Friday, April 25, 2008

All in the Family

Councilmembers Hire Kinfolk
To 'Work' in Their Campaigns
Six New Reports on Slushwater

The scandal over misuse of public funds by politicians continues to grow.

On page A1 of today's Times, jumping to most of page B6, you will find a major article: IN COUNCIL CAMPAIGNS, RELATIVES ON THE PAYROLL. If the Times were a tabloid, this story would be at the top of page one, in the wood. It was reported by Ray Rivera, Russ Buettner and William K. Rashbaum. It is the most exhaustive study of the Council Members' hiring practices for their campaigns that has ever appeared. This is a refreshing instance of (MSM) mainstream media using its resources to dig up information on a valuable issue of public integrity.

The 1481-word Times story describes over a dozen cases where Councilmembers hired relatives to work in their campaigns, rented space in their homes for their offices, or engaged in other acts of self-dealing. In some cases, the Councilmember was headed for an overwhelming victory in a sham campaign, so the expenditures were primarily a vehicle to receive public funds for personal gain.

1 comment:

  1. The problem is that the cost of running for election has gotten ridiculous, and is only getting worse. Between 1993 and 2005, the cost of running for City Council more than doubled -- in real, inflation-adjusted dollars (source: NYC Campaign Finance Board, "A Report on the 2005 Elections").

    The solution is a system that truly limits campaign spending, removes large special-interest donors from campaigns, and results in real lobbying reform. Fortunately, such a system is available; it's called "Clean Money, Clean Elections" (CMCE).

    A CMCE bill is about to be introduced into the City Council. A similar bill has been introduced into the state Senate (S.7175), and groups led by Citizen Action NY are pressuring the Assembly to pass a CMCE as well.

    You can help. Contact Citizen Action NY or Democracy for NYC to join the fight.