Report: Rob McCord Was Wearing a Wire

Photo | Matt Slocum, AP

Photo | Matt Slocum, AP

Former state treasurer Rob McCord briefly wore a hidden microphone to tape conversations with political donors in cooperation with federal investigators before stepping down from the job and pleading guilty to extortion last year, the Inquirer revealed on Thursday.

The story asserts that investigators used McCord’s cooperation to gather information on Valley Forge Investment Corp., a company that helped other firms get public financial contracts and collected fees when they did. The story doesn’t reveal any additional wrongdoing by McCord, who has yet to be sentenced for the crimes he admitted last year.  Read more »

David Oh Fights for His Political Life

Photo courtesy of City Council's Flickr

Photo courtesy of City Council’s Flickr

It’s been a bad year for politicians in Pennsylvania, especially those with a “D” next to their names: Kathleen KaneChaka Fattah, Rob McCord. The list goes on and on.

On Monday, Republican Councilman David Oh reminded the public that lawbreaking isn’t exclusively a Democratic affair. In a settlement agreement with the Philadelphia Board of Ethics, Oh admitted to taking an illegal campaign donation in the 2015 primary election and agreed to pay a $2,000 fine for his violation.

And with that, the City Council At-Large race this November got a lot more interesting.
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The Price of Joe Paterno’s Reputation? About $13,500 Per Win

 (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Let’s be fair here: Given the expense of big-time college athletics, it probably cost way more than $13,500 apiece for Penn State to earn each of the 111 victories that were eventually erased from Joe Paterno‘s record following the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

But the legal bills for the fight to restore those victories have come due, and PennLive reports today the final tally amounts to about $1.5 million — or, roughly, the aforementioned $13,500 per restored victory. Read more »

Rob McCord Pleads Guilty to Extortion

Photo | Matt Slocum, AP

Photo Credit: Matt Slocum, AP

Ex-Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord pleaded guilty Tuesday to attempting to extort campaign contributions during his 2014 campaign for governor.

This comes as no surprise: McCord admitted in a video last month that he tried to strong-arm two potential donors, telling them he could make it difficult for them to obtain state contracts if they did not give money to his campaign.

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WATCH: Rob McCord Will Plead Guilty to Certain Federal Charges

Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord is planning to plead guilty to federal charges related to an incident that took place when he ran for governor last year.

Robert Welsh, McCord’s lawyer, said in a statement that the charges have not been filed yet, but they will involve “his attempts in the spring of 2014 to raise campaign contributions from two potential contributors.” Welsh says McCord “[communicated] that if they failed to make campaign contributions, he could make it difficult for them to do business with the Commonwealth.”

McCord also issued a video statement (above) Friday in which he apologizes to the residents of Pennsylvania.

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Reports: McCord Faces Federal Investigation

Photo | Matt Slocum, AP

Photo | Matt Slocum, AP

[Update: 7 a.m., January 30th] Details continue to drip out about the reported investigation that may have prompted the abrupt resignation of State Treasurer Rob McCord. The Morning Call reports that the investigation into McCord is being run by the FBI’s Harrisburg office and, according to their source, “it’s been [going on] a while.”

[Update: 5:45 p.m.] Gary Tuma, Rob McCord’s spokesman, says, “This is not a matter on which the Treasury Department can comment. Treasury routinely receives investigatory subpoenas or requests for documents from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. It has been the department’s policy to cooperate with and fully respond to all law enforcement inquiries, and to honor the confidentiality of any such inquiry. We defer to the law enforcement authorities on whether to comment on, or even confirm, any such inquiry.”

[Update: 3:45 p.m.] 6ABC reports that McCord is facing a federal investigation:

Action News confirms that Pennsylvania State Treasurer Rob McCord, who announced Thursday he is stepping down from the job, is currently under federal investigation.

Sources tell Action News that the wide-spread probe is examining the alleged theft of campaign and other funds.

A call to Governor Wolf’s office for comment was not immediately returned.

[Original] Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord will resign, he announced today. He sent Gov. Tom Wolf a resignation letter saying he will return to the private sector; his last day will be February 12th.

Chief counsel Christopher Craig will handle the state treasurer’s duties until a replacement is found. McCord’s resignation means the governor gets to appoint a new state treasurer, who then must be approved by a majority of the State Senate.

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7 Ridiculous Political Ads From the Pennsylvania Governor’s Race

Election Day is almost here! Tuesday is Pennsylvania primary day, so politicians will be ceding television commercial breaks back to their usual occupants (ads for drugs, beer, cars, etc.) for a few months — until general election commercials start.

For the past month, seemingly every commercial break has been clogged with ads that are ridiculous in one way or another. (Another possibility: I just happen to watch a lot of TV that’s generally aimed at old people.) I guess I’m tired of them, but I’m going to miss the ridiculousness of a lot of the spots. Maybe it’s because they all use the same cliches, but there’s something about political commercials that is just hilarious. Here’s a roundup of some of the more notable ones from this election season.

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The 5-Minute Guide to the Democratic Gubernatorial Primary

MC Hammer Explains Tom Wolf’s Giant Poll Lead

We’re now at the stage of things where the only appropriate thing to do is jokingly reference M.C. Hammer album titles. Because the latest poll centered on next Tuesday’s  Democratic primary election shows that frontrunner Tom Wolf is, uh, still running up front: Harper Polling says he commands the support of 50 percent of likely voters.

The other candidates … can’t touch this.

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