Pubdate: Thu, 11 Jul 2002
Source: Eugene Weekly (OR)
Copyright: 2002 Eugene Weekly
Author: Ethen Perkins and Sara Alevizos


Treat corrupt CEOs like arrested drug dealers. Light, cushy, often- 
appealed prison terms are puny punishment when a multi-millionaire CEO 
cooks the books, profits from insider trading or buys politicians. 
Confiscating drug dealers' assets feeds our ceaseless, ineffectual war on 
drugs. Confiscation might work better on the crooked criminals in 
boardrooms and vice-presidential suites. Their self-serving, immoral 
actions are no less perpetual or damaging.

Why not freeze and eventually confiscate indicted CEO's assets, then return 
them to cheated investors, retirees and employees? Those millions and 
billions might even help balance disproportionate taxation of middle and 
low income individuals and families.

After Enron, WorldCom, Martha Stewart and Dennis Kozlowski, will anyone be 
surprised if the stock market "adjusts" from lower investor confidence? 
After the Bush appointment (er, election), is anyone surprised by voter 
apathy when our "democracy" seems farcical? Voting, even when counted, 
merely endorses the fat cats' already purchased representatives of both 

If I had several hundred millions, I might make a few campaign 
contributions for income and tax avoidance insurance. Or as a drug dealer, 
I might make a few bribes to stay in business... What's the real difference 
here? The CEO's bribes are mostly legal. Once indicted for cooking books or 
insider trading, the CEO can afford a better lawyer.

One day perhaps poor criminals will get enough money to hire the best 
lawyers and CEOs will have to make do with overworked public defenders. 
That would be one vision of justice.

Ethen Perkins

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Are You Ready?

I was pleased to see that the EW (6/27) finally gave some attention to my 
husband (governor candidate Richard Alevizos). They missed a few salient 
points, though.

Richard represents the majority of Oregon (more so than any Green 
candidate). He's bilingual, representing the Latino population. He is a 
working class father-to-be who voted for medical marijuana and is not 
affiliated with any party. Combine these groups and you have the majority.

Like many Oregonians, he is sick and tired of living in a "democracy" that 
isn't a true democracy. We need change. Hemp could bring our government and 
the way we live to a new level. Hemp would solve all of our environmental 
concerns. Legalizing hemp would start the revolution we need to bring about 
environmental changes in other ways. Legalizing hemp is the first step in 
saying ...we, not the government, are in control of our lives.

So many people complain about the way everything is. But when someone comes 
along willing and ready to be a representative of the change they so badly 
want, they find every excuse in the book for why it can't work. People like 
my husband will just have to wait.

He will sit back and listen to the complaints about how we really need 
change and know that this year could be it; all these people really need to 
do is rally behind him and make it happen. Anything is possible. The voices 
of change could have a voice this year. Are they ready to make it happen?

Sara Alevizos

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