THE BLOG
01/11/2006 12:54 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Say No to Politicians' Unwanted Abramoff Cash

When will one of those charitable organizations who are now being showered with unwanted campaign contributions from Jack Abramoff and his clients turn around and tell their would-be benefactors, "we don't want your dirty money"? Why do they so willingly act as money-launderers? Or, at a minimum, why don't they extract a price so the donor (usually a politician who no longer wants to appear that he was on the take) has to make some real restitution? You know, make them give double, so they actually feel a little pain in the bank account. Or make them come do some community service along with their donation.

I fully sympathize with those groups who are struggling to get by and need whatever money they can get, and who absolutely do good work. And I understand, with some dismay, why some groups might be afraid, in the "land of the free and the home of the brave" to bite the hand that feeds them, given how many are dependent on government contracts and being seen as "responsible" rather than ornery.

But this greenwashing is really bizarre. Giving the money away hardly absolves the politicians who received it from the fact that at the time of the donation, they were for sale and were happily bought.

And when charitable organizations accept dirty money from politicians, they trade some of their hard-earned ethical capital for pennies on the dollar. I bet if one of them had the guts to politely reject the money, say, with a heartfelt statement about how Washington ought to be doing more to see that the neediest among us are taken care of, instead of tossing a few crumbs of unwanted table scraps their way, the public would rally to their side. Whatever hit they might take in rejecting the money would more than be made up by donations from regular citizens.

You get my drift...