Tuesday, March 17, 2009


A Captain Renault post: Attorney General Tom Corbett has made it official. Corbett launched his widely expected campaign for Governor on Monday so it's going to be all-politics-all-the-time in the Attorney General's office once again. Corbett has lined up some Republican party heavyweights headlined by his political patron saint the Republican National Committeeman and fundraiser extraordinaire Bob Asher.

Asher has long been given credit in the Republican political world for being the key player in Corbett's win in the 2004 Republican primary for Attorney General against then Montgomery County DA Bruce Castor. Asher is also known to be a very close political ally and huge benefactor over the last dozen years to former House Speaker John Perzel and Perzel's former chief of staff Brain Preski. Asher raised and contributed tens of thousands of dollars for Perzel's various campaign accounts in each election cycle and without a doubt was one of the most important political allies Perzel had as he rose to be the Republican Speaker of the House.

Now, according to published accounts and to rampant rumors in the Capitol, Perzel and Preski are supposedly under investigation by Asher's candidate for Governor Tom Corbett. Corbett is going to be under increasing pressure from the public and the press to indict some Republicans to prove his investigation is not a partisan witch hunt. Corbett himself has repeatedly implied that Republicans will be indicted and he has insisted that "all 4 caucuses" are being investigated.

So are two of Asher's closest political allies of the last decade on a collision course? Or will they all try to work this out in some back room? If Perzel is saved, who will be the Republican sacrificial lamb that Corbett indicts?

If Corbett does indict Perzel and Preski, how will the Republican party establishment react given the fact that Corbett has let Perzel's long time nemesis House Democrat Bill DeWeese off the hook with no indictment. There is mounting evidence in the public realm that implicates Bill Deweese in the Bonusgate investigation yet he remains unindicted. The political community is already full of rumors that DeWeese made some kind of secret deal with Corbett.

Given the prevalence of those rumors, and the number of news stories that seem to demonstrate DeWeese's complicity in Bonusgate, can Corbett really indict John Perzel and not Bill DeWeese and then run for governor in the Republican primary? It's hard to imagine that Bob Asher thinks that's a good political strategy for Corbett or a good outcome for his longtime ally John Perzel.

So many questions...more to come.

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