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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

On Mayor Gray and D.C.'s corrupt, illegitimate government

Mayor Gray donor and friend Jeffrey Thompson has now testified to federal investigators that Mayor Gray conspired with him to accept over half a million dollars in illegal campaign contributions without which his electoral victory seems unlikely.

This situation underscores the illegitimacy of the D.C. Government, where politicians are elected by breaking their own laws, laws they use to reduce or silence political competition.  The illegitimacy of the D.C. Government extends back to at least 1994, when the D.C. political class decided to nullify the will of the people about a basic constitutive principle of our government, when 66% of voters voted in favor of a term limits initiative and the city council decided to declare it invalid.

It seems our ruling politicians will break laws and disregard referendum votes to hold onto power.

Of course, Mayor Gray is innocent until proven guilty.  Perhaps Mr. Thompson is now conspiring with prosecutors in a plea bargain and is falsely implicating Mayor Gray, even though they are long time friends.  What we do know is that the D.C. Budget has grown to $12 billion, and that much loot will continue to attract cronies and cause corruption .  One can only imagine how much corruption there will be when the D.C. Government not only dispenses $12 billion, and decides who gets waterfront land parcels and government leases, contracts, grants, and subsidies, but when it also gets to decide who may and who may not erect a building over 12 stories. One important means to less corruption is to take money and power away from government by transferring more of the activities it has monopolized, like education, to free people in the voluntary sector.

One question I would ask in all of this is about the efficacy and integrity of the Office of Campaign Finance.  I am currently being harassed weekly with emails and letters by the Office of Campaign Finance because in December 2012 I reported a few days late the $157 I had donated to my own campaign, at that time my only donation.  For reporting that amount late, in part because the Office of Campaign Finance provided me with no log on information for their on line filing system until I repeatedly asked for it, they have announced they are fining me $100.  But the incumbent Mayor, their boss, is alleged to have received hundreds of thousands of  dollars in illegal contributions from one source.  Is the purpose of their office just to chill political speech by harassing new and independent candidates and parties?

The D.C. Libertarian Party has released the following statement:

"Thompson's activities have been known about and stretch far beyond Mayor Gray; we hope that continued investigations reveal the true scope of Thompson's money and influence throughout the DC Democratic Party. In 2012, when Bruce ran for DC Delegate, we launched the website "www.EleanorGiveItBack.com" which highlighted the over $60,000 which Norton also received from Thompson. Thompson's charges also highlight the need for a new, sustainable and viable party in the District, and this party is the Libertarian Party. Our slate of nine candidates this year promise, among other things, a departure from the monetary scandals which continuously arise from within the DC Democratic Party." 

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Pranav Badhwar for Ward 6

Pranav Badhwar for Ward 6
Pranav Badhwar for Ward 6

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