DeMaio creates his own slush fund

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The city council voted yesterday to create a personal slush fund for the mayor's office worth hundreds of millions -- even billions -- of taxdollars. The council decided to give up all control and oversight of any city contract up to $30 million.

Looking at the contracts in recent years, that means every single contract. Instead of the council, the mayor will distribute the contracts without any oversight or accountability. In essence, giving the mayor a huge pile of taxpayer money to spread among friends and supporters, and no way for anyone to do anything about it. Of course, DeMaio is the only one running to have access to that slush fund.

In fact, it was councilmember and mayoral hopeful Carl Demaio leading the charge in his usual hypocritical fashion. Since he's voting on the powers of the office he hopes to hold a year from now, let's be very specific about what he's now done here:

First, Carl DeMaio tells us that he's beholden to his campaign donors and 'owes' them if he wins.

Then, Carl DeMaio says no candidate should take money or endorsements from organizations who have business with the mayor, saying: “Do you want your mayor to...owe them when they sit down at the negotiating table?”

Meanwhile, Carl DeMaio is endorsed by local developer and contractor groups. And he receives major financial backing from developers and contractors, including many of the city's biggest contractors.

Now yesterday, Carl DeMaio voted to allow the mayor to administer virtually all city contracts without any oversight or accountability -- currently $7.2 billion in taxpayer money that his biggest donors are all trying to get.

That means that, were DeMaio to become mayor, he will have voted himself a personal slush fund to reward his donors with hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars without anyone else having a say in the matter. He wouldn't be negotiating so much as just handing out money, and he's said he would do exactly that given the opportunity. He's openly admitted that he would be corrupt given the opportunity and said that's why nobody should be given the opportunity.

But yesterday, he voted to give the mayor, possibly himself, exactly that power. Even though he's told us he can't be trusted with such power.