Tuesday, January 18, 2011

THE KILLER RABBITS OF CAERBANNOG - ER, HARRISBURG


History books will bear out that Tom Corbett as Pennsylvania attorney general brought down some of the most powerful lawmakers in the state. -- Patriot-News (1/18/11)


Only if the history books are based upon the erroneous reporting of the Patriot-News.

Need we remind you (and apparently, we need), Tom Corbett charged precisely one legislative leader in his entire four-year investigation of the legislature? And only after it became crystal clear that political reality required charging him with something. (Ironically, the indictment of this singular "powerful" lawmaker followed a concerted effort on the part of both Corbett and the lawmaker in question to persuade the public he held almost no power at all.)

It's beyond question at this point that the scope of Corbett's investigation originally extended no further than the House Democrats. After all, as Corbett's 2008 opponent for Attorney General John Morganelli pointed out - and as Corbett's own subsequent investigation confirmed - launching a very public investigation of one caucus could only serve as an opportunity for the other caucuses to destroy evidence and devise obstructions.

As we know, Corbett's original indictments - and but for public outcry, his only indictments - included a single sitting legislator, a rank-and-file sophomore who was not even implicated in the main allegations of the case. How brave of Corbett! Rep. Sean Ramaley, who oh-so-coincidentally was a candidate in a competitive state Senate race, was acquitted of every charge in the whisper-thin case against him.

As far as can be discerned from Corbett's own presentment against House Republicans, his office did not even pretend to investigate in earnest until July 2008 at the very earliest. It's true he served House Republicans with a subpoena for records in February 2008 - a full year after announcing that he would investigate all four caucuses. But the frenzy of obstruction that followed those subpoenas does not appear to have come to Corbett's attention before at least late July, when Corbett's office allegedly began interviewing House Republican staffers. It was not reported that subpoenas were issued until mid-August, well after headlines such as "Is State Bonus Probe Partisan?" and "Rendell has a good point on Bonusgate parity issue," had begun cropping up around the state.

And when political necessity forced Corbett to indict Republicans, so he could claim to be even-handed, did he indict any "powerful" members of House Republican leadership? Don't be ridiculous; he again indicted a single rank-and-file member.

By what measure does the Patriot-News claim that Corbett "brought down some of the most powerful lawmakers in the state?" While Mike Veon, John Perzel and Steve Stetler may once have held positions of influence in the legislature, by the time Corbett set his sights on them, they'd long been deposed from any legislative power they once had. Veon and Stetler weren't even members of the legislature anymore, and Perzel had long been demoted. Among the three of them, they controlled exactly one vote. Saying Corbett brought down powerful lawmakers is like beating up the 70-year-old Muhammad Ali and claiming to have defeated the heavyweight champion of the world. Only House Democratic Whip Bill DeWeese could arguably be described as a "powerful lawmaker," and Corbett very pointedly avoided charging him until political necessity forced his hand. (And we reserve judgment on whether Corbett even now has "brought him down." Office pool odds favor DeWeese never even going to trial. But we shall see.)

Perhaps the Patriot-News was bamboozled by Corbett's feints at House Democratic Leader Todd Eachus. According to a well-timed leak, Eachus allegedly was invited to testify to the grand jury. And why not? Email evidence and grand jury testimony certainly implicated Eachus in political work on the state dime. But whether Corbett never really was investigating Eachus or abandoned whatever investigation he started, he certainly can't claim to have "brought down" Eachus. Nor can he claim to have "brought down" then-House Republican Leader (now Speaker) Sam Smith.

The tale of Corbett's Bonusgate investigation is certainly full of sound and fury, told by ...um, journalists... and signifying, if not nothing, then a whole lot less than the "journalists" make it out to be.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have to say i have been reading this post from day one. i have NEVER posted not once but i actually work in the capital bldg and know some of these people that are talked about in this blog. most of what is posted is true. So many people are going to walk away from the so called "bonusgate" BS and only 3 go to prison! what about Mike Manzo, Scott Brubaker, their wives..? poor Earl got a BS charge as well all he did was do what he was told to do by Scott. Lets not forget Todd Eachus. why was he not looked at harder? he was the worst of them all. he talked about things when he didnt even need to. guess carma caught with him at election time. but its not over with him yet. It is a shame that men like Mike Veon and Brett Cott are sitting in prison all becasue they wanted what was best for PA and the media made them out as monsters. if people only really truly knew the true story. THEY actually didnt make as much as as people this compaired to oh lets say ALL the staffers who testified against them and they where the ones with the bonus checks and nice new jobs. all for campaigning. None should be able to gt a good nights sleep while those good men are locked away. say what you want about them but they wanted what was best and EVERYONE was taken care of. Now we have Tom Corbett in office and who knows what is going to take place. DeWeese wont go to prison nor will any of the others. unreal!! Pa cross your fingers for the next 4 year...

Anonymous said...

let's hear more about the Kimmett case. to see original case documents, see
www.corbettgate.com

Anonymous said...

"It is a shame that men like Mike Veon and Brett Cott are sitting in prison all becasue they wanted what was best for PA"

So how does flying staff across country to drive harley's back to PA fit the above description?

Anonymous said...

Back to basics. Let's expose some hypocrisy…

"If there's one thing in all of this that annoys me? Obstruction's the worst."
– Tom Corbett - Nov 12, 2009
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09316/1012932-100.stm

Stephen Webb
- admitted he lied under oath to the grand jury
- received thousands in “bonusgate” bonuses
- his obstruction didn't annoy Corbett...no charges
- received free, taxpayer funded, Caucus provided lawyer
- why does he still work for the Democratic Caucus and what does he do
- why do we taxpayers still pay his salary and benefits of well over $65,000/year?
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09339/1018667-454.stm

Darryl Hazelwood
- his name is frequently associated with destruction of computer evidence
- received thousands in “bonusgate” bonuses
- his obstruction didn't annoy Corbett...no charges
- received free, taxpayer funded, Caucus provided lawyer
- why does he still work for the Democratic Caucus and what does he do?
- why do we taxpayers still pay his salary and benefits of well over $95,000/year?
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09154/974618-178.stm

I hear they are starting to thin out the herd over at the House Democratic Caucus. It’s about time. I’m sure there are quite a few more like these two “rock stars.” Time to finally get rid of the last remnants of DeWeese’s little helpers and either eliminate their useless jobs or fill them with qualified, hard working people who did not lie, cheat, deceive, or break the law to get ahead. Here’s over $160,000 with these two alone that could help the budget deficit. Find 8 more just like them. That should be very easy. Viola! $1.6 million closer to a balanced state budget. I wonder how many children could get the health care they need for the price of one Darryl Hazelwood.

Anonymous said...

What the heck happened to Pennsylvania's one-time standing as one of the best places for investigative journalism? How did PA journalists get this bad? What happened to their sense of justice? When did they become lapdogs and so easily taken in by a guy like Corbett? It's unbelievable that he is able to hoodwink them so profoundly that they have lost all skepticism or desire to dig below the surface. Gone are the glory days of real journalists.....a sad ending to a great era.

Anonymous said...

There are those who argue that everything breaks even under the Green Dome in Harrisburg.

The Journalist that now exists I suppose argue that because the rich man gets ice in the summer and the poor man gets it in the winter things are breaking even for both.

Maybe so, but I will swear I cannot see it that way.

Republicans have controlled the Attorney General Office since 1980 and now have used it unfairly and without in the name of justice, to now control all Three Branches in Government.

Anonymous said...

The so-called journalists in the Capitol will never acknowledge the points CasablancaPA makes - that would mean admitting they've allowed Corbett to b.s. them all this time.

Anonymous said...

In the old days, if a politician's office was under FBI scrunity, it was reported. That was a big deal. Reporters scrambled to confirm the information through background sources. In the Kimmett case, details of the FBI's questioning are right in the public documents - like giving candy to a kid. But the reporters still don't get the significance of the Corbett case because they don't read!! They've got amazing videotape, detailed documentation of the allegations. They've got dozens of stories in the thousands of documents. Like the way Kevin Harley just made up statements to the press - and he admits it. Like the backgrounds of these collection agency folks (criminality and more, if you research them). Like Brian Nutt's complete lack of qualifications. It goes on and on. It's such riveting reading. What is motivating these reporters to cover up this material? The press is covering up a scandal that is so much greater than Bonusgate. Their negligence is a complete enigma to me. www.corbettgate.com

JD said...

Corbett already handed in reform plan, aide says
By PETER JACKSON Associated Press
Posted: 01/22/2011 07:04:08 AM EST


HARRISBURG, Pa.—Gov. Tom Corbett leaned hard on his promise of government reform in his election campaign.
But he has not put forth a his plan for making those reforms as he promised in a TV ad to do on "Day One."

Instead, Corbett says he may endorse bills legislators are sponsoring to achieve some reforms he promised during the campaign, such as requiring House members to pay part of the cost of their health insurance. Since he cannot sponsor bills, he's lining up sponsors for other proposals and hoping to negotiate with legislative leaders on still others.

As for that plan he promised to hand in when he took office, spokesman Kevin Harley claims he's already done that.

As Harley put it, "It was called the election and he won."

grabngo said...

I was speaking to a reporter in Harrisburg for a TV station before the Memory Failure video was released. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsGvyoquw8A
The reporter was very interested in reporting the Kimmett case before the election but he warned me that he did not think he could get it past the higher ups in the station. Republican supporters of Corbett's. Got a text a few days later and he said he was right...they refuse to cover or run it at all. Thank you supreme court...now corporations are not only people but the can control the vote too.

bobguzzardi said...

However much money Mike Veon, Brett Cott and the other Bonusgate Democrats misused, misdirected, misappropriated, or, to use an inelegant word "stole", the Attorney General's office indicted the Republican Leadership for stealing $20 Million from The Forgotten Taxpayer.


The Republican Motto: You can steal more with a computer than you can with a gun
1http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/uploadedFiles/Press/GJ-Presentment_No2_page1-63.pdf Presentment Page One “This presentment will disclose that a vast array of public expenditures, exceeding twenty million dollars, were spent between 2000 and 2007 by the House Republican Caucus on: programs that began with a legislative use and ended with a campaign use; programs that were designed to serve both legislative and political campaign purposes; and, programs that had the singular purpose of employing public resources on behalf of political campaigns.”


One of CasablancaPA's radial, extreme principles is "Equal Justice for All". I was in DC and saw that a similar phrase "Equal Justice Under Law" is chiseled above the entrance to the US Supreme Court. Who knows? This idea may have traction.

Anonymous said...

first of all they paid for flying people across the country (a bit exagerated) with thier own money if that is what he wanted to spend money on then fine let hime do it. but while mike veon was in offce he has a positive effect on everything he turned alot of things around.

Anonymous said...

Darryl Hazelwood was canned recently. He's likely to have charges filed against him soon. With no education and no management or social skills, he's likely to go far in this world with out DeWeese or Veon as his allies.