Monday, July 30, 2012

Will the Harrisburg Financial Debacle Cost the GOP a State Senate Seat?

We thought it was appropriate that the Swamp Fox's maiden post deal with the issue that wreaks with all the rotten components of politics, (Greed, Bribery, Corruption, Lawyers, Pay-to Play, Conflict of Interest)

As most of you know, the Harrisburg financial debacle has all of it.

And what is more exciting is that maverick Senator John Eichelberger will be leading the hearings about this and that has a lot of politicos shaking in their boots.

As you recall, when the then receiver of the City of Harrisburg David Unkovic abruptly resigned, he called out many people in both parties and institutions for being responsible for ripping off the city and even asked for an investigation.

This not only causes a problem for the people who could be caught up in this, like Sen. Jeff Piccola, Dauphin Commissioner Jeff Haste, Former Mayor Steve Reed, Former Board Member of the Harrisburg Authority, Freddie Clark.   But one name that is continuing to surface and now has GOP establishment figures nervous is that of Mr. Stanley Rapp.

Rapp is an uber-lobbyist who has had a history of being entangled with the Dauphin politics.
He also is probably one of the best fundraisers for the Dauphin GOP politicians. And it has paid off in big lobbying contracts for him and his firm.

And this year, the man running to be Jeff Piccola's successor is former Dauphin County Chairman John McNally.  Now anybody who is familiar with McNally the last few years, knows he is basically attached to Stan Rapp at the hip.  Rapp helped raise tons of money for McNally's GOP over the years and Rapp was vital in raising McNally over six figures for his Primary fight.  And naturally Rapp is working hard to raise tons of cash for McNally's General Election battle which he will need.

Stan Rapp is the embodiment of what the public HATES about politics.  Big money, pay to play questions surrounding government contracts, secrecy, operating on the edge. You can fill in the blank.

This reputation can not help McNally as he tries to convince people he is "for them." Rapp's close association with McNally then and now make his candidacy for Senate as a "Reformer" as credible as Syrian President Assad trying to convince people he is a pacifist.

And now John McNally and the Senate GOP may have to deal with a much larger problem with Rapp.

With Rapp now coming under more scrutiny because Harrisburg's Enron like accounting practices, he could become a HUGE liability for John McNally in the Fall the same way Jack Abramoff, the now disgraced convicted lobbyist, did for Republicans in 2006.  In fact, The Democrats were very successful in tying many House GOP to Abramoff which help sealed their political defeat as a result of making that link. Just ask Former Sen. Santorum's friend Ex-US Rep. Tom Feeney.

Could this happen to McNally when the Senate Committee hearings ramp up and if it reveals Rapp's deep involvement in this scandal?  What happens if Eichelberger's committee starts getting "too close" to stuff, will the Senate GOP leaders  try to reign him in or undermine his efforts in order to retain a Senate seat that is very much in the toss up category?  Are the Senate GOP leaders boxed in?

It's too early to tell but these are some of the big issues the GOP will be watching and thinking about but would never admit publicly.

This could get interesting.....