Current System of Entitlement at Center of Corrine Brown Downfall
By TBOR Staff
AUBURN, AL- Late in 2016, we wrote about the current system of self-enrichment- where politicians use their political office to get rich and live lavish lifestyles. When we wrote that paper, former Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL) was one of the “bad actors” we cited.
Brown, who served 12 terms in Congress, frequently had the House Ethics Commission looking into her issues. However, as we noted in last year’s paper, the commission lacked the ability to fully investigate Brown. Now, out of office, she is on trial for corruption.
At the center of Brown’s trial is whether she used her charity- designed to help poor children- as a personal slush fund. More on that issue can be found here: http://www.news4jax.com/news/investigations/corrine-brown/browns-former-chief-of-staff-to-tesify-about-diverting-charity-funds.
As we watch the trial, it is clear that Brown is an individual who had become accustomed to a lavish lifestyle stemming from her service in Congress. Fox News recently reported that Brown continued to use her campaign accounts for personal expenditures months after her defeat in the primary.
Among expenses made by Brown’s campaign accounts after the loss were more than $11,000 in lodging costs at Marriot in Bethesda, MD.
In our article about Governor Bentley (R-AL) we wrote that the campaign finance system encouraged the feeling that he was not accountable to anyone. Similarly, we can see with Brown how the campaign finance system fueled her sense of entitlement and life of largesse.
The case of Corrine Brown is not yet resolved, but we can already learn key lessons. First we must begin to hold elected officials to a higher standard so that the corruption Brown is accused of never happens again. Second, we need to give some teeth to the House Ethics Commission. Third, we must reform a system that is only encouraging our politicians to feel entitled and unaccountable to the people they are elected to serve.
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