"_____ does not seem to understand that it is unethical to allow his office to prosecute his close friends, neighbors and contributors to his campaign ... How can _____ not understand the appearance of impropriety? Maybe he interprets the law differently when it applies to himself. _____ should immediately return the [campaign contributions] and apologize to the voters for his ethical conflict and the appearance that the top law enforcement office in Pennsylvania is for sale in exchange for political and legal favors."Think it's one of gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett's political adversaries, speaking of Corbett and his "investigations" of his own close friends and contributors? We can see how you might make that mistake.
Actually, it's Corbett's taxpayer-funded campaign manger, Brian Nutt, sputtering with indignation about Corbett's primary opponent Bruce Castor, way back in 2004. (Corbett Campaign Press Release 4/23/04)
In the April 24, 2004 press release, Corbett's mouthpiece howled about Castor's failure to recuse himself from a case involving a campaign contributor.
In case that's not hilarious enough, several Pennsylvania District Attorneys also volunteered to hyperventilate for the press.
Among the pearl-clutchers was Bedford County District Attorney Bill Higgins, who described how he once found himself in a similar dilemma. "I felt it was necessary to immediately recuse myself to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest."
But Corbett did not recuse himself to avoid a conflict of interest three years later when rape accusations against his close political ally and campaign contributor Higgins were referred to his office. Ever-so-coincidentally, Corbett dropped the case. (Altoona Mirror 2/27/09) Furthermore, Corbett has refused to turn over any documentation of his rape investiation of Higgins so the alleged victim could prepare an appeal. (Johnstown Tribune-Democrat 4/9/10)
Another D.A. aghast at Castor's ethical lapse was York County District Attorney Stan Rebert. "This was an obvious conflict of interest and Mr. Castor should have recused himself."
But Corbett did not recuse himself a year later when called upon to investigate Rebert, a longtime political supporter. Again, not-so-surprisingly, no charges were filed against Rebert. (York Dispatch 1/28/06) When incriminating new information emerged in the form of sworn depositions, Corbett refused to re-open his investigation. (York Daily Record 2/28/06)
Most importantly, Corbett did not recuse himself from investigating the Pennsylvania House and Senate Republican Caucuses, whose members have contributed millions to Corbett's various political campaigns.
“Why would someone give an Attorney General candidate over $500,000? Is it because they are expecting something in return? Or is it in return for a favor already performed? Voters throughout Pennsylvania and the nation are increasingly concerned about the powerful influence of major contributors like ______ and the political – and apparently in this case the legal – favors they expect in return."AMEN! Oh, wait. That was Nutt talking about Castor and the campaign contributor from whose case Castor failed to recuse himself. (Corbett Campaign Press Release 4/19/04)
Remember when Corbett adamantly maintained he should head up the bonusgate investigation even though many of his ostensible targets in the legislature were prominent supporters? (Tribune Review 1/24/08)
Corbett has yet to indict any significant supporter who serves or has served in the state legislature. In fact, he's completely ignored the Senate Republican Caucus, which awarded the largest bonuses to staff who worked on campaigns. Although John Perzel eventually was sacrificed for the appearance of nonpartisanship, Perzel's refusal to support Corbett's gubernatorial primary campaign, during a private meeting between Perzel, Corbett and Nutt in October of 2007, preceded Perzel's indictment.
"Maybe he interprets the law differently when it applies to himself."
Maybe, Brian. Maybe...