Message to Pols: Give Taxpayers Back that Dirty Money

Because I penned two posts on corrupt businessman Antonio Junior earlier this week, former New Times scribe Kirk Nielsen turned me on to an opinion piece he wrote for Poder magazine last year.

My sometime wingman suggested that tainted political campaign contributions be returned to taxpayers.

And when I say "tainted," I'm talking about donations made by individuals who fleece the public - people like disgraced banker and developer Raul Masvidal, who in 2004 used the proceeds from a $5 million county loan to buy himself two sculptures for about $300,000.

He used another $355,000 to pay of his home mortgage. As a result of his criminal deeds, Masvidal was indicted last year.

Nielsen suggests that the politicos who received $70,000 in campaign contributions from Masvidal return those donations to the county as a gesture of good ethics. I wholeheartedly agree.

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Francisco Alvarado was born in Nicaragua and grew up in Miami, giving him unique insight into the Magic City and all its dark corners. An investigative reporter with a knack for uncovering corruption, Alvarado made his bones as a staff writer at Miami New Times and remains in dogged pursuit of the next juicy story.