Monday, November 20, 2006

At Least They Are Spending Their Own Campaign Money: Nassau DA Rice You Lost The High Ground On This In Your First Week In Office

More Political Hypocrisy

This story suggests that local politicians are feathering their own nests by using campaign funds for personal gain. One Pol bought $13,000 worth of flowers for town workers funerals. Another Pol, whose district has had a large influx of Spanish speaking residents paid $3000 for Spanish lessons. Finally a third elected official gave a close campaign aide/fundraiser a $300 wedding gift. (In reality only the last one is really questionable in an ethical sense. All three are probably legal) Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice is not happy with this and said the campaign finance law is not strong enough.

Rice said: Contributors should be able to know whether their gifts will be spent specifically to win an election, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said. Otherwise, she said, ``It chips away at people's faith in the whole system.''

So imagine Kathleen how we taxpayers feel when we see you hire a bunch of old friends from work as your assistants and give them huge raises and then hire your sister-in-law for a job and give her $5000 more than the gal who had held the job for 15 years before sis came along.

How can you justify increasing the size of your office by 4 people over the size of your predecessor and yet costing us $8 million dollars more than he did?*

* Based on the County Executive's numbers in his proposed budget, Rice's request was for nearly 30 Million Dollars. She has a staff that is four members more than Dillon had in 2003 and yet his budget was 23 Million Dollars. Where did the other 8 Kathleen? Mostly into the salaries and benefits portion of her budget. According to sources in the District Attorney's office, Rice hired a bunch of cronies and gave them raises over their previous employment and increased the size of the salary associated with each hire she made above and beyond what the same job paid under her predecessor. I don't know. I don't feel safer knowing her friends are making more money. Too bad she didn't earmark more of those funds to fighting and deterring crime.
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