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.