"Klotz" As In "Blood"

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Getting Elected = License to Steal

Filed under: News from the Nation's Dicktip — Steve @ 9:49 am

Would you risk $1,000 for a fifteen-fold gain?

Broward County Commissioner Diana Wasserman-Rubin has agreed to pay $1,000 for violating state ethics laws when she voted on grant applications written by her husband.

In 2003, Wasserman-Rubin cast votes on land purchases based on grant applications that her husband, Richard Rubin, wrote for the town of Southwest Ranches. Ethics investigators say those votes resulted in a $15,000 bonus for Rubin. Florida law prohibits elected officials from voting on issues that will financially benefit themselves or an immediate relative.

Under the agreement with state ethics investigators, Wasserman-Rubin has agreed to pay the $1,000 fine, acknowledge that she should have abstained from the vote and be subject to a public reprimand.– Miami Hurled

Such a deal. Where’s the beef? What’s to keep Commissioner W-R (god I hate hyphenated surnames) from repeating her transgression — the threat of her and her money_bag.gifhubby netting “only” $14,000 on the transaction? Where’s the disincentive for anybody else in government similarly situated?

It’s not like this is about right and wrong. That’s laughable. It’s your basic political premise: you get your ass elected to make as much money as you can get away with. Most of the time you won’t even get caught anyway. But even if you do, your fate is in the hands of some dickless entity like “state ethics investigators” who in turn use their own authority to position themselves for future consideration.

I wonder if Rubin’s firm, pleased with the outcome, handed him an extra thou to make up for the fine.

It’s Christmas every day on the public payroll. You use your influence to distribute your ill-gotten gains to all your friends and family — you can even call them “charitable contributions” — and your generosity is returned to you tenfold. Or in this case, fourteen-fold.

And you still get correspondence addressed to “The Honorable.”

9 Responses to “Getting Elected = License to Steal”

  1. Hollywood Hal Says:

    Yeh! And she’s ugly, too! Horse face probably could eat an apple through a picket fence!

  2. Madam I Says:

    (god I hate hyphenated surnames)
    Oh really Steve, think about this one.

  3. girlsnap Says:

    Oh, common, Steve… the girl’s only supporting her shoe habit… can’t fault her for that, can you?

  4. Miami Harold Says:

    This kind of wink-wink nod-nod conduct
    has been a hallmark of Broward County government
    for as long as I can remember.
    Leaders’ lapse in ethics and contempt for constituents
    is one of the very few areas where
    citizens of all stripes and persuasions–
    Democrats and Republicans, Anglos and Latins,
    and Christians and Jews–
    come together in complete agreement.

  5. Michael Says:

    http://blogs.tampabay.com/buzz/2007/11/slap-on-the-wri.html

    Quoted:

    In a case involving a prominent South Florida politician, the panel rejected a proposal to slap a $1,000 fine on Broward County Commissioner Diana Wasserman-Rubin for voting to approve applications for county grants written by her husband, Richard Rubin, on behalf of the city of Southwest Ranches.

    The 5-1 vote means that Wasserman-Rubin’s case must go through a lengthy and costly administrative hearing process, unless she and the commission can agree on a stiffer fine.

  6. Steve Says:

    Michael: Thanks for the update! I saw no coverage of this development locally. Nice to see that I’m not the only one nauseated by the featherweight fine, and that maybe, just maybe, something positive will come of this.

  7. Brevard Outlook Says:

    Here in Brevard county (no, not Broward – about 3 hours north – where the Space Shuttle takes off… yeah, there), we have land development fiascoes happening like this all the time.

    You are correct to point this out. There needs to be some serious punishments. Treble damages would be a start – just like RICO.

    Her punishment should be a $45,000 fine which is deducted out of her remaining paychecks before the next election. If there aren’t enough paychecks left, then she can simply go home and we’ll keep her salary for the new guy.

    And you are right about that name. Is she just an idiot? Wasserman-Rubin?

    I think I’ll change my name to Lawrence Dan Marino Salberg – and get real offended if anyone ever calls me just plain Lawrence Salberg again.

  8. Steve Says:

    Lawrence (or may I call you Dan?): the initial fine ($1,000) was outrageous, but the treble damage formula might get tricky when technically it’s a third party (her husband)who benefits. I agree that $15,000 doesn’t seem like enough.

    Believe it or not, there’s another hyphenated politician lurking in Broward: Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. I confuse them often. One is on the county commission, the other is in Congress.

  9. Stan Garde Says:

    “The choice between spending cuts versus printing money with high inflation should be crystal clear.”

    Max: open your eyes, willya? There’s been like zero inflation for 7 years. “Printing money” is total Rethuglican dogma. They’ve been wrong about EVERY economic issue starting with Reagan.

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