Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bonusgate-Bonuses And Political Contributions

Tracie Mauriello of the Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau writes an interesting piece about bonuses that are part of the Bonusgate investigation and political contributions made by those charged in that scheme.

When Bill DeWeese was House Democratic leader in 2002, he gave his Harrisburg aides $1,000 or $2,000 bonuses.

Six of the recipients contributed identical or nearly identical amounts to Mr. DeWeese's re-election and the House Democratic Campaign Committee that year or in 2003, records show.

Nine other recipients that year made lesser contributions to the two committees.

The bonuses and contributions came to light in the discovery phase of a criminal investigation into allegations that the House Democratic caucus used tax dollars to subsidize campaigns.

You will read vehement denials about a link between the bonuses awarded and campaign contributions in the article but this about sums it all up.

One recipient of a 2002 bonus, who asked not to be identified for fear of retribution, said the House Democratic Campaign Committee sent mailings to employees' homes with lists of staffers who had contributed to various campaigns.

"I'd see the list and say, 'My name's not on it. I'd better give in case DeWeese or Veon is looking," the recipient said. "I made sure I gave at least something to Veon, DeWeese and the campaign committee, even if it was just $50, just to be on the list."

What strikes me odd is the audacity of those involved still feel their behaviors was/are acceptable and normal. People in Harrisburg better start "getting it." Notice I don't say Democrats or Republicans. Both parties are complicit in the culture that flourishes in our state Capitol. It is the way our constitution allows the majority party to control everything that happens. There should be no majority or minority. There should be a union of people who work for the greater good of this Commonwealth. I guess I better stay on my medication to quell these common sense thoughts. Forgot that's the other blog.


Anonymous said...

DeWeese got the wake-up call a long time ago. When it comes to this stuff, he's meticulous. Don't forget: the presentments say he's the only one who took pains not to use legislative property (Blackberry) for campaign purposes. As much as the media won't admit it, if Corbett had anything on DeWeese in Bonusgate, he would have been charged with the rest of the Bonusgate crew. When this is finished, he will be one of the most investigated men in PA - and he'll still be standing and working for PA.

McGruff said...

Interesting observation that actually has me thinking your way.