Thursday, June 4th, 2015. Aaron Humes Reporting: At his press conference several weeks ago in discussing payments made for the Mother’s Day cheer program, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Dean Barrow confirmed that several non-representatives of the United Democratic Party (UDP) received funds totaling $50,000 for their programs.
These include recently elected standard bearers Tracey Taegar-Panton, Dr. Carla Barnett and Darrell Bradley, but not former City Councilor Roger Espejo in Fort George, for example.
Now, by “received,” we mean that their constituents were beneficiaries of a program or event funded through the Ministry of Human Development, which they organized; the standard bearers themselves did not actually receive any money.
The distinction is important, as deputy leader of the People’s United Party (PUP) Julius Espat, whose party was invited but declined to participate, has roundly attacked those who participated as taking part in illegality.
Bradley defended himself to the press today, saying that while he has “an input” in how the money was spent, he does not consider that making a decision on who would benefit; nor does he consider the program patronage.
For Bradley, as long as the money goes to who should benefit – the taxpayers who will in any event have to foot the bill for the Petrocaribe loan – then it doesn’t matter. Bradley himself is not elected, thus does not make any decisions as to how the money is spent.
Bradley said he did not personally ask for the cheer; it was coordinated through the office of incumbent Santino Castillo. Nor, he added, does he personally engage, as yet, in securing economic assistance for constituents of Caribbean Shores, though he supports making it available.
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