PUBLIC CORRUPTION PROJECT

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Public corruption involves a breach of public trust and/or abuse of position by federal, state, or local officials and their private sector accomplices. By broad definition, a government official, whether elected, appointed or hired, violates the law when he/she asks, demands, solicits, accepts, or agrees to receive anything of value in return for being influenced in the performance of their official duties. One of the most high-profile forms of public corruption is bribery of a public official. There are softer, more insidious and practically legal forms of public corruption that pervade the public sector. Government resources (your tax dollars) are regularly funneled into lobbying and political agendas. Legislative service often provides a revolving door for public officials who leave office to join companies that then are in the loop for lucrative government contracts. Candidates solicit private sector government contractors for campaign cash. Sole source government contractors give campaign contributions and then get or keep no bid contracts with the state. These donations are not really bribes, in a provable legal sense, because they do not come out and say they are in return for favors. However, it is clear that funneling government contract money (your taxpayers dollars) into the political process, where government contracts are awarded, is a corrupting practice that looks like a kick back scheme. This is how the rich get richer, and the powerful stay in office. And you pay for it. This is not what our founding fathers had in mind when they signed the Declaration of Independence.

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