Sex + Money + Power = Corruption

November 18, 2012


WASHINGTON, D.C. (exclusive) by Ivy Harper

D.C.’s a City of Scandals. Is now, was then and sadly, always will be.

The combination of power, sex + money corrupts. Absolutely.

Not longer after arriving on Capitol Hill in January, 1977 with former Rep. John Cavanaugh (D-NE), we corn-born, naive Nebraska staffers became privy to one Congressional fall from grace after another.

A couple of the late 1970’s/80’s disgraced Congressmen were Cavanaugh colleagues in the Cannon House Office Building, including Rep. John Murphy of New York who was caught up in Abscam, and Rep. John Jenrette, who was snared in a series of  exploits that hit the tabloids with ferocity. Jenrette’s wife, Rita, is remembered for her description of sex on the marble Capitol Steps.

Since I had idealized politics along with my awesome UN-L political science & journalism Professors, I was pretty shocked at stuff. Rather than D.C. being a place of lofty, noble conversation and compromise, it was so often about compromising positions.

Looking back, what went on was simply staggering. And the shenanigans did not just take place on the Hill. The first job I took – post-Capitol Hill – was at the United States Tuna Foundation (USTF).

Hey, it sounded good. I’d learned all about purseine nets while I was on the Hill and I wanted to save some tuna.

Ummmm. That would be no. Turns out the USTF was…well, how shall I put this delicately: okay, it was – like so many Washington “Foundations,” a farce.

Again, I joined thinking I was going to be part of an effort to stop these horrific, massive nets from collecting everything the seas had to offer.

Instead, I learned just how former Representative John Breaux loved to party, and how tied and tethered to big-time commercial “fishing” interests the Ragin’ Cajun really was.

OMG, I didn’t even stay at Tuna too long but I was there long enough to learn that men who own $10 & $20 million dollar tuna boats are in a league of their own and they felt as if they kinda owned the Congressmen who hung out with them. If you know what I mean.

Ever after, when Breaux’s name was bandied about as this or that national candidate, I remember thinking, “I don’t think so.”

My point is: Washington holds decades – nee centuries – of secrets that have, miraculously, never been exposed.

For every General Patraeus, Paula Broadwell, Jill Kelly, scores and scores of scores of Washingtonians are breathing huge sighs of relief and saying, “There but for the Grace of God go I.”





No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: