Mame Reiley, a professional political activist who supports liberal Democratic causes in Virginia, recently resigned from the board of directors of the Washington Metropolitan Airport Authority (WMAA), the entity that is extending Metrorail to the Dulles Airport. Immediately upon resigning, the authority hired her as an “advisor” and will pay her $180,000 a year.
Since she supposedly resigned from the board for health reasons, the Antiplanner has to wonder if she is really worth $180,000 a year. Is this her reward for helping plan the WMAA’s political campaigns to finance the insanely expensive rail line? Or does the authority expect to tap into her expertise as it negotiates the final pieces of funding for the project?
In any case, expensive projects such as airports and rail lines attract political attention because of their potential to provide cushy jobs for their political supporters. The Washington Examiner identifies four other authority board members who received contracts ranging from $42,000 to nearly $1 million from the authority. While most would call this a conflict of interest, to some it is merely politics as usual.