Reforms Needed to Eliminate Pay-to-Play Cases
Politicians continue to have problems turning down favors and bribes.
The prospect of free home renovations turns out to be a tempting item for politicians. Mere months after the conviction of one of the longest-serving Members of Congress for failing to report the gift of a gas grill and free wood flooring from a company seeking his favor, another politician was arrested last week on charges of bribery, corruption and fabrication of evidence.
The allegations—that Hartford, Conn., Mayor Eddie Perez accepted tens of thousands of dollars in home renovations as bribes for awards of municipal contracts—were sadly reminiscent of those that brought down former "Corrupticut" Gov. John Rowland (R) five years ago, as well as suspicions raised recently about actions by New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D) and those in the indictment issued in January of former New York state Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno (R).