Monday, July 12, 2010

HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT


It will come as no surprise that we at CasablancaPA take great delight whenever Gubernatorial Candidate Tom Corbett's frequent boneheaded moves create a minor media stir.

As you can imagine, his mind-boggling declaration that Pennsylvanians would rather collect unemployment than work was music to our ears. Pleasantly, his gaffe was reported by all the major news outlets in the state, including the Inquirer, the Post-Gazette, the Morning Call, the Patriot-News, WDUQ, and of course the outlet that broke the story, WITF.

Similarly, Corbett's failed attempt to use a grand jury subpoena to expose a couple of anonymous online critics tickled us pink. Even better, that gaffe was picked up by major national media outlets, including The New York Times, USA Today, Wired magazine, Politico, Talking Points Memo and TechCrunch.

What makes us weep into our whiskey down at the Blue Parrot are all of Corbett's boneheaded moves that gather little or no media attention. For example, not a single news outlet pointed out that Corbett's refusal to recuse himself from investigating political supporters (Or this one. Or this one.) directly contradicted his howls of indignation four years earlier over his opponent's much less significant lapse.

The secret meeting between investigation target John Perzel and Corbet and his campaign manager, and the Corbett fund-raiser hosted by target Brian Preski was reported in precisely one newspaper.

The Daily News was also the sole outlet to report on Corbett's appalling use of state agents to intimidate a legislator who criticized him.

And only one newspaper and one television station have reported on the hundreds of phone calls Corbett's state-paid staff exchanged on their state phones during state time with Corbett's campaign workers. (Neither managed to get even a well-crafted lie out of Corbett in his own defense).

Even though both the Patriot-News and Tribune-Review reported that House Republican computers were replaced mid-investigation with Corbett's knowledge and permission, neither they nor any other news outlet seemed to recall that salient fact when Corbett nearly blew a gasket over all that missing evidence. Nor did anyone seem to remember John Morganelli's all-too-true prediction, which earned him only the threat of a lawsuit from the now-curiously-quiet Sam Smith.

While the mountain of evidence linking Bill DeWeese to Bonusgate is well-documented, guess how many outlets have questioned why (or even noticed that) DeWeese escaped indictment in the case? That's right: Zip. Zero. Nada.

Corbett's comments about the unemployed reveal that he's ignorant. And his Twitter subpoena reveals that he's a thin-skinned bully. But his lesser-noticed blunders reveal something far more dangerous than an ignorant, thin-skinned bully.

81 comments:

Anonymous said...

"But his lesser-noticed blunders reveal something far more dangerous than an ignorant, thin-skinned bully."

Amen. It is quite clear that Tom Corbett is willing to use the power of his office to harass and intimidate his critics and those who are not politically well connected. The politically motivated prosecutions demonstrate quite clearly that he is a menace to the rule of law. God save us from Tom Corbett. --Dolley Madison

Anonymous said...

Veon To Stay Put -- the PA Superior Court denied on appeal former State Rep. Mike Veon’s motion to delay his 6-to-14 year sentence for his involvement in the “Bonusgate” case until after his separate corruption case involving the nonprofit Beaver Initiative for Growth (BIG)…defense attorneys filed the motion last month, arguing that the judge who sentenced Veon, Richard A. Lewis, abused his discretion by not allowing Veon to post bail so that he may prepare for the BIG case…the former legislator has been incarcerated since June 18 in Camp Hill Correctional Institute.

Another loss by the "Dream Team"...Mike sure is getting his money's worth from these guys - which is $0.

Anonymous said...

When guys like Corbett use political justice power as a means to advance, it comes back on them, just like the Borgia's.

A mountain of evidence building up step by step. once it hits new heights, Corbett will fall.

Anonymous said...

Mike Veon is innocent and will be totally exonerated upon appeal.

The champion of working brothers and sisters has been unfairly targeted by the big-money union-busting goons from Harrisburg.

All union rank and file must support Mike's release and return to political leadership for more high-paying low-skilled union jobs with full benefits, vacations, and time off.

Support the complete slate of candidates endorsed by the Beaver-Lawrence Central Labor Council for a worker-first socialist economy in Western PA with sustained increases in payroll headcounts.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of hiding in plain sight: why were staffers like Cott, Rosepink and Keefer indicted, while seemingly more culpable staffers like Eric Webb and Eric Buxton not? Is it just because the Erics weren't directly on Veon's staff?

And why aren't those who testified in the Stetler hearing, like Widemer and Jones, also just as culpable.

I'm not arguing more staffers should get in trouble - I hope not - just that some were treated so differently and lost their reputations, jobs, pensions, liberty, future, etc. - while others got promotions, bonuses and still have their jobs (Steiner Blaner, Caton, Bliss, Pronesti, and on and on).

At bonusgate trial the testimony was the bonuses were thought up and promoted by Manzo and Brubaker - not Cott.

Anonymous said...

In today's Daily News Commonwealth Confidential column there is a story about a Philly City Council staffer sending out political fundraising invites on a city e mail during city time. How is this different than bonusgate?

In the Philly Mag article regarding Gov's relationship with Dr. Kirstin Snowe, he is quoted as saying he takes this state employee along with him to political fundraisers because as he is a lameduck it's harder to raise $, and she is beautiful and has pizzaz, so she makes raising money easier. Why isn't this like bonusgate?

If GOP Senate staffer when he was employed there advertised his political consulting business in a campaign magazine, and listed his state contact info., how is thius different than bonusgate?

Anonymous said...

A Campaign Commercial That needs to be put out Now For 15-30 Second Clip by Onorato Campaign:

Tom Corbett used Commonwealth Tax Dollars to Find Out who was criticizing him and his campaign.

After he was soundly rejected and warned, it was illegal only then did he back off and stop using Commonwealth Tax Dollars to stop Political Speech.

THINK about it, if Tom Corbett did such Police State Abuses to search out Citizens Privacy and Political Speech as Attorney General what do you think he will do when he has more power as Governor?

THINK ABOUT IT, OUR FOUNDING FATHERS FOUGHT FOR FREE SPEECH AGAINST THE TYRANNY OF AUTHORITIES THAT WANTED TO STOP IT, WE CANNOT AFFORD TOM CORBETT AS GOVERNOR?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...In today's Daily News Commonwealth Confidential column there is a story about a Philly City Council staffer sending out political fundraising invites on a city e mail during city time. How is this different than bonusgate?



The AG chooses to chose those that break the law and those that can break the law using E-Mails anytime especially Republican State Senators.

It is called Corbett Code Of Conduct Condoning Corruption.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...In the Philly Mag article regarding Gov's relationship with Dr. Kirstin Snowe, he is quoted as saying he takes this state employee along with him to political fundraisers because as he is a lameduck it's harder to raise $, and she is beautiful and has pizzaz, so she makes raising money easier. Why isn't this like bonusgate? July 14, 2010 2:39 PM


In regards to the Governor's Actions on Ms. Snowe looks and sexual attractiveness to raise money, well that is a good case for Sexual Harassment at the very least.

Where are the women’s groups on this kind of behavior this is the argument Airlines used to hire only good looking Female Flight Attendants saying that was what their customers preferred, but was outlawed by the Supreme Court.

Governor Fast Eddie seems to be pimping out a Doctor Looks to raise money for his Lame Duck status.

Why didn't Governor Fast Eddie pimp Dr. Snowe out to raise $10 Million for John Murtha and Arlen Specter Libraries instead of using $20 million of Commonwealth Tax Dollars?

How many grade schools could have used this $20 million for kids to learn instead of museums no one will visit.

We can now call the Last Days of Fast Eddie, as The Dame Duck Governor!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...If GOP Senate staffer when he was employed there advertised his political consulting business in a campaign magazine, and listed his state contact info., how is this different than bonusgate? July 14, 2010 2:39 PM


Interesting, that a Republican Senatorial Staffer that is supposed to be investigated by AG Corbett for campaigning on State Time, was advertising in the Magazines and is now working for AG Tom Corbett Campaign?

Team Casa needs to post the date of that ad and the ad see if Newspapers will report it?

How can a righteous Newspapers owned by Dick Scaife that believes in living a moral life but takes money to print advertisements for bars, bookies, and sexual meetings, then goes to church and claims to support only morally honest politically candidates.

Moreover, Scaife spent Billions of dollars to sink Bill Clinton.

Now remains silent on no investigations for Republican Senate Staffers that now work for Corbett?

Anonymous said...

ONE QUESTION FOR CORBETT BY ANY NEWSPAPER REPORTER, POLITICAL REPORTER, OR MEDIA PUNDIT?

How can you and the OAG be investigating former State Senators Staffers When you have hired them for your own Campaign?

Anonymous said...

This will all blow away. But Tom's troubles won't end for a while. Not when his people don't have any idea what a honeypot is used for.

Anonymous said...

BAD LAWYERING

Protection from bad lawyering -- particularly ineffective assistance of counsel -- was the largest category of attorney cases at the Supreme Court this term.

One can say we're seeing more error correction by the Court in this category than we used to see, said high court veteran litigator Roy Englert of Washington's Robbins, Russell, Englert, Orseck, Untereiner & Sauber. "Why is the tougher question."

He suggested the justices have decided that, for some reason, it is important for them to correct errors in both directions -- for and against the defendant.

They may also have determined that the lower courts don't have enough guidance or are making too many egregious mistakes that cry out for correction by the Supreme Court.

The cases in this category involved standards for finding ineffective assistance in a variety of situations:

1. defense lawyers who gave horribly poor closing arguments;

2. offered wrong advice about the consequences of a guilty plea;

3. were too inexperienced to handle a capital sentencing phase;

4. and missed a critical filing deadline on a capital appeal.

There also was a case on civil liability for prosecutors who sought and used false testimony at trial.

The results are a mixed bag for defendants.

The prosecutor case -- Pottawattamie County v. McGhee -- settled after arguments.

In two other argued cases, the defendants emerged victorious as Prosecutor's were cowards after hearing oral arugments and teh Justices commnets about their behavior.

Pottawattamie County taxpayers got stuck with a $12 million dollar bill and teh Prosecutors did not pay one dime.

SCOTUS is about to change that kind of Prosecutors behavior real soon, they are looking for a case that will solve both indivindual and political misuse of justice by elected Prosecutors eeking higher office.

In Padilla v. Kentucky, the Court ruled that lawyers must inform defendants weighing a guilty plea of the immigration consequences of such a plea.

And in Holland v. Florida, in which a defense lawyer missed a critical filing deadline, the justices held that the habeas filing clock can be equitably tolled in certain circumstances.

Ineffective assistance of counsel claims did not succeed in Smith v. Spisak and Wood v. Allen, the closing argument and inexperienced counsel cases, respectively.

But the Court, in per curiam rulings, handed success or a second chance to defendants alleging such claims in Porter v. McCollum and Sears v. Upton. Not so fortunate were the defendants in per curiam decisions in Bobby v. Van Hook, Wong v. Belmontes and Jefferson v. Upton.

Calling it "wild speculation on my part," Englert suggested that the Court's ineffective assistance of counsel precedent -- Strickland v. Washington -- provided an "abstract" set of standards.

The justices may have learned, in the 26 years since Strickland was decided, that those standards are so abstract that they are easily malleable by the lower courts.

To achieve consistency, they may now see that Strickland is not enough.

Like American University's Vladeck, Englert, who filed an amicus brief in Spisak supporting the defendant, said he resists the tendency to look for trends for the sake of trends.

But, he added, "I do think the number of cases was so remarkable this term, and the fact that the justices pushed in both directions does suggest some critical mass of the justices, consciously or subconsciously, embarked on a project."

Anonymous said...

Tom Corbett insulted hundreds of thousands of unemployed Pennsylvania workers, by saying the following:

"People don't want to come back to work while they still have unemployment. They're literally telling - I'll come back to work when the unemployment runs out. That's becoming a problem. The jobs are there, but if we keep extending unemployment the people are just gonna sit there and...I've literally had construction companies tell me, I can't get people to come back to work, until - we'll come back when unemployment runs out."

Our families deserve a Governor who understands how to create jobs, not a Harrisburg insider who is out of touch with the issues everyday Pennsylvanians face.

Tom Corbett's claim that 'the jobs are there' is preposterous. And his insistence on blaming the victims of this economic crisis is insulting.

Anonymous said...

Attorney Generals, District Attorneys, Prosecutors, and law enforcement officials who participate in any frauds are worse than the worst criminals — they are abusing their positions and power to victimize the powerless in order to further their own careers.

There should be NO immunity.

At a minimum, each and every such public official who knowingly causes innocent people to be convicted should serve the time (combined) of the people they framed.

They are not above the law, but should in fact hold themselves, and be held, to a higher standard.

The Prosecutors should be immediately incarcerated and required to serve an sentence equivalent to that served by those they cheated.

We have a pretty good idea of when this issue will come back.

My guess is that it will come back in a withholding exculpatory, rather than a manufacturing inculpatory, context.

The only pity is that the prosecutors aren’t paying any of it, but this could change as well.

Anonymous said...

What ever happened to the target letter of 6 months ago served on Todd Eachus?

Anonymous said...

Corbett is unstoppable.

Anonymous said...

Corbett’s misuse of Runaway Grand Juries executed by Rascal Prosecutors for political purposes is disgraceful and needs to be reformed.

It is the identical technique J. Edgar Hoover exhausted when approved to investigate Communists by President Roosevelt.

Hoover used this broad power to investigate and blackmail every politician in America for his own purposes.

AG Corbett’s 4-year investigation has pull together information on every Pennsylvanian Politician especially the Judicial and Legislative Branches.

Corbett has been very selective of whom he will go after and everyone is frighten it mnay be them.

AG Corbett will use this information for his own political agenda when he is Governor.

This is why Corbett’s inquiry has been very selective so he can control many of the lawmakers.

This is enormously detrimental for any Democracy and civil liberties of common citizens, let alone a vicious use of justice for one political party gain for one man in power.

If they can go after any elected official any time, they can come for regular populace at anytime as well.

Corbett needs to be stopped and The Supreme Court Of The United States is the place to take Corbett and his henchmen and campaign collaborators on at a fair and impartial argument about Corbett and his Prosecutors wrongdoing.

Anonymous said...

As feds close in on Sen Mellow and Sen Musto, and Allegheny DA closes in on Sen Orie, why No absolutely NO indictments by AG in the Senate?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone been following the Philadelphia Family Court building stories in the Philkadelphia Inquirer? Tell me how Chief Justice Castille and former Rendell CofStaff John Estey are avoiding investigation by AG?

Anonymous said...

Watchdog calls for independent investigation of Family Court project
Saturday, July 3rd, 2010
By: Tom MacDonald
tmacdonald@whyy.org

A political watchdog group is calling on the Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court to take himself out of a controversial project.

The Committee of 70 says Chief Justice Ron Castille should not have selected a friend to investigate problems with the construction of a new Family Court building in Philadelphia.

Zack Stalberg is head of the watchdog group and says Justice Castille should completely remove himself from the process after appointing a truly independent investigator.

"I think he should get him out of this deal. There is no reason a judge should be supervising the construction of a courthouse.

The state has an elaborborate process to do that in a fair and intelligent way.

It would be good for the public and good for him if he stepped out of this arrangement."

Stalberg says the problem is the deal is, in his words, tainted.

The co-developer of the project was also advising the state and the court in selecting the site for the new family court building.

These are legitimate questions whether the actions were taken by the head of an executive agency or by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

The heads of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, state Rep. Thomas Caltigirone, D-Berks, and state Sen. Stewart Greenleaf, R-Montgomery, have indicated no interest in looking into the situation surrounding Justice Castille.

Anonymous said...

HOW FAMILY COURT MESS DAMAGES THE COURT

PENNSYLVANIA:

Chief Justice Ron Castille showed a stunning lack of judgment when he involved himself in a disastrous real-estate deal to build a new family court; the deal blew up after an Inquirer investigation found that Jeffrey Rotwitt, the lawyer Castille hired to handle the deal, admitted he also had a side deal with the property owner developing the site.

That disaster has cost the public $12 million.

Castille compounded his bad judgment when he hired a lawyer to look into what invoices were paid to Rotwitt (by Castille) and for what.

He has since hired another lawyer, a former deputy of his, to investigate the deal.

How can Castille possibly believe that either of these would lead to a thorough, impartial report on this expensive mess - including his own oversight of the project?

In fact, if this is his version of an impartial investigation into a serious matter, he has no business being on the bench.

Twelve million dollars is a lot of public money to have been squandered on a questionable deal. But that's not even where the biggest damage lies.

The erosion of trust in the courts is where Castille has done the most damage. That's bad for any judge; for the head of the state's highest court, that should be a firing offense.

We're not suggesting any illegal or nefarious dealings on the part of Castille, only bad oversight of a complex deal that he should have seen from the beginning he had no business wading into.

Before entering into a real-estate deal, he should have asked: If this blows up, how could this damage the court?

And make no mistake: Now that the deal has blown up, the court is damaged.

This week, the developer who holds the rights to the 15th and Arch streets site is battling the Philadelphia Parking Authority in the courts over control of the property.

Philadelphia's courts are overseen by Justice Castille, which may be why the developer filed in Bankruptcy Court.

How can Castille possibly preside over subsequent court battles on this? Even if he recuses himself, any decision will be tainted by his involvement.

And although the FBI is investigating the deal, the silence from state leaders, especially calling for an independent investigation, is disturbing.

The auditor general hasn't yet determined whether to investigate. The state's attorney general has a policy of not confirming or denying investigations.

The state attorney general is also running for governor.

We trust this isn't a factor in any decision to investigate, though current or potential governors can't be blamed if they're shy about challenging the highest court, whose decisions can affect them.

We aren't saying this is the case, but that such a scenario could even be discussed suggests just how many hand grenades come attached to this deal due to Castille's role.

The public deserves a full review of this deal, and the propriety of Castille's role in it.

The Judicial Conduct Board of Pennsylvania says, "Judges should refrain from financial and business dealings that tend to reflect adversely on their impartiality, interfere with the proper performance of their judicial duties, exploit their judicial position, or involve them in frequent transactions with lawyers or persons likely to come before the court on which they serve."

This sums up the Family Court mess pretty well. More than this, Castille's lack of sound judgment has breached our confidence in the courts. For that reason, he should step down.


http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/20100625_HOW_FAMILY_COURT_MESS_DAMAGES_THE_COURT.html

Anonymous said...

HOW FAMILY COURT MESS DAMAGES THE COURT

PENNSYLVANIA:

Chief Justice Ron Castille showed a stunning lack of judgment when he involved himself in a disastrous real-estate deal to build a new family court; the deal blew up after an Inquirer investigation found that Jeffrey Rotwitt, the lawyer Castille hired to handle the deal, admitted he also had a side deal with the property owner developing the site.

That disaster has cost the public $12 million.

Castille compounded his bad judgment when he hired a lawyer to look into what invoices were paid to Rotwitt (by Castille) and for what.

He has since hired another lawyer, a former deputy of his, to investigate the deal.

How can Castille possibly believe that either of these would lead to a thorough, impartial report on this expensive mess - including his own oversight of the project?

In fact, if this is his version of an impartial investigation into a serious matter, he has no business being on the bench.

Twelve million dollars is a lot of public money to have been squandered on a questionable deal. But that's not even where the biggest damage lies.

The erosion of trust in the courts is where Castille has done the most damage. That's bad for any judge; for the head of the state's highest court, that should be a firing offense.

We're not suggesting any illegal or nefarious dealings on the part of Castille, only bad oversight of a complex deal that he should have seen from the beginning he had no business wading into.

Before entering into a real-estate deal, he should have asked: If this blows up, how could this damage the court?

And make no mistake: Now that the deal has blown up, the court is damaged.

This week, the developer who holds the rights to the 15th and Arch streets site is battling the Philadelphia Parking Authority in the courts over control of the property.

Philadelphia's courts are overseen by Justice Castille, which may be why the developer filed in Bankruptcy Court.

How can Castille possibly preside over subsequent court battles on this? Even if he recuses himself, any decision will be tainted by his involvement.

And although the FBI is investigating the deal, the silence from state leaders, especially calling for an independent investigation, is disturbing.

The auditor general hasn't yet determined whether to investigate. The state's attorney general has a policy of not confirming or denying investigations.

The state attorney general is also running for governor.

We trust this isn't a factor in any decision to investigate, though current or potential governors can't be blamed if they're shy about challenging the highest court, whose decisions can affect them.

We aren't saying this is the case, but that such a scenario could even be discussed suggests just how many hand grenades come attached to this deal due to Castille's role.

The public deserves a full review of this deal, and the propriety of Castille's role in it.

The Judicial Conduct Board of Pennsylvania says, "Judges should refrain from financial and business dealings that tend to reflect adversely on their impartiality, interfere with the proper performance of their judicial duties, exploit their judicial position, or involve them in frequent transactions with lawyers or persons likely to come before the court on which they serve."

This sums up the Family Court mess pretty well. More than this, Castille's lack of sound judgment has breached our confidence in the courts. For that reason, he should step down.


http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/20100625_HOW_FAMILY_COURT_MESS_DAMAGES_THE_COURT.html

Anonymous said...

It would now be irresponsible to release $200 million for a project that has become so polluted.

It’s unfortunate because the city desperately needs a new Family Court and construction would have brought jobs and other economic opportunities.

The timing couldn’t be worse.

A federal investigation of possible illegalities is important, but can’t take the place of an independent review authorized by Governor Rendell.

The federal investigation is a separate probe that could take years, and it would not necessarily get to the bottom of how millions of taxpayer dollars were spent without clear written contracts or a competitive bidding process.

These are structural issues that the Commonwealth and the judicial system must resolve.

Anonymous said...

WHEN SUPREME COURT justices make a ruling, we can read their decisions to see what they were thinking.

Unfortunately, the same insight is not so forthcoming on what state Chief Justice Ron Castille was thinking when he decided to provide oversight for a $200 million Family Court project that has been bungled so badly that at least $12 million in public dollars have been spent so far with no clear accounting of where the money went.

The investigation by the Inquirer, where Castille said he learned of it.

What was Castille thinking when he decided to undertake a major development project with no public process, no bids, no effort to make sure the spoils didn't go to the same small group of political insiders who so often get this work.

Projects of this size are typically handled by the state's division of general services, which subjects projects of this size to bids.

Did no one think to point this out to Castille earlier?

Castille's lawyer drafted a letter on behalf of the justice demanding invoices that support $12 million in payments made by the courts.

That request is sterling evidence that Castille had no business overseeing the project:

The time to ask for, and understand, those invoices was before they get paid, not after.

The state's auditor general and/or the attorney general should launch an independent and thorough investigation to uncover where this public money went, and whether it was responsibly spent.

The grand jury that just delivered a stunning forensics on the Legislature could tackle this one.

The Public needs a ruling from the state's Judicial Conduct board, not because of any criminal wrongdoing, but because the ethics of the kind of involvement Castille had in this project need to be clarified.

After all, what's a Supreme Court justice doing as a point person on such a large and expensive project?

He is in charge of administering the court system, but that means pushing for improvements to the system, like determining the need and ensuring funding for a new building, not picking out the carpets and drapes for that building.

Why was the reason the division of general services was sidestepped related to the separation of powers within government?

Public dollars are public dollars and should be subjected to scrutiny and transparency, no matter what branch of government is spending them.

Maintaining the public's confidence in the judiciary is the main job of Castille and every state judge.

The stench that rises from the Family Court project certainly undermines confidence, if not in the justice system, then in the chief justice's wisdom in forgoing a more proper and public process.

Anonymous said...

What was Castille thinking when he decided to undertake a major development project with no public process, no bids, no effort to make sure the spoils didn't go to the same small group of political insiders who so often get this work.

Projects of this size are typically handled by the state's division of general services, which subjects projects of this size to bids.

Did no one think to point this out to Castille earlier?

The state's auditor general and/or the attorney general should launch an independent and thorough investigation to uncover where this public money went, and whether it was responsibly spent.

The grand jury that just delivered a stunning forensics on the Legislature could tackle this one.

The Public needs a ruling from the state's Judicial Conduct board, not because of any criminal wrongdoing, but because the ethics of the kind of involvement Castille had in this project need to be clarified.

After all, what's a Supreme Court justice doing as a point person on such a large and expensive project?

He is in charge of administering the court system, but that means pushing for improvements to the system, like determining the need and ensuring funding for a new building, not picking out the carpets and drapes for that building.

Public dollars are public dollars and should be subjected to scrutiny and transparency, no matter what branch of government is spending them.

Maintaining the public's confidence in the judiciary is the main job of Castille and every state judge.

The stench that rises from the Family Court project certainly undermines confidence, if not in the justice system, then in the chief justice's wisdom in forgoing a more proper and public process.

Anonymous said...

It makes one wonder why some Legislators are under investigation after theyu went to bat to increase the Judges salaries.

The same Judges should be investigated for spending over $12 million dollars, 4 times of what Bonusgate was spent by Caucus Leaders.

No Senators held accountable or being investigated, no Judges held accountable or being investigated by any State Agency?

Only Mike Veon sits in jail for understanding the needs of Judges for a higher salary and a Judge put him jail far beyond any reasonable sentencing.

Who were the Superior Court Judges that denied Mike Veon his appeal?

Why isn't this ever reported?

Anonymous said...

In 1994, Justice Rolf Larsen was convicted on felony conspiracy charges after acquiring Valium through scripts written for his employees.

In 2006, after ruling that the legislature's predawn pay raise was unconstitutional, the justices reinstated the increase for the state system's thousand judges, including, it so happens, themselves.

In a case of Do as I say, not as I do, the court determined the state's constitution bans salary cuts for the judiciary

Castille serves as the top administrator of the state's massive court system and adjudicates complex cases as well. Why was he engaged in a complex real estate deal?

"You know . . . Chief Justice [of the United States] John Roberts doesn't make real estate deals," said Duquesne Law professor Bruce Ledewitz, a frequent court critic

Philadelphia can be a very small town, and not always in a good way.

The first lawyer Castille hired to investigate Rotwitt's double-dipping was Henry E. Hockeimer Jr. of Ballard Spahr.

Ballard had already received almost half a million dollars to work on the government-relations aspect of Family Court, led by John Estey, Rendell's former chief of staff. Ballard, you may recall, paid Rendell almost half a million while he was running for governor.

"I can't lie about it," he said prior to his election. "My office is like a museum over there."

The next lawyer the chief justice hired to clean up the mess, William G. Chadwick, served as Castille's top deputy when Castille was Philadelphia district attorney.

Last year, Castille hired Chadwick for a $150,000 no-bid consulting contract to review the Philadelphia court system.

Doesn't Castille know any other lawyers?

How small is the world of Pennsylvania's Supreme Court? In 2007, when Ledewitz called the high court "even more corrupt than the legislature," Castille - a retired Marine and Vietnam War hero who you'd think would have tougher skin - wanted the court's disciplinary board to rebuke the law professor for his comments.

At the time, the disciplinary board was chaired by Newman's son Jonathan, then "of counsel" at Obermayer.

Now, the FBI has launched a criminal investigation into the Family Court development deal.

Last week, Chester County Rep. Curt Schroder, a Republican like Castille, called for yet another investigation.

He wants the auditor general or an independent commission to scrutinize the "fiasco" overseen by Castille.

Anonymous said...

In 1994, Justice Rolf Larsen was convicted on felony conspiracy charges after acquiring Valium through scripts written for his employees.

In 2006, after ruling that the legislature's predawn pay raise was unconstitutional, the justices reinstated the increase for the state system's thousand judges, including, it so happens, themselves.

In a case of Do as I say, not as I do, the court determined the state's constitution bans salary cuts for the judiciary

Castille serves as the top administrator of the state's massive court system and adjudicates complex cases as well. Why was he engaged in a complex real estate deal?

"You know . . . Chief Justice [of the United States] John Roberts doesn't make real estate deals," said Duquesne Law professor Bruce Ledewitz, a frequent court critic

Philadelphia can be a very small town, and not always in a good way.

The first lawyer Castille hired to investigate Rotwitt's double-dipping was Henry E. Hockeimer Jr. of Ballard Spahr.

Ballard had already received almost half a million dollars to work on the government-relations aspect of Family Court, led by John Estey, Rendell's former chief of staff. Ballard, you may recall, paid Rendell almost half a million while he was running for governor.

"I can't lie about it," he said prior to his election. "My office is like a museum over there."

The next lawyer the chief justice hired to clean up the mess, William G. Chadwick, served as Castille's top deputy when Castille was Philadelphia district attorney.

Last year, Castille hired Chadwick for a $150,000 no-bid consulting contract to review the Philadelphia court system.

Doesn't Castille know any other lawyers?

How small is the world of Pennsylvania's Supreme Court? In 2007, when Ledewitz called the high court "even more corrupt than the legislature," Castille - a retired Marine and Vietnam War hero who you'd think would have tougher skin - wanted the court's disciplinary board to rebuke the law professor for his comments.

At the time, the disciplinary board was chaired by Newman's son Jonathan, then "of counsel" at Obermayer.

Now, the FBI has launched a criminal investigation into the Family Court development deal.

Last week, Chester County Rep. Curt Schroder, a Republican like Castille, called for yet another investigation.

He wants the auditor general or an independent commission to scrutinize the "fiasco" overseen by Castille.

Anonymous said...

Tom does super great things. Our next governor. Learn to love Thomas.

Anonymous said...

WHY CORBETT AND HIS UNEMPLOYMENT COMMENTS ARE OUTRIGHT WRONG AND STUPID:

Our nation began its existence in debt from the Revolutionary War.

Jefferson argued to eliminate the debt, and Hamilton argued it was necessary to keep the nation together.

The Hamiltonians won, the conservatives of their time, and consequently it has also been argued that this difference between these two founders was the beginning of the liberal/conservative split in our country.

President Jackson did not believe in debt, or banks for that matter, and he made a real effort to eliminate all federal debt.

He got it down to $18,000 just before leaving office.

There has not been another serious attempt to reduce the debt significantly since then.

It is clear that debt increases from every major war, and it’s equally clear to see that the debt is hardly ever reduced.

Even when it is reduced it ain’t by much, or for very long.

This obvious fact seems to be overlooked by the folks that tell us they want to reduce your taxes and shrink government – every time they increase the debt it is forever, because this nation does not pay its debt off, ever!

Since 1938 the Democrats have held the White house for 35 years, the Republicans for 36.

Over that time the national debt has increased at an average annual rate of 8.5%.

In years Democrats were in the White House there was an average increase of 8.3%.

In years the Republicans ran the White House the debt increased an average 9.2% per year.

Those averages aren’t that far apart, but they do show a bias toward more borrowing by Republicans than Democrats even including World War II.

CONTINUED BELOW:

Anonymous said...

CONTINUED FROM ABOVE:

In the Great Depression, Roosevelt tried deficit spending, but he was too timid.

Then he stopped in 1937 and the economy nose-dived. It took the humongous deficits of WWII to pull us out of the Great Depression.

Those deficits blasted the economy from depression into overdrive.

If you look at the 60+ year record of debt since the end of WWII, starting with Truman’s term, the difference between the two parties’ contributions to our national debt level change considerably.

Since 1946, Democratic presidents increased the national debt an average of only 3.2% per year.

The Republican presidents stay at an average increase of 9.2% per year. Republican Presidents out borrowed and spent Democratic presidents by a three to one ratio.

Putting that in very real terms; for every dollar a Democratic president has raised the national debt in the past 63 years Republican presidents have raised the debt by $2.84

Of course after the war, we had to pay off a huge national debt, but during that time, from 1946 to 1980, the economy was mainly quite prosperous.

We hit a bad recession under President Carter when President Reagan took office, and his early deficit spending made sense (though he didn't know it).

But then he continued to drive up the debt through the boom years that followed. That didn't make any sense.

Prior to the Neo-Conservative takeover of the Republican Party there was not much difference between the two parties’ debt philosophy.

They both worked together to minimize it. However the debt has been on a steady incline ever since the Reagan presidency.

The only exception to the steep increase over the last 30 years was during the Clinton presidency, when he brought spending under control and the debt growth down to almost zero.

Comparing the borrowing habits of the two parties since 1981, when the Neo-Conservative movement really took hold and government spending raced out of control, it is extremely obvious that the big spenders in Washington are Republicans and their party’s presidents.

The only Democratic president since then, Mr. Clinton raised the national debt an average of 4.3% per year. The Republican presidents (Reagan, Bush, and Bush II) raised the debt an average of 10.8% per year.

That is, for every dollar a Democratic President has raised the national debt in the past 30 years, Republican presidents have raised the debt by $2.52.

Any way you look at it Neo-Conservative Republican presidents cannot or will not control government spending.

We are now headed into the worst slump since 1938, and you better hope Obama can fix it because that was not a pretty time.

Unfortunately, as in the Great Depression, the extreme conservatives would rather trash the country than have our government succeed. They are much worse than Bush.

The main thing to remember is that, with consumer spending going down, business is going to lay people off—not hire them.

You can't blame business for this. It's just a vicious cycle that the economy gets into.

And you can't blame consumers for not spending in bad times.

The only way out of this, if we don't want to wait 10 years, is for the government to spend, pay unemployment insurance, or give tax breaks to people who will spend (not the rich).

Of course there's also the problem of the banks. Obama should stop saving the bankers, and just take over the bad banks. Once they're working they can be sold back to the private sector.

Anonymous said...

In the Great Depression, Roosevelt tried deficit spending, but he was too timid.

Then he stopped in 1937 and the economy nose-dived. It took the humongous deficits of WWII to pull us out of the Great Depression.

Those deficits blasted the economy from depression into overdrive.

If you look at the 60+ year record of debt since the end of WWII, starting with Truman’s term, the difference between the two parties’ contributions to our national debt level change considerably.

Since 1946, Democratic presidents increased the national debt an average of only 3.2% per year.

The Republican presidents stay at an average increase of 9.2% per year. Republican Presidents out borrowed and spent Democratic presidents by a three to one ratio.

Putting that in very real terms; for every dollar a Democratic president has raised the national debt in the past 63 years Republican presidents have raised the debt by $2.84

Of course after the war, we had to pay off a huge national debt, but during that time, from 1946 to 1980, the economy was mainly quite prosperous.

We hit a bad recession under President Carter when President Reagan took office, and his early deficit spending made sense (though he didn't know it).

But then he continued to drive up the debt through the boom years that followed. That didn't make any sense.

Prior to the Neo-Conservative takeover of the Republican Party there was not much difference between the two parties’ debt philosophy.

They both worked together to minimize it. However the debt has been on a steady incline ever since the Reagan presidency.

The only exception to the steep increase over the last 30 years was during the Clinton presidency, when he brought spending under control and the debt growth down to almost zero.

Comparing the borrowing habits of the two parties since 1981, when the Neo-Conservative movement really took hold and government spending raced out of control, it is extremely obvious that the big spenders in Washington are Republicans and their party’s presidents.

The only Democratic president since then, Mr. Clinton raised the national debt an average of 4.3% per year. The Republican presidents (Reagan, Bush, and Bush II) raised the debt an average of 10.8% per year.

That is, for every dollar a Democratic President has raised the national debt in the past 30 years, Republican presidents have raised the debt by $2.52.

Any way you look at it Neo-Conservative Republican presidents cannot or will not control government spending.

We are now headed into the worst slump since 1938, and you better hope Obama can fix it because that was not a pretty time.

Unfortunately, as in the Great Depression, the extreme conservatives would rather trash the country than have our government succeed. They are much worse than Bush.

The main thing to remember is that, with consumer spending going down, business is going to lay people off—not hire them.

You can't blame business for this. It's just a vicious cycle that the economy gets into.

And you can't blame consumers for not spending in bad times.

The only way out of this, if we don't want to wait 10 years, is for the government to spend, pay unemployment insurance, or give tax breaks to people who will spend (not the rich).

Of course there's also the problem of the banks. Obama should stop saving the bankers, and just take over the bad banks. Once they're working they can be sold back to the private sector.

Anonymous said...

CONTINUED BELOW:

Unfortunately, as in the Great Depression, the extreme conservatives would rather trash the country than have our government succeed. They are much worse than Bush.

The main thing to remember is that, with consumer spending going down, business is going to lay people off—not hire them.

You can't blame business for this. It's just a vicious cycle that the economy gets into.

And you can't blame consumers for not spending in bad times.

The only way out of this, if we don't want to wait 10 years, is for the government to spend, pay unemployment insurance, or give tax breaks to people who will spend (not the rich).

Of course there's also the problem of the banks. Obama should stop saving the bankers, and just take over the bad banks. Once they're working they can be sold back to the private sector.

Buck said...

Nothing is new under the sun. Read Tolstoy. Or see Scott Horton's blog for a short commentary on Tolstoy and how it might apply to YOU who are reading this. Stay in the legal system or stay in to reform it. You have a choice.

Whether you are involved in the State, Federal, or National Security part of the equation, you always have that choice.


http://harpers.org/archive/2010/07/hbc-90007308

Buck said...

Scott's summation:

Tolstoy’s criticism is withering, but alongside it he offers a powerful and very radical alternative vision—remarkable for its very simplicity. “The whole trouble lies in the fact that people think that there are conditions excluding the necessity of love in their intercourse with man, but such conditions do not exist. Things may be treated without love; one may chop wood, make bricks, forge iron without love; but one can no more deal with people without love than one can handle bees without care.” (pt. ii, ch. xxv) Can a justice system live up to its name while ignoring this principle? But the criticism hits its mark. Underneath the key failings at each step that he portrays in Resurrection lies the same phenomenon: the willingness of participants in the criminal justice system to view the accused as a means to one of their personal goals. In the absence of love, or at least respect for the fundamental humanity of the subject, the prospect that the system will produce something approaching justice disintegrates. The failing of this justice system lies not only in its victimization of the accused, but also in that it is unworthy of its other participants–the judges, jurors, prosecutors and defense counsel who populate the court rooms, as well the guards and administrators who run the prisons, living themselves in conditions but a halfstep removed from their charges. Resurrection remains one of the most deeply felt and most persuasive critiques of modern liberal notions of criminal justice.

Anonymous said...

TOM CORBETT CAMPIAGN CONTRIBUTORS:

PENNSYLVANIA FUTURE FUND
Conservative Policy Organization
2004-2010 21 $384,720
BLANK ROME LLP
Lawyers & Lobbyists
2004-2010 68 $195,798
ALTRIA
Tobacco companies & tobacco product sales
2008-2010 5 $151,000
DUANE MORRIS LLP
Lawyers & Lobbyists
2004-2010 19 $135,800
PENNSYLVANIA AUTOMOTIVE ASSOCIATION
Automotive
2004-2010 34 $133,500
BUCHANAN INGERSOLL & ROONEY
Lawyers & Lobbyists
2004-2010 77 $129,357
JOHN TEMPLETON FOUNDATION
Christian Conservative
2008 11 $128,000
SUNOCO INC
Oil & Gas
2004-2010 17 $96,750
MCNEES WALLACE & NURICK
Lawyers & Lobbyists
2004-2010 23 $96,131
USA WASTE SERVICES
Waste Management
2008 3 $85,000
METROPOLITAN REGIONAL COUNCIL OF CARPENTERS & JOINERS
General Trade Unions
2008 3 $78,000
PRIDE MOBILITY PRODUCTS
Pharmaceuticals & Health Products
2008-2010 16 $76,750
SW JACK DRILLING
Oil & Gas
2004-2010 5 $70,000
STRADLEY RONON STEVENS & YOUNG
Lawyers & Lobbyists
2008-2010 13 $63,150
PENNSYLVANIA INSTITUTE OF CPAS
Accountants
2004-2010 20 $53,500
BALLARD SPAHR ANDREWS & INGERSOLL
Lawyers & Lobbyists
2004-2008 7 $51,500
SAUL EWING LLP
Lawyers & Lobbyists
2004-2010 24 $48,850
SHEETZ
Food Processing & Sales
2004-2010 13 $48,850
PENNSYLVANIA ASSOCIATED BUILDERS & CONTRACTORS
General Contractors
2004-2010 5 $48,000
INSURANCE FEDERATION OF PENNSYLVANIA
Insurance
2004-2010 16 $47,300
PENNSYLVANIAN BUSINESS COUNCIL
Business Associations
2004-2010 8 $47,167
ECKERT SEAMANS CHERIN & MELLOTT
Lawyers & Lobbyists
2004-2010 22 $44,300
84 LUMBER
Building Materials & Equipment
2006-2010 8 $43,709
JONES DAY
Lawyers & Lobbyists
2004-2010 35 $43,481
BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON
Commercial Banks
2004-2010 11 $43,000
REED SMITH LLP
Lawyers & Lobbyists
2004-2010 19 $41,854
COMCAST
Telecom Services & Equipment
2006-2010 17 $41,300
AFSCME COUNCIL 13
Public Sector Unions
2006-2010 5 $40,000
COZEN OCONNOR PC
Lawyers & Lobbyists
2004-2010 12 $39,500
GREENLEE PARTNERS
Lawyers & Lobbyists
2004-2010 15 $39,043
PENNSYLVANIA STATE EDUCATION ASSOCIATION
Public Sector Unions
2004-2008 9 $38,800
RED APPLE GROUP
Miscellaneous Finance, Insurance & Real Estate
2008 6 $38,700
PENNSYLVANIA BANKERS ASSOCIATION
Commercial Banks
2004-2010 21 $38,600
OBERMAYER REBMANN MAXWELL & HIPPEL
Lawyers & Lobbyists
2004-2010 15 $35,250
WASTE MANAGEMENT
Lawyers & Lobbyists
2004-2010 18 $33,300
ELECTRICAL WORKERS LOCAL 98
General Trade Unions
2004-2010 6 $32,500
FIRSTENERGY CORP
Electric Utilities
2004-2010 11 $31,500
MCCORMICK TAYLOR
Construction Services
2008-2010 19 $31,500
AMERICAN INFRASTRUCTURE
General Contractors
2008-2010 3 $30,000
PENNSYLVANIA ORTHOPAEDIC SOCIETY
Health Professionals
2008-2010 4 $30,000
DRINKER BIDDLE & REATH
Lawyers & Lobbyists
2004-2010 13 $28,956
WOLF BLOCK SCHORR & SOLIS-COHEN
Lawyers & Lobbyists
2008 13 $26,845
KLETT LIEBER ROONEY & SCHORLING
Lawyers & Lobbyists
2004-2006 16 $26,656
PENNSYLVANIA FINANCIAL SERVICES ASSOCIATION
Finance & Credit Companies
2004-2010 11 $25,500
PENNSYLVANIA STATE CORRECTIONS OFFICERS ASSOCIATION
Public Sector Unions
2004-2010 9 $25,250
SWARTZ CAMPBELL LLC
Lawyers & Lobbyists
2004-2010 9 $24,500
HIGHMARK
Insurance
2004-2010 22 $24,350
DILWORTH PAXSON LLP
Lawyers & Lobbyists
2004-2010 17 $24,300

Anonymous said...

Keep donating money to Tom, he will make a great governor. I love Tom and so will you soon.

Anonymous said...

go tolstoi!

Anonymous said...

During Veon's trial, one of the state's witnesses, PJ Lavalle, testified he did political fundraising on state time for Veon, and that he did the same thing for Speaker McCall after Veon left the legislature. So...

Anonymous said...

Good to see Mike and Brett moved but they stil are victims of injustice, so long aas no senators, judges, and others are not fully investigated by Tom Corbett OAG.

Anonymous said...

I think Mike and Brett understands they are victims that were selected for crimes that did not HAPPEN SO LONG AS CORBETT'S CAMPAIGN IS DOING THE SAME THINGS, AS DEFINED BY FORMER SENTORS STAFFERS THAT HAVE BEEN HIRED BY CORBETT INSTEAD OF INVESTIGATED.....



Defense attorney William C. Costopoulos delivered a sharp cross examination that included one assertion that Ms. Cochran had spoken on behalf of one of the programs of Sen. Orie -- the "hearts of steel" campaign in honor of 9/11 heroes -- on one of the stops in which she said she was working for Justice Melvin's campaign.

Other testimony included John Contino, the director of the Pennsylvania Ethics Commission, who testified that state ethics laws forbid the use of commonwealth resources for political purposes -- a law that Sen. Orie voted for 12 years ago when she served in the state House.

Mr. Costopoulos suggested that some of the accusations are based on ill-defined law and interpretations by the commission.

Under questioning, Mr. Contino indicated that both the U.S. House and Senate have their own internal codes of ethics while Pennsylvania's ethics law classifies the use of a state office for partisan politics as a crime.

"Therefore, if Sen. Orie were in Washington, the allegations here would not be a crime," Mr. Costopoulos shot back.

In later testimony, which focused on what constitutes a "de minimus" violation, Mr. Contino argued that while the line is not brightly defined in the statute, members would understand if they were violating rules.

"It doesn't take an extreme amount of knowledge to know when the red flag's raised," Mr. Contino said.

Outside the courtroom, Mr. Costopoulos said he believes the state's ethics law is too vague.

"I don't think it can be adequately applied or defined," he said. "It cannot be applied fairly. Our position is that whatever she engaged in that she is charged with is trivial."

Anonymous said...

Growing Number of Prosecutions for Videotaping the Police
Prosecutions Draw Attention to Influence of Witness Videos;

That Anthony Graber broke the law in early March is indisputable. He raced his Honda motorcycle down Interstate 95 in Maryland at 80 mph, popping a wheelie, roaring past cars and swerving across traffic lanes.

But it wasn't his daredevil stunt that has the 25-year-old staff sergeant for the Maryland Air National Guard facing the possibility of 16 years in prison. For that, he was issued a speeding ticket.

It was the video that Graber posted on YouTube one week later -- taken with his helmet camera -- of a plainclothes state trooper cutting him off and drawing a gun during the traffic stop near Baltimore.

In early April, state police officers raided Graber's parents' home in Abingdon, Md.

They confiscated his camera, computers and external hard drives.

Graber was indicted for allegedly violating state wiretap laws by recording the trooper without his consent.

Arrests such as Graber's are becoming more common along with the proliferation of portable video cameras and cell-phone recorders. Videos of alleged police misconduct have become hot items on the Internet.

YouTube still features Graber's encounter along with numerous other witness videos.

"The message is clearly, 'Don't criticize the police,'" said David Rocah, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland who is part of Graber's defense team.

"With these charges, anyone who would even think to record the police is now justifiably in fear that they will also be criminally charged."

Carlos Miller, a Miami journalist who runs the blog "Photography Is Not a Crime," said he has documented about 10 arrests since he started keeping track in 2007. Miller himself has been arrested twice for photographing the police. He won one case on appeal, he said, while the other was thrown out after the officer twice failed to appear in court.

"They're just regular citizens with a cell-phone camera who happen to come upon a situation," Miller said. "If cops are doing their jobs, they shouldn't worry."

The ACLU of Florida filed a First Amendment lawsuit last month on behalf of a model who was arrested February 2009 in Boynton Beach. Fla.

Her crime: videotaping an encounter between police officers and her teenage son at a movie theater.

Prosecutors refused to file charges against Sharron Tasha Ford and her son.

Anonymous said...

Growing Number of Prosecutions for Videotaping the Police
Prosecutions Draw Attention to Influence of Witness Videos;

That Anthony Graber broke the law in early March is indisputable. He raced his Honda motorcycle down Interstate 95 in Maryland at 80 mph, popping a wheelie, roaring past cars and swerving across traffic lanes.

But it wasn't his daredevil stunt that has the 25-year-old staff sergeant for the Maryland Air National Guard facing the possibility of 16 years in prison. For that, he was issued a speeding ticket.

It was the video that Graber posted on YouTube one week later -- taken with his helmet camera -- of a plainclothes state trooper cutting him off and drawing a gun during the traffic stop near Baltimore.

Graber was indicted for allegedly violating state wiretap laws by recording the trooper without his consent.

Arrests such as Graber's are becoming more common along with the proliferation of portable video cameras and cell-phone recorders. Videos of alleged police misconduct have become hot items on the Internet.

YouTube still features Graber's encounter along with numerous other witness videos.

"The message is clearly, 'Don't criticize the police,'" said David Rocah, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland who is part of Graber's defense team.

"With these charges, anyone who would even think to record the police is now justifiably in fear that they will also be criminally charged."

Carlos Miller, a Miami journalist who runs the blog "Photography Is Not a Crime," said he has documented about 10 arrests since he started keeping track in 2007.

Miller himself has been arrested twice for photographing the police. He won one case on appeal, he said, while the other was thrown out after the officer twice failed to appear in court.

"They're just regular citizens with a cell-phone camera who happen to come upon a situation," Miller said.

"If cops are doing their jobs, they shouldn't worry."

The ACLU of Florida filed a First Amendment lawsuit last month on behalf of a model who was arrested February 2009 in Boynton Beach. Fla.

Her crime: videotaping an encounter between police officers and her teenage son at a movie theater.

Anonymous said...

"The police have cameras in their cars. I watch cops on TV," Ford said. "I'm very hurt by what happened. A lot of people are being abused by police in the same way."

Ford's lawyer, James Green, called videotaping "probably the most effective way to protect citizens against police officers who exaggerate or lie."

"Judges and juries want to believe law enforcement," he said.

"They want to believe police officers and unless you have credible evidence to contradict police officers, it's often very difficult to get judges or juries to believe the word of a citizen over a police officer."

NOW ONE KNOWS WHY CORBETT PROSECUTORS REFUSED TO RECORD THE GRAND JURIES TESTIMONY.

Anonymous said...

Tom will be the best Governor ever. He does everything the right way. Very refreshing an honest Politician. go Tom go.

Anonymous said...

Look for Justice Max Baer to become the next Chief Justice sooner than anyone expected.

Men with last names of vowels whisper it to me at a ba r.

The plot thickens as leadership in all 3 Branches seems to being replaced almost something like what happen in Futureworld Movie.

The change in political leadership is astounding the odds of that happening tells you it is being planned not just dumb luck.

Anonymous said...

Now The Big Question, How Dumb Is Gene Stilp To Ask Crbett to Investigate Himself When Corbett Will Not Even Investigate Senators Staffers Corbett Hired On His Campaign???

Should went to FBI Election Corruption Unit!

Activist Gene Stilp asks Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett's office to investigate Corbett campaign mailing

Thursday, April 01, 2010, 10:23 AM
JAN MURPHY, The Patriot-News

A campaign solicitation mailing has put Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett in the cross-hairs of a complaint filed with the public corruption unit in the attorney general's office.

Activist Gene Stilp filed a complaint with the political corruption unit of Attorney General Tom Corbett's office about a recent campaign solicitation mailing for Corbett's gubernatorial campaign.

Stilp, who is running for the Democratic nomination for the 104th state House seat, is seeking a "review of the circumstances surrounding the development and mailing of this campaign mailing piece," the complaint states.

The mailing was the subject of a Patriot-News story.

The envelope that contained the solicitation letter was labeled as coming from Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett and bore the message: "Please give me your immediate attention." On the back, it said, "Corbett for Governor."

Sandy Segal of Susquehanna Twp., who brought the mailing to the newspaper's attention, said the envelope led him to believe it was an official mailing from the attorney general.

It startled the 62-year-old Democrat and left him wondering what the attorney general wanted with him.

He said he did not notice the "Corbett for Governor" reference until much later.

Barry Kauffman, executive director of Common Cause Pennsylvania, and Muhlenberg College political science professor Christopher Borick considered the mailing's packaging to be misleading and flirting with being inappropriate.

In his complaint, Stilp also asks the unit to review the propriety of telephone calls between Corbett's campaign phone and the attorney general's office that have been the subject of media reports and questioned in a court filing by the attorney for two former lawmakers charged in the Capitol corruption probe that Corbett's office is conducting.

Stilp also asks the unit to review the propriety of some of Corbett's office staff bouncing from the attorney general's office to his past and present campaign operations.

"If you find that you are unable to review the details of this complaint because you are too close to the subject of this complaint, Tom Corbett, please recuse the entire political corruption unit and refer this matter to the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission," Stilp's complaint states.

Stilp said the complaint should serve as a test as to the unit's independence from the agency where it is housed.

"We'll see if they're up to doing something about someone right there in their midst," he said.

Corbett has led a three-year on-going investigation into lawmakers and their staffers' use of public-funded resources and time for political purposes.

This probe, Bonusgate, has resulted in three convictions and led to seven others pleading guilty to charges. Two others were acquitted.

"This puts them in sort of a bind because they have to do something about this type of abuse of political office that they've been investigation and I want to see what they will actually do," Stilp said.

A spokesman for the attorney general's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Anonymous said...

Please donate money to TOM's campaign, not these criminals in prison.

Anonymous said...

In contrast to the camera incident you cited, in one Southern State after a thorough investigantion, cameras inside State Patrol cars were used to prosecute....the State Patrol. And it wasn't just a handful who were accused. There were many. The cases were Federal.

Anonymous said...

Philly papers report the head of the Phila Library received over $160,000 in bonuses over several years. Thats more than Miriam Fox, Brett Cott, Brian Preski, Drew Crompton and Mike Long all put together. Time for AG investigation.

Anonymous said...

Tom for president in 2012. Let,s get it rolling right here right now.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...Tom for president in 2012. Let,s get it rolling right here right now. July 20, 2010 6:40 PM......

If Corbett reports on the investigations of the State Senators before the November Elections, I will vote for him.

If not, Corbett will be investigated and will not be able to run for any Federal Office.

Four years to investigate 50 State Senators and Corbett and his OAG Prosecutors have nothing to show for it, nothing????

It is either great incompetence or big corruption; there are no other choices now.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Anonymous, Thank you for saying you will vote for Tom. Let's keep this ball rolling. With yor help and everyone else's help on the Blog, Tom will win easy. Thank you again.

Anonymous said...

I wonder who Inmate JP4714 and Inmate JN8183 are voting for?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...I wonder who Inmate JP4714 and Inmate JN8183 are voting for? July 22, 2010 12:41 PM

I said, when I see Senators Investigated by Corbett, and so far that has not happen.

Veon and Cott are victims not criminals!

Anonymous said...

How One Knows How These Cases Are Just Outright Wrong And For The Wrong Reasons?

PPG QUOTE:

As the case was bound over for court Wednesday, lawyers for the defense pledged a tough fight while attorneys for state Senate Republicans monitored courtroom events.

Also on hand was attorney J. Alan Johnson, who represents Justice Melvin.

He indicated that he gives little credence to Mr. Kramm's assertion that he was sent to carry a threat.

"Let that man come forward on the witness stand.

If he has to come to the witness stand or we have to call him and confront him with what he said, let's see what he's like after we cross-examine him," Mr. Johnson said.

Mr. Kramm has not responded to calls seeking comment.

Judge McDaniel's decision to hold the sisters for trial did not surprise defense attorneys.

The judge herself acknowledged that law only calls for enough evidence to argue that a crime might have been committed.

"As you know, the standard here is very low," she told attorneys.

Anonymous said...

Editorial: Corbett Time To Step Away!

Attorney General Tom Corbett should quit his day job and focus on running for governor.

It's nearly impossible lately for the public to separate Corbett's law enforcement duties from his role as the GOP nominee for governor.

Increasingly, his actions as attorney general are tinged with political ramifications for the November election.

For example, Corbett decided last week to pit Pennsylvania against the Obama administration's effort to overturn Arizona's new stop-on-sight immigration law.

He joined several other state attorneys general in filing a court brief, arguing that the federal government's action violates state authority.

Corbett's move came without any consultation or warning to Democratic Gov. Rendell, who happens to disagree with Corbett.

As the independent and elected attorney general, Corbett is under no obligation to seek the governor's approval.

But this constitutional arrangement raises a question of whether the state's chief executive should be left out of the loop entirely on such big issues.

When the players belong to opposing parties and the case is a hot-button issue in the forthcoming election, it's impossible not to view Corbett's decision as driven partly by politics.

And that undermines public support for the attorney general's role.

The same goes for Corbett's decision in March to file a lawsuit to block the new federal health-care reform law from taking effect in Pennsylvania.

Again, the state's top elected official was opposed.

Corbett argues that requiring people to buy health insurance is unconstitutional.

But it just so happens that most of the state officials mounting legal challenges to the law are Republicans.

A spokesman for the attorney general said Corbett would be remiss if he allowed political considerations to stop him from taking the actions he believes are necessary.

He said the governor's office and the attorney general confer on a wide range of issues.

But it's no longer possible to distinguish between Corbett's roles as top cop and candidate for governor.

The time needed by Corbett to prosecute officials in Harrisburg in a wide-ranging corruption case also raised accusations that it has served his political ambitions, by carrying into the election year.

Elected officials frequently run for higher office without giving up their current post.

But a prosecutor's job is very different.

Republican former U.S. Attorney Patrick L. Meehan quit his post in 2008 before running for Congress this year.

Republican Christopher J. Christie quit as the federal prosecutor in New Jersey before running for governor, although he was unlikely to have been reappointed by an incoming Democratic president.

Law enforcement should be as free as possible from the taint of political motivations.

That's why Corbett should resign.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/inquirer/opinion/20100721_Editorial__Time_to_step_away.html#ixzz0uSAWvw5U
Watch sports videos you won't find anywhere else

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Anonymous, it's really cool to see you guys who once talked bad about Tom, now on his side and voting for him. Hope to see some of you guys at the next fundraiser.Thank you again for doing the right thing.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...Dear Mr Anonymous, it's really cool to see you guys who once talked bad about Tom, now on his side and voting for him. Hope to see some of you guys at the next fundraiser.Thank you again for doing the right thing. July 22, 2010 9:40 PM

Does that mean Corbett will continue to fundraise from his OAG Office as he has done before?

What time is it and do we need to bring ID to get pass OAG Security?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...Editorial: Corbett Time To Step Away! July 22, 2010 6:37 PM

What we need is a new Law and Code of Ethics that prevents any US Attorney, Attorney General, District Attorney, and Assistant Prosecutors from running for any elected Office until 8 years after they served.

These elected and appointed Prosecutors are no longer searching for the truth when prosecuting.

They are seeking Headlines and to tally Convictions to seek higher office regardless of the truth and ignore exculpatory evidence to grab headlines before an election.

Every US Attorney, Attorney general, and District Attorney should be in favor of such a reform under a Constitutional Convention.

Also, too many District Attorneys and Prosecutors have been become Judges doing the same thing to win elections not search for the truth before prosecuting.

If we are going to reform, Appellate Judges by Merit Selection let us do the same for Attorney Generals.

In this way, we avoid the Appearance o0f Impropriety and avoid violations of the Code of Ethics when Prosecutors’ seek Headlines’ to win elections more than the truth.


This will bring back fairness to the Justice System, serve as a check, and balance over ambitious Attorney General that seeks higher office over the truth.

They can serve 8 years as Prosecutors and then wait another 8 years to run for Office to remove any taint of their motivations for the injustice just to be elected.

Anonymous said...

The prosecutors’ contention that immunity extends to pre-trial investigation and preparation is a hollow argument.

Allowing immunity for trial acts to “wash back” to absolve prior wrongdoing would, actually encourages malicious prosecutors to use falsified evidence in court to shield themselves from suit for its procurement.

One has a duty to criticize the inconsistencies that would result from the prosecutors’ construction of the “functional test,” pursuant to which police officers – but not prosecutors – could be held liable for falsifying evidence during an investigation.

Immunity should attach to types of conduct, they posit, rather than to particular officeholders.

Like the prosecutors, the Buckley Case is significant, but for a different reason:

Although the Court in Buckley held that prosecutors have “absolute immunity” for conduct that “occurs in the course of the prosecutor’s role as an advocate for the State,” it also made clear that prosecutors have only “qualified immunity” for certain investigative acts.

Contrary to what the prosecutors contend, however, procuring testimony is not conduct that occurs in the course of the prosecutor’s role as advocate.

Countering the petitioners’ “floodgate” argument, one must argue that their case is “egregious, exceptional, and remarkably well-documented.”

This is not a case in which prosecutors merely chose to believe a debatable story or failed to reveal exculpatory evidence; rather, they actively fabricated evidence.

If the Court adopts a “strict approach” to prosecutorial misconduct claims that focuses on the substance of the claims rather than their “conclusions or labels,” trial courts will be able to easily weed out meritless claims at an early stage.

“Absolute immunity does not apply to prosecutors’ actions taken outside the advocatory functions.”

Relief should be available under Section 1983 in cases such as this one to deter prosecutorial misconduct:

Otherwise, “prosecutors would be free to fabricate evidence during criminal investigations because they would know there was virtually no possibility of ever being punished for it.”

Anonymous said...

If a prosecutor's absolute immunity in judicial proceedings means anything, it means that a prosecutor may not be sued because a trial has ended in a conviction, Yet that is exactly what happened in this case.

JUSTICE KENNEDY: Your -- your case here is a polite way of telling us we wasted our time in Buckley v. Fitzsimmons.

MR. SANDERS: Your Honor --JUSTICE KENNEDY: I mean, we were just spinning our wheels in that case?

JUSTICE GINSBURG: Does that mean that, even if we were dealing with police officers who did what the prosecutors were alleged to have done at the investigation stage, no prosecutor, only police investigators, the fact that a trial and a conviction had occurred would mean that the police officers were not liable, either?

JUSTICE KENNEDY: Take two cases. One is Justice Ginsburg's case, a police officer fabricates the evidence, dupes the prosecuting attorney, or -- or doesn't fully disclose. Case two, a prosecutor does the same thing and gives it to a fellow prosecutor.
Same -- should the analysis be precisely the same?

JUSTICE GINSBURG: I'm not sure that I fully grasp your answer to my first question and to Justice Kennedy's, that is, yes or no, if everything that happened was alleged to have happened, but it was done by a police officer or a different prosecutor, nonetheless, the trial went on, the fabricated evidence was introduced, without any participation by the actual prosecutor in that fabrication, does a conviction --does the -- do the police officers or the prosecutors that was not involved in the trial get absolute -- are they -- are they no more liable, not because they have absolute immunity, but because the trial and conviction at which the evidence was used overtakes what liability they might have had, absent the trial?
Is that your position?

MR. SANDERS: Your Honor, our position is --I believe I would agree with you. Our position is there is no liability for the initial fabrication. As the United States explains in its brief, for a police officer to be held liable in those circumstances, it would need to be under some sort of malicious prosecution theory that would depend on the actual conviction and the use of the evidence at trial.
But the use of the evidence at trial is the
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injury itself, and that is exclusively a prosecutorial act, only a prosecutor could --
JUSTICE SCALIA: You're not answering the question clearly. Are both the prosecutor, in Justice Ginsburg's hypothetical, and the policeman liable? Can't you answer that? Yes or no.

MR. SANDERS: Yes. This Court --

JUSTICE SCALIA: Good. That's what I thought your answer was.

Anonymous said...

Clement further argued that fabricating evidence before trial is a violation of the constitutional right to a fair trial – merely an incomplete one.

But Justice Breyer pressed Clement to give a clear line up until which prosecutors could be held liable.

He reluctantly committed to one: a prosecutor would be liable for investigatory acts until he found uncontrived probable cause to proceed with a trial.

That was perhaps the brightest line drawn during the oral argument.

Wherever the Court ultimately draws the line on prosecutorial immunity, it seems clear they will be looking forward to its practical consequences.

fancynance said...

Let me be very clear, this 'blog-site' is ANTI-CORBUTT...get it?!
Exposing the hypocracy of TC. We are NOT going to support or vote for 'ol tommy-boy.

Veon and Cott are his victims, for sure. And the battle is far from over...an appeal for Veon was not denied, an appeal for 'bail' was denied.

Corbutt selectively went after his victims, and chooses NOT to go after others, as he said he would....what a surprise there.
The justice system will continue to proceed forward.

It is OBVIOUS 'Corrupt Corbett' needed to have those he fears most incarcerated!

Anonymous said...

Hey fancynance get with the program. This is now a pro Tom for Governor blog.Everyone else has realized that they wrong to Bad mouth Tom and support those criminals.You will feel much better about yourself when you finally do the right thing and support Tom, I promise.

Anonymous said...

I do not defend Veon or Cott, but everyone always needs to be concerned not just about who prosecutors choose to go after, but also who they choose not to prosecute.

For example, Veon was investigated/prosecuted by an army of AG staff for about 3 years...but the evidence AG presented in Veon case, and in the Stetler, DeWeese and Perzel prelim. hrngs. and newspaper articles show other legislators apparently guilty of the same but not prosecuted: Eachus, Jubilerir, Brightbill, Mellow, McCall, Sam Smith, and others. Even DeWeese, charged with lesser matters, is clearly implicated in the bonuses.

In Cott's case, why were some staff implicated, but not some of the most obviously most involved? Manzo and Brubaker testified they thought up and structured the bonuses, with Veon approval, but the ones who ran the program clearly included Eric Webb and Karen Steiner Blaner, neither indicted. Meanwhile when Veon was indicted, 11 staff were indicted (even Ramaley was indicted for activities on Veon staff, not as a legislator). Since then, almost no staff indicted.

How can Veon staff be more culpable than (based on their own testimony, as presented by the AG in presentment or court) Sidella, Steve Webb, Pronesti, Bliss, Widemer, and on and on.

This goes for GOP staff too, Crompton, certainly Mike Long, and many others in every caucus.

Anonymous said...

If all the Veon defendants who earned a pension lost it, why didn;t LaGrotta, who took taxpayer money by hiring relatives for no work jobs? This loss of pension - over $50,000 for life for Veon, is a huge penalty. Would you rather do 6 months house arrest?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...July 24, 2010 11:17 AM


All good points, this is why even if Corbett's becomes Governor, but there is evidence out there that will follow Corbett into Office, and once revelaed he will not be a Governor for long.

We do need an investigation on Corbett's Investigation that has not included any Senators, that did the samething.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...In Cott's case, why were some staff implicated, but not some of the most obviously most involved? Manzo and Brubaker testified they thought up and structured the bonuses, with Veon approval, but the ones who ran the program clearly included Eric Webb and Karen Steiner Blaner, neither indicted. Meanwhile when Veon was indicted, 11 staff were indicted (even Ramaley was indicted for activities on Veon staff, not as a legislator). Since then, almost no staff indicted. How can Veon staff be more culpable than (based on their own testimony, as presented by the AG in presentment or court) Sidella, Steve Webb, Pronesti, Bliss, Widemer, and on and on. This goes for GOP staff too, Crompton, certainly Mike Long, and many others in every caucus. July 24, 2010 11:17 AM

I think you hit the crux of the problem why Casablancapa exists.

Cott and Veon have become victims by prosecutors miscoduct using runaway grad juries on a highly selective basis and let many go free with no penalities at all.

It is unfair and used for political purposes not anykind of criminal investigation being fair to all.

Anonymous said...

why no Todd Eachus investigation..? John Paul Jones had his grand jury testamony published in the paper. in it he talks abour fund raisinf on state time for Todd. YET no court hearings... is he the one with secret immunity?

Anonymous said...

Not Everything Stays The Same For Very Long!

Tables Are Meant For Turning,
Events Are Bound To Change,
Bridges Are Meant For Burning,
When People Aren't The Same.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BYSqnq3roMg

Anonymous said...

This Blogsite is run by left wing anti free speech communists , who block the truth from being posted.

Anonymous said...

Dear anonymou, I fail to see how a free-speech communist is different from a free speech nazi as a
opposed to a transvesite that only wears garters on thursday. Do you think I have a problem and should seek professional care. Since I am unemployed and destitute do you think there is a social agency that can pick up the tab or should I write to Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh and ask for a scholarship from them?

Anonymous said...

DeWeese hearing is just too much. Sidella testifies he did essentially same thing as PJ Lavalle, but Sidella gets immunity. HWD testified (more than a year ago at grand jury?) that Len Cowitch did the same thing before Sidella, but Cowitch got promotions and big payraises, still on House payroll.

At Veon trial, Manzo testified bonuses were his concept; that he and Brubaker developed the idea (Brubaker corroborated), and that Eric Webb kept the list, made up initial bonus list, etc (and Webb agreed, but he got immunity). Both Manzo and Brubaker testified they took the idea to Veon, who approved and that HWD knew too.

So why was Brett charged with that? And why wasn't HWD?

Sidella says DeWeese told him the saving grace about doing political work on state tiume was that everyone in the state legislature did that.

Btw, so far both Sidella (in DeWeese) and Steve Webb (in Veon) have testified that they lied to the grand jury. That's pretty serious. But Sidella got full immunity and Webb continues to work in House w pay raise. As does Bertuggli, who has testified she was hired to have sex w Manzo.

Anonymous said...

I think the media needs to know that you only publish what you want published. Typical communist tactics. What are you afraid of the truth that you are a bunch of convicted criminals.Stop blocking the opposing point of view MR. Blogmaster, take off the communist blog sensor.

The Lizard said...

Thanks for publishing the list of law firms contributing 5 figures to Tom Corbett, a sitting Attorney General. It may not be illegal, but it sure isn't right. Do any of them have clients with cases pending where the AG's office is involved? That would be just one step away from attempted influence, wouldn't it? The only thing different from a moral standpoint is the lack of a bag man and brown paper wrapper with cash inside.

The Lizard said...

Oh, and check this out.

http://www.pa2010.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/troy_corbett_photo.jpg

It's picture from the Bradford County Fair of the AG's Consumer Affairs Table -- containing what clearly appears to be Tom Corbett campaign material. I wonder if he'll fire his own staff or indict himself. . . .

Anonymous said...

The Lizard said...
Oh, and check this out.

http://www.pa2010.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/troy_corbett_photo.jpg

It's picture from the Bradford County Fair of the AG's Consumer Affairs Table -- containing what clearly appears to be Tom Corbett campaign material. I wonder if he'll fire his own staff or indict himself. . . .July 29, 2010 1:02 PM

This is why Attorney Generals, US Attorneys, and District Attorneys need to be prevented for running for higher office and have to wait 8 years before they run for anything.

NO ONE WILL INVESTIGATE THIS INCIDENCE, NO ONE WILL INVESTIGATE CORBETT BUT CORBETT.

This is why a Special Prosecutor needs to be appointted to investigate Prosecutors Misconduct even after the election.

Corbett should call for a Special Prosecutor if he is law abiding and has nothing to hide!

Corbett has hired Senate Staffers he is suppose to be investigating for Bonusgate, NOW THAT IS A CONFLICT OF INTEREST???

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...Corbett has hired Senate Staffers he is suppose to be investigating for Bonusgate, NOW THAT IS A CONFLICT OF INTEREST??? July 30, 2010 7:21 AM

I respectfully disagree, hiring senate staffers one is suppose to be investigating, is a show of public arrogance and criminal conduct, not in the public interests.

Corbett is putting his run for Governor ahead of his committment to protect the people of the Pennysylvania.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't the attorney for the Bill Higgins the Bedford District Attorney accused of raping a woman, Attorney Gleason from Johnstown whose firm and family are high officials in the Pa Republican Party? Sounds like the perfect attorney to talk Corbett into not doing a full and objective rape investigation in return for possible political favors? But then again, it was just a standing District Attorney with multiple assault convictions already on his record, why take a claim that he raped a woman in his office seriously?