DC Councilman / fmr. Mayor Marion Barry is being looked at for giving away $40,000 worth of turkeys to constituents every year. Many people are stating that this is blatant vote buying (although reports are that you need a valid photo ID in order to get a turkey from Barry, just not to vote for him.) Gee, something like that would never happen in Prince William County, would it? Unfortunately, it has.
So, what are some of PWC’s turkeys? There’s the Rainbow Therapeutic Equestrian Center (Wally Covington), which is what helped build critical mass for abolishing supervisors’ slush funds. There’s the Hylton Performing Arts Center (Covington and Maureen Caddigan). There’s the National Museum of the Marine Corps commemorative bricks (Caddigan and John Jenkins). And those are just the ones off the top of my head. I want to once again commend BVBL, The Sheriff of Nottingham of Primce William County, The Derecho and Al Alborn for their excellent work this year in tackling county government issues on behalf of PWC taxpayers. They deserve a great amount of credit for helping to create the public pressure necessary to finally do away with the slush funds (and I am pleased to see they are continuing the effort against the carry-over budget process.)
There is one big difference between Barry’s turkeys and Jenkins’, Caddigan’s, and Covington’s turkeys. Barry’s were funded at least in part by a firm founded by Jeffrey Thompson, who is under federal investigation for his role in conjunction with DC Mayor Vincent Gray’s campaign. Caddigan, Covington, and Jenkins used taxpayer funds in their vote buying schemes. I’ll leave it to you to decide which is worse in your opinion.