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Are they so blind they cannot see?

July 18, 2008 - LLee Janssen

How can we trust politicians when their actions are so confusing?

I speak of the political corruption scandal that is just beginning to unfold in Pennsylvania and the state House of Representatives. After a yearlong grand jury investigation that is still ongoing, 12 people connected to the state House's Democratic caucus were arrested and charged with using taxpayer dollars to fuel political activities.

Future revelations from this grand jury could be quite interesting ... theoretically, this could be just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. And I say that from the vantage point of watching the email traffic jam that builds and climaxes every political season and election day. Candidates spin out e-mails proclaiming their positions, heralding their appearances and putting down their opponents. And who do those emails come from?

When it's an incumbent, it seems that they often come from the same people who spin out their official communications, and those people's positions are paid by your taxdollars.

Recently I took the opportunity to ask an incumbent Congressman's aide about that practice, which I had been observing of her, and referred to previous news reports leading up to the recent charges about legislative aides doing work aime at their boss's re-election on the same time that they are sending out "official" communications. Mind you, this was even before the arrests.

She responded that she uses an entirely different email address for the political end, which she said was kept separate from her official job, and so she didn't believe she was doing anything wrong. Hmmm, maybe that grand jury should look into our federal lawmakers as well as the state ones.

Meanwhile, just say that I'm confused. In fact, that's what I told her ... I don't know when she's calling on official business and when she's calling for re-election purposes; the timing of the emails shows they are intertwined.

Suddenly, guess who's getting fewer of those emails. Maybe I shouldn't have spoken up.


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