Conflict of interest: (COI) A term used to describe the situation in which a public official or a fiduciary who, contrary to the obligation and absolute duty to act for the benefit of the public or a designated individual, exploits the relationship for personal benefit, typically pecuniary.
There’s nothing coy about the GOP’s chortling copious concepts concerning constant corrupt collaboration created by cunning, conniving, crooked cronies and calculating cohorts, conveniently ignoring the conflict of interest law. On the other hand, it appears there’s an immediate jump by the Republicans to accuse a Democrat of violating even a vague conflict of interest, unless of course the Democrat is a Blue Dog.
Now that the Military/Industrial Complex, (that President Eisenhower correctly warned us about) Corporations, Banks, Big Oil, Wall Street and the GOP rule our nation, we the people are losing our Constitutional and hard fought for Worker’s Rights to the Right.
How did our nation lose the Conflict of Interest law with our government? When Teddy Roosevelt started his anti-trust busting, he recognized how big and powerful business could take over the government and slowed them down with sound and practical regulations. By the 1920’s big business was taking over again, causing the huge crash. Then FDR, righted, or should we say corrected the ship of state.
Then Ronald Reagan, the prophet of profit, appeared on the scene. Reagan was a great salesman to make American’s hate and fear its’ own government. “The Shining City on the Hill,” was turned into “Mourning in America.” “We don’t got no stinkin’ conflict of interest!” It makes one wonder how a party that hates government, that we the people would turn our proven and workable government to a party that wants to destroy it.
Now jump to 2000! The year that started the extra mega meteorite shower of CONFLICT OF INTEREST! The partisan Supreme Court: Both Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justice Sandra O’Conner wanted to retire, but either wouldn’t do so until there was a Republican president. Justice Scalia wanted to become Chief Justice. Aha! Bush v. Gore: Scalia’s son John worked at the law firm representing the Bush campaign in the Florida courts and Scalia’s son Eugene was a partner at the law firm that represented the Bush campaign in the Supreme Court.
When Bush v. Gore was pending- Virginia Thomas, Justice Thomas’ wife, sent an email to 194 Congressional aides, suggesting if they wanted to be considered for positions in the next administration, they could forward their resumes to one of Mrs. Thomas’ co-workers at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank collaborating with the Republican Party. During Mrs. Thomas previous employment with a GOP leader in the House of Representatives, she “spearheaded a leadership effort to gather embarrassing information about the Clinton-Gore administration.” Mrs. Thomas told reporters that she and Justice Thomas never or “rarely” discussed their work lives with each other.
Bush v. Gore Conclusion: Scalia- “Counting the votes would threaten irreparable harm to the petitioner (Bush) and to the country, by casting a cloud upon the legitimacy of the election.” (Ding dong. The Constitution and Conflict of Interest is dead.)
Richard “Dick” Cheney- King of the COI: In your face Cheney and violator of ethic laws, was close to being fired by the Board of Directors at Halliburton just before he declared himself as GW. Bush’s Vice President. Cheney had urged the Board to buy a company (no due diligence) and after the purchase it was learned that the firm came with a multi-billion dollar asbestos law suit attached. Dick offered the Board a deal they couldn’t refuse. Multi billion dollar no bid contracts for all areas of service and products that involved Halliburton. Tens of $billions were handed over to Cheney-Bush cronies.
The 2001 U.S. Energy program, that Cheney formed in secret meetings, primarily for the world’s big oil companies to divide up the Iraq oil fields to the largest oil giants. The secret oil maps somehow got out and hit some of the news. This was prior to 9/11 and the 2 wars. One can say this was Conflict of Intelligent thinking, but W got his 2 wars.
9/11- Homeland Security- Instead of positions filled by the best and the brightest, Bush appointed the worst and dumbest cronies- “Heck of a job, Brownie.” U.S. Government was enlarged as never before in the history by Bush and Republicans. Lying and hiding facts became the rule with most of the media.
January 2003- Scalia-Cheney Trip Raises Eyebrows – “High Court Justice, VP Go Duck Hunting; Cheney Appeal Is Before The Court” – Scalia: “I do not think my impartiality could reasonably be questioned.” The privatized U.S. Energy secret policy meetings were declared legal by a Republican Judge. It had also been reported that W’s secret Energy Czar was Enron’s Kenny Boy Lay.
It has become clear that today, Conflict of Interest means nothing to the Republican Party or their greedy and dangerous Corporate Masters, or our corrupt Supreme Court, that has become more powerful than President Obama or Congress. We the People now have to fight collusion, media lies and endless amounts of corporate money in order to keep our freedom and our nation from becoming a plutocracy.
If we remain “We the People” and rally like the proud, clear thinking American patriots in Madison, to put down corporate persons and colluding Republicans, it may be possible to take our country back and Conflict of Interest will stand for something again.