The inevitable has occurred. Former Illinois Governor, Rod Blagojevich, has been convicted for his role in trying to personally benefit from selecting (selling) Barack Obama’s Senate seat. He was found guilty on seventeen counts. The bad guys have been caught. We can rest more easily. Justice has been served.
The majority of long-serving members of Congress (or their spouses or offspring) are multi-millionaires. Most entered office with relatively modest wealth. Their incumbency wealth is unlikely the result of business or investment acumen.
Poor Blago! His crime was that he was an incompetent thief. He had maxxed out his credit cards, he had little to his name, he couldn’t keep his mouth shut, and he used cuss words (just like Nixon!). Those with whom he “negotiated” for the vacant seat were more clever. They knew the right words to use, how to say indirectly what poor Blago said openly. They emerged from this mess unscathed.
Congress hands out tax and spending favors right and left. If you stay on the good side of the administration, regulators will not harass you. If you do not give enough, someone may sic the NLRB, EPA, or SEC on you. The cumulated effect of these inducements, favors, and threats are of a greater scale than the sale of one measly Senate seat. Moreover, all these actions can be packaged as protecting the nations’ health, preventing mining accidents, keeping the public safe, or warding off the next bubble. Everything is perfectly legal and above board.