vouch for his wrongdoing, you’re no better than he is. Partisanship should not come at the cost of your own reputation, self respect, and the greed of a self enriching corrupt politician.