There is one truism about politics that is often repeated:
All politics is local.
Tip O’Neill said that.
I will have to add one more truism:
All politics is sleazy.
The News & Observer is reporting that Morrisville commissioners have given Lenovo tax breaks without public OK, and the law allows it. They will rubber stamp the deal in a public meeting tonight, but the deal was made in secret back in August — five months ago!
What’s the difference between “side-stepping” and lying? I’m not sure anymore:
It was not easy to keep the deal under wraps. At one point Town Manager John Whitson even felt compelled to suggest in an Oct. 5 e-mail message that town employees could sidestep questions about the offer by saying that they were “not aware” of any plans “that may or may not be related to this or any other potential economic development incentives proposal.”
That might not, technically, be a lie, in the Bill Clinton what-is-the-meaning-of-is sort of way. But it is definitely sleazy.
I equate lobbying with economic development incentives:
- Lobbying: Corporations bribing politicians with corporate money
- Economic Development Incentives: Politicians bribing corporations with taxpayer money
There’s a nice symmetry there, don’t you think? Politicians and corporations have their hands in each other’s pockets, while both have their hands in the taxpayers’ wallets.