Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What's the Going Rate for Backroom Deals?

Apparently, a cool thousand dollars is not large enough to trigger the gag reflex of our Jackson County Legislature.

Yesterday, the Jackson County legislature was going over the COMBAT Funds, and Theresa Garza noticed an unusual item - a thousand dollars is being directed to crime activist Alonzo Washington for a decal on his car. No, I'm not kidding -
A brief flare-up among Jackson County legislators occurred Monday over a proposal to give $1,000 in COMBAT anti-drug tax money to anti-crime activist Alonzo Washington.

Washington plans to display the COMBAT message on a vehicle he uses to visit crime scenes in the inner city and urge members of the community to provide tips to police.
I have nothing against Alonzo Washington - I admire his dedication to fighting crime. BUT, I have a huge problem with paying him a thousand dollars for putting a COMBAT sticker on his car, and I appreciate Theresa Garza having the good taste and courage to question this bit of sleazy misappropriation of my tax dollars.

For her efforts, she got lectured by convicted criminal James Tindall. He called her picky for raising a question over $1,000. Can you imagine the gall of Tindall - who was convicted of tax fraud daring to speak to anyone about how to spend money on crime prevention??

Sadly, Garza backed down, and did not oppose the thousand dollar sticker. Apparently, backroom deals for COMBAT funds are okay if they're only four figures . . .

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did a quick web search. You can get a retangular car magnet starting at $100. Final cost would depend on the amount of colors and the actual size, but I bet it would still cost less than $200.

And they allocated $1,000 without batting an eye.

8/14/2007 11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love this post

8/14/2007 5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How much of the $1000 is your tax dollar ?

It's ok by me for Alonzo to drive around in his new car with a COMBAT sticker on it.

How much of our taxes went to the 85,000 seat Sprint Arena I voted NO for than built a 20,000 seat with no voting ballot? I feel, as a Kansas Citian that I got screw by Kay and can't remember if it was good or not. She must of put something in the tap water.

8/14/2007 10:30 PM  
Anonymous mainstream said...

Much like Funk, that Jackson County legislator Tindall needs to learn that big messages come in small packages.

I believe his exact quote was

“It’s $1,000,” Tindall said. “Give me a break.”

So, I would be led to believe by Tindal that $1,000 is just chump change. Let me break out my calculator.

$1,000 post tax, is about $1,300 pretax (I'm being conservative, here). So, If I'm a regular folk, someone who makes, say, $12 an hour (well in excess of the minimum wage) I would have to work about 108 hours. That's over two and a half work weeks - to make $1,000 post tax.

That's interesting that Tindall thinks that 2 1/2 work weeks is chump change - 2 1/2 weeks of sweating your ass off waiting tables - working hard at a lot of different things that do make a difference in people's lives.

I know where Tindall is on this now, so Dan, let's talk about where you are on this.

Permit me to get on a soapbox here and lecture you for just a minute. I know your heart is in the right place - nevertheless you are still deserving of a little criticism.

YOU pick up on a small, seemingly innocuous issue and say, to Tindall - "this is a big deal!".

But yet you criticize Funk critics for doing he same thing????? How many times have you accused Funk critics for blowing up what you consider to be small issues.

I guess the size of the issue is in the eye of the beholder.

And the universal truth here is that big things come in small packages.

8/14/2007 11:05 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

That was almost an excellent comment, Mainstream. I liked the part where you agreed with me, but it really went downhill in the second half. ;-)

More seriously, I see what you're saying with your comparison, but I don't think it's entirely fair. I'm not Funk - I'm not his spokesperson, and the only time I can remember (off the top of my head) arguing that something was no big deal was the time he was criticized for appointments without running through the application process, after he was slammed in the paper. Tindall uses it as a complete defense to shut down the question, and I used it as a matter of perspective on something I claimed was wrong.

So, in that instance, I first voiced my opinion that it was a mistake, called on him to avoid making similar mistakes, and then pointed out that it was not the end of the world. That's a bit different than using "no big deal" to excuse the act itself.

The distinction may be slightly subtle, but I think it's a valid one.

Paintman - did anybody ever say it wasn't okay for AW to ride around with a sticker on his car? The issue isn't his free speech rights, it is his right to be paid a thousand dollars for putting a sticker on his car.

8/15/2007 6:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I can save the city some money. I will let them put the sticker on my car for a mere $750.00. I'll even promise to wash my car once a week.


8/15/2007 2:46 PM  
Blogger Xavier Onassis said...

I'll do it for $650!!!

8/15/2007 3:25 PM  
Anonymous Scott said...

While you are bellaching about Alonzo how about all those lawyers who loaned money to a judge.

Did you see the KC star piece about the former President of the KC Bar Association getting an "admonishment".


Corruption RULES!

8/21/2007 6:39 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

If you read the article, Scott, you'll see it was a fair result. By the way, "admonition" would be a better word for it.

8/21/2007 6:45 AM  
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