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.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.