Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Lien on Me

From the wild and wacky world of Montgomery County Democratic Primary politics comes some down and dirty politics in the world of MoCo Councilwoman (and County Executive Candidate) Valerie Ervin. There's an entire website of this stuff, but this drew my attention:

On December 6, 2012, Valerie paid off a Maryland state tax lien filed against her home and personal property. Just days before Valerie received the last of three checks from the congressional campaign account of political crony Rep. Donna Edwards. Turns out, near the end of the campaign, Donna hired Valerie for an undefined consultant position, paying her $6,000 over three months. But, for what?  
Why is a county council member, making over $100,000 a year working a second job for a congressional campaign facing no real challenge in an election.

It does seem a little more than coincidental that Valerie Ervin's tax lien and financial problems were mitigated upon her being placed on the payroll of Donna Edwards. Naturally, as somebody who's been gerrymandered into the 4th Congressional District, I've got a few questions about that:
  • What was the nature of Valerie Ervin's work?
  • Was the nature of Valerie Ervin's work campaign related?
  • Was Valerie Ervin paid the fair market value for her work?
  • Was there any quid pro quo for this work; was Ervin's employment contingent on a certain course of action, be it from a council vote or future political plans?
There is, likely, nothing illegal about the Edwards-Ervin arrangement: Alan Keyes notoriously paid himself a salary as he ran for Senate and President in previous elections. However the ethical ramifications of this arrangement certainly lead one to believe there is more than meets the eye on this, and the fact that Maryland Juice is reporting that Ervin is seeking legal counsel and a possible FCC complain lends me to think that there's more than meets the eye on this story....

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