Saturday, November 6, 2010

This for That...

...quid pro quo. In legal terms, or illegal terms, this is what public corruption investigators look for. It is NOT easy to prove most of the time. Why? Because most of the people violating it, know they are violating it, and it is easy to hide and disguise.

Many times when you think you see it, when something just doesn't sound right, its not an actual violation of the law. In the case of most "ethics violations" allegations, the case of a violation of the law could not be proven, but it was EASILY identified as unethical. (I don't know much about the case against Maxine Waters, but on the surface it sounds like at a minimum - it was unethical - we all know that its not a coincidence that her husband's company received benefits in areas that she legislates).

In the United States Congress, ethics violations are usually saved for those with power, or a big voice. One side wants to knock down the other side. Why only the ones in power? Everybody does it. It hits both sides of the aisle - Newt Gingrich, Tom Delay, Maxine Waters, Charlie Rangel. Members of Congress only push for an investigation when they think it can help them.

...and that brings us to Harry Ried:

Justice Department Weighs Voter Intimidation Complaint Against Reid Camp

The argument from the Angle campaign is that an email from a person working for the Reid campaign was sent to Harrah's Casino to get them to get their people out to vote. It appears as if an employee roster was included, and managers were to make sure their employees voted. To be sure, this was not just a 'get out the vote' campaign, it was a 'get out the vote for Reid' campaign.

Immediately, it smells bad, its not fair!?

But why shouldn't a person working to elect somebody - be able to tell another person - to tell that person's thousands of employees to vote - and if that person just happens to use coercion or lies to get the employees to vote a certain way (labor unions) - those people still go to the booth alone (presumably).

I don't have a problem with that. I don't like it, but that's because its for Reid. What if it was a strong conservative, and a person working to throw out Reid - who called a friend - who owned a business - and that person put a note in the paychecks of his employees that extolled the virtues of the conservative, and suggested a vote for that candidate. I like that.

What's the problem.

Quid pro quo.

"...On coercion, it boils down to what kind of threats, if any, were used against employees," he said. "Were they told there will be adverse employment consequences? The only way to figure out is to open an investigation, subpoena all the e-mails ... and get the employees in front of a grand jury so they can testify to what they were being told by supervisors."

But Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, CREW, said the case doesn't hold up.

"I think this is all quite a stretch," Sloan told "This isn't going to change an election outcome."

Sloan said she couldn't find any evidence of coercion of Harrah employees, and the Justice Department doesn't need to open an investigation into that unless there is an allegation..."

Wrong. Quid Pro Quo.

This case can't be made now. The Quo hasn't happened. Harry got his Quid, and there is NOTHING wrong with a little Quid. But a smart investigator will be watching for the Quo.

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