Saturday, April 4, 2009



The news that John Micek broke last night at Capitol Ideas that Paul Sunyak, the former editorial page editor of the Uniontown Herald-Standard, has accepted a position on Bill DeWeese's staff in Harrisburg has given the the folks here at CasablancaPA quite a chuckle.

For years, Sunyak has made no bones about how abhorrent the state legislature and Bill DeWeese in particular were for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

According to DeWeese's press secretary, Tom Andrews, Sunyak will be paid $67,000 a year with full-benefits (health care, pension, parking space, paid vacation, etc.) to work in DeWeese's Harrisburg offices to use "his 30 years of experience and master's degree in journalism/communications to help with messaging, research and policy development relative to the 50th District and Southwestern PA."

No doubt "help with messaging" translates into preparing the newsletters and television public service announcements he vehemently opposed for years and years at the Herald Standard.

Let's let Sunyak's editorials on the state legislature using taxpayer dollars to "help with messaging" speak for themselves:

"We simply believe that if DeWeese wants to curry favor with any particular group of voters, or all of them at one time, he should do so at his own expense, not the taxpayers'. DeWeese apparently believes otherwise and, in a testament to his own arrogance, displays no qualms or reservations about continuing to pick your pocket to do whatever he pleases to satisfy his needs." (Herald Standard 9/18/06)

"The Patriot-News reported that they've paid a Philadelphia public relations executive, Larry Ceisler, for years to perform similar work, albeit on behalf of rank-and-file members. Although no dollar figure was given for what you're paying for his services, even one red cent would be too much." (Herald Standard, 6/8/06)

Given that Andrews already gets $86k for the work Sunyak was ostensibly hired to do, it's astonishingly hypocritical of Sunyak now to take nearly $100,000 taxpayer dollars (factoring in his fat benefits package) when you consider his editorials about the size of DeWeese's staff ("Big payroll" Herald Standard, 4/9/06) and regarding the cushy-ness of the life of a state employee in general. ("State jobs: Nice work if you can get it" Herald Standard, 7/20/07)

Perhaps Sunyak thinks he will be part of the state's noble effort to create jobs and develop the economy. But, how does he square that with his attitude regarding the role of legislators and their ability to make a difference:

"And what jobs can any elected official really protect? Did - or could - DeWeese protect all the coal mining jobs that have disappeared from Greene County during his 30-year tenure in Harrisburg? We're not blaming him for the demise of any industry, mind you; we're just pointing out that neither he nor any other legislator is capable of such all-encompassing powers. The most any of them can do is provide some tax money as an inducement for an industry to come or stay here, which in essence amounts to a subsidy using our tax dollars. It's no great accomplishment to toss around public money that way, using it to build their own image of omnipotence to mythological proportions." (Herald Standard, 5/3/06)

Sunyak's role as DeWeese's most pointed and vociferous critic seemed to shift a few months ago from this:

"Democratic state Rep. H. William "Bill" DeWeese has evolved into an arrogant, self-serving political insider after a mostly unchallenged reign of 30 years. It's way beyond time for him to go." ("Vote Hopkins for much needed change" Herald Standard, 11/1/06)

To this:

"In one of the most closely watched races in Pennsylvania, the Herald-Standard editorial board endorses Democratic state Rep. H. William "Bill" DeWeese for re-election over his Republican opponent Greg Hopkins - by a narrow margin." ("DeWeese over Hopkins in 50th district" Herald Standard, 10/28/08)

What happened?

For one, the newspaper industry has changed dramatically and Sunyak was looking for a steady job. For another, DeWeese needed some good PR through an endorsement and could provide a steady job.

Sunyak himself knows what a hypocritical whore he is for taking a job with DeWeese. In this blow-job he gave himself in yesterday's Herald Standard, Sunyak fails to mention where he is headed.

Makes sense. After all, do you think the little boy in the photograph accompanying Sunyak’s bon voyage piece figured he would grow up to be a hypocritical whore?


Anonymous said...

Anyone can play the cut-and-paste game to selectively carry out character assassination.
Take this little item lifted from a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story (2/11/07):

"Brett Cott, Mr. Veon's administrative director last year and now a DeWeese staffer, got the second-biggest bonus, $25,065. Records indicate he was active in Mr. Veon's campaign, receiving more than $8,000 in reimbursements for campaign-related expenditures from March through November."

Didn't DeWeese end up firing this guy, along with a bunch of other people who are now facing criminal charges?

To my knowledge, Paul Sunyak has never been fired, nor has he ever faced criminal charges. Maybe DeWeese is looking to surround himself with some people who know better than to accept bonus money for campaign work.

Anonymous said...

Go Away.

bobguzzardi said...

You have outdone yourself,Ugarte. If these were not our lawmakers,whose laws we have to obey, and who spending BILLIONS and BILLIONS, it would be a made for TV soap opera. I think the the unindicted House Majority Leader may be going too far. Who knows? For some people, too much is never enough.

Ugarte said...

Hey, Anonymous 12:36. Let's continue to play the cut an paste game.

Here is a snippet from the Pittsburgh Tribune Review on 10/28/08:

"Sidella while a state employee handled campaign fundraising for DeWeese, Pittsburgh businessman Jamie Rossell told the Trib. Rossell, who held a technology contract with House Democrats, said he didn't know Sidella was a state aide when he dealt with him on campaign finance matters during regular business hours in the Capitol in 2006....Sidella was DeWeese's campaign treasurer, a job he held while drawing a paycheck as a research analyst on DeWeese's staff. He is now a consultant to the DeWeese campaign with WS Group, a company he founded after leaving DeWeese's staff in October 2007. His company handles fundraising for DeWeese."

So, contrary to what you think, DeWeese seems to continue to surround himself with people who took bonuses ostensibly for campaign work. In Sidella's case, over $20,000 in 2006.

Also, you can do better if you want to hammer Brett Cott. You should have used this one from the Post-Gazette on July 10, 2008:

"Brett W. Cott, 36, a top aide to Mr. Veon, who is accused of widespread corruption, including conspiracy in the bonus scandal and running an ongoing political operation out of Mr. Veon's state office. "Brett Cott's title on Veon's staff was policy analyst, but according to numerous witnesses he was hired because of his campaign skills and was one of the lead promoters of the culture of using taxpayer funds for campaign purposes," the grand jury said."

Thanks for reading the blog and please share with your friends, including your buddy Sunyak!

Anonymous said...

Why do I have the feeling that even after Corbett charges some Republicans, this site will continue to hammer him?

Interesting info about this site from Eric Heyl in the Tribune-Review. He says it's Veon and Cott.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't matter to me if the Easter Bunny. Still doesn't change the facts.

Anonymous said...

So happy that another person named Anonymous pointed to the Trib column by Eric Heyl. I find it very curious that this Trib columnist uses his "investigative" skills to attempt to ascertain the identities of those who put this site together. Instead, if he were a real journalist, he would be reporting all, some, or even a fraction of the facts you have been posting for the past several months about the hypocrisy of these all-for-show "investigations".

You have obviously hit a nerve with Corbett, and his right-wing media buddies are going to try to discredit you with their readers. Afterall, how dare you try to expose Corbett's hypocrisy while the media tries to bury it, so they can keep receiving leaks about those "secretive", supposedly on-going investigations.


Anonymous said...

If this is Brett Cott’s website, I sympathize with him. Brett Cott loves politics, working on political campaigns and goes far and beyond to help the Representatives to help their citizens. He would be one of those that just works hard on any job he is assigned.

Major corporations often have marketing departments that devote tons of time to charities, public events for their CEO’s, sponsor children neighborhood programs. They do so on corporate time and expenses as part of their jobs. Yet, they never are attacked for not working on just corporations’ agendas and profits. The line can become gray and non-existent at times in government too.

This is what I mean, sometimes, people working on campaigns and working for the caucus or Representatives do make mistakes, find it hard to keep records and expenses report and easy to cross the line when other directed them to just put in their expenses or gave them bonuses that they never knew were illegal.

Plus, it is not right an investigation on just Democrats has come out before the 2008 election, and it is still not right not having all the investigations out on both parties. This is why a reasonable solution to make the taxpayers whole should be considered and makes sure such actions and misspending never happens again.

I also do not agree with the innuendos on Corbett, DeWeese, Sunyak and others here. They should not be subject to unproven allegations either, another reason why brighter minds should prevail. The culprits responsible have turned State Witnesses and it is they that have admitted to breaking the law and naming some people that I truly believe just followed what they were told.

Anonymous said...

What is the unproven allegation agains Sunyak? Sunyak attacked DeWeese and the legislature for years. suddenly has a change of heart and endorses DeWeese, then is offered a job a few months later. What's unproven about any of that?

Anonymous said...

"if he were a real journalist, he would be reporting all, some, or even a fraction of the facts you have been posting for the past several months "

Um... seeing as all this site does is cut-and-paste newspaper quotes, how do you figure it has not been reported?

Seems like Brett is trying to mount an early defense with this site and his reported media leaks.

Anonymous said...

Sunyak has a bow tie on in that photo. Priceless.

Anonymous said...

Can we say compromised with a capital C? Paul Sunyak is not a journalist. He has just been rewarded for being a political operative while employed for the Herald Standard. Integrity...that can be bought and sold. The guy should be sued for the damage he has done in Fayette County. He makes me want sick to my stomach and so does that simpering managing editor who allowed it.

Anonymous said...

I think that everyone is missing the biggest point of this debate. The true puppetmaster is Rep. Tim Mahoney. He has used Sunyak as his personal media hitman for years. How do you think the biggest crimelord in Fayette County could pop out of nowhere and become a state representitive. What exactly were his qulifications again? Oh I forgot, he was a high school basketball star. And he has an unusually large uh brain.
His campaign was funded by gambling. He used Sunyak to pressure politicians to use their influence to get him into office. Now he seems to be the most powerful Rep. in the state using his questionable practices. What's next? I hear he's running for Murtha's seat in congress.

Anonymous said...

It is not a great thing to see Democrats turning on Democrats over rumors and innuendos.

Democrats should defend people being pushed into Lawyer's Plea where it necessary to pursue justice.

It is time to resolve any wrongdoing based on laws that are impossible to comply with every minute of the working day by dedicated employees.

Let us end this as soon as possible and get on with the people's business and needs. The bonuses can be paid back and any other expenses that crossed the line.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but Bill DeWeese upon discovering he was a victim of Manzo’s deceits many thing right.

Bill DeWeese worked his butt off trying to find out what happen. DeWeese had the integrity and showed plenty of it even at personal disappointments from his staff.

DeWeese fired the culprits, turned over the evidence, gave others credit for his work, and blessed many people trying to do the right things to correct these errors and crimes.

What he never did right was communicate his accomplishments, giving credit to others now in leadership.

Bill DeWeese by hiring Paul Sunyak is providing more proof that the Democratic Caucus is continuing the Reforms he promised and delivered after the 2005 Election
Overall, on leadership, Bill DeWeese did an outstanding job.

Anonymous said...

Ha! At least we know DeWeese is getting (the taxpayers') money's worth out of that hire. Nice work, Paul (or Tom). You should take that act on the road. It's hilarious!

Anonymous said...

Someone needs to catch up to 2014! Sunyak is STILL being Mahoney's bitch....on his personal blog site, aptly titled, "The Fayette Patch Hunky", Paul is now attacking Comm.Zapotosky and his ass't Kathy Winkler! Yep...and is NOW praising the writing of Herald Standard reporters! Yet in 2013, he was mocking his former newspaper! Hope someone is Harrisburg looks into his recent re-appearance and lying to boot!