The reigns of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine so far suggest a political truth most of us would be justifiably reluctant to accept – that rich guys, especially self-made rich guys, make incorruptible public officials. Self-proclaimed do-gooders, by contrast, are too easily flummoxed.
I recall Wayne Barrett, the veteran city investigative reporter at the Village Voice, noting that the fulltime lobbyists now hang around New York’s City Hall with nothing to do – still paid, one assumes, to be prepared for the next administration. Poor Barrett, the scourge of both Ed Koch and Rudy Giuliani, has lost his subject and thus his journalistic clout.
If corruption is a major issue in your hood, whether locally or nationally, consider recruiting and then electing people who became rich outside of politics. By contrast, guys who got rich while serving in public office were probably corrupt.
The unintended result of recent campaign reform was favoring candidates rich enough to finance their own campaigns. One inadvertent result of that might be diminishing the influence of lobbyists.