Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Newspaper blasts 'diva' behavior in PA Legislature

Another sickening example of how the House of Lords operates in Harrisburg.

From the editorial pages of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:


Former aides' grand jury testimony about state Rep. Bill DeWeese's "diva" behavior has nothing to do with his six felony charges of using staff for campaigns. But it does paint a sickening portrait of the haughty mentality that permeates Harrisburg and feeds corruption in state government.

Perhaps Rep. DeWeese, D-Greene County -- a former House speaker and majority and minority leader -- missed his calling. The arbitrary, self-centered nature of the personal tasks he allegedly assigned staffers seems more typical of the excesses associated with rock stars or Hollywood idols.

Staffers balanced DeWeese's checkbook, paid his bills, got cash from ATMs (which he supposedly didn't know how to use), picked up his dry cleaning, and arranged his dinners with lobbyists, plus female company for him at table -- and even bought condoms for him, according to the testimony.

For a man so out of touch with everyday life, could running afoul of that pesky law about separating legislative and campaign work been much of a stretch?

Whether "DivaWeese" represents an aberration or just a difference in degree when it comes to Harrisburg business as usual, such exploitation of staff by a "public servant" to fulfill personal whims is detestable.

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