Political Corruption: Never a good thing

Apparently three mayors in New Jersey, from Hoboken, Secaucus, and Jersey City were arrested as well as two state legislators, and a bunch of rabbis.

The rabbis are the big surprise there but I guess when you follow the money there is no telling where the investigation will end.

Here in RI former North Providence state Senator John Celona got out of prison yesterday.

The thing is, he’s the only one who did time. Former Senate President Bill Irons managed to get his charges dropped. But I recall a news article a couple years back where the federal prosecutor said that there were seven companies and seven legislators who would be under the microscope. I theorized that our House Speaker might be one of the gentleman and that our former Senate President may also be a subject of investigation and possible indictment.

But there has been absolutely no more mention of it. It just quietly dropped off the RADAR. I think if you really dug into the politicians in RI you’d find just as much corruption.

Take Providence Mayor David Cicilline. Yes, the states first openly gay mayor. But there has already been some interesting news. For example, his brother is an attorney who was supposed to pay a clients taxes. But the check bounced. Yet nothing ever came of that, no fraud charges, et al. The Mayor quashed that one from on high, I’m sure of that.

Then of course there’s the obstinacy of the mayor regarding the contract for the city firefighters. And the rank and file of the police department held a no confidence vote in Chief Dean Esserman, who former mayor Buddy Cianci calls “Chief Shiny Badge”.

Shall we talk about the Providence Fire Marshal? Nah, we don’t need to do that. How about the building inspector? That was always a hotbed of corruption.

How do we solved this? We let the sunshine in, let it expose every little act they’re doing. To that end at least government entities in RI now have to post meeting notices 48 hours in advance. I do wish they were required to post the meeting minutes but alas that was too much for the politicians. The one agency exempted from these requirements? The legislature. Their idea of open meeting notices is to post them on a roving bulletin board in the State House. Seriously, when I worked in the building I was always agog at that fact.

So if it’s not sunshine, I say get active in politics. Attend hearings, attend sessions, let them know we’re watching them.

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