Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

One Incumbent Falls

U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, corruption, term limits

When former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) was indicted last July on 24 felony counts of fraud and obstruction, she suggested that if the FBI hadn’t wasted time investigating her for milking a charity for personal gain, they might have prevented the Orlando massacre.

“These are the same agents that was not able to do a thorough investigation of [Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen],” Brown screeched at reporters, “and we ended up with 50 people dead.”

Last week, the former congresswoman* was convicted of 18 felonies related to fraudulently raising $800,000 for the One Door for Education Foundation, which only spent $1,200 on two small college scholarships — 0.0015 of what was raised . . . for college scholarships.

As the Feds put it, Congresswoman Brown and her congressional chief of staff “used the vast majority of One Door donations for their personal and professional benefit, including tens of thousands of dollars in cash deposits that [her chief of staff] made to Brown’s personal bank accounts.”

Hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent on “events hosted by Brown or held in her honor, including a golf tournament in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida; lavish receptions during an annual conference in Washington, D.C.; the use of a luxury box during a concert in Washington, D.C.; and the use of a luxury box during an NFL game in the Washington, D.C., area.”

The 70-year-old Brown spent nearly a quarter of a century in Congress. Now she awaits sentencing to as many as 277 years in prison — a quarter of a millennia.

It’s yet another good argument for term limits.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.


* As I explained in greater detail at Townhall, out of 435 congressional seats up for election in 2016, Congresswoman Brown was one of only five incumbents defeated in the 2016 primary elections. Two of the five defeated — Brown and Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Penn.) — faced multiple-count felony indictments. Two others were victims of redistricting that pushed them into new districts. Only one incumbent who was un-indicted and running in an incumbent district was defeated.

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  1. John F Brennan says:

    It is not hard to see how a career of stealing from one to give to another by the exercise of overextended governmental power will lead to diminished scruples as to stealing generally.  The wink wink of campaign contributions and lobbyists’ favors can easily lead to taking for personal gain. 
    It appears Samuel Clemens was right. We have indeed created policies which have formed a criminal class in Congress. 
    What is the percentage of felons in the Congress in comparison to the population as a whole?  Are the temptations too great? 
    I believe that term limits are a start but not the only reforms required.  The stench of the swamp is ever stronger as the power and reach of the elected class is enhanced. 

  2. Werner says:

    I fail to see how imposing term limits solves the problem. A crooked politician is a crooked politician. Granted, the longer the politician is in the more entrenched and closer to special interest groups he becomes but by forced cycling you’re GUARANTEEING that up to 1/3 of the legislative branch is going to be eying their landing cushion. Yeah, sure you’ll have your handful of  “citizen legislators” but it won’t be many. And don’t be so naive to think the special interests aren’t going to be aware of the target rich environment. 1/3 of the legislators are going to be looking for a job, preferably cush; they are NOT going to return to work the family farm. Constant cycling of legislators also increases the power of staffers and bureaucrats and they have absolutely NO accountability to the voters. 

    The concept of legislative term limits is a simplistic idea to impose another one-size-fits-all automatic mechanism to substitute for the real (and, yes, difficult) solution of informed and engaged voters. 

    • Paul Jacob says:

      Werner — Not every politician arrives at the capitol already corrupted. For many it is a process that takes years. So term limits might prevent that corruption from ever taking place. And term limits would also prevent a crooked politician from continuing corruption for a decade or two or three. Most folks running into criminal trouble have been in Congress for decades.

      It can get better with term limits. That’s not to say that term limits will make corruption zilch or legislatures infallible. Term limits don;t work that way. But term limits will shake up the congresspeople and the staff and the lobbyists and the special interests and the bureaucracy to boot. All those groups — politicians, staff, lobbyists, special interests, bureaucrats — despise term limits because it weakens their power.*

      Every other demographic group in America likes term limits.

      Which are admittedly simple. And sublime.

      * BTW, with term limits there simply won;t be enough “landing cushions” for all the termed-out pols.

    • Pat says:

      “Constant cycling of legislators also increases the power of staffers and bureaucrats and they have absolutely NO accountability to the voters.”

      But those who give power to staffers and bureaucrats are accountable.

      If we can impose term limits on those we vote for, why not the same on all in the world of government who make their living off taxpayers?   Nothing prevents those who presume to have the knowledge to rule over us from hiring new people.   When the lawmakers lose their jobs, so should their minions.    Drain the entire swamp.   

      As for the bureaucrats – the government needs to be reorganized and downsized. Those of us who don’t work for government are not guaranteed lifetime employment with one organization.   Why are bureaucrats so special?   I’m paying for their pension.  Why should i?

      I support term limits but not as a matter of law.   It is up to voters to make the hard choices.

  3. Gramma says:

    “Pretty in Pink” is she NOT! Makes one wonder how many others have done or are doing the same thing–taxpayers BE AWARE! Too many get away with their blatant stealing, but so glad she is headed to where she belongs–perhaps that grin will be wiped off her face!

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