A Scary Governmental Precedent
According to a USA Today February 15, 2005 article, local governments across the country are accepting money from outside parties to help pay for fighting crime. In the example given, the Dallas County District Attorney accepted $200,000 from the Mary Kay corporation to address the rise of domestic violence in the area. The county claims they had no other way to pay for this much-needed investigation.
It is the government's duty to search out lawbreakers and punish them. It is the government's duty to come up with ways to fund that, whether through tax revenue or decreasing spending in another area. The government should not accept money from outside sources, as this creates a dangerous and mafia-like conflict of interest. In the Mary Kay instance, for example, is the government going to be a tough prosecutor if the corporation crosses legal boundaries? Even more dangerous, perhaps, is the possiblility of any citizen being able to go after another just by waving wads of cash under Uncle Sam's nose.
Instead of going after the worst perpetrators, governments will spend their time harassing those who are enemies of the rich. (The article also mentions the hypothetical example of the record industry paying the government to go after certain individuals who might be downloading online music.)
In a democracy, our government cannot possibly catch and convict every criminal. Our law enforcement agencies should be channeling their resources into stopping the worst crimes first and then to lead special investigations into other areas as funds allow. Accepting money from private interests only side-tracks the government from its real duty.