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Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Strippergate
The city of Seattle has had a little scandal regarding illegal campaign contributions by a strip club owner to city council members. Frank Colacurcio Jr wanted to expand his strip club and use an ajacent residential lot for parking. Three of the city councilors who voted to give Frank what he wanted had received some $36,000 in campaign contributions from people associated with Mr Colacurcio. At least two of these donors have now admitted that they were reimbursed for their contributions -- an illegal act of money laundering aimed at getting around the city's contribution limits. Here's a link to a story in the Seattle Times.

Now, here's the interesting thing. Two of the city councilors were recently defeated in the elections, in part because of the scandal. But, these lame ducks still felt they could vote in favor of the strip club. How are we to make representative democracy work if representatives are elected based upon illegal campaign contributions, and even when voters explicitly reject them they still feel empowered to go against the wishes of their constituents?

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