Quoting from Martin Luther King and the Bible, Councilwoman Marian B. Tasco made a forceful defense today of state Rep. Dwight Evans, a political ally and founder of a nonprofit that has been under scrutiny since a state investigation said it misspent or mismanaged portions of $12 million worth of state grants since 2006.
Tasco particularly attacked the motives of The Inquirer for running a series of articles, including one last Sunday, on Evans and the investigation into the non-profit, the Ogontz Avenue Revitalization Corporation (OARC).
“If you look beyond the deliberately misleading headlines and the numerous inferences and innuendos, there’s not much there in their story,” she said. “They reduce 30 years of Dwight Evans’ hard work to revitalize this formerly blighted community to a headline of indictments.”
Tasco, speaking in Council chambers, noted that Evans, once the chair of the House Appropriations Committee, was “arguably one of the most powerful state legislators,” who “brought home the bacon” to his constituents.
She suggested that he bumped heads and angered opponents through his devotion to securing funds for minority communities, and she blamed the media for perpetuating the myth that “government in our hands is something more corrupt.”
“If he were a white legislator and this were a white neighborhood, The Inquirer’s headline would read committed state legislator turns neighborhood around after 30 years of hard work,” Tasco said.
She said that, if these allegations had been leveled against former Gov. Rendell, The Inquirer would have questioned why the audit was leaked to the media and never shared with the subject of the audit – OARC.
“If there’s a real smoking gun, where are the charges?” Tasco said. “Or is it the true aim to kill off these effective organizations by rumors, allegations and legal fees?”
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