Pattern or Practice Car-25

Car-25 Pattern or Practice

On Wednesday, February 20, 2013 the Racine Common Council voted 10 to 4 to accept Skies Fall Media as the new contractor for the local cable access channel Car 25. After much discussion the Council decided the channel needed a new vision. Was it a vision or was it a pattern or practice?

The US Justice Department investigates where there is a reason to believe that a person has engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination or has engaged in discrimination against the group or person that raises an issue of general public importance. A pattern or practice means that there is a policy of discriminating, even if the policy is not always followed.

Let's compare the pattern used on minority bars vs the pattern used at Car 25

The Application Process

Minority Bars; There is a distinct rejection pattern when minority persons apply for liquor license or other permits from the City of Racine. Fragility of the neighborhood. concentration of liquor licenses in the area and unreasonable request are a few of the terms used to deny a license to minority applicants.

Car-25: Current operator of Car 25 city employee Scott Nelson was not told or sent bidding packages even though his company Badger Media had done contracted work with the city of Racine in the past. Badger Media was only considered in the application process by their own accord. Bid packages for Car 25 were not posted on the city website as was city policy in the past. Local qualified applicants were not asked to bid or contacted.

Authoritative Review:

Minority Bars: The minority owned establishments are called in for infractions that white owned establishments were not called in for. The Police Department and Public License and Safety would continue to defer the outcome as to establish a paper trail on minority owned businesses. The results expressed would be to work with the police department and your aldermen.

Car-25: Employee written up, first time after 10 years of service. City departments asked not to give letters of recommendation to Car 25. Employee evaluation reviews no longer in his personal files,(told they were shredded). Complaint filed with city human resources, employee told he missed the review period.(No action)

Surveillance:

Minority Bars: The term used by the Racine Police Department is crime prevention. Surveillance vans, cameras, and police cars with videos are parked outside of establishments waiting for an incident. Incidents are logged and reported to the Racine public license and safety board.

Car-25: During the ongoing bidding process for the outsourcing of car 25 a 360° surveillance camera is installed in the studio of Car 25 wired to City Hall. Police detective contacts employees of Car 25 asking for private videotaped cable commission meetings.

Poor Public Image:

Minority Bars: The City of Racine, the Racine Police Department, community groups, work with local media to paint the minority business in a bad public light. Incidents are played out in public on minority bars and downplayed when white bars are involved. The local media accommodates.

Car -25: Commentaries are written in the local media by the city of Racine stating negative programming on Car-25. No vision, tired, and negative, are some words used publicly to describe the current Car 25. Employees are told publicly they no longer fit the vision of Racine.  Contrived scoring process used to diminish Badger Media's professional ability to operate the channel.The local media accommodates.

The Agreement:

Minority Bars: After being threatened to a due process hearing to revoke their liquor license, the minority bar owner accepts a side agreement, understanding that the restrictions must be adhered to or subject to revocation of his license. This technique is also used in the application process.

Car-25: Aldermen on the Racine Common Council, Cable Commission members and administration all discuss the agreement to keep the current staff at Car 25 with the outsourcing of the public access channel. The agreement among the members is to vote for the new vision accepting the lies as truth. Knowing the agreement cannot be adhered to because of budgetary restraints.

Final Process:

Minority Bars: The minority bars are voted to due process to revocation their liquor license. There is no chance the minority owner can survive the hearing, once the hearing is completed the same members on the Common Council judge the final outcome.

Car-25: The administration lobbies Cable Commission members, staff and City Council members using the pattern as the backdrop for protection to the member who agrees to the new vision. The current cable provider has no chance of survival.

Reactions:

Minority bars: The business is now closed, the aldermen, mayor, police chief and concerned citizens use the local media to praise the good work of all involved in ridding the city of trouble some bars/clubs and have made the city a better place to live. The pattern is complete

Car-25: The new vision of Car 25 is now praised by the Mayor, Alderman, and local media as a step in the right direction to promote the positive things of Racine. The pattern is complete

 

 

Demographic factors Causing Corruption

Socioeconomic characteristics and the size of the population of people that make up a municipality can be encouraging factors for local government officials to engage in corrupt practices. Patterns of political corruption can be found in places that have a similar demographic make-up. Demographic factors that have been known to lead to or increase the likelihood of corruption in a local government system are religion, race, class, size of the municipality, local economic conditions, education, political culture, and gender. Some factors are interrelated or can lead to other factors which may cause more corruption.

Political Culture of the Municipality

Many local governments have an established  political culture with certain expectations and practices that often determine what is seen as acceptable and not acceptable in local politics. In municipalities with an undeveloped or underdeveloped political culture accountability and  legitimacy is usually low and principles of ethics in government are not established. This can encourage corruption to take hold in the local government because citizens do not know what is considered corrupt, and local officials are not afraid to be corrupt because of the low accountability. In some places the local governments have been corrupt for so long that the citizens think that is how it is supposed to work because that is all they have been exposed to. Long periods of political instability will also lead to corruption in the government because people are unsure of how the government should operate, and thus do not know what practices are corrupt or how to stop them if they are corrupt.

Size of a Municipality

Smaller municipalities tend to encourage corruption to take place within a local government. Smaller municipalities require more local officials to represent and run the local government. With more officials, it is harder to keep tabs on each one and establish a decent administration and to monitor their activities. Small municipalities may also have inadequate or insufficient policing and prosecution of corrupt local officials. This also encourages corruption to occur in local government because there is less likelihood of either getting caught or prosecuted, therefore, more officials may become dishonest or at least be tempted to.

Condition of the Local Economy

Low economic development has been found to be an encouraging factor for political corruption. Economic dependence on certain industries will also lead to less stable governments and less amount of money available to fund governments. Fragile economies lead to increased levels of  poverty and less opportunities to get out of poverty. Poverty is a known factor that encourages corruption in local governments. With less money available, local officials are more likely to get lower wages which is seen as another factor that leads to corruption. Low wages can cause economic insecurity and encourage politicians to take advantage of current opportunities as a public figure of authority. Overall, poorer municipalities are more often perceived to have corrupt local governments than rich ones.

Education

Lower levels of education which are often caused by poverty are seen as a factor which encourages corrupt government practices. With less amounts of education people are not informed as to how the government works or what rights they have under the government. It is easier for corrupt office-holders to conceal corrupt activities from a poorly educated public. Uneducated citizens are less likely to be aware of corruption in local governments or how to stop it, and therefore, corruption is able to remain and spread. Without some kind of political awareness, citizens will not know which candidates to elect that are honest or dishonest or other ways to prevent corruption from taking place in their local governments. This often leads municipalities to be continually governed by one or more corrupt local officials who use patronage or nepotistic practices to stay in office or keep influence in the government for long periods of time. When local political leaders are less educated, they will be less likely to find legitimate ways to make the municipality well-structured, productive, and successful.