Most of the time when one speaks of political corruption, the reference is to monetary gain, the acceptance of bribes, illegal contributions or kickbacks in exchange for favorable use of power. But the more subtle--and thus more effective--type of corruption is one that eschews monetary gain to influence events, a "power behind the treasury" type of corruption that leaves its mark, but doesn't mark its user.
Here's how to do it. Person A--the power broker-- finds one or more persons "B". These B types are the ones that meet with the "C"s, the seekers of favors and collect the monies. However, the B or Bs never give money directly to the A; instead, they take instruction from the A and retain their positions as money-grubbers only to the extent that they fulfill A's objectives.
End result: Cs get ill-gotten deals, Bs make money...and eventually get busted. And the A? Gets away with barely a blemish.
To make the scheme clearer, let Me define the prototypical B: greedy and not as smart as he or she thinks. Preferably cautious, but if not, easily led by greed and an unrealistic assessment of his own intelligence to never see that he is being set up.
Someone like, say, Il Castrao, future prisoner Jorge De Castro. Obviously greedy, bare-faced as a chimp's ass and with a 2-digit IQ that together don't add up to 10.
Now for the ABC scheme to work, an A needs a handful of Bs: more than 1 (too easy to trace one B back to his/her A), but fewer than 5 or 6, for then there's too much going on that's out of an A's control. That's the simple scheme, the one We often see broken up with indictments and charges, where several or dozens of Cs get nailed and a couple of Bs...but seldom an A.
The key to A's survival: Forget the money, go for the power. Bs are doomed to fail for they can't ignore the money and are thus exposed over and over again.
But the ABC of corruption has a higher level, a three-dimensional version of the two-dimensional game. It involves an Alpha, who recruits As.
In this version, the Alpha seeks out potential As and gets them to recruit Bs who will allow the As to carry out their own power plays--and also those that the Alpha wants. The Alpha controls the As by expanding or limiting the A's access to ultimate power, just as the As do the same with their Bs. And in this higher-level scheme, the Alpha--if he or she has the highest power available--can create situations where Cs can line As pockets as well, albeit with smaller amounts of money than spent on Bs to keep the intangible balance intact.
But it boils down to the same final non-link: no money ever goes from the As to the Alpha, or from any level to the Alpha. Without a money trail as evidence, how else do you think someone like, say, Pedro Stupid Rosselló--an otherwise demonstrably intelligent man--could be so surrounded by dozens of proven corrupt officials...and not get charged?
Remember that Aníbal "The Jellyfish"Acevedo was hauled up on charges primarily for using campaign monies personally, a direct violation of the ABC scheme. And how likely do you think it is that those thousands of intercepted phone calls and messages in the Il Castrao investigation, now leading to current Secretary of State Kenneth "The Wanderer" McClintock, are not based on a money trail (the best evidence and easily actionable), but on a more subtle "influence trail"?
Il Castrao was investigated during his time masquerading as a Senator when The Wanderer was President of the Senate . We know Il Castrao is a B. What does that make Kenneth "Wanderer" McClintock?
We'll find out in about 100 days.
The Jenius Has Spoken.