Tuesday, August 03, 2010
TIME FOR A NO-BRIBERY POLICY HERE IN ST. JOHNS COUNTY
Former Republican County Commission Chairman JAMES BRYANT is exposed in the Ponte Vedra Recorder last week (see "The House that Jim Built", below). Former Republican Former St. Johns County Commission Chair THOMAS G. MANUEL is now federal prisoner number #32566-018, incarcerated at the federal prison in Butner, North Carolina.
MANUEL was not the first public official in St. Johns County to take a bribe.
We need an anti-bribery campaign in St. Johns County and St. Augustine and the other government agencies here. A St. Augustine Record editorial didn't quite call for that, as I have for months. Instead, it acts like bribery was a one-time event instead of commonplace.
How revealing -- the Record ignores the evidence of its own senses, refuses to print the news and praises GEORGE McCLURE (of all people), a seedy lobbyist for environmental devastators, who gets off on his representing speculators like ROBERT MICHAEL GRAUBARD.
Of course, people who are offered bribes should turn in the bribepayer.
Of course, people who are asked to give bribes should turn in the public official.
A culture of corruption can be changed one day at a time, just as courageous citizens have done in Sicily.
Stand up to bribepayers and bribetakers, who destroy our democracy.
Interesting that there's still never been one editorial in local newspapers against bribery and calling for an anti-bribery campaign, even though our former Republican County Commission Chair THOMAS MANUEL is pleading guilty tomorrow, after ndictment for bribery,for accepting $60,000.
In fact, when MANUEL pled guilty, the WRecKord omitted the fact that MANUEL was a REPUBLICAN.
One-party rule wasn't even relevant to the two reporters who covered the MANUEL plea. (A chronology did say "GOP", but neither article said "REPUBLICAN.")
In fact, when former NYC Police Commissioner (and George W. Bush Homeland Security nominee) BERNARD KERIK was sentenced to four years in prison, the WrecKord omitted that fact too.
Oleaginous St. Augustine corporate lawyer GEORGE McCLURE, longtime developer lawyer who shows his open contempt for public particpation in government, was scheduled to be a witness against MANUEL. Did McCLURE get a deal from federal prosecutors? If not, why would be McCLURE testifying? Is this a sudden pang of conscience after inflicting so many ugly, tree-killing, wetland-destroying projects on our community?
What do you reckon?
Will St. Johns County and St. Augustine return to business as usual?