Friday, December 11, 2009


We're getting a kick out of the initial Ramaley trial post-mortums.

Gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (his campaign broadsheet) are working hard to find ways to downplay the embarrasing loss yesterday.
"'I would say it's a minor blow, if it's a blow at all,' said Thomas Baldino, a political science professor at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre...But this was, perhaps, the weakest of the cases, and the defendant was not the major target.' Senior Deputy Attorney General Anthony Krastek said...'Obviously, there's much more involved in the other cases...There are a lot more facets than this little sliver.'" (Tribune Review 12/11/2009)
If Ramaley wasn't a major target or this was just a little sliver, then why did Corbett bring the charges in the first place? Why did he decide to pick just Ramaley out of all the members of the legislature?

Today's Capitolwire gives us the best and most concise answer to these questions.
"Ramaley was charged after he had won the state Senate primary in 2008 for a seat he was favored to win. After Corbett charged him, Ramaley was forced out of that race, and in the din about corruption that followed, Republicans pick up that seat. Corbett now has to answer questions about that decision and its political fallout, which benefited his party and his political allies." (Capitolwire 12/11/09)
We couldn't have said it better ourselves.

Corbett's arrest of Ramaley enabled Corbett's Republican allies and campaign contributors in the state senate to pick up a seat normally safely in the Democrat's column...and with a dolt like Elder Vogel no less.

Ironically, the main campaign consultant on the Vogel campaign was Mike Long, who is the most high-profile political operative who worked in the legislature and the recipient of the largest legislative bonuses.

Here are a few of the pieces of Long's handiwork. One, Two, Three, Four, Five. After looking at those mailpieces, it is clear Corbett's political use of the grand jury benefited the Senate GOP.

Make no mistake. Corbett desperately wanted to convict Ramaley. He put his ace trial attorney, Tony Krastek, up against Ramaley's team. Corbett spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars (if not millions) to dig deep to find witnesses and thousands of documents to tear Ramaley apart.

If Corbett and Krastek now want to downplay the Ramaley trial results by saying Ramaley was a minor part of the investigation and that it was going to be hard to prove the charges, they why did they indict Ramaley in the first place?

They either wanted to win the case (and subsequently failed miserably) or they merely wanted to ruin a Democratic candidate's chances to win...and his life.


Anonymous said...

Ramaley is innocent...just like OJ.

Anonymous said...

Ramaley acquitted on all charges
By: Bob Bauder
Beaver County Times
Thursday December 10, 2009 08:05 PM

HARRISBURG — An attorney for former state Rep. Sean Ramaley said a Dauphin County jury on Thursday confirmed what the defense has been saying for the last 18 months: Ramaley is an innocent man.

Ramaley, 34, was acquitted Thursday of all charges stemming from a public corruption probe initiated by state Attorney General Tom Corbett.

Investigators charged Ramaley last year with four counts of theft and one count each of conspiracy and conflict of interest, alleging he did campaign work while being paid as a legislative staffer for former state Rep. Mike Veon in Beaver Falls. Veon and a number of Democratic and Republican legislative caucus members also face charges resulting from the “Bonusgate” scandal.

Ramaley, of Economy, who represented the 16th Legislative District for two terms, declined an interview with The Times.

However, Ambridge lawyer James Ross, a member of Ramaley’s defense team, said the verdict vindicated his client.

“I really feel that the jury reached the right and correct conclusion for a gentleman who is a man of his professionalism, integrity and honesty,” Ross said in a phone interview from Harrisburg about 30 minutes after the verdict was announced. “We’ve said right from the get-go that Sean was not guilty of these charges, and the jury confirmed that for us.”

Ramaley, who abandoned his campaign for state Senate in 2008 after he was charged, has made no decisions regarding his future, Ross said. Ramaley told reporters in Harrisburg that he intended to enjoy private life for at least the immediate future.

“I think it’s a little too early to decide that,” Ross said. “The future can be very bright for this young man. It’s just unfortunate that they took his future away for a very short period of time, but he’s going to get it back.”

Anonymous said...


Submitting your Comments:

Commentsservantoftruth, 12-10-09, 10:12 pm | Rate: 0 | Report
I think the right decision was made. There was no doubt that Veon was guilty but Sean was a reach. And a waste of tax-payer money to prosecute him. I hope he can move on with his life. 2 years in the crapper because of spurious charges. Nothing can be more interfering than to be charged with charges that have little weight or bearing. It puts your life on hold the entire time. You can;t make plans, you can;'t travel, you can't leave the area. Yor life is on hold, period. And look, its been for nothing. The only thing it might have done is to make Sean a little stronger and more sure of his worth and his destiny. Now that he has been vindicated he become who he is meant to be.

politicallycorrect, 12-11-09, 1:01 am | Rate: 0 | Report
Yeah...he worked for veon, was a lawyer.....and is not guilty.. If it walks like a duck, acts like a duck.. It ain't a horse... political corruption at it's best..

pietro, 12-11-09, 6:42 am | Rate: 0 | Report

redstreak1, 12-11-09, 7:42 am | Rate: 0 | Report
More taxpayer money wasted by Corbett! Maybe he can be tried in court for misappriation of state funds??

SgtSchultz, 12-11-09, 8:09 am | Rate: -1 | Report
NO doubt Veon was guilty.... what planet are you living on?? I don't remember Veon ever being found guilty.. When Veon and Ramaley are done going after Corbet for these vicious unfounded attacks they should come after you- and see how you like it..........I am sure you are guilty of something...... ......or you must live in a glass house.

loyalty2 none, 12-11-09, 8:17 am | Rate: 0 | Report
Next exonoration>> Mike Veon, the Peoples Champion!! Let's get these kangaroo trials over with, and restore labor-friendly representation. The sod busters gotta go. Ther's still a chance to get free astroturf for our area football fields and to transform the Rochester riverfront into the Las Vegas of the Ohio RIver Valley. Corbett is just a Republican hack.

Gwho, 12-11-09, 8:50 am | Rate: 0 | Report
Corruption abounds in BC. Not to worry though, if you're in politics. Ramaley, Veon, Lavalle, Piroli, Glenn, will join the countless ranks of Corrupt politicians in BC let go by other corrupt officials.

Gwho, 12-11-09, 8:51 am | Rate: 0 | Report
or blind in this case

Anonymous said...


Submitting your Comments:

progress/jobs, 12-11-09, 1:48 pm | Rate: -1 | Report
Blind juries, what a joke! What about blind AG or blind charges. If you can't see that this was a witch hunt against the D's, you are a moron. Mike Veon will get a slap on the wrist and prove all of your wrong. This is only the first of a long list of the AG's failures. And the best is that it will cost him a Gov's seat. Well deserved!!!!!!

loyalty2 none, 12-11-09, 4:07 pm | Rate: 0 | Report
progress/jobs is right! Until we clear out the sod busters and put democrats back in office, we will not see any progress or jobs returning to Beaver County. All voters concerned about the plight of working men and women should vote straight ticket for the slate of candidates endorsed by the Beaver County Labor Council for more union jobs, better working conditions, longer vacations, and seniority rights. We had a chance. But, noooooo! Republican hack Corbett used our man Mike and other Western PA statesmen as fodder for his own political ambitions. When Mike is fully aquitted, he should get his congressional seat back in Harrisburg with full seniority.

UncleWahWah, 12-11-09, 4:22 pm | Rate: 0 | Report
The Ramaley charges don't stick. Piroli seems guilty of little more than being in over his head. Corbet had better have something more for Veon or the speculation on HIS motives are going to get stronger and stronger.

quipboy, 12-11-09, 4:23 pm | Rate: 1 | Report
To all of you Veon supporters, a simple question: where's the BIG money? This ought to be good. Quip boy

loyalty2 none, 12-11-09, 11:03 pm | Rate: 0 | Report
quipboy... That whole BIGissue is another scandal cooked up by the evil republican Corbett. BiG was poised to bring casinos. sportin' houses, restaurants, and drive-in movie theaters to the Rochester riverfront. The eastern PA right-wingers didn't want the working people in our area to have any opportunity to prosper. Thus, the totally politically motivated and totally unfounded kangaroo trials against our most gallant statesmen. Mike Veon is the people's champion. He has been convicted of nothing. He should be re-instated to his prior House of Representatives position with seniority.

Anonymous said...

Guilty or not, Veon was ousted by the voters of the 14th legislative district...Tom Corbett had nothing to do with that.

Anonymous said...

One thing about Sean Ramaley, he never the County of Beaver in the middle of the night, like Mike Veon did, running away like a thief into the night.

Anonymous said...

it runs in my mind that if you checked the nominating petition's of EState mSenator Elder Vogel you would find a great deal of discrepancies. When this was brought up at the time it was just pooh-poohed off as nothing. I believe the honorable senator was even quoted as having said that it didnt matter if a few names weren"t correct. Yes, a few namesd would have made the difference between having a primary opponent or not. Or having a Republican candidate that was actually a Republican and not a pawn of Merlissa Hart.

Anonymous said...

What do a weather man and attorney general tom Corbett have in common?

Anonymous said...

q. What do the weatherman and GOP Governor candidate Tom Corbett have in common?

a. Neither one can get it right.

Anonymous said...

Mike Veon has integrity and is a true public official. He stood up for what he believed in and stood by his decisions even when the voters did not grasp what he was saying. How many of those douybting Thomases would stand behind their decisions in the face of a storm. Not many, and they would be the very same people that would sell their soul out to the devil the first time their kid got in trouble. They would be running to the politicians and asking them to brteak the law in behalf of their darling kid.
Mike Veon was a stand-up representative and had the guts to
work for his district and the state. We need him back and I pray that when he is acquitted he will get back ionto politics and return as our representative in the General Assembly.

Anonymous said...

Sean Ramaley is one of those failed Lawyers CasablancaPA described Gene Stilp.

One reason why Mikey chose Sean.

Anonymous said...

Wake up Tom Corbett...The Jury knows and so do ther voters. The voters are not dumb and you will be not be aquitted on Election Day.

Anonymous said...

Senior Deputy Attorney General Anthony J. Krastek should be fired for the poor job he did on the Ramaley Trial.

He let the people of Pennsylvania down and his own family and teh AG Office.

Anonymous said...

What A Waste Of Time:

Attorney General Corbett announces formation of Public Corruption Unit

HARRISBURG - Attorney General Tom Corbett today announced the formation of a Public Corruption Unit within the Attorney General's Office. The unit is designed to primarily combat corruption through the prosecution of elected officials and government employees.

Corbett has assigned seven seasoned prosecutors to the unit who will be specially designated to investigate and prosecute public corruption cases.

Corbett said, "By creating a Public Corruption Unit, the Attorney General's Office is putting a spotlight on investigating and prosecuting public corruption cases at a crucial time in our state's history when slot machines and casino gaming is about to become reality."

Corbett noted that the Pennsylvania Legislature created an elected, independent Attorney General's Office in 1978, in part, as the reaction to the abuse of power and widespread public corruption in the Shapp administration.

Corbett said in 1978, the General Assembly's Joint State Government Commission on the Office of the elected Attorney General said that it was giving specific authority to the office to implement the intentions of the electorate that the Attorney General function as a "watchdog" of State Government to prevent official corruption. Additionally the Investigating Grand Jury Act tasks only the Attorney General with the responsibility for investigating multi-county public corruption.

Corbett, who prior to being elected Attorney General, was a former United States Attorney in the Western District of Pennsylvania, said, "Just as the United States Department of Justice has a Public Integrity Section, with a specific mission of fighting corruption at the federal level, I believe the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office should have a Public Corruption Section to combat public corruption."

Corbett said the Attorney General's Office presently investigates and prosecutes public corruption cases through its Criminal Prosecutions Section.

However, by creating a special unit, with seasoned prosecutors assigned specifically to public corruption cases, he believes that the efficiency and effectiveness in which these cases are prosecuted will be improved.

Corbett said that when a public corruption case is opened, it will be assigned to one of the seven prosecutors in the unit. These prosecutors will give the cases the highest priority and ensure that they are thoroughly investigated in a timely manner.

Corbett said conflict of interest referrals from district attorneys regarding allegations of public corruption of county and municipal officials, including local law enforcement officials, will also be assigned to the prosecutors in the Public Corruption Unit.

Referrals from the State Ethics Commission that involve allegations of public corruption will be assigned to the unit. Additionally, serious allegations of election law violations will be prosecuted by the unit.

Corbett also urged the General Assembly to pass pending legislation which would give the Attorney General's Office concurrent jurisdiction on gaming. He noted that gaming investigations, which often involve public corruption, will be assigned to the prosecutors in the Public Corruption Unit.

Corbett said that many of the lawyers in this section are currently involved in public corruption cases. He noted that the office recently won a conviction of State Representative Jeff Habay and that the trial for the former Mayor of Erie is scheduled to begin on March 13.

They should begin all investigations at the AG office.

Anonymous said...

If Tom Corbett thinks politics if a dirty business then why did he not step up to the plate and say it instead of using his assistant to say it. While his agent is berating politics, Corbett is busy playing it 24/7. Didn't we, them people, elect him to prosecute. Then why isn't he in the court room doing that instead of making deals with politicians to get elected governor?

Anonymous said...

I never voted for Krastek. Where did he come from? Why isn't Corbett prosecuting in the case?

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous runs in my mind that if you checked the nominating petition's of EState mSenator Elder Vogel you would find a great deal of discrepancies. When this was brought up at the time it was just pooh-poohed off as nothing. I believe the honorable senator was even quoted as having said that it didnt matter if a few names weren"t correct. Yes, a few namesd would have made the difference between having a primary opponent or not. Or having a Republican candidate that was actually a Republican and not a pawn of Merlissa Hart. December 12, 2009 9:52 PM"

Watch out the OAG went after Veon & Company for carefully checking petition and called it illegal before a Grand Jury.

The Grand Jury agreed, but it agrees on anything these days.

If I was the SDCC I would be going over Vogel's Petitions on their own and if they find anything, turn it over publicly to the Newspapers first, OAG second, and Grand Jury third.

If Corbett is truly being Bi=Partisan and I spelled it right with = sign, then he would be looking at this right now too.

It could make amends for Ramley Persecution and put Sean back in the Senate.

Oh, I forget, this might look like it is a political prosecution again. I forget! Sorry!

Anonymous said...

Election Concerns Did Not Ring True!
DECEMBER 13, 2009

Because I know the major players in the Bonusgate scandals, I have a keen interest in the trials.

The testimony saying that former state Rep. Mike Veon was afraid Sean Ramaley might lose in the general election does not ring true.

Granted, since the demise of the Veon political machine, Republicans have had success in Beaver County elections.

However, in 2004, with the Veon empire intact, anyone with the slightest knowledge of county politics knew the winner of the Democratic primary was going to win the general election.

I believe that Veon wanted to get his hooks into Ramaley so that he had another loyal soldier in his powerful organization.

It made sense for Ramaley to join the Veon team.

Remember, at the time Veon was one of the most powerful politicians in the state. It was a win-win for both individuals.

It is my opinion that if Veon had not self-destructed because of the pay raise issue, Ramaley would be a state senator.

Jay Paisley
Big Beaver

Editor's note: The writer has been a candidate in primaries for the Legislature and Beaver County Commissioner.


Commentsloyalty2 none, 12-13-09, 9:08 am
Beaver County's political landscape must be rid of ineffective sod busters and silly clowns that enjoy playing a spoiler role. Mike Veon is totally innocent. His crime (in the eyes of the Republican political hacks headed by Tom Corbett) was to have the courage of his convictions to keep a pay raise (setting a good example for the Beaver County rank & file). Beaver County must return to it's glory days of being a union stronghold. We need political leaders and statesmen endorsed by the Beaver county Labor Council. On the national level, we need tough card check rules to prevent the "man" from ruining the lives of working families. Mike Veon must be returned to power immediately for Astroturf on all the area sports fields, and the full development of the Rochester Riverfront into a gambling and entertainment mecca. All of Mike's men will be fully exonerated. Corbett's days are numbered. Solidarity forever!! The system works. Honesty, courage, and ethics always wins and will be proven in the courts.

DaveL.M.63_09, 12-13-09, 10:14 am
Veon is an idiot, a criminal from way back when he was stealing as a young man, and recently when he stole as a middle aged man (An I use the term man loosely)

Once a thief always a thief.

And Loyalty, I really do love your posts , Thank you, your sarcastic comments really bring a smile, I hope you have a wonderful day friend.

Stay off those dangerously treacherous roads around the valley LOL

Anonymous said...

I find it striking that there has not been more criticism in the mainstream media about the political aims of Corbett's investigation. The reaction has been Corbett lost one but has more fish to fry. Missing from the coverage is the fact that he is destroying lives - including Sean Ramaley's - for his own political purposes. The jury took 3 hours to decide that Corbett and his henchmen were off base.

One of Corbett's supporters in response to Ramaley's acquital says "we're glad the election isn't this month." Where is the remorse for harming a good person?

At the indictment of DeWeese and Stetler, he vitriolicly says why can't these people have seperate offices for campaigns. Does Corbett do no campaigning from 9 to 5 - on state time.

Far worse than anything the people who've been charged for political work on state time is using a prosecutorial office to further your political career. It is an abuse of power. Corbett is nothing more than a schoolyard bully.

Anonymous said...

The biggest fish for Attorney General Corbett will be his close political friend former Senator Bob Jubelirer of Altoona now living in Allentown. Corbett’s campaign donation listsings and Jubelier’s are almost Twin Match Cousins when it came to campaigning.

Jubelier was seen campaigning with his staffers all over Altoona in Super Markets all day long in hopes of being re-elected over 30 years again, but he lost. The Media is going to have a field day when they see that investigation and bring Jubelier and his staffers before the Grand Jury.

You can count on Tom Corbett doing such an investigation because it is so close to his own campaign contributors and Tom Corbett was in Altoona so much, one would think he had a House or Apartment there.

It is going to fun seeing Corbett going after the senate now or will he just run out of time? After all, investigating 50 members of senate and leadership should be far easier than over 200 members of the House. Especially, when the Senate leadership was far more powerful and sponsored far more campaigns on state time.

The smart money is on Gerlach, once Operation researchers get through with the Corbett-Jubelier Connection, Corbett might have to withdraw if he does not indict Jubelier and you can take that to the bank.

Anonymous said...

Anger over pay raise dogs Jubelirer campaign
Sunday, April 30, 2006
By Tom Barnes, Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau
HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. -- John and Norma Belin walked into state Senate candidate John Eichelberger's campaign office on Allegheny Street, two blocks from the stately Blair County courthouse.

The two senior citizens used to vote for their longtime senator, Bob Jubelirer, but no longer. Now they're on the "I like Eich" team and will vote in the May 16 Republican primary for challenger Eichelberger, an insurance salesman and Blair County commissioner since 1996.

The Belins say Mr. Jubelirer, who was first elected to the Senate in 1974 and is one of the most influential legislators in Harrisburg, doesn't pay much attention anymore to the 30th District, a charge Mr. Jubelirer strongly denies.

The Belins are like many other conservative folks in this rural Central Pennsylvania district, which stretches from north of Altoona to the Maryland border.

They remain resentful about Mr. Jubelirer's strong support for the legislators' 16 percent to 34 percent pay raise, which was enacted without debate shortly after midnight July 7. It increased his pay to $145,000 a year from $108,000.

"You either have good character or bad character," Mr. Belin said. "It's important that you do the right thing when people are looking, but it's even more important that we do the right thing when nobody is looking."

After a sustained public uproar, Mr. Jubelirer apologized for the pay raise, helped lead the repeal effort in November and returned his four months of higher pay. But for many people, it was too little, too late. They're also upset that his wife, Commonwealth Court Judge Renee Cohn Jubelirer, was in line for a raise from $145,000 to $162,000 under the now-repealed law.

Read more:

Anonymous said...


Weak Case Shows Corbett's Agenda!

As a former constituent of state Rep. Sean Ramaley, I was pleased that he was exonerated of all corruption charges brought against him by Attorney General Tom Corbett.

Ramaley was not my original choice when he ran for a vacant seat in my district, but over the two terms he represented us he earned my appreciation for his excellent service. I found him and his staff to be responsive and respectful.

I feel we lost a decent public servant, but Ramaley lost his political career, and I am sure he is facing a massive legal bill.

The whole sorry incident lends credence to claims that Corbett's investigation has more to do with advancing his campaign for governor than seeking justice. It is telling that Corbett refuses to step down from his position despite the obvious conflict of interest.

Robert Steffes

Wednesday December 16, 2009
01:40 AM

CommentsB Horter, 12-16-09, 7:42 am | Rate: -1 | Report
Good letter. As I posted in an earlier thread about this, there is an old saying, "now where does this guy go to get his reputation back?"
Politics seems to be a very rough game to some, no wonder there is a dearth of decent people running for office. I well remember a sitting US Senator called a US Attorney to urge prosecutions of more Democratic candidates just before an election. Shameful conduct.
New Mexico? Yes, I think it was, and the Senator was never prosecuted, but the Attorney, was fired????

loyalty2 none, 12-16-09, 9:50 am | Rate: 0 | Report
Next to be exonerated: Mike Veon, the champion of the working class. Mike and the entire slate of candiates endorsed by the Beaver County Labor Council must be returned to power immediately. We need to sent this Bush-wanabee Corbett a message that the rank & file of Beaver County are not be trifled with. With Mike back in office, and card check legislation in the works in Washington, Beaver County will return to it's roots as a labor stronghold. Workers in Beaver County will get the government assistance needed to return high paying jobs with good benefits, vacations, and reasonable breaks. Working people across our commonwealth need to unite against the hack Corbett and all his big business pals that intend to keep Beaver County under their heel.

my point, 12-16-09, 10:10 am | Rate: 1 | Report
Just a great Beaver County letter. Its those mean old wraskly wepublicans. The DEMS have had TOTAL control of this county for decades. Live with it. Take the credit for what you have accomplished.

Liberals r Commies, 12-16-09, 2:48 pm | Rate: 0 | Report
morons....Demor ats have controlled BC forever...your all crooked..unions ...politicians. .i know i was on the inside for years...years.. e whole lot of yinz........BC is a sewer because of liberal Democraps.....y ou union jerks turn on your own for a dollar...hey 'LOYALTY"..i know who you are..i heard you talkin about you writing on here at the jobsite....your a loser and a deadbeat is that little problem workin out for you...huh?....