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Michael Smerconish

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City Corruption Trial Ends in Convictions

Posted: 05/09/05 04:19 PM ET

The former treasurer of the City of Philadelphia was convicted of selling his office in a federal corruption trial that ended today. Two other defendants - two bankers - were convicted of conspiracy to corrupt the city treasurer’s office.

Now I am waiting for the apologies from the long list of Democrats who, once upon a time, were quick to say that the investigation by the U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia, was all about politics, not corruption.

The long list includes some locals like Mayor John Street, Governor Ed Rendell and Congressman Chaka Fattah, and some national players like Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Terry McAuliffe, and James Carville.

Shame on all of them. They are the ones who sought political gain by casting aspersions on the U.S. Attorney’s courageous probe of municipal corruption when it inadvertently came to light the day a bug was discovered in the Mayor's office in the midst of a hotly contested election. Turn back the clock to November, 2003. This group was frighteningly convincing to Philadelphia voters in asserting that the origin of a federal investigation into “pay for play” was really some kind of double top secret, racially motivated plot, hatched at the gravesite of J. Edgar Hoover by none other than John Ashcroft and George W. Bush. (Richard Nixon may or may not have had a hand in it, too!)

As for the apologies, I’m not holding my breath.
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