Wednesday, October 27, 2010
JUSTICE FOR SALE?
Does Gubernatorial Candidate Tom Corbett raise any money from people he's not supposed to be investigating?
We know it's an old habit dating back to his prosecution of Jeff Habay. He was caught again soliciting Steve Stetler while Stetler was under investigation. He allowed former House Republican chief of staff Brian Preski to host a fund-raiser while the caucus was under investigation for the period when Preski ran the caucus. PA Turnpike Vice-Chairman Tim Carson also hosted a fund-raiser, even though Corbett is actively investigating the Turnpike. And most recently, he solicited indicted Rep. John Perzel - at his Capitol office, no less.
Despite the fact that Corbett declared contributions from legislators off-limits, it turns out that campaign cash can be safely laundered through the coffers of his running mate, Jim Cawley.
According to Capitolwire, "Cawley’s campaign finance reports also show more than $104,000 in contribution since the May primary from state lawmakers – a group from whom Cawley’s running mate has declined to accept contributions.
"Most of those funds came through two donations of $50,000 apiece – one from Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson, and another from the Senate Republican Campaign Committee."
Y'all know, not a single member or staffer from the Senate Republican Caucus has been tarnished in Corbett's never-ending investigation of the legislature, despite the fact that the Senate Republicans handed out the largest individual bonuses - much of it to staffers who spent half the year working on political campaigns.
Although Corbett claimed he had no idea lawmakers were contributing to Cawley, "Drew Crompton, Scarnati’s chief of staff, said there was 'an acknowledgement' from the Corbett camp that a contribution from Scarnati to Cawley would not be returned."
Crompton also said Scarnati was “more than happy to give to his campaign,” and that Cawley has participated in events with various Senate Republican candidates. Some mailers also have been printed that list Senate candidates as well as the governor and lieutenant governor. The contribution toward Cawley’s campaign expenses recognizes those “shared efforts,” Crompton said.
That's Drew Crompton, taxpayer-funded legislative employee, acting as campaign spokesman for Scarnati and other Senate Republican candidates.
That would be the same Drew Crompton who received a nearly $20,000 taxpayer-funded bonus in a year when he spent most of his time working on Lynn Swann's failed gubernatorial campaign.
Need we point out that the Senate Republican Campaign Committee also represents Sen. Jane Orie, whom Corbett steadfastly refused to indict despite the fact she allegedly ran a campaign operation out of her district office right under the nose of Corbett's staff during his alleged investigation?
Kudos to Capitolwire for practicing actual journalism among the usually-compliant Capitol Stenographers Corps. But with less than a week until Election Day, it's too little, too late.