What a schock! Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock, who came bursting on the political scene in 2008, when he was only 27 years old, has resigned amid a money-spending scandal. Here's what happened. So many people had donated to Aaron's campaign fund in the past few years, that he couldn't spend it fast enough. He's leaving office with over $3 million still in the fund! The problem was that no one in his office knew how to keep good records... a certain no-no! It's been reported that his office has had "sloppy" record-keeping, to put it mildly.
Aaron boasted about his travels around the world, posting pictures online. And his flamboyant, lavish living was a bit "in your face" to certain individuals, especially Justice Department officials! There was questionable spending and ethical issues, at the very least. Aaron should have learned from Jesse Jackson Jr. that you can't just dip your hand in the campaign funds anytime you want. Aaron has recently admitted that his life as a young congressman has resulted in making some bad decisions that he regrets now. His sudden stardom had gone to his head! But the truth is: Aaron was not crafty enough in the way he spent his money. And the sadder truth is that many current politicians make what Aaron did seem like child's play.
The difference between Aaron and some "seasoned" politicians is that the more experienced ones try to hide their lavish lifestyles and know how to "manage" their books! Too many are seasoned deceivers, liars, and manipulators! And the longer they're in office, the "wiser" they get, to know how to shake down corporations and steal from taxpayers legally. It's true!
Many politicians have leadership PACs (political action committees), also known as "slush funds". These PACs provide a way to fund travel, office expenses, consultants, and other non-campaign expenses. One congressman spent $800 on expensive cigars, out of his fund for "office expense". Many dip into their funds, and spend it on trips, golfing, renting yachts, etc. They can play golf at the best courses around the world. The trick is to record it with some explanation tied to your campaign. Politicians can even donate to other candidates' campaigns, especially to the senior members in their party, to give themselves the best possible chance to move up the ladder. Both Democrats and Republicans do this. Not all, but most. You just learn to play along or shut up! And so goes the cycle of American politics!
PACs have been around for many years, but there have always been contribution limits. So in 2010, a different kind of PAC was formed, called a Super PAC. A Super PAC may raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations, and even individuals (especially wealthy ones!) and can spend unlimited amounts of money to advocate for OR against political candidates. But Super PACs are not allowed to coordinate directly with candidates or political parties. To get around that, they just coordinate indirectly, you know, through a 3rd person. It's a joke! As of March 9, 2015, 230 groups have organized as Super PACs, and reported contributions to the sum of almost $700 million!
Many politicians see how much money (into the millions!) they can make "creatively" and still be legal... barely! It doesn't matter about ethics or morals, as long as they can legally get away with it! Next month, I am going to report on one such politician, and you are not going to believe it! Stay tuned!