When Corruption is Welcomed With Open Arms

As a state senator, Philadelphia’s Vincent Fumo ruled Pennsylvania’s state legislature with an iron fist for more than twenty years.  While he did it in part because he was almost always the smartest guy in the room, it turned out that he got a little help along the way by bending the law a little.

No, make that bending the law a lot.

In 2007, federal prosecutors indicted him on 137 charges – 137 charges! ­– of corruption.  Two years later, a jury of his peers found him guilty of all 137 charges – all 137! – and a numbskull of a judge sent him to jail for a piddling four years, only proving that in at least some cases, crime does pay.

Fumo is out of jail now and apparently looking for work – and looking to get into politics again, this time as a lobbyist.  While petitioning the soft-hearted judge who tossed him into the hoosegow for permission to get involved in such work, Fumo visited his old stomping grounds:  the state capital in Harrisburg.

And was apparently welcomed with open arms, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports:

State Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams said Fumo was “warmly received” at the caucus meeting. Williams recalled that Fumo said he is “looking at a business opportunity where I give advice.”

So the guy who breaks the law and disgraces an institution, casting aspersions on the integrity of an entire state legislature in the process, received a hero’s welcome from his old colleagues and was even invited into their caucus meeting.

Just like old times, it seems.

It’s hard to believe that Senator Williams, who gave that gushing quote, didn’t have the brains to run and hide when he saw the Inquirer reporter approaching to ask him about the gathering.  Philadelphia voters should remember that deplorable judgment, and the even more deplorable comment, when Williams runs for mayor in 2015, as he is expected to do.

Between Fumo getting out of jail after only four years and then deciding he’d like to be a lobbyist and then having his former colleagues roll out the red carpet up his return, it’s enough to make a citizen sick.



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