Saturday, December 27, 2014

Onorato: Corbett's Twitter Subpoena "Completely Outrageous"

Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, speaking at City Hall this morning, accused state Attorney General Tom Corbett of repeatedly using his office for political purposes. The latest example of this pattern, Onorato said, was a subpoena issued by one of Corbett's deputies to Twitter, seeking information about two accounts, including one connected to an anonymous blogger who frequently criticizes the attorney general, his staff and their work.

Onorato: Corbett's Twitter Subpoena "Completely Outrageous"

Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, speaking at City Hall this morning, accused state Attorney General Tom Corbett of repeatedly using his office for political purposes.  The latest example of this pattern, Onorato said, was a subpoena issued by one of Corbett's deputies to Twitter, seeking information about two accounts, including one connected to an anonymous blogger who frequently criticizes the attorney general, his staff and their work.

"You can't subpoena somebody if they say something negative about you," said Onorato, who faces Corbett in the Nov. 2 general election for governor. "It's the nature of the beast. To me, that's using your office in a political way."

The subpoena, issued May 6, demands that Twitter produce "any and all subscriber information" about the account connected to CasablancaPA.com and bfbarbie, including name, address, contact information, creation date, and all Internet protocol addresses.

Onorato calls that "Completely outrageous."  He said it follows a pattern, citing as other examples the lawsuit Corbett filed to challenge federal health care reform legislation and the timing and targets in "Bonusgate," the long-running investigation into corruption in the state General Assembly.

The Associated Press reported today that the American Civil Liberties Union is helping the two Twitter users fight the subpoena and will ask a judge to quash it if an agreement can't be reached with the Attorney General's Office.

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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