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Corbett campaign lit displayed on AG booth at county fair

Corbett campaign lit displayed on AG booth at county fair

A table set up by the attorney general's office at a recent county fair.


Campaign materials for Republican Tom Corbett’s gubernatorial campaign were displayed at a booth set up by the attorney general’s government office at a recent county fair in Troy, has learned.

A photo provided by a Democratic operative not affiliated with Corbett’s opponent shows campaign buttons and literature on a table, and an official banner for the Office of the Attorney General hangs off the table. Though the photo lacks context, has confirmed that it was taken during the Bradford County Fair in Troy (click here to see a larger version of the photo). At that fair, the attorney general’s office had set up a consumer protection booth.

Any mingling of politics and official business, however remote, is a delicate subject for Corbett, who has made his name prosecuting legislative corruption in Harrisburg through the so-called Bonusgate investigation. In that scandal, government employees were convicted, and others still stand accused, of doing campaign work on the taxpayer’s dime.

Nils Frederiksen, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office, said the materials were placed on the table before staff from the office arrived. They were immediately removed when noticed, he said. He was unsure who placed the campaign literature on the table.

“Our staff has always been instructed that they represent the office of the attorney general, and not any campaign,” Frederiksen said. “I can tell you very clearly that as soon as any non-office materials are discovered by our staff, they are immediately removed.

“Our office doesn’t have any campaign material, so there’s no way our office would be able to place campaign materials at an attorney general’s office booth,” Frederiksen added. “So I can’t tell you how they got there. The only material that our office takes to county fairs is official attorney general’s office.”

The photo was also obtained by Democrat Dan Onorato’s campaign. Moments before this story was published, the campaign sent an e-mail to supporters asking “What’s wrong with this picture?”

Correction: This article originally misstated the location where the photo was taken. It was taken at the Bradford County Fair in Troy, not the Troy County Fair in Bradford (there is no Troy County in Pennsylvania).

July 29, 2010 at 11:46 am

--Dan Hirschhorn

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comments [37] | post a comment

  1. James

    Jul 29th, 2010

    Ha. The hammer continues to fall on Corbett. Can he breathe without screwing up his campaign?

  2. KG

    Jul 29th, 2010

    Campaign stuff and official stuff is both there at the same time.

    Therefore, either an official person put out campaign stuff, or a campaign person put out official stuff.

    And where would a campaign person have gotten that banner and those forms?

    Nice try Nils.


    Jul 29th, 2010

    This is patterned like Joan Orie Melvin. Why are there no campaign office related expenditures? Because everything was done on the taxpayer dime.

    This should be investigated. Someone should ask Tom to investigate the conduct of his own office… in fact someone should call the attorney generals office.

    Tom will need to remove himself as AG because hes incapable of investigating himself???

  4. 1994 Again

    Jul 29th, 2010

    Oh, no! A major Republican scandal! LiteratureTableGate! Corbett will now lose the election!

    You folks are funny.

  5. conflictofinterest

    Jul 29th, 2010

    Corbett follows his own rules. He is not out for the interests of the people of Pennsylvania. He has an agenda and “we” the people are not on it! Talk about a conflict of interest. Let me guess, had this been the other candidate using their government offices to campaign for another political position, an investigation would have be conducted by our attorney general. laugh laugh… POWER, POWER and more POWER. His only goal. Maybe He’ll go after me for my post. I guess that’s what he wanted to do to others that spoke against him.

  6. The Lizard

    Jul 29th, 2010

    So if Mr. Fredriksen is claiming that the staff only arrived AFTER the table was set up and they never carry campaign materials with them, then who exactly was it that set up the table . . . WITH THE AG’S BANNER??

  7. Tammy Alonso

    Jul 29th, 2010

    Dan –

    This photo was actually taken at the Bradford County fair which was held in Troy, PA. No biggie. :)

  8. Jim

    Jul 29th, 2010

    This is really a non-issue. It’s wrong, but it could have easily been a staffer making a mistake and doing this. The bigger issue here is that Corbett needs to resign as AG and run for governor to avoid an even bigger potential issue that might come up on the campaign trail. There is no reason for him to continue this, especially since, as AG, he built his reputation on fighting corruption and scandals. I guess I’m more confused by where Troy County is and why they have a big fair? I’ve never heard of this place before in my life.

  9. al

    Jul 29th, 2010

    uh-oh. How long until Corbett gets a Subpoena for the Photo – and the photo-taker ends up Indicted?

    The pattern of Corrupt Corbett – everything CasablancaPA – wrote about Corbett is correct – and that Corbett didn’t Indict Republican Jane Orie for the same misuses of legislative staff for campaigns – proves that Corbett is a dangerous Republican Hypocrite.

    “As the Patriot-News reported, “all GOP desktop computers were replaced from July 17 to Sept. 6 [2007] at the Capitol.” And, as the Tribune-Review reported, “The attorney general’s investigators were consulted about the changeover of computers.”

  10. Dan Hirschhorn

    Jul 29th, 2010

    Hey Tammy,

    Right you are, and thanks for pointing out.

    A correction has been appended.

    Dan Hirschhorn

  11. Tammy Alonso

    Jul 29th, 2010


    Sorry, but that explanation just does not fly. Not only did the AG’s own spokesman claim in the article above that the campaign literature was put out before any of the AG office staff arrived, but any staffer of a public office knows where the line is between office work and campaign work. Certainly, staff in the AG’s office, which has been investigating and prosecuting such behavior for nearly three years should know!

    And Tom Corbett hasn’t built his “reputation” on fighting corruption and scandals, he’s only built a politically expedient image for himself on them.

  12. […] Corbett campaign literature at AG’s county fair booth… […]

  13. Heff

    Jul 29th, 2010

    Was anyone standing at the booth? Why no
    photo of that? If it is an empty booth how do we know onoratos campaign didn’t stage this photo?

  14. Anonymous

    Jul 29th, 2010

    1994 again, what’s not funny about the story? Come on, we’re going to some credit here for being a little smarter than the question you ask. It’s a serious breach of power from a man who’s prosecuted others for doing the same thing, mixing campaign activities while on the taxpayer’s dime. BTW, NO ONE should run for a higher office while maintaining their current position. How can the AG’s office truthfully explain this situation. SOMEONE HAD TO set up the table. It didn’t just appear on its own. So again 1994 again, why do you think this is no big deal from someone that prosecuted others for doing the same activity?

  15. T. D.

    Jul 29th, 2010

    this is a big issue

  16. Mario

    Jul 29th, 2010

    This is wrong but Onoratos pay to play isok huh?

  17. 1994 Again

    Jul 29th, 2010

    Anonymous, so you believe Corbett “prosecuted others for doing the same thing?” Really? I thought he was prosecuting Democrats and Republicans for spending millions of tax dollars on political campaigns. I didn’t know he was sending people to jail for placing campaign materials on official government tables. PA prisons must be overflowing with these fiends!

    Seriously, it’s one thing to be an Onorato supporter, but the blogosphere orgasms brought on by stories about campaign gaffes and now literature tables is really kind of sad…and desperate.

  18. KG

    Jul 29th, 2010

    1994 –

    It’s not as egregious, but it’s a symptom of the same mindset that Corbett is campaigning against.

  19. ufool

    Jul 29th, 2010

    Its not about just literature on a table you dolt… its about a continued pattern of conduct in which corbett and his staff continue to engage. From the illegal phone calls, to the staff switch-hitting between campaign staff and state staff, to using state staff to travel to campaign events, to co-mingling literature… the fact is, Corbett is engaging in the very same conduct for which he is prosecuting others. The only sad and desperate thing about this is YOU and the rest of Corbett’s phony supporters who continue to ignore the fact that Corbett prosecutes some, while blatently ignoring his friends who engage in the same conduct.

  20. KG

    Jul 29th, 2010

    A great report from the Corbett school of economic thought:

    Report: Unemployment High Because People Keep Blowing Their Job Interviews

  21. Tammy Alonso

    Jul 29th, 2010

    1994 –

    Really? You thought Corbett was “prosecuting Democrats and Republicans for spending millions of tax dollars on political campaigns?”

    Then you really should pay attention because, as anyone who’s been following the story is well aware, the Bonusgate investigation has gone far beyond that.

    Perhaps you should take a break from spouting hate and spend some time informing yourself.

  22. 1994 Again

    Jul 29th, 2010

    Hey, ufool, normal people like to watch lefty posters blow a gasket every now and then while defending a losing candidate. It’s great fun on a slow news day. Keep it up!

  23. 1994 Again

    Jul 29th, 2010

    Yes, Tammy, you are correct that Corbett has leveled wide-ranging political corruption charges against Republicans and Democrats above and beyond tax dollar abuse. Sadly for Democrat Party types praying for an Onorato victory, this is one of the reasons voters like the guy.

  24. The Lizard

    Jul 29th, 2010

    1994 Again — well, it’s not at all like 1994, but that’s okay. Normal people also love watching misguided conservatives turn themselves into corkscrews trying to defend crooked candidates. You occasionally get them elected, too, and then we all suffer the consequences of it. But it’s great fun watching you try. So keep it up. Corbett isn’t going to win in November because he can’t outrun the slime ball of his own making.

  25. The Lizard

    Jul 29th, 2010

    By the way, Jim, or someone from Corbett’s office, please explain how the banner for the AG’s office got on the table before any of this staff arrived? Was that in the possession of his campaign staff? Someone else? Will there be firings? Will the AG indict himself for staff misconduct? The great part about his pointing fingers at others is that 3 fingers end up pointing back at him.

  26. Curiouser

    Jul 29th, 2010

    How can the OAG spokesman say he doesn’t know how the campaign brochures ended up on an OAG exhibition space? As documented previously, Jennifer Branstetter has a no bid contract to do outreach brochures for OAG while she also does the same kind of work for Corbett’s campaign. Corbett apologists can try to minimize, marginalize and trivialize this incident by describing it as just some campaign lit on a table, but it is more evidence that Corbett’s commingling of official and electioneering activities run much deeper than he has admitted. He could clear up the dispute if he would come clean and comply with the Right to Know Law and produce his communications regarding his lawsuits on immigration and health care reform.

  27. Scott

    Jul 29th, 2010

    Its gonna take a lot more then this for Corbett to lose in Nov. I don’t get why dems care so much about this. You should be focusing your guns on Toomey. A Far Right Wing guy is running away with this thing in a purple state. Corbett isn’t gonna change anything in Harrisburg. or take away your precious government entitlements and neither is Dan Dan the tax man. Both are corrupt as hell they will fit right in who ever wins.

  28. Corbette is Useing Tax Dollars to Campaign

    Jul 29th, 2010

    His State Paid Driver His Cell Phone He dicusses the Campaign with various people in a State Paid Office and Does Camp[aign work on a State Paid For Office and cell Phone so why should he not be in a Jail Cell right next to Veon

  29. josie

    Jul 30th, 2010

    This is a violation, no question. I work for a public official and never, ever should campaign literature be on a state table. The tax payers paid for that table for the Attorney General- not for a political campaign.
    Corbett should resign as AG- every case he brings out now is clearly for his own benefit.

  30. Jeff

    Jul 30th, 2010


    OR… A democratic “operative” walked over to an empty booth, plopped down some campaign materials, and snapped a shot.

    Who took the shot? And why no picture showing someone at the booth. Welcome to Dirty Desperate Politics 101.

  31. […] PA2010 was first with the story. […]

  32. Anonymous

    Jul 30th, 2010

    This photo was taken mid-week, which means the table had been there, set-up for a couple of days. Foolishly, the table was left with the tablecloth and office literature on it when the OAG employee went home at the end of their shift the day before. No vendor at one of these fairs has control over what someone sits or leaves on their table when they go home at the end of their shift. You will note there is no OAG employee sitting at this table, so that shows it was not staffed at the time the photo was taken. These tables are not staffed 24 hours a day, so anyone can sit anything on a vendor table when the employee is not sitting there.

  33. […] via Corbett campaign lit displayed on AG booth at county fair | […]

  34. Mister X

    Jul 30th, 2010

    @Jeff: this is the danger when you consider bloggers as journalists. the temptation to print or publish a sensational article is high. In a real paper, an editor would recognize this as highly suspect and demand some corroborating evidence before publishing this.

    But this is the internet, aka the Wild West, so ethics are thrown out the window and opinion and speculation are passed off as “reporting”.

    Who sent you this photo, Dan? And how close are they with the Onorato campaign?

  35. Jonesen in Jonestown

    Jul 30th, 2010


    Old Ben Mason would be proud. You are keeping the Lewistown Liar alive.

  36. Corbetts Mentor Bob Asher C aused this to happen

    Aug 5th, 2010

  37. whysolongnoFed

    Aug 13th, 2010

    This may be somewhat irrelevant to this booth incident, however as a victim of this chain-of-command corruption; I will post where and when I can. As UFOOL stated “its not about just literature on a table… its about a continued pattern of conduct in which Corbett and his staff continue to engage”. Example: look at the Bradford county prison system.
    Visit this: DA Downs & Corbett go figure?
    Corbett and Downs have taken all Bradford county residents money; They have no choice but to seek outside the county to line their pockets.

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