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Friday, May 22, 2009

Show Me the Money! Disgraced Iraq Contractor (Among Many Others) Pours Cash into Local Dems' War Chest

Posted By on Fri, May 22, 2009 at 11:49 AM

Hey, DCCC, can you spare a buck? How about $160,000?
  • Hey, DCCC, can you spare a buck? How about $160,000?
It's easy to knock Parsons Corp. for the few hundred million in taxpayer dollars the mammoth construction contractor wasted on redevelopment projects in Iraq, but hey, give the company a break. After all, the firm may be on its way to redeeming itself with local lefties after it wrote a $10,000 check to progressive Democrats' political machine earlier this year.

On Jan. 29, shortly after a new slate of leftist politicians took office on the Board of Supervisors, Parsons made a $10,000 contribution to the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee. The committee, now chaired by former Board of Supervisors President and leading progressive Aaron Peskin, has seen a consolidation of power by the more liberal faction of the local Democratic Party in recent months.

We called Peskin and DCCC Treasurer Debra Walker to see what they make of the relatively large gift from Parsons, which pulls down big construction contracts across the world, including some in San Francisco. No word back yet. At any rate, the folks at Parsons Corp. aren't the only ones who have decided it behooves them to give generously to the DCCC these days. As of May 2, according to recently released campaign-finance records from the California Secretary of State's office, the committee had raised close to $160,000 in contributions over just five months.

Remember that we're not yet halfway through an off-election year. For the whole of 2008, when the committee

had a number of local races to worry about, it raised a total of

$290,000. In 2006, it raised $90,000. (You can take a full look at

the committee's campaign-finance reports here.)

The progressive Dems who now control the DCCC and have established themselves as the majority bloc on the Board of Supervisors came to power

on the promise of representing small-time neighborhood concerns over

the moneyed "downtown" business interests that had previously been such

a force in city politics. But Parsons is about as

big as business interests come. Last year, the Special Inspector General for

Iraq Reconstruction found the company's contract with the U.S.

government "entailed the

most waste of taxpayer dollars" in Iraq,

revealing that Parsons had performed about a third of the work in a

contract worth up to $900 million.

The latest

campaign-finance reports make clear that whatever their convictions,

the progressives definitely aren't keeping money out of politics.

Photo by jenn_jenn.

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Peter Jamison

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