Ken Schram: What's the word I'm looking for?

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By Ken Schram

SEATTLE -- So I'm reading the Seattle Times story about the University of Washington president being offered big bucks to kick the Huskies' football coach to the curb.

It got me thinking...

What's the term for offering money to a public official in exchange for special consideration?

You know, like if someone wrote the governor and said, 'if you don't sign a particular bill into law, I'll throw $100,000 into the state budget'?

What's that term?

I bet Ed Hansen would know it.

He's a lawyer and former elected official who tried to use his checkbook to get Ty Willingham bounced.

I bet he knows the term I'm looking for.

Oh, it's right on the tip of my tongue.

It's like if I offer a state trooper a wad of cash to forget my hitting 80 miles an hour on I-5, or throw a stack of bills on some city councilman's desk to help me get a building code variance.

The Seattle Times story kept referring to "booster money."

But that's not the word.

The word I'm searching for isn't some benign, "I'm just an alumnus that loves Husky football" word.

Nope.

It's a word that says I've got money and I'm not afraid to screw the public's interest in using it.

Wait! I got it: Bribery.

Yeah, bribery.

That's the word.

Have something to say to Ken? E-mail him at kenschram@komo4news.com.

And be sure to join Ken, along with John Carlson, on "The Commentators", which airs every weekday from 3-6 p.m. on AM 570 KVI.

It's a lively exchange of information, insight and perspective with two guys who don't agree on much, but still manage to enjoy each other as they tackle issues of the day. Even better, callers are invited in on the verbal action.