There was an editorial in the Wall Street Journal earlier this week regarding the recent corruption arrests in New Jersey (It can be found, here). The thesis is that corruption and big government go together. To quote from the article:
Sandy McClure, co-author of the book “The Soprano State: New Jersey’s Culture of Corruption,” agrees that big government is a big reason behind the state’s corruption problem. “You have all these little authorities that everyone has to go to for permission,” she says. “Too much government means too many opportunities for officials looking to cash in. And there’s no way that the press can keep track of it all.”
As an example, the author cites Republican Daniel Van Pelt who is accused of accepting a $10,000 bribe in exchange for pushing through approval for a development project in Ocean Township. Just some small-time politician with enough clout to make a little extra cash.
Now let’s look at Delaware. I have blogged before that in December Delaware ranked by members of the media as the 4th most corrupt state. Furthermore, Delaware has the most government employees per capita, by a large margin, than just about any other State (You can find the previous post here). The size of our government leaves a lot of opportunity for small time corruption, and given the number of elected members of government who have State jobs, the potential is even larger. Of course, I hope I’m wrong.
But then again, we’ve got Democrat John Atkins (you can see a post about him, here and a nice video here) and there are the on-going ethics complaints and charges against Democrat Paul Clark, New Castle County President, who swears there is nothing to them while ordering government employees to delete email messages. And, lo & behold, we have in today’s News Journal an article on Democrat Senator Bob Venables. None of these is like selling a kidney to an Israeli, but give an overall taint to government in Delaware. Maybe our 4th place ranking is deserved.