Taxpayers send $12 million to lawyers in bonusgate probe

    If you needed something to make you forget about the $950,000 taxpayer-funded buyout Philadelphia schools chief Arlene Ackerman got, maybe this will help.

    Taxpayers have covered $12.5 million so far in legal expenses for state lawmakers and other public employees investigated in the “bonusgate” corruption probe in Harrisburg. Once charged, defendants are on their own, but the state has paid private lawyers for legislative caucuses and for employees subpoenaed in the case.

    Read more, courtesy of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Brad Bumsted.

    In Philadelphia, Republican mayoral candidate Karen Brown is doing her best to get some media attention, since she won’t have the money to wage much of a campaign on her own. She trekked to Mayor Nutter’s city hall office Friday to hand-deliver a letter asking for five debates. When reporters asked Nutter about her charge that he’s hiding, he snapped, “that’s absurd!”

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    Could Nutter, who survived a primary campaign against the wizard of provocation, Milton Street be letting Brown get under his skin?

    Brown, by the way, might think about spending some time with the master of media stunts, Green Party sheriff candidate and longtime housing activist Cheri Honkala.

    Earlier in the campaign, Honkala rode a horse through Kensington, and she’s partying tomorrow with a hip-hop group (see poster above).

    And does anybody know that the Republican Governors Association is holding a two-day “corporate policy summit” at the Ritz Carlton in Philadelphia this week? I didn’t see any mention of it on the RGA website, and haven’t gotten a return call from the group’s spokesman.

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