Sunday, July 11, 2010

It "appears to be" pay to play

A lucrative contract is on schedule to be let to a company and/or individual who has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Democrats in general, and Gov Bill Richardson and Lt Gov Diane Denish in particular, link.

In order for the arrangement to be "pay to play" there would have to have been an understanding between Richardson, Denish, and Gerald Murphy/Spectacular Attractions that, in exchange for a few large campaign contributions, he/they would be given a state contract worth millions of dollars.

No evidence has been revealed or implied, proving that "understanding" was ever reached, or even discussed. But it could have. In an environment where pay to play is the order of the day, one could argue, it likely did.

In any case, there is the "appearance" that it did.

One could argue that, I am the only one to whom it "appears" that way; that I am the only one whose faith in government has been further diminished.

I doubt I am the only one. I submit that the Journal report
on the "appearance of impropriety" is proof that I am not.
I am not the only one whose faith in my government has been diminished.

Damage has been done. That is why creating the appearance of impropriety and creating the appearance of a conflict of interest must be eschewed.

When it became apparent that Denish had taken contributions from people who had been indicted for ripping off taxpayers, link, she had to concede that a line had been crossed and she donated their contributions to charity.

Not only has she not renounced these contributions and the corruption they suggest, she has not promised to reopen the bidding process for the contract, if she is elected (an option she would have, according to the Journal report).

It would appear that she can live with the appearance of being part of an administration that plays for pay, albeit standing quietly in the background.

The question is; can voters?

photo Mark Bralley

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