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POLITICIANS INFLUENCED BY BIG CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS

 

By Michael Cutler
June 10, 2009
NewsWithViews.com

I generally limit my commentaries to issues concerning immigration and related matters, however, I just could not resist the temptation to weigh in on the news article "Court Ties Campaign Largess to Judicial Bias" that appeared in the Washington Post.

I thought that the general rule of thumb is that you need not state the obvious. But then, in this wacky world, I guess you have to wonder what is now considered "obvious."

The United States Supreme Court ruled, for the first time that what was deemed "excessive campaign contributions" create a threat to a fair trial. Could you imagine that! A judge might be influenced by a campaign contribution! Wow! That thought just takes my breath away!

Now it is official- money corrupts!

As you may know, I have appeared in various events around this magnificent country to participate in debates, panel discussions and other venues including state legislative hearings to provide my insight and perspectives on immigration related issues. When I have the opportunity I like to be able to talk about how our politicians are influenced by campaign contributions.

I'd like to make the point that because of campaign contributions our citizens get the "Best government money can buy whenever there is an election!"

To make this point as clearly as I can, I'd like to talk about the issue of ethics and law enforcement. Civil servants are prohibited from accepting gifts when they are acting in their official capacity. When I received a police medal from the Japanese Police for the assistance I rendered their government in convincing a citizen of Japan who was suspect in the United States to turn herself over to the Japanese officials in the United States. She was wanted, in Japan, for smuggling cocaine into Japan from the United States, I was required, as you might expect, to report the award to my boss and it was only after it was determined that the value of the medal was less than $25 that I was able to keep it. I also had to report the fact that although I offered to pay for the lunch I invited the Japanese Consul General to join me at in conjunction with the award, that he insisted on paying for the meal when the check came. (No wise cracks please, about whether or not I had to return the meal!)

The point is that all civil servants are prohibited from accepting gratuities that might influence their decisions and conduct.

If a police officer was given a cup of hot coffee by a compassionate shopkeeper on a frigid winter's day as he directed traffic and he did not pay for the coffee, he would most likely face an angry supervisor if he was observed accepting that cup of coffee!

Yet, politicians routinely boast about being "effective fund raisers!"

Can you imagine what would happen to a cop or a federal agent who might tell his superiors that he was an effective fund raiser?!

So, now the Supreme Court, (at least five ninths of them) in a display of real world understanding have come to the conclusion that campaign contributions can make a judge less than objective! (I would love to know what "excessive" means!)

Now here is the really BIG QUESTION: If cops and federal agents can be corrupted by gratuities, if judges can be swayed by campaign contributions, when will others who hold elected office such as mayors, councilmen, governors, Congressional Representatives, Senators and even United States Presidents be barred from accepting campaign contributions?

The obvious answer: NEVER!

One of my favorite oxymorons, even surpassing the late George Carlin's "Jumbo Shrimp" is "Political Reality!"

The solution is to make certain that we vote in elections in such adequate numbers that we can truly "Throw the bums out!" (As we used to say at Ebbets Field where the Brooklyn Dodgers played baseball when I was a young boy).

In less than two years more than one third of the seats in the United States Senate will be up for election. In less than two years every single seat in the House of Representatives will be up for grabs! The politicians have become accustomed to expecting that the power of the incumbency is on their side. We only have ourselves to blame for this.

We the People need to take every opportunity to confront those who were elected to represent us and make it clear that if they fail to represent us, we will find someone who will!

The large scale apathy demonstrated by citizens of this nation has emboldened elected representatives to all but ignore the needs of the average American citizen in a quest for massive campaign funds and the promises of votes to be ostensibly delivered by special interest groups. There is much that we cannot do but there is one thing that We the People absolutely must do- we must stop sitting on the sidelines!

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The collective failure of We the People to get involved in making our concerns known to our politicians have nearly made the concerns of the great majority of the citizens of this nation all but irrelevant to the politicians. For far too many of them the fundamental principle could be summed up by a two word expression: "Money talks!"

I implore you to get involved!

2009 - Michael Cutler - All Rights Reserved

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Michael W. Cutler graduated from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York in 1971 with a B.A. in Communications Arts and Sciences. Mr. Cutler began working for the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) in October 1971 when he entered on duty as an Immigration Inspector assigned to John F. Kennedy International Airport. In August 1975 he became a Criminal Investigator (Special Agent) for the INS at NYC.

He rotated through virtually every squad in the Investigations Branch. From 1988 until 1991 he was assigned as the INS representative to the Unified Intelligence Division (UID) of the DEA in New York. In 1991 he was promoted to the position of Senior Special Agent and was assigned to the Organized Crime, Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) which required that he work with members of other law enforcement agencies including the FBI, DEA, ATF, U.S. Customs and local and state police as well as law enforcement organizations of other countries including Israel, Canada, Great Britain and Japan, to conduct investigations of aliens involved in major drug trafficking organizations. He retired from the INS in February 2002, after a career that spanned some 30 years.

Finally, Michael Cutler has appeared on numerous television and radio programs including Lou Dobbs, Fox News, MSNBC and many other television and radio news-oriented programs to discuss the enforcement of immigration laws.

E-Mail: mcutler007@aol.com


 

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If a police officer was given a cup of hot coffee by a compassionate shopkeeper on a frigid winter's day as he directed traffic and he did not pay for the coffee, he would most likely face an angry supervisor if he was observed accepting that cup of coffee!