Today, Pennsylvania Attorney General walked into the Montgomery County Detectives office and surrendered herself on charges of perjury, corruption and obstruction charges.The charges stem from the alleged assertion that Kane leaked Grand Jury testimony of a former state prosecutor in order to get even or make the individual look bad. Magisterial District Judge Cathleen Kelly Rebar set a preliminary hearing for Aug. 24 and set bail for $10,000 unsecured bond.
It’s a history that Pennsylvania would sooner forget. Corruption at various levels of our state legislature, police departments and court system. In this past year Philadelphia has seen seven traffic court judges found guilty or pleaded guilty for bribery and assorted charges. Earlier, Pennsylvania saw the convictions of, State Representative Jose Miranda, D, Pennsylvania Senate Bob Mellow (D) pleaded guilty to using his Senate staffers for his re-election campaign, Pennsylvania House of Representatives Bill DeWeese (D) was found guilty of theft and sentenced to 30 -60 months, and earlier this week, and Congressman Chaka Fattah faces corruption charges. If you thought it was only a Democratic problem you would be wrong. Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin was convicted of six different corruption charges ranging from theft of services to misappropriation of state resources. There was State Representative John Perzel was convicted of eight charges which ranged from theft, conspiracy and conflict of interest. There was State Representative Bree Feese who was sentenced to 4 to 12 years for his role in with using state-paid employees and computer resources to help other Republican political campaigns.
Yesterday, the announcement came that yet another Pennsylvania politician had been indicted on corruption. Attorney General Kathleen Kane, once the rising start of the Democratic Party, who had been elected overwhelmingly in 2012, has been charged with conspiracy and perjury in a case brought by Montgomery District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman. The complaint lists the following actions that Kane allegedly committed are, Perjury, False Swearing, Obstruction of the law, and Abuse of Office. Kane is accused of leaking testimony from a 2009 secret grand jury to the Philadelphia Daily News in an effort to discredit her political rivals and using her chief of staff to allegedly spy on her opponents. You can’t make this stuff up. It’s better than any Hollywood conspiracy themed film. Pennsylvania Governor has asked Kane to step down while she fights the charges but Kane stated that her resignation would signal that she is guilty of the charges which she refutes. To top it all off, Kane plans to run for re=election in the next year.
Pennsylvania isn’t the only state in the union to have had to charge representatives with crimes against those who elected them. So the question arises how do we stop it? There are those who will say one political party is better than the next but as you can see it isn’t a one party problem. There are those who argue that we must contain the political contributions that are solicited in any given election. The idea is that by reducing PAC’s and large donors that representatives won’t be behooved to any one person or corporation. The answer back to that is even with PAC’s and large donors aren’t those elected supposed to watch out for the needs of those who actually voted for them in. Mom always said “Don’t be greedy,” perhaps our elected representatives should heed that warning.