April 2, 2019

"For weeks, [Baltimore mayor Catherine] Pugh, a Democrat, has been the focus of criticism surrounding her Healthy Holly children's book series about a black girl who promotes nutrition and exercise."

"Just before she announced her leave of absence, The Baltimore Sun reported that health care giant Kaiser Permanente was seeking a contract to provide coverage to city employees and paid $114,000 to purchase some 20,000 copies of the books between 2015 to 2018. The city's spending panel, of which Pugh is a member, awarded a contract worth $48 million in 2017 to Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States Inc., according to the Sun.... Last month, the Sun also reported that Pugh profited from business contracts with the nonprofit University of Maryland Medical System, which runs hospitals around Baltimore. Pugh was a board member of UMMS until her resignation on March 18. Two other board members resigned a day earlier. According the Sun, the medical system paid Pugh $500,000 for copies of the Healthy Holly books, and the payments were made for a number of years."

NPR reports.

Holy hell — Healthy Holly....

39 comments:

Tank said...

Most amazing part of story: NPR mentions she is a Democrat. Otherwise, dog bites man.

Quaestor said...

Baltimore needs an enema.

iowan2 said...

Politicians have been doing this for decades. Voters keep electing the corruption.
This is a truly bi-partisan trait.

Lucid-Ideas said...

I can't make up my mind if stories like this are evidence that it's harder to 'launder' money or easier.

Tank said...

Who is buying all those copies of Michelle’s book?

gilbar said...

Tank said...
Most amazing part of story: NPR mentions she is a Democrat. Otherwise, dog bites man.

it took them until the 4th paragraph, but Still amazing! She must have been purged

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Insider democratic government whoring? no way! Never happens. Ask Bernie.

Sebastian said...

Could we have a list of black Dem big-city mayors untainted by corruption and scandal?

Quaestor said...

I seem to recall Hillary's first book, the absurd It Takes a Village, got a similar treatment — being purchased in bulk by a corporation seeking to funnel a bribe to the Clintons.

(reposted sans typo)

Char Char Binks, Esq. said...

Venality, thy name is Democrat.

William said...

That's not much of a bribe for a $48 million dollar contract. She's not much of a negotiator.......I suppose it's cheaper to hire ghost writers for children's books so there's less overhead, but, really, $200k seems closer to a fair bribe for such a service..

Seeing Red said...

Hello, Jim Wright.

Is this usually a (D) thing?

Bob Boyd said...

Can't wait for the next Healthy Holly installments, 'Excercise Yard Fun!' and 'Prison Clothes Come In Colors Like The Zebra.'

Henry said...

@Bob Boyd -- LOL.

"Orange is Not Just a Fruit!"

Hagar said...

Back in the day John Ehrlichmann had words to say about Kaiser Permanente.
So they have not changed much in 50 years.

Bob Boyd said...

'Fruit Comes In Cans Like The...Whoo Boy It Just Hit Me...I'm In The Can. Dayum.'

Fernandinande said...

It's not corruption if the books don't actually exist.

glenn said...

Kinda like McCabe’s wife “running” for the Virginia State Senate. Pols are getting very creative at laundering their bribes. Big bags of cash are getting rarer by the day.

Kevin Walsh said...

All this Healthy Holly and Holy Hell reminds me of...

Holly Holy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQwqQwD6OOw

bagoh20 said...

"Could we have a list of black Dem big-city mayors untainted by corruption and scandal?"

No.

I have a slightly off topic question for the legal minds we are lucky to have here.

If a citizen were to make a deal with a drug dealer to sell him drugs, but the drugs didn't actually exist, and he was just trying to rip off the dealer, would that be a crime?

tommyesq said...

I had several law school professors who assigned self-penned textbooks (at exorbitant cost) - not exactly the same, but it felt like extortion at the time.

Wince said...

If a citizen were to make a deal with a drug dealer to sell him drugs, but the drugs didn't actually exist, and he was just trying to rip off the dealer, would that be a crime?

Yes, conspiracy. The subsequent fraud might be another charge.

Fernandinande said...

Carrying Big Bags of Cash is Fun When the Cash Comes in Colors Like the Rainbow! (Offer void in Canada)

Howard said...

I thought you people love corruption and money laundering

Earnest Prole said...

Kaiser has done a more sophisticated version of this payoff by having its foundation fund NPR’s health-care reporting.

CJinPA said...

Fruit Comes in Colors Like the Rainbow

The mayor lies.

George Carlin asked, Where’s the Blue Food?

bagoh20 said...

"Yes, conspiracy. The subsequent fraud might be another charge."

So what if it's not drugs but offering a pedophile sex with a non-existent minor. As in you get online and pretend to be said minor, like on "To Catch a Predator"? You obviously have no intent to commit any crime.

bagoh20 said...

I keep asking: what ever happened to the Democrats in VA who have the KKK, blackface, and sexual assault problems? I thought those things were really important to track down. It seems like a story the media might want to cover some more.

robother said...

This is why politicians need a spouse. Michelle Obama gets a 300K per year no-show job with a hospital chain, just a coincidence Barack is on a key healthcare committee in the Illinois legislature. Bill Clinton gets 500K per speech from a Russian corporation needing approval of Secretary of State Hillary for uranium takeover. This is what "family values" means in the Beltway.

Saint Croix said...

Holy hell

Holy hell?

I never heard that one before.

Of course, who am I to complain, I've been saying "holy shit" for years.

And when I said it out loud, to test how strange it was to hear "holy hell," it made me think that maybe Robin had said it back in the day. Burt Ward was constantly sanctifying all sorts of damn things on that show.

Holy video!

The Drill SGT said...

William said...
That's not much of a bribe for a $48 million dollar contract. She's not much of a negotiator...


Kaiser had the contract for 30 years at that point. The payment was just some minor graft.

The Drill SGT said...

What I can't fathom is that government (and that's what UMMS is) contracting and financial folks (except the pension people) are very risk adverse.

A "Hand shake contract?"

who signed the check? On whose written orders?

I can't believe there was no CYA. That indicates to me that venality was rampant.

Richard Dolan said...

Phony book deal to enrich a politician? Jim Wright was there before this mayor. He quickly resigned (came to regret it too) and was never indicted. But the dollars on his deal were smaller and the circumstances didn't invite a suspicion of quid pro quo quite as strongly as they do here.

richlb said...

The only reason they mention her party is because it doesnt matter in Baltimore. If she resigns, a Democrat takes her place. No Republican would ever get elected to the mayorship of this city, even if the Dem nominee murdered a puppy on election day.

Yancey Ward said...

This is why politicians write books- it is a way to launder the bribes.

SGT Ted said...

Fruits come in colors like the rainbow? Sounds kinda homophobic if you ask me.

Yancey Ward said...

Indeed, on reading the story, it sounds to me like Pugh didn't even pay to produce the books that were purchased- the big buys were almost 100% profit. I suspect that she is correct about paying the taxes on the sales, but the real charges, if any are ever levied, will be on the fake deductions of production costs.

Rick said...

This is one of the big problems with radicals. They justify their own actions with ridiculous caricatures of reality. When people who believe these caricatures take office they think this sort of thing is normal.

They've normalized corruption so instead of making incremental improvements to government and bureaucracy we're now devolving. This is a big reason why Europe's administration is better than ours.

Nichevo said...

Howard said...
I thought


You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.