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The politics of ethics smacks of political profiteering

NEW DEREK JOY The politics of ethics smacks of political profiteering

Derek Joy

The politics of ethics smacks of political profiteering

By Derek Joy

Ethics.

One could easily say confusion as this subject reigns everywhere in government.

In Congress where gridlock is nearing a catastrophic point without a budget so that the federal government can become functional.

At the state level, particularly in Florida where Governor Rick Scott refused to pay to open National Parks.

And at the municipal level, which is now being haunted by questions raised by revelations in a Miami Herald story citing apparent ethics violations by former Miami Dade Commissioner Dr. Barbara Carey Shuler.

For sure. The obvious observations are “Here we go again.”

It is a case of the mudslinging continues without any serious consequences.  Just a thing about ethics.

So, for the moment, let’s say ethics concerns itself with the process of political profiteering.

As the Herald’s story documents, Carey Shuler has racked up the cash as a lobbyist for such corporations as the Carlisle Development Group, which is currently under federal investigation for allegedly defrauding a U.S. tax credit program that subsidizes low income projects nationwide; EBS Engineering, Inc., of Hialeah; EAC Consulting Inc.; and lobbyist Rosario Kennedy, a former city of Miami Commissioner.

Part of the allegations against Carey Shuler centers around whether or not she waited the required two years after leaving public office before being paid as a lobbyist, and whether or not she registered with Miami Dade County as a lobbyist.

Such ethics violations would result in a mere $500 fine. Quite different from the sentences we see routinely handed out to those convicted of street crimes. The privileged few can perpetrate white collar crimes with little or no consequences beyond a slap on the wrist.

Reginald Clyne, Carey Shuler’s attorney, claimed whites and Hispanics have been paid more than the hundreds of thousands of dollars his client has been paid. Term limited city of Miami Commissioner Michelle Spence Jones wanted to make the same argument while she successfully fought off criminal charges of public corruption.

They all point fingers to justify their personal gain at the public’s expense. Pure greed amid very clear and definite examples of how public dollars circulate in closed circles.

Elected officials leave office.  Supposedly wait a few years. Become lobbyists for clients who do business with the governmental entities they served.

And during that period of service these elected officials accepted campaign contributions – sometimes more – from the companies they represent as lobbyists. Opportunities that the average person never gets.

Sooner or later, even the least educated among us can recognize that which constitutes the obvious we don’t see. Thievery. That’s what it is.  Why else do individuals and corporate entities contribute to political campaigns?

Well, it’s time for more than mere media exposure and public outcries that fall on deft ears.  There has to be a way to curtail such legalized thievery.

 

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    About The Author

    Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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