The news that Tom Corbett is allowing his top campaign contributors to run his transition team is so despicable that even the press arm of the right wing Commonwealth Foundation couldn’t help piling on:
Pennsylvania governor-elect Tom Corbett named the members of his transition team Wednesday, a group of 10 individuals who will guide the changeover from the administration of current Gov. Ed Rendell.
Though the positions are unpaid, the individuals included on the list are made contributions of more than $1.5 million to Mr. Corbett’s campaign since the beginning of 2009.
Transition teams are made up of political supporters of candidates who have won a new office. They meet with key members of the outgoing administration to discuss the status of budgets and various ongoing activities. They also size up which current employees might be retained in the new administration.
Christine Toretti, chair and CEO of the Indiana, Pennsylvania-based S.W. Jack Drilling Company, was named one of three co-chairs of the transition team. Ms. Toretti was one of Mr. Corbett’s largest donors during his gubernatorial run as she contributed more than $117,000 since 2009 to his victorious campaign.
The other co-chairs on the transition team are Jack Barbour, CEO of Ingersoll & Rooney, a Pittsburgh-based law firm, and Bill Sasso, chairman of the law firm Stradley Ronon, based in Philadelphia. The two law firms combined to contribute $148,000 to Mr. Corbett’s gubernatorial campaign.
Mr. Corbett, who made a name for himself investigating corruption in the legislative branch, appointed Bob Asher, the national committeeman of Pennsylvania on the Republican National Committee, as one of the co-chairs for his inauguration committee.
Mr. Asher, who personally donated $102,600 to Mr. Corbett’s campaign this year, was convicted in 1987 on charges of perjury, racketeering, conspiracy and bribery in connection to state contracts awarded to political favored individuals while he was chairman of the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania. Mr. Asher resigned his position and served one year in prison.
Mr. Asher’s political action committee, Pennsylvania Future Fund, contributed $190,000 to Mr. Corbett’s election effort.
Laura Ellsworth, the other co-chair of Mr. Corbett’s inauguration committee, is partner-in-charge of the Jones Day law firm’s Pittsburgh office. The firm contributed more than $23,700 to Mr. Corbett’s gubernatorial campaign.
Predictably, Corbett’s governing agenda looks totally terrifying, as one would expect from a guy who does not understand the economy even a little bit, and views the recession as some kind of morality play.