Monday, February 28, 2005

Buying Political Influence

One Raymond Brown died last year, and in his will he left a little over half a million dollars to the Lodi Valley Historical Society, provided the board resigned. The board declined to resign and give one rich man such power over their organization. They couldn't very well tell Brown to go to hell, since he'd already fixed his destination, but I presume that the thought was there. But wouldn't you know it, a group of society members with more eagerness for money than for principle got together and are trying to sue to make the board members quit.

Now I don't know all the facts of the case. It is quite possible that the board members are a bunch of moldy turnips and need to leave. But the whole point of a democratic organization is that everybody gets a say, not just the rich members. Raymond Brown demanded power disproportionate to his vote. Life's unfair like that sometimes, but whenever we can defeat such abuses we ought to try.

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