Monday, May 29, 2006

'Sleazy' school deal shows Duncan isn't as clean as he looks

The Washington Post editorializes that County Executive Doug Duncan is no longer a scandal-free politician. The paper uses words it has never ascribed to the gubernatorial candidate: "sleazy," "unseemly," and "shady."

"The Abramoff-related money arrived just four weeks before a decision by Mr. Duncan involving the fate of the Yeshiva of Greater Washington, a religious school on whose board Mr. Abramoff served," says the Post editorial.

"It has the look, feel and aroma of the sleazy influence-peddling for which Mr. Abramoff became notorious."

But even if Abramoff was not involved with Duncan's decision or his campaign, the Post continues, the campaign money-and-school issue "raises serious questions."

"In addition to the $20,000 related to Mr. Abramoff - some of it nominally contributed by individuals who say they've never heard the name Doug Duncan - Mr. Duncan simultaneously received $15,000 from other sources with an interest in the yeshiva," the editorial continues.

"That means Mr. Duncan got a total of $35,000 just before he approved allowing the school to lease a disused county public school - a decision opposed by both the county school system and the school's neighbors."

While the connection may not be illegal, "it is unseemly and at odds with the image of an able, honest public servant that Mr. Duncan has enjoyed until now."