ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on September 18th, 2013 at 1:41 pm

Picture of the Day: Former Korean Prime Minister Guilty of Bribery

Han Myeong-sook (C), the former prime minister under the Roh Moo-hyun administration, speaks to reporters at the Seoul Appellate Court on Sept. 16, 2013. The court sentenced her to two years in prison, convicting her of taking bribes from a local businessmen in exchange for business favors. (Yonhap)

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  • Flyingsword
    4:57 pm on September 18th, 2013 1

    A politicain taking bribes…shocking!!!

  • Baek, In-je
    7:06 pm on September 18th, 2013 2

    Koreans just cant help themselves when they get power: from the president all the way down to anyone in a car. Cheating, stealing, lying…does this go together with Koreans being so Christian? Hypocrites.

  • Leon LaPorte
    8:42 pm on September 18th, 2013 3

    2. What does self-identifying as a Christian have to do with one’s honesty? The most overt and vocal Christians (think preachers and priests) are the worst of the worst.

    Koreans are not unique when it comes to profiting from their political position. One might argue that the Korean system is more honest as they are eventually caught and prosecuted. It’s just that politicians in more mature democracies are better at the game and pass legislation to legalize their personal gain.

    Salaries that United States Congressmen $174,000.

    Our research effort uncovered the partial salaries of twelve lawmakers-turned-lobbyists. Republic Report’s investigation found that lawmakers increased their salary by 1452% on average from the last year they were in office to the latest publicly available disclosure

    One example: Former Congressman Billy Tauzin (R-LA) made $19,359,927 as a lobbyist for pharmaceutical companies between 2006 and 2010. Tauzin retired from Congress in 2005, shortly after leading the passage of President Bush’s prescription drug expansion. He was recruited to lead PhRMA, a lobbying association for Pfizer, Bayer, and other top drug companies. During the health reform debate, the former congressman helped his association block a proposal to allow Medicare to negotiate for drug prices, a major concession that extended the policies enacted in Tauzin’s original Medicare drug-purchasing scheme. Tauzin left PhRMA in late 2010. He was paid over $11 million in his last year at the trade group. Comparing Tauzin’s salary during his last year as congressman and his last year as head of PhRMA, his salary went up 7110%.


    Today, the cost of a congressional campaign often exceeds $1 million per candidate, and Senate campaigns average $4.3 million, often costing $10 million or even $15 million. Once in office, a senator needs to raise more than $10,000 every week to fund his or her re-election campaign, and much of that money ends up coming from political action committees (PACs) and other special interests. In the 1986 congressional campaign, for example, candidates spent a total of about $300 million with about a third of that total ($103 million) raised from PACs.
    While congressional candidates can accept no more than $5000 from any PAC, ingenious donors and politicians have devised numerous “backdoor” funding channels. Most of Sen. Alan Cranston’s contributions from Charles Keating, for example, came in the form of support for voter registration drives aimed at registering voters likely to favor Cranston, while John Glenn benefited from contributions to a political committee that he controlled.

    …and while we are on the topic of “honest” Christians, let’s look at some of the most prominent and well known examples:

    1. Benny Hinn—Benny Hinn is known around the world for his large healing crusades. His television show airs in more than 200 countries, and during his time as an evangelist, Hinn claims to have seen people get healed from cancer and crippling diseases, and he even says he has seen a dead man resurrected.

    While building his following, Hinn has earned quite a bit of money along the way. His ministry collects more than $200 million a year, and he’s admitted to his salary being over half a million. Hinn owns a private jet, lives in a $10 million house near the Pacific Ocean, stays in hotel rooms that cost thousands each night, and owns luxury vehicles.

    2. Joyce Meyer—Since 1999, Joyce Meyer’s ministry has spent at least $4 million on 5 homes for Meyer and her children. Meyer’s house is a 10,000 square foot home with an 8-car garage, a large fountain, a gazebo, a private putting green, a pool, and pool house with a new $10,000 bathroom. Her salary was reported at $900,000 back in 2003, and she also enjoys use of a private jet and luxury cars. Needless to say, Meyer has been questioned for years, and she is once again under investigation by the government for possibly violating nonprofit laws.

    3. Kenneth Copeland—Despite being under investigation, Kenneth Copeland refused to submit financial information about his ministry, saying “You can go get a subpoena, and I won’t give it to you. It’s not yours, it’s God’s and you’re not going to get it and that’s something I’ll go to prison over. So, just get over it.”

    Copeland lives in a mansion that some have said is “the size of a hotel.” He also has acquired a $20 million Cessna Citation private jet for flying around the country to spread the word. And of course, he owns an airport for landing said airplane.

    I happen to know many very honest folks who are not “Christian,” whatever that actually is.

  • King Baeksu
    8:44 pm on September 18th, 2013 4

    “A politicain taking bribes…shocking!!!”

    And a “liberal” one, to boot. Aren’t they the ones who keep telling us they’re so much better than the corrupt conservatives, those dastardly enemies of democracy and freedom?

    Say it isn’t so!

  • Leon LaPorte
    8:51 pm on September 18th, 2013 5

    4. Because they are all actually the same: members of the ruling class. Everything else is just meant to distract us, the hoi poloi, and is of no consequence.

  • tbonetylr
    9:37 pm on September 18th, 2013 6

    @3 Leon,
    This isn’t just any politician, it’s the former Korean Prime Minister. So, find me a former American Vice President turned lobbyist?

  • Leon LaPorte
    9:57 pm on September 18th, 2013 7

    6. I consider congressmen pretty high up on the pecking order. In the US, if you made it to Prez or VP, you have already profited from the system for years so you are already set, not to mention books and speaking fees. You can pretty much take it easy. Besides, the ways to profit aren’t limited to lobbying by any means.

    But since you asked:

    Quayle is most famous for being a late night talk show punch line during his tenure as Vice President, but since retiring from politics he’s spent most of his time fundraising, golfing, sitting on corporate boards, and lobbying. Currently, he serves as a spokesperson for Cerberus and runs one of its international units. According to The New York Times, Quayle has actively courted Congress on Cerberus’s behalf.

    In a letter dated January 26th, 2009 Al Gore’s company Generation Investment Management sent a coalition letter along with other institutional investors representing $1.7 trillion in assets to Senate Majority leader Harry Reid.

    Of course many are wealthy long before they reach the exalted office. Afterward there are think tanks, PACs, boards of directors, etc… The list of money making opportunities is virtually endless.

  • King Baeksu
    10:14 pm on September 18th, 2013 8

    “Because they are all actually the same: members of the ruling class. Everything else is just meant to distract us, the hoi poloi, and is of no consequence.”

    Well, not exactly the “ruling class.” More like bootlickers and lackeys of the actual ruling class, who prefer to lurk in the shadows.

    I don’t blame either group for doing what they have to do. After all, it’s in their nature. I do blame the “hoi polloi” for their general indifference and ignorance, which allows the present system to remain in place. But I guess that’s a function of their nature as well.

  • Leon LaPorte
    10:17 pm on September 18th, 2013 9

    8. We are in perfect agreement.

  • G.I. G.I. Joe
    12:00 am on September 19th, 2013 10

    I have no doubt there is corruption everywhere, and I’ll stipulate to such so not to lose my point: there is something about Korean culture, as it is now and has been for Korea’s 5,000 year history, that makes corruption inevitable – Korea is a country of 50,000,000 people still based on tribalism.

  • Leon LaPorte
    12:09 am on September 19th, 2013 11

    10. There we have agreement. If graft, corruption and prostitution had not already existed the Koreans would have invented them. It’s just not nice to single them out on their big day. lol :razz:

  • King Baeksu
    1:28 am on September 19th, 2013 12

    BTW, where are our “concerned scholar” friends on the left? Aren’t they concerned about corruption regardless of political affiliation, given that it is a blight on their most cherished value of democracy? I just ran a search of Han Myeong-sook’a name on Hankyoreh’s English-language site, and can only find one article from 2013 mentioning her name, in reference to a film on torture in the 1980s:

    “Chung also said the later portion of the movie includes interview testimony from 24 people, including politicians like former DUP chairwoman Han Myeong-sook and New Frontier Party lawmaker Lee Jae-oh who suffered torture under the Park Chung-hee and Chun Doo-hwan administrations, as well as ordinary citizens who were tortured after being unjustly arrested for espionage.”

    Yeah, yeah, we get it. Dictatorship is bad. But what about corruption? Is it OK to just look the other way if it happens to involve political leaders you support yourself?

  • Bob
    1:28 am on September 19th, 2013 13


    They get fat checks to be on the board of directors of a number of corporation (i.e. they are essentially lobbyists).

  • Simon The Good
    4:10 am on September 19th, 2013 14

    It’s seems more disappointing when a liberal is busted for corruption because they are seen as the “spokespeople for the little people.” But, the reality is that they are just as bad, if not worse, than conservatives when it comes to corruption.

  • Tom
    5:00 am on September 19th, 2013 15

    “One might argue that the Korean system is more honest as they are eventually caught and prosecuted”

    #2 Leon is correct. In America, they call it the $700,000 in election campaign donations. In Korea, it’s called the “bribe”, and it’s illegal. Korea’s laws on political donations like election funding, and American political favoritism like lobbying funds where special interest groups curry favor from politicians by ‘donating’ to them, are all illegal. I think Korea should loosen up a little when it comes to election funding by parties which puts lot of good people in trouble. You know it takes lots of money to run for office, and it’s really hard to do so without getting donations from your base supporters. As for American style lobbying system, that’s just outright corruption that should never be adopted in Korea.

  • tbonetylr
    6:00 am on September 19th, 2013 16

    @ 7,
    So U.S. Vice Presidents haven’t broken any laws yet you compare them to the former S. Korea Prime Minister Han Myeong-sook. Sure money needs to be taken out of gov’t and campaigns/lobbying but it’s apples to oranges…

    “It’s just that politicians in more mature democracies are better at the game and pass legislation to legalize their personal gain.”

    That’s like saying S. Korean politicians are too stupid to get rid of their 3rd world libel laws.

    Are S. Korean politicians too stupid?

    Lobbying isn’t the only problem it’s also politician insider trading which makes it more likely and easier for anyone on Wall Street including those doing drugs/cocaine & meth to do the same thing.
    When it comes to reforming the Congressional exemption from insider trading rules, lawmakers get a gentleman’s F minus.

  • tbonetylr
    6:32 am on September 19th, 2013 17

    Will Americans ever stand up to its “Inequality For All”(except the top 1%) or LUNATIC gun laws?

    When will the tipping point/cognitive dissonance be for real civic activism? How pissed off do people have to get? It will happen, it happened in 1901, the 1930′s, 1960s’s(63 and 69), but weak attempts have failed most recently.

    Of all developed nations, the USA has the most unequal distribution of income and it’s surging to even greater inequality.

    Who stands up the the little guy besides nobody?

    Robert Reich/Weinstein Co. Winner Sundance Film Fest. Sept. 27th release trailer…

  • Angel of Retribution
    3:56 pm on September 19th, 2013 18

    15/16: There is no problem in America that can’t be fixed by tossing all Democrats into re-education camps. My preference would be to have the vermin work in mines digging up uranium ore.

  • Leon LaPorte
    10:44 pm on September 19th, 2013 19

    18. Hell yah! Yee Ha! Dems ARE the problem. In God, Billy Ray Cyrus, Glen Beck, Joel Osteen, Lee Greenwood, Honey Boo Boo, and the Duck Family Robertson We Trust!

  • Angel of Retribution
    7:24 am on September 20th, 2013 20

    19: You shouldn’t worry about the little things. Obsessing about Billy Ray Cyrus or God in the face of the Democrat Menace is like worrying about some crickets in your basement instead of the termites eating the very structure of your home.

  • tbonetylr
    8:02 am on September 20th, 2013 21

    @ 18 & 20,
    Can you explain what “re-education” Democrats need and how they’re a “menace”?

    As of late it sure sounds like republicans are far worse off. About 40 of them are in favor of a gov’t shut down if “Obamacare” isn’t defunded and your house speaker agrees with them.

    Your house speaker John Boehner likes antagonizing his own conservatives in the republican party. :roll:

    You, Ted Cruz, and the like need to forget about the democrats and start concentrating on independents. The way republicans are going all I can say is good luck with that and in taking over the White House in 2016. :lol: It may take decades for republicans to get their heads out of their youknowwhats.

  • Angel of Retribution
    9:35 am on September 20th, 2013 22

    21: “Can you explain what “re-education” Democrats need and how they’re a “menace”?”

    I can but I’m not going to.

  • tbonetylr
    10:14 am on September 20th, 2013 23

    “I can but I’m not going to.”

    Oh you’re such a fibber. You’re nothing but full of hot air calling groups of people names without supporting what you spew.

  • Angel of Retribution
    2:53 pm on September 20th, 2013 24

    23: No, it would take too long to log in how worthless and evil Democrats are.


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