10/28/2010 10:23 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Philly Corruption...Bucks County Style

Frank Farry is an incumbent candidate for Pennsylvania State House Representative in the 142nd District of Lower Bucks County. He is a life-long resident of the area, an attorney, chief of the local fire department and can be found Friday evenings at the local high school football game or hobnobbing nightly tipping a few at the Langhorne Hotel's bar. Farry was known around town as a pretty nice guy.

Then he decided to go into politics.

Farry's problem isn't so much who he is but who he's decided to get in bed with, and I'm not talking about when he gets lucky down at the local watering hole.

Here in Pennsylvania, getting elected to state office in Harrisburg seems to be a green light to dip into the taxpayer cookie jar without first getting an okay from the taxpayer. The thievery isn't partisan. Democrat or Republican, being in office allotted former Speaker of the House, Bill DeWeese (Waynesburg) was indicted in 2008 for illegal fundraising (Bonusgate). Next year, it was the Republicans' turn with another former House Speaker, John Perzel (Phila), being indicted on theft, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice charges.

While under an investigation in 2008, Perzel contributed $21,000 of the tainted money to Farry, who was in a tight race for state rep. There was no one within earshot of a Pennsylvania newspaper, TV or radio who didn't know Perzel was under heavy scrutiny. The Pennsylvania Attorney General announced it on September 10, 2008. Eight months before Perzel's office was raided by order of the attorney general. Farry still says he didn't know Perzel wast under suspicion at the time he received the money. Sure. People not under suspicion have their houses raided by the state attorney general all the time.

No truth stretching there.

You become the largest recipient of misappropriated cash from the state's top Republican politician whose office has been raided by the REPUBLICAN Attorney General who announces PUBLICLY that your TOP BENEFACTOR is being investigated for embezzling money from the taxpayer, but NO ONE, absolutely NO ONE, happens to mention that little piece of information to you. Long sentence. Longer nose.

So, in November of 2009, John Perzel, your chief campaign financier is hauled into court in handcuffs, indicted on 82 counts. Still, you're a happy guy. You got your win. You're an office holder on the public dole. So now you just return the money and admonish your corrupt leader. Right? After all, that's what Farry demanded his 2008 opponent to do with his corrupt leader, DeWeese. But from Farry, not a peep. Not one penny returned. Why? We never knew. Until recently.

Frank Farry told a local newspaper that he couldn't return the cash because... Wait for it. Wait for it... "I already spent the money." Ah, the "Bernie Madoff defense." That's right. Farry, who has plenty of dinero to spend on TV, radio, mailers and other expenses in this campaign, can't return the stolen cash because that money was spent. The irony is that in 2008, Frank had spent the money on mailer after mailer calling his opponent a hypocrite.

Did I mention that Farry is a lawyer? Can you imagine him telling a judge that his client can't return the money because he already spent the cash he stole? Hey, Frank. Here's a newsflash. You don't have to return the same dollars Perzel gave you...just the same amount.

Frank Farry has to be a liar or he just doesn't pay attention to the pertinent facts. Either way, he's not the pretty nice guy people thought he was. Then again, with his bedfellows and the shell game he plays, he might be perfect for Harrisburg.