Monday, October 12, 2009


Our mission has been to point out the hypocrisy of partisan Republican Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett. Particularly related to his handling of the bonusgate investigation. And, oh boy, has he given us lots of material with which to work.

However, we've also taken the time to point out hypocrisy from any other source in the Capitol and there is one instance of that from this weekend that we just can't let go.

Democratic Appropriations Chair Dwight Evans' spokesperson, Johnna Pro, attempted to wax eloquent regarding the sacrosanct institution of the Pennsylvania General Assembly:

"'This institution has survived for 300 years,' said Johnna Pro, a spokeswoman for Evans, the House Appropriations Committee chairman. 'There's no doubt that the actions of some individuals in recent years has damaged the institution as a whole. I would like to think it will survive. I'm not sure it will. Will it be here? Sure. But can it be an institution that accomplishes something for the greater good of the people?'" (Patriot News 10/11/09)

That's poor grammar and a poor choice on the part of the ironically named Pro.

Earlier this year, the Morning Call's John Micek reported the House Democratic Caucus awarded a no-bid contract to a Florida "headhunting firm" in 2008 to search for employees to fill vacant positions. (Morning Call 3/5/09)

It also turns out that this same firm was a major contributor to Evans and Evans' allies in Philadelphia. (Micek Blog 3/6/09)

That's called pay-to-play, Ms. Pro, and we're sure that "[accomplishing] something for the greater good of the people" wasn't what Evans had in mind when he told Majority Leader Bill DeWeese to create a bogus need so it could be filled by a no-bid contract awarded to the company owned by campaign contributors.

While we're on the subject of scratching the backs of campaign contributors, it doesn't get any more blantant than a recent example of Evans' use of his non-profit, Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corporation.

Evans has WAM'd OARC with more than $23 million dollars in the past eight years. You can click on the following to see just a few of the most recent WAMs:

Make no mistake. OARC is controlled by Evans. He created it, he provides nearly all its funding and everyone associated with it are there because of Evans. In fact, we're not sure how the House Ethics committee allows Evans to circumvent House Rule 47 that expressly prohibits all these WAMs going to OARC:

"A member shall not create, maintain or cause to be created or maintained a legislative nonprofit organization. A "legislative nonprofit organization" means a nonprofit corporation or other entity whose primary purpose is to receive funds under the General Appropriations Act or another appropriations act at the discretion or by reason of the influence of a member for the use at the direction or discretion of the member."

Given that Evans controls OARC, it is disturbing to see that in March of this year it spent nearly a million dollars to pay the back taxes on a bankrupt nightclub called North by Northwest and subsequently to buy the property outright. (Philadelphia Inquirer 8/7/09)

It is even more disturbing to learn that all the failed partners of North by Northwest -- Hugh Clark, Carl and Rose Singley, Ina Walker and Ahmeenah Young -- have contributed tens of thousands of dollars to Evans' political campaigns. You can see their most recent contributions here.

We're not sure buying a decrepit, failed nightclub with state funds "accomplishes something for the greater good of the people," Ms. Pro. And, we shouldn't have to remind you that Mike Veon was charged with multiple felonies for allegedly using Beaver Initiative for Growth Funds in the very same manner as this example from Evans. (Tribune Review 3/27/09)

The whole arrangement between Evans, OARC and North by Northwest was so unseemly that it led the Philadelphia Inquirer to editorialize:

"But remember, without Evans, there are no taxpayer dollars. And without taxpayers' dollars, there is no OARC. Without OARC, Young & partners are stuck with a failed business and paying their back taxes. Here's one opinion of how it all looks: Bad." (Inquirer 8/17/09)

While we're on the topic of similarities between Veon's BIG and Evans' OARC, we point out to Ms. Pro that Corbett charged Veon with multiple felonies for directing BIG to rent offices that were then shared with his legislative district offices. You can read that section of the grand jury presentment here.

Guess what other non-profit rents to and shares space with the legislative district office of their benefactor? That's right, Ms. Pro, OARC.

Evans' district office is located at 7174 Ogontz Avenue. He uses legislative funds to rent the space from ZAG. You can see from this Federal Form 990 that ZAG is a subsidiary of OARC. ZAG was and still may be in the same building as Evans' district office at 7178 Ogontz Ave.

Here's a picture of the entire ZAG/Evans district office complex. Anyone who ever went to the BIG/Veon district office on 7th Avenue in Beaver Falls will find the Evans set-up quite similar.

We want to be clear. We aren't calling Dwight Evans a hypocrite. From the beginning of Corbett's bonusgate investigation, Evans has said nothing publicly to disparage any of his former colleagues indicted by Corbett. Why whould he?

Evans knows that the largest bonus awarded to a House Democratic staff person was made by him to Miriam Fox, the Executive Director of the Democratic Appropriations Committee. (Post-Gazette 2/17/07)

Evans knows that he dodged a bullet when Corbett decided to not drag his two six-figure salary district office employees, Kim Turner and Terri Grantham, into a grand jury and question them under oath about how much work they've done on Evans' campaigns on state time using state phones, computers and equipment.

Evans knows there are so many more things that Corbett could blow the lid off of involving the use of his staff, his campaigns, contributions to his campaigns, WAMs and the passage of legislation. It would only take a few subpoenas and grand jury appearances.

While we're not calling Evans a hypocrite, we won't stand by and let an ill-informed loudmouth on his staff take a cheap-shot at those who Corbett has decided to investigate for the very same activity her boss has engaged in for years.

Keep up the good work, Dwight! The legislature is a better place with you in it...just tell Johnna Pro to put a sock in it.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for exposing this hypocrisy. You are doing a real service for the people of Pennsylvania.

Two Party System said...

That chick is a typical republicrat mouthpiece - say anything and try to keep a straight face. All the while, keep cheating the most desperately poor people out of fair government. Multiply that by 200+ years and viola! - you have Philly.

Better with Dwight? Riiiiiight.

Anonymous said...

Fumoism Is Every Where !

Time To End It!

Anonymous said...

In addition to being a "ill-informed loudmouth," Johnna ia also a fox!!!

Anonymous said...

Dwight Right played for the Steelers and just passed away why would anybody want to trash his name?

Anonymous said...

Gerry Lavalle and soulmate Darla are walking and keeping their Pensions.

PJ Lavelle will do the same with his wife.

The Manzo are safe so long as they cooperate!

Time is running out, for those that think they can beat the system.

Anonymous said...

I was a broadminded graduate scholar in the 1990s.

I am now a conservative veteran, small-business owner, and wife of an active politician and a concerned mother of two small children.

As a registered Republican, I am very concerned about where our State Leaders in all offices are taking us in the name of the pursuit of justice.

Today, when I say such things at my Community Center on Inter-Faiths, I am called a "right-wing terrorist" and continue to attend multiple Tea Parties.

This is the first time in my 34 years that I have been involved in politics and am coming out to criticize what is going on in Harrisburg, at my husband’s peril.

On both the legislative and judicial policy fronts, I am scared to death about where Pennsylvania is going.

My husband is the first to raise his hand to volunteer for any good cause when duty calls, but I am increasingly concerned over the lack of stratagem in our current political efforts.

I am appalled to see our State Constitution being trampled on day after day.

I am aghast with the corruption and grimy politics being played on both sides of the aisle.

I am enraged that our elected officials arrogantly refuse to listen to We the People, no matter how many truly concerned citizens quietly assemble at town halls or on the streets of Harrisburg.

So much of the population is ill-served by Pennsylvania mainstream media's "coverage" of events.

Like you, I listen to talk radio every single day. This isn't about liberal versus conservative. It's not about Democrat versus Republican.

It's about right versus wrong.

It's about liberty versus tyranny.
I and scores of other Mommy Loyalist" are legitimately panicky for the future of our children, and we are rallying to save our great commonwealth.

Our State needs people who are not afraid to speak the truth!

It is time to put these people on trial or let them go!

God Bless Tom Corbett.

Anonymous said...

The credibility of CasablancaPA continues to suffer as you continue to reveal your true natures.

Regarding Rep. Evans, you write a basically scathing indictment of his role in a nonprofit, as exemplified by this comment,"We're not sure buying a decrepit, failed nightclub with state funds "accomplishes something for the greater good of the people," Ms. Pro. And, we shouldn't have to remind you that Mike Veon was charged with multiple felonies for allegedly using Beaver Initiative for Growth Funds in the very same manner as this example from Evans."

Then you end by saying,
"Keep up the good work, Dwight! The legislature is a better place with you in it ..."

Talk about hypocrisy!

Anonymous said...

If you're looking for a solution, all state money flowing to nonprofits set up by legislators should be banned immediately. They don't work anyway.
BTW, I don't believe that other Democratic leaders like Eachus, McCall or DeWeese set up a nonprofit back home like Veon and Evans did. So it's not something that everyone thinks is a good idea.
Maybe Veon needed a backup plan in case his state employees couldn't deliver his motorcycles to South Dakota.

Anonymous said...

Convicted Felon Fumo was the Teacher of Non-Profits, and Dilworth Paxson Law Firm was the main Beneficiary.

Veon took a page out of Fumo's schemes and now he is under charges of his own.

There was simply no way Non-Profits were ever needed and it is good the OAG stopped them when they did.

Anonymous said...

Dwight Evans is untouchable, he is one of the most honest, forthright, and caring lawmakers in Harrisburg.

Even the folks at CasablancaPA do not want to mislead the truth about Dwight Evans.

After all, there are no chastity anal belt protection in Grateford Prison!

Plus, by saying Dwight Evans is a crook just ended any jury nullification in Dauphin County for CasablancaPA.

Anonymous said...

Most of the convicted will serve time out of state.

Nobody wants all those lawmakers being in the same Prison with all the staffers that broke the law.

Could be trouble when they have to choose between the Black Gangs, Mexican, and Aryan Nation.

Cott already has his head shave so we know he will join the Aryan Boys.

Anonymous said...

Tom Corbett's has White Hair because he has seen the face of God like Moses did.

Anonymous said...

Is it Trials or Trails!