Bigwigs behaving badly

The list of local, national, and international bigwigs volunteering for scandal and humiliation with highly paid attorneys is an ever-growing one, like the list of publicly nameless wannabe thugs volunteering for their brand of criminal beefs, often with the aid of public defenders. They seem to never learn.

            Former Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson seems to me to be the most witless, although former California Governor Arnold Schwartznegger, and former Nevada Senator John Ensign, and former International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strass-Kahn are certainly no slouches in the department of stuck-on-stupid.

            After being confronted by FBI agents who had been investigating him for several years, with evidence they had the goods on him, Johnson called home, and directly implicated his wife (a former judge who should have known better) in his dastardly deeds.

Uh, Mr. Johnson, you just left a meeting with the FBI where you were confronted about a crime and you called your wife on your cell phone? What? You didn’t think your cell phone was bugged by that time? So the FBI records you telling your wife to flush a $100,000 check down the toilet, and for her to stuff $80,000 cash into her underwear? You didn’t see that coming?

So, like most bigwigs behaving badly, Johnson at first proclaimed his innocence and vowed that he would be exonerated. Based on what? Jury nullification?

Finally, at least $500,000 in legal fees later, Johnson pleads guilty, and then tells reporters afterwards: “I’m sorry for what happened.”

Sorry for what happened? Fender benders “happen.” Jack Johnson was stealing money and violating his public trust for several years. That didn’t just “happen.” He did it! He admitted it in court! He didn’t say to the people who had trusted him, “I’m sorry for what I did.” He really meant he was sorry he got caught.

And how about Gov. Schwartznegger? He was the “Terminator” in a series of blockbuster movies and then some. He was the conservative darling who was supposed to save the Golden State of California from its misery by slashing budgets and blowing away wasteful government programs.

He was the Second Coming of Ronald Reagan. Some right-wing-nuts, even wanted to modify the Constitution so the Austrian-born actor-athlete, could be eligible to run for President. Hallelujah!

But even as he campaigned for the highest office in the state–twice–he was hiding the secret that he had fathered a child with one of his household servants. He was more like Thomas Jefferson and Sally Hemmings than he was like actor, governor, President Reagan. What he did is not criminal. He just lied to the people for a decade!

Sen. Ensign, was so “holy” that he lived in a dormitory near the U.S. Capitol for male members of Congress called “C Street.” It was owned and the rent for the presumably holier-than-thou residents was subsidized by a conservative church outfit called “The Family.” Well, Ensign’s family was in on it all right. After seducing the wife (who also worked on his staff) of a staff underling of his, Ensign persuaded his own parents to give the cuckold husband a $96,000 gift. Hush money, I suppose.

But Dominique Strass Kahn takes the cake. He apparently forced himself on a poor maid in his elegant hotel suite, and when she escaped and reported him to authorities, he left the hotel in such a hurry he left his cell phone behind. Police arrested him on a plane bound for Paris, just moments before it was scheduled to take off.

This guy was even the leading candidate, and it was suggested, that he was likely to beat French President Nicolas Sarkozy in next year’s elections in that country. Now the guy is out on $1 million bail, with $5 million insurance bond, wearing an ankle-bracelet GPS monitoring device, with an armed guard outside his $14,000 a month apartment, 24 hours a day.

The troubling part in all of this is that the characters involved in these shenanigans, are the same folks who will condemn missteps and stumbles by others who never had the posh surroundings and glamorous friends and acquaintances that these so-called “A-list” superstars enjoyed all their lives.

Until they got found out that is.

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