How do bribes, contributions differ?

Published 11:59 pm Tuesday, April 7, 2009

On March 21, I attended a town meeting at LBWCC-MacArthur in Opp, a meeting headed by Sen. Richard Shelby. Shelby opened the meeting by giving a run-down of how bad the economy was: “which everyone already knows.” And, from there, he began speaking on who was to blame or who was at fault. He, of course, began with the “Democrats,” as he is a Republican. He also named Alan Greenspan, former head of the Federal Reserve; he also had a chart, naming China, Russia, Japan and Europe.

Sen. Shelby called on District Attorney Greg Gambril; LBWCC’s president; and other politicians, to ask them how things are going. Gambril praised Sen. Shelby for money allowing Covington County to fight drugs — funds Sen. Shelby says come from “slush funds.”

LBWCC’s president said they are doing pretty good, but having lost some state money, could certainly use more federal money. Couldn’t education always use more money?

Now, to get to the gripe that I went to the meeting with. I started off with a quote from Thomas Jefferson:

“This Government, as it gets older, richer, and more powerful will be like a big fish in the pond that swallows up all the little fish … then the people have the responsibility to overthrow this government that does not represent the people and set up one that will.”

Then I asked Sen. Shelby, did he know how much money, in his many years as a U.S. Senator and head of the banking business, he had received from the banks he was supposed to regulate. He said, “A lot of money — but it was all legal.”

“If you give me the authority to write the laws, I can make anything I do be legal.”

Now, would someone other than a politician tell me the difference between a bribe and a political contribution?

Robert H. Worley