Tuesday, April 07, 2009

PA: Leaked Bonusgate emails in public eye

And so too is insight into state Representative H. William DeWeese, at least according to the a Philadelphia Inquirer editor.

State legislative emails that have become part of the PA Attorney General Tom Corbett's ongoing investigation into what has been tagged bonusgate are being released in dribs and drabs by newspaper outlets around the state of PA.

It's about time such were released, but we have to question, why hasn't the public been privvy to all and everything which was taxpayer-funded work-product and/or internal communications related to the public's business LONG BEFORE NOW?

We've raised questions before pertaining to blast emails and why state representatives seeking re-election - primarily H. William DeWeese - were not asked about them, or asked about state website contracts...

Tuesday, August 19, 2008
DeWeese Not Asked to Open Closed Bonusgate Blast Email Website Contracts


We noted last year...

We remain unsure as everyone else just how far bonus-gate extends.

But at least our local newspaper should apprise us us what is now known.

It should question whether any state representatives, especially locally, may have been in receipt of Buxton or businessman James Rossell provided email address listings and any generated "blast e-mails" to help local 2006 political campaigns for state office or any and all campaign websites created potentially created using taxpayer funding and resources.

Yet not one question coming from those quarters. Not even one.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008
PA Bonusgate Lists Helped 2006 Winners


Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Bonusgate PA Spam Scam


We questioned...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Will DeWeese Face Electoral Defeat for Wrong Understanding?


Post-Gazette background:

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's December 2007 article E-mails show how Dems tied staffers' bonuses to campaign work Sunday, December 16, 2007 By Dennis B. Roddy and Tracie Mauriello, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The messages, obtained by the Post-Gazette, are a key component in an investigation by Attorney General Tom Corbett into the bonuses and whether they constituted an illegal use of state money for political work.


We tracked...

State Rep. DeWeese espoused full open records legislation, all the while continuing to support Rep. Mahoney open records bill's known limitation in not applying the bill's requirements to past records... and

we nailed down a little-publicized-but-known vote of Rep. DeWeese's pertaining to the then House open records bill, a vote on an amendment which would have removed language enabling 'blanket exemptions for emails!'

PA House Leader DeWeese No Questions on Open Records Email Blanket Exemptions


Shhh! More state secrets By Brad Bumsted
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review published Sunday, November 11, 2007 notes

Rep. Babette Josephs, chairwoman of the House State Government Committee, last month offered an amendment to remove what the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association calls a "blanket exemption" for lawmakers' e-mail in House Bill 443. The Philadelphia Democrat's amendment was defeated 127-69 with seven members excused...

... Here is how your House members voted on the Josephs amendment. A "yes" vote would have made lawmakers' e-mail available (if approved finally). A "no" vote scuttled her amendment and maintained the status quo:




Monday, September 01, 2008
PA State Rep. Tim Mahoney Keystone Opportunity Zones Position Not Noted


We pressed...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008
PA: DeWeese Remains Chief Democrat
PA state House Emails and Bonusgate:

When did PA House leader H. William DeWeese become aware of the existence of House e-mails, a damning string of e-mails indicating that taxpayer money was used to reward state employees for political work, according to Tue, Dec. 18, 2007 DeWeese: 7 aides ousted over e-mail Messages indicated that taxpayer money was used as a reward for political work by Angela Couloumbis and Amy Worden Philadelphia Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau...


So state Rep. Bill DeWeese isn't talking about the recently released "bonusgate" blast emails, (by news media via according to reports Brett Cott, the former House Democratic aide who provided the documents, obtained them from prosecutors as part of the discovery phase of the case.) nor as of yet has Rep. DeWeese released the internal in-House investigation findings by Chadwick and Assoc. his own Democrat House caucus members seek.

We've got to say. None of it is a surprise to us.

Monday, April 06, 2009
PA: Rep. Bill DeWeese Not Yakkin about Blasted E-mails


Tuesday, April 07, 2009

PA: Rep. Bill DeWeese in April PI Scope for Bonusgate emails leaked



Net the Truth Online archives issue Rep. DeWeese blast emails


Posted on Tue, Apr. 7, 2009 Philadelphia Inquirer
Editorial: Burden of suspicion

It was never easy to swallow Rep. Bill DeWeese's protests that he knew nothing about tax money being spent on political operations in Harrisburg. It's even harder to believe now.

As The Inquirer reported yesterday, documents in a wide-ranging criminal probe appear to indicate that DeWeese headed a caucus in which erasing the boundary between legislative and political duties was second nature.

The records show that DeWeese, formerly the top-ranking House Democrat, used a state-paid computer consultant to perform a variety of campaign tasks in his reelection bid in 2006. His campaign paid the consultant only $530, but the aide received more than $16,000 in public money that year.

The documents also suggest that the Greene County Democrat, who is now majority whip, used state e-mail accounts to correspond with legislative staffers about campaign operations. When a state employee told DeWeese about drafting a letter to the editor on behalf of a constituent to express support for DeWeese's reelection, DeWeese replied, "I love it."

One of DeWeese's constituents, Karen Zgela, couldn't be fooled. She wrote back after receiving a blast campaign e-mail that originated in DeWeese's legislative office.

"Do not send any more e-mails," Zgela wrote. "It is just a waste of taxpayer money."

How right she was.

DeWeese still insists that he didn't know Democratic state employees were being paid cash bonuses with tax dollars for campaign work, an allegation at the core of Attorney General Tom Corbett's investigation. And Corbett hasn't charged DeWeese with wrongdoing in his two-year-old probe.

But the criminal-probe documents highlight an arrogant culture in the legislature in which the line between political and legislative work is all but ignored - a lesson former State Sen. Vince Fumo learned the hard way.


DeWeese blasts release of e-mails
By Amy Revak, Herald-Standard

Newly disclosed e-mails that appear to raise questions about former House Democratic leader Bill DeWeese's claim that he did not know taxpayers' money was used to run political campaigns are merely an attempt by defendants to try their case in the media, the Greene County lawmaker said Monday.

The Philadelphia Inquirer recently obtained more than 100 e-mails from Brett Cott, one of the 12 people connected to the House Democratic Caucus who have been charged so far in the state attorney general's ongoing investigation into alleged legislative corruption.

The use of state money to reward aides for campaign work became known as Bonusgate. An ensuing investigation led to 12 arrests in the Democratic caucus. DeWeese, D-Waynesburg, has not been charged with any wrongdoing, and has maintained he did not know of any illegal bonuses being given out.

The newly released documents show DeWeese used a state-paid computer consultant to perform political tasks that included crafting invitations to political fundraisers and sending mass e-mails to DeWeese's constituents in 2006 when he faced a tough re-election challenge, the newspaper reported.

Brett Cott, the former House Democratic aide who provided the documents, obtained them from prosecutors as part of the discovery phase of the case. DeWeese, who headed the caucus during the period under investigation, has not been charged.

In a statement, DeWeese blasted the release of the e-mails. DeWeese said Cott is facing 42 charges and 272 years in prison.

"Let's call this what it is: a desperate attempt by the criminal defendants to try their case in the media by cherry-picking documents they received in discovery and leaking them to the media. Prosecutors made their charging decisions based on the totality of the evidence over a two-year period, which included thousands of e-mails and other documents that we turned over to them and the sworn testimony of hundreds of witnesses whom we urged to cooperate," DeWeese said.

DeWeese added, "It would be inappropriate to comment on individual documents that the criminal defendants have chosen to publicize. We have nothing further to say because this is a pending criminal prosecution."

DeWeese also exchanged campaign-related messages with his legislative staffers on state e-mail accounts, the newspaper account said.

Responding to a state-paid legislative aide who had drafted a letter supporting DeWeese's re-election that a constituent was to send to a local newspaper, DeWeese said, "I love it."

Cott's attorney, Bryan Walk, said the documents speak for themselves.


No comments: