Friday, February 25, 2011
THE REAL CRIME
As if there were any question remaining, the trial of Sen. Jane Orie has laid absolutely bare the politically-selective nature of Tom Corbett's so-called investigation of legislative corruption.
It doesn't take a genius to connect the dots: Fearing hackers, a paranoid Orie in 2008 asked Corbett's office in to examine her computer network - the same network where county investigators discovered that political material resided until 2009. ("Testimony reveals that up until late spring of 2009, some of those very campaign and political records of Orie's were maintained on computer hard drives that were part of the state computer system.")
At least one member of the mainstream media has finally begun to face the facts. Not every reporter is angling for a job in the Corbett administration. (Just watch out for the goon squad, Laura.)
Orie was so confident that she had nothing to fear from Corbett's "investigation" that she not only continued overt taxpayer-funded political activity long after the "Bonusgate" scandal frightened nearly everyone else into going legit -- she actually invited the cat-in-chief to rummage around in the mouse-hole.
It was only after she learned a law-enforcement agency other than Corbett's had been tipped off that she made even the slightest effort to keep up appearances.
We wouldn't put it past Corbett's cronies in the OAG to rustle up some charges against a Senate Republican or two (or at least an ex-legislator and a crew of staffer) now that his selectivity has been so undeniably exposed.
After all, he got away with a belated, cover-yer-ass "investigation" of House Republicans after spending the better part of the previous year schmoozing them at fund-raisers, secretly meeting them with his campaign manager, giving the go-ahead to swap out computers and who knows what else?
He got away with dredging up some after-the-fact, unrelated charges against Bill DeWeese after it became apparent that letting him slide on "Bonusgate" was the political and prosecutorial screwup of the decade.
He got away with indicting Steve Stetler months after he was embarrassed by the revelation, a year after the fact, that he had ignored incriminating testimony and let him blow off a subpeona (did you know they were optional?).
He got away with letting Todd Eachus off the hook after going to the trouble of making it appear as if charges against him were imminent.
He got away with announcing an investigation of years-old Hershey Trust shenanigans only after he was embarrassed by an Inquirer expose. He has gotten away with cozying up to those self-same trustees in the midst of the so-called investigation at an establishment owned by the very charity they manage.
And if he announces, at this incredibly late date, more than four years after "launching an investigation," indictments of Senate Republicans to cover his ass yet again, he'll probably get away with that, too.