Before USC law professor and op-ed meister Erwin Chemerinsky heads off to Duke this fall, he has agreed to advise Mayor Hahn on how the city's big money-rich departments should hand out contracts. Reports of corruption in the awarding of contracts are being looked at by county and federal grand juries. In a Q-and-A in today's L.A. Business Journal, Chemerinsky (who backed Antonio Villaraigosa for mayor) gives his opinion on how bad it is:
Q: This discussion of “best practices” comes as allegations of “pay-to-play” are being investigated. How deep a problem do you believe that is?
A: There is a problem of pay-to-play. I’ve been told by commissioners that they feel pressure to fundraise. Whether there is a perception (of a quid pro quo) or it’s real I don’t think matters, because both are inconsistent with good government. Perception leads to reality. If you believe you have to give money to get a contract, you will give money to get a contract.
The LABJ also has a cover piece on the Hoy-La Opinión battle.