Thursday, December 13, 2007

Now we're just haggling about the price

Three cheers for Portland City Auditor Gary Blackmer, who slipped this little gem in at the end of the Oregonian's letters page earlier this week:

Donors would be in cuffs

Regarding the motorist arrested for bribe giving ("What does $20 get you from a cop? Handcuffs," Dec. 7), I had to read the legal definition several times: If the person offers, confers or agrees to confer any monetary benefit upon a public servant "with the intent to influence the public servant's vote, opinion, judgment, action, decision or exercise of discretion in an official capacity."

Really, how different is that definition from special interests who give political candidates large campaign contributions? Portland's public campaign financing system eliminates even the wink of influence.

Portland City Auditor
Southwest Portland

The difference, of course, is that the suggestion that you could influence a political candidate's votes in office for a mere twenty bucks is laughable.

(Cross-posted at Loaded Orygun.)

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