Opinion

By Greg Jackson, Esq.

In following the legal saga involving former Congressional member, Corrine Brown, and persons working in her office before her failed re-election campaign, it is difficult to separate what she is in trial for from what other elected officials do or have done. Granted, not many have started a non-profit organization for the intent purpose of using the funds collected as a personal expense account; but the manner in which she went about collecting the funds and the privilege she demanded due to her position were all too familiar. How often have we seen elected officials using their influence to further causes or issues that benefit them in some form or fashion, but does nothing to better the lives of their constituents?

If the allegations against Corrine Brown are true, then in the court of public opinion she represents all that is wrong, and yet all too often accepted, in politics. Although there are laws in place that provide guidance on what elected officials can or cannot do through their title or influence, does anyone doubt that many elected officials benefit from using their title and influence? Heck, some people even say that is one of the main reasons people go into politics and for some that is okay; but for me, not so much. One situation I recall while working as an Assistant Attorney General was when a State Senator called and asked for a “favor.” His aide’s husband had gone out and purchased a truck and after driving it for a few months was not happy with the terms. So, the State Senator wanted me to help terminate the contract, to which I responded I could not. If that State Senator, were not a State Senator, I can almost bet he would never have had the nerve to ask for such a thing; but you see, privilege affects people’s common senses sometimes.

Those of us who follow politics very closely have seen the person from less than impressive beginnings break into politics and all of a sudden become a consultant or end up with jobs that they are not qualified to hold. Similar to those who gain an identity from being elected, are those who take on an attitude of entitlement once elected to public office. The essence of public service is to serve others; however, the accepted behavior is that elected officials are there to be served; and this is where the problem lies.

When an elected official has become bigger than the community they serve or more important than the people they represent, crazy, unethical things can happen. The entitlement attitude also appears to be infectious and spreads to the people working for the elected official, as well as the associates of the elected official.

The Corrine Brown case is of particular interest because at one-time Congresswoman Brown represented parts of Central Florida and her tag line was “Corrine Delivers!” But, I guess no one ever really thought to ask the cost of her “delivery services” or who her deliveries benefited. According to the U.S. Government, it appears that the cost of those services was one non-profit organization, minus the proper designation with the IRS to serve as her personal account for travel and parties. As the election season kicks up in Apopka, one has to wonder if another Corrine-type situation will come about. Many new faces are hoping to assume positions of “power” that we know very little about, except what they tell us or want us to know about them. As such, I implore each of you to be very cognizant of the other “Corrines” out there. Our community cannot stand many more questionable situations like this when the only thing delivered, at the end of the day, is embarrassment – in my humble opinion

 

Greg Jackson is a former Assistant Attorney General for the State of Florida, a military veteran, current Orange County District 2 Representative on the Board of Zoning Adjustments, and General Counsel for the Community Redevelopment Agency. He has been as an active member of the Central Florida community for nearly 20 years. He was most recently a candidate for the Florida House District 45 seat.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Reggie, is part of Greg’s opinion article missing? Right at the bottom of his article the last sentence of ” our community cannot” seems to end with something missing. Is something missing there?

  2. You know Greg, I am going to uphold Ms. Corrine Brown. She has said that her charges are a “political witch hunt” and darn, I have to agree with her! I don’t have all the info to determine if she is guilty or not guilty, but what stands out to me is that she is not being treated in the same fashion as other well-known politicians who have allegedly done some very questionable dealings with money and charities, and campaign funds, and etc. Allegedly, namely Pam Bondi, Donald Trump, and the former second in command under Gov. Rick Scott previously, Ms. Carroll, I believe, was her name, the Lieu. Gov. who was alledgedly involved with the gambling fiasco, Allied Veterans, no charges there. Scott’s own hospital……….. $$$$$ charging it to the US government funds of Medicare allegedly. And lots and lots of others in elected office, all across the states! They have said they are going to put Ms. Brown in prison for 135 years! Well guess what, it AIN’T GONNA happen! Ms. Brown was a very good representative of the people for a very long time, and had an excellent voting record, as far as I am concerned. She has been ridiculed to death, but she is a strong woman, and they are not going to break her! I don’t know what it is, and why they are so gung-ho on putting her in prison with all these other high profile politicians strutting around and getting away with everything. I don’t know if it is her strong “no holds barred personality”, because she truly is being discriminated against because she is black, or whether it is because she is a Democrat in a GOP majority, but something is going on! That is my opinion of the situation as to why Ms. Brown is being treated so harshly when others aren’t even facing the music.

  3. Absolutely spot on Greg. Ive always said that there’s a distinct difference between politicians, elected officials and public servants. Unfortunately, there aren’t as many public servants holding office as there should be.

  4. Today I heard it was 350 years Ms. Brown could get in prison, instead of 135 years…..I told you wrong, when I stated 135 years above. Like it matters at her age??? She didn’t kill anyone. Maybe she deserves punishment, maybe not, but a possible sentence like that?? Or to even imply a sentence like that???? Many murderers or hideous violent acts by sadistic people get way less time, and I hear the prosecutor worked on her case for two years! I guess his office has lots and lots of time to devote to prosecuting her case, instead of taking on all the murderers, rapists, and child sexual predators, etc. Too bad they can’t prosecute the sickening bunch that just gathered on the White House lawn to celebrate the sorry low-down Trump healthcare act victory that isn’t even a victory yet. It makes me despise them that much more!!! Enemies of the people, is what they are!!! Trump and his bunch of idiots are ruining our country, and fattening his own wallet at the same time, and looking out after his equally despicable fat cat ultra rich buddies. The greedy bunch!

  5. I just heard the verdict read on tv in the Corrine Brown trial…..she was found guilty on 18 counts. This makes me so very angry because she has been treated so differently than others in similar positions of power who have allegedly done far worse corrupt dealings and they allegedly CONTINUE to get away with everything! The Trump administration’s questionable practices, and allegedly Trump and his own family’s alleged shady business dealings, and Trump’s alleged ties to the Russians, and his firing of the of the FBI guy who was investigating it all!!! Also alleged corruption right in our own state’s administration! It sure looks HIGHLY SUSPIOUS to me, that jurors could not come to terms on her guilt until all of a sudden one juror complains of another juror’s comments, something a juror had said about “higher beings”, then the juror is dismissed, and a new one comes on board, and pronto, a quick decision of guilt is rendered! Mighty funny when that juror was dismissed, all of a sudden the jurors are all in agreement now, as to Ms. Brown’s guilt.??????? Was the juror replaced because the juror did not believe Ms. Brown was guilty or was unsure of her guilt???? LOOKS THAT WAY TO ME!!!! Where there is smoke, there is fire……seems very suspect to me!!!!!! If this guilty verdict sticks, after an appeal, I hope the whole damn Republican pack is happy, because if they are some of the ones in power who are allegedly getting away with corrupt crap, I hope they join her in prison too, with a possible 350 years in prison, and someone can get a grip on this country, where certain rich people are not above the law and receive a different standard of treatment. It is absolutely ridiculous what is going on in our country!!!

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