Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Did Eachus Make Himself Vulnerable?
House Majority Leader Todd Eachus spent time away from constituent work to campaign for Tom Leighton. Evidently the Grand Jury was right in its recommendations about government reform in Pennsylvania. If Eachus has enought time to campaign for Leighton instead of performing consituent work while he was back in his district maybe his position isn't really all that important.
Mayor Leighton was running against Rep. John Yudichak, a member of the House Democratic Caucus for the senate seat in the 14th district created when Senator Ray Musto announced his retirement earlier this year. Eachus is leader of that caucus. Both Yudichak and Eachus are members of the Northeast PA Democratic Caucus.
Acoording to this article by Robert Swift from November, 2008 Yudichak and Eachus at one time worked in unison as part of the Northeast delegation.
But there is something in that article that is germane to the picture above. Bill DeWeese was mad as hell when then Democrat Tom Stish switched to Republican which changed the balance of power in the Pennsylvania House. He enocuraged a young Todd Eachus to run for the seat against Stish. Of course Eachus won. Basically over a defection DeWeese intended Stish's defeat as an object lesson on the perils of party- switching for incumbent lawmakers.
At 48 one would think Eachus should have kept that life lesson in mind. Just as the Leighton supporter trashed his sign did Eachus trash himself by going out front for Leighton within his own party?
It is no secret that Yudichak didn't support DeWeese or Eachus for leadership positions within the Harrisburg caucus. Yudichak supported Rep. Frank Dermody from western Pennsylvania in an attempt to break with "business as usual" in Harrisburg. From Robert Swift's article:
Yudichak voiced concern Monday that Eachus' election would mean a continuation of the legacy of current Majority Leader Bill DeWeese, D-50, and former House Minority Whip Michael Veon of Beaver County. During the past weekend, DeWeese dropped out of the heated race for the majority leader's post and threw his support behind Eachus.
The ongoing Bonusgate investigation into whether lawmakers and staffers illegally did campaign work on public time has cast a shadow over the leadership elections.
Veon is among 12 individuals associated with the Democratic caucus who have been charged with theft and conspiracy in connection with the Bonusgate probe by the state attorney general's office.
Yudichak is among a dozen Democratic lawmakers who called for Mr. DeWeese to step down as majority leader after those indictments last summer.
Yudichak also supports the candidacy of Rep. Keith McCall, D- 122, of neighboring Carbon County for House Speaker.
Yudichak was right on the money with what he saw in the Democratic caucus. He was replaced as chairman of the Northeast Caucus by Neal Goodman. In this document from the Bonusgate trial Jennifer Brubaker is caught writing this email about John Yudichak to Vicki DiLeo, frequent players in the Bonusgate scam to do political campaign work on the taxpayer dime. Go to page 7. "Yudichak is not exactly the type of guy I would want to work with." She was talking about the executive director position of the Northeast PA delegation.
In this article it is more than apparent that Brubaker was a Veon disciple.
According to Mr. Lawrence, office director Jennifer Brubaker said to him, "'You didn't lift a finger for Veon, and I don't need to keep you around if you aren't going to support our guys getting elected."
Eachus unilaterally paid off Mike Veon's campaign debt. The Tribune-Review reported Thursday that three of the four top leaders of the House Democratic Campaign Committee said they didn't know about the payments toward the Veon campaign's debt. Reps. Joe Preston, Dan Frankel and Jennifer Mann -- apparently had no knowledge of the two payments. How he squares that action with acting in a responsible and ethical manner is a huge question only he can answer.
In the race between Leighton and Yudichak Paul Kanjorski was convinced to contribute $20,000.00 to Leighton's campaign. Eachus made a taping for Robo calls on behalf of Leighton. The full course press was on and failed. They thought they had a hockey power play and lost. They convinced themselves that their seniority and positions were unbeatable. One has to wonder whether this will be their office after the November elections.