Everyone in Harrisburg has been waiting for partisan Republican Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett to announce his promised Republican indictments in his bonusgate investigation.
The amount of time it has taken him to investigate the Republicans and bring charges, plus the public statements from Corbett lead us to believe they will be bigger than big and huger than huge.
Right out of the gate, during the press conference announcing Democratic indictments in July of last year, Corbett made it clear that there would be more charges:
"Let me make this perfectly clear -- this is not the conclusion," -- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 7/11/08
So, we waited a month and still nothing. But, one of Corbett's trusted career prosecutors assured us that Republicans were on their hit list:
"'It's not limited to one caucus. Not even close,' said Frank Fina, the chief of the public-corruption unit. 'Anybody who violated the law is going to get it.'" -- Patriot 8/3/08
So, we waited another month and still nothing. Instead, Corbett announced he would put off any Republican arrests until after the election due to the mountain of evidence he was looking at, but not to worry:
"It's one of those times -- I hate to say it, but I almost feel like saying, 'Trust me -- we're going to get there, and when we're finished there are going to be a lot of people with egg on their face,'"-- Lancaster Intelligencer 9/25/08
So, we waited until after the election and still nothing. Corbett reassured us all, though, and told us to wait a bit longer:
"Corbett said at a news conference Thursday that the probe will be an immediate focus of his new term. He added that he expects further charges to come out of the bonus investigation, but it could be early 2009 before that happens." -- Patriot-News 11/7/08
So, we waited three more months and still nothing. Once again, Corbett said it would happen and the Republican malfeasance was so broad and massive that it was keeping his investigators working hard:
"Whenever we're ready to announce something, whenever we've reached that critical mass, we will announce it,'' Corbett said. ''I will tell you we're very busy.'' -- Associated Press 1/21/09
So, we waited another month and still nothing. But, we were told not to worry by Corbett's taxpayer-funded campaign spokesman because all the investigators were burning the midnight oil due to all the Republican misdeeds they were investigating:
"The agents and prosecutors are putting in a tremendous amount of overtime,” said Mr. Corbett’s spokesman Kevin Harley. “It’s very, very busy.” -- Scranton Times 2/8/09
In fact, Corbett whetted everyone's appetite for how enormous his Republican indictments were going to be:
"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 2/19/09
So, we waited seven more months and still, nothing. More than two-and-a-half years have passed since the bonusgate investigation began and more than a year since only Democrats were arrested.
That brings us to last night and Corbett's gubernatorial campaign announcement gala. When asked, Corbett and his state-funded campaign manager made sure we all understood how big and imminent his long-promised Republican indictments were:
"We continue to investigate, and I know when the next round comes, I believe that complaint will go away." -- Associated Press
"We're not going to hurry this along ... When those charges are filed, you're going to see, this has been done right." -- WTAE TV
"I know when the next round of cases comes, people will understand what we've been doing."-- Post-Gazette
"These are career prosecutors, and there are things that happen that can't be rushed." -- Brian Nutt to Patriot-News
After all this time and after all this hype over how busy Corbett's investigators have been and how huge and shocking the Republican charges will be, here at CasablancaPA we believe the scope and size of the Republican grand jury presentment can now be put into the "biblical proportion" category.
We now present to you the CasablancaPA Players in a dramatic interpretation of Tom Corbett's next press conference where Corbett, Fina, Harley and Nutt discuss the promised Republican indictments that still aren't quite ready yet:
And ... scene.