Scandal is sweeping the California Democratic Party as it turns out that campaign coffers for national and state elections have been looted by a prominent Party operative. The WSJ has the story:
Accusations that a campaign treasurer stole more than $1 million from Democratic candidates across California have jolted the party on the eve of the 2012 campaign season.
According to the federal criminal complaint, Ms. [Kinde] Durkee “misappropriated money from her clients’ bank accounts and filed false disclosure reports to hide the misappropriations.” Ms. Durkee “admitted that she had been misappropriating her clients’ money for years,” according to court documents.
Via Meadia has previously noted the deterioration of Golden California into a failed state. Democratic politicians and the credulous voters who keep voting thieves into office year after year are much to blame; Dems have controlled both houses of the State Legislature since 1970 (minus a GOP takeover of the lower house in 1995-96). In that time spending has vastly exceeded revenues, miring the state in debt and unfunded pension liabilities. This year, under pressure from massively unfunded pension liabilities to unionized state employees, California has had to take the axe to schools, courts, and prisons. The failure to manage budgets in a responsible way led to irresponsible and poorly implemented cuts.
But it turns out California Dems aren’t just bad with other people’s money; they can’t even manage their own. For years, law enforcement officials now say, a trusted apparatchik has been quietly stealing money from the campaign funds of many of the party’s officeholders. Apparently the California party as a whole lacked any sense of appropriate fiscal management or controls.
It cannot be fun to call a donor to ask for more money because your carelessness allowed the last gift to be stolen, but many California Democrats are going to get a lot of practice making those calls in coming weeks. Not to sound like a cynic, but one has to wonder whether politicians who don’t know how to manage their own campaign funds have any idea how to manage the business of a state like California. Is the state government as poorly overseen — and perhaps as vulnerable to fraud — as the party that controls it?