A Page One Top 3 enough to make you gag

The front page of Tuesday’s Philadelphia Inquirer provided ammunition for those who feel politics and politicians are residents of — dare I say it? — the swamp.

Sheriff Rochelle Bilal got caught with her hand in the cookie jar (Photo: Philadelphia Tribune)

Here’s a link to one of the stories, https://www.inquirer.com/news/rochelle-bilal-philadelphia-sheriff-budget-funding-raise-20230411.html but I know if you are not a subscriber, a pay well blocks it. 

Here’s a brief of the three stories:

No. 1 — First time “reformer” sheriff Rochelle Bilal attempted to repurpose  money budgeted for hiring new officers into massive pay raises for her inner circle, including doubling her own $136,083 salary, which would have made her the highest salaried city official.

No. 2 — The city Board of Ethics charged that among anonymous donors to a political action committee supporting Jeff Brown, was a Philadelphia sports team, reportedly the Sixers, for $250,000. The Sixers currently are trying to get approval for an arena in Center City, on the edge of Chinatown, which opposes the venue. This smells like an attempt to buy a vote of a front-runner. 

No. 3 — Ethics also accused Brown of illegally coordinating with the PAC. Coordination between candidates and PACs is illegal.

Three stories of apparently graft or grift. 

Starting with No. 1, Bilal ought to arrest herself for fraud. 

Don’t hold your breath, because Bilal no doubt thinks she deserves it, and she seems to think the money is hers. It is not, it is the taxpayers.

The city charter and staffers in the city’s finance department stopped the grab, and I’ll bet someone in that office leaked the info to the Inquirer to stop Bilal the gonif,  which is Yiddish for thief.

Issues 2 and 3 deal with pretty much the same offense — not just money pouring in to influence politics, but an inability to determine who donated the money.

Trying to keep money out of politics is like trying to keep water out of a Venetian basement.

As you know, the government has tried to fix the problem by putting limits on how much donors can contribute directly to  candidates. But because where there’s a will, there’s a way, political action committees were invented, and unlimited amounts of money could be dumped into such a scam program. 

Unless we go to a system of total public funding (and we won’t because the people who have to vote for it are the same people — incumbents — who could be harmed by it) this nonsense will continue.

Second-best solution?

Every contribution made to any candidate must be reported, with the donor’s name attached.

This would end  so-called “dark money” and would allow voters to see where the money is coming from.

It ain’t perfect, but it is transparent.

6 thoughts on “A Page One Top 3 enough to make you gag”

  1. As the brilliant Ralph Cipriano has pointed out numerous times, the piece of shit DA has had numerous violations in his office for the campaign money hijinks. I don’t remember the stinky Inky dedicating 3 pages to looking into his dark money. Nor the residency requirement violations. Nor the blatant incompetence among his staff 🤷‍♂️

Comments are closed.