Not Cease from Exploration

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Is It Almost Dawn In NEPA?

  • Luzerne County judges indicted for taking cash kick-backs for sending kids to jail
  • Almost an entire courthouse that looked the other way while two judges took cash kick-backs for sending kids to jail
  • School districts mired in "pay for job" teacher hiring schemes
  • The Lackawanna Single Tax Office investigated (but ultimately found to be too screwed up to even properly audit) for having several million dollars in a combined account
  • Luzerne County row officer found selling used cars during working hours
  • A ranking state senator sitting on corporate boards for industries that he has a hand in regulating AND having the state pay him to rent office space (for him) AND paying a well-known political consultant to provide communications services (despite a staff of people already paid by the taxpayers to do this)
  • An investigation into the construction costs of an airport terminal that seems far larger than what is required (story link here)

Now I know I've missed a scandal or three, but the point is this: so much seems to be coming out now that it makes me wonder two points aloud:
  1. Is NEPA possibly the most corrupt single region in the country?
  2. Is it almost dawn?
They say that the night sky is at it's darkest right before dawn. The implication for us, as residents of NEPA is that maybe, finally, this region is getting the attention it deserves from a public corruption investigation perspective. Unlike some residents of NEPA, I've actually lived other places, so I don't subscribe to the "grass is always greener" philosophy. There are great reasons to want to want to live and work in NEPA, and for those who can't see them, I have some saged advice: Move.

The fact remains though that there seems to be a pervasive mentality among some residents in the area that political corruption is bad, unless of course it helps me (or my family, or my friends, etc.). If the sum total of what is happening in the area in this arena does any good, it will be to change that mentality once and for all.

As a final note, what I'm NOT TALKING ABOUT is the nonsense that you read in message boards, etc. where every politician who makes a bone-headed move is being automatically being tagged with the "he is a corrupt thief" label. That line of reasoning is used ad nauseum when it comes to Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty, and I simply don't buy it. I probably disagree with the Mayor as much as I agree with him, but there is a difference between...

...I don't like the guy
...His priorities are different than mine

and...

...He is corrupt

When everyone is tagged as being corrupt then no one will ever want to serve. That will end up hurting this area far more than it will help.

So let's hope that the good work of rooting out corruption doesn't turn into an excuse by some to conduct personal witch-hunts. This can and will work if we all follow a simple rule: hard evidence first, aspersions second.

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