Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Sam Smith: The Bribe That Dares Not Use Its Name

The Bribe That Dares Not Use Its Name


By Prorev.com Editor Sam Smith

Private campaign financing is a form of bribery, which Merriam-Webster defines as "money or favor given or promised in order to influence the judgment or conduct of a person in a position of trust." NotE that the gift doesn't have to be illegal to qualify; it's the intent that matters.

Normally, the bribe hides comfortably behind the myth of "campaign contributions," based on the assumption that since everybody does it, it's okay.

But Washington, DC, is something of a special case. Because it is so heavily Democratic, the races are almost always settled at the primary level. This year Adrian Fenty won the mayoral contest. There will be a general election next Tuesday but no one - not even his Statehood Green or Republican opponents - expect him to have the slight problem winninG.

Nonetheless, between the primary and now Fenty has received nearly a half million dollars in contributions, a considerable amount from backers of his opponent in the primary.

Mark Seagraves of WTOP radio news described it: "Big businesses are jumping on the Fenty bandwagon to the tune of $2,000 apiece. The Marriott Corp., usually associated with Republican candidates, donated the maximum $2,000. Fenty's donor list is a who's who of local and national big business.

"Advertising powerhouse Clear Channel did its part with a $2,000 check, so did Ted Lerner, the new owner of the Washington Nationals. In fact, many of the members of the Nationals ownership have pitched in thousands. . .

"WTOP Political Analyst Mark Plotkin says, 'This giving is so predictable. It's called 'don't anger the incumbent.' It's insurance money.' . . . .

"Job seekers are doing their part as well. Many of those on the donor list are current and former members of the Williams administration who have expressed interest in working for Fenty, should he win the general election.

"Law firms, developers, unions, parking lot operators, and even the group that was denied a permit to use the Potomac River for a triathlon, have submitted contributions. . .

"'This is what big winners do. They take money from anybody and everybody, hit 'em up when you're hot. In this case, I don't even think he has to ask,' Plotkin says.

If you give money to a candidate under such circumstances, you do it "in order to influence the judgment or conduct of a person in a position of trust." It's a legal bribe that attempts to do precisely the same thing as an illegal bribe. The only difference is that there is no penalty.

http://www.wtop.com/?nid=596&sid=960175

*************

FROM UNDERNEWS
FROM THE PROGRESSIVE REVIEW
EDITED BY SAM SMITH
Since 1964, Washington's most unofficial source
E-MAIL: mailto:news@prorev.com
LATEST HEADLINES & INDEX: http://prorev.com
UNDERNEWS: http://www.prorev.com/indexa.htm
XML FEED: http://prorev.com/feed.xml
SUBSCRIBE VIA TOPICA: mailto:prorev-subscribe@topica.com
PROBLEMS SUBSCRIBING? SUBSCRIBE DIRECTLY: mailto:news@prorev.com
1312 18th St. NW #502 Washington DC 20036
202-835-0770 Fax: 835-0779

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

27-29 Sept: Social Enterprise World Forum Live Blog

1600+ delegates from more than 45 countries have came together to share wisdom, build networks and discuss how to create a more sustainable future using social enterprise as a vehicle. Attending the Forum were social enterprise practitioners, social entrepreneurs, policy makers, community leaders, investors, activists, academics and more from across the globe... More>>

HiveMind Report: A Universal Basic Income For Aotearoa NZ

Results from this HiveMind suggests that an overwhelming majority of Kiwis believe that due to changing circumstances and inefficiencies in the current system, we need a better system to take care of welfare of struggling members in our society. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Hivemind: Medical Cannabis - Co-Creating A Policy For Aotearoa

Welcome to the fourth and final HiveMind for Scoop’s Opening the Election campaign for 2017. This HiveMind explores the question: what would a fair, humane and safe Medical Cannabis policy look like for Aotearoa, NZ in 2018? More>>

ALSO:

Lyndon Hood: Notes On National’s Election Campaign, In Poem Form

Nationyl’s bitumen-ing / As they du du / Seed groweth / River floweth / Then ‘dozer drives thru / Highway ensu. More>>