Tuesday, June 5, 2012


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?


Anonymous said...

It may have been legal for Perzel to direct caucus/party money toward defeating Veon, but it violated a certain gentlemen's agreement. Ah, well, there's no honor among thieves, is there?

Anonymous said...

Perzel (and DeWeese) continue to do "deals" like assigning themselves to be cellmates (DeWeese says Perzel told him it was "a done deal" if he wanted it), and is that something available to your average nonviolent con with drug possession or DUI charges?, or just well connected disgraced former legislators?

Anonymous said...

Today's Pittsburgh Post Gazette interview story with Jane Orie as she went off to prison: "every staff was involved in campaigns." Just not everyone was indicted or tried, most especially Senate Rs and Ds and their staffs. They all did it, the OAG just didn't follow the evidence wherever it might lead.

Anonymous said...

Here's something that baffles: if Perzel directed $10 million in taxpayer funds to purchase computer systems for campaign purposes, you mean to tell me that NOT ONE Republican legislator who then had new computers delivered to his or her office questioned where the funding had come from? Ostensibly, EVERY House legislator is involved in the budget process and hopefully, reviews the budget for which he or she voted. But NOT ONE said "Hey, this wasn't in the budget! How are we getting a new computer system?". I'm sure they are hoping that no one ever questions them on that!

If they deny that they knew about it, the question becomes, how enormous must an expenditure be before someone raises a question about it?

Perhaps I'm just an outsider missing some salient facts here......