“With great power comes great responsibility,” said Spidey. His character may be fictional, but boy he got this one right. You can never fully comprehend how power can get you blinded and mess up your perspectives in life until you are the one in power yourself. Most of the time, these are politicians elected into office by the public through the election process. These political leaders are supposed to protect the people, uphold the common good and manage the affairs of the state in an orderly and fair manner. If only that is always the case.
It is a sad thing to realize that the leaders who you thought will protect your rights and do their job right have other things in mind. Graft and corruption cases are increasingly becoming common because these elected leaders get blinded by the greed for money and power. Only a handful of the elected leaders today really have the best interests of their constituents at heart. Most of them only want to fatten their wallets and bank accounts while still in office.
Among the individuals named in a federal indictment this week was one who has touched almost every corner of Arizona power politics: lobbyist Jim Norton.
A familiar figure for years at the state Capitol, Norton was among Gov. Doug Ducey’s earliest political backers and a friend since college. His firm helped guide U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs to victory last November. He’s also the business community’s leading voice at the state Capitol.
And, according to federal prosecutors, Norton was “a conduit” for bribes that water-company owner George Johnson is accused of paying to former Arizona Corporation Commission Chairman Gary Pierce. Authorities allege the money helped secure commission approval of higher rates for Johnson Utilities in the East Valley and Pinal County.
Norton, along with Johnson, Pierce, and Pierce’s wife, Sherry, were named in the eight-count indictment, as well as “an unindicted co-conspirator.”
In lobbying, reputation and credibility are vital. And the reaction in political circles to the indictment has been a mix of shock, disbelief and, in some cases, silence.
These corrupt leaders often weave a web of lies to cover their tracks. However, no matter how good they make up stories or hide documents and cut paper trails, they may still likely be caught because their greed will push them to be more brazen in their exploits, making them miss out on even the smallest of details that can be the reason for their undoing.
Politicians caught up in a sweeping three-year graft investigation are unlikely to return to their positions of power, former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso said in an interview.
Cardoso included Brazil’s former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the front-runner in early polls for next year’s presidential elections despite facing five corruption trials, as among those whose political careers have likely been destroyed by the kickbacks probe.
“It is unlikely that the people touched by the corruption scandal will return to the leadership they once had,” said Cardoso, a founder of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB), which backs the current center-right government.
Cardoso, himself facing accusations in the investigation, also said the profound cultural and constitutional changes now needed to truly clean up Brazil‘s system will take time.
Brazil’s biggest graft investigation, known as “Operation Car Wash,” has turned up evidence of corrupt practices as recently as June, suggesting political kickbacks at state companies carried on despite the detention of scores of powerful businessmen and politicians.
It is hard to totally wipe out political corruption in any organization. Someone will always be tempted to use their authority and power for their own personal gain. There is a long list of corruption cases. Some may be just a simple bribery while others can be a wide-scale embezzlement scam, yet the damage to the organization is just as awful.
Any organization or office with corruption cases will always be tainted in the eyes of the people especially that these graft cases may or may not be directly related to more criminal cases. Now you know why politics and graft and corruption often go hand in hand. It’s all about money and power. These two factors are common in politics. So, make sure you vote wisely every election to avoid putting corrupt people into public office.