Friday, April 9, 2010
ENTER THE GOON SQUAD
Dare to criticize Tom Corbett, and you can expect an intimidating visit from law enforcement agents.
According to an astounding item by Chris Brennan in today's Philadelphia Daily News: Corbett was so incensed by a Feb. 2 article in the Bucks County Courier Times, in which Rep. John Galloway accused him of "playing politics," that he sent agents to Galloway's office the day the story appeared.
Corbett mouthpiece Kevin Harley would not confirm that Corbett himself dispatched the agents, but Corbett had confronted Galloway in the Capitol about the article shortly before the visit.
Hilariously, Harley defended the intimidation tactics, saying Corbett's office takes it seriously when someone suggests he is missing evidence of corruption.
That interview must have taken place before the Orie scandal revealed that Corbett isn't just missing evidence of corruption, but deliberately ignoring it.
Even as the agents were making their way to Galloway's office, a county grand jury in Pittsburgh was investigating evidence of corruption against Sen. Jane Orie - evidence that Corbett not only refused to investigate when it was brought to his attention, but which his own "investigation" of the Senate Republicans should have uncovered months earlier.
By the time Corbett's goons visited Galloway, three months had passed since Corbett gave the brush-off to the Orie intern who tried to report her suspicions.
Galloway joins former candidate for Attorney General John Morganelli and conservative political consultant Jeff Coleman in having been attacked by Corbett's team for statements that turned out to be all too true.
Attorney Matt Haverstick, who represents dozens of immunized informants to Corbett's grand juries, wigged out in December when Coleman suggested on PCN that Senate Republicans were misusing state resources for campaign activity. Just a little over three months later, Senate Republican Orie was charged with misusing state resources for campaign activity.
House Republican Leader Sam Smith in December 2008 threatened to sue Morganelli over his suggestions that Corbett's long delay in initiating an investigation against House Republicans might result in destruction of evidence. Eleven months later, House Republicans were indicted on charges of destruction of evidence.
We've heard some breathtaking tales of abuse of office out of the Office of Attorney General over the last three years, but this takes the cake. Sending agents of the state to intimidate critics?