Tom Corbett remains the Pennsylvania political story of the day -- he finally gets Bonusgate convictions and is part of a nationwide group spearheading efforts to block health care reform.
Here's Jim O'Toole today on the HCR effort:
Mr. Corbett's statement did not detail the specific legal grounds he might cite in arguing against the legislation that passed the House late Sunday and is expected to be approved by the Senate in coming days.
"Certainly, there are alleged violations of the 10th Amendment [which reserves for the states powers not specifically granted to the federal government] ... whether Congress has the power under the commerce clause to compel people to purchase insurance," [AG spokesman Kevin] Harley said. "Whether it's going to be a joint lawsuit or different lawsuits will be filed, that's what's being discussed now."
The constitutional argument goes a long way with conservative Tea Party activists -- if you've visited one of their sites lately (here's one from a congressional candidate in the Lehigh Valley) you'll feel like you're back in AP History class. But those battles (let's open our textbooks to the Civil War) have already been fought, and the bigger challenge is likely with the second argument, over whether the government can compel you to buy health insurance.
History remains to be written on Bonusgate. Corbett's office only got partial convictions
yesterday, but that's a whole lot better than striking out -- if you couldn't get Mike Veon on transporting his motorcycles to South Dakota what could you get him on?
The bottom line, according to GOP officials: The gubernatorial front-runner secured enough convictions against the criminal trial’s big fish — 14 against Veon — to justify his reputation as a Harrisburg reformer. Whatever else happened Monday, they said, will be boiled away in campaign soundbites that emphasize the successful prosecution of a former Harrisburg power broker.
“(Veon) just got convicted of 14 felonies. I am not sure who would need to spin that,” said Republican strategist Ray Zaborney. “Veon will be playing basketball with a different group of people thanks to Tom Corbett, and Harrisburg is on notice that if you break the law and cheat the taxpayers you are going to go to jail for a long time.”
Photo: Matthew Brady, 2nd Manassas/Bull Run, 1862