3/25 Ups & Downs

A withdrawal, a Senate sit-down and our long budget nightmare is over. See who made this week’s list!

Down ArrowTom Wolf. This is the way the budget battle ends, not with a bang but with a whimper. After 267+ days, the commonwealth of Pennsylvania will finally have a budget. How? The Governor will refuse to sign or veto the latest legislation from the GOP legislature. He’ll simply allow it to become law. It’s likely the possibility of a veto override pushed him to take this action. The Governor and his team will try to spin this but there is no way around it. This is a painful loss for Tom Wolf. At the onset of his tenure, we quoted John Adams’ determination to “control events, not be controlled by them.” Whether his fault or not, Wolf has been controlled by events and he won’t succeed as a Governor if that continues.

Up Arrow1Erin McClelland. Steve Larchuk was on a roll. He was leading the money race, had aired his first TV ad and secured some big union endorsements. Yet in the span of a week, he went from calling for his PA-12 Democratic primary opponent Erin McClelland to drop out to withdrawing himself. All of a sudden, McClelland now has the rematch with Rep. Rothfus she’s always wanted.


Down ArrowSeth Williams. On Tuesday, Philadelphia Magazine reported that a Deputy DA was possibly demoted for recommending that Williams prosecute John Dougherty and fire Frank Fina. So far, these moves were only damaging to Williams’ political career. If he was punishing employees for merely disagreeing with him, though, Philly’s DA could be in some serious trouble.


Up Arrow1Merrick Garland. The President’s Supreme Court nominee had an unexpectedly good week. First, he had a productive get-together with Senator Bob Casey. His biggest victory, though, was getting Senator Pat Toomey to agree to meet with him. Sure, the junior Senator says he still won’t vote for him but a formal sit-down also previously looked unlikely. Perhaps Judge Garland can successfully pitch himself after all, at the very least he’ll get the chance.  


Up Arrow1Kevin Dougherty. Over the weekend, we heard the sad news that Justice Dougherty was attacked and being treated for a concussion. A few days later, we found out he is fine and will return to work soon. We’d just like to give him our best wishes and say we look forward to seeing him back on the Court.



The tweet of the week goes to this instantly historic shot of Air Force One as it is about to land in Cuba. This will be a part of those “Greatest Photos of the 21st century” books, Facebook pages, or whatever else we’re using in 2100.

29 Responses

  1. Even more bad news for DA Seth Williams in Philadelphia:


    Seems the taxpayers have spent $2,000,000.00 on Seth Williams’ “security detail.” And, despite that, a pissed off girl Seth was banging managed to slash the tires of two City vehicles parked at Seth’s house.

    And – as if that is not bad enough, Seth failed to report the incidents as required by the City’s Policies and Procedures. Wonder why … lmao.

    The Feds need to move fast!!! This guy is a flaming corrupt asshole.

  2. pal – A disaster indeed. Seth Williams’ political career in Philadelphia is “on the rocks.” Most insiders sou;d say that is being generous. It’s actually officially over. Aside from his terrible decisions as DA, he has also boozed and philandered himself into a hole that only Harrisburg Republicans can get him out of:


    Seth Williams is a true disaster. It all started going downhill when he hired Frank Fina. Guess it makes sense that the head of his PAC is a bartender that didn’t even know he was the head of Seth’s PAC. And that the guys behind the PAC are Corbett guys – just like Frank Fina is a Corbett guy.

  3. I can say that Josh Shapiro DOES NOT WANT Seth Williams’ endorsement.

    Whatbis next for that guy? Maybe Williams will be caught on video clubbing some baby seals? Seriously – He is a disaster!!

  4. When Seth Williams mistakenly texted a large group of people that, if Dougherty was around, to “watch your back,” he explained it by saying: “I’m a prosecutor, unfortunately I think we need to watch out for everyone.”

    This Deputy ADA that Seth Williams just demoted … She is a prosecutor too. Guess she needed to “watch out for everybody” too – but especially her corrupt boss, Seth Williams and the sycophants he has surrounded himself with.

    John Dougherty responded to Seth Williams’ 2012 text warning people to “watch their backs” by saying that he thinks “it’s pretty obvious” that Williams is suffering from “paranoia” spurred by rumors that his brother, Family Court Administrative Judge Kevin Dougherty, will run for district attorney [against Williams] in 2013.

    Dougherty said his brother had no plans to challenge Williams in the primary and intended to support his bid for a second term. And support Seth Williams he did!! John Dougherty gave loads of Local 98 $$$ to Seth Williams’ PAC.

    And then Williams recorded a commercial for Kevin Dougherty when he recently ran for the PA Supreme Court. Is that legal? Can the DA take money from Brother A and then record a commercial for Brother B? Doesn’t seem Kosher. And now, handling the case against the mentally ill kid who assaulted Kevin Dougherty seems extra-wrong. How can Williams have a “professional relationship” with the criminal that protects the criminal from prosecution but no “professional relationship” with the crime victim he recorded a campaign ad for? It doesn’t make sense.

    Not much Seth Williams does or says makes sense lately. He too is coming unglued.

  5. Ashley – did you mean to type “scum”??

    Either way – the Press has reported that there is a Federal Grand Jury investigating Seth Williams. I have read no such report about Zappala.

    Williams should be fitted for his orange jumpsuit. But Zappala will probably just get comfortable in Allegheny County.

  6. Seth Williams Big shot DA is scrum just like Steve Zappala Big shot DA is scrum. Prediction before the general election both will be in handcuffs.

  7. Sorry — Here it is the Editorial that has me thinking that people have finally figured out that Fina & The corbett Pervs are getting a FREE PASS while AG Kane gets prosecuted:

    Attorney General Kathleen Kane is responsible for her own conduct in office, so she must answer to the charge that she allegedly leaked grand jury information and later lied about it as part of a dispute with an adversary.

    But she faces prosecution while authorities, who loudly profess the sanctity of grand jury secrecy, continue to give a free pass to the party or parties who leaked to newspapers a Niagara Falls’ worth of information about the grand jury that investigated Kane, and other information concerning the investigation.

    A hearing is scheduled in Montgomery County, where Kane is charged, on several pre-trial motions. One demands an inquiry into how an FBI wiretap from the federal corruption case against former state Treasurer Rob McCord, which was turned over to Montgomery County prosecutors, found its way to The Morning Call of Allentown. The recording includes a political consultant saying Kane was interested in leaking information from a 2009 grand jury investigation.

    And there never was a serious investigation into leaks from the Montgomery County grand jury that recommended the charges against Kane.

    Because grand jury hearings are closed proceedings and the list of people with information is small, such an investigation should be relatively easy to conduct. But so far, the supposedly even-handed justice system has not exhibited the same zeal to find those leakers that it has displayed in its prosecution of Kane.

    As Kane prepares for her Aug. 8 trial, the court needs to demonstrate that it’s about justice rather than Kane alone, by ordering a thorough investigation into all of the leaks.

    Selective enforcement is a form of corruption. You can look it up.

  8. Pat – that is correct. A Complaint was filed with the Disciplinary Board after the Superior Court found that Frank Fina lied to the Court in the Penn State 3 case (against the administrators).

    Wonder why it is taking the Disciplinary Board so long to suspend Fina’s law license.

    I mean – they already know what he used his Government computer to distribute. The material Fina distributed was much worse than what Judge Eakin sent. And Eakin was just forced off the Bench.

    The Disciplinary Board needs to act. Prosecutors cannot be allowed to get away with disgraceful, dishonest conduct.

  9. ” … that he still employs the other racist woman-hating perverts involved in the Hate-gate scandal”

  10. Does Seth Williams think we forget that he still employs the other racist woman-hating perverts involved in this scandal??

    One of them was just called out by the Superior Court for his conduct in the Penn State case. They found that Frank Fina’s conduct was “highly improper.” Ha3 reports that there is a disciplinary complaint too (he posted a link). Fina sent e-mails suggesting that females in the workplace need to perform oral sex on their male bosses to advance their careers. He did that at work — on his Government-owned computer.

    And yet – Seth Williams continues to pay Frank Fina with taxpayer money. Gov. Wolf gets it right: “The continued abuse of the public trust is simply unacceptable. [Eakin’s resignation] is another reminder of why we must all work with urgency to restore the public’s trust in their government as well as the integrity of the judicial system.”

    We are all waiting, Seth. Perhaps public trust in government does not matter to you? You can’t just keep demoting the Deputies, Chiefs and ADAs that don’t want to work with racists and woman-haters. Oh – and we are still waiting for you to explain how a Harrisburg bartender is the “leader” of your new PAC. While you are at it, tell us about your relationship with Bob Levant. Did he represent you in your dealings with the Feds? Did you pay him? Is it just a coincidence that you just hired his wife? To a high-paying job? One she is totally unqualified for? Do you think there is a conflict when you let her defend her husband’s client (Frank Fina) in the Press? On behalf of the DA’s Office?

    You know what — I can now understand why you won’t answer any questions. You don’t have any answers!

  11. So what if I represent both the prosecutor and the con-man in the “sting” case? So what if I helped Seth out when the FBI launched their criminal investigation into Seth. So what if Serh just hired my wife to a high-paying government job she has no qualifications for. So what?

    I mean – Fina let my client keep $430,000 he stole from PA taxpayers. Now Fina is my client. And we want MORE taxpayer money. So what …

  12. Bungy. No surprise there. They have controlled the US Attoney office in Pgh. For over twenty years, even fixed their own investigation when RRZap was getting a hard look from D.C. For illegal bond issue activities. It doesn’t matter who wins because the mafia plays both sides. Too bad Bernie can’t win…but I have thought that way about others who have won. They sold out, like Fred and Tommy.

  13. Every board controlled by the Pa. Supreme Court needs to be air brushed because of the lingering mafia taint of the Zappala dynasty. The Godfather packed the judicial conduct and lawyer disciplinary boards with relatives, cronies and henchmen.Many of their victims would have lawsuits if the actually knew what happened to them. It”‘s a good reason to put the Zappala mob back in statewide power.

  14. i’d love to know how much the JIRB experience cost the taxpayers, and why Eakin was not billed for that actual cost? . (disbarred lawyers have to pay actual ‘costs of prosecution’–but not so dis benched judges?) sounds as though $50K does not touch the cost of months of investigation, not to mention the parallel expose of Eaken buddy chief JIRB counsel Bob Graci getting taken down temporarily as ‘Chief Counsel’ to the JIRB investigating his buddy Eakin. 50K$ is not even 50% of his plump annual pension which we taxpayers now have to pay till he dies… NB: had Eakin been criminally prosecuted , with a felony conviction, he could have lost his pension. but the ‘prosecutors’ , with public interest in mind, withdrew the felony criminal charges as part of a back door deal. so the result is , pay Eakin for the rest of his miserable disgraced life, with total loss of public confidence in the judiciary– back to business as usual. what a sorry state of affairs.

  15. Fina is a good guy. Seriously … he is. He really is.

    Just ignore the fact that Fina is my husband’s client in a money-driven lawsuit against the State. Just ignore that please. Also ignore that I hung up on a reporter trying to get at the truth about the John Dougherty case. Just like Seth ignored my utter lack of qualifications when he hired me.

    Oh boy … I hope the Feds don’t come for me too!!

  16. Seth Williams is a moron. Can’t imagine punishing a top deputy for giving GOOD ADVICE. It’s the hallmark of a “leader” that cannot lead. Punish those that tell you the truth. And the truth is that Fina and his buddies should have been fired as soon as their corrupt efforts to keep their e-mails a secret failed. The decision to punt on the Dougherty prosecution will end up being what everyone remembers about Seth Williams. Well — that and being a DB generally.

  17. The overlying ad that comes up on the politicspa frontispiece shows Steve Zappala, JUNIOR, as he looked about twenty years ago. Can’t he even be honest about his age? Neither could his dad. That’s why the Bazzano-Zappala-Porter mafia had to engineer a constitutional amendment to allow him to serve as Supreme Court Chief Justice beyond his age limit. It’s the only way that he had the power to muscle the weak Allegheny County Judges to vote for Junior, a baby lawyer who never tried a case, as the new District Attorney. Nick, don’t give out any discounts here. The mob is already buying your credibility.

  18. I disagree with the down arrow for Wolf. He put the welfare of PA schools ahead of his own ego and acted like an adult. Yes, he lost the budget fight, but showed wisdom. GOP gets a Pyrrhic victory, as they will be blamed when PA suffers under their budget.

  19. Anyone asking themselves: “Why would Seth Williams do something illegal? Why would he be so stupid?” needs to read the article below.

    Seth Williams’ political career has run ashore. It is “on the rocks” and he has turned to Corbett Republicans for help. The guy behind Seth Williams’ PAC is a Corbett guy … just like Frank Fina is a Corbett guy.


  20. Eakin got fined $50,000. Where’s that down arrow?

    BTW, Kane should get the money.

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