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.