I'm stepping in here so CW doesn't lose his citizen credentials in his home state...you know, the state that doesn't need GPS ("what exit?"), the one with no left turns (what's with that anyway?), the state where you can't pump your own gas (actually, I wish that would spread to other states). I speak of the Garden State. New Jersey. Or just Jersey. Or Joisey.
As much as I rail about DC criminal, "Mayor for Life", Councilman Marion Barry, I really would be negligent for not railing equally about Hoboken Criminal "Mayor for Three Weeks" Peter Cammarano. Now, like DC, Hoboken is no pantheon of political propriety, but it appears people are actually starting to take seriously (as opposed to the "aww, isn't that quaint" view of former Providence (RI) "Mayor for Life" Buddy Cianci's criminal escapades) the brash boldness with which elected officials break the law here. That's refreshing, at least to this admitted Hoboken outsider-for-life.
But the real test will come with the next elections. Buddy Cianci was reelected so often that he became one of the longest serving "major" city mayors of all time in the US. Had it not been for his mandatory assignment to federal housing, he might still be mayor. And get this, he won, initially, on an anti-corruption campaign. And he remains one of RI's most beloved celebrities. So, in essence, who could really blame him? It appears that he was giving his city's residents what they wanted. And doing it exceedingly well (if you look at it with legal blinders). Same might be said for Marion Barry, unless you were one of the rare DC taxpayers. If people are serious about "cleaning up government", then it is really less up to law enforcement than it is up to the voter. And as long as voters are content to elect people they know are stealing taxes (present and future...think wrongly-earned pensions), helping other criminals "cut in line" for all manner of permits and city services in front of those law-abiding, tax-paying constituents, etc, we'll continue to have the veterans like Barry and Cianci and the rookies like Cammarano.
Stupid is as stupid does, voters.