An email is circulating among "strong" Democrats, urging us to fight back against Tom Corbett. I'm a weak Democrat, but a strong Democrat sent me a copy of the email, which I'll share with you. If the writer refrained from phrases like "partisan Republican liar Corbett," or bothered signing his real name, his claims would have a lot more credibility. But even though the author obviously has an axe to grind, he makes some good points. I suspect hometown favorite John Morganelli will be making them himself when he debates Corbett.
Just like Sara Palin and her bridge to nowhere, Tom Corbett is a liar.
Tom Corbett is lying about the conduct of his bonusgate investigation and Tom Corbett is lying about his motivations behind his latest decision to not bring charges against Republicans before the Election.
First, the conduct that partisan Republican liar Corbett ignores.
Corbett told the Morning Call yesterday, "I, and the career lawyers in my office, are conducting this investigation as thoroughly, fairly, honestly and as quickly as we can."
Simply not true.
Four times as many Democratic staff as Republican staff have been subpoenaed. (AP 7/31/08; Patriot 8/14/08). No Republican members have had to testify or have even been interviewed. (Post Gazette 8/16/08) The schedule of the investigation has given the Republicans ample time to destroy evidence, most notably their hard drives and servers. (Patriot News 8/3/08)
Corbett strategically timed his investigation in order to give his Republican friends an opportunity to destroy evidence and prepare for what little window dressing of an investigation he felt he needed to do politically. This timeline clearly illustrates Corbett's foot dragging:
4/16/07 – Corbett empanels Grand Jury (Tribune Review 4/12/07)
8/23/07 – Corbett raids Democratic offices (AP 8/30/07)
9/10/07 – Corbett compels House Democratic staff to testify before Grand Jury (Patriot 9/12/07)
10/22/07 – Corbett issues first subpoenas for House Republican documents (Post Gazette 10/24/07)
2/12/08 – Corbett issues first subpoenas for Senate Republican documents (Patriot 2/13/08)
Circa 8/1/08 – Corbett interviews first Republican House staff (Post Gazette 8/7/08)
This morning Pete DeCoursey with Capitolwire put it best:
"Corbett oversaw an investigation that managed to take nearly 19 months so far, and only charged House Democrats before a re-election, where he, a partisan Republican, is running for re-election. And in an election where many believe he could lose, especially if eastern Republicans dumped him, because, say, he just indicted a bunch of their pals, again, the smell here isn't quite right."
Now, let's discuss partisan Republican liar Corbett's motivation behind his decision to not bring charges before the election.
Corbett told the Tribune Review yesterday, "I know this investigation very well," Corbett said. "I know that my office cannot present to the grand jury in that one week ... all of the testimony and other evidence that will be necessary to complete the next phase of the investigation."
Again, Corbett is fibbing about his real motivation.
Corbett's own office has been illegally leaking to Dennis Roddy at the Post-Gazette that his supposedly fleet-footed investigators are looking at the huge political operation John Perzel, Brian Preski and John Hanley ran from the House Republican Caucus:
"Yesterday, several aides to former Republican Speaker of the House John Perzel, R-Philadelphia, were interviewed by prosecutors, according to a source close to the probe." (Post Gazette 9/23/08)
Corbett is lying about being overwhelmed with evidence as his reason to not bring charges. In reality, he succumbed to the pressure from Republican power brokers who understand that charges against Republicans before the election would hamper the GOP's chances of taking back the majority in the House. It is the same kind of pressure Dennis Roddy buckled under to when he erased his coverage of Brian Preski's Fumo-esq use of Republican IT staff to wire his home. (Post Gazette 9/11/08 original; 9/12/08 changed)
And, it probably doesn't hurt that John Perzel and Brian Preski have contributed over $50,000 to Corbett's campaigns. (3/4/04 $25,000 from Citizens for Government Reform to Friends of Tom Corbett; 4/2/04 $1,219 in-kind from Friends of John Perzel to Friends of Tom Corbett; 10/18/04 $25,000 Friends of John Perzel to Friends of Tom Corbett; 12/31/07 $500 Brian Preski to Friends of Tom Corbett)
An even more blatant untruth is partisan Republican liar Tom Corbett's assertion that he couldn't begin investigating Republicans because he had no probable cause:
"Corbett responded that investigators must have probable cause for a search warrant, meaning they must show a judge evidence of wrongdoing." (Tribune Review 9/23/08)
This is where partisan Republican liar Corbett is trying to close the sale of his bridge to nowhere. And, he is hoping everyone will buy it.
Republican campaign activity in the Capitol has been known and written about for years. Corbett is just choosing to ignore it. Just refer to Mario Cattabiani's item "A tangled web at statehouse" from 2/18/07 (yes, 2007, 20 months ago):
"[An animated Perzel political commercial] was parked online by the state House Republican Caucus, on a Web site funded by tax dollars. So, too, were other campaign materials: photos of Perzel going door to door in his Northeast Philadelphia district, and a 20-minute video tribute narrated by his wife, Sheryl. There was even a 487-page primer on how to run legislative campaigns, produced by the Republican National Committee…. The site containing the campaign-related material was registered and paid for with state money by the House Republican Caucus."
Even Steve Miskin admits it was blatantly illegal. "It's wrong. It should not have happened, and it should never happen." (Inquirer 2/18/07)
This isn't enough probable cause for Corbett to seize documents, issue subpoenas and begin his investigation?!?!?!
Instead, the Republicans were given ample time to purposefully and systematically destroy their hard drives over the summer of 2007. (Patriot 8/3/08) Thus, eliminating evidence for Corbett to follow (even though he has shown no propensity to aggressively do so.)
There is still time to return this bridge to nowhere back to the partisan Republican liar Tom Corbett!!
He is slapping all of you in the face with not even a whimper from you. Many of you are being battered in your campaigns because of Corbett's bonusgate charges against Democrats.
Demand that he stop this partisan charade and bring charges against Republicans!!!
Corbett has the evidence. Corbett has the probable cause. But, just like Sarah Palin and her bridge to nowhere, he is hoping that if he lies enough times to you that you'll all start believing him.