Most people assume that political candidates seek election to serve the people, and therefore serve their country. Unfortunately that description fits very few of our legislators. The truth is far more sinister. Take the case of Michael Grimm who is no more than one of the many politicians who use their position for personal gain.
Whether he be a state official such as former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, or a member of the House of Representatives, corrupt politicians live and prosper while enjoying privileged lifestyles by illegal and immoral practices. Most of them never get caught.
Representative Michael Grimm, Republican from New York, first exhibited his ignorance and inability to be an effective member of Congress last January. When a reporter attempted to interview Michael Grimm inside the Capitol Building, he became belligerent and aggressive. The reporter wanted to ask him about innuendos of campaign finance violations. Michael Grimm called him a few names, pushed him out of camera range, and threatened to throw him from the balcony. He doesn’t know how to ‘play nice.’
Michael Grimm was indicted in April for multiple offenses including mail fraud, wire fraud, and tax evasion. He was also accused of hiring undocumented workers in a fast food restaurant in which he was a partner.
To avoid prosecution on 20 separate counts Michael Grimm admitted to a single count of tax evasion. He confirmed that he paid employees ‘off the books,’ and failed to claim nearly one-million dollars in gross revenue. He also disclosed the fact that he lied about paying employees in cash, avoiding participation in social and Medicare. He could face three years in prison.
In an interview held shortly after the April indictments, he said he would resign if he was convicted and therefore unable to fulfill his duties as a United States Congressman. He claimed that he was a moral man. Now, after his admission of guilt, he has become defiant and says he will remain in office regardless of the outcome.
For the last 20 plus years the American people have witnessed the arrogance and insolence of our politicians. They are convinced that voters will believe anything they tell us. They consider themselves invulnerable and indestructible. Unfortunately, that is often the truth. It doesn’t matter if candidates commit infidelity, use tax payer’s funds for their own benefit, or commit crimes, voters frequently reelect them although they may be an embarrassment to the American way of life.
When politicians are caught with their pants down, they refuse to admit that they have been involved in a situation which proves misconduct. In Michael Grimm’s case, he is claiming that he is the victim of a ‘political witch hunt.’ Really? He has proven himself not only unfit to serve in our government, but also has revealed himself is a disreputable human being.
The laws and regulations pertaining to our political system are virtually non-existent. Our legislators have attempted to create a form of immunity for their members. The Speaker of the House, John Boehner does not have the power to force Michael Grimm to resign, although he is a convicted felon.
When will the American people cease to put our Washington officials on a pedestal? They are humans and possess the same good and bad qualities as all Americans. Michael Grimm is simply another self-serving man who took advantage of his power and influence.
There are only two careers which guarantee financial success; becoming a televangelist, or attaining a political career.
By James Turnage