John Perzel, a Republican state representative from Northeast Philadelphia, was House Speaker for four years earlier this decade, and was one of the most powerful politicians in Pennsylvania for longer. But last week, he was indicted, along with nine others, in the Harrisburg corruption scandal that’s come to be known as “Bonusgate.” Attorney General Tom Corbett, who’s controversially also running for the Republican nomination for the 2010 governors race, charged Perzel with allegedly masterminding a complicated scheme that took taxpayer money and spent it on software that was used for Republican campaigns. Perzel also allegedly directed automated “robo” calls against members of his own party who had defied his orders. Joining us on today’s Radio Times to discuss the scandal and the indictments are BEN WAXMAN, a writer for the “It’s Our Money” blog that’s a partnership between WHYY and the Philadelphia Daily News; and TIM POTTS, co-founder of the government reform nonprofit, Democracy Rising PA. And we’ll also be joined by Franklin & Marshall political scientist and pollster G. TERRY MADONNA, who will help us sort through the political ramifications in Harrisburg and the rest of the commonwealth.
Listen to the mp3