corrupt practices

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corrupt practices,

in politics, fraud connected with elections. The term also refers to various offenses by public officials, including bribery, the sale of offices, granting of public contracts to favored firms or individuals, and granting of land or franchises in return for monetary rewards. Election fraud may consist of efforts to influence or intimidate the voter or to tamper with the official ballotballot,
means of voting for candidates for office. The choice may be indicated on or by the ballot forms themselves—e.g., colored balls (hence the term ballot, which is derived from the Italian ballotta,
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 or election count. To eliminate these practices nearly all democratic nations have passed laws that attempt to safeguard the honesty of political campaigns, elections, and officials. In Great Britain the Acts of 1883 and 1918, frequently amended, define election abuses and limit political spending by or on behalf of candidates for Parliament. In the United States individual states have their own election laws, preceding federal statutes. In large cities of the United States election fraud has historically been associated with political machines (see bossismbossism,
in U.S. history, system of political control centering about a single powerful figure (the boss) and a complex organization of lesser figures (the machine) bound together by reciprocity in promoting financial and social self-interest.
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). On the federal level, the Corrupt Practices Act of 1925, the Hatch Act of 1940, parts of the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, and the campaign financing legislation of 1974 were attempts to limit campaign spending and the size of contributions. Requiring public disclosure and providing public funding of the presidential campaign were in response to abuses connected with secret campaign funds used in the 1972 presidential election (see Watergate affairWatergate affair,
in U.S. history, series of scandals involving the administration of President Richard M. Nixon; more specifically, the burglarizing of the Democratic party national headquarters in the Watergate apartment complex in Washington, D.C.
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). Subsequently, the Senate and the House established ethics committees and codes of conduct, and required public accounting of income and campaign contributions. The Ethics Act of 1978 and the stricter Government Ethics Reform Act of 1989 bar top government officials from lobbying private corporations or other governments for specified periods after leaving office. The latter act also bars former executive branch officials, congressmen, and their staff members from trying to influence senior employees in their former branches for one year after they leave office. These reforms, however, have not prevented the proliferation of Political Action Committees, a marked increase in campaign spending, and the creative use of loopholes, such as "soft money" for party-building, with no contribution limits. The term "corrupt practices" has also been applied to businesses and labor unions, in the former case for price fixing, and in the latter for misappropriation of funds or the rigging of union elections.

Bibliography

See G. Thayer, Who Shakes the Money Tree? American Campaign Financing Practices from 1789 to the Present (1973); M. Clarke, ed., Corruption (1984); W. J. Chambliss, On the Take (2d ed. 1988); P. M. Stern, The Best Congress Money Can Buy (1988); Congressional Quarterly Editorial Research Reports (1989); M. P. and P. Glazer, The Whistleblowers (1989).

References in classic literature ?
It is a pious consolation to me that, through my interference, a sufficient space was allowed them for repentance of the evil and corrupt practices into which, as a matter of course, every Custom-House officer must be supposed to fall.
COMPLAINTS of corrupt practice levelled at four officers in Gwent Police has been referred back to the policing watchdog, the IPCC.
At what point can a senior officer be said to have knowledge that a bribe or other corrupt practice "is or is about to be" committed by a representative of a corporation for the purposes of section 22.
She said: "A 46-year-old man in Cleveland was arrested on suspicion of fraud by abuse of position, corrupt practice, misconduct in a public office, money laundering, fraud by false representation and conspiracy to defraud.
Chief Constable of Cleveland Sean Price and his deputy Derek Bonnard were held on Wednesday on suspicion of misconduct in a public office, fraud by abuse of position and corrupt practice.
Section 82, which states the penalties for indulging in corrupt practices, states, "Any person guilty of corrupt practice shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term, which may extend to three years, or with fine which may extend to Rs 5,000, or with both.
If they think that paying a journalist to write positively about a client is an unethical and corrupt practice, then it is an unethical and corrupt practice.
The survey asked more than 1,400 construction professionals what type of corrupt practice was most commonly found, and examined attitudes of how corrupt they deemed a variety of practices to be.
PESHAWAR -- Chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Qamar Zaman Chaudhry on Thursday said that the bureau is committed to eliminate corruption and corrupt practice across the board.
The promises made in the election manifesto do not constitute as a corrupt practice under the prevailing law," the court said.
Sean Price and his deputy Derek Bonnard were held yesterday on suspicion of misconduct in a public office, fraud by abuse of position and corrupt practice.
Sean Price, chief of Cleveland Police, and his deputy, Derek Bonnard, were arrested yesterday by detectives investigating allegations of misconduct, abuse of position and corrupt practice.