January 14, 2009
When Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was caught on tape trying to sell president-elect Barack Obama’s Senate seat, commented federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald: “The breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering.” But Blagojevich’s “pay-to-play” scheme, in which political favors are dispensed by public officials in exchange for compensation, is so common in government that the line between corrupt and competent politics is often blurred beyond recognition. If public figures naturally invite public scrutiny by virtue of their office, I don’t see any good reason we shouldn’t scrutinize these leaders to the nth degree, where even the slightest indiscrepancies could be held up for the public to see. Why not give private citizens the right to hack into email, wiretap and to follow the financial transactions of public figures? When the PATRIOT Act was introduced by our leaders it was said that those with nothing to hide should have nothing to fear. The same should go for government.