Bonfiglio di Buona Donna*
One of the striking features of the Italian "mani pulite" scandal (recall most Italian politicians in the parliamentary majority were caught taking bribes) was the fact that all of the crooked politicos were men as were all of the crooked businessmen who bribed them. At the time there were a fair number of apparently powerful female politicians in Italy. The scandal showed that they were window dressing, with fancy titles but no role in the real business of for profit public service.
Now that US corruption is being exposed, I have been wondering how many women are involved in the hidden process of buying and selling legislature. Susan Ralston doesn't count, because, whatever her title, her role was as a trusted secretary gate and secret keeper -- the Rosemarry Woods of the 21st century. Katherine Harris doesn't count because the deadline November 9, 2000 (one week after the election and my 40th birthday) has passed.
Now I find Barbara Bonfiglio practicing the worlds newest profession -- lobbyist/leadership PAC manager.
During her tenure as a lobbyist from 1998 to 2001, Bonfiglio mastered the demanding jobs of both overseeing the finances of 31 political committees—more than half of which were campaign committees and leadership PACs—while lobbying for six companies at the D.C. law firm Williams & Jensen. In addition to running FEC-regulated committees, Bonfiglio was also the treasurer of five 527 organizations once connected to members of Congress, which were allowed to raise money without contribution limits.
I blush to admit that the blatantness of politicians having a lobbyist manage their legal slush funds amazed me . It is especially humiliating to admit to such naivity so soon after admitting my age.
* the literal translation of the title is Bonfiglio good woman. However, I indend to hint at figlio di buona donna literally "son of a good woman" which, in Italy, is unmistakably a polite way to say "figlio di putana" that is "son of a prostitute" and is used to mean "son of a bitch." stressing the newness of Ms Bonfiglio's profession, I attempt to make clear that the title of this post reflects only the Bon and figlio in her name and does not imply anything else at all.