Posted by: Paul | 07/02/2009

Breeding An Atmosphere of Distrust

As a small Hawaiian bank recently found out, it pays to have powerful friends.

Central Pacific Financial has finally claimed its share of federal bailout money. $135 million, to be exact. That tidy sum arrived about two weeks after Sen. Daniel K. Inouye called federal regulators to ask if the bank would be receiving any government money. A bank, I should note, he helped establish and where, the Washington Post notes, “he has invested the bulk of his personal wealth.”

Not that we should draw any connections between Inouye’s call and the bank getting the money. Oh, no. Adds the Post: “Inouye said he was not attempting to influence the outcome.” Of course not. Where would anybody ever get that idea?

Sure, Inouye’s direct involvement in this matter wouldn’t violate Senate rules. And maybe it’s all above board. But how can he be blind to how it looks?

Liberals can blame talk radio and tea parties all they want for supposedly whipping people into an anti-government frenzy. But they shouldn’t ignore the role that stunts like this play in creating a climate of cynicism about government. And if you think Sen. Inouye is as innocent as a dove here, try this: Call his office and ask him to push a little bailout money in your direction. Let me know how it goes. Good luck!

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