Petition + Payments = Bribery

Have you been following the story about the residents at the Columbia Regency mobile home park?

Have you figured out the back story yet?

If not, let me give you a hint – possible bribery and voter manipulation.

OK, that may be a little strong, but that is how I am interpreting the accumulation of information found in both dailies. That is my opinion.

First, “bribery” as defined in 25 CFR 11.426:

“A person is guilty of bribery, a misdemeanor, if he or she offers, confers or agrees to confer upon another, or solicits, accepts or agrees to accept from another:

“(1) Any pecuniary benefit as consideration for the recipient’s decision, opinion, recommendation, vote or other exercise of discretion as a public servant, party official or voter; or

“(2) Any benefit as consideration for the recipient’s decision, vote, recommendation or other exercise of official discretion in a judicial or administrative proceeding; or

“(3) Any benefit as consideration for a violation of a known legal duty as a public servant or party official.”

The residents of Regency were given notice of the closure of the property with notice, per Columbia ordinance, to relocate. Each trailer owner was offered a flat amount to help offset moving expenses. It did not matter if the trailer was a single or double wide, every owner would receive the same amount.

Though the owners of the property can do what they wish with that property, within the limits of the law, there was little the residents could do. What they did do was to make noise and got Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe involved. And the press.  Good job, residents!

On November 16, the Missourian’s Hanna Spaar reported that Aspen Heights, the new owners of the trailer park, changed their offer of financial assistance, increase the moneys available for a single-wide and allowing a bigger moving off-set for those who own double-wides. They also extended the move-out date. Good for Aspen.

But, as they say on every infomercial, wait, there’s more!

As part of the new incentive, for each owner or renter in Regency who signs petition in support of rezoning the property, Aspen Heights will pay an additional $500. (See numbers 2 and 3 above.)                                                                                          


Read more:  Petition + Payments = Bribery


David Rosman is an award winning editor, writer, professional speaker and college instructor in Communications, Ethics, Business and Politics. David’s new book, A Christian Nation?, is now available on CreateSpace eStore and on Missourian readers can receive a 20% discount at CreateSpace with code 5H3W9SN8.

About David Rosman

David is the winner of the Missouri Press Foundation's "Best Columnist" in 2013 (First Place) and 2014 (Second Place), the 2016 Harold Riback Award for excellence in writing, and the winner of the 2007 Interactive Media Award for excellence in editing.
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