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NCJ Number: 65012 Find in a Library
Title: MONEY AND MORALITY IN MARYLAMD
Journal: SOCIETY  Volume:11  Dated:(MAY/JUNE 1974)  Pages:74-81
Author(s): T B EDSALL
Corporate Author: Transaction Periodical Consortium
United States of America
Date Published: 1974
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Transaction Periodical Consortium
Piscataway, NJ 08854
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE CASE OF MARYLAND, A STATE FOR WHICH THERE IS NO EVIDENCE OF EXCEPTIONAL CORRUPTION, SUGGESTS THAT NO REFORM WILL BE ADEQUATE UNLESS IT DEALS WITH THE BROADER QUESTION OF GOVERNMENTAL POWER AND ACCESS TO IT.
Abstract: SYMPTOMS OF CORRUPTION HAVE APPEARED IN BOTH MAJOR MARYLAND PARTIES; SOME HAVE RECEIVED NATIONWIDE PUBLICITY. THESE INCLUDED AN ILLICIT $50,000 LOAN BY THE COMMITTEE TO RE-ELECT THE PRESIDENT TO THE ORGANIZERS OF A LOCAL TESTIMONIAL DINNER FOR VICE-PRESIDENT SPIRO T. AGNEW; THE SECRET TRANSFER OF $180,000 FROM A WHITE HOUSE CONTROLLED FUND TO THE 1970 CAMPAIGN OF MARYLAND SENATOR J. GLENN BEALL, JR.; AND THE SEVEN-MEMBER AGNEW DINNER COMMITTEE WHICH VIOLATED STATE ELECTION LAW FOUR TIMES. REFORM ATTEMPTS HAVE RESULTED IN REGISTRATION OF LOBBYISTS, MANDATORY DISCLOSURE OF THEIR FEES AND EXPENSES, AND THE TRANSFER OF CONSTRUCTION MONEY EXPENDITURES FROM LOCAL BOARDS CONTROLLED BY COUNTY EXECUTIVES AND CITY MAYORS TO THE GUBERNATORIALLY CONTROLLED STATE BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS. THESE REFORMS, HOWEVER, HAVE INCREASED, RATHER THAN DECREASED, THE POWER OF LOBBYISTS, INCUMBENTS, AND THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE. MOREOVER, THE PROCEDURAL APPROACH TO REFORM FAILS TO RECOGNIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF THE MARKET FUNCTION OF GOVERNMENT AND THE EXISTENCE OF THE STRATIFIED HIERARCHY OF BANKERS, COMMERCIAL AND INDUSTRIAL CONCERNS, AND STATE LEGISLATIVE-DEPENDENT COMMERCIAL INTERESTS THAT COMPETE FOR BUDGET APPROPRIATIONS. POLITICIANS ARE ALSO DEPENDENT ON SPECIAL INTEREST COMPLEXES FOR NOMINATION AND LEGISLATIVE INFLUENCE. REFORMERS HAVE FAILED TO RECOGNIZE THE ROLE OF ECONOMIC SELF-INTEREST THAT MOTIVATES REFORM; HAVE FOCUSED THEIR ATTENTION ON SUPERFICIAL GOVERNMENT ALTERATIONS, RATHER THAN ECONOMIC LEGISLATION; AND HAVE FAILED TO SEE THAT THE PROCEDURAL CHANGES THEY HAVE IMPOSED ON GOVERNMENT DO NOT ALTER THE ECONOMIC BALANCE OUTSIDE AND ONLY FORCE THE CREATION OF NEW AVENUES OF INFLUENCE. IF THE DUAL ROLE OF STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT--ECONOMIC RESOURCE FOR A FEW, PROVIDER OF ROUTINE SERVICES FOR THE MAJORITY--IS NOT RECOGNIZED, THE WORK OF REFORMERS WILL, ULTIMATELY, BE INEFFECTIVE. (AOP)
Index Term(s): Abuse of authority; Bribery; Conflict of interest; Corruption of public officials; Cultural influences; Graft; Kickbacks; Maryland; Political influences; Reform; White collar crime
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65012

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