The Campaign Spot

Culture of Corruption, Part Twenty-One: ‘The Democratic Party Itself Was Used to Disguise a Kickback.’

In Ohio:

But criminal charges filed Friday against four men could change that. Despite silence from nearly every powerful Democrat in the region, the conduct laid out in the charges will surely make it hard for Dimora, also a county commissioner, to keep standing tall in a party whose other officers have been little more than names on stationery.

The documents written by federal prosecutors don’t name Dimora or charge him with any crimes, but they do describe a seven-year pattern of sweeping corruption by someone identified only as Public Official 1. The description of Public Official 1 leaves no doubt about who it is: [Jimmy] Dimora, [the head of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party].

The documents also detail years of corruption by a Public Official 2, who, based on the descriptions, can be no one other than Dimora’s best friend and the party’s bon vivant, County Auditor Frank Russo. According to prosecutors, the two men enriched and entertained themselves with cash from businesses that received lucrative county contracts.

Prosecutors say the local Democratic Party itself was used to disguise a kickback from a contractor hoping to land public work.

I suppose we should see a sign of progress in the fact that the Ohio Democratic Party felt the need to disguise the kickbacks.

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Illegal leaks of classified information should be treated as a serious offense. But they would be easier to prevent if less information were classified.