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Political Corruption: Bell, California Essay

Political corruption has been around seemingly forever. It’s like a weed that never will go away no matter how much you want it gone. Indeed Robert Lekachman noted, “Greed characterizes the workings of government” (360). Bell, California is an example of how political corruption took place. City councilmen and women took misappropriations of public funds, raising taxes and pocketing most of the money. Members of the city council took advantage of citizens, stealing the money they paid in taxes. Robert Rizzo, city manager, was making nearly $800,000 a year, which demonstrates how corrupt people in power can get to be.

Bell, California demonstrates how the government imposed unfair taxation and the changes the taxes were going to make, never happened. City councilmen used their power in government to their own benefit and cover up their acts. When confronted about the situation, a member of the city council stated that he deserved every penny he took from the people. E-mails written, between city manager Angela Spaccia and Randy Adams, the police chief of Bell, California stated, “I am looking forward to seeing you and taking all of Bell’s money?! Okay… just a share of it. (Esquivel 1) Bell’s citizens were outraged and stated that they elect these people to protect and help them, not to get tricked and have their money stolen. When the people began investigating the situation, they asked to see the city council men’s salaries. Those are public records that anyone is allowed to see, but the citizens for one reason or another, never could obtain the information.

When they tried to get hold of those public records, many excuses were created, so they wouldn’t be able to obtain them. It was not because of the lack of time or information, it was because government covered or each other and that’s why corruption goes as far as it goes. In the end, the truth was revealed and these criminals got penalized for their actions. Jeff Gottlieb stated, “ Angela Spaccia, was convicted and charged with 11 corruption charges. ” (1) each council member was prosecuted individually, so each got different sentences. The people in the city council got this hunger for money and the consequences are major. Raising taxes supposedly for public causes is something that could be going on all over the world, not just in Bell, California.

The government has become so deceptive over the years and its main reason is because the people in government want more power. These people become sinistic and act on behalf of greed and their own benefits. Government corruption limits economic and political development, making it one of the biggest issues all over the world. Even though government’s main purpose is to protect the individual rights of its citizens, it is now commonly heard of the corruption taking place among political leaders.

Although Bell had a pretty bad reputation regarding its city council, obviously there were changes made in the city council in order to better the city, “In 2012, Bell’s new city manager received an award from a national organization for city and county managers for his work to put the city back on an ethical track”(Smoller 1). According to Machiavelli, governments are far more dangerous than other elements within society, demonstrating abuse of power, greed, deception, and cynicism. To begin with, government demonstrates an abuse of power in many different ways.

During arrests, during searches, and while they pass laws that aren’t just. There have been many incidents of violent behavior towards citizens and even deaths due due police brutality during an arrest. On October 24th, 2004, Frank Jude was viciously beaten after leaving a party. As he proceeded to leave the party, two off duty officers accused him of stealing one of their wallets. Jude was repeatedly punched and kicked all over his head and body. He was also stabbed in both ears with pens and even an on duty officer began stomping on his head, eaving him unconscious and in really bad condition.

When police arrived, he was not helped, but on the contrary, he was put in handcuffs and was asked questions at the scene instead of calling an ambulance to tend to his wounds. Later, he was escorted in a police vehicle to a hospital where he refused to speak until the police left. Even though these were off duty officers, they still demonstrated abuse of power because no has the right to beat and threaten another person because they are suspicious of something and they don’t even have proof to back up their statements.

Even the officer that was on duty, decided to beat up Jude instead of coming to his aid. When police arrived, they also decided to handcuff him instead of calling an ambulance to help him out. Police officers now believe that the authority given to them by the fact that they are police officers, gives them the right to break laws and take matters into their own hands. In the state trial, the jury acquitted the three officers charged, but received demands by the community for a federal investigation.

Later, these officers were charged, leaving Jude with a sense of relief. He finally received justice for what was done to him. Events like this have been more and more common over the years and not just police officers hurting civilians, but shooting them to death and even beating them to death. Police officers abuse their power and instead of protecting the people, they are instead killing and hurting them. This demonstrates how police officers abuse their power in the police force and most of them don’t even get penalized for their unacceptable behavior.

But this is how government works, they are all in on the corruption taking place, that they cover for each other and just don’t listen to the people. Just like there are bad people in government there are also good people, but their actions are never taken seriously place because the corrupt leaders don’t care what a just and honest politician has to say or do. Corruption has more power than the actual law. Another example of government misuse of power was in Alabama.

A bill was passed by the governor a few years ago regarding students nd their rights to public education. That bill required schools to ask parents about their immigration status during their children’s registration. As a result of this bill, it was noticed that five percent of the state’s Hispanic children were absent from school. School officials confirmed that the attendance dropped significantly since parents and students found out about the changes made, as new students register for school. This is evidently unconstitutional and the supreme court ruled against this decision.

All children living in the United States have the right to a public education, regardless of their immigration status. The country does not in any way do better by accepting this bill. Without an education, how does this country expect these children to assimilate into regular society? Depriving this kids of going to school, because of the fear of not being citizens, is definitely not beneficial to anyone. They deserve basic human rights while they’re in this country, and education should definitely fall into that category.

Even children who come unaccompanied to the U. S have the right to a public education because they are currently living here and any child living in the U. S has the same right to obtaining an education just like the rest of the children who were born here. This also brings up the question whether or not the American dream still exists, and whether or not it still exists, under the constitution, “All children in the United States are entitled to equal access to a public elementary and secondary education, regardless of their or their parents’ actual or perceived national origin, citizenship, or immigration status.

This includes recently arrived unaccompanied children, who are in immigration proceedings while residing in local communities with a parent, family member, or other appropriate adult sponsor” (Richey 2). Government has made an effort to get rid of immigrants, but in the process, they can’t be creating unjust bills and laws that don’t follow the constitution, and because they have power, it doesn’t mean they can overstep boundaries that are not to be overstepped.

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