Corruption in government

The remarks of Melissa Deckman, chairwoman of Washington College’s political science department in the article, “Vignarajah enters race for governor,” 8-10-17, are very troubling. Professor Deckman said she will have her eye on Krish Vignarajah. According to the professor, the big question is whether this largely unknown candidate for governor will be able to raise the money necessary for a viable campaign.

It sounds as if Professor Deckman teaches her students if one is not able to raise the money, then one is not qualified to be governor. On the other hand, if one is able to raise the money, then that person is a serious, highly qualified candidate. What a terrible message this professor is sending her students.

Donald Trump demonstrated the ability to “raise the money.” Look what kind of politician he has become. The Clintons – both Hilary and Bill, were able to “raise the money.” Look what kind of politicians they became. Mayor Pugh was able to “raise the money.” Look at what kind of job she is doing.

What Professor Deckman does not understand is that campaign contributions are nothing but disguised bribes. Once a person has taken money from a constituent that person has “been bought.” What’s more, the person has given up his/her moral authority.

I teach my students that we should not give any politician one penny. I teach my students that they should become participants in our political system and learn the art of advocating for their causes. The best part is this does not cost any money. It should be obvious a major difference exists between my philosophy and that of Professor Deckman.

I believe the best way to teach my students is not by words only, but by action. A feature of the JAFFE MOVEMENT consists of showing my students where the corruption is and then giving them an opportunity, on a voluntary basis, to support the principles for which I stand. Hence, I have participated in 5 previous campaigns for office, and currently, I an a candidate for governor in the 2018 Democratic primary. In all of my campaigns I have been consistent. I do not take campaign contributions because they are “disguised bribes.” While they might be legal they are “unethical.”

It is a sad commentary that money has become such a dominant force in our political system today. To equate the amount of money a candidate is able to raise with the degree of success the candidate will achieve or the seriousness of the candidacy is doing a tremendous disservice to the concept of a politician whose job is to serve – yes, actually serve – his/her constituents.
This mentality only leads to a hunger for power, fame, and glory on the part of the career politician. This mentality supersedes the more important qualities of candidates – namely, sincerity, integrity, ideas. This mentality explains why so much “corruption” has pervaded our political system today.

I would suggest to Professor Deckman and Professor Eberly that they ask their students to check my website, Heaven forbid, the students of these professors might actually learn what real, ethical reform is all about.

Ralph Jaffe
Democratic candidate for governor in the 2018 primary election


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