Saturday, October 13, 2007

Government, Corporations, Corruption, Money, Power, and Skirting the Law

I was stuck by three stories today in which the Government, Politicians, and Business used their influence for nefarious purposes.

The Washington Post reports that court documents unsealed in Denver this week suggest that the indictment of former Qwest chief executive Joseph P. Nacchio, who was convicted in April of 19 counts of insider trading, may have not have been guilty. The documents suggest that because Qwest refused to go along with illegal wiretapping, the government retaliated by yanking a lucrative contract that threw the company into turmoil. He is using the allegation to try to show why his stock sale should not have been considered improper.

At the same time, Congressman Jefferson argues that his case should be dismissed because such an act is technically closer to influence-peddling than bribery.

Finally, Kathleen Brown of Goldman Sachs, who is also a miserably failed Democratic for Governor of California and who is also the sister and daughter of other governors of the state, was the person who first broached the idea that Governor Arny lease the state lottery to a private company. Arny is proposing that the proceeds from the lease will help to finance his health care proposal.

The New York Times also estimates if "privatization plans now being considered in four large states -- California, Illinois, Texas and Florida -- were to go through, Wall Street could conservatively reap a minimum of $250 million in fees alone.

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