Wednesday, July 29, 2015

No bidding war for portraits of ex-legislative leaders

The caricatures of a dozen current and former lawmakers bring only a $250 bid at auction this week. The high bidder is stunned at his good fortune and the low price for this collection of Pennsylvania political memorabilia.

No bidding war for portraits of ex-legislative leaders


It seems like just yesterday when the caricatures of more than a dozen of the top lawmaker graced the
walls of Haydn's On Pine - a chi-chi Harrisburg restaurant and wine bar a stone's throw from the Capitol. There were all the heavy hitters: Senate President Pro Tempore Robert Jubelirer and Senate Majority leader David Brightbill and House Minority Whip Mike Veon - stogie in his hand, astride a big Harley.
All of them are gone now and so too the high rolling steakhouse. Brightbill and Jubelirer were swept out after the payraise controversy of 2005. Veon is under indictment for allegedly paying campaign workers bonuses with taxpayer dollars.
On Tuesday the caricatures - along with hundreds of bottles of fine wine and kitchen equipment - were sold to the highest bidder at a sheriff's auction. The high bidder for the artwork was James Roxbury, who runs the video news service Roxbury News. The high bid? $250.
Standing on his front deck across from the Capitol steps, Roxbury admired his new collection. He said he was stunned by his good fortune: a collection of Pennsylvania political memorabilia at a bargain basement price. Then he pointed out the auctioneer's coincidental placement of the pieces on plywood for the sale.
There is Attorney General Tom Corbett's caricature, standing in his law library with a book in hand,  right next to Veon's portrait.
Muses Roxbury: "I think he's looking  up the statute he was going to use to indict Veon."
There are some survivors in the collection whose fates in leadership could be decided in caucus elections next week. There is former House Speaker John Perzel - who lost his post two years ago and is reportedly seeking a return to leadership - and a bow-tied Rep. Bill DeWeese, who is facing an uphill battle to hold his job as House Majority leader.



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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 in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.

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