Friday, April 1, 2011


The Tom Corbett administration suddenly is all about consistency.

It's just not fair, you see, that some natural gas drillers are being charged with violations when other drillers are doing exactly the same things, and aren't being charged.

And the Corbett administration is about nothing if not consistency when it comes to enforcing the law.

In order to rectify this heart-rending injustice, the Secretary of Environmental Protection must personally approve all enforcement actions and notices of violation. But only for natural gas drillers.

Of course, the only way this will bring about consistency is to issue no enforcement actions against any natural gas drillers whatsoever. After all, if the Corbett administration knows that other drillers are committing the same violations, why aren't they being charged?

See how complicated this gets when you start to think about it?

Let's simplify it:

Inconsistent enforcement of environmental regulations is bad. (Apparently, any enforcement of environmental regulations is bad, when it comes to natural gas drillers)

Inconsistent enforcement of ethics laws, conflict of interest and abuse of public office is A-OK!

When it comes to fouling the state's natural resources, "everyone does it" actually is a valid defense (but only for natural gas drillers). The Corbett administration apparently believes if they can't charge everybody, they shouldn't charge anybody (at least not natural gas drillers).

Obviously, that's a direct contradiction of Corbett's policies when it came to charging politicians accused of abusing their offices for political and personal gain.

Need we list again the many examples? Former Rep. Matt Wright. Former Rep. James Lynch. York County D.A. Stan Rebert. State Budget Office executive Jem Pagan. Terry Bryant, whose decision seems to have disappeared from the Ethics Commission Website, but who "utilized Commonwealth facilities, equipment, personnel, and supplies in support of his outside employment with real estate companies" and was fined $2,000 with no referral to law enforcement. State Rep. Mauree Gingrich. Former State Rep. Eugene McGill. State Sen. Jane Orie. State Rep. Bill DeWeese.

We could go on. (And we have)

We're just surprised Corbett officials don't burst into flame when they try to claim consistency is a goal.


Anonymous said...

This is one of the best articles I read on this website.

Now I know why the Lieutenant Governor’s Office budget was increased by 46%. When School Districts, Universities, and earlier childhood education have been cut below the bone.

It may be due to Corbett knowing his wrong doing to gain the Governor’s Mansion on inconsistent injustice as pointed out in this article is catching up on him.

Leroy Zimmerman and John Prezel are not exactly fans of Corbett anymore and they know where Tommy’s Bodies are buried and who pulls his puppet strings as for most politicians.

It will be interesting to see how it develops but fundraising of how money came from certain vendors through Cawley’s own campaign accounts that will bring down both if the rumors they are being investigated by Forensic Accounting are accurate.

Corbett’s entire campaign cabal was organized almost as a doppelganger of Richard Nixon 1972 campaign team of plumbers misusing the Attorney General Office.

What is sad, and upon reflection tragic, was Nixon never needed them to beat the Democrats in 1972 since he was going to win big anyway, the same can be said for Corbett in 2010.

We shall see.

Anonymous said...

Corbett ran the Attorney Office as his own run for Governor, nothing about justice.

Anonymous said...

Couple sentenced in Pa. corruption case
PETER JACKSON, Associated Press
Tuesday, April 5, 2011

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A former high-level employee of the House Democrats who cooperated with prosecutors in Pennsylvania's legislative corruption scandal was sentenced Tuesday to six to 18 months in a county prison work-release program by a judge who said Scott Brubaker was instrumental in implementing a scheme to pay bonuses to staffers as illegal rewards for political campaign work.

Dauphin County Judge Richard Lewis also sentenced Brubaker's wife and co-defendant, Jennifer Brubaker, to five years' probation because of her limited role in the "bonusgate" scandal, her cooperation in the case and the needs of the couple's 8-year-old daughter.

"I blew it. I blew it big time," said Scott Brubaker, described by his lawyer as an Eagle Scout who was senior class president in high school. "I wish I could turn back the clock, but I can't. I want to fix it, but I can't."

Jennifer Brubaker sobbed as she apologized for behavior that was "completely out of character for me."

"I'm here because I put my career and my desire to succeed ahead of the well-being of my family," she said.

Scott Brubaker was sentenced to Dauphin County Prison, but Chief Deputy Attorney General Frank Fina said he would be allowed to leave to work at an approved job and required to return to the prison at night. He was ordered to serve 36 months of probation, which his lawyer, Robert Ridge, said would begin following his release from prison.

Each of the Brubakers also was ordered to pay $15,000 restitution to the state and to perform 500 hours of community service. Scott Brubaker, who has forfeited his state pension, was fined $6,000 and his wife was fined $400.

The judge called Scott Brubaker "an implementer" of the illegal bonus scheme and noted that he did not try to stop the activity or escape it by looking for another job. Still, Lewis said he received dozens of letters from supporters who portrayed him as an "exemplary citizen" and a letter from Brubaker that the judge called "one of the most candid and genuine" admissions of guilt he has read.

The Brubakers are among seven former House Democratic caucus employees who pleaded guilty to reduced charges in exchange for agreeing to testify against other defendants. Scott Brubaker pleaded guilty to two counts of theft, and one count each of conflict of interest and conspiracy. His wife pleaded guilty to three counts of conflict of interest and one count of conspiracy.

In all, 25 current and former legislators and aides have been arrested so far in the continuing investigation into the allegations of the illegal use of taxpayer-paid resources for electioneering. In addition to those who pleaded guilty, three defendants have been convicted, two were acquitted and the other 13 are awaiting trial.

Prosecutors praised the Brubakers' cooperation in the ongoing investigation and said they are likely to be called to testify in pending trials of other defendants.

At last year's trial of former House Democratic whip Mike Veon and three former aides, Scott Brubaker testified that he participated in efforts to mislead then-Attorney General Tom Corbett — now governor — in early 2007 as part of what prosecutors said was an attempt by all four caucuses to forestall an investigation after news broke that millions of dollars in bonuses was being paid to legislative employees.

Veon was convicted and sent to prison for six to 14 years. Two of the former aides also were sentenced to time behind bars, while the other defendant was acquitted on all counts.

Jennifer Brubaker did not testify at the Veon trial, but Fina called her "a very important cooperator" who provided prosecutors a gateway to valuable evidence.

Read more:

Anonymous said...

If Brubaker gets 6 months, Orie should get 60 months and DeWeese should get 6 years. Please note, it appears only 5 defendants, including Brubaker, will lose pensions.Pretty harsh for staff.

Anonymous said...

Evidence strong coming out from reputable sources someone asked for campaign contribution within state offices on state time?

Anonymous said...

This stuff is just too good to be made up. And the hits just keep on coming for Governor Corbett and his so called conservative administration. He is so "corrupt" (naturally with a small c) that he just can't avoid doing foolish things and making thoughtless statements. Typical Republican – and you see it with the Senate and House Republicans too – “Just do what I say and ignore what I do.”

The R’s preach downsizing government and fiscal responsibility unless it pertains to them or their staff. The Governor and the Republican controlled House & Senate have shown no fiscal restraint in State Spending except to CUT funding to local schools, support for special needs and other programs that will result in higher local taxes. Did anyone see the article in the Tribune Review this morning? Of the six figure salaries in the House and Senate, most of them are Republican Staffer Members and the entire over $150,000.00/year salaries are Republicans.

Where is the Democratic Leadership (Dermody & Costa)? They should be calling the R’s out daily by exposing their double-standards and hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

Yep, it started with Reagan claiming governemnet is teh problem but he raised the debt from under $1 Trillion to $5 Trillion when he left office, and he never made governmnet smaller, just bigger, and it is happening again.

Anonymous said...

Unions blast right-to-work legislation!

By Brad Bumsted
Monday, April 11, 2011
Last updated: 3:10 pm


If Unions really wanted to stop this all they need do is look at WWW.CORBETTGATE.COM and join the Forensic Accountants.

They are currently checking the GOP Cawley Contribution listings for Collection Agencies Surrogate that Tom Corbett gave No Bid Contracts to during his tenure at OAG for his Governor Campaign.

Already there is a listing reputable Bankers and Investment Executives that have huge Union Pension Funds and Corbett asked them for contributions in his Attorney General Office on State Property and on State Time along with Brian Nutt and others do the same thing.

Yet, better check back with some Union Brothers who gave contributions to Corbett Campaign as well and now are watching the demise of Public Union Contributions and Bargaining.

It is up to Union Brothers and Sisters to stand up for this crusade if they want to save their world to be, and see the vision of all men and women being free.

Woody Guthrie frequently performed with This Machine Stops Fascists displayed on his guitar.

Up to Union leadership to become brave but if they do not, up to membership to replace them.


Anonymous said...

Why can we not conduct our affairs in daylight?

Why can we not trust the people to witness them?

Why can we not allow their voices to be heard rather than crushing them into muteness?

We watched our Leadership be humiliated, and we said nothing.

We hid in fear as our Leadership was taken over by another that was truly the big part of the problem, we did nothing, but the people did not re-elect him.

We watched as our collegues were handcuffed, one after another and after another.

What did we do?

We hid our heads in shame while they were dragged in public for the glory of a tyrant's elections to our states highest office.

We never questioned.

We were blind.

Today, many are very sorry that We did not believe in their innocence.

The shame is on those who abuse power by ignoring the facts.

The OAG job is to find the truth. To handle cases according to law, but this did not happen.

I am willing to pay the price if I am wrong.

Are you willing to pay the price if I am right?

What you leave behind catches up with you, even Leniency for those who confess, under immunity.

Sorry. No politics. House rules.

Anonymous said...

Previous poster said: "what you leave behind catches up with you, even Leniency for those who confess, under immunity." Really? Who has it caught up with that had immunity?

Confessing to being the administrator and day-to-day operator of bonusgate got Eric Webb no penalty, no requirenment to repay the bonus and no loss of pension. Steve Webb's confessions about his criminal violations and perjury got him no penalty, no requirement to pay back bonuses, no loss of pension - and he keeps his job. That same thing could be applied to everyone who testified with immunity, in public or private. Its true of many, many others implicated in open testimony and documented in e-mails, who are still employed, often with better jobs and raises, no penalty.

If it catches up with everyone it must be in some infinite or theoocratic sense, because in this world it seems it does not.

Anonymous said...

It is not over until it is over!

Anonymous said...

There should be a Bi-Partisan Legislative Hearings with House and Senate Investigators and LAwyers going over all Grand Jury Testimony, Trial Testimony, and Immunity Witnesses Deals.

Upon those revelations any employee that admitted to breaking House and Senate rules and Campaign On State Time, should be required to repay any Bonuses and be dismissed.

This is one way legally to reduce the number of House & Senate Staffers and save the Pennsylvania Legislature, and restore confidence in State Government that State Representative Vereb wants to achieve.

Immunity Deals are not Life Time Employment Contracts, they are only for testimony at trials or Grand Jury Hearings.

Admitting to Breaking Work Rules under oath is a firing offense and no court will protect such employees.

Now we know why Corbett has been so silent on Republicans not reducing the Legislature, he knows he set up these Life Time Employment for people that broke teh law on state taxpayers time, money, and for his election investigation.

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you what: if you don't cooperate, you're gonna suffer from fistophobia.

Any government official that deliberately obstructed this investigation is an accessory.

Severity for those who resist.

Anonymous said...

In my humble opinion, this is ridiculous, but then I thought, well, then, since I am so humble, maybe others will not ask my opinion.

Yet, on the way to the Grand Jury, I would see Assistant Attorney Generals wearing those blue suits. They were very nice. Give jobs away, let me keep my pensions, and just for some immunity testimony.

Very nice, However It was strange to me that something as harmless as a blue suit can symbolize such a great lie.

It is sad when we bow down to and admire the man who pushes his way to the top in any walk of life, while what we should admire, and is the man who abandons his ego.

I use to think there was a time I would have wished some people claiming to do their jobs in the pursuit of justice but caused injustice dead, but I changed.

Nevertheless, their shame will be their torture and their torture will be their life.

I wish it to be long Torture and that is how one returns a gift that is unforgivable.

So much time to question oneself is... not good.

Anonymous said...

At this point, I would just like to say that what this committee is doing in theory is highly commendable. However, in practice, it sucks... and I'm not going to answer any more questions.

The one thing that bothers me, the one thing that stays in my mind and I couldn't get rid of it, that haunted me, was why.

Why would Immunity Witnesses lie?

What was their motive for lying?

Our clients were innocent, yet. he and she's lying, why? Was it blackmail? No. Was it jealousy?

I haven't left the scene of the accident, I'm in it. After all, if everybody agrees I'm innocent, how come I'm going BACK to jail?

Gentlemen, need I remind you you're in a court of law?

It's just a show! It's a show! It's 'Let's make A Deal'!

Anonymous said...

How about you get down on your knees and kiss my butt for not indicting you as a co-conspirator right now, you little Harrisburg big head?

I haven't done anything, and you know it!

Who gives a crap?

I'm a investgative agent! You know what that means, you lowlife exploiter?

It means you've got no rights, your life is mine!

I could kick your teeth down your throat and yank 'em out your butt, and I'm not even violating your civil rights!

Let me get this straight: you want me to steal files from the office, turn them over to the OAG, and send my colleagues to jail.

What did they ever do to you?

Whatever it is, they did it a long time ago. Now I get confused sometimes.

It is a little bit funny I went to Penn, you went to Jail and we both ended up surrounded by crooks.

Anonymous said...

Corbett Impeachment Talk Begins:

Add Tom Corbett to the list of states already regretting their new Republican Governor.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, who would lose in a hypothetical rematch to Dan Onorato by a 49-44 margin.

Corbett's job approvals are at a low 34-44, which is interesting because unlike the other Republican Governors Public Policy Polling been testing; Corbett has not been caught at ground zero in labor-related disputes or (ala Wisconsin Governor Rick Scott) in endless conflagrations with legislators in his own party.

What is being organized nationally are Social Activists, Union Groups, Senior Volunteers, Student's Unemployed and Professionals in the first stage of creating three effective Investigations, Recall, or Impeachment Petitions.

1. Public Investigative Committees of Accountability:

This is total review of selected Governors Campaign Reports, along with State Representatives, State Senators, that is tracing all Campaign Contributions with a cross check of Vendors, Contracts, and Illegal Contribution Awards or Appointments.

It will hit the Republican Party where it hurts right on their Money Giving and looking for the Usual Suspects that benefit for little cash giving and then not doing the job.


Groups are now collecting petitions to Recall Governors such as what happen to California Gray Davis. They will help organize state to state and share volunteers in a mass movement to collect the signatures needed within weeks not months. This is happening only where realistic goals on Recall can be reached.

Here once Evidence of wrongdoing occurs for any Governor, a process is underway to seek public outcry, embarrassing state and senate representatives, and using the courts to present the evidence into Nixon Type Consensus on which Governors must go by way of Resignation or Impeachments.

Rumors from the Republican and Democratic Ranks have confirmed Corbett is the just 1 of 5 targets.

Developing and stay posted...

Anonymous said...

Hey, Anonymous April 14, 2011 4:02 AM...who are talking about in your cryptic post?

Can you elaborate?

Anonymous said...

I messed up, I meant to say the guy went to Pfizer College not Penn.

Todd Eachus the propagandist that devoted his whole political careers to change the way people comprehend an issue or situation for changing their actions and expectations in ways that are desirable to only his self-interest.

If you ever listen to Todd Eachus, he only had one interest and one interest only, the safeguarding of his overpaid $113,500.00 taxpayers job as well as collecting over $27,000.00 in per diems, with Tax Free Healthcare.

When he took over the Majority Leader, he did not protect or promote members but he and Chris Casey were after colleagues Eachus feared and sought urging the Attorney General to charge many of them.

Once he took over that Leadership Post, he only cared about preserving his own job.

Eachus would say anything, do anything, no matter if it crosses the moral line. There was no self serving tactic he would not employ at the expense of others.

Todd Eachus's public display of arrogance did him in the end.

Any Public Servant will tell you that self-exaltation is nothing short of a self protection hullabaloo and Eachus is incredibly thin-skinned about criticism of his actions, once exposed.

Why Hasn’t Todd Eachus Been Before The Grand Jury?

Is it true You Were The Secret Immunity Witness?

What Happen To That Investigation?

What Hasn't Todd Eachus Told Us?

Why Did Your Outside Counsel Chris Casey Seek The Indictment Of Fellow Democratic Representatives?

Eachus Received A Subpoena From The Attorney General To Testify In The Bonusgate Proceedings.

He Refused To Tell Us Anything About That Subpoena.

Eachus Never Return The Illegal Pay Raise He Voted For Himself. Why Mr. Eachus?

Eachus Refused To Answer Questions About His Close Association With Robert Powell Including Telling The Public How Many Times He Flew On Robert Powell's Jet?

Eachus Is Tied Closely With, Has Accepted Money From Many Of The Major Players, And Admitted Felons: Bob Powell, Robert Mericle And Gregory Skrepenak?

How Much Taxpayer Money Was Spent On Political Work By State Employees Under Your Direction?

During What Time Period Did This Occur?

Did You Ever Utilize State Resources Improperly In Order To Assist In Campaigns?

Were You Aware That Your Employees Were Doing Political Work On State Time?

Have You Ever Used The Term "Soft Dollars" In Referencing State Money That You Directed To Be Used For Political Campaigning?

Did You Personally Make Campaign Phone Calls Out Of Your Legislative Office?

Did You Direct John Paul Jones To Do Political Work On State Time?

Did You Authorize Bonuses (Paid With State Money) To State Employees Who Did Campaign Work?

Have You Discussed Your Involvement In Bonusgate With Your Employees?

Why Do You Refuse To Answer Questions From The Media Regarding Your Involvement In The Bonusgate Scandal?

Why Did You Hire A “Real Estate Attorney” To Be Chief Counsel For The House Democratic Caucus And Overpay Her Based On Her Inexperience?

CasablancaPA was one of the few places that published Todd Eachus papers but the Attorney General Office has down nothing to hold Todd Eachus Accountable.

Anonymous said...

If one writes to Corbett this is what you get back:

Thank you for contacting the Office of the Governor. Governor Corbett appreciates you taking the time to bring this to his attention.

He takes the input of Pennsylvania's citizens very seriously and he always tries to keep their viewpoints in mind when making important decisions.

If you have any additional questions or concerns pertaining to state related issues in the future, please do not hesitate to contact this office again.

Anonymous said...

Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of justice, compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.

While you are proclaiming Justice with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart.

Because it is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is your preaching.

Anonymous said...

The overall tenor of this CasablancaPA article is that absolutely no one has control over any of this staffing overloads.

Staffing is a mystery, there is real talent and dedication interspersed among worthless employees; fighting state agencies on behalf of citizens.

"Fighting Agencies For Citizens" - why would that fight be necessary when it's the legislators who pass these laws and after all that legislative research you would think they would get it right.

The existence of so many less than talented staffers happens only because talent is not prime factor when hiring.

I guess we should be pleased that so many other states - um....perhaps all of them, are so envious that we enjoy such splendid service that they are all following the Pennsylvania model and hiring-up as fast as they can.

Ah....come to think of it I don't see much of that anywhere else.

Does anyone really believe that the development of legislation ought to be anything but a non-partisan task?

"An Army Of Dedicated Servants"...sure. but dedicated to what?
Does anyone think that separate caucuses, all funded by the taxpayer, is anything except a giant political campaign operation?

It is really no mystery at all - it is an in-bred system devoted to keeping the status quo, that is for sure, since immunity witnesses that admitted to breaking the work rules still enjoy their jobs, benefits, and kept their bonuses.

Anonymous said...

Former U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy said Wednesday he is running for state Attorney General next year.

Murphy, 37, the first Iraq War veteran elected to Congress, served two terms before losing to Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick last year.

A Bristol Democrat, Murphy would make history if he won the seat; no Democrat has occupied the office since it became an elected position in 1980.

Former Attorney General Tom Corbett left the office when he became governor.

He nominated Linda Kelly of Edgewood to fill the remainder of his term, which expires in January 2013.

Anonymous said...

If the Democrats ever took over the Office of Attorney General, the Republicans would pee their pants.

Especially Tom Corbett but Zappalla will run too since he works with Corbett to defend the status quo in Gaming Powers behind the scenes!

Anonymous said...

Sealed Records Exposed In Major Court GaffeFederal prosecutors scramble to cloak details of ongoing probes:

APRIL 22--In a shocking failure to protect sensitive details about dozens of ongoing criminal investigations, federal officials somehow allowed confidential information about sealed cases to be publicly accessible via the court system’s online lookup service, The Smoking Gun has learned.

Over the past nine months, details of 40 separate sealed court applications filed by federal prosecutors in Alabama were uploaded to PACER, the web-based records system that counts nearly one million users, including defense lawyers, prosecutors, journalists, researchers, private investigators, and government officials.

The court applications, made by ten separate prosecutors, included requests to install hidden surveillance cameras, examine Facebook records, obtain credit information on certain individuals, procure telephone records, and attach devices on phone lines that would allow agents to track incoming and outgoing calls.

Remarkably, the U.S. District Court records--which covered filings as recent as April 11--included specific names, addresses, and phone numbers that should never have appeared on PACER.

The confidentiality breach was first discovered by a TSG reporter and brought to the attention of Department of Justice representatives and court officials in the Middle District of Alabama, which is comprised of 23 counties and includes Montgomery, the state’s second-largest city.

By late yesterday afternoon, prosecutors had the confidential information scrubbed from the online records system and placed under judicial seal at the federal courthouse in Montgomery (pictured above).

Anonymous said...


Firefighters union to halt contributions to Democrats...

Firefighters' union money goes local

As newly elected Republican state legislatures aggressively push a slew of anti-union measures, the International Association of Fire Fighters is freezing its federal political spending and shifting all resources toward its beleaguered state and local colleagues.

“With the survival of our union and the ability to preserve and protect the rights, wages, and benefits our members deserve in jeopardy in the states, we have re-evaluated how to get the best results from our political dollars,”

IAFF President Harold A. Schaitberger said Tuesday in an email blast to members that was obtained by POLITICO.

The firefighters’ decision could have real consequences.

The union spent nearly $15 million in the 2010 midterms on behalf of federal candidates, both Democrats and Republicans.

Its political action committee is ranked among the top 10 largest and the union was a major donor to some of the independent groups that waged an 11th hour effort to protect Democrats from attacks from business-backed groups.

The PAC donated more than $4 million in the 2010 midterms and a few checks were issued earlier this year.

“But until we see our friends in Congress be as committed to standing and fighting with us with the same level of intensity and ferocity as our enemies are trying to kill us, I’m turning the spigot off,” Schaitberger said in an interview.

Read more:

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

It's really a shame to see this blog die a slow death.
Whoever is responsible for keeping up with it needs to know that MANY of us depend on it for information not brought to light anywhere else.

The media really needs it too. You do the heavy lifting and all they have to do is follow up.

Please don't let it fade. It's too important to too many people!

Anonymous said...


State politicians accept trips, meals, tickets
Wednesday, May 04, 2011
By Laura Olson and Angela Couloumbis, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Philadelphia Inquirer

HARRISBURG - Conference trips to faraway places like China, India, and Ireland. Tickets to pro football games. Passes for pricey receptions and galas. Dinners galore.

Even in these belt-tightening times, such gifts and travel are all part of the life of a Pennsylvania legislator, according to the latest statements of financial interest filed with the state Ethics Commission.

In annual filings that were due Monday, some elected officials reported no gain in 2010 aside from the paycheck that comes with the job.

Others accepted meals, trips, and assorted trinkets.

Sen. John Pippy, R-Allegheny, spent more than a week in China and India last summer. The cost of more than $19,000 was picked up by the Aspen Institute Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership of Washington, D.C.

The Legislative Leadership Institute Academy of Foreign Affairs in Green Bay, Wis., spent $12,293 to send Mr. Pippy for 10 days to Ireland and Switzerland in December.

Reached for comment, Mr. Pippy said he learned about commerce in the nations he visited, and how Pennsylvania businesses can be more competitive globally. He said the trips, similar to others he went on through the groups in 2009, were educational and involved no direct lobbying.

Rep. Peter Daley, D-Calfornia, reported $2,750 in ski passes from the Pennsylvania Ski Operators Association.

Several, including Rep. Mark Mustio, R-Moon, listed donations to host legislative events in their districts. Mr. Mustio received $10,000 from various businesses to pay for the senior expo he hosted.

Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware, went to Dublin, Ireland, last August for a conference entitled "The European Union and the Euro - Prospects for the Future."

The cost of the trip, $2,147, was picked up by the State Legislative Leaders Foundation, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit that aims to educate the "nation's top political leaders [on] "critical issues of the day."


Read more:

Anonymous said...

Rep. Dwight Evans, D-Philadelphia, onetime chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee, watched the Eagles take on the Dallas Cowboys in Texas in the first round of the NFL playoffs last January. The Eagles picked up the $670 tab for his ticket, dinner, and hotel, according to his report.

Rep. Mike Vereb said Tuesday he didn't realize until much later the cost of a luncheon he and his wife attended during a Pennsylvania Society event in New York.

"I'm not a New York type of guy, and I had no friggin' clue as to the amount," said Mr. Vereb, R-Montgomery. He disclosed the $1,017 cost, a gift of Alpha Natural Resources, a coal company. At least three other reports besides Mr. Vereb's listed "hospitality" from Alpha Natural Resources -- those from Reps. Paul Costa, D-Wilkins, Brian Ellis, R-Butler, and Jim Christiana, R-Beaver.

Later that month, Mr. Evans reported, he received two tickets worth $2,000, compliments of the Philadelphia Orchestra, for the Academy of Music's white-tie anniversary gala.

State law requires legislators and other officials to annually report any gifts worth more than $250, as well as travel, lodging, and hospitality worth more than $650.

Some government-watchdog groups say gifts and freebies should be banned.

"It's wrong, period," said Tim Potts, a former legislative aide and cofounder of the activist group Democracy Rising Pennsylvania. "If this is for legitimate state work, then the taxpayers ought to pay for it, not somebody coming in and asking for favors."

Mr. Potts added: "The people who pay the money to give them these gifts expect something in return. If nothing else, they occupy that public official's time in ways constituents can't hope to compete with."

Reached for comment Tuesday night, Mr. Evans said he disclosed his gifts, which also included a $915 trip to a conference in Arizona, hospitality, and travel as the law required. He said he did not let them influence decision-making. "Absolutely not," he said.

Anonymous said...

State attorney general nominee's independence questioned
By Brad Bumsted
Wednesday, May 4, 2011

HARRISBURG — Sen. Jane Earll, R-Erie, said she had to ask longtime federal prosecutor Linda L. Kelly the question that was "being whispered" behind the scenes.

How would Kelly, a protege of Gov. Tom Corbett and his nominee for attorney general, react if he called and asked her "to take a look at this case — or not"? In other words, Earll asked on Tuesday, would Kelly be independent from the governor's office?

Kelly answered that, during her years as a prosecutor, she learned that she had to "do the right thing."

An attorney general who could be influenced by a governor could be influenced by others as well. And that would not be the case with her if she wins full Senate confirmation, Kelly said, the next step after she received unanimous approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Kelly, 61, of Edgewood said she would "serve with vigor, with diligence and with honor."

If confirmed, Kelly would become the first woman in 50 years to serve as the state's top law enforcement officer.

Kelly was nominated in February by Corbett, who served as attorney general until his election to governor last year.

He also is a former U.S. attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, where Kelly was his first assistant. In his nomination, Corbett emphasized her "good judgment and common sense."

Read more: State attorney general nominee's independence questioned - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Anonymous said...

What ever happened to Todd Eachus and his "target" letter? I was under the impression when you got the invitation to appear and target disclosure you were essentially certain to be indicted. Did he appear and somehow clear himself? How long has this investigation been going on, and when do we start going past statute of limitations deadlines?

Anonymous said...

Linda Kelly may have to be the one that takes down Tom Corbett regrading his actions as Attorney General for Prosecutor Misconduct and rasing money on State Money from his Office of Attorney General, or she will be part of a cover up.

You ask about Todd Eachus, but why is Mike Manzo not been sentenced and is being paid as a Lobbyists and his wife is off keeping her Pension being represented by Tom Corbett's Chief Of Staff, Attorney Ward.

The Press is going to soon target the upcoming trials and lack of continuing investigation of the Senators.

when this happens Linda Kelly is going to have far more questions than she has answers for, and Tom Corbett may be the target of the next investigation along with Brian Nutt.

Anonymous said...


GOP Gov. Tom Corbett’s reign has not exactly been a Return to Camelot.

Let us see, he has given big donors primo appointments, all but registered as a lobbyist for Marcellus Shale drillers and Big Business, and proposed Draconian cuts to education that would inevitably force colleges to hike tuition and school districts to raise taxes ... or start handing out diplomas after kindergarten.

Add in his failure to investigate one senator to date on Bonusgate and you can see the ingredients within a future scandal.

If you can tie your shoes, kid. You are ready to drill for gas in Corbett’s Pennsyltucky!

In addition, do not think people are not noticing. We are just waiting for the Federal US Attorneys to notice.

In a Quinnipiac University poll, 39% of voters approved of Corbett while 37% did not, yet 55% said the state budget should be balanced with spending cuts, not even by a combination of tax increases and cuts. Republican finance majors, we guess.

Time is coming near when reality of huge local tax increases will catch up to the truth about Corbett misdeeds while in the OAG.

Then last week, Corbett suggested that universities could offset his cuts by drilling on their campuses. Seriously, this is what our governor said.

Next, will be Gas Well next to Kindergartens’, wildlife preserves, and hospitals?

The bright side is we finally know where Corbett’s name originated.

He thinks CORporations are BETTer than everyone else is.

Once Corbett is investigated for raising campaign money within his own Office of Attorney General, Corbett Time Bomb will off!

Anonymous said...

More Profits For the Drillers… Less Protection For the Taxpayers.

We understand that denying reality has become the “new normal” for Gov. Corbett – from demanding over a billion dollars in education cuts despite a massive budget surplus, to pretending that he hadn’t ordered top political appointees to sign off before drilling inspectors can cite Marcellus Shale drillers for environmental violations.

So we thought we’d take a look at the facts on the ground during the first couple months of the Corbett Administration.

A new analysis shows that despite hundreds of violations, the drillers are being forced to pay fines or face other enforcement actions far less than in the past.

In the first quarter of 2010, 59% of violations resulted in action from environmental regulators.

For 2011? Just 12%. So not only are they avoiding a drilling tax, but they’re also getting a free pass for breaking the law.

Meanwhile, another report finds that drilling “near hundreds of schools, day care centers and hospitals across Pennsylvania poses a significant health risk to children and individuals with existing medical conditions.”

And who’s supposed to protect us from that?


Anonymous said...

Former House Majority Leader Todd Eachus Fails to Cooporate in Transition of Power

When he lost his bid for re-election, Todd Eachus shared nothing with his successor – not a concession, not a congratulatory note, and more importantly, not a single document related to business in the 116th Legislative District, according to Toohil.

Fourteen years of government paperwork – including pending grant applications – were not turned over during her transition into office this year, Toohil said Tuesday.

Toohil said she has no knowledge of any work Eachus, the former state representative in the 116th district and immediate past House majority leader, was doing before she defeated him in the November general election.

Todd is still ducking a Grand Jury too, courtesy of Tom Corbett before left the OAG.

Anonymous said...

Gov. "One Term Tom" Corbett must be real proud. Choke funding . . . for higher education in PA, while his Marcellus Shale drilling cronies and campaign contributors frack up the eco-system while paying little or no taxes. Truly shameful

10 Largest Public Colleges ranked by in-state tuition and fees, per The College Board Voice:

1. Penn State, 38,594 undergrads, $15,250 in-state tuition and fees

2. Michigan State, 35,765, $11,153

3. Ohio State C'Bus, 40,851, $9,420

4. U. of Texas, Austin, 37,689, $9,416

5. Indiana U., 31,892, $9,028

6. Texas A&M, 39,027, $8,387

7. Arizona State, 56,232, $8,132

8. FL International U., 32,967, $5,091

9. U. of Florida, 32,043, $5,045

10. U. of Central FL, 47,306, $5,020

Again, this is a ranking where nobody should be bragging about being #1.

It's a question that deserves to be answered quite frankly.

If Corbett has his way Penn State and Pitt and Temple and Bloomsburg and everybody else would be private colleges with private college tuition.

The Tea Party approach to higher education -- basically have as little of it as possible.

Anonymous said...

With all this talk about corruption and investigations – BUT what about the taxpayers? Vouchers to help those who send their children to private schools, tax breaks for the rich and businesses, and certainly no cuts for the legislature, it’s extremely high salaries, pensions & perks for both the elected officials and the bloated number of staff.

What about Property Tax Reform and Education Funding Reform? Include vouchers if you will, but what about the homeowners who have NO CHILDREN and pay School Property Tax? Do they get a “voucher” too? This voucher deal that the R’s have made will most certainly result in higher school property taxes and who bears the burden, not the rich, but John and Sally average with no kids in the school system.

Before the Republican Governor and his Republican controlled legislature appease the rich gas drillers and families that can afford private schooling for their children, this Republican controlled administration should be focusing its attention on the Middle Class, the class that most of these same newly found elitists most likely came from!

Farmer, Laborer, Clerk, Business Owner, Mill Worker, Executive, Doctor, Lawyer, Teacher, Preacher or Cook – the middle class is the backbone of society in America. How about looking out for them?