LETTER: Speaking out against corruption
To the Editor: I found it interesting that this paper on Feb. 6 hissed legislators who "voted to repeal the voter-approved anti-corruption measure known as Initiated Measure 22 because "the law was the will of the people." Then this paper cheered...
To the Editor:
I found it interesting that this paper on Feb. 6 hissed legislators who "voted to repeal the voter-approved anti-corruption measure known as Initiated Measure 22 because "the law was the will of the people." Then this paper cheered "a $15.3 behemoth of a structure" and on Feb. 9 admitted to being "happy this project was not eligible to be referred to Mitchell voters, because "it would not have passed." This paper is not truly concerned about "the will of the people."
I agree that IM 22 was not the solution to corruption. But neither are the District 20 legislators who voted for the unconstitutional law that reversed IM 22, as they deny seeing corruption in Pierre. They may say that because laws have been passed to legalize corruption. But corruption does not go away in a system of legalized corruption.
The voters rejected a sales tax increase in 2012, but last year, sales taxes were increased with legislators political careers threatened if they didn't reverse their opposition to taxing their constituents. This year we have legislators approving unconstitutional empty "vehicle bills" so that they can work out the details with lobbyists without the people knowing what is going on behind the scenes. But according to these legislators, there is no corruption.
On Feb. 7, this paper ran a report where members of Mitchell's City Council promote buying local but deny that it is "cronyism" or "corrupt" to "patronize local businesses." So we have a local contractor who was awarded the "$15.3 behemoth of a structure," despite being against the will of the people. And that same contractor received another $8 million project despite not being the lowest bid, by having the kids' big slide removed from the project.
If we truly want to reduce corruption, we first must stop denying it and worrying about being marginalized for exposing it. Sadly, by speaking out, it may cost you dearly. You don't question politicians and the media, because they are to be trusted and they will demand it. That is why I do not believe the system of legalized corruption is fixable.