Friday, April 8, 2016

Pay to Play by Mark Herbrandt - A new chapter

What would happen if anyone running for office or elected to office could not bid or hold any government contract or any company they work for?

In Hamilton County a number of elected officials running for office would no longer be running for office.  A case in point is the recent newspaper article* about Mark Heirbrandt who works for Ameresco and that company was bidding for a Joseph County contact. Of course the e-mail asking about the status of the contract and about political contributions to the person making the contract had nothing to do with one another.  The two nothing to do with one another were in the same paragraph. But remember they had nothing to do with one another. Want to buy a bridge in Brooklyn?

The article pointed out a favorite quote of the elected Republican officials of Ham Country – doesn’t Ham equal pork another political term. “Pay to Play.” In other words you have to bribe the elected for favors such as contracts. But since it is against the law to bride someone they contribute to your campaign funds.

What would happen if any political contribution made to a candidate and if elected they can no longer vote on any contact from that contributor for the term they are in that office? Watch the contributions drop like a lead balloon.  Now of course the concern would how to funnel the money through individuals to avoid this, but I would extend to employees about $250.00. For example once I noticed a $5000 contribution to the Political Action Committee working to get the elected office holders re-elected from Fishers. This contribution was from an individual not even living near Fishers, so a little digging and I found he was on the Board of Directors of a construction company that builds sewer plants and was bidding on a Fishers sewer contract.  Smells to me.  How about you?

One of the current County Commissioner who I picked at random and had a the following contribution listings first on his list a law firm, second an engineering company and last a paving contractor.

The contributions by the engineering companies would vanish, as would the law firms, all kinds of suppliers and construction companies.

How about the Firefighter Union that contributes to all sitting City Council members for re-election. Do the Firefighters expect a pay raise? Of course they don't.They just like these people.

My favorite “Pay to Play” and funnel was Pete Peterson’s Royal Tiger Pac**.  It was so apparent that it was short lived.




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