[C]orruption is the abuse of bestowed power or position to acquire a personal benefit….Government, or ‘political’ corruption occurs when an office-holder or other governmental employee acts in an official capacity for personal gain. (Courtesy © Wikipedia).
Long serving elected representatives can develop collective mutual trust with lobbyists and corporations. This is vital for effective corruption because it enables payment and favor quid pro quo to be separated in time, making detection harder and punishment rare. Such “gentlemen’s agreements“ are ubiquitous; they may be reduced by term limits and sting operations.