Saturday, September 20, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Even jailed pols need holiday love

Even jailed pols need holiday love

 

So says Republican state Rep. Stephen Bloom, who tweeted earlier today that one "unnerving aspect" of his position is requests that he consider making a holiday donation to former lawmakers now in jail.

In his tweet, Bloom said only that he was being solicited for such donations by "colleagues," but did not name names. He was not immediately available for further comment.

An Associated Press article notes that Bloom elaborated just a tiny bit, saying it was a personal appeal to send money to a prisoner's inmate account.

Here's what is clear: there is no shortage of former legislators in jail. For political corruption no less.

The so-called Bonusgate investigation by the Attorney General's Office landed onetime top House Democrat Mike Veon, of Beaver County, behind bars.

After that, the AG's Computergate probe resulted in former Philadelphia GOP powerhouse John Perzel pleading guilty and being sentenced to prison. In that same case, former Republican Rep. Brett Feese was convicted and sent to jail.

Then, in off-shoot investigations from Bonusgate, former House Speaker Bill DeWeese and onetime Rep. Steve Stetler were found guilty and are now serving prison terms.

Bloom was recently elected to a second term, representing a Cumberland County district. He is among the Legislature's most prolific posters on Twitter.

UPDATE:

Turns out, it was state Rep. Garth Everett who was soliciting the donations for the holiday gift. The Republican from Lycoming County who emailed his fellow House Republicans on Monday for the donations for Feese, as it turns out. The reason: the Computergate case devastated Feese, and Everett was trying to help, the AP reports.

Everett said the donations will be added to Feese's inmate account at Waymart State Prison, in the northeastern part of the state.

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About this blog

Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis and Amy Worden in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based right in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.



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