Thursday, August 27, 2009


Partisan Republican Attorney General Tom Corbett has repeatedly said that he has put no shackles on his investigators when it comes to bonusgate. Here he is bragging about it to the Indiana Gazette on August 27, 2008:

"Corbett said he gets updates daily on the Bonusgate probe, and has told his lead investigators, 'Follow the evidence. There are no reins on you...We don’t care who it is. If there’s evidence, go forward. And that’s what we’re doing.'"

Comments like that make for great newscopy and soundbites.

But, in reality, it is apparent that Corbett has pulled the reins in on his investigators.

Dan Wiedemer, the former Executive Director of the House Democratic Campaign Committee, testified under oath before the Grand Jury that there was a rather large group of House Democratic Caucus members and staff who made decisions regarding the political activity in the House Democratic Caucus.

Wiedemer testified that besides Mike Veon, Mike Manzo and Brett Cott, this group included former Representative and current Secretary of Revenue Steve Stetler, Representative Dan Frankel, Representative Jen Mann and Representative Joe Preston. You can read Wiedemer's testimony that was included in Exhibit E31 of Veon's July 2009 filing here.

It isn't necessary to just take Wiedemer's word for it.

Included in the evidence Bill DeWeese turned over to Corbett are documents and emails that show Stetler, Frankel, Mann and Preston supervised House Caucus staff working on campaigns or directed their own staff to work on their re-election efforts. This information is included in exhibits to Veon's July 2009 filing:

Representative Dan Frankel -- Exhibit E9
Representative Jen Mann -- Exhibit E15
Representative Joe Preston -- Exhibit E20

We already know that Stetler failed to respond to a grand jury subpoena, and never was interviewed by Corbett's investigators.

There have been no reports of Frankel, Mann or Preston being dragged in for questioning. If Eachus wasn't ("HDC spokesman Brett Marcy said Eachus was not among the legislators who testified before the grand jury, nor was he interviewed by any law enforcement officials regarding the Bonusgate case." -- WB Times Leader 7/7/09) then it is safe to bet that those three members of the HDCC leadership weren't either.

It goes to show what we've been saying for nearly a year here at CasablancaPA -- Tom Corbett is a partisan, political opportunist who is using the bonusgate investigation as a tool for his gubernatorial aspirations.

If Corbett truly were following the evidence wherever it led, then DeWeese, Stetler, Eachus, Frankel, Mann and Preston all would have been at least questioned by his investigators.

Rather, Corbett reined in the investigation and stopped looking once he obtained what he needed -- a high-profile arrest to counter Pat Meehan's indictment and conviction of former Senator Vince Fumo.

Now that Meehan is out of the GOP primary, the incentive for Corbett to continue investigating Democrats is gone. In fact, polling shows that any further prosecutions get him very little traction with Republican primary voters.

It is doubly unlikely that Corbett will make any meaningful indictments of Republicans, if at all. Certainly nothing that "will shock the conscience." Why anger all the Republican donors before the primary?

Corbett has bastardized justice for political purposes, not unlike Rove and Gonzales in the Bush Administration or, more recently,what we learn more of everyday in New Jersey with the Christie campaign for Governor.

Will he be held accountable?


Anonymous said...

Of the 900-page Veon filing, fully 300 pages or one-third comprise Section F, which is titled, "Supplemental Documents regarding Todd Eachus, re: Selective Prosecution."
This section is so voluminous, in fact, that it is filed as "Volume II," essentially making it its own section.
You selectively post links to other portions of the larger filing -- the one or two pages regarding Joe Preston or Kat Manucci -- while ignoring the hundreds of pages in the biggest and juiciest portion of the filing.
Why is that?
Veon's attempt to throw Eachus under the bus includes these subsections in Section F:
1. Todd Eachus and his campaign's use of state employees, state time and state resources in 2006.
2. Jen Brubaker's Grand Jury testimony regarding the placement of Michael Thomas in Eachus' district office in 2004.
3. Dan Wiedemer's Grand Jury testimony regarding Eachus' role with HDCC.
4. Jen Brubaker's Grand Jury testimony regarding Eachus ordering Scott Casper to produce maps for campaigns, etc.
5. Eric Webb's Grand Jury testimony state Eachus knew Webb's involvement with volunteer list and awarding of bonuses.
6. E-mails regarding Eachus in connection with Rendell cabinet secretaries.
7. E-mails regarding Rachel Manzo.
8. E-mails showing the use of caucus resources to promote cabinet secretary project.
9. News item showing Eachus control of HDCC after 2006 elections.
10. Investigator's notes for Jones, Madison and Borlinghaus.
11. E-mails regarding John Jones.
12. Letter created by Michelle Borlinghaus.
13. Madison's series of campaign fundraising spreadsheets.
14. Jones involvement with Eric Buxton on Eachus' behalf.
15. Madison's involvement with Eric Buxtom on Eachus' behalf.
It's interesting that the "truth-seekers" at CasablancaPA, who have obviously had this information at their disposal, have chosen to ignore it.
Give us more on Joe Preston, fellas!

Anonymous said...

Calm down, Sunyak.

Anonymous said...

How many more D's will you guys try to throw under the bus?...except for DeWeese, the other names mentioned had peripheral involvement at best...what are you trying to accomplish?...shining a light on Corbett's partisanship by slurring other D's?...nice.

McGruff said...

Why do you say "Veon's attempt to throw Eachus under the bus"? Why should Eachus be shielded from accountability? Oh, I have read how much he did for the Democratic party. Would the success be there had he not improperly used state resources?

Since Eachus's goal was a higher position in the HDCC maybe he threw Veon under the bus. He may have paid off his campaign debt but was that purely for Veon's benefit or Eachus's benefit for party loyalty?

Eachus got what he wanted but at who's expense? I've read the postings portraying Eachus as the general who engineered a successful campaign. Who is really behind Eachus? Maybe you should look at his district.

Eachus still faces scrutiny with the Bob Powell matter. He has ethical issues regarding plane rides that never made it to his political campaign filings or ethics forms. Yes, Todd, the pilots who flew you will not be silent when questioned.

He recevied a little over $18,000 in donations from Bob and Co which garnered legisltation to the tune of $250 million.

The Legislative Communications Office paid for producing and distributing the DVD "Get the facts about the Greater Hazleton Cargo Airport" which contains the "Seal Of The House Of Representatives Of Pennsylvania" on it. That DVD was distributed the day of the announcement on the cargo airport. And yes, a copy still survived.

Why did the taxpayers get saddled with that cost for a private venture? Ohh..the jobs it would bring to PA...laughing once again. Ask Todd about the Green Mountain water company to supply water to the airport.

Peripheral invovlement?? 300 pages is peripheral involvement...Delusional thinking...

The see-saw of political power will ebb back and forth in Harrisburg like it has for decades. Eachus is not a general but a dictator. He is ruling with intimidation right now which, I predict, will cost him the Majority Leader post. He does not know how to effectively compromise.
He can't even deliver a budget.

His rhetoric blaming Republicans is not a way to negotiate. Voters could care less about Pileggi.

If he was the orchestra leader it will be his turn in the pit. Eachus is drunk with power. I doubt he has the ability to sober up and carry the baton for successful leadership.

Keep in mind that Eachus is only in Harrisburg at the 116th's wishes. His game hoodwinking seniors about PACE is over. Todd, where are the extra 120,000 persons on PACE that you and Fast Eddy promised in 2006? According to the Department of Aging there are less people today enrolled in PACE/PACENET than there were in 2006. The state saved $340 million over the last two years. Where did the money go? It didn't go to the seniors as promised.

So please stop the bleeding heart for Eachus.. It's time to send him back to the "Portable Space" where he came from.

Signor Ferrari said...

What exactly did Veon do to throw anyone under the bus?

(It seems to us Veon could make quick work of the charges against him if he should do such a thing.)

The documents included in Veon's filing were obtained from Corbett. This is not original information; Corbett's had most of it for nearly two years.

Corbett obtained those documents from DeWeese. If anyone can be accused of throwing people under the bus, it's DeWeese.

Anonymous said...

"Signor Ferrari said...What exactly did Veon do to throw anyone under the bus? (It seems to us Veon could make quick work of the charges against him if he should do such a thing.) The documents included in Veon's filing were obtained from Corbett. This is not original information; Corbett's had most of it for nearly two years. Corbett obtained those documents from DeWeese. If anyone can be accused of throwing people under the bus, it's DeWeese.
August 29, 2009 9:27 AM"

LaGrotta started it by hiring relatives then fingering other lawmakers to save his pension.

Manzo pleaded Guilty and has been testifying against many in the Grand Jury.

Webb that ran Veons' Campaign did not even take Immunity but told all without any reservations to his own consequences.

Veon set up Non-Profits, signed secret Cigar Shop Leases, and used state workers as movers for his motorcycles, now what other legislator did that too?

Now you name many more legislators and say they were breaking the law with you, and you are not throwing anyone under the BUS!

Yet, you blame DeWeese when DeWeese did none of these things.