Corruption

Democrat Attorney General Shuts Down Corruption Investigation After Catching Democrats Accepting Cash Bribes, Because Racism

In Pennsylvania

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"public servants"
PA House

In 2010, when he was still attorney general of Pennsylvania, Tom Corbett, now its Republican governor, launched a corruption investigation targeting politicians in Philadelphia. The operation caught at least four of them, all Democrats, allegedly accepting bribes of cash and gifts adding up to at least $18,000. But after Democrat Kathleen Kane was elected attorney general in 2012, she reportedly shut down the investigation. Via The Inquirer of Philadelphia:

In a statement to The Inquirer on Friday, Kane called the investigation poorly conceived, badly managed, and tainted by racism, saying it had targeted African Americans.

Those who favored the sting believe Kane killed a solid investigation, led by experienced prosecutor Frank G. Fina, that had ensnared several public officials and had the potential to capture more. They said they were outraged at Kane's allegation that race had played a role in the case.

According to The Inquirer, prosecutors collected hundreds of hours of audio and video tape of the Democrats accepting bribes in the stings that the attorney general's office ran. Sources close to the investigation also insist that the sting targeted both Democrats and Republicans, but that only Democrats were interested in learning more about the opportunity for corruption.

The investigation relied on lobbyist Tyron Ali, who reportedly agreed to wear a wire after being arrested for fraud. When Kane nixed the investigation, the attorney general's office secretly dropped charges against Ali. The four politicians reportedly caught taking bribes were state representatives Louise Bishop (District 192), Vanessa Brown (District 190), Michelle Brownlee (District 195), and Ronald Waters (District 191). A now former traffic court judge, Thomasine Tynes, was also accused of accepting a Tiffany's bracelet and not reporting it. According to The Inquirer, Waters said he may have gotten something for his birthday (the tape reportedly shows him accepting cash from Ali on his birthday), Brown declined to talk about the allegations, Brownlee claimed she couldn't remember whether she took a bribe or not, while Bishop denied the allegation. The Inquirer has more on what the four said here.

It's not just a race card Kane played. She appears to have played the gender card too. A statement from her office claimed reporting on the kyboshed investigation amounted to "nothing more than the Good Ol' Boys club playing political games to discredit me." It sounds like Kane's fitting right into that club. Read The Inquirer's whole report here.

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  1. …saying it had targeted African Americans.

    If it was investigating Filthadelphia politicians, it would almost have to.

    1. I didn’t even know that there were any black people living in Pennsylvania, and then I remembered philly.

    2. At least one of the white D state lawmakers in Philly is under a separate investigation. It’s Philly, not race.

  2. As Brown accepted the money, they said, she put it in her purse and said: “Yo, good looking and Ooowee. . . . Thank you twice.”

    After he gave Brown the money, Ali urged her to vote against a bill that would require voters to show identification at the polls, the sources said.

    They don’t only waste tax dollars, they waste bribe dollars. I mean, who had to buy that vote from a Democrat?

  3. Sorry, but it’s hard to garner any support for a sting operation. Though I’m sure it’s much easier for the AG to make up new crimes to prosecute than to investigate and build a case on crimes that have already been committed.

    1. Seriously. This is PA we’re talking about. What to find a corrupt politician? Throw a fucking rock.

      1. In recent good news, one of our jailed former House Speakers was released, and the second one gets out this spring.

        So things aren’t all terrible!

        Mind you, a budget chairman and minority whip are still doing time, plus two state senators, one of them a former minority leader. And the old senator has been declared too ill to stand trial. But we got another D senator who was just charged, and she’ll no doubt do a little time in the stoney lonesome.

        On second thought, we really suck.

    2. Sorry, but it’s hard to garner any support for a sting operation. Though I’m sure it’s much easier for the AG to make up new crimes to prosecute than to investigate and build a case on crimes that have already been committed.

      I would much rather they go after legislators, exclusively. Nothing made up about taking bribes. Better than going after someone for gambling or soliciting or some such moral failing.

      1. I’m fine with investigating legislators or anyone in a public office. But not if it involves the AG’s office putting on a fake mustache to coax them into committing the crime in the first place.

        1. Yeah, it’s so unfair that people with access to the levers of power who set the laws and exercise significant power over their enforcement should ever be lied to. Because you could totally count on a 100% transparent investigation otherwise…

    3. Are you kidding? I want sting operations run against politicians ALL THE TIME. Let’s make them too paranoid to take bribes, and maybe worry a bit about the power of the government.

  4. District 195?!? How many reps does Pennsylvania have?

    1. The Commonwealth definitely needs an intervention on its addiction to full-time legislators.

    2. 203 and there is big resistance to efforts to reduce it to 150. Maybe made sense back when transportation was difficult but most members today can be anywhere in their district in 20 minutes or less.

      1. If only that we’re the case for our federal elected officials.

        Want to make officials accountable to those they represent? Make the districts so small that they are actually recognizable at the local 7-11 or grocery store. And make them work from the district every day except for a couple weeks a year.

        1. I like the way you think sloop.

          How’s things in the CA?

        2. Or better yet, let’s ditch this geographical bullshit. In our modern age, there’s no reason I can’t designate my vote to someone who best represents me, no matter where he’s from.

  5. “saying it had targeted African Americans.”

    African Americans is code for Democrats

    1. I thought it was “Canadians.” Or “Number 1’s” in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.

      1. I have several friends that work in higher end restaurants and they have all told me “Canadians” is what they use. Not for anything malicious mind you, but just for their own humor to relieve some of the stress of running around in a 100+ degree kitchen for ten hours.

        1. but just for their own humor

          Or to express frustration because, on a macro level, certain types of people (for whatever reasons) tend not to tip as well as others and when any recognition of that reality is a fireable offense.

          1. That’s the context in which my service industry friends use it.

          2. Canadians or African Americans don’t tip well? The latter I had heard about, when I worked in F&B, but in my experience it was more about economic station.

            AFAIK, this was the stereotypical list of bad tippers:
            Old people, Jews, hillbillies, people who overdo the thank yous and niceness (it’s their substitute for tipping)

            1. Black people don’t tip, as a general rule. No idea why. I drove pizza and I waited tables, and that’s what I saw.

  6. I blame my own ridiculously high expectations.

    1. That’s a good line right der

  7. When Kane nixed the investigation, the attorney general’s office secretly dropped charges against Ali.

    Because he fulfilled his end of the deal? Or because “here you go, now don’t go running your mouth or else?”

    1. The allegations by Kane are that Ali got such an extraordinary plea bargain deal that jurors would not find the legislators guilt, even though there was taped evidence of bribery. Like on all the tv cop/lawyer shows, if a witness has copped a plea in order to gain a reduced sentence, the defense lawyers attempt to impeach their testimony.

  8. And the people in PA that will continue to vote for these fools (and you know it’s going to happen, and they’re going to win) deserve this crap.

  9. I guess the FBI sting that caught a bunch of Democrats in corruption charges here in Dallas was probably racist too.

  10. Let’s not bicker and argue about who bribed who….

    1. This is supposed to be a happy occasion!

  11. What’s also great about this whole thing is you know if they were Republicans of any color she’d be headed full bore into the investigation.

  12. Why is it news that Kanye played the race card again?

  13. Could a private person run a well documented corruption sting on a public official? Point me to a Kickstarter campaign and I will donate.

  14. “Brownlee claimed she couldn’t remember whether she took a bribe or not”

    That is my favorite non-answer answer of all time.

  15. Please join me in calling for a corrupt political class that looks like America!

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