Perhaps it’s no longer news that lobbyists and politicians have become rip-off artists. But the extent to which our political culture has been corrupted, and the arrogance with which these folks including judges tolerate the sleaze still makes me see red.
Gerard Evans is a “million-dollar-a-year super-lobbyist” in Maryland. But after being convicted of nine counts of mail and wire fraud for tricking his own clients into believing there was pending legislation that could wreck their businesses, his lobbying practice is on hold for the 30 months he’ll spend in federal prison. That is, unless he conducts it from a prison yard pay phone, as did a previously convicted high-priced lobbyist.
Judge Motz said Evans took advantage of “a culture of corruption created and tolerated by legislators and lobbyists in the state of Maryland.” But here is the problem. Motz went on to say it was “tragic” that federal sentencing guidelines required him to sentence Evans to prison and that “Mr. Evans has accomplished much and helped many people.”
So, okay, not only is corruption rampant, but when powerful lobbyists and politicians are caught red-handed ripping people off, they are pampered like spoiled children by the courts. Would some poor kid without political connections be treated with the same teary-eyed compassion?
After his sentencing, Gerard Evans, newly appointed corruption expert said, “Clearly, there need to be some adjustments in [the capital].” He’s right, and putting him in jail is a good start.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.