TAXPAYER-FUNDED BRIBERY

(This article appears as an Op-Ed in Florida Today newspaper, this date)

“Sexual harassment fund is taxpayer-funded bribery”

What do you call it when criminals pay off cops and/or witnesses in order to prevent being arrested? Simple answer: Bribery. They lose their jobs and often go to jail.

I knew three judges in Miami in the early 1990s who took illegal pay-offs in exchange for special favors. After being caught in a sting, they went to prison for bribery.

What do you call it when Congress uses taxpayer money to muzzle: bribe someone who alleges sexual harassment and/or assault by a member or employee of the House of Representatives or the Senate? Answer: Legal process. Not only that, this “process” has been engineered by Congress itself.

That’s like passing a law saying it’s okay to break laws if we are the law breakers.

This is beyond comprehension. A law was passed by congress and signed off by President Bill Clinton in 1995, then put into effect in 1997 which not only covers allegations of sexual impropriety, but other administrative violations by employees. However, now that the secret is out, it’s pretty clear the original purpose of this funding. According to the Washington Post, a total of $17,248,854 of taxpayer funds has ostensibly been paid out as hush money settling 235 complaints since 1997.

Compliments of sleazy politicians, this abomination goes even further in humiliating and victimizing complainants. Victims of sexual assault and/or harassment must attend hearings before a panel then agree to attend extensive mediation and counseling. If that doesn’t work, the money is paid.

If such idiocy is condoned in the federal government, it could seep down to state and local levels allowing elected judges, mayors, governors and, yes, congressmen to act immorally or even, illegally providing hush money is paid. They all could create secret funds so bribery payoffs come from the taxpayers and not their own pockets. How non-transparent can it get?

There are all kinds of corruption that taint our political system, usually borne of greed and/or the lust for power. Middle class Americans who become elected to congress often leave office years later a very rich person, though their official salaries are under $200,000 a year. We all are resolved to live with that. But when women (usually) are the victims of sexual misconduct or all-out assault inside the walls of the people’s chambers, there should be zero tolerance. More than that; accountability.

Here are a few demands we the taxpayers should be making:

  • Unveil how many of those 235 pay-offs since 1997 were for sexual misconduct accusations? We have a right to know.
  • Who are the perpetrators of each allegation that resulted in an acknowledgement of wrong doing and a pay-out?
  • Names and details should be published in newspapers and online throughout the country.
  • Each perpetrator must reimburse the taxpayer 100 percent from their person finances.
  • Determine which of the “acknowledged” allegations are or could be considered a felony and/or misdemeanor?
  • Those acknowledging guilt (by virtue of taxpayer pay-outs) should immediately resign or be subjected to impeachment.
  • The same process of disclosure must be applied to any government representatives who chose to present hush money to alleged victims of sexual harassment from their taxpayer funded office budgets, as did Rep. John Conyers in 2015, according to a report from Buzzfeed News.

This all has nothing to do with political parties, Democrats or Republicans. Both sides own their share of guilt. But if these demands are actually met, I fear we would have the greatest government crisis of all time, with many empty seats in the House and Senate, and a state of utter confusion in Washington.

Regardless of power or position, no man or woman is above the law, or immune to  standards of morality. The audacity that congress could allow funding to justify bribery to protect their own butts is disgusting.

Those affected might like to drag it out until it becomes distant history. That must not happen. It needs resolution now.

 

24 Responses to TAXPAYER-FUNDED BRIBERY

  1. Frank Mussoline December 2, 2017 at 9:26 am #

    This is just so wrong on every level that it is incomprehensible. Imagine, they want to cut entitlements including social security and medicare but they can have a slush fund for their trysts that is paid for by us, the taxpayers. What has this country become? Term limits are sorely needed but will never be enacted because of the system.

    Thanks Marshall for bringing this to the forefront and in a concise manner that we can all understand.

  2. Richard Plager December 2, 2017 at 9:36 am #

    I agree with Frank who I had the privilege to ride with way back when.

    So Marshall, Where do we go from here? Who will implement the investigation and full disclosure of Names, etc.?

    The time for the truth is now.

    rhp

    • Peggy December 2, 2017 at 5:13 pm #

      Yes. This is reprehensible and we have to be activists and work together to have this changed (and soon). It sure is a cess pool, worse than a swamp.

    • Frank Mussoline December 3, 2017 at 7:02 am #

      Thank you Captain, it was my privilege to ride with you and gain in stature because of you. I will never forget the conversations we had and have a great deal of respect for you. You are truly a font of knowledgeable and a true gentleman..

  3. Eileen December 2, 2017 at 9:37 am #

    Well said, Marshall. Thanks for the awareness.

  4. John McGuire December 2, 2017 at 9:47 am #

    Marshall, excellent comments; we already have “…a state of utter confusion in Washington.”

  5. VERONICA Helen HART December 2, 2017 at 9:58 am #

    The response from individual taxpayers should be obvious, but to whom does one make a complaint and who will listen? I can write to my congressman and senator, but how do I know neither one of them is in cahoots with, or one of, the perpetrators himself?

    A family court judge happened to be my landlord many years ago when I had a business in a small town. As his offices were upstairs from my store, I initially carried my rent check up to his office. Invariably he propositioned me, even chasing me around his desk once! After the third time, I mailed the checks. I often wonder who would have listened if i had complained, but even then, I had no idea who to tell. The best I could do was not vote for him.

  6. I Richard Jacobs December 2, 2017 at 10:34 am #

    One cannot argue with your position in THIS matter.
    Position is everything

    • Roger L. Cox December 3, 2017 at 7:16 am #

      Good to see your name from many years ago.

  7. Rico December 2, 2017 at 11:17 am #

    Sadly, but inevitably the congress will stall, vacillate, obfuscate and try to ride out the storm. Time will prove their friend if we do not keep up the furor over this travesty! And while I’m ranting, let’s not forget term limits!!!

  8. Helen Bennett December 2, 2017 at 11:29 am #

    I read it in the paper. Excellent column!

  9. Don Gilleland December 2, 2017 at 11:30 am #

    And a great article it is!

  10. Puppy toes December 2, 2017 at 11:34 am #

    You have always been a master with the penAnd your thoughts

  11. Helen R. Frigo December 2, 2017 at 11:43 am #

    On the other editorial page, “Thumbs down” says the State of FL has had such a fund since 1987. Republicans have had big majorities here since 2001. Why haven’t they repealed it? Likewise, Congress has an even bigger majority than it had in 2001, and then for 6 years during Obama’s term; more “Christians” than ever, too. Why have we never heard “REPEAL” of this Clinton-era law? Dennis Hastert was Speaker for 6 years. Did he benefit from our taxpayer $$?

  12. Helen R. Frigo December 2, 2017 at 12:10 pm #

    We all agree with Mr Frank . However,it should apply to all government employees
    Including those in the military, law enforcement, firemen ,teachers, etc. No one is above the law.,
    How much have we paid over the years in wrongful death cases,or civil right violations? Where does it stop?

  13. Kay Williamson December 2, 2017 at 1:02 pm #

    I have to agree with Helen. But no matter what, it’s a terrible law and should be abolished in FL AND DC., though some people don’t seem to care about morals if you have been watching the Alabama debacle!

  14. Edward Hensley December 2, 2017 at 2:32 pm #

    Excellent Marshall but let’s not hold
    our breath for the Black List to see
    the light of day! I call this oped Exhibit
    # 69 on WHY I AM an Independent!

  15. Charles Pierce December 2, 2017 at 2:40 pm #

    The political corruption in this country is astounding. I am not talking about a single party but the system has become so corrupted. The constitution is a simple document that spell out with amendments who our government is to operate. But when you add the 3000 pages of additions interpretation of the constitution it looks nothing like the original. The 6th amendment says that a defendant has the right to face his accuser, but if you are a child or a rape victim it is possible to skirt the issue, the 4th amendment is the right to not have government looking into you papers without a warrant, but we allow the police to track our private cell phones and to even read who we are talking to with out a warrant. The constitution talks about law, but the government talks about rules and regulations being issued by Bureaucrats who are not elected and can not be held accountable for their actions, the CFPB is the classic, absolutely no control from congress or the executive. It goes on and on with our basic rights being infringed upon more and more but the government. It is time to top the stupidity and take the country back from the politicians and bureaucrats. I ask the you go to https://www.conventionofstates.com/ web site, read the objective and if so moved sign the petition to call the convention. Florida and 11 other states have passed the enabling legislation in the past 4 years.

  16. David Lee Valdina December 2, 2017 at 3:26 pm #

    I suspect what we have is the Republican Party and Democrat Party merging into the Libertine Party.

  17. Snake Hunter{s} December 2, 2017 at 9:42 pm #

    * I don’t believe we need “empty seats” in the House… or in the Senate. If we have

    enough voters… female voters… that are angry enough to demand ‘Term Limits’, and

    approve Trump’s Tax Bill for working families, we’ll drain the cess-pools of despair left

    by the George Soros “Shadow Party” of ‘MoveOn’… with his CEO Eli Pariser yelling…

    “We Bought It” (The Democratic Party) See: FrontPageMag, December 10th, 2004

    >>

    IF you are too young remember ‘MoveOn.org’ in 2004, here’s your computer-listing

    for FrontPageMag — > http://archive.frontpagemag.com/Printable.aspx?Artld=10256

    >>

    reb
    ____ ____

  18. Roger L. Cox December 3, 2017 at 7:18 am #

    Congress needs to be flushed in it’s entirety and a return to citizen government instead of political tyrants and plantation owners.

  19. Anonymous December 3, 2017 at 11:21 am #

    I would echo the theme of the other commenters. When I heard this for the first time I assumed it was a joke or parody story. Unfortunately with today’s federal government the absurd and incomprehensible become more and more commonplace, but this one will be hard to beat. It does not surprise me that this happened under the Clinton administration, but let’s be clear, both parties are equally to blame for this abomination, how is it even possible? In fact you have to blame the Repubs more than the Dems, we expect this from the liberal mindset, but I expect more from “family values” conservatives. Where was the outcry when this junk legislation was being passed? When the Repubs assumed the majority, why didn’t they expose this and get rid of it immediately? Sadly this exposes the deep seated, endemic, corruption and sickness that dominates the scene in Washington. As Marshall correctly states, all and any information from this sick debacle must be made public immediately and let the chips fall where they may, anyone from any party who took tax payer funds to cover up their disgusting behavior needs to be outed and resign from their jobs. If nothing comes of this it will just be another indicator of just how far gone our federal government has gotten.

  20. Snake Hunter{s} December 3, 2017 at 12:04 pm #

    *** I’m Very Sorry….

    That old link that I provided yesterday… is no longer functional;

    However, I’m a pit-bull on matters like this! So, I found solid links that do work:

    Double-checking ‘DiscovertheNetworks.org – > I find CEO Eli Pariser (the Soros

    Connection) right here via David Horowitz — > http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/

    Articles/pariser3.html

    Here’s the “Frosting-on-the-Cake” for any friends I might still have at this MLF spot.

    ‘The McCain-Soros connection: where’s the beef? (Yep. it’s Senator John McCain!)

    Here’s The Link: http://www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/009934.html

    See the list of “deep-pocket donors” names on McCain’s Donor Page…

    * OSI Constitution & Legal Policy Program (Soros)

    * Tides Foundation ( John Kerry )

    ____ ____

    reb

  21. Frank December 5, 2017 at 11:27 am #

    Absolutely correct, yet again, Marshall.

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