Monday, August 3, 2015

Ackerman and...locusts?

Ackerman and...locusts?

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Only the Daily News could compare a schools superintendent to a plague.

There's a lot of unsettling things about the whole Ackerman affair -- No. 1 was Ackerman herself, not to rehash old ground -- but one of the most unsettling is the soliciting of top-secret, private wealthy donors speed her departure. This is not an isolated incident -- rather, it's part of a trend in an America with a handful of billionaires and multi-millionaires called on to do the things that the vast majority of society, both citizens and our bedraggled governments, can no longer afford, frequently with none of the transparency that we'd be otherwise legally entitled to. The rich are not just secretly deciding our elections (Citizens United) but they are bailing out our banking system (Buffett/B of A), providing our investigative journalism (ProPublica) and God knows what else.

So Mayor Nutter, in a tight spot politically, can now call up rich folks to bail him out of a jam and not tell the city who those people are? Is that legal? Probably yes, unfortunately, in a society where anything that rich people do is legal. Is it moral and ethical? Absolutely not. (And please note that I'm saying this even though the goal of the fundraising -- getting rid of Arlene Ackerman -- is something I fiercely advocated for). I support any and all efforts to expose the names of these secret donors. It does't matter whether the public has a right to know. The public has a need to know.

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Will Bunch
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