Monday, November 16, 2009


Just as we predicted, the media is slavering over Gubernatorial Candidate Tom Corbett's "bipartisanship" now that he has indicted a single Republican legislator.

At the same time the pundits hail Corbett as a hero, they point out how much he gained politically by bringing the indictiments.

"Why, yes; it is true that I slept with the casting director. And yes, it is true that I got the part. But sleeping with the casting director had nothing to do with why I got the part."

In this country, we don't rely on politicians to pinky swear that they won't abuse the power of their offices, then sit back with our fingers crossed. Would any other politician be allowed to get away with "just trust me?"

Everyone acknowledges that indicting Perzel gives Corbett a political boost. Yet no one seems to care if he indicted Perzel in order to gain a political boost.

One of Corbett's rivals in the gubernatorial race, Tom Knox, stated the obvious:

"Unfortunately, Pennsylvanians will never know who was not charged or investigated, as the attorney general seeks to solidify GOP support in his campaign for governor."

The Philadelpia Daily News' Chris Brennan dug deep and discovered that Corbett met privately with Perzel while Perzel supposedly was under investigation, and allowed Brian Preski to host a fund-raiser for him.

Was Corbett really conducting a serious investigation as he claimed?

Why does he excuse the meeting by saying he didn't yet have all the facts?

Does that mean (contrary to every public pronouncement by Corbett prior to the meeting and fundraiser) Perzel and Preski weren't really under investigation at the time?

Did Corbett and Perzel discuss the investigations?

Did he ask for Perzel's support for Governor? ("Corbett's run for governor probably came up during the meeting, [Brian] Nutt [Corbett's campaign manager and meeting attendee] said. 'I'm sure somebody said something like: 'How are your chances? 'he added." -Daily News 11/12/09)

Did Perzel decline?

Does Perzel's indictment against have anything to do with that meeting?

How many other meetings with legislators under investigation don't we know about?

Don't ask Corbett. Just trust him.


Anonymous said...

Other points of view from around the state ...

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in an editorial said: "Mr. Corbett's methodical and now demonstrably even-handed investigation should earn the thanks of all Pennsylvanians -- but good luck with that one. Just as happened when Democrats were indicted and complained of Mr. Corbett's political ambitions, it is now Mr. Perzel's turn to cite "poltical opportunism," the thoroughly political response of a cornered political animal. Even two candidates, Republican Jim Gerlach and Democrat Tom Knox who, like Mr. Corbett, are running for governor, have asked him to resign for his supposted conflict of interest. Nonsense. Mr. Corbett is doing the job he was elected to do -- and thank goodness he is."

From Pittsburgh Tribune-Review columnist Eric Heyl: "People ferretting out alleged corruption might not win popularity contests in the Capitol cesspool, but they tend to be electable elsewhere ... Over the past 16 months, Corbett often was accused of mounting a partisan probe because only Democrats were charged. Today, he stands clear of those allegations. Having finally invited Republicans to a party in which a bail bondsman pops out of the cake, Corbett is free to lace up his sneakers for the governor's race. After yesterday, he might win it without getting winded."

From Philadelphia Daily News columnist John Baer: "Corbett's GOP primary opponent, Philly suburban Rep. Jim Gerlach, tagged Corbett for conflict of interest, saying that he can't investigate Republican lawmakers as he seeks their support for the gubernatorial nomination. Yeah, see, except for the fact that he can, has and does. And, if Gerlach is so interested in political purity, maybe he should resign from Congress rather than ride the benefits of incumbency while he runs for governor ... Here's what voters know: The Legislature is corrupt and inept and spends its time spending or stealing tax dollars, and somebody named Corbett is trying to send some of this crowd, regardless of party, to prison. That plays a lot better than the subtleties of arguments over who should resign one office to run for another and why."

Anonymous said...

Pete DeCoursey of Capitolwire had this to say about Republican majority/minority leader Sam Smith, who is now claiming innocence through ignorance on the GOP side of the aisle:

But Smith was Perzel’s highest-ranking GOP colleague after 2003, when many of the events that resulted in 82 theft and corruption and obstruction of justice charges against Perzel occurred.

So the first question is, should he have known? Was it his job to know from 2003 to 2007 or to have learned swiftly afterward and moved faster to fix the problems?

After all, Smith says he instructed Perzel’s co-defendant, Brett Feese, to fully comply with Corbett’s probe. Instead, Smith wound up in court this past spring being asked why the House GOP had stymied the probe. Smith says he transferred Feese from handling the probe. He also said he did not know that Feese was accused both of being part of the conspiracy to misuse millions of taxpayer dollars for campaigns, and of covering it up afterwards.

Now we come to the problem part. You see, Smith is not the only House leader having to protect himself from charges that he should have known more than he did about what happened when he was in leadership.

House Majority Whip Bill DeWeese, D-Greene, also has said he did not know about various alleged problems that led to 12 of his colleagues or staffers being charged by Corbett with official corruption.

When asked if DeWeese really could have not known about all the stuff that Corbett said went on while DeWeese was caucus leader – payment of taxpayer-funded bonuses for campaign work, requirements that House Democratic staff work on campaigns to get raises – Smith said: “I think anything as big as that [bonus] program they had going, I think he [DeWeese] was aware of it.

“As the Republican leader, I know that ultimately the buck stops with me, and I’m responsible for the actions, even if I really wasn’t,” Smith said. “… As leader you’re aware of most things. Some minor details I don’t see that go on from day to day that go on in terms of operations. But I think anything as big as that program they had going, I think he was aware of it.”

That discussion was about $1.9 million in bonuses. The GOP charges involve at least $10 million in misused staff or services during a period of eight years.

So I asked Smith’s staff whether he applied the “must have known” standard to himself as he had to DeWeese, since Smith was second-ranking House GOP leader during much of the period covered by the allegations, and kept Feese on staff even after transferring him off the Bonusgate case.

Smith sent back a statement about his comments that the leader is responsible for anything that happens under his watch: "Having now been shocked by the allegations of secret actions involving Republican technology operations, I was wrong."

Anonymous said...

Did you see the Associated Press story by Marc Levy? Here are two interesting sections.

HARRISBURG,Pa. - The ranks of current and former state House Republican legislators, prosecutors allege, are littered with people whose election-day efforts benefitted from the illegal use of taxpayer-paidresources.
Meanwhile, the Republican floor leader since 2003, Rep. Sam Smith of Jefferson County, even signed contracts, received information and sat in on meetings that prosecutors allege had a connection to the illegal diversion of public money and resources." ...
The 188-page grand jury presentment released by Corbett on Thursday mentions Smith's name no fewer than 11 times in the course of describing the alleged comingling of political and taxpayer-paid activity.
In some instances, Smith signed millions of dollars worth of contracts for a New Orleans company called GCR & Associates Inc. that, prosecutors allege, provided commputer-driven methods to compile and sort voter data. That information ended up being used in political campaigns, Corbett said.
At other times before 2007, Smith sat in on meetings or received information, such as an e-mail, that allegedly discussed the use of GCR or caucus employees for political work.
Smith, who did not respond to numerous requests for comment through his spokesman on Thursday and Friday, was not charged with any wrongdoing. In a report last year by The Philadelphia Inquirer on grand jury scrutiny of the GCR contracts, Smith said the database had never been used for political purposes and served a legitimate government function.

Anonymous said...

As more of these Secret Government Paid For Election Operations come out, the more has to wonder why so many still working at House Democratic and Republican House Caucuses are still working there too.

Many current Staffers were brought in by Veon, Manzo, Perzel, Feese, and now are working in leadership positions, and in some cases, I have heard some are still indebted to the Indictees and are helping them lobby as we speak for fees.

If the HDC and RNC are truly going to Reform, the Caucuses they need a Big House Cleaning NOW! I heard the Media is now investigating such relationship sand with the Open records Law coming on Board more revelations is to come. All these current employees are At-Will Employees, so they can be retired, dismissed, or replaced at anytime.

The Legislators at least in both Houses now have a duty to scrub clean people associated with this past Grand Jury Indicted Leadership or they will become victims of this guilt by association in the next election.

The OAG should also make sure any Plea Agreements include the inability to work in the Caucuses or State Government as part of any deals. It is going to be quite unfair to have people that told the truth to OAG Investigators to work with or under some that escape Indictments or set free based on a Plea Deal such as Rachel Manzo.

Keith McCall, Todd Eachus, Stan Smith should announce that such people will not be back in the Caucuses, if not they should be investigated to see if they are having contacts with such people as we speak. If any of them is meeting with Guilty Pleaded Defendants or Indicted Defendants or hiring their relatives, this needs to be investigated now too.

A total Reform and House Cleaning is now needed in these Caucuses, not by the people that replaced Foreman, Manzo, Feese, but bring in Outside Consultants to change the nature of character now exposed by Tom Corbett in this fair-minded investigations.

If not, Elections are up in 2010, and new candidates can be found to clean up the House current leadership that is ignoring such changes after such findings going public.

Any and all Lobbying Firms or Corporate Interests need to be exposed and banned that has retained such people too, and I understand some Media Firms are investigating such relationships.

New members putting forth such reforms are going to demand it anyway and once the Media agrees, it is over for such employees of miss-loyal duplicity.

Anonymous said...


I agree with Anonymous above, the HDC and HRC have too many employees connected to these scandals and should start cleaning house before some are defeated for negligence or undermine by these renegade protégés of Fumo’s Farm Hands, Veon’s BIG boys, Perzel’s Techie Treachery, and BonusGate Bonuses given to all employees at the Legislators loss of reputations.

The state of affairs in the U.S. labor markets is dreadful and worsening. While the official unemployment rate is 10.2% and another 200,000, jobs were gone in October.
When you include disheartened workforce and partially employed workers the figure is a whopping 17.5%. Young people unemployment is closer to 18% and climbing. When young people cannot find jobs, big trouble starts to happen in crime, protests, and community activity for change.

Someone is going to be wise enough to start organizing campaigns against Incumbents that refuse to change or reform their own offices and hold onto practices and policies no longer relevant to doing their jobs. Independent Candidates are going to have great opportunities to replace the Political Parties Old Guard.

The Caucus employees now employed are relaxed and not fearful of their bosses, all they need do is call the OAG and put in a complaint and nothing will happen to them. They are not going to volunteer let alone work on any elections especially on their own time.

In fact, if anything they will most likely start to report or disclose how others they work with are not working or doing their jobs, thus causing more scandals to come before the Primary and General Election.

Remember: The last recession ended in November 2001, but job losses continued for more than a year and half until June of 2003; ditto for the 1990-91 recessions. The Elections of 2010 will decide Re-Districting and cause permanent change and reform if changes are not made soon in current Legislative Offices.

Therefore, we can expect that job losses will continue until the end of 2010 at the earliest. In other words, if you are unemployed and looking for work and just waiting for the economy to turn the corner, you had better hunker down.


Anonymous said...


All the economic numbers suggest this will take a while. The jobs just are not coming back. This means the Budgets for Local, State and Federal governments are going to be even more in the red as Tax Revenues continue to drop. This means the Commonwealth Budget is going to be lower and harder to pass than last year, but this it is an election year and many Incumbents will easily lose.

There is really just one hope for our Caucus Leaders to turn things around:

1. True Reforms Dumping Caucus Husband-Wives Teams, Hangers On, Retirement Deadwood, And People Not Loving Serving Citizens Even If It Means Doing Work After Working Hours. The Commonwealth Is Going To Cut Cost Everywhere But The Caucuses Will Not Stand Anymore.

2. Bold Prescription That Increases The Fiscal Stimulus With Another Round Of Labor-Intensive, Shovel-Ready Infrastructure Projects Job Creation Projects.

3. Demand Help From Congressional Power Brokers To Help Out Fiscally Strapped State And Local Governments Until Employment Recovers. Helping The Unemployed Just By Extending Unemployment Benefits Is Necessary Not Sufficient; It Leads To Persistent Unemployment Rather Than Job Creation.

4. Provides A Temporary Tax Credit To The Private Sector To Hire More Workers.


Anonymous said...


The long-term picture for workers and families is even poorer than current job loss numbers alone would propose. Now as a way of sharing the pain, many firms are telling their workers to cut hours, take furloughs and accept lower wages. Specifically, that fall in hours worked is equivalent to another 3 million full time jobs lost on top of the 7.5 million jobs formally lost.

This is very bad news for the economy but we must face facts on how it changes the political situation in Harrisburg. Many of the lost jobs are gone forever, including construction jobs, finance jobs and manufacturing jobs. Recent studies suggest that a quarter of U.S. jobs are fully out-sourced able over time to other countries.

All other measures tell the same ugly story: The average length of unemployment is at an all time high; the ratio of job applicants to vacancies is 6 to 1; initial claims are down but continued claims are very high and now millions of unemployed are resorting to the exceptional extended unemployment benefits programs and are staying in them longer.

It is most likely that the unemployment rate will peak close to 11% and will remain at a very high level for two years or more. In the meantime, 2010 will be a pivotal year as those without jobs can organize and campaign against current political leaders with jobs, along with staffs that will sit home their hands as they watch their Legislative Employers lose election after election.

The weakness in labor markets and the sharp fall in labor income ensure a weak recovery of private consumption and an anemic recovery of the economy, and increase the risk of a double dip recession and political disaster for Incumbents.

The damage will be extensive and severe unless bold policy action is undertaken now and any political prognosticator can see it in a New York Minute. The Investigations may be over for the HDC, HRC, but the fall out is just starting to develop, and it will surround and end those that do nothing as far as reforms, reductions in staff, and changes the people will be able to see before the Primary and General Elections.

In a way, Team Casa may be right; many must go before new ways to dream can become reality. Caucus Reform better start in earnest or each Political Party And Independent Candidate sign up here:

Anonymous said...

Society's needs come before the individual's needs. Without law and order our nation cannot survive. What luck for the rulers that men do not think.

All propaganda must be so popular and on such an intellectual level, that even the most stupid of those toward whom it is directed will understand it... Through clever and constant application of propaganda, people can be made to see paradise as hell, and also the other way around, to consider the most wretched sort of life as paradise.

It is thus necessary that the individual should finally come to realize that his own ego is of no importance in comparison with the existence of the nation, that the position of the individual is conditioned solely by the interests of the nation as a whole.

The efficiency of the truly national leader consists primarily in preventing the division of the attention of a people, and always in concentrating it on a single enemy.

The great masses of the people ... will more easily fall victims to a big lie than to a small one.

The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed the subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty

This year will go down in history. For the first time, a civilised nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient, and the world will follow our lead into the future!

Adolf Hitler

Anonymous said...

The rub is that the pursuit of happiness, as an end in itself, tends automatically, and widely, to be replaced by the pursuit of pleasure with a consequent general softening of the fibers of will, intelligence, spirit.

Anonymous said...

Wow, someone is really smart here and others so dumb.

Anonymous said...

Now what legislator in his right mind would buy a used car?

Anonymous said...

What kind of Democrat are you? Don't you know it takes a village?

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