Wednesday, October 21, 2009
RULES ARE FOR OTHER PEOPLE
ABC27 News yesterday revealed that Gubernatorial Candidate Tom Corbett's campaign has exchanged hundreds of phone calls with his taxpayer-paid staff - and the taxpayer-paid staffs of Republican legislators and campaign contributors - on state time at their state offices.
Corbett would not say what the phone calls concerned. Corbett stammered, "It's easier to keep it on one that the taxpayers are not paying for. That's the most important thing," when asked about the use of his campaign phone to call Attorney General staff on their state phones during state time. "Taxpayers aren't paying for this. Either campaign or myself are paying for this." So he admits it wasn't legitimate state business. But as ABC27 pointed out, "what about the person taking the call on a state phone, in a state office, on state time?"
Reporter Dennis Owens used telephone bills from the campaign to reveal that hundreds of calls have been made to and from Corbett's campaign phone and those of other campaign staff and his state offices. The campaign confers with state AG staff on their state phones, several times a day, during business hours.
The story is especially ironic coming just weeks after Corbett made a point of boasting to the same news organization that he always carries two phones because he's so very careful to keep state business strictly separated from his campaign. (Minute 2:25 below)
But when confronted about the phone calls, he said the campaign phone is his "main phone." The reporter didn't ask, and Corbett didn't volunteer to explain what his campaign staff might be discussing during the hundreds of phone calls with his taxpayer-funded state staff.
We'd love to tell you how shocked we are, but we're not in the least surprised. Corbett's use of his office as a parking lot for campaign workers is already widely known. The Bonusgate investigation itself is a more outrageous use of state resources for political puposes than anything he might dream of uncovering in the legislature.