How about corruption reform first?

Before we implement any sweeping changes of the American political system, how about cleaning up corruption first?

Now, the wealthy trial lawyer, who made his fortune by suing physicians and health care insurance companies, is facing a federal inquiry. Edwards’ political action committee is alleged to have paid more than $100,000 for video production to the firm of the woman with whom Edwards had an affair and a child out of wedlock. When word of the affair became public, Edwards convinced an aide to take the rap for him and say that he was the father of the child. This is the guy who built a lucrative career by ostensibly; "fighting for the little guy," while simultaneously enriching his personal bank account and helping to bankrupt the health care industry. However, the Edwards odyssey is merely a tiny ripple in a vast ocean of corruption that has been bilking the American people for generations.

In November of 2007, while campaigning for president, John Edwards, the former North Carolina Senator, said: "Washington is awash with corrupt money, with lobbyists who pass it out and with politicians who ask for it," adding, "This election is the great moral test of our generation." About a year later he was being investigated for use of PAC money for personal use, his once-prominent political career was buried and the turmoil of his marriage was playing out in public.

Hardly a week goes by that we don’t read about politicians getting their grubby hands into another pile of pilfered pelf. Last month, the mayors of two New Jersey cities and a state legislator were arrested in connection with a major corruption and international money-laundering conspiracy probe. Some of the suspects were also allegedly involved in an illegal human organ-selling ring. Among the approximately 30 people arrested were Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano, who had been in office only 23 days (talk about your fast learners), Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell, Jersey City Deputy Mayor Leona Beldini and an assortment of other light-fingered lawmakers. In recent years, New Jersey has seen more than 130 corruption-related convictions of public officials. Read the rest of the story…

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