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We Can Dwell On Corruption, But Then Who Will Save The Children?

Mayor Wilbur O’Connell is an honorable and caring mayor of Brickleford, but in recent days, he has faced scandalous allegations of corruption that really should trouble residents.

In the ten years that O’Connell has been the town’s mayor, he has used his status to encourage charity. Some of the most well-respected people in the town give regularly to his organization, O’Connell Gives, which his wife runs. Their investment helps to feed hungry children and take care of the poor and needy, who have no clothes or shelter.

But now the mayor is accused of helping approve a gun sale to a criminal syndicate after they donated funds to his charity.

This is simply outrageous. The charity says the donation was used to transform the town’s hospital into a state-of-the-art facility. There should be full support for improving the hospital, and yet people, who are apparently okay with sick people dying because they cannot get proper treatment, are calling this a scandal.

Not only has the mayor improved the town’s hospital through his charity, but he has also enabled research into a particularly rare blood disease that has impacted some residents, who are bed-ridden.

I know what a gun sale to a criminal syndicate sounds like. A few have wondered if the guns were used in any murders. I’ll just remind these people we now have some of the best medicine ever because of the syndicate’s contributions. Plus, there is not even proof yet this gun sale happened, although one agitator, Shane Pennington, claims he overheard the mayor talking about this deal at the tavern.

It is not the only thing Pennington claims to have overheard. He has launched a campaign to convince people that the reason why residents have a rare blood disease is because of a gas pipeline the mayor allowed to be built without any environmental review.

Andrew McDougall, the founder of McDougall Energy, which owns the pipeline, opened his pocket book. He donated to the mayor’s charity. That money went toward ensuring the town’s university had all the funds needed to investigate rare blood diseases that no one could have ever possibly anticipated, even though I suppose the ground may be filled with toxic chemicals.

Pennington would have residents believe the pipeline only was built because McDougall gave to the mayor’s charity. That is not true. There is only one energy company in Brickleford. Who else would have built the pipeline?

Another rabble rouser, Ellen Perkins, has made pamphlets, which say the mayor is corrupt for letting Harrison Doddridge get away with a scheme that has helped him dodge town taxes and get rich. It is true Doddridge has given money to O’Connell Gives a number of times, but Doddridge himself has said it was for building food gardens that pantries can use to feed the poor.

Plus, O’Connell went to elementary school with Doddridge and has known him for quite some time. It is not as if he would force Doddridge to pay taxes he refuses to pay. They are best friends, and they always are a big hit when they sing a duet together during the town’s annual fair.

The mayor must meet with hundreds of people in any given year. Some of them are influential people with businesses in Brickleford. It is called government. Even if these meetings look corrupt, there have to be dozens of examples of corruption before they can actually be considered corrupt and alarming.

Looking corrupt does not make them corrupt. And think about this: if the mayor were to resign, what would happen to the children? What would happen to the poor? How would we figure out why people in Brickleford have rare blood diseases that never used to exist in the town?

Just because some do not like O’Connell after ten years in office does not make it acceptable to go around complaining about the mayor maybe facilitating an arms deal or two. Or for helping a lifelong friend keep enough of his earnings to buy a third mansion.

We need to stand behind our mayor, and let elites engage in the quite standard practice of concealing their actions and burnishing their reputations by making charitable contributions, which help Brickleford residents believe they live in an exceptional town.

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Percy Talmadge

Percy Talmadge