August 12, 2011

Here’s How the Pros Do It!

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 6:41 am

It has long been known that corrupt public officials route public money to charities, not out of the goodness of their hearts, but because those charities enrich the politician’s friends and campaign donors who then route money back to the officials via cutouts.

For some time now there has been another scandal erupting in Fantasyland-on-the-Potomac using this technique.  The Washington Post has run a series of stories about how the pros on the Washington, DC, city council do it.  Today’s story is headlined D.C. Council members use non-profit to decure money for favored projects.  This story has sidebar links to earlier Post reporting on the same story.

It’s pretty straightforward.  This excerpt from today’s Post article explains it in its most obvious form.

In Ward 7, [DC Council member Yvette] Alexander secured $387,000 in earmarks for the Friends of Fort Dupont Ice Arena, whose board donated $550 to her campaign in 2007-08 and $13,000 to nine other officials since 2004. Alexander said campaign contributions were not a factor, noting that she keeps a tally of organizations that do good work and need funding.

Of course, this doesn’t happen here in Coeur d’Alene.


  1. That’s so bad. What’s the answer? Should government be stopped from giving public money to charities, or should charities be banned from making political donations if they’ve received any money from government?

    Comment by mary — August 12, 2011 @ 8:41 am

  2. There isn’t a simple answer. When charities and foundations turn a blind eye to board members who are exploitative and collusive and are willing to accept tainted money; when the public just refuses to believe that some of its public officials are using public money to buy future political support from those charities and foundations; and when elected prosecutors and elected judges refuse to acknowledge this kind of corrupt expenditure, it is almost impossible to control. In the absence of aggressive news reporting that exposes it, the public rarely sees it. In the presence of feel-good propaganda reporting by media purporting to be news reporters, the officials are allowed to tout the supposed good outcome while successfully hiding the corruption from the public.

    Comment by Bill — August 12, 2011 @ 8:53 am

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