2006 Pennsylvania General Assembly bonus controversy

2006 Pennsylvania General Assembly Bonus Controversy

2006 Pennsylvania General Assembly bonus controversy

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In 2007, Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett began investigating $3.8 million in bonuses paid to legislative staffers in the Pennsylvania General Assembly. While the bonuses themselves are not illegal under state law, the Attorney General is investigating the possibility that the bonuses were handed out for campaign work. State law forbids state employees from performing campaign work while on the job and forbids payment for campaign work out of taxpayer funds.

Pennsylvania media refer to this scandal as "bonusgate."

Attorney General's investigation

Bonuses to staffers were awarded by the four legislative caucuses in the Pennsylvania General Assembly with House Democrats handing out $2.3 million, House Republicans - $919,000, Senate Democrats - $41,000 and Senate Republicans $366,000.

The investigation's early focus on the House Democratic caucus and Attorney General Corbett's 2010 gubernatorial aspirations have led to charges from that the investigation may be politically motivated.

House Democratic Caucus

Eighty of the 100 Democratic House staffers who were awarded bonuses in 2006 either donated money to or worked on the campaigns of Leader Bill DeWeese or his Whip, former Rep. Mike Veon.

DeWeese initially attempted to block Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett's investigation into whether...
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