Operation Bid Rig – This initiative, launched by the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, was aimed at political corruption in the state of New Jersey. Last week (October 27) Anthony Suarez, the mayor of the borough of Ridgefield, was acquitted of extortion. Suarez’ success seems to be the exception to the rule, with many public servants in New Jersey being convicted of corruption.
Chinese netizens bring a unique point of view to the story, jaded as they are by local corruption in their own lives. The post translated below dates back to August of 2009, shortly after the most extensive part of Operation Big Rig, in which 44 people, many of whom were local politicians, were arrested. Many posts expressed disbelief, but not at the dishonesty of American politicians, instead at the cheap price at which they could be bought.
American mayor who accepted US$25,000 in bribes shocks entire nation. Chinese netizens also shocked.
After extensive investigations over ten years, the FBI along with other law enforcement agencies made far reaching arrests recently in New Jersey, arresting three Mayors, two State Senators, and 44 members of the Jewish community, under corruption and international money laundering charges.
Associated Press reports that Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano [shown below] was accused of receiving $25,000 in bribes. New Jersey John Corzine responded by saying, “The scale of corruption we’re seeing as this unfolds is simply outrageous and cannot be tolerated. Any corruption is unacceptable — anywhere, anytime, by anybody.”
[Quote above translated into English from Chinese translation; was not able to find the original English quote.]
I rubbed my eyes, read it a few times, and yes, it really was US$25,000.
Comments from Mop:
Hehe, in our village we’d feel stupid trying to bribe someone with such a small amount, and the press wouldn’t feel that it was even worth a story.
For one party secretary in your average village [in China],
One month’s cigarettes money would already be over ten thousand RMB.
US$25,000 I’m afraid probably doesn’t even match the cigarette and alcohol money of some village party secretaries from more economically well off places.
I don’t believe foreigners are that honest/incorruptible.
Politicians are probably all the same.
A few million is a small sum.
Maybe they left out a few zeroes.
That’s even less than what our village head spends in one night.
So when are we liberating America?
In China you’d have to add at least one zero.
Americans are that poor? Looks like China is richer.
If you want to be a corrupt politician, you should come to China!
Our American comrades are so poor!
All I can say is that America is too poor.
In China, if it isn’t a few million, people wouldn’t even think it was a bribe.
If this was in China, it’d also be big news! What an honest and good government official!
[See this post about a Chinese government official's sex diary for another example of this kind of thinking.]
Such a good official. How about coming to China?
American police really don’t know what the real world is like.
After investigating for ten years they found only $25,000, which amounts to only $2,500 a year on average, such an honest politician~~~~~
This is a joke, right? Such a small amount and it is still worth mentioning?
American mayors are so naive, they don’t come close to a single Chinese village head.
It’s just that the definition of “corruption” is different. Political donations should be included when you work out the numbers.
The reason government officials take bribes: they want to be promoted, and get more power and pleasure etc.
Why are there people who give bribes: They want to use government institutions to achieve their goals.
These things are all present in the Western politics, where the system allows for political donations. One side is “legally” accepting bribes, and the other side is publicly “bribing”, this is the way it is [in America].
And how much did they spend on the investigation?
Beijing welcomes you… come to China, and we’ll give you a clean and honest [official] prize/award…
So fucking embarrassing, only US$25,000? Is this all he is capable of? Hurry and come to China, so our government officials can teach you how to do it properly.
Too embarrassing, only embezzling that much. In America, you will be arrested. In China, you would be laughed to death.
Clean and honest. Personals @ chinaSMACK.