Wednesday, July 8, 2009


For months the blog Checking the Balance has done an exemplary job cutting through the horse-hockey partisan Attorney General Tom Corbett puts out.

Yesterday, CTB yet again asks some good questions about Corbett and his off-the-rails investigation:


Anonymous said...

Todd Eachu is on top of this circus and pony show created by the defendants lawyers.

"The defendants are grasping at straws with this barrage of subpoenas," House Democrat attorneys wrote.

"By subpoenaing Democratic members and staffers, the defendants have proven that their true intent is to create a sideshow and not to support their proffered defenses."

Todd Eachus has Majority Leader will not let the Defendants hurt his Caucus like they did by not following the rules.

Kudos to Todd and his lawyers.

Anonymous said...

Friends of mine who are attorneys say that the defendants probably have turned over to the judge documents from the discovery on everyone they subpoenaed. That is why the judge didn't quash the subpoenas outright. He is looking at all the documents. Eachus should hope there aren't any showing him or his staff doing campaign work.

Signor Ferrari said...

I'm sure his new mortal enemy DeWeese will make sure everyone hears about it if there are.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Signor Ferrai,

How can Eachus be a mortal enemy of DeWeese when it is Veon's Lawyers going after all of them?

Are yous aying Eachus is working with Veon now too to prevent himself from being indicted?

Signor Ferrari said...

What do you mean by "Veon's lawyers going after all of them?"

And if you aren't aware that Eachus and DeWeese are at each other's throats over a secret file DeWeese refuses to disclose, you haven't been paying attention.

Anonymous said...

Eachus has used boatloads of state money to dig up dirt on fellow members so he can advance Veon's defense. The problem (for Veon) is that what they found pales in comparison to what Veon did - and probably doesn't rise to the level of criminality. The question is why did Eachus, at great risk to himself, provoke the AG through his ardent support of Veon? What were the consequences for failing to do so? Perhaps, in the wake of the alleged new rift between the bosom buddies, Veon and Eachus, we'll find out.

Signor Ferrari said...

If whatever Eachus found "pales in comparison to what Veon did" yet "doesn't rise to the level of criminality," would you care to explain why Veon is facing criminal charges?

We have no idea to what "ardent support of Veon" you refer, but we suspect that whatever nonsense you are spewing has something to do with the feud between Eachus and DeWeese.

Be assured, whatever is going on there, it has nothing to do with anyone's attempt to help or aid Mike Veon or any of the other defendants in any way, shape or form. No danger there. Carry on.

Anonymous said...

All I see from this nonsense by the Defense Attorneys is another investigation opening up on those working within the caucus to discredit AG Office and others politically.

These actions never work in the end.

Anonymous said...

So are you saying that Veon didn't count votes with Eachus in the Capitol on the night of the leadership election? Are you saying Eachus didn't pay off Veon's campaign debt without notifying fellow Dems? Are you saying Eachus hasn't been - until recently - carrying the water for Veon? Are you saying the two haven't been extremely tight?

Signor Ferrari said...


Anonymous said...

Hmmnnnnnn, someone is not telling all of the truth, and as Ben Franklin said, "When Someone Tells A Half Truth, It Is Really Hiding A Big Lie!"

Todd Eachus did payoff Veon's Debt without knowledge or approval of HDCC Leadership.

HARRISBURG -- The state House Democrats' campaign panel late last year paid off the campaign debt of former Rep. Mike Veon, who now makes his living lobbying the governor and Legislature.
The House Democratic Campaign Committee in November and December paid $40,683 to retire Veon's campaign debt, according to Veon's report filed recently with the state election bureau. Veon could not be reached Wednesday.

"Mike's contribution as a leader to our collective effort meant a lot to us," said House Majority Policy Chairman Todd Eachus of Luzerne County, who chairs the campaign committee.

But the committee's other three leaders -- Reps. Joe Preston, Dan Frankel and Jennifer Mann -- apparently had no knowledge of the two payments.

"I didn't know about it. I haven't heard about it," said Preston of East Liberty, who handles candidate recruitment for the committee. "I'll ask questions about it."

"I had no idea this had been done," said Frankel of Squirrel Hill, co-chair of finance for the committee.

Mann of Allentown recently removed herself from the committee because she is running for state treasurer. She had been its fundraiser in Eastern Pennsylvania.

"I ... was not involved in the day-to-day workings. I know HDCC has bills that need to be paid," Mann said.

Eachus said there was precedent for retiring the debt of a former member, and that Veon donated countless hours and thousands of dollars to the committee.

"Everyone who looks at the public record can see it's a straightforward transaction, legal in nature," Eachus said.

Veon left office with $94,000 in unpaid campaign debts. Fellow Democrats helped raise money a year ago to put toward that debt and afterward, as of May 15, 2007, he reported $49,000 in debts. He became a lobbyist in January 2007.

Veon has been caught up in the controversy over a pair of Beaver County nonprofit agencies being investigated by a grand jury. He was No. 2 Democrat in the House before his 2006 election defeat.

A state grand jury separately is investigating bonuses given to legislative staffers of both political parties in the House and Senate during 2005 and 2006.

Rep. Tom Tangretti, a Hempfield Democrat who is retiring this year, said he was stunned to hear of the committee's contribution to Veon and wants to know how the decision was made.

"I'm unaware of any member's debt being paid off directly by the HDCC without the knowledge of other members. This is something I think the whole caucus has to discuss," Tangretti said, adding he will ask for a meeting to address the issue when the Legislature returns to Harrisburg.

He said the campaign committee is funded largely by contributions from members and lobbyists, and was established to advance the mission of the Democratic Caucus.

Sara Steelman, a former Democratic House member from Indiana who serves as president of Common Cause of Pennsylvania, said she was "confounded" by the donation to Veon.

Saying she was not speaking for Common Cause, Steelman said the donation "is completely outside what the HDCC's mission is supposed to be."

"Usually, you expect these things to be the other way around. Usually, the money is coming from the lobbyists to the HDCC," Steelman said. "You usually wonder when you see a lobbyist making a large contribution, 'What's the quid pro quo?'

"When you see the HDCC making large contributions to a former member's debt, the same question comes to mind."

Voters ousted Veon largely because of his support of the legislative pay raise in 2005. He was the only legislator to vote against repealing the raise.

Under state law, he was allowed to lobby only the Senate and governor for one year and, starting last month, can lobby the House.


Anonymous said...

Mike Veon cannot be tight with Todd Eachus anymore than Bill DeWeese is tight with Tom Corbett.

Manzo, Foreman, Lavelle, and others have trenchant testimony, and Veon has no choice but to surrender eventually, as his lawyers attack the prosecution to gain a better deal.

Mike is like Fumo, he will fight, except Mike knows not to try to out smart the prosecutors, at that end. Mike will cut a deal, and then everyone will be a target, except those Veon cannot cite with outside evidence to corroborate his testimony.

Those that cooperate and corroborate will being given light sentences, but those that fight and lose will be given longer but not so heavy sentences too.

Unlike Fumo, Veon and his wife need his pension; Fumo never needed a state pension when he already has $20 million, but $2 million less after today’s sentencing.

It is no longer a matter if Mike Veon cuts a deal; it is a matter when he cuts his deal, unlike Fumo's foolish call to go to trial.

Eachus will have worries after Veon pleads out, DeWeese worries will be handled as he goes before the Grand Jury.

Either way, most Politician worries will go up if they are not brought before the Grand Jury.

Those that tried to obstruct justice, participated in seeking finding before the indictments, sought to have others indicted.

Then try to cover up their after the facts actions, will go down in such stupid ways, they will have a tough time to forgive themselves.

Anonymous said...

Based on what I read about Republican US Attorney Prosecutions and their own faults and ethical problems, the Democrats should have been reprimanded not indicted.

How the Department of Justice can investigate itself with Inspector Generals while State Government is investigators by Attorney Generals is just not fair.