EDITOR’S NOTE: David’s post does NOT constitute my endorsement for his candidacy. I will give any candidate an opportunity to guest post on my website. I found the topic of interest when it comes to ethical standards in city government.
When public officials accept bribes, they stop working for “we the people” and start working for the people who bribed them. Bribery therefore violates the fundamental purpose of democracy. Sioux Falls Ethics Advisory Board found a widespread practice of bribery and local officials have been hiding it ever since. Because of bribery’s great damage to democracy, and because I care so much about “we the people,” I keep raising the issue in the hope that someone in authority actually cares and will protect democracy. I’ve publicly raised this issue so many times I’m losing count – three times at the ethics board and three times at city council – all to no avail. Plus I sent email to SD Department of Criminal Investigation and received no response. So now I’m sending the following letter to the attorney general and publishing it everywhere I can. Integrity is critical to the success of democracy and both must be staunchly defended for the American way of life to succeed.
I find the lack of official support for government integrity absolutely revolting. I encourage you to get angry, get involved, write letters, and vote in the upcoming city election on April 12. Vote for candidates that care about protecting our democratic way of life. Even if you don’t vote for me, vote for people who actually care.
With that introduction complete, here’s the body of my letter:
Dear Attorney General Jason R. Ravnsborg:
To provide some informative background information, I am campaigning for mayor of Sioux Falls and promoting honest, caring, practical government. To prepare for the role as mayor, I have spent years studying issues of practical American government, making plans, and presenting findings via PowerPoint at Sioux Falls City Council meetings. Many times over the past few years I have asked city council and mayor to improve processes, promote civil rights, and investigate bribery problems. My efforts have met great resistance. It is with considerable reluctance that I am writing this letter to yet again seek accountability and government transparency. We the people should not have to go to such lengths as I have to obtain official accountability.
Last week I had a meeting with Police Chief Jon Thum and Sheriff Mike Milstead. We talked about reducing crime and drug addiction by switching our communal focus from incarceration to treatment. We also talked about investigating bribery among city officials. The chief and sheriff recommended I share my concerns with you via a certified letter so that’s what I’m doing here and now. Concerning bribery, the city’s ethics board wrote a letter to city leaders stating city leaders have a common practice of accepting gifts of paid travel. In other words, bribery is common among city leadership. I have attached the ethics board letter describing this problem. We can be sure city leaders are aware of the problem because I publicly asked for accountability and disclosure repeatedly. I have attached two of my PowerPoints on the subject, PowerPoints which I publicly presented at Sioux Falls City Council meetings.
I am asking you to investigate city leadership accepting bribes and then to file appropriate criminal charges so the people of Sioux Falls can reasonably expect integrity in city government. Our American Constitution begins with the words “We the people.” When politicians accept bribes, they work for whomever provided bribes instead of working for “we the people.” This of course violates the fundamental purpose of American democracy. Government corruption doesn’t vanish by itself. Frequently, visibility and publicity are necessary before bribery and corruption are addressed. Consequently, I plan to publish this letter in local news and social media.
LINKS OF INTEREST BELOW;
ETHICS BOARD LETTER, PAGE 1, PAGE 2, PAGE 3
PRESENTATION ON POLITICAL GIFTS
PRESENTATION ON ETHICAL PRACTICES