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The Other Side of the Tracks blog by Word Press

High Time for Ethics

The weekly socio-political commentary from activist, Perry Redd

The weekly socio-political commentary from activist, Perry Redd

The Other Side of the Tracks: A Socially Speaking commentary, March 28, 2013 by Perry Redd


Here in DC, we’re a year out from another election season.  It’s already time

for candidates to stake out positions which were previously untenable, which were once unthinkable.  For Mayor, we’ve got Councilman Tommy Wells speaking on the corruptness of the current campaign finance rules that get politician after politician elected…high time for ethics.

I find it wholly hypocritical for one to speak ill of the practice they partook of to get to the heights they’ve ascended to.  Now that he’s on the brink of running for mayor, he wants ethics reform.  Com’ on! You gotta be kiddin me!  And what’s worse, there are people in this city who will go for it!

On WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi Show last week, he said: “I think that in the minds of the residents, it shows that there’s a nexus between the money that’s awash in our campaigns and certainly in the decisions that we make. And that’s why I’ve decided I’m just going to not take corporate contributions at all.”

Strange…because he’s been taking them.

What isn’t funny about this revelation is that I just ran for a DC Council seat with campaign contributions clearly on the radar.  You see, as a party principle (the DC Statehood Green Party), I didn’t take corporate, developer nor bundled contributions as part of my campaign.  Everybody in the city knew that, but it failed to register any sign of ethics in action.  One other candidate claimed not to take corporate contributions, but took money from big money donors who represented corporate donors. And I got less 2% of the vote.

The people say they want ethics in their elected government officials, but vote for these same people who lay in bed with the same deep pockets that cause them a hill of harm.  These developers get away with skirting the laws written to keep them honest.  The people who take their money are the ones who allow them to skirt the rules.  It’s the Dc Council that let’s that happen.  The people know this and still vote for them!  How can that be?

You’ve heard all of the reasons—excuses—for people not to vote: “They’re all criminals,” “They’re gonna do what they’re gonna do,” or “I stay out of politics.”  All the while, elected officials make the rich richer (including themselves) and make the poor poorer.  Blame lays at the foot of the voter and non-voter alike.  The liars should of course be tarred and whipped…no feathers.

If I sound like I’m upset, it’s because I am.  Our city has a 94% Democrat-registered electorate and the people still vote Democrat.  Democrats in DC are akin to the white Southern racist you see in old films about segregation of the 1960’s.  They deny a seat at the table like Mississippi did Fannie Lou Hamer and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party in 1964.  The people who are registered Democrat in DC are scared to death to forgo party loyalty—though they know that party loyalty won’t net them a damned thing!  They fear losing their jobs or some community status.  That’s what I saw while watching the PBS award-winning episode 6 of “Eyes On the Prize.”

One-party rule can never be healthy; but the people prefer sickness.  Help me understand how knowledge of a corrupt system—getting paid by land developers to get elected—can help the people out of poverty?  The developer gets richer and the people can’t afford to live in the place he develops!  It makes no sense.

I watched the last DC election won by a candidate who paid people to not only work the polls, but vote for them at the polls.  I travelled to 34 voting sites on election day.  I spoke with people who told me that they’re eating today because that candidate is “paying me today.”  First of all, how it that legal?  And secondly, what are you going to do about eating tomorrow?

Our city has a crisis of epic proportions: gentrification of formerly Black neighborhoods, schools and employment opportunities, while the city finds itself with a surplus budget.  The low-income, Black communities of the city are quickly becoming the minority population due to the recruitment and influx of young, white professionals.  Low-income, Black—Democrat—residents see, hear and read this…but STILL vote Democrat!  Help me understand the logic in this?  Is it the politics of Obama: Hope and Change?

By the way, Tommy Wells is a white male, possibly DC’s first white mayor, though the city is still technically 50.7% Black.  The other candidate is a developer favorite, a devil in a green dress.  The other candidate—a Democrat—paved the way for Walmart to infiltrate DC.  Not only Walmart, but six Walmarts in an area that’s 68 square miles!  That’s one Walmart every 10 miles!  With their notorious reputation for gender discrimination, lowest in wages, small business crushing, anti-union tactics and environmental degradation, how could this be a pro-people move?

DC, wake up and smell the coffee.  You’ve been lied to terribly and even transparently.  These people are getting rich at your expense and you only have yourself to blame.  Do something different to get it right.  Don’t keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result.  You might eat today, but tomorrow, there’ll be no plate.  It is high time for ethics, but you won’t get it from the same people who placed you jeopardy.


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