Political Cronyism 101: How to turn $4,650 into $100,000 in San Bernardino County
Now sit right down and I will tell you tale about how a politically connected financial supporter in San Bernardino County managed to turn a $4,650 campaign contribution into a $100,000 return in just 18 months. And the best part -- YOU get to pay for it.
In early 2016 Victorville City Councilman Ryan McEachron contributed nearly $5,000 to the re-election campaign of Supervisor Robert Lovingood. The contribution took two forms: a personal contribution of $450 and a contribution in the name of his business for a total of $4,200 (the legal maximum).
See the screenshots below (click to enlarge) of their respective Form 460 campaign finance report filings for McEachron and Lovingood:
Now, remember...McEachron and the business he owns is doing so well that they both have the means to contribute money to a political campaign. We will come back to this.
Fast forward to tomorrow's board agenda. Item 14 involves an employment contract for Ryan McEachron whereby he will earn $100,000, nearly $100 per hour, for part-time work between September 30 and the first week of June 2018. Included in that $100,000 contract, which can be renewed, is $38,000 in health and medical benefits.
Let's put aside the terrible optics of rewarding a political donor with a cushy "make-work" government gig.
Why does the owner of his own business with more than 20 employees need San Bernardino County taxpayers to pay for his insurance benefits? And how exactly does he even have the time and energy to work the 1,000+ hours prescribed by the contract while also tending to his business?
This guy campaigns as a conservative concerned about the wasting of taxpayer dollars. And yet, he has no problem sucking on the teat of government and soaking the taxpayers with the bill.
Meanwhile, this hiring was done without a recruitment process by human resources. McEachron was hand selected. Do you think making $4,650 in contributions to the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors had anything to do with it? This is San Bernardino County after all where the good old boys take care of themselves...at YOUR expense.
Now, in all fairness, McEachron's return on investment pales in comparison to Hillary Clinton's infamous insider trading scandal involving cattle futures when she turned $1,000 into $100,000 in just 10 months. But then again, she was just stealing money from other traders. When you can rob taxpayers in broad daylight like McEachron and Lovingood are doing here...well, you got to get bonus points for that.
With McEachron already making calls and laying the groundwork for another attempt to get elected to the Victorville City Council in 2018, keep an eye out to see how much of his
own money...er...I mean...your money Lyin' Ryan puts into his council campaign.