|Politics + Procurement = Corruption|
Ambitious people strive to get politically elected so that they can achieve power. With that power they immediately seek ways to gain wealth, i.e. big money. Political parties who win elections find ways to manipulate any procurement responsibilities that they have in order to financially strengthen their campaigns and be in position to further their political careers. Such is our democratic system and it has become a dirty secret. Little did I know that when I was appointed Deputy Commissioner for Minority Business Development for the State of
Business owners would come to my office and offer kickbacks to me for any contracts they received. 2%, 5%, 10% etc. would be the levels. They would be shocked when I declined to play that illegal game. One female owner offered her body in exchange for a particular contract. One guy in
One of my Black architects was catching pure hell. He won a contract to build a new rest area on one of our freeways. Politicals from the Democratic Party told him that he needed to make a $5,000 contribution before his contract would be processed. He didn’t get the contract until he relented and paid the money. Also, the Republican Party was shaking him down at the City of
As Deputy Commissioner for the Department of Administration, I sat in on weekly staff meetings moderated by the Commissioner of Administration who was in charge of all state procurements. Some of the strangest conversations would occur during these meetings. They would start talking about successful minority owned businesses with contempt. They were upset that people like Pilipino Rudy Reyes and Hispanic Gabe Aguirre had growing businesses and were not political funders. These entrepreneurs didn’t even do business with the State. I soon saw dirty tricks happening to these guys (behind the scenes assaults on their companies and bad press).
I really upset the Commissioner when I stated that a company owned by basketball great Oscar Robinson was being victimized by a particular person from the Democratic Party. I stated, “Oscar Robinson says he doesn’t have to pay the typical kickback of $5,000 and demands his contract, which he won, immediately. I concur with him and I am thinking about going public with it.” The Commissioner pounded the table, played dumb and said he would take care of it. From that point on, our relationship went “south”.
The corruption went to a new level when
Jack was fired and scandalized in the media over an extra marital affair he was having with the highest ranking Black working in the lottery. The Commissioner took over his job as Lottery Director and the corruption grew. I received more death threats but continued with the fight. TO BE CONTINUED.