As both GoLackawanna and the Scranton Times have reported, donors to the commissioners’ campaigns have been given jobs in the new administration. The commissioners adamantly defend their picks, claiming that the donations have nothing to do with their hiring decisions. As a matter of fact, they say that they don’t even know who contributed to their campaign.
That raises an interesting question.
Candidates for office have political committees. When they file their campaign finance reports, they sign and swear out an affidavit in the presence of a notary. It states:
I swear (or affirm) that to the best of my knowledge and belief this political committee has not violated any provisions of the Act of June 3, 1937 (P.L. 1333, No. 320) as amended.
Can you swear out a statement that your authorized political committee didn’t break any laws without reviewing your report? If you review your report, can you still claim that you don't know who contributed to your campaign?
There is nothing illegal about accepting campaign contributions that are accurately and fully disclosed in accordance with the law. But this excuse – politicians don’t know who contributed to their authorized campaign committees – just doesn’t sit well.
How about when a politician says that he is looking to hire people that have the right “contacts and connections”?
This is not the way to rebuild trust between the government and the governed.