'Mellow' in name only
Bob Mellow has had many titles in his time. But victim of politics? Hah!
The Pennsylvania Democrat once was president pro tempore of the Pennsylvania Senate, and was the minority leader there for decades. He held corporate and institutional board seats. And he also held an unofficial title, political kingmaker. For years Democrats seeking office in Northeast Pa. approached him on bent knee in pursuit of his blessing, influence and money.
So when Mr. Mellow's lawyers recently asked Dauphin County Court to dismiss corruption charges against Mr. Mellow on grounds that he is a victim of politics, they flirted with the traditional definition of chutzpah: the man who murders his parents and seeks mercy because he is an orphan.
Mr. Mellow, who already has served a federal prison term for use of public resources for political purposes, is charged in state court with conspiracy and related charges relative to an alleged bid-rigging scheme at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.
The case is being handled by the state attorney general's office. Attorney General Kathleen Kane, another Democrat, once considered running against Mr. Mellow but did not do so. And Mr. Mellow, then under federal investigation, retired and did not seek re-election in the year in which Mrs. Kane might have challenged him.
Mr. Mellow's lawyers raised other legal issues in their effort to have the charges dismissed. Perhaps they have merit.
But it remains amazing how so many people who ruthlessly have wielded political power before being charged with crimes - from former Lackawanna County Commissioners Robert Cordaro and A.J. Munchak to a roster of former state legislators who have shuttled through the revolving door between the state Capitol and prison - expect people to believe that they are the victims of someone else's political excess.