Allegheny County Republican Party Chair Jim Roddey was quoted in the Post-Gazette last week regarding the propriety of current Western PA US Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan remaining in her office if she were to run for Congress:
"The county GOP leader said he did not see any ethical qualms with exploring a run while sitting as the chief federal prosecutor for Western Pennsylvania, and said Ms. Buchanan should step down only if she announces her candidacy." (Post-Gazette 10/9/09)Oh, really? We were very surprised to read that since Roddey's horse in the GOP gubernatorial primary, Tom Corbett, is a sitting prosecutor who is already an announced candidate for office and hasn't resigned.
In fact, Gerlach has been saying for a few months that Corbett should step down for the very same reasons Roddey states Buchanan should resign. Gerlach pointed this out last week in a news release:
"We are glad that Chairman Roddey recognizes the 'ethical qualms' and clear conflict of interest that have existed for at least a month now, beginning on the day Corbett officially announced his campaign for governor," said Scott Migli, campaign manager for the Gerlach for Governor campaign. "We believe the same principle raised in the article applies to Corbett, and that's why we publicly asked for a suspension of his gubernatorial campaign or his resignation because it is very difficult to distinguish how Corbett separates his political investigation during the day from seeking political support at night." (Gerlach Campaign news release 10/9/09)Clearly, this wasn't on the Corbett campaign message, so out comes Roddey's hypocritical clarification yesterday:
"In what can only be described as an intentional deception on the part of your campaign, you took my remarks and tried to deceive people into thinking they were applicable to your Gubernatorial opponent Tom Corbett...I must assume you know that the office of U.S. Attorney is an appointed position, and therefore political activities are restricted. I also assume you know that the state Attorney General position is elected, and therefore has no such restrictions." (Roddey letter to Gerlach 10/12/09)Who are Corbett and Roddey trying to fool? At the time he made his original remarks, Roddey wasn't thinking about the appointed vs. elected distinction. He was stating what many believe is commonsense -- prosecutors should resign to avoid the mingling of politics and prosecutions.
It especially applies to Corbett's candidacy considering he is supposedly investigating Republicans in relation to bonusgate. Perhaps the argument that past Attorney Generals running for governor didn't resign would have credence, except that those AGs weren't running on-going political investigations and prosecutions concurrently with their campaigns.
This is just more of the same hypocrisy from Corbett and his supporters. They want everyone -- the political intelligensia, the media, the voters -- to hold Corbett to a different standard.
House Democrats are felons for using staff to campaign, but not Corbett. (York Daily Record 7/22/08)
2008 opponent John Morganelli is unethical for using an official parking placard (Patriot 8/26/08), but not Corbett's campaign chairperson, Justice Sandra Newman. (Fox 29)
Fundraising in the Capitol is illegal, but not if Corbett does it.
Keeping a promise is important, but not for Corbett if it comes to investigating Republicans. (Williamsport Sun-Gazette 8/18/09)
And now, US Attorney Buchanan should resign, but not Attorney General Corbett.
Until Corbett is held accountable, his hypocrisy will continue. Until Corbett delivers on his promise of "shocking" indictments of Republicans, he is nothing but a partisan, hypocritcal hack.