Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Rep. Dwight Evans Wastes $1 Million Dollars Of Taxpayer Money On Jazz Festival
Beavers for Initiative Growth, Citizens Alliance for Better Neighborhoods, Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corporation. What do they all have in common? All are non-profits tied to politicians from Harrisburg. In the case of the first two trials resulted from allegations of improprieties connected to mismanagement of their funds. Former Senator Vince Fumo and Representative Michael Veon were associated with those entities.
Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corp, however is the tax-exempt, taxpayer-supported nonprofit group founded by State Rep. Dwight Evans, chairman of the all-powerful House Appropriations Committee.
Philly.com reported that the non-profit received $1 million dollars of Pennsylvania taxpayer money to host the West Oak Lane Jazz Festival. Claims were made that the crowd would rival Woodstock, "in excess of 500,000 festival attendees from around the world." In reality only a couple thousand made it to the event.
Today Karen Heller writes an op-ed that Pennsylvania taxpayers shouldn't foot the bill for the festival.
The three-day festival was free to the public.
And, then again, not.
Because you, dear reader, paid for the festival to the (free-form jazz) tune of $1 million through the Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corp. (OARC), the tax-exempt, taxpayer-supported nonprofit group founded by State Rep. Dwight Evans, chairman of the all-powerful House Appropriations Committee.
This support is $1 million more than what the commonwealth gave to the July Fourth Welcome America festivities, which drew crowds Ogontz Avenue could only dream of.
Meanwhile, city parades, athletic competitions, heritage events, and even Mummers go scrambling for funding.
"I don't want to get into a debate about the numbers," Evans said about attendance, though he has no problem with numbers when it comes to securing state grants for OARC, scads in the past decade.
Consider this: $29.3 million in tax dollars went to his pet charity. That's an amount that would impress even Vince Fumo.
Rep. Dwight Evans and House Majority Leader Todd Eachus frequently appear together in photo ops especially around budget time. Harrisburg will not change it errant ways unless the voters change the way Harrisburg looks by voting out incumbents who fling their thumb off their nose to the public when it comes to spending our money wisely.