by Lou Binninger
It was a good time Sunday talking to some incarcerated youth about the importance of honesty. God drafted the Ten Commandments. Since people cannot follow them California politicians alone make-up a thousand or so new laws every year to keep people in line.
Number 8 on God’s list is ‘Don’t Lie’ which includes not being deceptive, twisting the truth, mis-speaking, ‘white lies’ and exaggerating. That’s why when it comes to giving testimony the court asks for the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God.
Just when you’ve lost all hope thinking nearly every politician, government employee and even the FBI lies, ‘Honest Abe’ comes to mind. In fact, a young inmate got it right when asked what President’s character was noted by people in referring to him.
If the shoe fit, Lincoln could have been called Liar Abe, Swinger Abe, Adulterer Abe, Cheater Abe, Pervert Abe, Rapist Abe, Inside-Trader Abe, Horse-Thief Abe and so on. Amazingly, he is ‘Honest Abe.’
Leonard Swett, a close friend of the former President said, “He believed in the great laws of truth, the right discharge of duty, his accountability to God, the ultimate triumph of the right, and the overthrow of wrong.”
Lincoln observed, “Resolve to be honest at all events; and if, in your own judgment, you cannot be an honest lawyer, resolve to be honest without being a lawyer. Choose some other occupation.” That’s a mouthful when most lawyers are liars.
Our government has become so massive and invasive that politicians, citizens and business people have all learned to buy influence to get their way. That makes politicians and some citizens rich at the expense of taxpayers.
Wealthy developer Angelo Tsakopoulos, based in Sacramento who owns thousands of Yuba County acres donated $5000 to judge candidate Melanie Bendorf. Is he losing sleep over justice in backwoods Yuba County?
Angelo’s gift is suspicious knowing that Melanie’s husband Robert Bendorf is the County Administrative Officer (CAO) and directs the Board of Supervisors in its decision-making. A gift to Robert would be considered a bribe or at least blatant favor-seeking.
Permission is required of the board and county bureaucracy for all developments. In this case, Angelo’s money to the wife is money to the husband.
Also in 2016, Yuba Water Agency (YWA) gave the Tsi Akim Maidu Tribe a utility truck. Photos were taken at the time with then supervisorial candidate Randy Fletcher handing over the keys. Enterprise Rancheria (Estom Yumeka Maidu Tribe) that owns the casino in south Yuba County recently donated $7,000 to Supervisor Gary Bradford’s 2020 re-election campaign.
All five supervisors sit on the YWA seven member board as well as make decisions governing Yuba County. Their votes and gifts spend Yuba citizens’ tax dollars along with water and power revenue produced from Yuba County’s Bullards Bar Dam, a project launched by the citizens of Yuba County following the 1955 flood.
Peter Schweizer's book ‘Throw Them All Out” explains how millions are made by congress from insider stock trading. Though the book’s revelations led to the Stock Act (2012) forbidding this unethical and criminal behavior, the ACT was gutted in 2013 by the same Congress. Schweizer’s work also exposed politicians using campaign revenue for personal use.
There are numerous examples of local officials benefitting from their positions and influence buying with tax dollars.
In 2007, businessman Dan Flores, now a Sutter County Supervisor, and Campaign Manager Crystal Martin applied for a loan of $150,000 from the Yuba – Sutter Economic Development Corporation (EDC) while serving as EDC board members. When they were informed it was a conflict of interest to get loans as board members they resigned to get the money.
Once off the board they applied for two more loans $144,200 for Martin and $113,500 for Flores at 3% interest rate. However, the loan requests were eventually withdrawn by Flores and Martin after state attorneys said that Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development conflict-of-interest rules require board members to be off the board for one year to participate in the funding program.
Insiders know how to get tax dollars for personal gain.
The recent pitch at election eve to rename 5th Street in Maryville for Martin Luther King Jr. is a blatant whoring for votes by those seeking election. Liberals can’t resist hustling minority groups for personal benefit.
If you can get elected, politics will make you wealthy via favoritism and by acquiring connections. In 2012, the top 20 profiting officials averaged a 422% net worth increase per year. The average net worth spike of the top 21-40 was 68% per year, and for those ranked 41-60 it was 42% annually.
Could ‘Honest’ be added before the names of politicians today when referring to them?
(Get Lou’s podcast at “No Hostages Radio” and his articles at nohostagesradio.com)