Today's e-mail of the day in the scandal arising from the 2012 school levy campaign at CPS involves targeted shakedowns of vendors to the school district. It's called pay-to-play, quid-pro-quo. If it happened at Procter & Gamble, Federated Department Stores, the Kroger Company, Cintas or Fifth Third Bank, the executive would be hoisted on their petard, and referred for criminal prosecution. Not at CPS, the obviously criminal conduct of shakedowns of vendors for kickbacks simply are part of the way they do business.
One of the things we find abhorrent about the continuing abuse of public resources by Cincinnati Public Schools, the illegal campaigning, the rampant abuses of all rules of decency, is the casualness with which the abuses take place. "Oh here's a quick email to remind you to do some illegal campaigning today...Don't forget to abuse your position of trust with children and tax dollars...and oh yeah, bully your co-workers as well..."
Even as they attempt to avoid detection by using personal email addresses and acknowledge that the reason they are doing this is to evade the law and the COAST/CPS agreement, they are seemingly oblivious to the damage they are doing and the criminal behavior in which they are engaging (see ORC Sections 9.03 and 3315.07 (C)(1)).
American politics - truly all of our society - is premised on a shared sense of fairness and decency. Everyone - no matter their politics or station in life - cringes at the thought of bribery and shakedowns, we are all disgusted by the naked abuse of power and explicit and implicit threats which come with bribery and shakedowns.
And yet, CPS and Union attorneys seek to have a judge find that there is "nothing to see here." That "this is really no big deal;" that it "happens all the time - we just got caught," you can almost hear them saying it now.
We reject that way of thinking. It is a big deal! It doesn't have to happen all the time! And if it does happen all the time, then let's stop it!
Which brings us to today's email of the day. Jens Sutmoller emails CPS Chief Operating Officer, Terry Elfers, to coordinate the shakedown of CPS vendors.
Note he organizes the list of vendors by the amount CPS spends with them. (Why possibly could that be?)
Again we ask: What will get these people to stop abusing public resources, to stop conscripting children into political indentured servitude, to stop shaking down vendors and teachers for political contributions?
And again, the answer appears to be absolutely nothing. Nothing will stop them, they will continue their brazen, illegal, unethical behavior until the end of time. We are to merely take it.
Well, we hope it is clear to all that COAST won't simply take it; we will continue the fight to stop these abuses and punish those who violate the lofty principles of fairness and decency by abusing public resources and engaging in transparently unethical and illegal behavior.