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There are two topics that really hurt this past week here in lovely PA.  Today, front page headlines covered all the state papers with 12 Democratic leaders being charged with a plethora of illegal activities concerning campaign funds, public tax funds and fraud.  

The next topic is near and dear one for my local community.  If you think state and federal politics are bad, have you ever sat in on Borough Council or City Council meetings?  The idiocy is rampant and this situation takes the all time cake for our nationally registered Historic Boro.  

On a national level, most folks are not aware of the scandals that have been prominent in PA politics over the past few years.  One doosy was an after midnight session in which our fearless leaders passed legislation to provide themselves with pay raises.  This didn't sit very well and a major "Clean House" campaign in the last elections to rid out the evil doers was a limited success.  Now....we have a real whopper.

From Lancaster New Era and AP

As if Pennsylvanians need one more reason to distrust state lawmakers.  The public-corruption charges that rocked the Capitol and rippled through the state today read like a Hollywood script, tarnishing not only the accused but the entire legislative body as well, local lawmakers say.

"They make us all look like a bunch of bozos and crooks," said state Sen. Gib Armstrong, a 30-year veteran of the General Assembly.

There are the three House staffers who apparently got taxpayer-funded bonuses to do campaign work — but knocked off and went fishing instead. "We all joked that we are professional fishermen now," one told a grand jury later.

There's a 21-year-old female "ghost employee" who had an affair with a senior House staffer and was given a $36,000-a-year state job above a cigar store in Pittsburgh.

There are the motorcycle trips and basketball games paid for by taxpayers, not to mention the crux of the scandal — the millions of dollars apparently siphoned from the public treasury to pay for political campaigns.

"Former Democratic whip Mike Veon; Rep. Sean Ramaley, a Beaver County Democrat currently running for state Senate; and Michael Manzo, forced out in November as chief of staff to House Majority Leader Bill DeWeese, D-Greene, were among the 12 people who were charged.

So were former Lancaster County Democratic Committee Chairman Scott V. Brubaker and his wife Jennifer, two former rising stars of the local party who now live in Camp Hill.

This morning, three defendants were brought in handcuffs for arraignment by a Harrisburg district judge. Bail for Veon, Brett Cott and Stephen Keefer was set at $50,000 by District Judge Joseph S. Solomon. Veon declined to comment; neither Cott nor Keefer said a word to reporters. Court officials said a fourth defendant, Jeff Foreman, was arraigned on Thursday and his bail also was $50,000.

The eight others charged in the case were expected to appear before Solomon today.

Veon was the second-ranking Democrat in the House before losing re-election in 2006; Cott is a political strategist and former aide to Veon and House Majority Leader Bill DeWeese, D-Greene; Keefer is former director of information technologies for the House Democrats."

I'm not sure what the fall out of all of this will be for the election cycle, but PA residents have already been ticked for some time at the heavy handedness and sneaky "old crony" politics that has thrived in this state for many a year.  I haven't heard yet what Governor Rendell has to say, but I'm sure those in the know are laying low!  This just plain stinks on dry ice and then some.  Not sure if the MSM will pick up this story, the fires are stoked in this political swing state and not for the good of the Democrats today.


Next up, if the above in all of its glory wasn't enough, our lovely local Borough Council has just insanely approved a construction addition on one of the most well preserved and still functioning historic church sites, possibly in the country.  The St. Michael's Lutheran Church is listed on the National Historic Society registry and boasts an incredible undisturbed cemetery that dates back pre-Revolutionary War.  If anyone here is a Revolutionary War buff, the prominence of the PA Riflemen during the war was very important and significant. Not only is the insane notion that an elevator and air condition constitutes legitimate reasons why you would tear out 275 year old windows and add a wing onto a pristine structure, all in the name of an "elevator" and "air conditioning" installation.

St. Michael's Lutheran Church

But hold on, it gets even better.  The location of this new addition will reside directly over none other than a grave site of a Mr. Fred K. Powel, member of the 7th PA Military Regiment of the Revolutionary War.  Date of passing:  1790.  

In our efforts to make arguments to stop the development, we found that historians have been attempting to locate his grave site, having in hand a historic news article of his history in the regiment and PA Riflemen.

Church Graveyard

Well, yes, I have to admit today, I am one "Bitter" PA Democrat and Resident.  Not all news is national news, but in my mind, deemed diary worthy.

If there are any Preservation experts out there, we would really like your input, asap.  Of course, the idiots are already pulling in the trucks.  It's sick!

Originally posted to carolh11 on Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 01:37 PM PDT.


Interesting ways to punish idiotic local politicians

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Comment Preferences

  •  I say, firing squad :) (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    opendna, bubbalie 517, jethrock

    "People are only as happy as they make up their minds to be" Abraham Lincoln

    by carolh11 on Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 01:38:56 PM PDT

    •  Never believe ANYTHING (4+ / 0-)

      that's in the Lancaster New Era.  They're a bunch of shills for the right wing: even our so-called "Democratic" paper (the morning paper: Intelligencer Journal) is only slightly left of Attila the Hun.

      And keep in mind that here in horrible old PA-16, our House rep is Joe Pitts, whose last name truly sums up his policies, and who has marched in lock-step with the Bu$h Crime Family for as long as he's been in power.

      'Nuff said.

      Our economy is a house of cards. Don't breathe.

      by Youffraita on Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 01:42:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm here, in the 16th!! (4+ / 0-)

        The church is in historic Strasburg.  Ha:)  Pitts is such a loser!!!

        "People are only as happy as they make up their minds to be" Abraham Lincoln

        by carolh11 on Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 01:43:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I WISH Pitts would friggin' lose! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bubbalie 517, carolh11

          The county consists of a bunch of red low-info voters who either don't pay attention or don't care 'cause they're voting GOP because their parents did...and they can't figure out why the economy is so bad.


          Our economy is a house of cards. Don't breathe.

          by Youffraita on Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 01:45:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm in the 16th, too... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          buckhorn okie, Spedwybabs, Youffraita

          northern Lancaster, in fact. Check out Bruce Slater...wonderful person and seeking to oust the Pitts.

          New Era is most definitely a right-wing rag and is hardly a trustworthy news source. Watching this on the news last night made my stomach hurt. I don't know much about the facts in this case, but the media and the defendants' co-workers seem to have determined them to be guilty, without benefit of a trial.

          Despite whether these people are guilty or not, as a Committee person for the LCDC, the continuous political scandals here in PA are making our jobs that much more difficult.

        •  i just can't stop (0+ / 0-)

          thinking about the brubakers...anyone who's been involved in local dems, if they don't know them, they at least know of them...i've had the pleasure of getting to spend time with them and all i can think about is their beautiful little girl and how this is affecting them ...i don't know anything regarding what's true and what isn't but i just can't believe it and if they did it still makes me sad for their daughter

          and carol i'll make you the same offer i always make kossacks in the 16th...come visit me and get ice cream! treats creamery @ the quilt museum in the city next to Dipco :)

          "We have President Homer" - Jon Stewart 1/8/08

          by Spedwybabs on Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 03:58:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Veon and DeWeese are assholes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Youffraita, carolh11

      They've always been corrupt, and everybody around PA politics knew it. That said, the Republican Party in Pennsylvania is, if anything, worse than the Democratic Party. (See fmr. State Rep. Jeff Haybay for one, or the other guy, who used his office to protect himself against vehicular manslaughter charges after he hit and killed a pedestrian...his name is eluding me at the moment). Lots of corruption on all sides there.

      Obama/Casey, my personal dream ticket.

      by The Bagof Health and Politics on Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 02:23:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Best China-Cuba Oil Line Yet (3+ / 0-)

    Former Rep. Melissa Hart (R-PA), who's running to get her seat back this year, concedes that China wasn't drilling offshore Florida in Cuban waters when she repeated the GOP's favorite myth of 2008 a few weeks ago -- but they may have started drilling since then!

    David Kurtz

  •  Crazy Local Politics (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gogol, MsSpentyouth, carolh11

  •  What will Rendell say? (2+ / 0-)

    Shit, it was probably his idea.

  •  I like your poll diarist (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MsSpentyouth, slksfca, carolh11, MA Voter

    except I wouldn't use soft vegetables, I would use canned vegetables.

    •  But I would love to see them covered (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slksfca, MA Voter

      in Salmonella laced rotten tomatoes!!!

      "People are only as happy as they make up their minds to be" Abraham Lincoln

      by carolh11 on Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 01:49:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I had to go with vegetables, but I'd have gone (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slksfca, carolh11, MA Voter

      for riding those dirtbags out on a rail if it was a seperate option from the tar and feathers.  Here in district 12 we've got Murtha for yet another term.  Heaven help us.  I've seen republicans rung kinder and more astute terms than some of our democrats.

      And yet Murtha ran unopposed in the primary again this year.

      And since I'm ranting anyway, I may as well point out that the gerrymandering of this district should quite literally be criminal.  To stetch the distric north until it ran around Frank Mascara's house (but not his driveway) to force him out of representation in this district was corrupt to no end.  Wikipedia actually references it in it's articla on gerrymandering.  sigh.

  •  Regarding Historic Property Preservation (3+ / 0-)

    The rules for National Register of Historic Properties are quite strict, and they might lose their registration.

    I suggest contacting the local university or college archaeology departments and asking to speak with their historic archaeologists.

    If they have already pulled their permits, there is not any time left- and not much chance to stop them.

    •  Thanks Gary for your help... (0+ / 0-)

      I'm not sure what the permit status is, but with the blessings of the council, this is pretty tough to stop at this point, I agree.

      "People are only as happy as they make up their minds to be" Abraham Lincoln

      by carolh11 on Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 02:30:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Might also try the National Trust and state org (0+ / 0-)

        They might be able to give you advice on what (if anything) you can do:

        National Trust for Historic Preservation Northeast Office
        Wendy Nicholas, Director
        7 Faneuil Hall Marketplace, 4th Floor
        Boston, Massachusetts 02109
        Phone: 617-523-0885
        Fax: 617-523-1199

        Preservation Pennsylvania
        Mindy Crawford, Executive Director
        257 North Street
        Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17101
        Phone: 717.234.2310
        Fax: 717.234.2522

      •  Did their planning request (0+ / 0-)

        address the National Reigistor status issue?

        Did their planning request discuss alternatives?

        Did their planning request discuss mitigations?

        The construction phase will have additional mitigation issues caused by adverse effects from contruction activities, altered soil hydrology as well as the destruction of historic resources.

        Have these all been addressed?

        How many PhD, or minimally MS ROPA archaeologists have bid on the mitigation phase?

        The NRHP requires that the National Park Service mitigation proceedures be followed to retain their Reigistration status. This is also well defined in Army Corps of Engineers publications, but the NPS was the reall source. The NPS guidelines require a three part, or phased, process.  These are well established.  Has the project followed the three phase process? Has there been the minimum time allowed for public comment between each phase of the premitting process?

        Good luck.

  •  Agreed: (0+ / 0-)

    This just plain stinks on dry ice and then some.  Not sure if the MSM will pick up this story, the fires are stoked in this political swing state and not for the good of the Democrats today.

    Emphasis added.

    This is why I don't quite believe it.  Considering the GOP here: does anyone actually think that our GOP is any less corrupt?  Who paid off the Attorney General, and why?  Maybe these people are corrupt...but why are they being prosecuted?  When's the last time any corrupt GOPer got arrested for anything in this horrible state?

    Our economy is a house of cards. Don't breathe.

    by Youffraita on Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 03:16:42 PM PDT

  •  RE poll (0+ / 0-)

    I know the price of oil is high these days, but can you believe the price of tar? We've had to resort to honey and ant hills!

    --- "opendna is high and just makin' shit up outta nowhere." - greenskeeper

    by opendna on Fri Jul 11, 2008 at 04:34:25 PM PDT

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