In late 2014 and early 2015, five current and former members of the General Assembly were charged with bribery and other charges related to their acceptance of cash “gifts” from a lobbyist. Despite a flurry of legislation at the time to ban cash gifts, it never happened. The House and Senate changed their chambers’ rules to prohibit the acceptance of cash gifts from lobbyists, but the law hasn’t changed. The law hasn’t changed because banning only cash gifts would raise some very uncomfortable questions for lawmakers about the kinds of gifts they can still accept.
What kinds of gifts can they accept? Virtually anything as long as they follow the disclosure rules. In order to comply with Pennsylvania’s lax ethics laws, lawmakers are simply required to disclose gifts of more than $250 per year from any source and transportation, lodging, and hospitality worth more than $650. Over the years those gifts have included everything from Super Bowl tickets to Turkish rugs.
At CAP, we generally aren’t a fan of banning things and unnecessary regulations. However, given the sheer number of public officials from Pennsylvania who end up in prison we think that enacting a commonsense “gift ban” makes a lot of sense.
CAP member Representative Rick Saccone introduced HB 39 in early 2017 to accomplish that goal. Many attempts at banning gifts to lawmakers are impossible to enforce because they are written in a way that is overly broad and includes activities that could be genuinely related to lawmaking. Rep. Saccone’s legislation does not fall into that trap.
Despite being introduced and assigned to the House State Government Committee in January of this year, there has never been a hearing on this or any other gift ban related legislation. Citizens of the Commonwealth have been victimized by corrupt politicians of both parties for years and rightly have a low opinion of their government. We believe that passage of this legislation would certainly show that lawmakers are getting the message and are willing to take concrete actions to get their house in order.
Please take a moment to email your Representative. Ask them to become a cosponsor of HB 39. Encourage them to speak to the Chairman of the State Government Committee, Rep. Daryl Metcalfe about scheduling a hearing and a vote on the measure. It is going to take a lot to restore people’s faith in Pennsylvania state government, but this is a step in the right direction.
Trump Scandal Brennan Operation Says Seymour Hersh — Noted journalist Seymour Hersh is claiming that the “scandal” pumped by the press for the past year alleging collusion between President Trump and the Russians can be laid entirely at the feet of the deep state.
“It was a Brennan operation,” Hersh says (5:50) “It was American disinformation.”
“They were back-briefing the press,” Hersh said. “The head of the NSA was telling the press, that f—cking, c-cksucker Rogers was telling the press that we even know who in the G-area of Russian military intelligence service leaked it. All bullsh-t.”
Why would they do this?
“I can tell you right now, Brennan ‘s an a–hole,” Hersh said (4:50) “I’ve known all these people for years. (Director of National Intelligence James) Clapper is sort of a fair guy but not a rocket scientist, the NSA guy (Rogers) is a f-cking moron. The trouble with all those guys is the only way they are going to make it to a board or two . . . to deliver some . . . contracts is if Hillary stayed in. With Trump they are gone.”
And that’s what We the People are facing.
Hersh also said that the late Seth Rich was the source for the Wikileaks revelations about the DNC albeit he think his murder in July 2016 was a robbery gone wrong and not an assassination.
Listen to Hersh’s interview below. Obviously it contains salty language:
Turzai, who represents the Allegheny County-based 28th District, has received $22,500 from Comcast, which is legendary for its political cronyism.
He also received $20,000 from everyone’s favorite puppet master Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young. When you have had the state attorney general and the state GOP chairman, the governor’s office is just icing on the cake.
He also got $10,000 from the Chester County Republican Committee. Why back a guy from Pittsburgh, Val, especially at this point in the race? One hand washes the other it seems.
Corrupt Hillary Or How We Really Dodged A Bullet — As Democrats become ever more unhinged over President Trump’s glorious swamp draining, another revelation of Hillary Clinton’s unabashed corruption has occurred. Yes, we really dodged a bullet.
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina says then Secretary of State Clinton made a personal call to to pressure her to keep Muhammed Yunus as chairman of the country’s Grameen Bank.
Bangladesh law prohibits civil servants from working beyond the age of 60. Yunus was 70 in March 2011 when the call was made.
The bank’s nonprofit Grameen America, which Yunus chairs, had given between $100,000 and $250,000 to the Clinton Global Initiative. Grameen Research, also chaired by Yunus, donated between $25,000 and $50,000.
Why would a “nonprofit charity” donate to another “nonprofit charity”? The answer is when the “nonprofit charity” is not a “nonprofit charity” but a means of getting rich. A small bribe here can often garner greater lucre there.
Fattah, a Democrat, represented from 1995 until June 23 Pennsylvania’s 2nd District. This consists of large swaths of Philly along with Lower Merion in Montco.
U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III called Fattah actions “astonishing” which frankly deserves an LOL. Still, the sentence he passed might be the longest ever imposed on a member of Congress for federal corruption crimes so kudos for being astonished.
Fattah got a $174,000 congressional salary and associated perks, along with his bribes.
Josh Shapiro (Democrat), the political boss of Montgomery County and Pennsylvania’s next attorney general, is counsel at Stradley Ronon.
Val DiGiorgio (Republican), the political boss of Chester County and among the leading candidates for chairman of the state Republican Party, runs Stradley Ronon’s banking and public finance sections. He includes Government and Public Affairs as part of his “focus”.
No matter how many 10-year sentences our hacks get, Pennsylvania will never be clean until places like Stradley Ronon are sent to the dustbin.
Food Stamps Corporate Greed — The tenderhearted souls who call themselves “progressives” and claim to want care for the poor– albeit always by someone else — are huge defenders of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) which is still often referred to as “food stamps” despite the benefits now being distributed by a plastic card.
SNAP benefits for a single person in Pennsylvania are maximized at $200 and they can be used to buy soft drinks, candy, cookies, snack crackers, and ice cream novelties. Any attempt to restrict this program to things like fresh veggies, bulk grain and unsweetened dairy are met with shrieks and media stridency. You ever wonder who is paying for these shrieks and media stridency, and be sure that it is being bought although many of those doing the shrieking aren’t seeing the money?
Well, who is it that makes the soft drinks, and junk food? That’s right progressives, you are simple tools of corporate greed.
Ponder this: the asset/resource limit for SNAP in Pennsylvania is $5,500 or $9,000 for homes with a disabled or elderly member. If we were to halve the maximum — which would also be to roughly $75 for additional household members — yet limit what can be purchased to the healthy stuff that one has to prepare oneself, say like rice which costs about $20 for a 50 pound bag, you can double the resource limit and make a lot of needy people a lot better off.
As PepsiCo would not approve, though, don’t expect this to happen.
Dems Picked Criminal For Civil Service Commission — Delaware County Democrats are under fire for appointing Anthony Serody — who murdered his former girlfriend last week — to Folcroft Borough’s Civil Service Commission the duties of which include overseeing testing of new police officers despite Serody’s long criminal rap sheet.
The Democrats will have to replace Serody as he shot himself after killing the woman.
Court records show that Serody had been charged with numerous crimes including robbery, theft, aggravated assault, witness retaliation, reckless endangerment, ethnic intimidation, burglary, receiving stolen property, and obstruction of justice over two decades in Philadelphia and Venango County albeit he was only convicted of escape in 1993, and of trespassing last year.
So how did he get the post? It appears it was related to his membership in Laborers Local 332.
It is necessary for national unity that Democrats learn to stop accepting violent, women-hating bullies into their ranks and to recognize that there is no point to win-at-all-cost thinking.
Internet Radio Fight Concerns Crony Capitalism –Internet radio promises convenience and variety unimaginable to those whose thinking is limited by the finite bands of the broadcast spectrum. One of the things that keeps it from fulfilling its potential is copyright regulation namely a government mandate that it pay a higher set of royalties than its broadcast brothers
Congressmen Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) Jared Polis (D-CO) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) are trying to change this.
The usual powerful and greedy crony capitalists are fighting them, however. Hollywood and the Recording Industry of America (RIAA) like things as they are because it gives them more control and more money. Sensitive liberal activists Sheryl Crow, Cee Lo Green and Rihanna have signed a letter that the unfair existing structure be kept.
When are people going to realize that those who call themselves “liberal” are not. When a celebrity says he or she “cares” he or she means about himself.