We’ve been talking about the drug cartels in Mexico, and one of the interesting things about this is how they are donating money to churches and communities â€” essentially cleaning up their image and capturing the heart and soul of the people, many of whom aren’t sure who else to trust.
It’s a powerful and pernicious tool.
Here’s another article showing how the cartel is spending money to help kids.
It has paid for batting helmets for a girls softball team. It has paid for a machine that helps fill water bottles for high school football players. And it has paid to send kids to an Atlanta Braves game.
All the way to Atlanta? Wow.
My mistake. Turns out this article isn’t about Mexican cartels and the money they get from people voluntarily purchasing their product. No, this is about another out-of-control group that actually steals their money from people.
Tapping into money from drug seizures, Sheriff Jimmy Ashe has directed $10,588 since 2007 to sports programs, trophies, booster clubs and a high school chorus.
The sheriff often spent the money with no oversight. In one case he directed $3,000 to youth baseball teams – including one on which his son played.
Asset forfeiture is a particularly nasty business that leads to greed, corruption, and even death (see Donald Scott). One of the worst practices of asset forfeiture is giving a portion of the seized money to the law enforcement units responsible for the seizure. This provides perverse incentives and increases the likelihood of abuse.
And using it for self-promotion? That just makes it harder to break the cycle of corrupt practice, because now law enforcement has purchased the good will of the community.
Parents in Jackson County said Ashe’s decision on how to spend the money has made a difference.
“I think that Jimmy Ashe is great for doing that,” said Susie Fortner, a single mother of three. “If it wasn’t for him, I don’t know if we would have gone this far in sports.”