I am here today in Montgomery County to compare Josh Shapiro's rhetoric to his actions and conduct. I am also here, as a first step, to ask the Montgomery County Controller to look into the relationship between campaign contributions to Commissioner Josh Shapiro from vendors who have been awarded lucrative contracts with Montgomery County. An audit is in order as first step to fully identify all county vendors who have been solicited by Josh Shapiro, and who have dumped thousands of dollars into his campaign coffers either immediately before, or immediately after Shapiro has voted on awarding county contracts to these same vendors.
In this campaign to date, and in the forums we have participated in, Josh Shapiro likes to lecture everyone about ethics and integrity. He brags about his so-called "integrity agenda " for Pennsylvania. He says that he will adopt a gift ban that will forbid an official from accepting even a free cup of coffee so as not to be influenced with respect to his public duties. He says that even if none of the little gifts a public official may accept are intended to influence public policy, that such practises "appear suspect" and must be stopped. He says he will lead by example.
But as I have pointed out in debate after debate, Josh Shapiro does not practise what he preaches. His rhetoric does not match his conduct. He runs around with ethics and integrity on his sleeve, but where is that when it comes to his own conduct? Are the folks of Montgomery County paying attention to what is going on right here under this roof? Are they aware that Josh Shapiro wants to ban state officials from accepting a free cup of coffee, but at the same time, here in Montgomery County, Josh Shapiro has no problem at all soliciting campaign contributions from special interests who he then awards a lucrative county contract. Let's look at the facts:
* February 20, 2015 - $2500 contribution to Shapiro
* March 6, 2015- Shapiro votes for a $400,000 contract award to McCormick Taylor for engineering services
And another $1,000 from a principal of McCormick on March 7,2016
Matt McTish ( McTish, Kunkel Associates)
* June 18,2014- Shapiro makes the motion and votes for $1 million dollar contract for construction inspection servicesExelon Corporation- energy company in Chicago/subsidiary is Constellation Co.
* February 23, 2015- Shapiro accepts $5,000 from Matt McTish
* June 19, 2014- $2.4 million dollar contract awardedPECO Energy Co
* February 19, 2015- Shapiro accepts $5,000 contribution from Exelon
And more recently, Exelon PAC contributed another $2500 to Shapiro on March 7, 2016.
* October 15, 2015- PECO awarded a $73,896 contractGannet Fleming- engineering services
* October 19,2015- Shapiro accepts $1,000 contribution/ he had previously received a $500 contribution on 1/19/15
* February 18,2015- Shapiro accepts a $1,000 contributionAetna Inc
* October 15,2015- Gannet awarded a $285,400 contract
* January 15,2015- Aetna awarded a $2 million dollar contract for dental servicesAllan Myers
* March 20, 2015- Shapiro accepts $2500 fro Aetna PAC
Between 2012 and 2015 Shapiro accepted $30,000 in campaign contributions from the head of Allan Myers Construction Co. Myers was awarded an $11.5 million contract for highway work in Montgomery County- a contract Shapiro voted to increase by $3.4 million in August of 2014.The aforesaid information was gathered in about an hour of time comparing campaign finance reports filed by Shapiro with Montgomery County contract awards and minutes of commissioner meetings. Josh Shapiro is worried about a public official accepting a free cup of coffee. He says such an incidental gift "... appears suspect and we must put a stop to it." But he doesn't think this pattern of awarding lucrative contracts to vendors and then either right before or right after having his campaign coffers filled with cash by these vendors is a problem. Josh Shapiro needs to answer to this. Today, I am asking Josh Shapiro to come clean. I am asking him to address this directly, not through some spokesperson or paid mouthpiece. I am asking him to disclose all of the other vendors doing business with Montgomery County that are also depositing campaign cash into his bank account. As I have said, I am also asking the Montgomery County Controller to audit this- to place a big flash light on what Josh Shapiro is doing.
Josh is great at giving lofty speeches and lecturing everyone else on ethics and integrity. Meanwhile, he has hand out to vendors who have to have his vote and support for work in Montgomery County. Josh voted on all these contracts and never once disclosed that he was in bed with these vendors-- that they were giving money to him right before or right after the award of these lucrative contracts. He could have even abstained, but he didn't. This is hypocrisy of the greatest degree. When will Josh address this?? When will the press stop promoting the Josh Shapiro fairytale that he is some kind of boy scout. The truth is, his self described description on his Facebook page as a politician is accurate. He is nothing more than a typical politician. If Josh wants to adopt an "integrity agenda", why doesn't he start here in Montgomery County and ban campaign contributions from vendors doing business with the county? Why doesn't he? Because the rules do not apply to Josh.
Full Disclosure: I support John Morganelli for AG and have made a small contribution.
Updated 10:15 pm: The Morning Call has picked up on Morganelli's accusations. The Shapiro campaign has responded by claiming that he gave Montgomery County an ethics policy and is fighting patronage. He does not appear to respond to Morganelli's very specific accusations.