The Brady Bunch: Why a federal probe into a political payoff didn’t really pay off

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Pennsylvania Congressman Bob Brady announces that he will not seek re-election.

Pennsylvania Congressman Bob Brady announces that he will not seek re-election. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

Imagine you’re running for elected office and one day your opponent offers you cash to drop out of the race.  On this episode of The Why, WHYY reporter Dave Davies brings us the real story of Philadelphia Congressman Bob Brady who, prosecutors say, dropped a load of cash to get his a challenger out of a race. A Philadelphia jury recently handed a felony conviction to Ken Smukler, an associate of Brady, for participating in the payoff. That followed guilty pleas by three others in the investigation. But Brady, the man who benefitted from the transaction, walked away untouched. So why did federal authorities invest so much in an investigation that yielded so little?

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