Forgery. Perjury. Tampering with records. Identity theft.
In a just world, the chairman of the Upper Darby Republican Party and at least one of his cronies would be facing those charges. As the Philadelphia Daily News reported today, chairman John F. McNichol listed himself as the circulator on Tom Corbett gubernatorial petitions, containing hundreds of signatures, that actually were circulated by Steve Valero. ("Can Corbett be unbiased in probe of Delco nominating petitions?" Daily News, 4/3/10)
That's illegal and Corbett should be leading the way in bringing charges against McNichol.
But we don't live in a just world. We live in Tom Corbett's world.
In Tom Corbett's world, Democrats are prosecuted for petition fraud ("Ex-Pa. lawmaker, aide plead in election fraud case" AP, 8/5/08), while Republicans who do the very same thing are not. ("Challenger accuses Gingrich of forging nominating papers" Lebanon Daily News, 3/20/08)
Just last month, the District Attorney right there in Delaware County, where McNichol and Valero blithely committed their fraud, appears willing to prosecute a Republican. ("District judge faces charges in forged signatures" Philly Daily News 3/30/10) (Perhaps it's worth noting that he's a former Democrat, and he was trying to get on the Democratic ballot)
Will Corbett do the same?
It is highly unlikley. Corbett's reputation for allowing his Republican cronies to skate on issues for which Democrats are prosecuted is so pervasive, the Daily News reporter opens today's story with skepticism: "Can state Attorney General Tom Corbett's agents conduct an impartial investigation of Delaware County GOP officials who submitted nominating petitions for Corbett's gubernatorial campaign?"
If past is prologue, the answer is no.