Following Dirty Money


I like the concept behind what appears to be a new Washington Examiner feature called “Dirty Money” (you can see the latest installment here; I can’t seem to find a page where previous installments are archived). I’m not a hundred percent certain though of their methodology of determining why certain contributions are dirty–if it’s merely a company or organization that had employees or members who’ve committed crimes (embezzlement is one listed), that doesn’t necessarily seem to taint the organization’s donations. I think a little more context is needed to determine whether the employees were embezzling from the organization (which would seem to make the organization a victim) or if the embezzlement was part of a management scheme to victimize others.

Freddie Mac strikes me as a much better place to start. The mortgage lender cast aside accounting rules, internal controls, disclosure standards, and the public trust in the pursuit of steady earnings growth — a practice that led it to cook its books. They also broke federal campaign finance law in an attempt to influence politicians. The Center for Responsive Politics shows who got the most money from them; their top recipients can also be viewed cycle by cycle, for easy reference.

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