Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

To Integrity And Beyond!

A group of state lawmakers today propose an integrity commission to battle corruption.

To Integrity And Beyond!

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

JB: Stand back, boss, and let the fresh air of integrity sweep away our state's corruption.

BE: OK.

JB: Today, a bipartisan group of state lawmakers is calling for creation of a public integrity commission to "restore the public's trust in state government."

BE: OK.

JB: It will, they say, be "charged with uncovering and investigating corruption at all levels of government within the Commonwealth."

BE: I'm for that.

JB: So are Democratic state Reps. Josh Shapiro and Gene DePasquale, Republican Reps. Mike Vereb and Curt Schroder, Democratic Sen. John Yudichak and Republican Sen. Ted Erickson.

BE: Uh. I don't see any of the legislative  leaders on that list.

JB: Details, details. These guys are out to save us all.

BE: But isn't Shapiro running for Montco commissioner?

JB: Well, yeah, and DePasquale wants to run for state auditor general.

BE: So this is a resume-builder.

JB: You're such a cynic. This is an effort to bring back something like the Pa Crime Commission which lawmakers voted out of existence back in `94 after it caught then-Atty. Gen. Ernie Preate and seemed to be getting, you know, too close for comfort to the legislature.

BE: Maybe it's me, but aren't our various levels of local, state and federal prosecutors there to uncover and investigate?

JB: When it comes to uncovering and investigating, the more the merrier.

BE: But is this really the best time to be adding more government to do things that already are being done?

JB: Sounds like you don't you want to "restore the public's trust."

BE: Well, I mean with fights coming over the budget, school cuts, shale, state stores, pensions, higher education, welfare and social services, isn't it better to focus on these problems, to knuckle down and get to....

JB: INTEGRITY AND BEYOND!! Grrrr.

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
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