Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Tar Heel Lawmakers Take The Money And Run

As the Associated Press reports in the Charlotte Observer, some North Carolina lawmakers are converting leftover campaign cash into personal funds when they close their campaign accounts, sometimes in amounts in the tens of thousands of dollars.

I guess you can take it with you after all.

The practice is legal, but throws the door wide open to the possibility of corruption, if not legalized bribery.

One legislator switched parties, enabling the House Speaker to retain his speakership. The Speaker made a $4,000 donation to the legislator's campaign account, which the legislator promptly closed, pocketing the four grand. $4k turned into a 401(k), just like that.

Under the law, wealthy interests can do the exact same thing. It's bad enough when rich folks can make campaign contributions that the rest of us can't afford, but when the law essentially allows them to make contributions to lawmakers' personal accounts, it's even worse.

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