Business as usual
When he was attorney general and running for governor, Gov. Tom Corbett gained great traction with the electorate by justly prosecuting high-ranking House leaders of both parties for misusing public assets for political purposes.
Since taking office as governor in 2011, however, the governor regularly has met in his state Capitol office with his top campaign advisers. As reported by The Tribune-Review of Pittsburgh, the meetings have included Mike Barley, campaign manager; John Brabender, a political adviser; and Nan McLaughlin, the campaign finance director.
The administration lamely defended the meetings as public policy discussions, as if a campaign finance director has anything to do with public policy. A campaign finance director could suggest that Policy X would be better for campaign fundraising than Policy Y, but that is 180 degrees from the public interest that is supposed to be the subject of business conducted in the Capitol.
As the House prosecutions pointed out, along with others of senators and even former state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin, there should be a bright line between the official business and political business of high-ranking public officials.
The Corbett campaign can afford office space in Harrisburg, where the governor can visit to conduct his political business.