Last Saturday, Associated Press reporter Mark Levy put together an interesting post-Republican bonus indictment news item. Levy obtained quotes ranging from the top of the GOP caucus heap like Republican House Leader Sam Smith to the bottom of the barrel like State Representative Karen Beyer. (Associated Press 11/14/09)
Basically, Levy captured the prevailing sentiment among the Republican caucus that they were "shocked, shocked, that politics was happening in the Capitol."
Their feigned incredulousness is a lie.
We addressed how implausible Smith's cluelessness is when examined through the prism of the grand jury presentment.
Smith is a liar, but Beyer is a lying hypocrite.
Here she is in 2008 reacting to the Democratic grand jury presentment outlining how Democratic caucus resources were allegedly used against her in her 2005 special election:
"It's outrageous. The problem is, they tried to buy an election using taxpayers' money." (Tribune-Review 7/19/08)Boo-hoo! Except she is lying and she knows it. Corbett's grand jury presentment last week outlined how hundreds of thousands of dollars in technical and staff (through the Office of District Operations) assistance were provided to her.
"I couldn't keep up. I didn't have the resources to spend what she was spending." (Morning Call 7/11/08)
After her first election and after she spent some time in Harrisburg, there is no way that Beyer (or any other Republican member who received this type of assistance) didn't have the intellectual capacity to put two and two together and figure out that the dozens of people who worked on her campaign were actually full-time House employees.
CasablancaPA received this entertaining campaign commercial that made a point about that liar Beyer in 2005 that still holds true today (be sure to turn the volume up):
Don't just take our word for it when we say that every member of the Republican caucus knew a massive political operation was being run out of the Capitol.
The grand jury presentment went into depth about how most of the House Republican Campaign Committee fundraising was conducted by staff in the Capitol. A close examination of Republican campaign finance reports shows that rank and file members were aware of this and knew where to send their campaign checks.
Note the addresses where these campaign contributions to the HRCC were sent. It doesn't get more blantant and obvious than this:
Rick Geist -- 2004 and 2007
Gordon Denlinger -- 2004
Adam Harris -- 2004
David Millard -- 2006
Katie True -- 2006 and 2007 and again in 2007. (Note that Perzel was no longer in charge in 2007!)
Nick Micozzie -- 2004 and 2005 and 2007 (Again, Perzel wasn't in charge in 2007!)
These pale in comparison to how much money and how many times 2010 Republican Lieutenant Gubernatorial candidate Tom Killion sent to the HRCC campaign operation at its Capitol building offices:
September 2007 (uh, wasn't Smith in charge by this time?)
We dare any of these Republican members to say they had no idea that the House Republican Campaign Committee was operating out of the Capitol using caucus resources and caucus staff. Every elected member of the House and Senate used their staff and their offices to get re-elected. Any member who says otherwise is a liar.
Don't believe us? Then ask Lt. Governor Joe Scarnati why he sent this large campaign contribution to the Senate Republican Campaign Committee to (you guessed it!) the State Capitol Building in 2006.
Or, ask Scarnati about reimbursing his campaign staff via their Capitol office in 2006.
For that matter, look below that entry for Casey Long and someone should ask Scarnati why he bought tickets to a Sam Smith campaign event by sending his contribution to Smith's district office at 527 E Mahoning Street in Punxutawny. Was Smith's district office staff organizing a campaign event at his office using state computers on state time? Hmmm.
Since the time Ben Franklin was sitting in the Speaker's Chair, members of both parties (even the Federalists and Whigs) were using their staff and offices to get re-elected. It was and is an acceptable and pervasive part of the Harrisburg culture. Even partisan Republican Attorney General and gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett uses his taxpayer funded staff and taxpayer funded phones for his campaign.
There is a tremendous amount of faux shock from both Democrats and Republicans in Harrisburg surrounding Corbett's grand jury presentments last week and in July of 2008. Don't believe them for a second...it is just a pitiful attempt at revisionist history.