An especially mean-spirited editorial in the Beaver County Times (we won't link to it) highlights the incredible double standard the Times applies to former Rep. Mike Veon and to his successor, Jim Marshall.
Yes, the Times' favorite whipping boy Veon was convicted of using state resources for political campaigns. But so was Republican John Perzel - and no one benefited more from Perzel's nefarious interventions than Marshall.
After Perzel directed a veritable tsunami of both legitimate spending and ill-gotten resources to Marshall's campaign in 2006, the very first vote Marshall cast upon assuming office was for Perzel for Speaker.
Marshall accepted Perzel's illegal campaign assistance in exchange for his vote for speaker. Make no mistake: Perzel never would have committed the resources to Marshall's campaign were he not assured of Marshall's Speaker vote. Marshall was a willing participant in the very same game the BCT finds so repugnant when Veon is the player.
And, of course, the mixing of politics and state work continued after Marshall assumed office.
Tom Corbett's own grand jury called the House Republican Office of District Operations "a wholly-owned subsidiary of the House Republican Campaign Committee." It was that taxpayer-funded Office that supported Marshall's campaign, with Marshall's full knowledge and consent.
And while there's nothing illegal about Marshall selling his vote for Speaker, can we honestly argue that Harrisburg would be better off if Marshall had gotten his way and Perzel had been re-elected Speaker?