Give it ALL back

Jack Abramoff is indicted and suddenly everyone in Washington is scrambling to return whatever money he may have been known to have given them.
When we catch a shoplifter, they always offer to pay for what they’ve tried to take. We tell them it doesn’t work that way. What kind of a deterrent is that? You pay only if you get caught?

With lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleading guilty, to charges of what amounts to the bribing of government officials, suddenly all sorts of politicians are offering up the monies he contributed to them. Even President Bush returned something of what he’d received from Abramoff for the Bush reelection campaign.

Will these gestures suffice to reform these waylaid politicians-for-hire? No. Not at all. It don’t work that way.

Let’s see what else they might offer in atonement. Let’s see if they can offer to give it all back.

If they want to give the contributions back, they need to return more than just the monetary value of the goods and services they received. We don’t want their golf game in Scotland for example, we want what they gave of ours in exchange for that game.

The wayward politicos should rescind whatever vote they gave in exchange for Abramoff’s payments. Give that legislation back. Take it from the special interests and give it back to the people.

As well, the politicians should return their public office to whoever had run against them in the election. Their opponent might have won if the miscreant had not had the advantage of Abramoff’s contributions.

And last, where did the money go? It didn’t simply disappear. It went to the media companies in exchange for campaign ads. Shouldn’t the media conglomerates consider returning the dirty money? They knew where it was coming from.

This is no time to let each of these parties off the hook. It will not be enough that they return their bribes. Do we want to set an example, or do we want to accept government representatives selling out our system to the highest bidder?

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