Black Leadership Network Condemns Race-Based Justice in Pennsylvania Bribery Case
Four State Lawmakers Caught in Government Bribery Sting; Accused of Taking Cash to Influence Actions on Government Contracts and Voter ID
State's Attorney General Declines to Prosecute, Apparently Because Lawmakers are Black and Liberal
"It appears that Attorney General Kane picks and chooses the laws she will defend and the crimes she will prosecute based on a political litmus test," says Project 21's Episcopal Missionary Church Bishop Council Nedd II, a Pennsylvanian
Washington, D.C. - In the wake of a liberal walkout in the Pennsylvania state legislature and accusations that Pennsylvania's attorney general is declining to prosecute four lawmakers allegedly caught in a government bribery sting operation because those lawmakers are black and liberal, members of the Project 21 black leadership network are calling on state officials to do their duty.
Attorney General Kathleen Kane, a Democrat, has refused to prosecute four Democrat state lawmakers who allegedly took bribes in a three-year sting operation, calling the operation "racially tainted" because the lawmakers who allegedly took the bribes are black.
The lead law enforcement agent running the operation himself is black, and he denies blacks were targeted. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that both Republicans and Democrats were offered bribes for actions including voting against the state voter ID law, but none of the Republicans took the bribes.
"It appears that Attorney General Kane picks and chooses the laws she will defend and the crimes she will prosecute based on a political litmus test," said Project 21's Bishop Council Nedd II, the rector of St. Alban's Anglican Church in Pine Grove Mills, Pennsylvania and presiding bishop of the Episcopal Missionary Church. "But when the House State Government Committee convened to examine the evidence, liberal lawmakers on that committee who obviously must support this sort of behavior got up en masse and left. This is childish. It is disrespectful to their constituents and to anyone who values the laws of our republic."
On May 6, the House State Government Committee was scheduled to hear from witnesses about what Committee Chairman Daryl Metcalfe (R) thought could constitute "misbehavior in office" by Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane. The hearing would consider if these examples might lead to impeachment charges against Kane.
Among the complaints against Kane is that she "openly defied her duty" by not upholding a state law passed in 1996 banning same-sex marriage and her "brazen unwillingness" to pursue a long-running and wide-ranging undercover operation in which public officials were accused of bribery. In the latter case, Kane quashed the probe, which recorded lawmakers participating in actions such as taking bribes for government contracts and to oppose the state's voter ID law, for having what she considered a 'disparate impact' due to the fact that all of the accused lawmakers are black.
At the hearing, former U.S. Department of Justice lawyer J. Christian Adams testified that "[i]t is the obligation of the attorney general to ignore the race, religion and partisan affiliation of the wrongdoers in deciding whether to enforce the law."
As the hearing began, however, liberal lawmakers on the committee immediately tried to adjourn it and tried to block the testimony of witnesses. These liberal lawmakers eventually walked out of the hearing altogether. The hearing resumed after the walkout.
"For all the hyperbolic rhetoric claiming that voter ID requirements disenfranchise minorities and the poor, it is particularly dismaying to see what the real story is after a criminal investigation of legislators takes place. It turns out at least one was willing to sell their position on voter ID to the highest bidder. That is tragic," said Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper, a former constitutional law professor. "It makes matters worse when the accused pretend that their allegedly illegal actions were somehow the result of a racial witch-hunt. It's even worse still when there's an obviously political decision by the commonwealth's Attorney General to dismiss the charges merely because the people willing to sell the rights of blacks and the poor are black themselves. Shouldn't this behavior be considered even more outrageous?"
Bishop Nedd added: "This was an important hearing on an important topic, yet the liberals on the committee chose to turn it into a partisan spectacle. If they truly believe Attorney General Kane to be innocent of the accusations against her, it would have been more productive for them to participate and disprove the witnesses. Their walkout only makes the need for answers more pressing."
Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for nearly two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org). Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated .