Tulsa Public Schools Claimed Poverty While Running A Loan Business With Surpluses
Roughly a decade after Okscam came to light, a major scandal broke that grew out of the misuse of education bonds issued by school districts. A word about bonds is in order. Federal officials allowed local officials to issue education bonds to tide them over financially tight periods, as when property tax receipts for schools were late coming in. The bonds were never intended as a means for local education officials to make money, a distinction that was to become quite important as the bond scam unfolded.
Bonds Without A Vote Of The Electorate
During the 1980s, a major bond underwriting company, Stifel, Nicolaus, and Co., was active in promoting the use of bonds to finance public projects. Stifel also engaged in promoting candidates for office via contributions to their campaigns. The Stifel bond company formed a political action committee (PAC) to channel political contributions to candidates, and also channeled contributions through company officers and lobbyists. By these means, they could contribute quite legitimately, just as other businesses did.
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