It seems like Trump bribed the Florida attorney general


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/09/09/it-seems-like-trump-bribed-the.html


#2

It seems like Trump bribed the Florida attorney general

Got her pretty cheap too. He’s got that going for him…


#3

Of course he did.

But since your rulers just decided to make bribery legal, wotcha gonna do about it?


#4

That’s because he’s a great briber. The best. He has great bribes.


#5

This non-story is a plant from Democrat party operatives to distract from Crooked Hillary’s email server!*
 

  • Trump 2016!

#6

Related to this, and something I’ve seen raised elsewhere: are “offering a bribe” and “accepting a bribe” equivalent, or is one worse than the other? If so, which one? Legally or ethically?

Personal opinions and estimates of public opinion are both of interest. How do you view it, how does the general electorate view it, how does the law view it, how should the law view it?


#7

This doesn’t matter, I have been informed, because Bill Clinton got $18 million for an honorary position at a for-profit college that Obama didn’t shut down!


#8

Accepting a bribe is definitely the wrongest of the wrongs. Charitably, offering a bribe might be a desperate act to get your job done when all other avenues have failed; accepting a bribe means you are not doing your job and wish to be paid even more to not do it.


#9

typing down here to make BB happy


#10

Hmmm.

Let’s break this down ethically, morally, and legally.

Ethics
The duty of someone involved at the top level of a business seems to be “If you can get away with it and it makes money for your shareholders, do it.” Whereas with Congress, you’re swearing an oath to represent the people of your constituency. So, in my opinion, a offering a bribe to an official is in service of the duty you’ve sworn to do, whereas accepting one is a betrayal of that duty. So I would say that, ethically, they’re not equivalent, and accepting the bribe is worse.

Morals
I’m going to make it simple: I don’t think there’s a moral distinction between committing an act yourself and paying someone else to commit that act. Whether I’m shooting a puppy or paying someone to shoot a puppy, I’m equally morally culpable. So I would say that acting in a corrupt fashion, and paying someone to act in a corrupt fashion, are both equally morally heinous.

Legality
I have no idea which is worse, but I think that offering the bribe should be punished more harshly, as a deterrent. The people have a recourse that allows them to throw out corrupt politicians, by failing to re-elect them (we don’t use that recourse nearly often enough, but we have it). However, we have no real recourse against those who offer the bribes except to enact laws to prevent them. And, since we’re so bad at finding and convicting people of bribery, we need to set the punishment high enough that the company has enough of a disincentive to being caught that they don’t try offering the bribe in the first place. If the punishment for offering the bribe is less than the amount that they’d profit if it’s accepted, there’s no point in punishing them at all.


#11

The only time I bribed an official was when Guatemalan border guards asked our group to each pay a “fee” (I think around $15 a head or less) to enter the country from Mexico. But the act of bribery was so formalized and procedural that I probably wouldn’t have even recognized it as such if I hadn’t known otherwise ahead of time—even the guide books for the region accurately informed visitors about the standard bribe amount for the crossing. Higher ranking officials obviously had to know it was going on, but in that society it was just accepted as part of the immigration officers’ compensation package.


#12

Ugh, Pam Bondi is a complete scumbag and embarrassment to Florida (and that’s not easy to pull off!). Her and Rick Scott are really doing harm to my state.


#13

Yes! But it also seems like Clinton may have sent an email at one time. You see how those two even out?


#14

So how do we fix it?

I mean, yeah, not vote for him for president, but how do we make sure Hillary fixes it?


#15

And BB is happy. At least for a little while.


#16

There are two kinds of bribes
(1) To get someone to do their job (like process your paperwork quickly)
(2) To get someone to not do their job (like Trump paying Bondi not to prosecute).

(1) Is very common in the 3rd world and is more the result of people being underpaid, but we still see it in the US, its just a little more subtle like restaurants that give free meals to cops because they want cops hanging around. Its corruption, but we often let it pass if its not egregious.

(2) Is the kind of obvious corruption that can’t be tolerated in any way and still claim that we have the rule of law.


Another point: We should make giving bribes legal. Accepting bribes should remain illegal. A problem with preventing bribery is that both parties have reason to keep it secret. But if the briber has no consequences for admitting to the bribe, that makes it much riskier for the bribee to accept the bribe.

It kind of flips the script - the bribee has power over the briber, that’s why they are getting a bribe in the first place. But once the bribe is paid, now the briber has total power over the bribee - they could end the bribee’s career and get them sent to jail. At a minimum that should increase the size of the bribe because the bribee has much more to lose - accept one bribe and now you are 100% owned by the briber.


#17

I think we would have to occupy some place. Someplace full of powerful money brokers and deal makers. Somewhere iconic, that would make a good hash tag… Hmmmmm.


#18

When I was a kid in Chicago you never bribed the traffic cops to get out of a ticket, but it turned out they had these really amazing pencils that you could only get from them, and that they would sell to you (as as service to the community) for $10. The transaction would help them realize how well-intentioned you were, and they’d let you off with a warning.

I understand this tradition of honesty continues to this day in the Chicago PD.


#19

Easy: we just have to bribe whoever it is that has the authority to outlaw bribery.


#20

I made this ad about this scandal: