Kerry Cavanaugh, a Los Angeles Daily News
columnist, got it wrong when
she started a
"Here's another reminder that politicians are not
like you or me. If I get caught taking inappropriate gifts or violating
the company's ethics policy, I might be fired, suspended without pay or
forced to open my wallet to pay the penalty. If a politician gets caught
breaking the rules on the job, he or she can open a 'legal defense
fund,' collect cash from supporters and special interests and pay the
fine, without losing a dime."
It's worse than this. Even most elected officials don't have the
network of contacts necessary to open a legal defense fund. But the
mayor of Los Angeles, the subject of Cavanaugh's column, opened three
such funds, one for each of three investigations, by the city ethics
commission, the state ethics commission, and the district attorney.
And he did this right after settling with the city and state ECs on
fines totalling $42,000.