Saturday, October 24, 2009
FOLLOWING THE EVIDENCE?
It seems pretty clear that charges against Rachel Manzo will be withdrawn, as has been speculated for months, in exchange for Mike Manzo's plea agreement.
If that's true, we can assume that Gubernatorial Candidate Tom Corbett isn't interested in Rachel Manzo's testimony.
And if Corbett had any plans to indict House Majority Leader Todd Eachus, who was Rachel Manzo's boss for two years before she was arrested, and who directly supervised the activities for which she is charged, he'd be pretty interested in Rachel Manzo's testimony.
(Then again, considering Corbett's general level of competence throughout the Bonusgate investigation, he may plan to prosecute Todd Eachus using the testimony of Balloon Boy Falcon Heene.)
Corbett has repeatedly claimed he's ordered his investigators to follow the evidence wherever it leads. Evidence that Eachus ordered caucus staff and a taxpayer-funded contractor to perform political work? Evidence that Eachus knew about the campaign volunteer list maintained by Eric Webb that was allegedly used to award bonuses in 2006? Evidence that Eachus coordinated appearances by Cabinet secretaries in targeted incumbent districts for campaign purposes, an effort that made extensive use of caucus resources?
Perhaps Corbett doesn't feel these activities rise to the level of crime. Yet he charged others - including Rachel Manzo - for their involvement in these very same activities.
Speculation remains high in the Capitol that indictments still are on the horizon for Eachus, former House Majority Leader H. William DeWeese, and Revenue Secretary Steve Stetler, former chair of the House Democratic Campaign Committee. Anything's possible.
But the absence of a plea agreement for Rachel Manzo is a strong sign that Eachus is in the clear. And this week's leak about invitations to testify to the grand jury did not include Eachus, DeWeese or Stetler. Considering the heat Corbett already has taken for his failure to indict DeWeese in particular, we find it hard to believe he wouldn't try to diffuse the criticism if he could by including DeWeese's name.