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

 

Keith Rankin: Liberal Democracy In The New Neonationalist Era: The Three 'O's
The proposed ‘New Zealand Income Insurance Scheme’ (‘the scheme’) has attracted strong debate among the more left-wing and liberal groupings, within New Zealand-Aotearoa. This debate should be seen as a positive rather than negative tension because of the opportunity to consider and learn from the implications and sharpen advocacy... More>>

Dunne Speaks: Words Matter, Prime Minister
Words matter, especially when uttered by politicians. History is littered with examples of careless or injudicious words uttered by politicians coming back to haunt them, often at the most awkward of times. During the 1987 election campaign, when electoral reform was a hot issue, Prime Minister David Lange promised to have a referendum on the electoral system... More>>



Dunne Speaks: New Zealanders' Ongoing Quest For Security

In many ways, the essential story of New Zealand over the last hundred years or so has been our search for security. Whether it be security from want, or unemployment, homelessness, or cultural alienation, it has always been a constant theme which has occupied the minds of successive governments over the years... More>>



Digitl: Infrastructure Commission wants digital strategy
Earlier this month Te Waihanga, New Zealand’s infrastructure commission, tabled its first Infrastructure Strategy: Rautaki Hanganga o Aotearoa. Te Waihanga describes its document as a road map for a thriving New Zealand... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Leaking For Roe V Wade
The US Supreme Court Chief Justice was furious. For the first time in history, the raw judicial process of one of the most powerful, and opaque arms of government, had been exposed via media – at least in preliminary form. It resembled, in no negligible way, the publication by WikiLeaks of various drafts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership... More>>




The Conversation: Cheaper food comes with other costs – why cutting GST isn't the answer

As New Zealand considers the removal of the goods and services tax (GST) from food to reduce costs for low income households, advocates need to consider the impact cheap food has on the environment and whether there are better options to help struggling families... More>>