December 18, 2014:
Pennsylvanians learned earlier this year that four lawmakers from Philadelphia were caught on tape accepting cash and money orders in a sting operation conducted by the Attorney General’s office. The matter came to light thanks to reporting by the Philadelphia Inquirer:
"Four state lawmakers took money, the sources said. State Rep. Ronald G. Waters accepted multiple payments totaling $7,650; State Rep. Vanessa Brown took $4,000; State Rep. Michelle Brownlee received $3,500; and State Rep. Louise Bishop took $1,500, said people with knowledge of the investigation."
Despite compelling evidence, Attorney General Kane did not file charges against the Representatives in question. At the time, she insisted that the investigation was a dead end and tainted by racism, but the story didn’t end there.
After some legal wrangling, the Philadelphia District Attorney, Seth Williams, reopened the case. On Tuesday, charges were filed against Representatives Brown and Waters. The Representatives were charged with conspiracy, bribery and conflict of interest. DA Williams found Kane’s accusations of racism baseless.
On the bright side, two apparently corrupt politicians are now facing charges and two more are still under investigation. The case against Rep. Waters is so compelling he is reportedly in talks to enter a plea deal already.
On the downside, the top law enforcement officer in the state dropped the ball on what appears to be a pretty open and shut case. Kane’s lack of interest in this case and unfounded accusations of racism by the investigators does not inspire confidence in her ability or interest in cleaning up state government, despite her campaign pledges to the contrary.
Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania (CAP) is a non-profit organization founded to raise the standard of living of all Pennsylvanians by restoring limited government, economic freedom, and personal responsibility. By empowering the Commonwealth’s employers and taxpayers to break state government’s "Iron Triangle" of career politicians, bureaucrats, and Big Government lobbyists, this restoration will occur and Pennsylvania will prosper.