Wednesday, December 7, 2011

SMOKE = FIRE

While we're still chuckling over GOP Attorney General candidate Senator John Rafferty's hypocritical "abhorance" of things like bonuses and legislative staff doing campaign work, we thought we'd check a little deeper into just what Rafferty's legislative staff has been doing for his campaigns over the years.

And, unsurprisingly to anyone who is familiar with the Pennsylvania state legislature going back to, well, forever,  Rafferty's staff received quite a few campaign reimbursements.  Especially, his District Office Director, Betty Randzin, and his former Director of Outreach, Alex Charlton.  Check it out for yourself here.

If there is one thing we've all learned since 2007, campaign reimbursements have always led back to illegal campaign activities IF a prosecutor issues subpoenas and investigates.

House Democrats? Yep. After gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett brought over 100 staffers into the grand jury to testify. (Post-Gazette 10/21/07)

House Republicans? Yep. Corbett called their Office of District Operations led by John Hanley "a wholly owned campaign subsidiary of the House Republican Campaign Committee." (Page 157, Grand Jury presentment 11/09)

Senator Jane Orie?  Yep.  After the Allegheny County District Attorney, Steve Zappala, followed up on the whistle-blowing intern Corbett ignored with subpoenas and a grand jury. (Post-Gazette 2/19/11)  Check out Orie's expenditures to Senate staff here...lots of familiar names from her trial.

The much ballyhooed grand jury report on how evil the state legislature concluded:

"In the eyes of this grand jury, it is beyond dispute that numerous legislative employees have for years spent an enormous amount of time working on political campaigns when they were supposed to be performing their legislative duties." (Grand jury report)

Corbett and his successors at the OAG have yet to subpoena any Senate Republican staffers, (Tribune Review 9/12/11), so why should anyone trust that Rafferty and his staff are any different?

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

PART 1 OF 2 ARTICLE:

December 7, 2011

Chris Freind: What did Corbett know about PSU scandal? And why didn’t he act?
Chris Freind
Associated Press

STATE COLLEGE Pop quiz:

What’s the relationship between the following two statements that have appeared in recent news articles:

1) “Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett’s national profile rises in the wake of Penn State scandal.”

2) “Tom Corbett has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate.”

Strangely, they are inversely proportional.

When one’s profile rises, that’s typically a good thing. But as the nation learns about some very disturbing actions of Corbett related to the Penn State scandal, his veep chances are plummeting.

As a direct result, his chances of ever being a heartbeat away are between zero and forgetaboutit.

At this rate, he may be lucky just to survive his first term.

Why the cover-up, and how far up the ladder did it go?

Why the lack of swift action, from not just the university, but from law enforcement?

And how could football ? no matter how storied a program ? have risen above the protection of innocent children?

These questions were supposed to be answered by a thorough and unbiased investigation by the state Attorney General’s office.

But as more information emerges on that front, the less faith people have that justice has been or will be served.

Enter Tom Corbett.

For better or worse, Corbett has been a quiet, behind-the-scenes governor during his first year in office. Yet he felt compelled to address the state and national media on the scandal.

Interestingly, Corbett is wearing three hats.

He is the governor of a state that contributes millions to Penn State.

He is a Penn State board trustee who participated in board decisions, including the firings of Joe Paterno and university President Graham Spanier.

And most significantly, he is the former Attorney General who launched the child molestation investigation of former football coach Jerry Sandusky in 2009.

The more that is learned about Corbett’s actions and inactions regarding the investigation, the more his credibility tanks.

Consider:

1) It took substantially longer for the Attorney General’s office to bring charges against Sandusky than it did for numerous politicians to be indicted in the Bonusgate corruption probe.

Bonusgate was a very complex investigation involving crafty politicians with the best lawyers money could buy.

Since much of what was being investigated in Bonusgate was not run-of-the-mill illegalities, the investigators had to overcome a hefty, time-consuming learning curve to understand the subject matter.

So how can such a complicated investigation come to fruition more quickly than a black-and-white child rape case?

And where is the rule against making an initial arrest to get the molester off the street and warn the public while continuing to build the case?

Given the appalling nature of the alleged crimes, and the real possibility that more children were molested during the three-year investigation, why did the attorney general wait so long to make the staffing level as robust as it should have been from the start?

If the answer is that resources were limited sorry, try again. Giving priority to children who are at risk of rape and molestation is a no-brainer. But inexplicably, that wasn’t done.

The governor continues to defend his actions, scolding those who dare question him, by stating that it takes time to build such a case and that he can’t comment further. But three years?

Fair or not, many are now asking if the investigation was delayed so that Corbett could avoid being the gubernatorial candidate who took down Joe Paterno and Penn State both wildly popular among the hundreds of thousands of alumni living in the state.

Anonymous said...

PART 2....

2) This one is simply incomprehensible. The governor personally approved a $3 million taxpayer-funded grant to Sandusky’s Second Mile charity ? just four months ago! How is that possible?

And why on earth is the national media not yet running with this?

In a response that was offensive to any rational person, here’s what his spokesman said, as reported in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review:

“He (Corbett) couldn’t block that (grant) from going forward because of what he knew as attorney general … He couldn’t let on to anyone (including the governor’s office) what he knew …”

That is so wrong that it begs the question as to the real motivation behind approving the grant.

The fact that so many people had been interviewed by the grand jury made the investigation anything but a secret. So not wanting to “let on” was clearly bogus.

Secondly, there was an incredibly easy way to deal with the grant without tipping off anyone: Simply strike it. It should have been that easy. But it didn’t happen.

Why?

Well, consider if the following may have had anything to do with it.

According to the sports website Deadspin.com , past and present board members of the Second Mile, along with their businesses and families, have donated more than $640,000 to Corbett since 2003.

That interesting and massively significant point seemed to have slipped the governor’s mind during his press conferences. Go figure.

Something is rotten to the core about how this whole affair has been investigated. It’s time for the feds to take the lead role in uncovering the whole truth, and that includes possibly looking into the Attorney General’s investigation.

With all the opportunities Tom Corbett has had to play it straight with the people of Pennsylvania especially the victims on his dealings with the Penn State issue, he hasn’t done so.

And that has caused an ever-increasing number of people to lose confidence in his ability to lead.

There is a great scene in the movie “The American President” where Richard Dreyfuss suggests that being president “was, to a certain extent, about character.” And in classic Michael Douglas style, he replies, “I can tell you, without hesitation, that being president is entirely about character.”

Well, character isn’t limited to the Oval Office. It resides in every one of us ? and that includes governors, trustees, coaches, police and investigators.

(Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television/radio commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, www.FreindlyFireZone.com . He can be reached at CF@FreindlyFireZone.com.)

Anonymous said...

Laughable, there is no rule against arresting a sex offender and continuing to build your case - just as the article cites.

I'm fairly certain that politics played a role and that then AG Corbett was tipped off back in the spring of '09 but was campaigning for dollars for his campaign in fall of 2009 at Penn State Games. Check it out and I'll leave it at that for some good reporter.

As for any charges since '09?

I don't think we've heard of any yet.

None of the original 8 and now victims 9 and 10 post-date the AG investigation.

I'm accusing him of the same lack of morality he spoke of regarding some of the people at Penn State.

We do know about Jerry's daughter in law seeking a restraining order and that at least one of his grandchildren is accusing him of abuse, correct?

I suspect, in this is only a opinion, that as law enforcement was closing in on Jerry his access to potential victims was limited and he may have moved on to the only children he had access to.

If in fact something occured between the time he stepped down in the fall of '08 from 2nd Mile and his arrest in November, it was probably his own grandchildren who suffered.

By the way, had they moved as they should have back in 2008/2009 timeframe, they could have frozen fresh evidence that existed both at The Second Mile, JS's home and JS's various work offices (including the office for life he was granted by GS & the BOTs as part of his Emeritus retirement package they granted him in 1999!).

Additionally, instead of arresting JS back in this timeframe, Madeira/Corbett instead alerted both JS and The Second Mile of the criminal investigation!

Comical that Corbett comes back in July 2011 and says he was hyper-concerned about "secrecy" and had to approve a grant so The Second Mile would not be onto the investigation????

Again, The Second Miles website states that they were told by JS that he was under criminal investigation back in 2008!!!
LMFAO!!

I cannot believe some Trustees and Politicians find these clowns' (Madeira's and Corbett's) statements "persuasive"?

Gee, what's that tell us?

Are they somehow linked to these @$$clowns and their corruption MCE???

If not, they sure seem determined to "stump" for them.

bobguzzardi said...

Team Veon-Cott, you continue to inform. I note that no one has challenged any of your factual allegations.

I haven't seen any challenges from the inferences you have drawn, either.

Fact based criticisms and valid inferences from those are useful to all voters and criticism can be an incentive to improve.

FYI If you hear that Sam Smith, Mike Turzai and House Republicans are returning the $20 million they misappropriated from taxpayers, please advise.

Anonymous said...

CORBETT'S FUTURE IF BRAVE MEN STAND UP AND CHALLENGE HOW CORBETT OPERATED THE AG OFFICE FOR HIS SELFISH ELECTION AND IGNORING HIS POLITICAL FRIENDS, CHILDREN BEING ABUSED, AND ANYONE CONNECTED TO IT WILL BE ASHAMED SOMEDAY.

"Whatever good things you did for people as governor, and you did some, I am more concerned with the occasions when you wanted to use your powers to do things that were only good for yourself."

"When it is the governor who goes bad, the fabric of Illinois is torn and disfigured and not easily repaired."

"The governor was not marched along this criminal path by his staff. He marched them."

"I am sympathetic to the plight the defendant's children have suffered over the last three years."

"If it's any consolation to his children, he does not stand convicted of being a bad father."

"I see case after case where good fathers are bad citizens and wind up in jail."

"The jury did not believe him and neither do I."

"I accept your apology."

Anonymous said...

During his press conference, in between squirming from some modest media scrutiny, Tommy-boy professed that it is acceptable to slowly build a case against someone accused of being a sexual predator, leaving the accused on the street with open access to other children, to ensure all the relevant charges are filed at once. To only file charges based on one victim, and allow other victims to come forward, thus leading to additional charges, would be unduly punitive on the accused sex offender.

Aside from being completely confounding, ludicrous and just plain insane, it now turns out to be yet another example of Tommy's hypocrisy.

New charges just filed against Jerry Sandusky by the AG means Tommy is either too ignorant or too arrogant to understand how the real process worked. This AG didn't seem to have a problem filing additional charges. Perhaps that three years investigating wasn't necessary after all? Just sayin'.

Wonder if the press corps will bother to revisit this issue, and ask those pesky clarifying questions, or if they'll continue to accept his drivel and drink his special Tommy-land kool-aid?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
CORBETT'S FUTURE IF BRAVE MEN STAND UP AND CHALLENGE HOW CORBETT OPERATED THE AG OFFICE FOR HIS SELFISH ELECTION AND IGNORING HIS POLITICAL FRIENDS, CHILDREN BEING ABUSED, AND ANYONE CONNECTED TO IT WILL BE ASHAMED SOMEDAY. December 7, 2011 8:16 PM...

It was the Mothers that stood up to Powereful Univesrity, Lengedary Coach, and Political Machine in spite of being called named for over a Decade.

Not just good Men but many Professional Woman, Mothers, and Sisters, and Daughters.

The amazing part of the investigation remains the fact that they had JoePa, MM, TC, etc. testify BEFORE executing a search warrant on JS.

Inexcusable.

Even NY executed one on Fine last week, but Corbeet claimed it was necessary to keep it secret.

Corbett then used One Sole State Trooper to investigate and promoted that State Trooper for being so slow?

Yet, the National Media sits on Corbett's complicity in holding up such an investigation?

Anonymous said...

I'm a Republican. Joe's a Republican, so far Corbett did nothing wrong legally.

However, Morally he's as lacking as anyone involved in this case outside of Sandusky himself.

Has nothing to do with "libs".

Corbett screwed up. It's ok to admit that one of your own did wrong, but Corbett may become part of the cover up taking place as we posts.

Well, one thing that is troubling, the current AG inherited the GJ that Corbett started.

Corbett has 1 officer on the case, she upped it to 15.

I would say she did a decent job under the circumstances.

To my knowledge she did not accept 600's of thousands in campaign contributions from Second Milers like Corbett did.

She didn't listen to those same donors or trustees and they didn't advise her to go slow like they did with Corbett.

She didn't repay them with a $3 million dollar grant for their charity.

IMO she cleaned up the mess as well as she could.

Corbett's neck deep in this deal whether you want to admit it or not.

Anonymous said...

People can believe me or not.

I'm telling you Corbett played it slow on purpose.

It was a very smart political move and one that, sadly, most politicians of any stripe would make.

He did nothing wrong from a legal standpoint so far as we know once investigator set their sights on the campaign contributions to Corbett, but morally he's as out to lunch as any of the PSU people who had knowledge of Jerry's crimes.

Just look at How many days did it take the AG to bring charges for Victims 9 &10?

Compare that with Corbett's timeline of 1 police person taking his good old time for Corbett that promoted him for being so slow and so far unanswerable to the public questions?

I must correct something here.

Corbett did NOT promote a state trooper, he appointed the head of the Attorney General criminal investigators (one of HIS guys) to the position of State Police Commissioner.

But it was the one and the same trooper that had the "moral" high ground on JoePa!

Holy Crap!!!!!

Well isnt that a kick in the pants!

Anonymous said...

There are some valid points I read here.

I think that the whole story is not going to come out and things get cleaned up in State College until the feds are fully engaged.

It will also help to have a throng of outraged Nitters like Barb behind the effort remake the University and its programs into something that people can be proud of instead of ashamed of.

The results of such investigations and housecleaning could and should have far reaching consequences.

We're PA residents and this is dragging our state thru the the mud.

A federal investigation is the only chance this will get a fair and impartial investigation.

Unfortunately,if there is,it will probably implicate other prominent people and politicians and the state will still suffer.

I'm all for the truth, but this wouldn't have ever been investigated if Penn State Trustees were doing their jobs instead of being in business with Paterno.

If Corbett hadn't taken money from the Trustees and done the right thing right away and arrested Sandusky,.

I don't fault them for Sandusky because, who knows these days.

I'm pissed because all they had to do was address this when it first came public 12, 7, 5, and 3 years ago, but they didn't, they couldn't risk damaging the brand/illusion that Penn State wanted to project.

And Corbett was glad to protect itr so long as his campaign benefited in time and money.

In addition, the whole time we got to hear the sanctimonious Penn State Nitters talking about "Sucess with honor" and ripping on Pitt, Temple, Wvu, Osu, Michigan, every chance they could.

The Commonwealth citizens, meda, and churches should be outraged, as Corbett want a cookie?

Unfortunately the Nitters that needed to be outraged weren't there to protect this kids, and neither was Tom Corbett when he was suppose to be walking tall, but chose his election to higher office over his duty to investigate crimes against children in a timly manner.