The Campaign Spot

Thursday: A Bad Day for Trust in Leaders From Coast to Coast

The management of our nation, today, in California . . .

Law enforcement officials said Thursday that they have an open criminal investigation regarding allegations of misconduct in the city government of San Bernardino, which announced this week it was going to file for bankruptcy.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department released a statement confirming the probe but released few other details.

There have been allegations that some financial documents were falsified to hide the seriousness of San Bernardino’s financial woes.

In Pennsylvania:

Louis J. Freeh, the former federal judge and director of the F.B.I. who spent the last seven months examining the Sandusky scandal at Penn State, issued a damning conclusion Thursday:

The most senior officials at Penn State had shown a “total and consistent disregard” for the welfare of children, had worked together to actively conceal Mr. Sandusky’s assaults, and had done so for one central reason: fear of bad publicity. That publicity, Mr. Freeh said Thursday, would have hurt the nationally ranked football program, Mr. Paterno’s reputation as a coach of high principles, the Penn State “brand” and the university’s ability to raise money as one of the most respected public institutions in the country.

In Washington, D.C.:

The mayor of the nation’s capital is resisting public calls for his resignation after a federal corruption investigation unearthed damaging details of illegal fundraising associated with his 2010 election.

A local businesswoman said in court this week that she helped create a $650,000 effort to funnel undeclared campaign assistance to help elect Vincent Gray mayor of Washington, D.C. The disclosure prompted three members of the city council to ask him to step down.

Federal authorities began probing the Gray campaign in 2011, first looking at allegations surrounding payments to a long-shot third candidate to keep up a drumbeat of attacks in the 2010 race on the then-incumbent mayor, Adrian Fenty. Two former Gray campaign aides pleaded guilty for their roles in that scheme.

We have a governing class that demands ever-greater trust from the public, at a time when we see that trust violated, time and again . . .

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