Thursday, August 20, 2009


A concerted effort has begun to rescue partisan Republican Attorney General Tom Corbett from the political corner into which his bonusgate investigation has painted him.

It seems to us that Corbett or his tax-payer funded campaign aides, Brian Nutt and Kevin Harley, have been working hard to win over the editorial board of an important newspaper for a GOP gubernatorial primary candidate.

Today's Pittsburgh Tribune Review editorial "Beating Up Corbett: To What End?" emphatically defended Corbett and his investigation:

"Corbett has made great strides in his investigation and he's done an admirable job of keeping politics out of it."

We know the Tribune-Review is the official GOP party organ in Pennsylvania, but this stretches even its editorial page's credibilty.

How does Colin McNickol, the Trib's editorial page editor, or anyone else know whether or not "great strides" have been made? Has he or someone else at the Tribune-Review been talking with someone in Corbett's office/campaign?

Because without some special (and illegally provided) information from Corbett or his investigators, the fact no one has been charged with bonusgate related charges in over a year doesn't sound like any "strides" have been made by Corbett and his team.

This week, the message from the Corbett campaign has taken an abrupt turn.

Here is Corbett in February of this year:

“I am shocked at the cost of what it takes to run the legislature, and when we get through what we’re doing right now and we make announcements, I think it will shock the conscience of people.” – KYW Radio February 19, 2009

Compare that with his comments Monday night at a fundraiser for his campaign in Williamsport:

"Corbett, who has come under criticism for failing to prosecute Republicans while going after House Democrats in the so-called 'Bonusgate Scandal,' said he never promised to pursue members of his own party. 'What I have vowed to do is complete the investigation,' he said. 'I'm not worrying about the issue of partisanship.'" -- Williamsport Gazette August 18, 2009

Finally, Gerlach's attack on Corbett for concurrently conducting his bonusgate investigation while running for governor didn't elicit the normal response from Corbett's team.

By now, we've all grown used to the pap from Corbett or Harley or Nutt assuring us that the investigation is ongoing and they expect more arrests. Here is a typical statement:

"The overall investigation is continuing, and the attorney general has said from the very beginning that he anticipates more arrests coming in this case." – Kevin Harley to the Patriot News June, 11, 2009

Following the Gerlach attack on Wednesday, Brian Nutt couldn't even muster up "the investigation is continuing" and didn't come near to saying there are anticipated arrests.

It is highly unlikely that Corbett will ignore all the evidence and not bring charges against Republicans.

But the signs this week are that Corbett is beginning to distance himself from his earlier promises and beginning to set the stage for some less than "shocking" indictments.


Anonymous said...


Emails showing Rachel Manzo. who was supervised by Todd Eachus, coordinating the House Democratic Campaign Committee's cabinet secretary project with House Democratic Caucus Staff, House Democratic Campaign Committee staff and Incumbent member's campaign managers.

Veon's Lawyer did a nice job showing how Legislator Bud George of Houtzdale had some alleged staffers working on state time with state resources showing emails of them.

Matt Maciorkowski working for Bud had emails with Rachel Manzo on September 15th, 2006, at 12:12 PM talking about Governor Rendell's Cabinet members coming to Bud's District close to the campaign.

Other emails refer to how bad it is working for George, "getting on a high horse", "putting the hell in health care, and another aide to Bud George Linda Barlow saying "if you know him you understand".

Looks to me since George's employees were emailing back and forth with Rachel Manzo in the months of september and october, all day long, they were working on campaigns on state time too.

These emails provided by Veon's Lawyers with time, dates, and the people talking about campaigning is something I would worry about since Rachel has been indicted.

I wonder if the Attorney general office is going to look at Governor Rendell's Cabinet offers to help in teh campaigns too.

It is hard for me to understand how Rachel Manzo is being indicted on doing things on state time, but not the other staffers doing it too from other legislative offices.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Tribune Review: Remember they endorsed John Murtha for re-election, which leads me to question their political wisdom. If they endorse Corbett, a man who has clearly politicized the administration of justice, then they will sacrifice all credibility.

Anonymous said...

Once again, all this post is evidence that almost everyone and anyone can actually be held accountable for most mundane political actions.

Bud George is one of the best and toughest State Reps in Harrisburg.

Is he hard to work for, yes, he is demanding of his staff for his citizens.

This is a fine example of why these cases need resolved by an Independent Lawyers Panel or the Legislature taking them over by a Bi-Partisan Investigative Committee.

This can cause some changes of the practices that can easily be corrected, but prevents a witch-hunt of innocent staffers doing their jobs.

It puts into focus how the Defendants such as Rachel Manzo and the others are victims of crossing some invisible line, but so far no one else.

Yet, if that line is so large then many may be in the same jeopardy, that everyday is making less sense and more confusion.

This long waiting investigation is now touching on some great lawmakers and staffers that do good work, just like many of the Defendants.