Monday, November 23, 2009


Partisan Republican Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett's latest grand jury presentment has spawned quite a few impersonators of Democratic Whip Bill DeWeese:

"I was lied to!"

"I had no idea!"

"I never saw that happening!"

"I compensate for certain physical limitations, so I use big words and constantly remind everyone that I was a Marine!"

Oh, wait. Maybe not that last one.

The latest DeWeese imitator is former Republican State Rep. George Kenney from Northeast Philadelphia. Corbett's grand jury presentment goes into great detail about how Kenney assisted his buddy John Perzel in housing former Rep. Sue Cornell as a ghost employee in Kenney's district office. Mario Cattabiani with the Philadelphia Inquirer recounts in an item from this weekend:
It was 2006, and Cornell, a freshman state representative, had just been booted from office by Montgomery County voters, and she needed a job.

She turned to the person who had recruited her to run - then-Speaker John M. Perzel.

Perzel found her work, assigning her to the office of his fellow Philadelphia Republican, then-Rep. George Kenney, for the same $72,187 salary she had as a legislator.

"I'll sit and answer phones. I'll pick up your dry cleaning," she recalled telling Kenney when she first approached her new boss.

How did Kenney, a legislative veteran, respond? He "just kind of laughed," said Cornell.

For a month and a half, Cornell collected a state paycheck without doing any work or setting foot in Kenney's office. testimony from Pa ghost employee, Inquirer, 11/22/09)
When Cattabiani asked Kenney about the arrangement, we are treated to some classic, grade A, DeWeesian obfuscation:
Kenney, Cornell's oh-so-brief boss, said in an interview last week that he hadn't known beforehand that Perzel put Cornell on his staff, and that he hadn't approved of it after learning of it.

"I didn't need anybody. I had a full complement of staff," he said, adding that it was one of many things Perzel did in secret without telling others.

Kenney wouldn't elaborate on that point, other than to say, "There was a lot going on that many members didn't know anything about, and I was one of them." (Inquirer 11/22/09)
Oh, George. You're busted. Why lie?

Having a ghost employee is just one of the indictable offenses in which Kenney is implicated. Just like countless other members of both parties in the PA General Assembly, his district office staff did a tremendous amount of campaign work from his district office using state equipment on the tax-payers' dime.

From 2004 to the time Kenney left office, Claire Casey, Vince Furlong, Rosemary Lynch, Tom Pomrink, Jeanne Sgro and Henry Shain were remimbursed for over $110,000 in campaign expenses. And, as we've seen with Corbett's grand jury presentments that kind of campaign activity from district office staff is a clear indicator of allegedly illegal activity.

So, George, rather than lie about how you knew nothing, just keep your trap shut. It is unbecoming especially since you are so culpable on so many other levels.

Contrary to disingenuous public comments, no one in Harrisburg is shocked by any of the revelations in the presentments because what Corbett outlined is and was common and acceptable among every elected official in Harrisburg from time immemorial. In fact, using staff and state resources is such a common practice that Corbett himself parks his staff on state payroll and they have no qualms about using their phones and computers in their state offices on state time to work on his campaigns.

Allegedly having "ghost employees" working on campaigns is a common practice for which Corbett has cravenly chosen to indict only two sitting legislators - one washed-up and one back-bencher - while allowing every influential member off the the hook for the same crime...DeWeese and Kevin Sidella...Majority Leader Todd Eachus and Michael Thomas...former Rep. and current Secretary of Revenue Steve Stetler, former Rep. Tom Tangretti and Paul Martz.

Corbett's investigation and presentments aren't about uncovering the truth or punishing those for allegedly breaking the law.

Otherwise, Republican Leader Sam Smith would be indicted for his clear complicity in all the charges against Perzel, or DeWeese would be in shackles for his obvious involvement in awarding bonuses to staff, or Stetler would be among those arrested for directing caucus staff to work on campaigns, or Eachus would have been paraded in front of the media before an arraignment for using caucus resources for political purposes.

Corbett doesn't want justice. He wants headlines for his gubernatorial bid without upsetting the applecart in the Capitol.


Anonymous said...

ferverShouldn't your Blog Headline Read...ANOTHER TEAM CASA INTIMIDATOR?

Anonymous said...

Shouldn't your Blog Headline Read...ANOTHER TEAM CASA INTIMIDATOR?

Anonymous said...

Like in South Park, Kenney always seems to get it in the end.

Anonymous said...

That guy they drew to look like Sargent Schultz looks more like Brett Cott, don't you think?

Anonymous said...

May I wish upon everyone here, a sincere Happy Thanksgiving for Team Casa, OAG, Lawmakers, Staffers, And Everyone.

In hopes one day we can sit aT A Turkey Dinner and make amends, forgive, confess, and talk about how we all became better human being under adversity even as we all experienced the pain of being accused and having to prosecute political Public Servants.

In the end, it IS how we handle adversity and learn to grow even from painful episodes in our lives that seems so unfair at the time, and so important.


Anonymous said...

Who would ever want to be an imitator of anything?

Anonymous said...

Starry, starry night.
Paint your state issue blue and grey,
Look out on a summer's day,
With eyes that know the darkness in my cell.

Shadows on the hills,
Sketch the trees and the daffodils,
Catch the Blue Grass State breeze and the winter chills,
In colors on the snowy linen land.

Now Vince understand what the US Attorney tried to say to him,
How he suffered for your sanity,
How he tried to set you free.
They would not listen, they did not know how.
Perhaps they'll listen now.

Starry, starry night.
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze,
Swirling clouds in violet haze,
Reflect in Vincent's eyes of blues.
Colors changing hue, morning field of amber grain,
Weathered faces lined in pain,
Are soothed beneath the felon's loving hand.

Now I understand what you tried to say to me,
How you suffered for your sanity,
How you tried to set us free.
They would not listen, they did not know how.
Perhaps they'll listen now.

For they could not love you,
But still your love was true.
And when no hope was left in sight
On that starry, starry night,
You ended your political life, as convicted liars often do.
But I could have told you, Vincent,
Harrisburg was never meant for one
As corrupt as you.

Starry, starry night.
Portraits hung in empty Capitol halls,
Frameless head on nameless walls,
With eyes that watch the commonwealth and can't forget.
Like the strangers that you've met,
The ragged men in the ragged clothes,
The silver thorn of bloody rose,
Lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow.

Now I think I know what you tried to say to us,
How you suffered for your sanity,
How you tried to set us free.
They would not listen, they're not listening still.
Perhaps they never will...even on appeal!

Anonymous said...

""""In hopes one day we can sit aT A Turkey Dinner and make amends, forgive, confess, and talk about how we all became better human being under adversity even as we all experienced the pain of being accused and having to prosecute political Public Servants.""""

The only Turkeys in Pennsylvania are those corrupt Politicians in Harrisburg.

Anonymous said...

Fumo Admits Deleting E-mails

By Greg Palmer on February 18, 2009 7:55 AM
Former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo yesterday admitted that he stepped up his computer security after news broke that the FBI was investigating him - and that his staff continued to destroy e-mails even after prosecutors blanketed his allies and his network of nonprofits with subpoenas.
Enduring a fifth day on the stand in his federal corruption trial, Fumo insisted that he believed that deleting documents was lawful because no subpoena had been served on him directly.

Fumo leveled an accusation of his own yesterday, telling jurors that he had been targeted by the U.S. Justice Department under a Republican president because "I was the most prominent Democrat in Pennsylvania."

Anonymous said...


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