Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tara Toohil Calls On Eachus To Respond To Bonusgate Allegations


In today's Standard Speaker staff writer Sam Galski is reporting that Tara Toohil, candidate for the Pa. House of Representative seat in the 116th district is calling out House Majority Leader Todd Eachus to answer questions surrounding his role in the Bonusgate investigation and misuse of taxpayer funds conducted by Attorney General Tom Corbett's office.

Toohil issued a news release Tuesday that sets a 5 p.m. Thursday deadline for the incumbent to respond to 10 questions about the legislative corruption scandal that has led to several convictions and charges against House lawmakers and staffers, charging that Eachus has repeatedly refused to answer questions regarding his involvement. Toohil contends that constituents deserve answers to the questions, which she says she e-mailed to Eachus Campaign Spokesman Dave Georges.

"His name has repeatedly surfaced in the Bonusgate investigation even being named as a close ally to convicted felon and former State Representative, Michael Veon," Toohil wrote. "According to published reports, Representative Eachus's own aide, John Paul Jones, testified before the Grand Jury that Representative Eachus directed state employees to work primarily on political campaigns while on state time. Jones admitted that he did political work for Mr. Eachus while operating under the cover story that he was a legislative research specialist making $62,000 a year in state money."

She demanded answers to the following questions:

How much taxpayer money was spent on political work by state employees under your direction? During what time period did this occur?

Did you ever utilize state resources improperly in order to assist in campaigns?

Were you aware that your employees were doing political work on state time?

Have you ever used the term "soft dollars" in referencing state money that you directed to be used for political campaigning?

Did you personally make campaign phone calls out of your legislative office?

Did you direct John Paul Jones to do political work on state time?

Did you authorize bonuses (paid with state money) to state employees who did campaign work?

Have you discussed your involvement in Bonusgate with your employees or with your former ally and convicted felon Michael Veon?

Why do you refuse to answer questions from the media regarding your involvement in the Bonusgate Scandal?

"Representative Eachus, the people who put you in office deserve answers to these questions," Toohil wrote. "As an elected official you do not have the right to remain silent when it comes to answering to the public.


Eachus Campaign Spokesman Dave Georges tried to deflect Toohil's public call for answers about the "Bonusgate" scandal on Tuesday, saying Toohil should instead take a position on pertinent issues such as mine land reclamation, job creation and programs that could help veterans returning from the Middle East.

Here was Eachus's statement back in February about the pending closing of veteran outreach centers in Pennsylvania.

House Majority Leader Todd Eachus, D-116, Hazleton, and Rep. Ken Smith, D-112, Dunmore, vowed to bring together all the relevant state agencies and organizations like the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars to try to work out a solution that meets veterans' needs while recognizing budgetary realities. That's political speak. What is really means is that Pennsylvania doesn't have the money to continue to fund these outreach centers because the legislators are taking the money for themselves in the form of per diems, expense accounts, lavish pensions, and "country club" health benefits.

As to the issue of jobs and the mine reclamation project currently being conducted by Hazleton Creek Properties one only has to turn to this statement made by Paul Kanjorski, former boss of Todd Eachus. I understand that many workers rely on this project for jobs. Todd Eachus has been the representative of "NO" on this project from the beginning. It has brought at least 10 new police officers to the City of Hazleton. Maybe it is Todd who should explain his stance against Lou Barletta and the City of Hazleton.

A open question to David Georges. You said rather than question Todd Eachus Toohil should instead take a position on pertinent issues such as mine land reclamation, job creation and programs that could help veterans returning from the Middle East. Are you saying that public corruption and all that has happened in Harrisburg and Luzerne County aren't "pertinent"? What a commercial for Toohil.

On the subject of the "Party of No"

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