John Edwards, Ted Stevens and Sarah Palin are politicians whose greedy actions have recently been exposed. The question is, how many more publicly elected officials secretly allow greed to dictate their actions?
Greedy people are everywhere, though politicians have the frightening combination of excessive greed and the capacity to obtain what they desire without the public being aware of what they are doing. Luckily, there several recent instances where a politician was caught trying to obtain more than they deserved and their actions were exposed.
Alaska senator Ted Stevens was indicted on July 29th for accepting gifts from Veco, an Alaska oil pipeline corporation, and then lying about where they money came from. He already owned a vacation home, though he decided to accept $441,000 in renovations to it, and he assumed that nobody would notice. Making this greedy act even worse is that Veco had a strong political presence in Alaska, and Stevens promoted their services, thus misleading Alaskans simply for his own personal gain. Alaskan congressman Don Young is also under federal investigation for possibly accepting bribes from oil companies, exposing a disturbing trend among Alaska’s politicians.
Greed can also take non-monetary form, as was shown in the case of John Edwards. Edwards had been having an affair with Rielle Hunter, a former campaign worker for Edwards, for an unknown amount of time, though it likely had been going on for at least several months. Edwards’ wife had recently been diagnosed with cancer in her rib, though his greedy lust for women made him have an affair instead of standing by his wife during a difficult time in her life.
Greed in the form of hidden agendas sometimes becomes painfully obvious. Senator John McCain’s vice-presidential choice, Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin who is under investigation as to whether she abused her power in dismissing the state’s public safety commissioner. An ongoing legislative investigation may require her to testify about whether she was behind efforts by her husband and senior staff to pressure the state’s public safety commissioner to fire her ex-brother-in-law from the state troopers.
These examples of greedy acts by politicians that were recently discovered forces one to wonder how many other politicians are taking advantage of their position to satiate their personal desires. We can only hope that there are some honest politicians that use their power for selfless, non-greedy reasons.