August 13, 2007

Perception of Corruption, Corruption of Perception

Keeping with my goal of staying positive, Oliver Thomas’s plea is not the “black eye” that “could hinder N.O. recovery aid” as the Times-Picayune headline may suggest.

The perception game is silly, as others have pointed out.

But, let’s assume that America and Washington, DC, thinks New Orleans and Louisiana is full of corrupt politicians and always has been, the type of perception we are trying to avoid. Then, it would be consistent with that perception that there should be plenty of corrupt politicians for the US Attorneys to find. In fact, if they were *not* prosecuting a bevy of politicians for corrupt practices, *then* America and her politicians may be able to say that we tolerate corruption in this part of the world and can not be trusted with millions of dollars in recovery aid.

Thomas’ plea shows that, whether or not we did so in the past, the new New Orleans, or at least its federal enforcement arm, is not going to tolerate corruption. Not even in a popular politician like Oliver Thomas.

That’s a positive.

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