In the fantasy world of Republicans President Obama is corrupt, but once again the story of the three very corrupt, powerful, Republican, and very convicted Orie sisters reminds of us which party has the corruption problem.
It is not very often that a state Supreme Court Justice and a state senator get convicted of campaign corruption, but it is even more rare when it occurs in two separate trials and the two are sisters.
The sisters Justice Joan Orie Melvin, older sister Janine Orie, and former state senator Jane Orie have all been convicted of public corruption for a scheme that used state employees to do campaign work. It a story that involves the Ories using a psychic who claimed that angels whispered answers to her, and lots of allegations that the downfall of the Orie dynasty was a plot by a Democratic prosecutor.
The Ories demonstrated that they were good Republicans the moment they were led away on chains by blaming their convictions on a Democrat.
According to WTAE,
The Ories have argued the prosecution is the result of a political vendetta by Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala Jr., a Democrat, who has repeatedly denied ulterior motives.
When the investigation first became public in late 2009, the sisters claimed they were being targeted because Zappala’s family has interests in legalized gambling, which the Ories opposed expanding in Pennsylvania.
The allegations grew uglier, when Melvin — after it was known Sen. Orie was being investigated but before the justice was charged — called for an audit of two child care centers that paid kickbacks to two judges in northeastern Pennsylvania’s Luzerne County who sent troubled youths to the facilities. The facilities were co-owned by Gregory Zappala, the prosecutor’s brother, who was never charged in the scheme and has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.
Republicans always claim that Democrats are corrupt and/or corrupting something. This is their standard excuse for voter suppression and voter ID laws. It is their excuse for destroying the social safety net, as in, “welfare queens and corrupt African Americans abusing food stamps.” It is even their excuse for their opposition to gun control, “We need our guns to defend against the tyranny of the government.”
What the Orie convictions remind us of again is that Republicans talk about Democrats being corrupt, but the Republicans are the ones who are committing the crimes. There is Scott Walker’s misuse of staff for his gubernatorial campaign in Wisconsin, or a Maggie Brooks who used government-contracted laborers’ work on her political campaign. The kind of corruption the Orie sisters were convicted of appears to be the norm in Republican politics.
The next time some Republican tries to tell you tall tales about “Obama’s corruption” remind them of the Orie sisters and all the other Republicans who have really been convicted of the crimes that they accuse the president of committing.
Republicans should know all about political corruption. After all, they’re the ones doing it most of it.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association