The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes
Saturday, January 17, 2004
The political corruption fallacy illustrated: by the Golden State Gaol Goons...
There is abroad a moronic belief that a system whereby those desirous of government action - or inaction - pay cash to defray electoral expenses is somehow necessarily less corrupt than one where money is paid and goes straight into the back pocket of the pols or bureaucrats.
A reminder of the idiocy in a piece (via TalkLeft) in the LA Times (January 16) on a report into California's prison system - and its management by the State Department of Corrections - by
Special Master John Hagar, a prison expert appointed by a federal judge.
Hagar says, it seems (the report is still draft), that the department's failure
is more than mere negligence. It is nothing less than the awareness of a serious security-related problem and the subsequent deliberate disregard of that problem.
And that a former Director, Edward S. Alameida
was moved by union meddling to improperly close a perjury investigation of two guards at Pelican Bay State Prison, then conspired with others to conceal his actions.
The union referred to is the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, which, the article says,
gave $1.4 million in direct and indirect contributions to former Gov. Gray Davis in his first term.
Presumably, it was proportionately generous to the other folks it needed to get to look the other way when incidents like Pelican Bay cropped up (as it were). It failed to ensure, it would seem, that they were as competent as they were pliable.
The law is clear that, if a man robs a bank, his offence is not lessened by the fact that he keeps no money himself but gives it all to his aged mother. Or to charity. The evil done is in the act whereby he acquires the money.
In the same way, the corruption involved in deals such as the CCPOA's  is the same whether - to take the example given - Davis used the $1.4 million to pay for TV spots for his campaign or to build a retirement home in Cancún: for the prisoners who suffer the brutality of CCPOA goons, and who know that a glitch in the paperwork is pretty much guaranteed if a complaint is made, it makes no odds.
(Without getting into the specifics, I note that Alameida  was a CDC time-server, who was appointed by - you guessed! - the Gray Man himself, back in 2001.
No necessary reason why Alameida should have enjoyed any benefit from Davis's CCPOA moolah. My suspicion is that he will have been chosen as having the track record of a loyal company man.)
Did Arnold Schwarzenegger get his palm crossed with CCPOA gelt? I'm not sure whether the returns are due yet...
The Pelican Bay report by Special Master John Hagar is here (DOC).
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