Friday, October 14, 2011
NOT IN A VACUUM
Yesterday's testimony in the "computergate" trial from Al Bowman is a perfect example. The Associated Press - the sole outlet to produce an article - creates the impression that Bowman discussed only his former employer, Brett Feese. (Associated Press 10/14/11)
However, the AP fails to mention Bowman's significant testimony regarding how ubiquitous campaigning in the Capitol was among every legislator's office and all staff people. The Inquirer's Angela Couloumbis' Tweets from yesterday's trial reflect this truth:
"Bowman also testifies that prior to #computergate investigation, House R staffers routinely did political work during legislative day"
"But after 2007, when state AG investigation began, everyone got scared and started changing caucus policies #computergate"
The Tweets - seen by a tiny fraction of the public - paint the more accurate picture of the landscape that actually existed in the state legislature.
Something fundamentally unjust occurred with Corbett's investigation of the state legislature. Especially considering the supposedly high standard for criminality that Corbett's team publicly set from the very beginning of the investigation. As summarized by Deputy Attorney General Frank Fina, "Anybody who violated the law is going to get it." (Patriot News 8/3/08) Deputy Attorney General Marc Costanzo reiterated the standard: "That this kind of activity [illegal use of taxpayers funds for political campaigns] will not be tolerated, and people will pay for their crimes." (Post-Gazette 5/21/10)
In the period covered by Corbett's investigations, multiple instances of the same type of malfeasance have been presented to Corbett by:
-- his own grand jury witnesses regarding their employers like former Majority Leader Todd Eachus (Associated Press 12/23/09) and former Speaker Keith McCall (Associated Press 2/19/10)
-- informants contacting his office like the former intern for Senator Jane Orie (Post-Gazette 1/6/2010)
-- and, the Pennsylvania Ethics Commission regarding members of the legislature like former Representative Matt Wright (Associated Press 1/29/10)
Yet, Corbett knowingly and deliberately let these law-breakers and so many others go free.