Sam Mack played basketball at Iowa State University. His ISU career hit a bump when he held up a Burger King in Ames. As he held a gun on the clerk, he was standing next to... an ISU basketball team poster featuring Sam Mack. Legend has it that the clerk asked "Sam, what are you doing?" To which he was reputed to have responded, "I'm not me!"
THE SCANDAL IN BRIEF
Maybe Senator Tom Harkin can sympathize. Central Iowa is agog at the story of the pay and benefits Ramona Cunningham and two other dedicated public servants of the Central Iowa Employment Training Consortium, a publicly funded jobs training agency. Ms. Cunningham's pay package featured annual compensation north of $350,000 per year and three months paid vacation; two other executives also had $300,000+ pay packages. The board of directors, featuring several Polk County Democratic stalwarts and union leaders, never reviewed or appoved the packages; in fact, they apparently never discussed the pay of the executives. Now criminal investigations are underway, heads are rolling and everyone is scrambling for cover.
Senator Harkin was asked about the scandal. He just had no memory of meeting Ramona Cunningham. He could have refreshed his memory with a visit to the agency website:
Ramona Cunningham and Senator Harkin at the dedication of the Harkin Learning Center at CIETC headquarters.
I'm not me!
The Des Moines Register explains:
Harkin obtained $1.4 million in federal money to "create a model employment center that provides expanded services to individuals with disabilities," according to a press release from Harkin's office in 2004. The center was named in Harkin's honor.
To be clear, there's no indication that Senator Harkin knew what was going on at CIETC. It's also clear that lots of people are going to want to forget ever meeting Ms. Cunningham.
Other coverage: SEX, MONEY AND DUMPSTERS.
The Best-paying agency you've never heard of