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Dem Gov Shut Down Sting Netting Bribe Takers

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

Kane shut down sting that snared Phila. officials

By Angela Couloumbis and Craig R. McCoy | March 17, 2014

The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office ran an undercover sting operation over three years that captured leading Philadelphia Democrats, including four members of the city’s state House delegation, on tape accepting money, The Inquirer has learned. Yet no one was charged with a crime.

Notice that we aren’t even given a number. Who knows how many Democrats were caught.

Prosecutors began the sting in 2010 when Republican Tom Corbett was attorney general. After Democrat Kathleen G. Kane took office in 2013, she shut it down. 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.

We will learn later in this piece that these lawmakers were offered money to vote against a bill that would require proof of ID to vote. Why would anyone think blacks need to be bribed them to vote against voter IDs? It sounds like they were trying not to target blacks, to us.

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.

Which just goes to show what hardcore bigots they are. They should just shut up and admit their racism.

Before Kane ended the investigation, sources familiar with the inquiry said, prosecutors amassed 400 hours of audio and videotape that documented at least four city Democrats taking payments in cash or money orders, and in one case a $2,000 Tiffany bracelet.

Typically, the payments made at any one time were relatively modest – ranging from $500 to $2,000 – but most of those involved accepted multiple payments, people familiar with the investigation said. In some cases, the payments were offered in exchange for votes or contracts, they said.

We suspect that ‘the bitches set them up.’

Sources with knowledge of the sting said the investigation made financial pitches to both Republicans and Democrats, but only Democrats accepted the payments.

The hell you say. (Which, by the way, was also the pattern with ABSCAM, lest we forget.) But what the heck. Just put in down in the ledger as ‘reparations.’

The investigation’s undercover operative was a little-known lobbyist, Tyron B. Ali, 40, who agreed to wear a wire and tape the officials to win favorable treatment after his arrest in a $430,000 fraud case, the newspaper has learned.

In an unusual move, the Attorney General’s Office then dropped the fraud charges secretly, under seal, last fall.

People with knowledge of the investigation said those caught on tape included former Traffic Court Judge Thomasine Tynes, who acknowledged that Ali gave her the bracelet.

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.

Bishop denied receiving money. Brownlee said she couldn’t recall taking a payment, and Brown declined to discuss the matter.  Sources say that as money changed hands, the conversations were often blunt.

In May 2011, Ali went to Brown’s office and handed her an envelope with $2,000, according to people who have reviewed a transcript of a tape Ali made on that day.

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.

Brown voted against the measure – as did every other Democrat in the House…

Say no more. In any case, the actual article is extremely long, with lots of very telling quotes from the wired audio tapes. So it’s pretty clear that the investigators had these people dead to rights.

But it was all shut down. And if you have to ask why, you are not quite cynical enough.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, March 31st, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

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