New Brazilian Representative Confesses: I’d Take a Bribe But Only a Big One

Clodovil Hernandes, 70, a self-professed gay, who once was a renowned Brazilian clothes designer turned into a TV show host, but who now is just a shadow of brighter times, decided to become a House representative and ended up getting quite an impressive voting.

He got the third largest voting in the state of São Paulo. With the 493 thousand votes he won, Clô, as he is often called, was able not only to elect himself, but also the military police colonel, Jairo Paes de Lira, from his own party, the unknown PTC (Partido Trabalhista Cristão – Christian Labor Party).

Ironically, the man he helped win is a right-wing hardliner who defends death penalty and is against marriage for gays. In his campaign, Hernandes promised that if he won "Brasí­lia would never be the same again." He was disappointed at his performance though: "I could have won 2 million votes if they had left me do the campaign the way I wanted."

Now, talking about his plans, he says he has no expectation: "I may die tomorrow. And besides, who can assure me they are not going to try to oust me from Congress?"

He says he wants to learn how to be a representative. The former couturier also criticizes some of the aides who helped him win the election: "Job in Brazil is a filth proposition because everybody wants their rights. Nobody wants duties."

At first Clodovil says that people will try to oust him because he will refuse to rob. But when asked if he would accept a US$ 13,000 monthly allowance  to vote with the government he responds: "US$ 13,000 is so little. If it were at least US$ 13 million. Are you crazy? Me, sell a country for US$ 13,000? Everyone weighs the money on its own scale. Mine needs a lot of money."

And then he explains what he thinks about honesty and venality:  "This happens to any human being. I am not going to get dirty for just a little. But I would get dirty for a few millions of dollars, of course. I would use these millions to do all the charity that I want. I want the opposition to drop dead. I have no child,  I have no lover,  I have no woman, I have nothing. This is not dishonesty. This is opportunity. Now, to sell your country for 13 grand this is something I can’t fathom."

When the interviewer noted that something like this would be considered corruption and would be illegal, Clodovil didn’t eat his words:

"Of course I know this is illegal. I’m not illiterate. Do you think I am going to get there (capital Brasí­lia) and meet Saint Francis of Assisi? Change first your attitude. Who is there is some Brazilian like you. They are not Greeks and Trojans." 

How about his motto and promise of changing Brasí­lia? "This was an invented slogan, a magic slogan, one of these things that elected me. People confuse seriousness with a Terylene suit and an affected tone of voice. It is nothing of the kind. Seriousness is something else. This sentence is for the enemies to enjoy. They say: "This gay guy, this old geezer is getting there."

He confesses this kind of criticism makes him feel very bad: "I know I’m going to suffer with that. If Collor had that thing purple (that thing, meaning the scrotum, a reference to former president Fernando Collor de Mello who used a Northeastern expression to say that someone is brave) mine is shock pink."

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