Take yesterday's Philadelphia Daily News:
"Tom Corbett swears that he didn't plan it this way. The state attorney general says that he didn't time his probe of state General Assembly corruption to peak during his campaign for governor this year. Corbett said that people often don't believe this: He didn't even think about running for the Republican nomination until 2009, after winning a second term as AG."(Philadelphia Daily News 5/10/10)People "often don't believe this" because it is a blatant lie. Corbett had been coveting the Governor's mansion well before 2008 and he used the 2008 bonusgate arrests to help pave his path there.
In 2008, less than a week after his re-election, Corbett was schmoozing at the Republican Governors Association meeting in Miami. (Tribune-Review 11/16/08) By mid-December, he had dispatched envoys to encourage Councilman Frank Rizzo to run for Lt. Governor. (KYW 12/27/08) Capitolwire reported in early December 2008 that "Republican donors and campaign figures throughout the state were told by Attorney General Tom Corbett this week that he will run for governor in 2010" and were told by his taxpayer-funded campaign manager, Brian Nutt, that "Obviously [running for Governor] is something he is considering because of his natural position in the party." (Capitolwire 12/10/08)
Corbett doesn't want to admit his 2008 bonusgate indictments were political, so he pretends he never thought of running for Governor until much later than the facts prove he did.
Just so he won't get lonely, Corbett has filled his staff with liars, too.
Nutt recently got caught in a whopper when Corbett backed out of (yet another) joint appearance with their GOP opponent:
"GOP gubernatorial frontrunner Tom Corbett canceled a planned appearance at Saturday's $20-a-plate fundraising breakfast sponsored by the Manheim Central Republican Committee. Was it because he knew Sam Rohrer would be there, too? The Corbett campaign says no, that its candidate never committed to the event and in fact couldn't attend because of a scheduling conflict. 'We were never confirmed to be there,' spokesman Brian Nutt said...Charlotte Rissler, who organized the Manheim Central GOP breakfast, said she was particularly disappointed by Corbett's last-minute cancellation — his staff notified her Friday night that he wouldn't be able to make it — because the campaign had made the initial request to be there. 'They called last Tuesday, and they requested he be given time to speak,' she said." (Lancaster Intelligencer 5/10/10)Nutt is a liar and that is a lie worthy of a fibber in elementary school.
Here is Corbett's lying chief political consultant:
"John Brabender, Mr. Corbett's chief media strategist, insisted that, 'I can tell you now that we will not be talking about Bonusgate -- ever -- in the governor's race.'" (Post-Gazette 3/24/10)Brabender is a high-priced liar. Corbett proved as much in late April:
"...Mr. Corbett gained name recognition and some criticism for an aggressive series of grand jury investigations into the legislative spending scandal that came to be known as Bonusgate. His first round of grand jury presentments snared a collection of former state legislators, including former House Minority Whip Michael Veon, D-Beaver. Amid criticism that he was targeting only Democrats, he later unloaded scores of criminal counts against the Republican former state House Speaker, state Rep. John Perzel, R-Philadelphia. He has made it clear he'll run on that record, but to date, the primary challenge from Mr. Rohrer has pushed Mr. Corbett to shore up his conservative credentials, leaving little time for internal party messages about crime-busting. 'You might see that coming,' Mr. Corbett said, 'but right now we don't need that for the primary.'" (Post-Gazette 4/27/2010)The lying isn't just confined to Corbett's campaign lackeys. Corbett has fostered a culture of lying among his staff at the Office of Attorney General, too.
Here is Senior Deputy Attorney General and liar Frank Fina, the man entrusted with the bonusgate investigation and prosecution:
"There's no ledger for politics in the crimes code...Anybody who violated the law is going to get it" (Patriot News 7/31/08)But Corbett and Fina know that State Representative Matt Wright did exactly what bonusgagte defendants did and they refused to indict him. (PA Ethics Commission Order #1541 12/15/09)
Here is lying Senior Deputy Attorney General K. Kenneth Brown II explaining why bonusgate defendants were handcuffed:
“A felony is a felony, and if it is a felony, you get cuffed. The law makes no distinction for white collar crimes, and neither do we.” (Patriot News 11/13/09)As everyone knows, Brett Feese, Steve Stetler, Bill DeWeese, Sharon Rodavich, Jeff Foreman, Scott Brubaker and Jen Brubaker were not put in handcuffs. And, Brown is blantantly lying about the law concerning handcuffs. He simply made that up.
Lying about the law brings us to another Fina lie, this time in an effort to cover for the Corbett campaign's hundreds of illegal phone calls to and from OAG staff on their taxpayer-funded phones on the taxpayer time:
"Using a campaign telephone to call home, to call for a pizza, to call your office to check in or to call your mother is not a crime." (Post Gazette 4/17/10)Sorry, Frank, but it is. Charlie Young, the official spokesperson of the Pennsylvania Department of State, says so:
“If they’re using campaign funds for anything other than to influence the outcome of an election, then they’re violating campaign finance and reporting law.” (Norristown Times Herald 4/19/10)
(Since Corbett's campaign staff don't work or live at the Office of Attorney General, and vice versa -- or do they? -- we wonder if Fina thinks they were calling one another to order pizza or looking for their mothers.)
It may seem silly for Corbett and his team to lie so much. He is the odds-on favorite to be the next Governor and, as the prosecutors, they are holding the all the cards against the bonusgate defendants. But make no mistake...they aren't being silly. Take Corbett's absurd sense of entitlement, combined with a compliant press corps that functions as stenographers rather than journalists, and you get a politician who makes it up as he goes along. The same goes for the people he's chosen to surround himself with.
And if lying is the modus operandi of Corbett's OAG, just imagine a Corbett Administration.