Oh, Just Bill Me

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

JB: Our old friend Bill DeWeese, the western Pa lawmaker and former House Speaker charged with multiple felonies in 2009 in connection with a sweeping probe of the legislature, re-elected last year and awaiting trial, continues to hammer at Gov. Corbett.

BE: Because Corbett, as attorney general, is the one who got him?

JB: Yep. And now DeWeese used the state's right-to-know law to get details related to Corbett's decision to nix a huge state prison that was slated to be built in DeWeese's Fayette County district, bringing a ton of jobs there.

BE: Details on something that's not going to happen. What could be more valuable?

JB: Well, here's what he found. In planning to build the prison, taxpayers spent $2.25 million, according to a report in today's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, including $1.65 million to a Philly construction firm, Hill International, for "construction management."

BE: Nice pay to manage construction that isn't going to happen.

JB: There was also $431,199 to another Philly firm, Heery International, for "construction management," and $163,742 to Philly legal firm Duane Morris for "legal services."

BE: This prison-that-isn't was good for Philly's economy.

JB: Well, remember who was Guv when it was authorized.

BE: I wonder if any of those firms were contributors? Anyway,  the new Guv says the prison isn't needed. But what about the $2 million down the drain?

JB: Well, the new Guv's press guy says we spent $2 million to determine we didn't need a $200 million jail. Press secretary Kevin Harley put it this way: "In the big picture, this is clearly a win for the taxpayers of Pennsylvania."

BE: Especially the taxpayers working at Duane Morris, Heery and Hill.

JB: Money for nothin' and chicks for free.

BE: Have you been drinking?

JB: Oh, that reminds me. Yesterday's Growl on hunters and furtakers no longer drinking as much mentioned a bill to extend happy hours and allow bars to sell bottles of unopened wine to go.

BE: And?

JB: Well, that last part was pulled from an item in the usually-reliable Harrisburg Patriot. But today, The Patriot has a correction noting bars will not be able to sell unopened wine to go.

BE: That puts a crimp in my furtaking plans.

JB: Buck up. No word on whether they can sell unopened Wild Turkey to go.

BE: I frequently hunt for Wild Turkey. Maybe those Philly firms can send some unopened Wild Turkey to the jobless in Fayette County.

JB: And bill the taxpayers. Grrrr.