More

The spectacular fall of Rep. Aaron Schock, and how not shocking his wipeout actually is

He could have gotten away with it if he weren't so bad at it.

The spectacular fall of Rep. Aaron Schock, and how not shocking his wipeout actually is

If you weren't paying attention to the news the last couple of days, you may have missed that Rep. Aaron Schock of Illinois had to resign in shame after it was discovered that he lied about how many miles he drove in his SUV. But that's not the most interesting thing about him.

He had something called a leadership PAC, which is essentially a way for all Congress critters to legally funnel money to themselves. He just didn't use it correctly.


As Politico reports:

Schock billed the federal government and his campaign for logging roughly 170,000 miles on his personal car from January 2010 through July 2014. But when he sold that Chevrolet Tahoe in July 2014, it had roughly 80,000 miles on the odometer, according to public records obtained by POLITICO under Illinois open records laws. The documents, in other words, indicate he was reimbursed for 90,000 miles more than his car was driven.

At 56 cents per mile, that's over $50,000 in fraud. And that's assuming he only used the Tahoe for government work. (I won't assume.)

Some of you may be thinking, "If a Democrat did this, it wouldn't be a big deal." Others of you may be thinking, "He's a corrupt Republican." To you, I would like to say: "It doesn't matter what party he is in. The system let him do this."

This isn't a Democrat vs. Republican thing. This is a citizens vs. politicians thing. There are congresspeople and senators all over our great land taking advantage of legal loopholes that allow them to take what are essentially legal bribes (see 4:46.) As my friend Mansur says in the video, Aaron Schock's downfall was from breaking laws he didn't even have to break to be corrupt. He could have legally bilked America. That is the problem.

If you'd like to learn more about how we can slowly drag Congress into being responsible citizens, go check out the fine folks at Represent.Us. They've got an idea about how to fix this mess.

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.