Furor Over Leica Purchase

No, we're not talking about your significant other finding out about that last purchase... On the German site Spiegel Online is one article (of many) called "Bavaria: CSU Vice treats himself to a luxury camera" talking about the growing scandal of how politician Alexander König bought himself a Leica camera for 6,000€ under the guise of "mandate-related expenses" and "for information and communication facilities." So basically, out of the pockets of the taxpayer rather than himself. Even worse - he only used it once, then put it on the shelf! Some might say this sounds familiar...

If there's ANY doubt as to the far-reaching scandal that's brewing, here are just a few of the recent news articles about the issue (original link in German):

The always interesting translation by Google of the Spiegel Online article:

No sooner has endured the relatives affair, there is again alarm at the CSU: A leading Christian Social in the Bavarian state parliament reached for reimbursement for communications equipment to properly. The person concerned considers everything normal, party friends are aghast.

Something solid there should be a camera that you can rely on. Alexander King opted for a model of the Leica company, known for optical devices of the highest class. The price of the device that the fraction of the Vice CSU chose the Bavarian state parliament and parliamentary secretary: around 6000 euros. King did not pay out of pocket. Rather, the purchase was the "mandate-related expenses," on reimbursement "for information and communication facilities" settled, they deserve the Bavarian parliament in the amount of 12,500 euros per legislative period.

The beautiful Leica there was King so at the expense of the taxpayer.

The Supreme Court of the Free State was criticized in its latest report the case, but without giving king's name. A demand of the State Parliament office would "have to be made mandatory," the more so because the deputies had "four more bills about digital cameras" submitted, according to the report. The Authority had prepared the report after the relatives affair, by the reputation of the Bavarian Landtag had suffered.

Now the Maximilianeum once again appears a few weeks before the state election in an extremely unfavorable light. Again it comes to cases in which the boundaries between proper behavior and self-service are fluid.

State Parliament Barbara Stamm (CSU) will not publish the names of the Members concerned initially, but seek explanations of parliamentarians. Therefore remains unclear which parliamentarians felt it necessary to allow for a 2.5-hour training session in Switzerland reimburse hotel costs. Or what MPs six bills for the purchase of "information and communication facilities," submitted - of which there were five bills of around 3900 euros addressed to a company, "the CEO of the Member himself," as it says in the report of the Court.

Especially the CSU now has a problem

King found himself apparently due to research several newspapers forced to grant to purchase. He had been annoyed at regularly broken small cameras and inquired at the office parliament, if he could buy "intelligent" camera on a flat, King told the news agency dpa. This was affirmed.

Not only is King now has a problem, but also the CSU : Again, a representative of the CSU as Raffke there - and exactly this impression was intentionally avoiding the party, after she had a few weeks ago in the family affair rather look bad. Not only the meantime abservierte Group chairman Georg Schmid had used a transitional arrangement to a lucrative office job at taxpayer expense to support his wife and six Cabinet members were involved. Although there was a similar case in the SPD, but no other party stuck so deep in the affair as the CSU.

Prime Minister Horst Seehofer had therefore recently repeatedly called for the election campaign "error prevention". The more annoying it would be for him, that king again with a leading member of the Group has fallen into trouble. King should "expect clear delineation" if, after the state election on 15 September issue is the allocation of important posts, said a CSU politician SPIEGEL ONLINE. "That does not make it," he said of the king's behavior.

"That's all I know this can not be explained"

As king of dpa said he has a few weeks ago turned "free will" in the state legislature, to refund the money. The camera was too heavy and cumbersome and were therefore not to be used for his purposes. Whether he had previously been made aware of the potentially specific examinations of the Supreme Court, he did not say.

The "Süddeutsche Zeitung", according to the Court's criticism is another CSU parliamentarians. Thus, a Christian Social have paid in recent years to its comprehensive employee package to a law firm, which was founded by him. According to the Court, this is formally allowed, but if it were "one of the employment of members very similar situation." CSU parliamentary leader Christa Stewens had suggested on Tuesday the Members concerned to consult with an apology to the public.

Alexander King emphasized recently, his statements to the Parliament Office were in order. He had the facts to the news agency dpa fully explains the 52-year-old told SPIEGEL ONLINE in writing. "That's all I know this can not be explained."

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Comments

At least he has a good taste when it comes to cameras.... Here in South Africa his actions looks like child's play, considering the corruption we have on a daily scale.