Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Following the resignation of Bob Kerns as Montgomery County Republican Chair, the GOP power brokers of the Philadelphia suburbs have announced that State Representative Mike Vereb will be their party's new leader (Philadelphia Inquirer 11/17/13).

There was a time when this news would raise nary an eyebrow in Harrisburg, but that was before the bonusgate investigations. Investigations that led to Vereb himself to call for a special, new "public integrity commission." (Repvereb.com 7/26/10)  

We are very curious as to how Vereb will shoulder the tremendous number of  new political campaign responsibilities. Vereb said it himself just a few days ago -- "It's a busy job." (Philadelphia Inquirer 11/13/15)  We don't doubt him for a second. Montgomery County is ground zero for swing voters in statewide elections.  Governor Tom Corbett will need things to go well here if he has any hope of being re-elected.  Plus, the Philadelphia suburbs are prime territory for state legislative pick-ups for the Democratic caucuses next year.  It is a big, busy job indeed.

Yet, how will Vereb find the time to do all this extra work without breaking the law a la bonusgate?

In addition to his responsibilities to the taxpayers and his constituents as a state legislator, Vereb is also the House Majority Caucus Secretary.  Vereb has been very clear about the importance and the time commitment required of the position:

"As caucus secretary, Mike is responsible for helping to establish a legislative agenda and recording all official legislative activities in the House of Representatives." (Repvereb.com Bio)

In fact, when Vereb was first elected caucus secretary he outlined just how busy his new job would be:

"Vereb said because he had been elevated to a leadership post he would lose his committee assignments on the judiciary, insurance and gambling oversight committees.  He will be spending more time in Harrisburg during the legislative session because the secretary has additional duties." (Times Herald 11/11/11)

Oh, and for his extra responsibilities and effort, Vereb gets paid $8,000 more dollars a year on top off his $83,000 base state legislative salary.

We're wondering how will he do it?  How will Vereb give the taxpayers their money's worth?  How is this guy going to steer the most important county for Pennsylvania's Republican Party while at the same time give an honest days work to the taxpayers who elected him - and who pay him a big, fat paycheck, along with gold-plated health and pension benefits?

Attorney General Kathleen Kane and Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman should keep a sharp look-out to track Vereb's operation and his use of perks.  Will he be using his taxpayer funded vehicle for tooling around the county on Republican Party business?  Who will monitor how much political campaign work his taxpayer funded staff in both Harrisburg and Montgomery County may end up doing - even "after hours."

As we've all seen, even after bonusgate, elected officials including State Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin still used taxpayer resources for campaign purposes.  Even after the scandals from 2008 and 2009, state legislators like J.P Miranda still hire ghost employees.  For Vereb to say he is different just won't cut it.


Anonymous said...

Dear Signor Ferarri,
Great story on how state Rep. Mike Vereb will go down in flames for supporting Corbett's bid for re-election. Vereb will mix politics and state work, just as Corbett has done and is doing today.

Elected officials, using their staff, are always emerged in campaign activity. Corbett should pay a high price for jailing people to satisfy his hunger for power.

To be fair, on November 12, John Micek wrote that Allyson Schwartz was in the Capitol to discuss campaign and policy issues with the Democrat caucuses.

Corbett's prosecutors argued for a squeaky clean environment in the Capitol complex. This means AG Kane will have to start another round of arrests. Ridiculous!!!!

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention making time to properly Tool his Hill!

Anonymous said...

Do you really want to get into the affairs of members of the House Republican Caucus?

Anonymous said...

Somewhere there is an article about Valerie Caras, former Republican Communications and Technology Director joining the Corbett Press and Communications Office.

Can't find the article.

Another political operative working for Corbett who sent legislators to jail for mixing state business and campaigns.

Just watch, everything that Corbett does will be campaign oriented. That is what politicians do, work to get elected and work more to get re-elected.

What a hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

A unique resource for investigating cronyism, conflicts of interest, and systemic corruption. http://littlesis.org/person/93237/Tom_Corbett

Anonymous said...

grand jury? why did ag kane get the gj judge fired?

Anonymous said...

As Tom Corbett’s reelection announcement tour winds down, it is worth highlighting PA GOP Chairman Rob Gleason’s recent comments making the case against Corbett’s reelection.

Gleason noted that Corbett cut education by nearly $1 billion, forced 20,000 educators to lose their jobs, hasn’t properly governed, and mishandled the Penn State scandal.

With friends like these, who needs enemies?