Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Latest Grand Jury Leak Indicates Political Campaigns, Official Duties Do Not Mix Well

The Associated Press has received from Tom Corbett's prosecution factory obtained grand jury transcripts that reflect unsavory activity common along both sides of Harrisburg's aisles contain vaguely vilifying allegations concerning Democratic leader Todd Eachus.

These dispatches from the Corbett campaign revelations have, like the recent and curiously timed indictments and grand jury leaks concerning Bill DeWeese, refocused unflattering spotlights on Harrisburg Democrats, shortly after the attorney general's indictment of recently deposed Republican leader John Perzel ended an extended, headline-filled period of Democratic exclusivity with respect to Corbett's corruption investigation.

If happenstance, rather than political calculation, has controlled the timing and D-to-R ratio of these leaks and press conferences, the Corbett campaign has been the beneficiary of a series of remarkable breaks. In fact, the only break that has not gone the Corbett campaign's way involved the trial of former Representative Sean Ramaley, who was acquitted of all charges advanced by Corbett (after those charges extinguished his strong bid for a state senate seat, handing a competitive race to a Republican).

The exoneration of Ramaley has been the only element of the progression not entirely within Corbett's control. But it can't be ascribed to happenstance. It was the work of a jury, the only independent appraisal of Corbett's campaign prosecutorial effort so far. If the point of the "Bonusgate" investigation and prosecutions was to demonstrate that elected officials should not mix partisan politics with official duties, candidate attorney general Corbett might succeed beyond his plans.

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