Kinde Durkee, the longtime campaign treasurer for Democratic candidates and causes, is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday for taking millions from campaigns. Federal prosecutors have recommended an eight-year prison sentence, touching off news reports that ask whether that sentence should be heavier. (Previous reports had suggested she could be sentenced to more than 10 years).
Durkee should do prison time, but that doesn't feel like it's enough. Her peculiar kind of crime -- targeting campaigns -- deserves peculiar punishment. In that spirit, here are three ideas for non-traditional punishments that should be part of her sentence.
1. Restitution to civil society. Durkee is going to have make restitution to her victims -- the politicians and campaigns she stole from. But that shouldn't be enough. Being a corrupt treasurer for multiple campaigns requires some payback to the public at large. A judge should require restitution to civil society groups -- I'd suggest Common Cause -- that monitor campaign spending and work for cleaner campaigns.
2. Her prison conditions. It would be justice if Durkee was given a TV in her cell -- but one that simply ran campaign ads on an endless loop. Yes, that might be cruel and unusual punishment -- but it's what voters have been exposed to for years as a result of her work.
3. Unpaid consultant. Durkee obviously knows how to manipulate the campaign finance system and evade scrutiny. That knowledge of how to do bad should be used to benefit the public good. As a condition of her sentence, why not require that she consult for the Fair Political Practices Commission on its regulation and investigation of campaigns?
That's my list of Kinde Durkee sentencing conditions. Do you have any suggestions of your own?