Follow the Money

Posted by By at 22 June, at 00 : 48 AM Print

The roadmap to political influence is paved with campaign contributions. Pennsylvania has soft campaign finance laws and business interests, consultants, contractors, engineers, lawyers and lobbyists are among the heaviest investors in political campaigns.

There is nothing illegal about contributing to a campaign or bestowing a free meal or gift on an elected official in Pennsylvania. This is standard operating procedure. The “pay to play” mentality in Pennsylvania is so pervasive that it compels political players to protect their  business interests by investing in political candidates.  If you want to ride on the political carousel, you’ve got to pay a heavy price for admission.

Most of the donations come from a company’s political action committee, and not directly from the companies. While the contributions are legal, the targeted investments raise questions about conflicts of interest, competitive bidding, and quid pro quo.

The more pernicious underbelly of this arrangement is that the many contributors are appointed to Authorities, Boards, and Commissions, and are in a position to “return favors.”

Contracts and government appointments should be based on results, accountability, merit, and metrics that the taxpayer can evaluate.

We will leave it up to the reader to “Follow the Money” and determine if there is a relationship between political investments and government appointments and contracts in Dauphin County.


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This post was written by:
- who has written 353 posts for Rock The Capital
Eric J. Epstein is RocktheCapital‘s coordinator and a community advocate for good government for over 25 years. Mr. Epstein is also Chairman of the Three Mile Island Alert, Inc., a safe-energy organization founded in 1977; President of EFMR Monitoring Group, Inc., a non-profit economic development corporation established in 1977, and Chairman of the Stray Winds Area Neighbors (SWAN), a smart growth association organized in 2005. Mr. Epstein was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Humanities at PSU-Harrisburg (1992-1999) and co-authored the Dictionary of the Holocaust, which was released by Greenwood Press (1997) - Email Eric Epstein

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