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- NYPD head Ray Kelly wins big retirement perk — a $1.5M tax-paid team of bodyguards
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- Libraries to feds: Stop spying on us
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- Angry NTSB ousts railroad union from N.Y. train crash site
SIMMONS: D.C. Council’s Graham just another politician in a pickle
Question of the Day
Fortunately for D.C. taxpayers and the business community, the four-term member of the D.C. Council does not appear to have financially benefited from allegedly throwing his political influence into the city’s contracting sphere.
And that is indeed a very good thing, considering the many local and federal lawmakers and chief executives who have fallen from grace for accepting kickbacks and misusing public dollars and campaign funds.
That’s scandalous yet small potatoes when compared with, say, Mark Sanford, the former Republican governor of South Carolina who used taxpayers’ money to play footsies with a woman not his wife.
Or former Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr., Illinois Democrat, who admitted in court last week to misusing campaign money to purchase furs, celebrity memorabilia, an over-the-top Rolex watch and expensive children’s furniture.
Or Jack B. Johnson, the former Prince George’s County executive who was overheard giving his wife instructions on what to do with tens of thousands of dollars in cash from kickbacks.
Or William J. Jefferson of Louisiana, who was found guilty of 11 counts of corruption after federal authorities found $90,000 in cash stuffed in the freezer of his D.C. home.
Or the very married James E. McGreevey of New Jersey, who outed himself and resigned from the governorship amid an extramarital homosexual affair.
Or Marion Barry, who was censured by the D.C. council for an alleged plan involving a female acquaintance and a city contract.
No, there doesn’t appear to be any sexual favors, Eddie Van Halen memorabilia or such in the Graham affair.
But the D.C. ethics board did find “substantial” evidence that Mr. Graham abused his office regarding his involvement in a D.C. Lottery contract and a Metro project.
For his part, Mr. Graham has said he broke no law and was not part of a kickback scheme so, at this juncture, there is no reason to call him a liar.
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About the Author
Award-winning opinion writer Deborah Simmons is a senior correspondent who reports on City Hall and writes about education, culture, sports and family-related topics. Mrs. Simmons has worked at several newspapers, and since joining The Washington Times in 1985, has served as editorial-page editor and features editor and on the metro desk. She has taught copy editing at the University of ...
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