Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Roundup of Wrong

Lots of bad is spreading across the state. It's hard to keep track of all that's wrong in Pennsylvania.

A Roundup of Wrong

Not to depress anyone, but a scan of the state these days paints a pretty bleak picture of our current and former leaders and iconic institutions.

Former Philly and state political power John Perzel gets up to five years in jail for stealing tax dollars to help Republicans win campaigns, a story that draws attention from the international news service Reuters and runs, for example, in the Chicago Tribune.

In Pittsburgh, state Sen. Jane Orie's ongoing trial on charges she used taxpayer resources for campaigns, including her sister's (state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin), gets a surprise witness who testifies he saw campaign work going on in the senator's office in the senator's presence. The AP story gets broad play, including in the New Jersey Herald.

In Scranton, the Times-Tribune reports former Senate Democratic Leader Bob Mellow will be at Philadelphia's federal courthouse April 27 to plead guilty to conspiracy in connection with using his tax-paid staff for political work. The newspaper says Mellow faces five years in prison.

In Harrisburg, David Unkovic, the state-appointed receiver working on the city's fiscal mess, has a mini-fit during a federal court hearing on issues related to the capital city's state takeover of the city. The Harrisburg Patriot-News reports:

“`There is so much corruption in this city. The city has been mismanaged for 20 years,' he said in a loud and strident voice, repeatedly slamming his fist on the witness stand."

And in State College, the ongoing investigation of the child-sex scandal and coverup gets another jolt. The Patriot reports that a state welfare investigator who closed a 1998 child-abuse case against Jerry Sandusky would not have done so had he been shown newly surfaced psychologists' reports done at the time but withheld by Penn State police.

So let's see: Philly, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Scranton and Penn State all producing news you can use, if, that is, you're making a case for the sorry state of the state or, for example, putting together your own roundup of wrong.

 

 

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at baerj@phillynews.com.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
Also on Philly.com
Stay Connected