Friday, October 31, 2003
All too often it feels like campaign finance laws don't work. Politicians figure out how to cheat, and even when they're caught nothing much happens. Well, today the system actually worked as it should when a North Carolina Judge threw a lying politician in jail. Meg Scott Phipps, the daughter and granddaughter of two former Governors, was busted for lying to coverup illegal campaign finance contributions that she took when running for Agriculture Commissioner. Phipps took illegal contributions from a vendor that wanted a state contract. Then, she used the money to help pay off a former competitors campaign debt, in return for that competitor endorsing her. Then when caught, she lied about it. More details are in the Charlotte Observer here.
This is a perfect example of so many things that are dragging down the moral integrity of our government. First, politicians place winning over everything else. They're willing to lie, cheat, and steal to win an election. Second, money is what makes the political world go round. The more we can get money out of the process, the less of this sort of thing we'll see. Greedy politicians would then chase votes instead of dollars. They might still lie about it, but at least we'd all see what they were up to.
Update: Phipps has now been sentenced for a federal campaign finance violations as well. She'll serve her sentence for this concurrently. Story here.