Gregory Parker, Guest Editorial: Corruption, cronyism continues in Montgomery County government

Gregory Parker in deep contemplation.

Gregory Parker, Guest Editorialist to The Golden Hammer

“There are no necessary evils in government; Its evils exist only in its abuses.” ~ President Andrew Jackson.

Previously I wrote an article entitled “Why the Worst Rise to the Top?” In it, I identified three factors that aid the worst individuals in their rise to the top: docile and gullible citizens, cronyism, and moral narcissism. While there is extensive research on the topic of ethics in politics, the focus of this article is a brief look at the factor of cronyism.

The level of cronyism, which The Golden Hammer reported as recently as yesterday, is yet another reason why the worst among us rise to the top. Unfortunately, we see this all too often at the federal and state level, with political allies receiving plum jobs and political appointments, as well as politically friendly companies receiving special subsidies, prime contracts, and tailored regulations.

It is also common at the local levels of government with developers and local business people bankrolling Mark Keough, Charlie Riley, and James Metts political campaigns in exchange for county contracts, regulation abatements, and appraisal reductions. This type of cronyism allows the most ignorant and power-thirsty people to align with such business people, in effect becoming useful “idiots” for the more unscrupulous individuals. Replacing Doyal with Keough changed nothing.

Cronyism

Cronyism is the practice of awarding jobs, contracts, or other advantages to friends, trusted colleagues, and or political allies. Unchecked and excessive cronyism creates a system in which success in transactions or business, in general, depends on close relationships and favoritism between a person of power and another. Unfortunately, we see this all too often at the federal and state level, with political allies receiving plum jobs and political appointments, as well as politically friendly companies receiving special subsidies, prime contracts, and tailored regulations. It is also common at the local levels of government with developers and local businesspeople bankrolling political campaigns in exchange for city or county contracts, regulation abatements, and appraisals reductions. Most recently, with Montgomery County Commissioners using county resources to pave roads leading to their homes or their friends’ homes. Not to mention purchasing overpriced medical equipment from political allies.

Such cronyism by which an individual of power provides favoritism to colleagues, family, or friends creates a fertile environment for a crony socialist system at all levels of government. Moreover, it should be noted that the more cronyism added to any system, the more socialist and tyrannical that system and its leaders become.

Furthermore, while we defined cronyism above as the practice of awarding jobs, contracts, or other advantages to friends, trusted colleagues, and or political allies, so many focus just on the awarding jobs, contracts and forego the latter part of that definition. I.E. the advantages to friends, trusted colleagues and or political allies. While these advantages can be monetary they can also manifest themselves in government advantages given to political movements. We see this with some local government favoring the BLM and Antifa socialist political organizations. The City of New York allowed BLM to paint political messages on city streets without permits or paying required fees, while blatantly denying permits to conservative movements, who sought to follow the law. Additionally, several local governments allowed leftist groups to gather in massive protests and riots during the COVID 19 pandemic however denied Christian churches the right to gather in groups.

Regrettably, such cronyism has become tolerable among citizens given the lack of real consequence for corrupt actions. Local DAs refuse to prosecute BLM rioters or other evident corrupt city or county leaders. US Attorneys overlook blatant federal government abuses. They are forcing Americans to accept such cronyism as par for the course.

Local politicians claim integrity matters, yet they associate with and overlook cronyism for the sake of elected office or to hold on to power. Whether that cronyism is monetary or other advantages, cronyism is prevalent within local government, and the only real choice seems to be the choice as to which degree of cronyism does the individual prefers. That is to say; the argument is no longer about freedom and free markets, but about just how much or how little corruption we as citizens are willing to tolerate from our local leaders.

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