NBA legend Kevin Garnett recently appeared on the Dan Patrick Show and talked about college basketball recruiters coming to recruit him in high school. He was offered a lot of cash and lots of financial opportunities for his family. When one recruiter pulled out a large amount of money as a bribe, Garnett’s grandmother got her shotgun.
Kevin was told by his grandmother, ‘always set the tone with people that you could never be bought. If you can be bought once, you can be bought always.’ What his grandmother said has stuck with him.
Do politicians need a granny like that?
There have been some politicians who have taken the money, like former Treasurer of State Martha Shoffner (D) who received a pile of money in a pizza box and former Senator Jeremy Hutchinson (R) who used his law practice to hide bribes for legislative favors. And then there was the legislator who admitted to a Conduit for Action cofounder the reason he worked to help defeat legislation to require Medicaid providers to reveal business relationships with legislators. He said, “If that passed, we couldn’t make a living.”
More than any direct financial gain, there is the temptation to compromise principals so that big business will support their reelection and so Governor Asa Hutchinson will not work against them for choosing conservative values instead of his agenda.
But do not paint all politicians with the same brush! There are many fine politicians who stay true to their promises and are never corrupted. They have chosen the harder road … but the right road.