Monday, August 3, 2015

Courtroom name game

The political corruption trial now underway in Harrisburg includes some interesting names. Could one of them predict the outcome?

Courtroom name game


(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

BE: I've got questions about that "Computergate" trial starting in our capital city.

JB: Fire away.

BE: Well, whaddya think Brett's attorney Feese will be? And is jail time Feese-able? And did Preski press a key to start a political computer program on the taxpayers' dime? And did Feese aide Jill Seaman see a man or men do wrong?

JB: Have you had your snout in the vodka again?

BE: That's beside the point. I'm trying to get things straight.

JB: OK. Former state Rep. Brett Feese, who's a former Lycoming County DA, a former House GOP Whip and a former top House aide, is on trial in Dauphin County. He and others are charged in a plan and later a coverup to use millions of tax dollars to buy sophisticated computer programs to help Republicans win elections to gain and keep House control. Feese's defense is he didn't know about the scheme.

BE: And, as I understand it, his defense is a lock?

JB: Not quite. His defense attorney is Joshua Lock.

BE: OK. Go on.

JB: Also on trial is Brian Preski, former chief of staff to former GOP House Speaker John Perzel. Perzel recently pleaded guility to the scheme and is expected to testify at trial. Preski's defense is that it was all Perzel.

BE: And, as I understand it, that's a winning defense.

JB: Again, not quite. Preski's defense attorney is William Winning.

BE: "Winning!" Like Charlie Sheen!

JB: I'm not sure they'll go that way.

BE: OK. OK. And Jill Seaman?

JB: A former Feese aide who is also charged. Her defense is she was only a secretary with no real power and never decided anything.

BE: And, as I understand it, that should get her off.

JB: Like I said, not quite. Her defense attorney is William Fetterhoff.

BE: OK. I think I understand. Hic.

JB: Grrr.





Daily News Political Columnist
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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

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

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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