I'm taking this time to announce my intentions to run for the soon-to-be vacated 50th state representative seat of Bill DeWeese. The most powerful lawmaker in Western Pennsylvania was indicted today on charges he hired state employees to perform campaign work, among other shenanigans.
This shouldn't come as a surprise because DeWeese -- among numerous other lawmakers -- has been under investigation by state AG Tom Corbett for some time. Details about Bonusgate have oozed out for the past three years, so it was only a matter of time before something happened. After the 2005 legislator pay grab, the electorate tried to boot as many lawmakers from the General Assembly as possible. We got about 20 percent through elections and retirements. But it's clear that the people who wield the most power to uproot the politicians are the politicians themselves.
It seems logical to think DeWeese, D-Waynesburg, will fight the charges, and try to remain in his seat. However, he will be forced to resign from his leadership Whip position within the Democratic House caucus. And I don't think the good people of Greene County will appreciate their lawmaker representing them under a dark cloud and neutered leadership status.
So, I would like to welcome you to the Bread Line, Bill, but I don't think the state Department of Labor & Industry offers unemployment compensation to alleged criminals.
And I guess that also means I'll have to find a nice piece of land in Greene County. After all, November 2010 is just a few months away.
(The editorial cartoon above was drawn in August 2008 by Rob Rogers of the Post-Gazette. He has to be licking his chops to draw tomorrow's cartoon.)
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