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The Conservative Reform Network
The Newsletter for Independent, Conservative Political Activists

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Conservative Reform Network

Trying an Ex-Rep Separately

BIG Mike Veon

Campaign Contribution Pattern

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Dear Lowman,

Bonusgate is underreported in Southeast Pennsylvania so I hope to raise the profile of this very important corruption investigation and prosecution. The corruption investigation has focused on House Democratic misuse of government taxpayer money for private, partisan, political campaigns, including a successful The campaign to push Green Party Ralph Nader off the ballot in 2004 in order to prevent him from drawing votes from John Kerry.

As the Veon BIG investigation, which also includes former Democratic State Senator LaValle and his wife, demonstrates, the corruption relates to misuse of government money by so called public service nonprofits similar to Sen. Fumo's Citizen's Alliance nonprofit

The Bonusgate story was broken by the Jan Murphy and Charles Thompson of the Harrisburg Patriot-News in January 2007, 2 years ago. 12 Democrats have been indicted. Trial is scheduled for January 2010 for eleven and former Democratic House member, Sean Ramaley, will be tried separately in September.

No Republicans have been indicted. In my opinion, it is unlikely that Republicans, particularly when they were in majority of both House and Senate, were most likely doing what the House Democrats were doing and it appears to me, and others, that, at this time, the Republican Attorney General, and Republican candidate for Governor, Tom Corbett, has politicized the prosecution, a fundamental threat to us all.

You can view more posts on my blog.

Ex-Rep Asks to be Tried Separately

The voluminous amount of evidence against Mike Veon that is expected to be presented may well prejudice juror who would conclude "guilt by association". On the other hand, "birds of a feather flock together" and it is hard to believe that former Rep. Ramaley who appears to have a "no show no work" job and would likely be aware that Penna state employees were, illegally, helping his campaign. Hard to think there will be separate trials. Let us see what the judge says.

Former state Rep. Sean Ramaley has asked to be tried separately from 11 other defendants in a government corruption case and to have his trial moved from Harrisburg to Beaver County, where prosecutors say he had a no-work government job while he ran for office in 2004.

BIG Mike Veon

Bonusgate and BIG (Beaver Initiative for Growth)...Mike Veon is the link. The charges were dismissed. It is difficult if the District Justice was acting politically or had good reason to dismiss charges. These charges related to the Beaver Initiative for Growth and not directly to Bonusgate. Hard to believe with the quoted evidence that case would be dismissed at preliminary stage. This is politics for personal profit and personal power.

"A witness for the prosecution, former state Rep. Terry Van Horne, a Democrat from Lower Burrell, admitted during the hearing that he committed a crime when he cashed a $5,000 check from BIG even though he did no work for the nonprofit. Testifying under immunity, Van Horne said he did work for the House Democratic Caucus, hadn't been paid, and one day was called to stop by Veon's office to pick up a check.

Jeff Foreman, Veon's former chief of staff, said at Veon's suggestion Foreman's law firm began receiving a $4,000 retainer from BIG even though it did little work for the nonprofit.

Prosecutors allege BIG paid for a legislative satellite office of Veon's in Midland and an office in Pittsburgh's South Side, neither of which BIG staffed. They claim Veon arranged a job for his brother through a development company used by BIG.
Raynak argued that the offices were appropriate and claimed Veon never pressured the company for a job.

But Foreman said, "The culture in the office, and in the Legislature generally, was one that blurred lines significantly between political activity and legislative activity. There was no differentiation."

A Campaign Contribution Pattern

More excellent and detailed investigative reporting from Tracie Mauriello at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. There seems to be a very clear pattern that government taxpayer bonuses were recycled into private, partisan political campaigns.
HARRISBURG -- When Bill DeWeese was House Democratic leader in 2002, he gave his Harrisburg aides $1,000 or $2,000 bonuses.

Six of the recipients contributed identical or nearly identical amounts to Mr. DeWeese's re-election and the House Democratic Campaign Committee that year or in 2003, records show. ut the fact that 15 of the 16 bonus recipients also were contributors illustrates the close relationship between government service and political activity -- the sort of behavior that also figures in what is known as the Bonusgate investigation. For example, staffer Susan Germanio received a $1,000 bonus. Months later, she gave $500 to her boss's campaign and $500 to the House Democratic Campaign Committee, which was controlled by Mr. DeWeese and former Whip Mike Veon, who represented Beaver County.Gwen Miller did the same after receiving her $1,000 bonus.During 2002, James Lovette -- a staffer and prolific campaign volunteer -- contributed $500 to Mr. DeWeese and $500 to the House Democratic committee. At the end of the year, he received a $1,000 bonus.

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