D.C. Spent $2.5 Million in Pandemic Aid Funds on Parking Cops


Pandemic funds used to rent parking cops, pay for prisons, construct resorts. At a time when many residents have been struggling attributable to job losses and lack of enterprise, the District of Columbia ramped up efforts to wring cash out of them—and spent federal pandemic help to take action.

The town spent $2.5 million in federal aid funds to rent extra parking cops, in response to new reporting from the Related Press.

Alas, D.C. is much from the one jurisdiction that used cash meant to assist folks to police them as a substitute.

For example, the town of Los Angeles obtained $639,450,464 from the American Rescue Plan final 12 months and spent 50 % of it on Los Angeles Police Division payroll, in response to Kenneth Meija, an accountant operating for L.A. Comptroller.

In cities across the nation, pandemic aid funds went to both strange police prices or to extend policing capabilities—generally in questionable methods.

“Albuquerque spent $3 million on a gunshot monitoring system that is not truly efficient,” notes Mic. “Honolulu purchased its cops a $150,000 robotic canine to watch unhoused populations. In Wisconsin, Republican lawmakers pushed to make use of federal funds to create $5,000 signing bonuses to recruit new officers.”

Police spending is just one approach cities misused pandemic funds:

Due to a sudden $140 million money infusion, officers in Broward County, Florida, not too long ago broke floor on a high-end lodge that may have views of the Atlantic Ocean and an 11,000-square-foot spa.

In New York, Dutchess County pledged $12 million for renovations of a minor league baseball stadium to fulfill necessities the New York Yankees set for his or her farm groups.

And in Massachusetts, lawmakers delivered $5 million to repay money owed of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate in Boston, a nonprofit established to honor the late senator that has struggled financially.

The three distinctly completely different outlays have one factor in widespread: Every is among the many scores of tasks that state and native governments throughout america are funding with federal coronavirus aid cash regardless of having little to do with combating the pandemic, a overview by The Related Press has discovered.

The expenditures quantity to a fraction of the $350 billion made out there by way of final 12 months’s American Rescue Plan to assist state and native governments climate the disaster. However they’re examples of makes use of of the help which can be inconsistent with the rationale that Democrats provided for the document $1.9 trillion invoice: The money was desperately wanted to avoid wasting jobs, assist these in misery, open faculties and enhance vaccinations.

Pandemic aid funds additionally went to constructing new prisons (Alabama), transforming a Metropolis Corridor (Woonsocket, Rhode Island), overhauling a tourism web site (Alexandria, Virginia), golf course irrigation techniques (Colorado Springs), and a museum to honor bike owner Main Taylor (Worcester, Massachusetts).

Quite a few cities and states have used funds to buy “gunshot detection” tech. It  is not truly efficient, however cities and state are nonetheless spending tens of millions in pandemic aid funds on ShotSpotter gadgets.

“Officers in some jurisdictions have been nothing in need of gleeful over the prospect of utilizing pandemic aid funds to develop carceral infrastructure,” notes The Enchantment:

In February, directors of the Oklahoma County Jail have been caught on a voicemail recording calling COVID-19 “our good friend” and “the best factor that has ever occurred to us.” The jail had already obtained $10 million in federal funding underneath the 2020 CARES Act, and throughout the recorded dialog officers expressed hope that they’d obtain “one other $150 million” from ARPA. Greater than a dozen folks died within the custody of the Oklahoma County Jail in 2021, and a number of other extra have died up to now this 12 months.

Hold all this in thoughts when the Biden administration and federal lawmakers speak about needing to dole out more cash to assist with pandemic-related issues (or excessive fuel costs, or local weather points, or regardless of the present disaster/excuse may be). These are successfully packages to make politicians look good, to not funnel funds to the place they’re truly wanted.


Lawyer Ken White—aka “Popehat”—tackles the current New York Instances op-ed on free speech:

We must always have a considerate dialog about whether or not fashionable American tradition encourages us to react excessively and even cruelly to speech we do not like, how that impacts folks, and what we should always do about it.

The New York Instances’ Editorial Board didn’t supply such a considerate dialog in its piece “America Has a Free Speech Downside,” which discusses oft-invoked “cancel tradition.” It is vexingly unserious.

The issues start within the lede, which the Editorial Board used on social media to advertise the piece:

For all of the tolerance and enlightenment that fashionable society claims, Individuals are shedding maintain of a basic proper as residents of a free nation: the proper to talk their minds and voice their opinions in public with out concern of being shamed or shunned.

That is sheer nonsense from the soar. Individuals haven’t got, and have by no means had, any proper to be freed from shaming or shunning. The First Modification protects our proper to talk free of presidency interference. It doesn’t defend us from different folks saying imply issues in response to our speech. The very notion is totally incoherent. Another person shaming me is their free speech, and another person shunning me is their free affiliation, each protected by the First Modification.

White stipulates that he isn’t denying “that there are ever any unfair, disproportionate, or evil responses to speech,” however he thinks we have to get extra critical in defining what we imply by cancel tradition. “Merely complaining about it within the summary, with out makes an attempt to outline it, with out actionable responses, and with out taking the rights of ‘cancellers’ would not ease the tradition conflict. It inflames it,” he suggests.

Learn the entire factor right here.


A Tennessee court docket has dominated that the state letting recreation wardens enter and examine folks’s property with out a warrant is unconstitutional. “The ruling isn’t just a victory for Benton County landowners Terry Rainwaters and Hunter Hollingsworth, who sued with the Institute for Justice (IJ) after the Tennessee Wildlife Sources Company (TWRA) ignored their ‘No Trespassing’ indicators by coming into and putting in cameras on their land,” notes IJ. “The victory additionally applies broadly to non-public land throughout Tennessee.”


Earlier this week we coated proposals—some higher than others—to assist folks pay for fuel. Would it not shock you to listen to that California has gone the unhealthy approach?


• “The White Home has quietly assembled a crew of nationwide safety officers to sketch out situations of how america and its allies ought to reply if President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia — pissed off by his lack of progress in Ukraine or decided to warn Western nations towards intervening within the conflict — unleashes his stockpiles of chemical, organic or nuclear weapons,” reviews The New York Instances.


• Airline CEOs need an finish to pandemic guidelines for flights. “Now could be the time for the administration to sundown federal transportation journey restrictions – together with the worldwide predeparture testing requirement and the federal masks mandate – which can be now not aligned with the realities of the present epidemiological setting,” wrote the heads of 10 U.S.-based airways, together with Delta, in a letter to President Joe Biden.

• Male contraception drugs get a step nearer to actuality: “In new preliminary analysis, a crew says they’ve developed a non-hormonal type of male contraception, one which saved lab mice sterile for 4 to 6 weeks with seemingly no negative effects. Early human trials of the tablet are anticipated to start by the top of the 12 months.”

• Belgium is decriminalizing promoting and paying for intercourse, making it the primary European nation to formally achieve this.

• RIP Madeleine Albright.

• “Seems marijuana actually is a gateway drug — for America’s statehouses, anyway”: Politico seems to be on the spate of measures to decriminalize hallucinogens.

• New analysis seems to be on the financial prices of rejecting refugees:







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