Poll: Should Corrupt Politicians Be Put To Death?

April 9, 2014 - Andrew Eisen

Leland Yee, man.  Leland Yee.

Yes, the would-be regulator of violent video games was recently arrested on charges of corruption including bribery and gun running.  Innocent until proven guilty and all that but holy cow!  If you can't trust the people you elect to public office to do the right thing, who can you trust?  What do we do from here on out?  How can we be sure politicians are serving our interests rather than bending the rules to serve their own?

Earlier this week, Republican California for Attorney General candidate Phil Wyman suggested we give corrupt politicians the death penalty.  Or at least those whose crimes endanger the lives of others.

It might sound like someone mouthing off but ABC News followed up with Wyman and the dude said he was serious.

“If they know that it’s gun-running and they know it’s going into a terrorist organization in the Philippines," said Wyman, almost certainly referring to Leland Yee's alleged crimes, "that person earns the death penalty, and especially if they’re in elected office.”

Well, what do you think readers?  Should corrupt politicians face different penalties for breaking the law?  Vote in the poll and let us know.  EZK and I will reveal the results on next week's podcast.

Hail Hydra!

"vote label" © Tribalium / Shutterstock. All rights reserved, used with permission.

-Reporting from San Diego, GamePolitics Contributing Editor Andrew Eisen

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Re: Poll: Should Corrupt Politicians Be Put To Death?

How about someone who oversaw these?

1. IRS targets Obama’s enemies: The IRS targeted conservative and pro-Israel groups prior to the 2012 election. Questions are being raised about why this occurred, who ordered it, whether there was any White House involvement and whether there was an initial effort to hide who knew about the targeting and when.

2. Benghazi: This is actually three scandals in one:

The failure of administration to protect the Benghazi mission.
The changes made to the talking points in order to suggest the attack was motivated by an anti-Muslim video
The refusal of the White House to say what President Obama did the night of the attack
3. Watching the AP: The Justice Department performed a massive cull of Associated Press reporters’ phone records as part of a leak investigation.

4. Rosengate: The Justice Department suggested that Fox News reporter James Rosen is a criminal for reporting about classified information and subsequently monitored his phones and emails.

5. Potential Holder perjury I: Attorney General Eric Holder told Congress he had never been associated with “potential prosecution” of a journalist for perjury when in fact he signed the affidavit that termed Rosen a potential criminal.

6. The ATF “Fast and Furious” scheme: Allowed weapons from the U.S. to “walk” across the border into the hands of Mexican drug dealers. The ATF lost track of hundreds of firearms, many of which were used in crimes, including the December 2010 killing of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

7. Potential Holder Perjury II: Holder told Congress in May 2011 that he had just recently heard about the Fast and Furious gun walking scheme when there is evidence he may have known much earlier.

8. Sebelius demands payment: HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius solicited donations from companies HHS might regulate. The money would be used to help her sign up uninsured Americans for ObamaCare.

9. The Pigford scandal: An Agriculture Department effort that started as an attempt to compensate black farmers who had been discriminated against by the agency but evolved into a gravy train delivering several billion dollars in cash to thousands of additional minority and female farmers who probably didn’t face discrimination.

10. GSA gone wild: The General Services Administration in 2010 held an $823,000 training conference in Las Vegas, featuring a clown and a mind readers. Resulted in the resignation of the GSA administrator.

11. Veterans Affairs in Disney World: The agency wasted more than $6 million on two conferences in Orlando. An assistant secretary was fired.

12. Sebelius violates the Hatch Act: A U.S. special counsel determined that Sebelius violated the Hatch Act when she made “extemporaneous partisan remarks” during a speech in her official capacity last year. During the remarks, Sebelius called for the election of the Democratic candidate for governor of North Carolina.

13. Solyndra: Republicans charged the Obama administration funded and promoted its poster boy for green energy despite warning signs the company was headed for bankruptcy. The administration also allegedly pressed Solyndra to delay layoff announcements until after the 2010 midterm elections.

14. AKA Lisa Jackson: Former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson used the name “Richard Windsor” when corresponding by email with other government officials, drawing charges she was trying to evade scrutiny.

15. The New Black Panthers: The Justice Department was accused of using a racial double standard in failing to pursue a voter intimidation case against Black Panthers who appeared to be menacing voters at a polling place in 2008 in Philadelphia.

16. Waging war all by myself: Obama may have violated the Constitution and both the letter and the spirit of the War Powers Resolution by attacking Libya without Congressional approval.

17. Biden bullies the press: Vice President Biden’s office has repeatedly interfered with coverage, including forcing a reporter to wait in a closet, making a reporter delete photos, and editing pool reports.

18. AKPD not A-OK: The administration paid millions to the former firm of then-White House adviser David Axelrod, AKPD Message and Media, to promote passage of Obamacare. Some questioned whether the firm was hired to help pay Axelrod $2 million AKPD owed him.

19. Sestak, we’ll take care of you: Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel used Bill Clinton as an intermediary to probe whether former Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) would accept a prominent, unpaid White House advisory position in exchange for dropping out of the 2010 primary against former Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.).

20. I’ll pass my own laws: Obama has repeatedly been accused of making end runs around Congress by deciding which laws to enforce, including the decision not to deport illegal immigrants who may have been allowed to stay in the United States had Congress passed the “Dream Act.”

21. The hacking of Sharyl Attkisson’s computer: It’s not clear who hacked the CBS reporter’s computer as she investigated the Benghazi scandal, but the Obama administration and its allies had both the motive and the means to do it.

22. An American Political Prisoner: The sudden decision to arrest Nakoula Basseley Nakoula on unrelated charges after protests in the Arab world over his anti-Muslim video is an extraordinarily suspicious coincidence. “We’re going to go out and we’re going to prosecute the person that made that video,” Hillary Clinton allegedly told the father of one of the ex-SEALs killed in Banghazi.

23. Get rid of inconvenient IGs: Corporation for National and Community Service Inspector General Gerald Walpin was fired in 2009 as he fought wasteful spending and investigated a friend of Obama’s, Sacramento Mayor and former NBA player Kevin Johnson. The White House says Walpin was incompetent.

24. Influence peddling: An investigation is underway of Alejandro Mayorkas, director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, who has been nominated by Obama for the number two post at the Department of Homeland Security. Mayorkas may have used his position to unfairly obtain U.S. visas for foreign investors in company run by Hillary Clinton’s brother, Anthony Rodman.

Re: Poll: Should Corrupt Politicians Be Put To Death?

Shakespeare once wrote, "First thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."  Since many politicians started out as lawyers, that isn't much of a leap.  I'll admit, the idea has some appeal, as it might serve as a deterrent and make some politicians think twice about their actions (and as evidenced by some of their quotes, quite a few of them seem to fall into the "Too Stupid to Live" category).  But ultimately if we go that route, then we are no longer the United States of America.  Short of death, though, I would recommend they face far harsher punishments as they are after all public figures whom we entrusted to lead our country.  And if they've failed in that responsibility - which, really, WE hired them to do - they should face an appropriate level of punishment.

As V said in V for Vendetta: "People shouldn't be afraid of their government.  Government should be afraid of its people."

Re: Poll: Should Corrupt Politicians Be Put To Death?

Hrm.. if he was really gun running to terrorists against one of our friends or allies, he in theory would be up for the death penalty under treason.

Though of course they would never push that case, otherwise quite a few IRA supporting politicians would put themselves at risk.

Re: Poll: Should Corrupt Politicians Be Put To Death?

If the punishment is supposed to be proportional to the amount of harm done to society then the death penalty might be appropriate.

Re: Poll: Should Corrupt Politicians Be Put To Death?

If the USA ran a court system capable of 100% accuracy in determining guilt, then corruption in politics would be on my list for capital punishment.

But since that's a pipe dream....No.

Re: Poll: Should Corrupt Politicians Be Put To Death?

Death is a bit extreme (assuming, of course, that we are not talking about an actual capital crime), but I do believe politicians should face stiffer penalties when they abuse their power.  It's for the same reason that embezzlement is worse than mere theft: On top of the crime itself, you are also violating the trust that has been placed in you.

Re: Poll: Should Corrupt Politicians Be Put To Death?

I think Politicians and Celebrities, should have to deal with harsher punishments. Here is a group of people who people look up to or idolize, and quite often, they get away with barely even a slap to the wrist. Or they constantly appeal over and over, while costing tax pay money because they didn't want to pay the fine.

When you are a large public figure, you need to set an example for everyone. And when you get away with stuff, that is saying to people that it's OK to do it.

Though I do think that there should be some exceptions to having a harsher punishment. They would still have to deal with the standard punishment though. Such exceptions are when you're someone who has really been beneficial to society. This would of course be up to the judge to balance. Like for an example, if you were Bill Gates and you wrecked into someone with your vehicle. You would receive the standard punishment due to all the charity work you're involved with.

But if you were Justin Bieber, and you got into the same situation, you should deal with a harsher punishment, like community service along with a extended suspension of the driving license.

(I don't follow him, so I don't know if he's done any charity work, though we do keep seeing him in the news for being.. well... you know)

Oh, also, House Arrest should never be an option for these people. They would have to deal with the very minimum of a public jail cell.

 

Edit: Oh, also, when the standard punishment wouldn't be death, the harsh punishment shouldn't be death either.

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Re: Poll: Should Corrupt Politicians Be Put To Death?

I'm with Monte on this one.  We have not entrusted celebrities with the power and legal authority that we have entrusted politicians with.  It ought to be satisfactory for celebrities to be held to the same standard as the rest of us.  It's true that right now a lot of them are held less accountable for their actions, but there's no reason to swing the pendulum over to the other extreme.  You want to dole out extra punishment for future crimes to make up for a lack of punishment for past ones.  That's not justice, that's revenge.

Re: Poll: Should Corrupt Politicians Be Put To Death?

I'm not saying "dole out extra punishment for future crimes to make up for a lack of punishment for past ones"

What I am saying is that they are a public figure, they guide people with their popularity, many of which use that to their own gains for better or for worse. They have been known to use their popularity to influence not just how people live but also the political system. They hold a lot of power over people whether or not they are a politician. Celebrities are to the mind as Politicians are to the body. Celebrities tell us how to think, Politicians tell us how to move.

They are two separate things, but they influence and control the people. That is why they should have a harsher punishment. When you are given such responsibility, you should be setting an example to the populous, and not undermine those very people.

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If you don't like something I said in a post, don't just hit the dislike, let me know your thoughts! I'm interested in knowing everyone's opinions, even when they don't mesh with my own.

Re: Poll: Should Corrupt Politicians Be Put To Death?

Celebrities do NOT influence and control people the way politicians do. How much control a celebrity has over another person is 100% dependent on the person. They can say and do things, but whether or not people listen is up to the people. Celebrities took up jobs as entertainers; its their fans that chose to elevate them to the status of role model. Celebrities should not be punished just because they chose a career in entertainment. They should not be punished just because other people are too stupid to NOT listen to them when they do something stupid; it is not their fault when someone at homes chooses to emulate their bad behavior; people who emulate their bad behavior do so out of their own free will. Celebrities didn't sign up to be role models, they never asked for such responsibility; it was forced onto them by their fans... like i said, celebirities can be compared to ANYONE who ends up being looked to as a role model, such as artists, teachers and parents; by your logic, they too should face harsher punishment. ANYONE can be turned into a role model for others to follow

Politicians however have REAL power and control over our lives. They craft the laws and policies that govern our lives; they control the tax money that we give to the government, and are to use it on programs meant to benefit our society. Their actions have real impact on our lives and we can't change it until the next election cycle when the damage may have already been done. That is REAL power and control. We give it to them, and to abuse it is a REAL crime.

Re: Poll: Should Corrupt Politicians Be Put To Death?

It's not enough just to say that they are a "public figure".  Whatever influence and power they have is entirely social, not legal.  That's the difference.  People in political office have been entrusted with certain powers and authorities to perform the functions of our government.  The abuse of that trust, of those special powers and authorities, is what justifies stiffer penalties.  The same just doesn't apply to celebrities.

Re: Poll: Should Corrupt Politicians Be Put To Death?

Eh i disagree with including celebrities as those who deserve HARSHER punishment. They are just entertainers; they don't control how much people follow and idolize them. They do their job, they entertain, and how much fans adore them is up to the fans. At the end of the day, all they ask from their fans is a few bucks for their movie/music/tv show; if the fans want to give them more(like their devotion), that's all on them. You don't need to be a member of their fan club to see their latest movie; You just $10 for the ticket. They signed up to be entertainers not role models. Should people like John Lasseter or Tim Burton also get harsher punishment since a lot of young artists look to them as role models? How about teachers who may act as role models for their students? How far does it go? Celebrities should not face harsher punishment just because they chose a career in entertainment. Celebrities should face the SAME penalties as anyone else; that alone should satisfy the desire of them serving as an example for others... only way they could serve as a negative example is if they GET AWAY with their crimes or get a light sentence(which sometimes seems like the case)... as long as they get a fair sentence that should be enough.

 

Politicians on the other hand are different. These are people we are entrusting with power over ourselves. They have been given REAL power. We trust them with crafting the laws that govern our lives, with the money we contribute to pay for the needs of the country, with organizing the forces that protect and serve us. They have been given trust and power over our very lives; they should NEVER be allowed to abuse that position.

 
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