- Federal district corruption suspect donated R$ 8,2 million to PSDB in 2010 election | Folha de S. Paulo
I have been interested in trying to mine some data on campaign spending by the various Brazilian parties, and spending on internet strategy and political marketing in particular.
I want to see whether statistics about the campaign online, obtained robotically, jibe with the actual amount of money spent on this effort by various factions. I predict the situation — which surprisingly is reported to have out-fundraised the opposition by a considerable margin — spent less on digital campaigning. But I could be wrong.
Surprising was the fact that the situation — the election of Lula’s anointed successor — raised something like 30% more than the “change the situation” coalition. But then these numbers can be tricky.
Hunting through the Web site of the federal elections tribunal for the data is taxing.
Improvements are being made, however. Federal transparency sites are getting better and the JUCESP — the Junta Comercial of São Paulo, comparable to the corporate registry of a U.S. state Secretary of State — recently stopped sucking really badly and started being quite accessible.
With campaign spending data, however, you have to know how to fiddle with raw data, and in any event, money moves around so much that it is hard to say whence it came and where it went.
In this case, contributions to the PSDB-DEM-PPS coalition this year by a suspected criminal are called into question.
The surveillance video shown above shows Gontijo meeting with the governor and handing over a brick of alleged cash.
The donations were legal, in theory. The elections laws, however, limit donors to 10% of their personal income in the prior year. This would mean that Gontijo and his wife would have had to earn R$ 82 million in 2009.
To determine whether this limit was surpassed, the federal elections tribunal will work with the tax authority. Illegal donations can be punished with fines.
The owner of the JC Gontijo construction company, the businessman is being investigated by federal police as one of the sources financing the corruption scheme operated by the DEM political party during its governorship of the Federal District.
Gontijo appears in one of the undercover videos made by former federal district secretary and informant Durval Barbosa, which revealed the payment of bribes to allied members of the district assembly.
The case led to the imprisonment of governor José Roberto Arruda.
Gontijo also donated R$ 1 milion to the state committee of the PMDB in Roraima. That money was then used to finance the reelection campaign of Senator Romero Jucá, the successful campaign of his wife, Teresa, for the federal chamber of deputies, and his son Rodrigo’s successful fun for the state assembly.
Although JC Gontijo does no work in Roraima, Gontijo is a partner in Call Tecnologia, which provides telemarketing services to state agencies. One of its clients is Boa Vista Energia, the Eletrobras subsidiary in Roraima.
Eletrobras reports that its contract with Call Tecnologia began in 2008 and expires in April 2011, with a total value of R$ 2.8 million.
A million would be a lot to pay to protect R$ 2.8 million in gross.
Cynics put the negative coverage in the context of an internal dispute within the PSDB. Governor Alckmin is reportedly intending to wipe the slate clean of the previous PSDB administration of presidential candidate José Serra. Even so, he is appointing members of the DEM to key posts.
These videos wound up national TV, blowing Arruda’s hopes of being named vice-president on the opposition’s national ticket. A Veja magazine profile had lionized the governor as an efficient practicioner of the New Public Management.
Meet the News Public Management, same as the bad, old Old Public Management.
This one was much cited as clear evidence of the handoff of black-market cash.
–”Aren’t you forgetting this?”
Hands over cash brick
–”All right, great!”
The governor’s speech to the district assembly is a classic of bombastic Brazilian political rhetoric.
The candidate to replace Arruda, former Federal District governor Roriz, was barred from running under a new law affecting politicians whose criminal convictions have survived at least one appeal.
He put up his wife as an alternative candidate and she was creamed by a margin of 40% by a candidate from the Workers Party.
The Arruda rap by a group called Vadios Loucos is priceless.