Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The LuLac Edition #1381, Nov. 23rd, 2010



I started my day at work today thinking the State Senator from our area that would have a less than desirable Thanksgiving would have been Bob Mellow. Instead the news came down today that Ray Musto was indicted. Call me naive, call me a babe in the woods but I’m stunned. Throughout Ray Musto’s long career in government there wasn’t a hint of scandal. This is the guy who walked out of the Abscam scammers when he was a Congressman. No relative of mine works for Musto and those who do work for him or did either ignore me or hate my guts. I campaigned as a high school Junior for Musto when he ran for late Representative to succeed his late father. I thought it was the right thing to do. I met Musto three more times during his tenure. He always said if I ever needed anything in Harrisburg, even to use his office, to stop by. I never did.
Musto has been forthright since the charges were announced submitting to a Times Leader interview as well as going on “Corbett” on WILK this afternoon. He says he will fight the charges and I hope he does. Here’s why:
1. Musto was charged with with honest services wire fraud, corrupt receipt of a reward for official action and making false statements to a federal agent. The easiest charge to throw at anyone is Mail or wire Fraud. That charge is like the proverbial fortune cookie as a throw in with Chinese take out. The corrupt receipt of a reward also bothers me because the name of the company who bribed him is not made public. Why? And then the name of Robert Mericle surfaces. Mercile as we all know pleaded to a few charges and gave the feds Lord knows what in his cooperation. Making false statements to an agent is also a boilerplate charge because no one in their right mind would say to an agent, “Yep I did it, don’t know what I did and what you’re looking for, but yep, I did it”. All of those things bother me.
2. My second question is “where is the pattern”? All of a sudden after 35 years in public life Ray Musto goes off the rails morally? I’d love to see the “intent” behind this deal. It looks to me like Musto was trying to refurbish a building and help someone out. Maybe he should have paid more attention to detail but my question is “where is the pattern?” Did this guy ever go on a junket coming back with a tropical shirt on? Jeez, did this guy ever take a vacation? Sorry Senator but if you were taking kickbacks, it wasn’t to improve your wardrobe. The Senator dressed like a guy from Pittston. Functional suit, tie and shirt. Designers? Uh..no.
3. Much is made of Robert Mericles campaign contributions to Musto. If I had Mericle’s money, I’d have contributed to Ray. But if I gave $29,000 in legal contributions, why isn’t there a pattern of spending, unless of course this was a personal rainy day fund which may come out if that fact is true.
4. On the $3,000 charge from the municipal authority agent, I say, “who was it?”
Those are my questions. Do you mean to tell me that with all of Tom Corbett’s investigations in Bonus Gate, he ignored Ray Musto? Musto made a serious misstep. And it could ruin his reputation and even land him in jail. But he says he’s going to fight the charges in Court. I hope he does. And remember, even with the more than 30 guilty pleas the last few years, remember the person who was proven innocent when an overzealous prosecutor went after him in the late 90s. Let’s hope if there is nothing to these charges, Ray Musto can pull a “Joe McDade” and walk away from this thing with his innocence and dignity in tact. In the meantime, there should be no rush to judgement. Until the Judge opens the trial and the Senator gets his day to tell it all.


At 9:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Corbett made much of what Musto didnt say. The man simply did say that he was looking forward to his day in court. While he was on the air Corbett was respectful and Musto was a gentleman. Afterward it seemed to me it was a different story. The man didnt have to come on at all and most wouldnt have. I
know very little about Mr Musto, but I do know that he deserves his day in court and unlike the WILK afternoon host, I will reserve judgement.

Waverly Bob

At 9:46 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yonk, the only thing that bothers me is that he would not say that he vever did wrong when Corbett asked that hard question. He also would not say there would be NO plea agreement. Why not? Only a real jerk would want to see him crash and burn but he should not have faced an interview if he was not going to make a clear statement. Pattern? People commit murder and there is no pattern. Vacation? I understand the Musto's vacationed in Greece with Mr and Mrs Pasonic. What bothers the hell out of me is how Rob Mericle can build an empire by corrupting previously uncorupted officials.

At 9:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heard Musto on Corbett and thought he played it smart. The fact is his guilt or innocence at this point is irrelevent.

Those that believe him guilty, will not believe, if he is found not guilty by a jury.
Those who believe he is innocent, will not believe if he is convicted by a jury.

At this point his decision boils down to cost/benefit.

He left all his options open. If he pleads guilty or Nolo contendere and gets no jail time he would be smart. No matter the outcome his reputation is forever tarnished simply because of the charges and the media play... Think Gary Conditt

The U.S. Gov't has unlimited resources and attorneys. With the honest services and mail fraud thrown in, usually indicates a weak case by the gov't. Mail fraud can be charged on something as flimsy as a typo. And requires very little proof. so, if he can get no jail time he would be wise to just plead and get it over with. As we have seen many times, OJ Simpson, Michael Jackson etc.. The justice system is not the arbiter of truth.

At 12:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Predictable response, LuLac....

At 4:00 PM, Anonymous Augean Stableboy said...

I am disappointed in your McDade example.

His actions may have been de jure ethical, because the US House of Representatives wrote self-interested rules that allow a very interested party to give a full scholarship to a Congressman's son, but Joe McDade's conduct was unethical by any de facto standard.

Highly unethical.

The Valley is overly invested in making excuses for its politicians, who bribe NEPA voters by giving back with full publicity (as proof of effectiveness and goodwill) a minor portion of the taxes extracted from its hard-working population.

What a scam!

At 8:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey 12:33PM, I agree. Yonki never had a government job. He owes no one. But he has this hero worship for these guys and gals because they are chosen by "the people". Dave, you are cutting edge on some issues but I ask you this question: What has Ray Musto and his ilk ever done for you and your family? Nothing. We share that answer. But the difference is you have this fantastic gift to express yourself (I bought all your books) and can really take these guys on instead of this hero worship. Your Uncle Timmy says you can let go now. The politicians back then when he was taking you to these rallies are way different. Dave, please move on. Hammer them when they need it.

At 10:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Feds never, ever wrongly convict anyone.. Right?

Maybe Must isn't concerned because he is NOT guilty.

I hate the way our society has become a convict first, ask questions later.

I agree with the above poster, Gary Condit is a classic example of how the public, pushed by the whores in the media, can destroy a person. Everyone, including big mouth Corbett, has already decided the Senator is guilty. Based on what?
-The Feds say so.. You've got to be kidding right. Most bloggers and talk radio show hosts tell us how the federal gov't is ruining peoples lives, but yet we are going to take their word. PLease, did you listen to the press conference from the feds? They spent the entire time slapping themselves on the back.
-Musto gave a basically no comment, comment on everything. Of course he did. In a court of law the first casualty is the truth. Prosecutors are the biggest skanks on the planet. The have hidden information many times, manipulated testimony, thrown out innuendo as fact, etc. How many people on death row were released after DNA evidence exonerated them? Musto's best bet is to stay quiet until in court.
-Corbett says it so. Again, Musto is on the air for 10 mins on time. Corbett gets 4 hours a day to hammer him. One little mis-speak, and people do occasionally mis-speak or if he forgot to mention something and it becomes fodder by an envious of other's success, petty little talk show host, who cares little for facts. It is better to have him whine about the no comment.......

At 10:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This will play out as it does. Either way 1/2 the people will be outraged.
Musto had a long and distinguished career. His legislation to protect the environment is unmatched. And in the game of brining money to the area and creating jobs for all the pie in the sky Kanjo promised, Ray Musto actually delivered. If you review the facts you will see that he is directly and indirectly responsible for thousands of NEPA residents having jobs. But let's not those facts cloud our judgment. If he did wrong he did wrong. But before all you "Christians" shout him down; "let he who is without sin, cast the first stone." Heyna or no!

At 10:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

guilty until proven innocent????

Perhaps it is time for some elected officials to turn the tables on "Company A" and go to the feds and tell how they were solicited by being offered bribes....

would love to see that fat ass, "Company A", get his.

At 11:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you ever seen sunshine come pourin out of space
Just to be part of the smile on someones face
Uh-huh-huh, thats my builder, talkin?bout my builder,
And I love him -- hes a Robert Mercle,
(Ooh, ooh) hes a Robert Mericle.
Have you ever seen givin' that really rings a bell,
Kooky and crazy, like Romeo himself?
Uh-huh-huh, thats my builder, Talkin?bout my builder,
And I love him – he’s a Robert Miracle,
(Ooh, ooh) he’s a Robert Miracle.
(Ooh, ooh)

At 10:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws

At 8:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to wonder since Musto didn't take tax payer money what's the big deal?
The ROI is huge for the area. Completed roads that have allowed new companies to move in providing jobs to the area. If the allegations are true, so what?


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