Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bonusgate-Some Interesting Information

Let's revisit a post over at Yardbird.com/Reform Pennsylvania. Bill Kiesling posted his commentary on July 2, 2008. It is definitely worth another look.

But what began as an investigation into legislative bonuses and other hijinks has blossomed into a wide-ranging grand jury inquiry into corrupt practices throughout Pennsylvania state government.

Gov. Ed Rendell and staff members are also under investigation

Prosecutors in the last several weeks have grilled Gov. Rendell's state police driver about the governor's associations and whereabouts, and other matters.

Federal and state investigators are examining, among other issues, Gov. Rendell's alleged dealings with organized crime figures, his administration's awarding of contracts, and contributions to the governor.

"The problem is Rendell has a lot of immunity," one observer says.

Grand jurors in the past months have heard appalling testimony into what amounts to deep-rooted systemic corruption in the Rendell administration, the state legislature, and the courts.

Grand jurors appear to be shocked at the level of corruption and partisan cronyism allowed under Gov. Rendell and AG Corbett.

Under scrutiny, for example, are lists of major political contributors. When a contributor gives five thousand dollars to, say, Gov. Rendell or other Democrats, the contributor's name is added to a list. If somebody needs help from state government, his name must be on the contributors list, or help won't be forthcoming, Pennsylvanians complain.

Investigators are also probing allegations that some $26 million in public money has been given to casino developers.

Meanwhile, also in the background, the not-so-radical League of Women Voters recently filed a federal lawsuit charging that Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices gave themselves a pay raise in return for a ruling allowing casino gambling. In essence, between the lines, the suit alleges that the high court judges lined their pockets by selling the commonwealth out to the mob.

Go here if you want to read a diary of news articles concerning Bonusgate.

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