Democratic Corruption Going Wild

The corruption among elected Democratic officials in the Commonwealth keeps growing.  Yesterday Reading City Council President Francis Acosta pled guilty to conspiracy to accept a bribe.  Today Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane is expected to face charges.

Two of Kane’s biggest personal faults are coming back to haunt her:  her vindictiveness and her inability to tell the truth.  She will be accused of leaking grand jury testimony in order to damage the reputation of someone she disliked and then lying about it under oath.  Kane lies about everything and her penchant to get back at those she dislikes has turned her office into a disaster area.

In Reading an FBI a few weeks ago led to the first domino falling in Acosta.  A man who seemingly came out of nowhere to get a seat on City Council then get elected as Council President, he agreed to try and repeal an ethics law designed to restrict corruption.  The campaign finance caps prohibited anyone receiving no bid city contracts from contributing more than a set amount to a campaign.  Mayor Vaughn Spencer (obviously “elected official #1 in the indictment) faced a tough re-election campaign due to a failed first term and needed to have the ethics law repealed.  According to Acosta’s plea agreement he agreed to contribute $1800 to “elected official # 2” if Francis would repeal the ethics law.  He introduced a resolution to do just that but Council members with integrity successfully fought the action.

It appears that Mayor Vaughn Spencer will soon join Acosta in federal prison.  He accepted $84,000 from four persons who were limited by that law in what they could contribute to his campaign.  The Mayor routinely violated laws and ordinances during his term leading to constant battles with Council.  The legal fees from those fights amounted to more than $1 million for a cash strapped city unable to provide basic services.  He and Acosta are both cronies of State Representative Thomas Caltagirone who has run the Berks County Democratic Committee from behind the curtain for years.  One of his staffers ran Acosta’s unsuccessful campaign for Mayor four years ago.  He and Spencer go way back.

The common denominator in the corruption in Reading and Allentown goes to consultant Mike Fleck.  This seems to have begun with the investigation of former Treasurer Rob McCord who pled guilty earlier in the year.  Fleck was his consultant in his failed campaign for Governor following Mayor Ed Pawlowski’s withdrawal from the race.  The Allentown City Hall offices were raided recently by the FBI and it has been reported that Fleck wore a wire against both Mayors before disappearing.  

I’ve known Fleck since he appeared on the scene running various Democratic campaigns.  No campaign he ran was legal and above board.  I even warned people running against his candidates to expect shenanigans.  There always were.  It’s no wonder that someone who had no regard for election laws would also violate other laws.  In the cases of McCord, Pawlowski and Spencer, this just goes to prove the old adage that when you sleep with stray dogs you get fleas.

When we combine these corruption scandals with the recent indictment of Congressman Chaka Fattah Pennsylvania Democrats have much work to do to clean up their act.  The Pennsylvania Democratic Party even hired Fleck’s consulting business for a time before severing the relationship.

Consultants are big business in politics.  They are paid well to manage and strategize campaigns for candidates.  A bad consultant, and they are legion, can do irreparable harm as Fleck has.  Shortly after the FBI raids in Allentown he dissolved his business and fled.  Acosta’s fall is simply the second domino to fall (after McCord) in what appears to be a succession of Democratic Mayors heading to prison.

News & Notes December 27, 2012

A lot has happened since our last check-in:  I had a birthday, Christmas came and went, a major winter storm rolled through and a former President went into guarded condition.  Hawaii has a new Senator, we have two nominations for Cabinet positions and nothing new has happened to avoid the “fiscal cliff.”  Whew.

Sen. John Kerry has been nominated to be Secretary of State.  Swift boating of Susan Rice was successful when the President bailed on her.  This makes Kerry’s Senate seat up for grabs which was the objective of the attack on Rice.  Former GOP Senator Chuck Hagel is being accused of antisemitism before his hearings to be the new Secretary of Defense over criticism he made of Israel’s government policies.  If all of us who have been critical of Israel’s genocide towards Palestinians were accused of being anti-semitic because of that you’d see how absurd it all is.  My questions are these:  why are liberals going to bat for a right wing Republican Senator?  Why do Democrats feel only Republicans are fit to be Defense Secretary?  Doesn’t that just play into the meme that Dems are soft on Defense?

George H.W. Bush is in intensive care at a Houston hospital with a persistent fever caused by lung ailments.  Coincidentally Houston has the worst air of any American city.  Funny how the chickens come home to roost.

House Republicans failed to come to agreement on a deficit package and Speaker Boehner looked weak after failing to gather enough votes to bring his Plan B tot he floor.  It was aborted.  Now their strategy is to blame the Senate for acting.  That takes balls.

A New York newspaper is under fire for printing the names and locations of everyone in two counties holding a gun permit.  This is public information and, in the wake of Sandy Hook, important information to have.  I’d like to know which of my neighbors is dangerous.

Gov. Gasbag, after campaigning on a promise of open and transparent government, on promises that he’d change the culture in Harrisburg, had a cozy weekend summit with his major donors and contributors last summer.  How many palms were greased with no bid contract promises?  We’ll never know because of the lack of openness and transparency.  Corbett is no different from every other corrupt politician who trades campaign cash for business and legislation.

In further news of his corruption the Governor took a vacation paid for by a natural gas businessman.  Corruption doesn’t get any plainer than this.  Corbett campaigned on a platform of refusing to tax energy companies for our natural gas they profit handsomely from while polluting our waterways, air and ground.  A nice vacation in Rhode Island was part of his payoff.

Three Pennsylvania State Troopers, including one from the Executive Service Section which provides security for the Governor, were accused with traveling to southeast Asia to hire prostitutes.  There didn’t appear to be any repercussions for their behavior.  This is known as sexual tourism.

There have been so many shootings lately it’s difficult to keep up with them.  The deranged man who shot several people in western PA was riled up about the Mayan apocalypse predictions.  What, he was too stupid to understand that calendars end?  It’s too easy for idiots to get guns.

Speaking of guns did you hear about the Tea Party shake-up?  Former GOP Congressman Dick Armey attempted a coup at Freedom Works including walking in with an armed guard to fire staffers.  He wound up getting fired himself at a cost of $8 million to stupid Tea baggers.  Is the Tea Party turning into a circular firing squad?  With all the guns those crazy people have this could wind up being good for the country assuming no collateral casualties.

Democrats have no accountability for House members who betray one of their own.  They named Rep. Thomas Caltagirone to again be Democratic Chair of the Judiciary Committee after he actively worked to defeat fellow Democrat Mark Rozzi.

I still wonder why stupid voters returned so many Members of Congress.  Republicans have proven, without a doubt, they are unable and unwilling to govern.  Why anyone would re-elect them then complain that nothing gets done is beyond comprehension.  The Violence Against Women Act expired because Republicans refuse to protect Native American women.  Do they not suffer from abuse too?  The Farm Bill also expired and is dormant.  Your milk prices will double next week as a result.  Republicans, after throwing millions of Americans into poverty with their failed economic and deregulation policies, now want to slash their food stamps.  Costing them their jobs, homes and retirements wasn’t enough now they also want to starve them.  47% of the country voted for this.  Relief for Hurricane Sandy victims is also being held hostage after conservatives spent the past ten years screaming that climate change is all a hoax.  After refusing to acknowledge reality we’re faced with the devastating consequences and they refuse to pay up.

Caltagirone At It Again: Helping Republicans Against Democrats

Rep. Thomas Caltagirone has had a checkered past aiding Republican candidates running against Democratic opposition.  He recently said Gov. Corbett is doing a wonderful job.  In 2007 I exposed a $500 contribution he gave to Tom Corbett’s initial run for Attorney General.  Since then he’s also given campaign contributions to Republicans such as Berks County Sheriff Eric Weaknecht.  He has given tot he Sheriff repeatedly including in his latest 2012 cycle 5 campaign finance report.

Maybe his greatest sin though came last month when he provided email letters sent to him by House District 126 candidate Mark Rozzi.  Caltagirone gave the letters to Tea Party Republican candidate James Billman who posted them on an attack website called “The Real Mark Rozzi.”  Rozzi was the Democratic candidate for the 126th State House seat and Billman the GOP candidate.  Rozzi won last week with 70% of the vote to replace retiring Representative Dante Santoni Jr.

The letters were sent by Rozzi to Rep. Caltagirone regarding sexual abuse of minor children.  As a victim himself of a catholic priest as a child Rozzi was seeking Caltagirone’s support for legislation which would have extended the statute of limitations for victims of child sexual abuse and strengthen reporting laws.  As Democratic Chair of the House Judiciary Committee Caltagirone killed the bills on behalf of the Church.

Following the Jerry Sandusky scandal these bills and Rep. Caltagirone’s conduct in stifling them became news.  The fact that Mr. Rozzi had sent him well written pleas on behalf of those victims of molestation in support of the reforms was hardly what most of us would consider “attack” material.  It tells us much about both Rep. Caltagirone and Mr. Billman that they thought so and used it at as part of Billman’s website to attack Rozzi.

So why did Tom Caltagirone give confidential communications to a Tea Party Republican against a fellow Democrat?  The answer is simple:  his real constituency is the Roman Catholic Church, not residents of the City of Reading or the public.  His purpose in killing legislation designed to protect children from sexual molestation was to protect Catholic priests as part of the extensive efforts by the Church to conceal such conduct and protect itself from liability.  As a victim of such molestation himself Mr. Rozzi campaigned on passing such reforms in Harrisburg and holding the Church accountable.

The question now is what will House Democrats do and react to this series of events?  Will they continue allowing Rep. Caltagirone, second in seniority among House Dems, to keep his powerful position where he can continue to harm children?  What will Berks Dems do?  They have repeatedly allowed Caltagirone to keep his position as a County Committee man in spite of constantly violating their by laws about aiding Republicans running against fellow Democrats.

PA’s Newest Abomination Introduced in State House

A new bill would deny food stamps to any woman who cannot prove her child was conceived via rape.  If you think Richard Nourdock and Todd Akin are extreme include RoseMarie Swanger, Tom Caltagirone, Mark Gillen, Keith Gillespie, Adam Harris and Mike Tobash to that list.

Most rapes aren’t reported to the police.  It may be that only 3% of rapists ever go to prison and only 9% are event prosecuted.  Few women are willing to go through more torment dispensed by our injustice system.  Denying infants food and nutrition, somehow, is a Christian value among this bill’s sponsors.  Caltagirone is the lone Democratic sponsor of the bill but he represents the Catholic Church in Harrisburg and does their bidding.

The bill denies welfare payments to low income women based on the number of children they have.  What right, first of all, do they have to dictate to others on their personal sexual behavior?  People have the right to engage in consensual sex.  I find Caltagirone’s position especially hypocritical considering he was charged with lying naked in his District office for a female staffer to see when she entered the office.  He allegedly ran out after her nude and carrying a gun.  Tom Corbett, according to Rep. Caltagirone to me, helped get him off on the charge and is why he gave him a $500 contribution in his first run for AG.  When I disclosed that contribution he came after me.  Now, claiming to be a Christian, he’d deny food to hungry children because he doesn’t like their parent’s sexual proclivities.

How Christian of these snakes.

News & Notes August 12, 2012

State Rep. Randy Vulakovich ran away with last week’s special election and will replace Jane Orie as State Senator for the 40th District.  He replaced Jeff Habay when he was convicted on similar crimes:  using taxpayer funded state resources for political work.

Nancy Brinker stepped down as head of the Komen Foundation.  Participants in their Relay For Life fundraisers is down (sometimes up to 40%) due to its decision to defund Planned Parenthood.  

Poor Mitt Romney can’t seem to stop himself from lying.  The pathological prevaricator keeps releasing ads rated “pants on fire.”  Then he complains when Obama goes after his tax and business records.  What a crybaby.  If you can’t keep it honest…

I haven’t figured out if Sen. Pat Toomey is stupid or simply clueless.  He reiterated again last week that government doesn’t create jobs or prosperity.  The era after WWII to 1981 disproves this theory.  High taxes on the rich fueled an era of prosperity unmatched in human history.  The Reagan Revolution ended it with jerks like Toomey dismantling everything.  The Obama stimulus created over 3 million jobs.  Toomey thinks it failed.  Tell that to the 14,000 Pennsylvania teachers who had jobs until it ended.

Another accident caused by the awful “turn right on red” law.  Enabling ignorant drivers to run red lights with abandon was stupid.  No one obeys the law which requires you to come to a full stop first and NOT turn into oncoming traffic has caused me numerous very close encounters.  Each time the moron behind the wheel claims they had a right to run the light directly in front of me under the law.  They don’t and this needs to be repealed.

When I tell people in other states that here in the Keystone State you can be arrested for parking tickets they think I’m crazy.  A proposed new law would end the cycle of constables showing up at homes to arrest drivers for failure to pay parking tickets.  You can actually be handcuffed, drawn in to the back of some ancient, flea trap of a vehicle and hauled off to court for a hearing.  Constables make huge incomes doing this and are trying to derail the law ending the practice.  Sen. Pillegi is blocking it.

The Obama campaign had this all ready to roll out yesterday:

Paul Ryan isn’t just anti-choice he supports “personhood” legislation making a fertilized egg a human being with full rights.  But he won’t give me full rights.

Eric Holder decided not to prosecute the banksters whose fraud crashed the economy.  Jill Stein for President.

The VoterID fiasco continues to make news.  Congressional candidate Larry Maggi may not be able to vote for himself.

Allegheny County Republican Chair Jim Roddey thinks Obama supporters are “retarded.”  Wow, what does that make a Romney supporter?  His bad taste joke:

“There was a disappointment tonight. I was very embarrassed. I was in this parking lot and there was a man looking for a space to park, and I found a space for him. And I felt badly — he looked like he was sort of in distress. And I said, ‘Sir, here’s a place.’ And he said, ‘That’s a handicapped space.’ I said, ‘Oh I’m so sorry, I saw that Obama sticker and I thought you were mentally retarded.'”

Speaking of bad jokes Mark Critz reportedly made an anti-woman quip to the Pennsylvania Association of Democratic Women.  Apparently it has cost him considerable support.

Obama has not only deployed drones (including at Fort Indiantown Gap) to spy on us but now has a blimp.  At least we can see when this one is lurking over our swimming pools.

The former Chair of the Florida GOP, notorious for voter disenfranchisement, says it was all intentional to deprive Blacks their right to vote.  This is also what VoterID is for according to Jim Greer.

A Magisterial District Judge has been forced to step down after making sexual advances in return for promised verdicts.  Justice for sale is ugly.  Anyone can run to be a MDJ and only voters decide who is qualified.  District Courts handle all sorts of cases including preliminary hearings in criminal cases.  Maybe it’s time we required some kind of law degree.  There are some really bad Magistrates out there.

Proposition H8 organizers violated California’s law on disclosure and are facing fines.  

There’s been virtually nothing on major news outlets about the growing LIBOR scandal.  Banksters continue getting away with rigging the game with no consequences.  Now these criminals are turning on one another.  You have to love it when sharks turn on themselves!

Here’s what happens when assholes like Sen. Williams turn public schools into private, for profit religious ones.  Education takes a back seat to mythology and fantasy as reality.  Reality check:  humans an dinosaurs didn’t cohabit the planet, dragons aren’t real and the Trail of Tears wasn’t good for Indians.

Meanwhile Christian music star Randy Travis was found naked and drunk by cops.  He then threatened the guy and his family.  How very Christian of him.

Finally, in a bit of Penn State news coach O’Brien is putting players names on the jerseys.  It has been a PSU tradition that team trumps individuals.  I honor the tradition and think this is blasphemy.  Football is a team sport.

Rep. Tom Caltagirone (Hearts) Gov. Tom Corbett

Gov. Corbett’s office sent this Tweet yesterday:

“I have served under 8 gov.s, this is the only governor I can truly say has pushed forward w/ the changes needed.” said Rep Caltagirone, (D)

The love affair between Democrat Thomas Caltagirone and Gov. Thomas Corbett goes back a few years.  I exposed him for sending a $500 campaign contribution to then Attorney General candidate Corbett the first time he ran for that office.  I earned scorn and retribution from the State Representaive and Democratic Chair of the House Judiciary Committee for that work.  While I was brought up on charges of being a “bad Democrat” for releasing information on how a sitting Committee man gave material support to a Republican, he was never pursued by Berks County Chair Tom Herman.

He explained his donation numerous times by explaining to me that it was Corbett who got him off on charges he had lounged on a sofa in his District office naked one day awaiting a female staffer.  When she entered and found him she ran out with the State Representative allegedly chasing her down South 10th Street in Reading.

No wonder the two Toms get along so well:  one is in bed with the church and one with the gas industry.  Both are sellouts who work against women and children in Harrisburg.  Their cozy relationship goes back and Caltagirone’s statement in support of Corbett defies logic and reason considering the enormous negative impact of this Governor.

Of course Corbett isn’t the only Republican aided and abetted by Reading’s resident scoundrel.  After Dems finally regained a one vote majority in the House he infamously crossed the aisle and voted for (now) convicted felon John Perzel for Speaker.

So Tom Caltagirone supports the agenda being pushed out of the Governor’s mansion?  It’s time either for this dinosaur to retire or for a real Democrat to send him there.

News & Notes June 19, 2012

I mentioned a few days ago that New Mexico Governor (I’m a frequent visitor to Santa Fe) Susana Martinez was in hot water over state employees circumventing official email accounts on state business.  This was significant because private, personal email accounts are not accessed for record keeping and do not have to be archived.  If corruption is going on, for example, one can conceal it by using non-governmental email accounts.  She has now ordered that all state business be conducted by using official state email accounts.  She certainly got a black eye over this scandal as she is being mentioned by some as VP material.

Legislation continues to sit dormant in Harrisburg which would extend the rights of juvenile sex abuse victims.  It continues to be buried in the House Judiciary Committee where Rep. Thomas Caltagirone let it die before.  He represents the Catholic Archdiocese in Harrisburg and is more concerned with protecting pedophile priests than kids.

As Congressman Lou Barletta condemned the Obama immigration policy a federal appeals court upheld the hate crime convictions in the infamous beating murder of a Mexican in Shenandoah.  Barletta’s hate speech against immigrants while Mayor of nearby Hazleton was seen as motivating such attacks.  Three high school football players beat Luis Ramiriz to death for the crime of being a Mexican.

The Pennsylvania health department has given probationary certificates to 14 women’s health clinics performing abortions.  Senate Bill 732 was set to go into effect today requiring onerous and unnecessary regulations.  These include full time registered nurses, 400 square foot operating rooms, elevators capable of handling hospital gurneys, parking for ambulances and other nonsensical requirements which are not needed for performing abortions.  Since general anesthesia is not used for these procedures requiring women’s clinics to adhere to the same regulations as outpatient surgical centers was a back door way to ban abortions.  I have a question for these legislators:  why don’t oral surgical centers, which do use general anesthesia, have to adhere to them?  I had a wisdom tooth extracted recently and that facility had none of these requirements.  The provisional licenses are for 3-6 months each.  Most abortion clinics cannot retrofit to adhere tot he new regulations and even if they could the cost would make getting an abortion only available to the rich.

This catering to the rich and to corporations by conservatives is ridiculous.  The war on everyone else has escalated to the point where a U.S. Senate candidate thinks insurers shouldn’t have to cover cancer.  First businesses can sell you cigarettes, dump toxic chemicals in the air, water and ground, pollute our waterways, put lead in our toys and who knows what else, then be exempt from covering the cancers?

Democrats are hammering Indiana GOP Senate candidate Richard Mourdock over his statement that employers should not have to cover cancer in their insurance plans if they don’t want to.

Indiana voters don’t have to support Mr. Mourdock if they don’t want to either.  I think it’s time for single payer, let’s get rid of health insurers once and for all with Medicare for all.

In Wisconisn http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/06/18/businessman-and-wisconsin-gop-senate-candidate-thinks-media-making-too-much-fuss-about-the-poor/”>their Senate candidate thinks the media should stop doing sob stories about the poor.  Yes, let’s stop reminding everyone how Wall Street fraud cost them 40% of their assets, dramatically increased the number of those living in poverty, slashed the programs for the poor then put all of these press accounts about them in front of us!  How dare we all see the fruits of their inhumanity!

You know these policies are bad enough but when you have major candidates spouting this sort of extremism it makes you wonder why anyone votes Republican.

Still, several hundred working people turned out to see Mitt Romney in Quakertown Saturday.  Clueless folks too stupid for their own good, they’d vote themselves into concentration camps if Fox News told them to.  Meanwhile Mitt showed how totally out of touch he is by calling touch screen ordering terminals amazing:

Normal, working people have been using these for years.  The Romneys took a $77,000 tax credit for the care of their equestrian horse last year.  That one credit is more than the median income for an American family.  No wonder he never orders hoagies from Wawa.  His horse eats better than I do.