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Conservative Reform Network

Conservative Reform Network

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Conservative Reform Network
The Newsletter for Independent, Conservative Political Activists

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Conservative Reform Network

Trial Postponed

Two Agree to Testify

$1Million Legal Fees

Casablanca Reports

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Dear Lowman,

This week we bring you news of Bonusgate Republicans and direct your attention to detailed reports at Casablancapa on Bonusgate House Republicans and the Million Dollar legal fees on Bonusgate Senate Republicans. We bring you up to speed on the House Democrats. Mike Manzo, the former Chief of Staff to now Majority Whip Bill DeWeese, and long time House Democrat operative, has agreed to plead guilty and promised to tell "...the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth." And the prosecutors have their ways to enforce that promise.

You can view more posts on my blog.

Trial Postponed

Judge Richard A. Lewis of Dauphin County has postponed the trial of 12 Bonusgate Defendants originally scheduled for January 15, 2008. Under the new schedule, pretrial motions are not due until April 15, and a hearing on them is expected to take place in mid-June. The defense attorneys said they have "mountains of documents..." that they need to review. And I am quite sure they do.

Two Agree to Testify for Prosecution

Since last October 2008 not much has happened in the Bonusgate probe.

In October 2008, at least two defendants agreed to plead guilty to Bonusgate charges and co-operate with Pennsylvania Attorney General: Former House Majority Leader (now House Majority Whip) Bill DeWeese's former Chief of Staff Mike Manzo and P.J. Lavelle, a former staffer to indicted Mike Veon, former House Democratic Minority Whip, - and others could reach plea agreements before trial. Trial has been postponed and pre-trial motions are due in April 2009.

Mike Manzo implicates Bill DeWeese and "We knew we were going to be badly outspent by Republicans because we were in the minority," Manzo said in testimony before Dauphin County President Judge Richard Lewis. "Our goal was to have more feet on the ground. It was the only way we could compete."

Manzo's attorney, James Eisenhower of Philadelphia, said in an interview after his client's testimony that DeWeese had "full knowledge," of the bonus program and "directed that certain bonuses be given."

Philadelphia Inquirer's Angela Couloumbis reports on Mike Manzo's testimony. Patrick J. Lavelle's testimony may be very damaging to former Rep. Mike Veon. I think the prosecutors are thinking to pressure Manzo (who wants to protect his wife, Rachel, who was also indicted) and P.J. Lavelle to give up a lot of use information in addition to testifying to House Democratic Leaders.

Rep. Bill DeWeese responds to Mike Manzo's allegations:
"Manzo is a desperate, disgruntled employee whom I fired last year for dishonesty and self-dealing," DeWeese said. "At the time I fired him, and with witnesses in the room, he apologized for letting me down."

Legal Fees Over $1Million

Republican Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi reported that Senate Republicans have incurred over a million dollars, $1,000,000, in legal fees in the Republican Attorney General Tom Corbett's Bonusgate investigation. So far, the focus has been on House Democrats. The Million dollars in legal fees leads to some speculation. Either the Senate Republicans are more guilty that many of the cynically suspicious conservative reformers have thought or this is a way for the Senate Republicans to reward campaign supporters, allies and Establishment Insider law firms. Time will tell.

Bonusgate has generated millions in legal fees to private attorneys, four million, four hundred thousand, $4,400,000 in total. The Senate legal fees are almost triple the staff bonuses paid in 2005-2006. If the allegations are true, the purpose and effect of these bonuses was to target and undermine the process of free and fair elections and had an impact far beyond the dollar amount involved

Casablanca Reports

Casablancapa reports Republican Lisa Deon's detailed letter and e-mail about former Republican State Representative Matt Wright's use of his office for political purposes. And then there is the Curious Case of John Hanley and very detailed payroll records for the Republican House Department of District Operations which employed 19 Regional Coordinators, including Scott Migli and Shannon Royer. Some reliable sources think that John Perzel and Brian Preski are very likely to be indicted. Lead Prosecutor Chief Deputy to the Attorney General and chief of the Public Corruption Unit, Frank Fina, Esq.,is a career prosecutor with no ambitions for higher office. Many have confidence in the Attorney General's professional staff. We hope will not be disappointed.

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