Yesterday the FBI netted a number of New Jersey politicians on various bribery charges. In many cases, the defendants were duped by a cooperating witness who dangled $10K in exchange for various favors. Breathtakingly stupid indeed. A simple google search for the witness’s name probably would have spared them the predicament (I bet the ones who did are not among the arrested).
Still, in the large scheme of things, $10K isn’t a lot of money, especially for the defendants. In my field, that’s about 2 month’s pay (alright, the bribes aren’t going to up on their tax forms). So why can some politicians be bought on the cheap?
If I were in charge of ethics reforms, I would make politicians so expensive to bribe than only large corporations making large and highly scrutinized transactions can afford them.
And If I were a NJ politician today, I’d ignore anything below 6 figures.