Fines wouldn’t be enough

The Washington Post - - WASHINGTON FORUM -

The April 17 Metro ar­ti­cle “Funds in runs for coun­cil un­clear” de­tailed D.C. Coun­cil mem­ber Bran­don T. Todd’s (D-Ward 4) al­leged vi­o­la­tions of cam­paign fi­nance rules — from fail­ing to dis­close who gave him thou­sands of dol­lars in con­tri­bu­tions to al­legedly per­son­ally prof­it­ing from his cam­paign via credit card points. The ar­ti­cle said the gen­eral coun­sel would be look­ing into th­ese il­licit ac­tiv­i­ties for “pos­si­ble fines.” This sim­ply isn’t a strong enough re­sponse to pre­vent Mr. Todd or others from en­gag­ing in th­ese same im­pro­pri­eties in the fu­ture.

His goal was to get elected, and, al­legedly by skirt­ing elec­tion rules, he suc­ceeded. The con­se­quence for so egre­giously vi­o­lat­ing cam­paign fi­nance reg­u­la­tions in a city that has strug­gled with transparency and cor­rup­tion should be se­vere enough to dis­suade any­one from com­mit­ting the vi­o­la­tions. In track, if you are found to have used sup­ple­ments to cheat, your medal is stripped. If you break recruiting rules in the NCAA, your wins are va­cated. Our elec­tions should have at least as harsh of con­se­quences for break­ing the rules as our sports. If th­ese al­le­ga­tions are true, Mr. Todd should be re­called from of­fice and re­placed. Andrew Gall, Wash­ing­ton

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