The Buzz

TheChat: Battling political corruption just took a big hit

Fred Wertheimer
Fred Wertheimer

Here we go:

▪ “This dramatically narrows the ability of the Justice Department to prosecute corruption cases.” — Fred Wertheimer of Democracy 21 reacting to the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision to overturn former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s corruption convictions.

The ruling said that ordinary favors, such as arranging meetings, aren’t enough to justify a bribery conviction. That’s a problem, Wertheimer said. “There are all kinds of things public officials can do short of casting a vote or making a policy decision that are of enormous benefit to an individual and, in essence, become legalized bribery under this decision.” Another win for big money.

▪ “It's kind of hard to understand how the Supreme Court could disregard the safety of women and call this kind of law an 'undue burden.’” — Patty Skain, executive director of Missouri Right to Life, disagreeing with the U.S. Supreme Court’s abortion ruling this week.

She said the rejected restrictions were aimed at protecting women's health. Some of Missouri’s abortion laws are now in the cross-hairs in the wake of the ruling.

▪ “As it is, we can’t stand it, and neither can our customers.” — Gale Wessling, a payday loan operator in St. Louis, on proposed new federal rules that would crimp his business.

The rules basically require that operators must ensure that a person getting a loan has a reasonable prospect of repaying it.

▪ “Our values are under attack.” — Jay Ashcroft, a Republican candidate for secretary of state in Missouri, reacting to the U.S. Supreme Court’s abortion ruling this week and Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto of a gun bill.

Ashcroft, who faces Will Kraus of Lee’s Summit in the August primary, said if he wins he’d put a stop “to the games that liberals like Jason Kander and Robin Carnahan have played with our ballot language as they've sought to skew elections in favor of their anti-faith, anti-family and anti-freedom agenda.”