A new Democratic scandal was exposed by authorities recently. It is another one of many that have been coming out into the public eye since Trump took office.
Recently, a wide-ranging FBI corruption probe led to the indictment of two Democratic Pennsylvania mayors. The indictment was served to five people, including elected officials of Reading and Allentown, Pennsylvania’s third largest city. (via Fox News)
Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski (D) and Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer (D), are two of five people charged with extortion, bribery, wire fraud, 14 counts of running a pay-to-play scheme, and other crimes that added up to a total of 73 counts. The corruption probe has led to nine other people pleading guilty so far.
Louis Lappen, U.S. attorney for Eastern Pennsylvania, said, “Pawlowski and Spencer essentially put up a ‘for sale’ sign in front of their city halls to sell city work to the highest bidder.” Among other crimes, when city contracts were up for bid, Pawlowski and others engineered the system so that his firm would win the contract. (via Fox News)
Pawlowski is accused of accepting more than $150,000 in contributions for his various campaigns from companies in exchange for a mutual understanding that they would receive city contracts in return. The mayor covered up his scheme by deleting emails, instructing his aides to do the same, as well as sweeping his office for listening devices installed by law enforcement.
Despite his behavior, the mayor still insists on his innocence, claiming, “I want to make it clear to everyone: I have done nothing wrong, nor have I ever accepted a dime beyond my salary. In no way, shape or form was City Hall ever up for sale.”(via Reuters)
Mayor Spencer was charged with a similar scheme where he directed a city contract to one of his donor’s engineering companies. He also stands accused of bribing the city council president to repeal campaign finance limits.
Even worse for these two mayors, many of their former employers and business connections already pleaded guilty and implicated them in the process. Michael Fleck, one of many who pleaded guilty, happened to serve as campaign manager for both mayors. In another instance, Allentown’s former managing director pleaded guilty as well, implicating Pawlowski in a bid-rigging scheme of $3 million for one of his donors.
Pay-to-play schemes are becoming a habit in the Democratic party. Should that disqualify people from political office?
The Democratic party is falling apart at the moment. This shocking corruption case featuring these Democratic mayors is just one of many different cases across the country. From Luis Gutierrez funneling $400,000 in campaign money to his own account and getting caught yesterday, to the black caucus being caught spending extravagant sums on money on personal affairs, the Democrats are suffering perhaps the worst case of fraudulence in their party’s existence.
Pay-to-play schemes seem to be becoming a habit within the Democratic party. They are showing up even at the highest levels, as Maxine Waters elevates junior congressmen through paid-for advertisements distributed by her family connections.
This misuse of electoral power needs to stop. Elected officials are supposed to serve the people they represent, not their own bank accounts.