Tuesday, August 31, 2010
"ANYBODY WHO VIOLATED THE LAW IS GOING TO GET IT"
....Well, almost anybody.
Since Gubernatorial Candidate Tom Corbett seems to believe any legislator who uses taxpayer funds for campaign purposes is linked to the same criminal enterprise, we expect him to file a motion any day now to join the case of Matt Wright with those of Bill DeWeese and Steve Stetler.
Oh, wait, that's right: Wright isn't charged with any crime, despite the finding of the state Ethics Commission that he engaged in precisely the same behavior as DeWeese.
It says right there in the Ethics Commission ruling that: "Matthew Wright ('Wright') a public official in his capacity as the Representative for the 142nd District of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from January 1991 until December 2006, violated Section 1103(a) of the Public Official and Employee Ethics Act ("Ethics Act") 65 Pa. C.S. ss 1103(a) when he used staff, office space, equipment and materials of his legislative District Office and his Capitol Office to further his re-election campaigns."
Isn't the alleged use of legislative staff, office space, equipment and materials to further election campaigns why DeWeese, Stetler and others are awaiting trial or sentencing or serving prison time? Isn't using taxpayer resources for political purposes a violation of the law? And didn't Senior Deputy Attorney General Frank Fina tell the Patriot-News way back in July of 2008 (before the Ethics Committee ruling on Wright) "Anybody who violated the law is going to get it?"
Just for giggles, let's compare and contrast the Ethics Comission's ruling on Wright with the DeWeese grand jury presentment:
* Wright ruling: "From at least 2003 through 2006, office space, equipment, computer software and employees of both his District and Harrisburg Office were used in furtherance of Wright's re-election campaigns."
* DeWeese presentment: "Representative DeWeese's legislative staff and campaign staff were virtually one in the same [sic.]"
* Wright ruling: "Wright did not rent or lease an office facility to serve as campaign headquarters when running for re-election."
* DeWeese presentment: "DeWeese had no campaign apparatus beyond his legislative staff.
* Wright ruling: "Legislative staff utilized the District office and equipment to coordinate election related activities, including receipt of campaign materials from vendors, making and receiving telephone calls (Phone calls? Oh, no!) related to campaign activities, storage of campagin literature on computer files, receipt of campaign contributions and nominating petitions. Staff from both Wright's District and Harrisburg office arranged purchases, [met] vendors, updated lists of campaign contributors, scheduled fundraisers, circulated nominating petitions and accepted and delivered campaign contributions related to his re-election efforts.
*DeWeese presentment: "Practically every aspect of his campaign, whether fundraising, mailers, advertisements, signs or door to door canvassing, was performed by legislative employees."
Well, you know what they say: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." Silly voters: you can't expect everyone to be treated equally under the law.