Tuesday, May 16, 2006

LOCAL LARGESSE -- Congress isn't the only legislative body that knows something about bacon:
It's a little-known tradition of Prince William County politics: Members of the Board of County Supervisors get $47,500 a year in public money to put into individual "discretionary funds."

The eight board members can spend the money on anything from furnishing their offices to hiring part-time workers to donating to charities and nonprofit groups.

But the supervisors rarely spend all the money during the first three years of their terms. Instead, records show, supervisors roll over much of the money until they are nearing their reelection campaigns. Many of them then write checks to favorite charities or pet projects, a 14-year-old practice that critics say could be seen as an attempt to influence votes.
This kind of thing probably goes on in more than a few communities.