Columnist Brad Bumsted says the testimony about the elaborate criminal enterprise allegedly set up by Veon and others inside the Capitol is appalling.
"Every Pennsylvania taxpayer should be furious," Bumsted writes.
Bumsted has written extensively on Bonusgate and this week's column focuses on testimony by Scott Brubaker, a former state House aide.
From Bumsted's column:
The secrecy was "exactly why we did it. You could get a bonus, and you didn't have to disclose it," said Brubaker. House Rule 14 didn't require that bonuses be publicly disclosed, he said.Read the full column at the newspaper's Web site.
"We would not report something we didn't have to report," Brubaker testified.
Right. Of course, you never tell the taxpayers how their money actually is being spent.
That statement by Brubaker accurately summarizes why Pennsylvania state government is regressive, insular and, to a certain extent, corrupt.
We have a Right to Know Law that will enable people to get some records never available before -- if you ask the right questions. Outside of the basics, the Legislature isn't covered on certain documents (such as e-mails).
And here was this ex-House staffer, who might be going to prison, talking about how they conspired to keep taxpayers in the dark about spending $1.4 million.
Meanwhile, the three-year compensation total for the Brubaker household, salaries and bonuses, courtesy of taxpayers, was $692,243.
What's galling is the hubris of Scott Brubaker, Mike Manzo, the former Democratic Caucus chief of staff, and Veon's former chief of staff, Jeffrey Foreman, who told the jury about ways they tried to keep information away from the public.
When the bonuses were revealed in January 2007, the House Democrat PR machine, day after day, insisted there were no bonuses for campaign work. Yet seven former staffers, including the Brubakers, Manzo and Foreman, have now pleaded guilty to participating in that scheme.
The real crime, however, was deceiving the taxpayers.
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS