A D.C. sex club scam did more to provide jobs with government money than a half-billion dollar solar energy boondoggle. This week the Washington Times reported on the case of “Miracle Hands,” a nonprofit group in the District of Columbia that is charged with accepting $329,000 in job training funds from a city HIV/AIDS program and using the money to open a strip club. The group’s director, a former street thug named Cornell Jones, is charged in D.C. Superior Court with submitting false expenditure reports in connection with turning an old warehouse into the Stadium Club, which promises “Five Star Dining and a Premier Gentleman’s Club Experience.”
No one can condone misappropriating funds, especially those intended to respond to acute medical needs. But perhaps the government could learn something from Mr. Jones. This week a California-based solar power company Solyndra filed for bankruptcy after having received $535 million in low-interest Energy Department loans. This attempt at economic stimulus was supposed to create over 1,000 jobs, which at half a million per job is hardly a good deal. But all the workers have been laid off and the government may have to write off the loan. Contrast this effort to the Stadium Club, which turned $329,000 in misappropriated city money into jobs for cooks, wait staff, dishwashers, bartenders, valet parking attendants, not to mention the club’s “entertainers.” It says a lot when the best and brightest in the White House blow half a billion dollars on a politically well-connected venture that goes belly-up, while a reformed gang-banger actually creates jobs with a fraction of the money. Maybe Mr. Jones should help President Obama with that big jobs speech he will be giving next week. Miracle Hands seems to be providing a lot of stimulus.