By Quin Hillyer at Yellowhammer News;

Did you see the Sunday guest column at al.com by Alabama’s temporary U.S. Sen. Luther Strange? It would be risibleif it weren’t also so insulting to readers’ intelligence.

 

Entitled “The importance of taking on corruption,” Strange’s column bragged (in effect) that “the National Association of Attorneys General asked me to deliver the keynote speech to their National Anticorruption Academy,” and then detailed all the reasons why fighting corruption supposedly is “a subject I know a lot about.”

 

To an extent, it’s true: Strange organized a task force that – often without his direct involvement – did prosecute, and win convictions of, a number of corrupt public officials.

 

The obvious reality that Strange’s column ignores is that Strange then completely undermined public confidence in the political system’s freedom from corruption. Just by allowing himself to be considered for appointment to the U.S. Senate by the same governor his own office was investigating, Strange did as much to promote public cynicism as anything in recent memory.

 

Even if there was no “deal,” no quid pro quo, or even no “wink and a nod,” between Strange and then-Gov. Robert Bentley, the appearance of a corrupt bargain was so obvious, so strong, and so toxic that Strange should have avoided it like the Ebola virus.

 

The rule is simple, indeed as simple as the rule governing sexual harassment: If you wield great authority over a person, then don’t ask, much less accept, favors from that person.

 

It’s even worse when you hold authority over someone who himself wields great power. Your ability to receive a truly significant favor, in such a case, is especially large – and the temptation for you to adjust accordingly how you exercise your authority over him grows tremendously.

[The whole column is at this link.]

 

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