Thursday, November 13, 2008


A Captain Renault post: Yesterday we posted a fun story by Capitolwire reporter Pete DeCoursey on Rep. John Perzel's payments to a political operative for his services to provide opposition research on members of his own party.

(Read the entire DeCoursey article here.)

What I found to be most interesting about the story is the confirmation throughout the story and the documents that were provided by DeCoursey that Perzel and his public staff continue to do business as usual. The story and the documents show that Perzel's legislative staff continue to be very involved in his political operation. That's no surprise to anyone who has been around the Capitol over the last 15 years or so. But it is especially interesting in light of AG/SC Corbett's Bonusgate investigation and his indictment of Democrats for mixing public business with politics and campaigns. Perzel and his staff's conduct make a joke of Corbett's claim to be "investigating all 4 caucuses".

A reader saw my post yesterday and sent me some information on Perzel's campaign account and payments made to Perzel's chief of staff Paul Towhey. The "Friends of John Perzel" campaign account has payed over $140,000 to Towhey from 2004-2008. The payments appear to be for ten's of thousands of dollars in salary and various reimbursements for campaign activities. Paul Towhey is listed in the House of Representatives Chief Clerk's office as a public employee supervised by John Perzel.

Look at the Perzel's $140,000+ campaign payments to Towhey in this document here.

Now our bet is that Perzel and Towhey would explain his campaign activities while on the public payroll by saying what most other Republicans have said in public over the last two years of the Bonusgate investigation : "Our staff just does political work while on their "lunch hour or at night". (The campaign payments to Towhey include thousands of dollars in reimbursements for "mileage". Perzel represents an urban district that's relatively compact. Towhey must have been doing quite a bit of driving on his lunch hour and at night.)

Of course I don't buy any of that for even one minute. But we will likely never know the truth because Corbett can't and won't touch Republican Speaker Emeritus Perzel. Many news stories have provided the public with the information that well over 120+ Democratic staff people were interviewed by the Attorney General's staff and many dozens of them appeared in front of a grand jury. According to those same news stories, to date there have been a dozen or so Republican staff interviewed and a small handful in front of the grand jury. I would be willing to bet my considerable winnings from the last office weekly football pool that Paul Towhey was not one of them.

Developing...more to come.

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