Something is rotten in Charity Land. Consider a few recent stories out of Washington, D.C., New York and New Jersey.
Washington's former mayor Marion Barry now serves on the city council, where he has been most adept among his fellow members at securing large sums of tax dollars in the form of legislative earmarks to six of his pet charities. That alone is not illegal, although the practice has gotten criticism in recent years at all levels of government. In Barry's case he managed to earmark funds for the charities even before they legally existed, according to a July 10 report by Mike DeBonis in Washington City Paper. Not only that, the charities were under the effective control of his personal staff.