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Another Harrisburg scandal: Release the tapes

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

There's quite an easy way for the court of public opinion to now determine if four Philadelphia Democrat state representatives and four others are crooks, as some claim, or victims, as others allege:

Release the tapes.

The latest scandal to rock the Cesspool by the Susquehanna is a botched investigation by the state attorney general, beginning as now-Gov. Tom Corbett was leaving office but ending as current AG Kathleen Kane was assuming it. A fraud-accused snitch, posing as a lobbyist and wearing a wire, was given an incredibly generous legal dispensation after allegedly ensnaring the “targets.”

State and federal investigators concluded the cases couldn't be prosecuted because of that quid pro quo and other shoddy legal work. Still, “I believe that we have evidence that certain legislators were taking money and that's a crime,” Ms. Kane said at a Monday news conference addressing a growing firestorm.

Some apologists for Capitol corruption consider it “racist” that investigators supposedly were told to target only members of the Legislative Black Caucus. But if “targeting” is proof of “bias,” no criminal investigations ever could be conducted. And the fact of the matter remains that $20,000 allegedly was offered, was accepted and has not been recovered.

The tainted criminal case appears to be legally dead. The public is out 20 grand. And everyone involved or alleged to be involved is either running for cover, clamming up or both. The least Pennsylvanians are owed is the public release of the snitch's pricey recordings.

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