Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL) was recently sentenced to five years in prison for fraud involving over $800,000, According to The Washington Post:
“Corrine Brown, a former longtime United States representative from Florida, was sentenced to five years in prison on Monday for operating a fraudulent charity that she used for more than $300,000 in personal expenses, including tickets for N.F.L. games and a Beyoncé concert.
“A federal judge handed down the sentence in a Jacksonville, Fla., courtroom, excoriating Ms. Brown, 71, for abusing her powerful position in the House of Representatives for “entitlement and greed” to support a lavish lifestyle. Ms. Brown, a Democrat who represented parts of Jacksonville and northern Florida for nearly a quarter-century, must surrender to the authorities next month.
“’Brazen barely describes it,’ the judge, Timothy J. Corrigan of United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, said of Ms. Brown’s sham charity.”
In a parallel story, The Blaze included a picture of Ms. Brown surrounded by former Democrat presidential candidate and accused shakedown artist Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI – recently resigned from Congress in the face of multiple accusations of sexual misconduct), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA identified by Tucker Carlson of FOXNews as among the most corrupt members of Congress). All proof positive you are known by the company you keep.
Ms. Brown served in Congress for over twenty-five years. Mr. Conyers, who used $27,000 of taxpayer funds to settle a sexual harassment complaint, served in Congress for nearly fifty years. Mr, Conyers’ wife, Monica, is currently serving a prison term for conspiracy to commit bribery. Ms. Waters was first elected to Congress in 1991 and continues to serve today. Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) recently announced that he will resign soon in the face of multiple allegations of sexual harassment after serving nearly nine year in Congress. Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), who used $84,000 of taxpayers funds to settle a sexual harassment complaint, has served in Congress for nearly seven years. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) who was forced to resign for distributing pornographic pictures of his private parts over the internet served in Congress for nearly 12 years. Mr., Weiner is currently serving a twenty-one month sentence for distributing pornography to a minor. Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) retired from Congress after twenty-eight years in the face of allegations relating to an incident in the men’s bathroom in the Minneapolis airport. Sen. Bob Packwood (R-OR) was forced to resign in light of allegations of sexual harassment after serving nearly 32 years. The list can go on forever. Rep. William J. Jefferson (D-LA) retired from the House after allegations of corruption after serving eighteen years. He is currently serving a thirteen-year sentence in federal prison after conviction of bribery.
The reason that these names are listed is that each has served for five or more years in Congress. Under congressional pension rules a member need serve only five years in order to qualify for a congressional pension at age sixty-two. That’s right, five years. Which means that these disgraced members of Congress, these convicted felons, these accused misogynists will all be tapping the taxpayer till again for pensions despite their abhorrent conduct.
The members of Congress demand that they be identified as leaders. They hold the levers of power. If that is to be then they also should be held to higher standard of conduct. Like Caesar’s wife they should be above suspicion.
The same can be said of former presidents – Bill Clinton; former cabinet officers – Hillary Clinton; former governors – Neil Goldschmidt (D-OR); and former Portland mayors – Sam Adams (D- Portland). And one of the best ways of encouraging such higher standard of conduct is to put their pensions at risk for violation of acceptable conduct – a moral’s clause. Wikipedia defines moral clauses thusly:
“A moral clause within contracts used as a means of holding the individual or party(s) to a certain behavioral standard so as not to bring disrepute, contempt or scandal to [an] other individual or party to the contract and their interests. It attempts to preserve a public and private image of such a party to the contract. In essence one party to the contract is purchasing the other party’s good name or reputation. These clauses are most seen in contracts between actors and actresses and their studios, athletes and their organization or proprietors of a product that the athlete(s) may endorse or as a part of a marital settlement. Commonly proscribed activity include the use or abuse of alcohol, the use of illegal drugs or narcotics or illegal or illicit sexual activity.” [Bracketed words supplied]
But adoption of such a condition requires affirmative action by members of Congress who have for decades avoided any attempts at accountability.