Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Curious Case of John Hanley

An Ugarte post--

House Democrats:

Under the Capitol dome, there is a recurring question regarding partisan Republican Attorney General Tom Corbett's bonusgate investigation. Republican staff, Democratic staff, House members from both parties, nearly everyone in the building is asking the same thing, "Why isn't Corbett investigating the House Republican Department of District Operations?"

Many of you are sending me incredulous emails that wonder how Corbett can fail to investigate what - by every measure Corbett used to indict his political adversaries - appears to be a House Republican caucus in-house political operation.

Who has been performing the House Republicans' candidate recruitment, list building, fundraising, and campaign organizing? And what exactly is included in the "constituent outreach," performed by the Department of District Operations? A fair investigation by the Attorney General's Office would have turned up answers by now.

Since 2004, the House Republican caucus has employed 19 "Regional Coordinators" who worked in the Department of District Operations. (Supplemental List of House Employees 2/16/07 and 2/1/08) At least 17 of them are known and active political operatives. Click on their names to see the campaign expenditures for each (over $330,000 since 2004 total):

Beth Culp
Brian Kadunc
Mary Larcinese
Christina Lee
Adam Maust
Scott Migli
Mary Morey
Erin Owen
Shannon Royer
Amy Schreibner-Druce
Mary Snyder
Barbara Stokes
Michael Stoll
Eric Warholak
Thomas Weeter
Lori Cherry
Christina Martone
William Wade – no known reimbursements
Victor Orkis – no known reimbursements

Even when subtracting Scott Migli's $88,000 for his time as the Executive Director of the Republican State Committee, these "Regional Coordinators" received nearly $250,000 from campaigns over the last three election cycles.

These Regional Coordinators (all former or current Republican campaign operatives) were parked in the House Republican Caucus and would go about their day working on "incumbent protection" and, at a date late in the campaign year in a weak attempt at keeping up appearances, would receive a "salary" from a campaign, the HRCC or the Republican State Party.

For several years, the Department of District Operations has been supervised by the celebrated political operative John Hanley, first under the direction of Brian Preski and now under Tony Aliano.

Everyone in the Capitol is familiar with Hanley's campaign work, especially PoliticsPA.com who named this public employee to their political operative "Dream Team" in 2002.

Since 2004, Hanley has racked up over $90,000 in campaign reimbursements.

Many Harrisburg insiders are very curious as to why there have been no subpoenas issued by Corbett to Hanley and the Regional Coordinators under his supervision, both past and present.

While Perzel, Preski and Republican Caucus IT staff have been a hot topic (Tribune Review 9/10/08 and Post Gazette 9/11/08), Corbett apparently is ignoring the Department of District Operations, which was just as firmly under the iron grip of Perzel and Preski.

Perhaps Corbett believes that, because Perzel and Preski are no longer in charge at the House Republican Caucus, questionable activity has ceased? He must have missed it last month, when Sam Smith signed a two year contract with Laurel Group Consultants. Check the contract out for yourself here.

Some of you are familiar with Laurel Group and its owner, Daphne Uliana (wife of former Republican legislator and lobbyist Joe Uliana.) Laurel Group is a key consultant to Republican candidates, especially HRCC and John Perzel's campaign.

The House Republican Caucus is paying Laurel Group $132,000 ($5,500 per month over two years) "to aid the Caucus Department of District Operations in implementing outreach programs for members and otherwise consulting on the operation of district offices" and "shall perform its duties under the supervision of John Hanley."

It's doubtful Smith would attempt such a blatant move if there were any danger Corbett might examine the caucus' activities with anything like the scrutiny he brought to bear on his political adversaries.

These facts are a matter of public record. Corbett is either deliberately ignoring them or is somehow, inexplicably, unaware of them.

A well-known political consultant, Daphne Uliana, is being paid with state funds and is being supervised by a state employee, John Hanley, who is also a well-known political operative to work with the state paid staff Hanley oversees who are also very active politically to assist Republican members with their "constituent outreach," a task many in Harrisburg believe is a thinly veiled use of state funds for campaign purposes.

Don't you think that warrants a closer look from Corbett?

Demand that Corbett bring balance to his bonusgate investigation!


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ugarte said...

Anonymous -- Thanks for your post. I removed it so no one can cover their tracks. Please keep the good stuff coming.

Anonymous said...

Subpeonas were issued to the Republican District Operations staff. They were all interviewed by the AG's office and have been subpeoned toappear at a Grand Jury hearing. This has been going on for well over 2 months.

Additionally - some of the expenses you list on the individual's expense reimbursements are from prior to them joining the House staff.

Ugarte said...

Anonymous -- That might be true. However, it is tough to believe since Corbett's investigation of the House Democrats was covered in detail by the media. There is no similar detail in the coverage of Corbett's supposed investigation of the House Republicans. Members of the media have been camped out at the grand jury...and there are no reports of Republicans appearing. I hope you are correct, but until I read names in the media like I did with the Democrats I just don't believe Corbett is investigating.

On the expenditures...you are correct. I know for certain many of Migli's are from his time before working for the caucus. However, that is the whole point. These Regional Coordinators are all very political people that may be purposely parked in the Department of District Operations to work on campaigns. With that said, the vast majority of the over $300,000 in campaign reimbursements to these Regional Coordinators were made while employed with the House Republican caucus.

Thanks for visiting CasablancaPA and please continue to fill us in on what you're hearing!

bobguzzardi said...

I have heard that Brett Feese is no longer interfacing with the AG. Is that true?

I am hearing that John Perzel and Brian Preski are likely to be indicted.All speculation. However,there are many Republican conservative reformers who will be hammered by the reform base if the Republican AG does not do what he is supposed to do. The Republican AG could further drive the Republican brand into the dirt if he uses a double standard.

Politicizing prosecution threatens us all.

Great job. the detailed information is valuable. The Regional Director data is something I did not know. I know Shannon Royer and I think this ends his political career in Chester County

rock knock 21 said...

You don't know shit about how grand juries work. How is that for keeping the information coming?

Ugarte said...

Rock Knock 21 -- Thanks for commenting. Good to know that folks like you from Corbett's office or from the House Republican caucus are reading this.

I know enough about Grand Juries to know that Corbett's use of the one supposedly investigating Republicans is a farce.

Again, thanks for reading and be sure to pass along to all your friends in the Republican caucuses who are getting free passes from Corbett!

Anonymous said...

Who is John Scott?

Anonymous said...

democrats need to heed the words of those who have traveled the road before them,,you cannot win if you do not field a team to fight the enemy and those judases who would collaborate with them, hear ye the word and the peace of obama be upon you

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