When I was a child my parents and my grandparents taught me a valuable lesson: if you are caught red-handed, STOP LYING! If your hand is literally in the cookie jar, stop saying “I wasn’t stealing a cookie”. Seems simple enough, so simple a small child understood it. Too bad our politicians still can not grasp this concept.
Bill Clinton,”I did not have sexual relations with that girl”. Oh, you found my semen on her dress? Hand in cookie jar! But wait, “I don’t define oral sex as sex”…What???? Oral sex has the word sex in it! I would have had more respect if he either confessed to lying, or simply shut up and offered no defense at that point.
How many times must we see politicians get caught lying, stealing, cheating, and still deny it to the bitter end? To me it is highly insultive of our intelligence. Let us look at a local example (for me) of George Shirakawa Jr.:
George was born to a Japanese-American father and a Latina mother. Also Georgey Boy is not a small man. Why would I bring that up? Trust me, it plays a part! So, Jr. grows up around gambling,his pappy , a San Jose City Councilman, used to take regular gambling forays to Reno and mostly played in our local casinos. You might have thought this would provide a conflict of interest for Sr. when voting on issues such as Garden City’s (local casino) controversial expansion but, this being California politics where nobody sees conflicts when Feinstein votes on contracts that award her husband millions of dollars, nobody saw any potential conflict here either.
When Jr. was an adult his poppa told a friend ‘I’m having trouble with my own kid, and he’s an adult now. He won’t apply himself; he doesn’t have a job; he’s watching TV all day long,'”. Well, Jr. had a family you see, he had married had kids, divorced, and was later forced by criminal prosecution to pay child support. Yup, a real stand up feller, Jr. is. Why wouldn’t we vote for a man like this?
Flash forward and George Sr. is up for reelection and preparing for heart surgery. The year is 1994 and Sr. asks (then) Councilman Jim Beall to look out for his son. Sadly, Sr. does not survive long after surgery, his name still on the ballot. He wins the election posthumously (silly Ca. you stay on the ballot, even when deceased, why not?) They run a special election with Beall’s help, and his son wins on name recognition. Guess what? Both the local casinos want to expand again. 3 months after being elected the SJ Mercury News spotted Jr. in Tahoe at 3am playing Pai Gow tiles (a very addicting asian gambling game played with dominoes) As speculation begins that Georgey Boy may not be the best man to vote on casino expansion he waylays any fears by saying, while he sympathized with families torn apart by gambling addiction, he told the council that he supported the increase because otherwise gambling “will be illegal and uncontrolled.”He continued, “For those of you who gamble, if you’ve ever had the fever of gambling, which I have … if you want to gamble, you are going to gamble, you are going to gamble.” Yeppers, that cleared it up for me, let him cast his unbiased vote! It is irrelevant both casinos donate heavily to Shirakawas.
Flash forward again, Shirakawa Jr. maintained a connection to the voters. He served multiple terms on two school boards and two terms on the City Council. In June, he won re-election to a second term on the Board of Supervisors without even a challenger. Here comes the bad news, Jr. surrounded himself with an inner circle that enabled his bad habits and lack of discipline, rarely pushing back.Co-workers say by the time he started his first term as supervisor, he constantly ignored the protocols involved in maintaining receipts and records, which ultimately contributed to his downfall.
What did he do? How was his hand in the cookie jar? Let’s see, Shirakawa pleaded guilty to each of five felonies — four counts of perjury and one count of misappropriating public funds. He also pleaded guilty to seven misdemeanors for failing to file accurate campaign reports. Yeah, poor guy, it seems there are laws against silly things like lying while under oath(unless you are a POTUS) and stealing taxpayer’s money as well as campaign contributions to try and bank a Sky-Sky (Pai Gow talk), in other words, it is apparently illegal to steal money, even if you are doing something cool like gambling.
You may now wonder why I mentioned his ethnicity and obesity, huh? Okay, when this story first started to break a year ago, Georgey Boy claimed his innocence. When that didn’t seem to work he did what any liberal politician with a deck of cards would do, he played the race card. When even that did not back off the prosecutors, this stand up guy pulls an even more ridiculous card, he says he is being vilified because he is ….fat! Yep, it seems all this evidence was being cooked up because he liked to supersize his meals. Ooooookay, Georgey Boy.
I know this is but one of many stories like this, a politician caught red handed. If Jr. had simply admitted his wrongdoing when it was obvious he was caught, and talked about his gambling addictions, I, along with many, would likely have respected his honesty and wished him luck(ha!) in his court endeavors. Naturally though, he lied, he denied, then he lied some more. Then, he played a race card and an obesity card, unfortunately he is a loser as a gambler just as he is as a father and a politician, so his cards did not make a winning hand. I can no longer garner sympathy for him.
Don’t cry for him,Argentina. He has pleaded guilty to all these felonies and misdemeanors and already the prosecution has said he will likely not serve over a year, hey…why should he? It’s not like he did anything wrong, and he only pleaded guilty to 12 separate counts! Oh, did I mention how he also owes the IRS over $200,00? Or that he used a county credit card to pay for gambling expenses to Las Vegas. Other financial abuses include golf vacations, $100 steaks, hotel suites and first class upgrades on flights.
California and the Bay Area being the forgiving type I will close with a heartwrenching quote from one of his advocates”Everybody makes mistakes, and he did,” said a teary-eyed Tomalinas. “But you’ve got to have hope for people.” You will excuse me as I go look for some Pepto Bismol.