Friday, September 19, 2008

An email indictment of Corbett's partisan investigation

A Captain Renault post:

One of my sources sent me a copy of this email which appears to have been sent recently to House Democrat members by This is a very interesting and impressive email and does a great job of pointing out the hypocrisy, double standards and just downright partisan activities being applied by Attorney General/Space Cadet Tom Corbett in his "Bonusgate" investigation. (I am envious: "shocked" hypocrisy is supposed to be my specialty).

Below is the text of the email that my source provided to me:
House Democrats:

Rumors are rampant that partisan Republican Attorney General Tom Corbett will indict House Republicans before beginning his bogus self-imposed moratorium on the Bonusgate investigation for October.

If he does, you should be demanding that the presentment be as comprehensive and far reaching as that brought against your fellow Democrats. You should be wary of falling under the spell of a weak presentment issued by Corbett to lull you and the public into believing he has been conducting a balanced investigation.

First, let's put the scope of the investigation into perspective.

According to the Associated Press and House Democratic attorneys, over 135 House Democratic employees and even Democratic House members have been forced to testify under oath "…the caucus has paid so far to about a dozen lawyers who represented more than 135 caucus employees and a small number of Democratic state representatives." (AP, 7/31/08)

When it comes to Republicans, the number of staff is conveniently vague. Sam Smith says "I have no way of knowing how many have been subpoenaed or who will be." (Patriot 9/10/08) The Patriot reports possibly 30 (Patriot 8/14/08) and unlike some of you, not a single Republican member has been questioned. (Post Gazette 8/16/08) Most importantly, unlike Democratic staff and members who nearly all were compelled to testify under oath, most Republican staff were merely interviewed by friendly Republican prosecutors. (Herald Standard 9/7/08)

Next, let's put the timing of the investigation into perspective.

Corbett consistently tipped his Republican colleagues in the legislature off to what to cover up by nailing House Democrats first. In fact, by strategically staggering the investigation, Corbett gave his Republican friends months and in some cases nearly a year to destroy evidence and prepare those staff likely to be brought in for puff interviews by his equally partisan investigators. This timeline shows how Republicans were given plenty of time to prepare:

4/16/07 – Corbett empanels Grand Jury (Tribune Review 4/12/07)
8/23/07 – Corbett raids Democratic offices (AP 8/30/07)
9/10/07 – Corbett compels House Democratic staff to testify before Grand Jury (Patriot 9/12/07)
10/22/07 – Corbett issues first subpoenas for House Republican documents (Post Gazette 10/24/07)
2/12/08 – Corbett issues first subpoenas for Senate Republican documents (Patriot 2/13/08)
Circa 8/1/08 – Corbett interviews first Republican House staff (Post Gazette 8/7/08)

Finally, let's put Corbett's guidelines for the investigation into perspective.

He has consistently said all he and his Republican investigators can do is follow the available evidence: "[Corbett] has told his lead investigators, 'Follow the evidence. There are no reins on you. … We don't care who it is. If there's evidence, go forward.'" (Indiana Gazette 8/27/08)

This supposedly unbridled non-partisan search for evidence has been a farce. Four times as many Democratic staff as Republican staff have been subpoenaed. No Republican members have had to testify or have even been interviewed. The schedule of the investigation has given the Republicans ample time to destroy evidence, most notably their hard drives and servers. (Patriot News 8/3/08)

Now that you have a better perspective on the matter, what does this mean for you?

Only half the battle is won for you if Corbett brings charges against Republicans before October 1. You can't allow him to simply indict Matt Wright and call it a day. (AP 10/24/07)

Everyone is aware of how wide ranging the campaign operation maintained by the Republican caucus is:

Hard drives have been destroyed. (Patriot News 8/3/08)

Campaign materials were stored on Republican servers. (Inquirer 2/18/07)

Republicans admit that campaigning in their caucuses was prevalent, particularly in the Office of Regional Coordinators supervised by John Hanley. (Post Gazette 12/17/07 and Lebanon Daily News 7/20/08)

Republican members sent tens of thousands of campaign donations to the HRCC through Republican Capitol offices, specifically to Jeanne Schmedlen in Speaker Perzel's office. (Campaign finance reports 2004 to 2006 for Micozzie, Geist, Cornell, Killion, Denlinger, True, Harris, Millard)

Republicans maintained a massive data base for political campaigns using state funds (Post Gazette 9/11/08)

Beyond the rampant campaigning, Republicans were clearly benefiting from their postions in power:

A high ranking Republican staff person ordered Republican IT staff do personal work on his home. (Post Gazette 9/11/08)

John Perzel made hundreds of thousands of dollars from insider deals through his family's charter school in Philadelphia. (Daily News 5/8/04 and 5/20/04; Inquirer 5/19/04 and 6/2/08)

Nick Micozzie orchestrated an underhanded shuffle of WAM money in Clifton Heights, possibly destroying public records in the process. (Delaware Times 7/26/08)

Oh, and by the way, it doesn't look as if there will be any charges against Senate Republicans before Octorber 1st (and consequently the election). This shouldn't be surprising since Senate Republicans have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Corbett's campaigns.

Demand balance! Don't settle for charges against a former Republican rank and file member. Don't be distracted by a weak and impotent presentment brought by Corbett in order to avoid further criticism before his re-election. (end of email)


Anonymous said...

I'm shocked at the comments of Gene Stilp, perhaps he to is starting to become partisan. Shouldn't he be calling for Corbett to drop out of the Governor's race and do his duty and prosecute corruption in Pennsylvania. After all, Tom Corbett took and oath to uphold the law and he should be doing just that -- performing the job of Attorney General -- not using it as a stepping stone to the Governor's Office.

Anonymous said...

Stick with the facts Renault -- Corbett is not running for re-election. He is running for Governor using the office of attorney general as a headquarters to get to the governor's office. It is unethical for him to do it in this fashion.