Todd Mielke: When is a bribe not a bribe?

Spokane County Commissioner Todd Mielke recently got some unwanted press.  Developer Lancze Douglass asked Todd Mielke for some help with some county business.  Todd Mielke allegedly turned around and asked him for a campaign contribution.

However, Lancze Douglass would not have anything to do with it, so he told Mike Prager of the Spokesman Review the story.    

Douglass also says that when he met with Spokane County Commissioner Todd Mielke to discuss the alleged fraud, Mielke asked him for a campaign contribution.

Mielke acknowledges the request - which took place in Lancze Douglass' office - but said he has been "asking a lot of people for support this year." He said he explained to Douglass that his solicitation was not linked to Douglass' concerns.

Really?  An attempt to solicit a bribe is not an attempt to solicit a bribe when a constituent asks you for help and the next minute you ask them for money?  It is not when you state there is no connection but implicitly there is still every connection in the world?  

My favorite Abraham Lincoln story is this.  Someone was trying to bullshit Lincoln, and Lincoln asked him, "How many legs does a dog have if you say the tail counts as a leg?"  The man answered, "It has five legs."  Lincoln said, "No, it still has four legs.  Calling a tail a leg, does not make it a leg."  

No, it is also still an attempt to solicit a bribe.

(Note:  I am not positive that Lincoln actually said that. I have heard it questioned that he was the source of it, but I still like it.)

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Was it a bribe?
Yes, it was an attempt to solicit a bribe even if it cannot be proven in court
No, it was not a bribe. It was just an awkward situation for Mielke.

Votes: 5
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