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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-13-09 07:44 PM
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10 charged in Pa. legislative probe
Posted: November 13
Updated: Today at 12:42 PM
10 charged in Pa. legislative probe
Former House speaker among those charged with using tax money on computer software to aid campaigns.

MARK SCOLFORO Associated Press Writer

HARRISBURG A former House speaker, an ex-lawmaker and eight aides Thursday became the latest and the first Republicans to be charged in a three-year-old investigation into the diversion of public resources and employees to legislative campaigns.

Attorney General Tom Corbett said that individuals within the House GOP caucus spent millions of taxpayer dollars on computer technology to gain an upper hand in campaigns, and that investigators can prove that some high-ranking officials and their employees tried to cover up their part.

The charges of theft, conspiracy, conflict of interest and obstruction of justice, and an accompanying 188-page grand jury report, were released Thursday, and the defendants were scheduled to turn themselves in today at a Dauphin County district judges office.

The most prominent defendant is state Rep. John M. Perzel, R-Philadelphia, who served as speaker for nearly four years and as majority leader for nearly a decade before that.

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DainBramaged Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-13-09 08:07 PM
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1. This should be in LBN or GD, way too important to be buried here....
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demodonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Nov-13-09 11:18 PM
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2. Wrong forum. This has NO direct connection to Pennsylvania Elections.

Heaven knows we have plenty of problems with our elections in PA, but this is not really one of them.

Just part of the general political climate of the Keystone State.

MB in PA

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diva77 Donating Member (999 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-15-09 12:48 AM
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3. How can you be sure there's no connection? I downloaded the 188 page report
Edited on Sun Nov-15-09 12:56 AM by diva77
from Atty General Corbett's site and it is a shocking, compelling read and glimpse into a flagrant well orchestrated effort to influence elections by developing and using computer technology with public monies for the express use of ensuring Perzel's re-election and possibly for other future campaigns such as the governorship. Here's an excerpt of the report (which I'm still reading). I'd sure like to know whether this system somehow interfaced with the voting machines (I believe you use the iVotronics?) :

As part of his effort to ensure his re-election, the grand jury found that Perzel directed the development of a sophisticated computer system to ensure that his supporters went to the polls on election day.

The traditional way in which candidates accomplished this was having the campaign check off the names of voters at the polling places as they came in to vote and then taking the list back to campaign headquarters. They would then call or drive to the homes of the people that did not vote. Perzel wanted to use technology to make this system much more efficient and employed the staff of the RIT help to accomplish this.

Perzel's idea was to use handheld computers which had each of the registered voters in the precinct or division in Philadelphia loaded onto it. The campaign workers at the polling places would simply click a name on the handheld computer and have that information electronically transmitted to a common database. Perzel believed that this was a way that he could maximize limited resources on Election Day.

The original handheld computer idea was called Telstar, however the grand jury found that as the program became much bigger, more complicated and interconnected to many other technological endeavors, over time it became known as Election Day Complete. The key to making this program work was the purchase of handheld computers, which were completely paid for by the Republican Caucus.
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