Democrats in Philly caught taking bribes won't be prosecuted

http://articles.philly.com/2014-03-17/news/48269239_1_investigation-kane-ali

The investigation got dropped as soon as a Democrat became Attorney General. And it’s not as if the previous Attorney General, Republican Tom Corbett, didn’t do a sting on Republicans: they just didn’t take the money.

The new Attorney General’s excuse? The sting was “poorly conceived”(yet it worked), and was racist. So even though four people took bribes, they won’t be punished, and if Kane had her way, their constituents wouldn’t even have known they took bribes.

Lord knows I wouldn’t even pretend that Philly Democrats are all clean as driven snow, but this is disappointingly small potatoes. A mere few thousand bucks to vote the way they were probably going to anyway? I demand more juicy scandals! Come on, Dems, go big or go home. Or both.

Seriously though, I have no idea why Kane really shut this down (nor why the feds didn’t want it either), and neither do you. Need more information.

Actually, she explains why she shut it down. The explanation just doesn’t wash.

Her explanation was insufficient, not implausible.

From the article in the OP:

Why? Entrapment? If so, while they should avoid prosecution, I hope their voters take them out in the next local elections.

If entrapment was not an issue soiling the case, then they should have continued the investigation. I’m not really seeing the difference between this and the William Jefferson case, or ABSCAM for that matter. Investigators have been using this method to catch politicians taking bribes forever.

The case was also reviewed by federal prosecutors who declined to get involved:

The guy wearing the wire and doling out the bribes was a facing a $500k fraud charge. He agreed to do this in return for dropping the charges. So he wasn’t a professional at this. He may have done something or said something to make it entrapment rather than evidence of a crime. It certainly sounds like the politicians involved are dirty but that doesn’t mean the tapes are usable.

Where? Lunch? Dinner? To a movie? I think the prosecutors are the ones with the problem here.

I’m as big a liberal as you’ll find on these boards, and I think I must be going crazy, because I agree with adaher.

(Did I really just type that?)

Bribing politicians and politicians accepting bribes is a big no-no in my book. I think the prosecuter needs to be investigated here.

Well, I’m convinced now that there might be a good reason, but those bribe-takers should be kicked out of office, either through the next election or impeachment(if possible), and if Kane ever wants to run for higher office, something state AGs frequently do, she’d better be prepared to explain this more thoroughly.

The problem with these things is that you can’t just go off of “Did the person do something bad?” (which, I think it’s fairly clear, these people did). If you want to prosecute them, you’ve got to have a solid case untainted by procedural compromises and blatant biases.

Say they genuinely were targetting black caucus members only. Suddenly everything in your case is tainted by racism. Maybe deals were made or evidence tampered with or a thousand other little things that mar the strength of the case. Or maybe they weren’t, but good luck convincing a jury (especially a Philly one) that the investigation was only racist in one thing but not in other.

Also, can you demonstrate a quid pro quo? If not, the worst you’ve got is a failure to report “donations” and “gifts”. Which, at this level of money, isn’t likely within the Feds’ threshold of interest.

Now, I’m not saying that Kane definitely didn’t engage in a whitewash for political reasons; I’m saying that we need to know more before we can be definite. And I agree that Kane should explain this in more detail; there’s no apparent reason to be cagey about this.

Forget it Jake, it’s Philadelphia.

There’s no indication that these were bribes. The politician took no official actions in exchange for the money. They were charged with not reporting the gifts, but as far as I can tell, there’s no evidence that the politicians viewed the money as anything but a gift.

Now, mind you, even so, it doesn’t pass the smell test for what I would want from one of my representatives. Were I a constituent, I would attempt to primary them out, or hope that the Republicans nominated someone I could stomach voting for.

It’s doubtful that they’ll be voted out. If it’s public knowledge that members of the caucus were targeted, then their supporters will see them as the wronged party.

I saw a guy littering yesterday. Pretty sure he was a Democrat.

I agree completely. THat’s why I’ve defended the administration on not going after bankers. It’s one thing to say, “Bad stuff happened and these people were bad people.” quite another to find laws that were broken and that you can prove were broken.

That wasn’t the case because they tried to entice Republicans too.

That might be the real problem. Giving a Democrat money and then telling them to vote against voter ID is about as lame as it gets.

If he pulled the same shtick on Republicans, no wonder they turned down the money. You can’t buy a Republican on the voter ID issue for only a thousand bucks!

From the linked article:

So “General Assembly’s Black Caucus”=Democrat?

I haven’t gone through the entire list of members but it certainly looks that way based on the half dozen or so I checked. Which is not all that much of a surprise, really. Again - this is Philly, where old school Democratic politics reigns supreme (as opposed to most of the rest of the state where old school Republican politics reign supreme).

Yes.

I can’t find a single member of the GA’s Black Caucus that is not a Democrat, anyway. Perhaps I missed someone?

But the real error is that Kane’s description of the sting does not appear to be as accurate as it might be. In other words, it’s not the case that the sting targeted only members of the Black Caucus.

For the record, the only politicians that will ever be caught taking bribes in Philadelphia are Democrats, because no Republican will ever be elected there. I doubt the Republican Party even exists there, and if it does its membership could probably fit in a modestly-sized closet.