It’s the old double standard, isn’t it? There’s one rule for them – the ones in the “in” crowd, the ones with the right connections – and a different rule for us: the outsiders, the deplorables.
The rule for us is harsh and inflexible, mercilessly applied. The rule for them is lenient and subject to interpretation or non-application.
Take nepotism, for instance. If you’re a nobody in a government job and it’s discovered that you succumbed to temptation and took whatever slim advantage you could of your meager influence to advantage a family member – oh boy, are you in trouble!
But, if you’re a somebody doing the same thing cravenly on a regular basis, no problem. You’re probably rich anyway and didn’t need to take advantage like that, so it’s okay.
A low-level government employee fudges a little on an expense account? Drop the hammer on him! Set an example!
A senior official sticks the taxpayers with a six-figure tab for a party or a junket? Promote the guy and boost his budget.
Consider the not-so-strange case of Dale Chapman, once and current president of Lewis & Clark Community College. Once and current, because he “retired” from the college in 2010 and got nearly $2 million in lump-sum pension benefits, only to be rehired as president two months later.
See if you can get away with that one.
Chapman’s wife, by the way, serves as vice president at the college. Together, the couple collect more than $550,000 annually in salaries.
Their son just happens to work for a consulting firm that coincidentally secured a $500,000-per-year, no-bid contract with – Lewis & Clark Community College.
Maybe the institution should be renamed Chapman Community College? Or Chapman Credit Union? Better yet, Chapman Investment Fund?
How about this instead? How about ordering an investigation of the Chapmans, prosecuting them if financial crimes are found, and forcing restitution to the college. An all-expenses-paid multi-year vacation in prison could be part of the package?
Isn’t that what would happen to the rest of us if we took such advantage?