Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"Mad As Hell" Grand Jury- Pennsylvania

Tracey Mauriello of the Post-Gazette characterizes the report developed by a grand jury investigating the misuse of taxpayer money commonly referred in the media as Bonusgate as a "mad as hell grand jury".

A "mad as hell" grand jury that investigated the Bonusgate scandal issued a list of recommendations improving a state Legislature they condemned as "broken," but was skeptical that any of the proposals would ever occur in a system so rife with corruption.

"The current operational structure and ingrained procedures of the Pennsylvania House Democratic and Republican caucuses are irretrievably broken and in desperate need of systemic change," the grand jurors wrote.

The self-serving culture of the Legislature's caucus system and patronage is so entrenched, the grand jury wrote, that the only way any change might take place is through a constitutional convention.

"The grand jury has determined beyond any doubt that the General Assembly, if left to its own devices, is utterly incapable of reforming itself," the report said.

The wide-ranging recommendations, filed Monday in Dauphin County Common Pleas Court, call for eliminating partisan caucuses, reducing a bloated staff and even changing the kinds of constituent services handled in district offices.

The grand jury found that legislative employees spent "an enormous amount of time working on political campaigns when they were supposed to be performing their legislative duties." They said "all campaign work on legislative time must be eliminated."

In a filing that accompanied the report, Judge Barry Feudale, supervisor of the grand jury, said grand jurors were "mad as hell" to hear from numerous witnesses that "no one's guilty because everybody does it."

Link to Grand Jury Recommendations at Post-Gazette

Come November lets see if the voters are as angry as the grand jury members and have the courage to oust those in power.

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