From an interview with investigative reporter Lee Fang about the recent retirement of Eric Holder from his job as Attorney General of the US and his resumption of his job at the law firm Covington & Burling:
Lee Fang: One of the perhaps most cynical and and most prevalent ways that you can legally bribe a government official or an elected official is to wait to give them a multi-million dollar check, not while they’re in office, but as soon as they retire. So if a politician helps a bank or an oil company, that oil company can’t directly buy them a boat or give them a million-dollar check. But if they wait until that official retires from office, as soon as they step out the door of Congress and find an employment contract with a lobbying firm or a big bank, then they can accept a multi-million-dollar payday; and so it’s simply delayed bribery, in my perspective.
When I express skepticism about the utility of ad-hoc, local, advisory allotted bodies, the retort is often that without such initial steps the average person, habituated to electoralism, would never support entrusting real political power to allotted bodies.
I see no reason to believe this claim is true. Support for allotted bodies which would be tasked with fighting corruption in elected government should be easy to build up for three reasons:
- Legal corruption is an ongoing public concern, which cuts across the political spectrum and which the electoralist system is unable to address effectively,
- The purview of such a body can be circumscribed clearly,
- Fighting corruption is a natural extension of the function of the judicial jury.
In view of these considerations I believe that pushing for the establishment of a permanent allotted anti-corruption body should be the top priority for any person or organization aiming at democratization of government (and in particular for any person or organization promoting democratization through sortition).