Book Title: Profiles In Corruption
Author: Peter Schweizer
Many politicians are crooked, period, full stop. In PROFILES IN CORRUPTION, Peter Schweizer explores the corrupt actions of Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, and Eric Garcetti.
Peter Schweizer is a New York Times bestselling author. His books include CLINTON CASH: THE UNTOLD STORY OF HOW AND WHY FOREIGN GOVERNMENTS AND BUSINESSES HELPED MAKE BILL AND HILLARY RICH, SECRET EMPIRES: HOW THE AMERICAN POLITICAL CLASS HIDES CORRUPTION AND ENRICHES FAMILY AND FRIENDS, and many more. Schweizer is the president of the Government Accountability Institute and the former William J. Casey Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
Schweizer focuses on progressive politicians, in this particular book, "because they are unique in one respect from all others on the contemporary American political scene: they all favor the rapid and radical expansion of federal political power in the United States." Unlike classic liberals, progressives want "more leverage over our lives," which would "dramatically increase power inequality in America between the political class and the rest of America."
In PROFILES IN CORRUPTION, some of what I read didn't shock me, but some of what I learned undoubtedly did. As Schweizer says, "What makes so many people angry at Washington is the fact that those with political power get to operate by a different set of rules than the rest of us." It angers the hell out of me that Hillary Clinton, Adam Schiff, James Comey, and so many more practically laugh in our faces, knowing they're as crooked as hell but face no consequences.
One of the most crooked in PROFILES IN CORRUPTION is Kamala Harris, who recently ran for President of the United States. Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown dated Kamala Harris even though he was married. I don't care who Kamala dated and who she didn't. According to Sacramento Bee Reporter James Richardson, as reported in People Magazine, "The measure of his flamboyance is he'll go to a party with his wife on one arm and his girlfriend on the other." The bottom line is that what people do with their personal life, as long as it's legal, I don't care.
However, there's other stuff that Kamala did. With the help of Willie Brown, she got massive name recognition and donations, although, as noted in the book, Harris denies Brown helped her. However, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that "a large number of her contributors also have been donors to Harris' onetime boyfriend and political sponsor, Mayor Willie Brown." She challenged Terrence Hallinan to be San Francisco's district attorney, thanks to the, as Schweizer puts it, "Willie Brown Machine." In fact, she pulled in so much money that the incumbent Hallinan accused her of surpassing a voluntary spending cap she pledged to honor. She said she would stick to $211,000 but raised three times more than the cap at $621,000, causing her to pay a $34,000 fine, which was a record.
Some of her campaign contributions included from slumlords with cases before her office. So she was taking money from defendants. She was also taking money from city government agencies that were deemed corrupt. Furthermore, city cleaning crews said they were forced to attend political events for Gavin Newsom and Kamala Harris to maintain their jobs. When she became San Francisco's district attorney, she favored individuals and institutions that supported her politically as well as friends and family.
The worst was her failure to prosecute a single case of priest abuse. Victims' groups felt she was keeping the crimes secret. Was it because high-dollar donations were pouring into Harris' campaign from those connected to the institutional hierarchy of the Catholic Church after the Catholic Archdiocese in San Francisco was feeling the heat?
I was also shocked by what I learned about Amy Klobuchar, for example. She's another one who ran for President of the United States. I had heard that she wasn't nice to her subordinates, but the specifics shocked me. Apparently, she would send humiliating emails in ALL CAPS to some of her staff; she would call staffers in the middle of the night; she would make subordinates come over to her house and wash her dishes; she threw things at staff, such as a binder. Apparently, according to Slate, Klobuchar also made a female subordinate dry shave her legs under the desk while she was on the phone, but Klobuchar denies it. Whatever the rumors, Klobuchar has the highest level of staff turnover in the U.S. Senate according to a review of Senate employment records from 2001 to 2016, making her, according to Politico, the worst boss in the Senate.
However, Klobuchar has also been shown to "go soft on powerful figures and interests that would benefit her political career." For example, Tom Petters, formerly of Petters Group Worldwide, who stoled over two billion dollars in a Ponzi scheme, is currently in Leavenworth prison for 50 years. Petters gave Klobuchar thousands for her campaign. Klobuchar, as county attorney for Hennepin County, made sure people associated with Petters were prosecuted but didn't investigate or prosecute Petters despite plenty of warnings about him.
These are just two examples from PROFILES IN CORRUPTION. It's incredible the level of shadiness displayed by politicians. Political corruption can take many forms, such as enriching family members, ignoring corruption in lieu of campaign contributions, etc.
The information in PROFILES IN CORRUPTION was enlightening and interesting. Some of it felt more like gossip than fact, although none of it is a stretch for me to believe.
I give this book - ****1/2
Next Up: Fighting the Promise
In your opinion, who is the most corrupt politician of the 21st-century? Please let me know in the comments.