A Captain Renault post: My post earlier today about Rep John Perzel raining down campaign money on his taxpayer paid current Chief of Staff Paul Towhey) reminded me to go back and look at some articles I recalled about Perzel doing the exact same thing with his former chief of staff.
The Pittsburgh Tribune Review published an article in June of 2006 outlining the huge amounts of campaign cash Perzel gave to his then Chief of Staff Brian Preski and other legislative/public staff. When you read the article, you have to laugh at the explanations and rationale provided by Perzel and Preski for why Preski deserved to be paid by the taxpayers and the campaign at the same time and how he could do both his public and campaign jobs without mixing the two. Using the Perzel/Preski explanation it appears that in many weeks throughout the year Preski was working very hard --- something like 36 hours. That's 36 hours -- as in 36 hours a day!
From the Tribune Review article:
"The thousands of dollars spent on trips and entertainment "contributed to and will continue to contribute to the outcome of my elections," Perzel and Preski said in response to written questions from the Trib.
What's unusual about Perzel's campaign is the amount -- $700,000 -- in reimbursements to legislative staffers assisting his campaign. They assisted on their own time, Perzel said.
Preski, an attorney, is paid $160,000 by state taxpayers to oversee Perzel's legislative staff. In 2005, the campaign paid him a $56,000 salary, and in 2004 and 2005 reimbursed him a combined $264,000 for expenses ranging from bottled water to the Vegas trips and the Super Bowls.
Preski's reimbursements, documented in more than 2,300 receipts reviewed by the Trib, far exceed those paid by campaigns to aides of other legislative leaders in Pennsylvania."
So first lots of campaign money to former CoS Preski and now lots more campaign money to CoS Towhey. Perzel and his public and political staff just continue with business as usual. They give every possible signal to the whole political world that they have no fear of any Bonusgate investigation by Tom Corbett. That's no surprise to me. I think they're right.