Tag Archives: robert asher pennsylvania politics

Well, He’s Certainly an Expert on the Subject

Who better to tell it like it is on the subject of the influence of money on politics than a guy who went to jail for using money to influence politics?

Pennsylvania is in the unusual position of having three vacant seats on its seven-member state Supreme Court this year, so the election in November (yes, Pennsylvania still lives in the dark ages and elects its judges) is pretty important. A lot of interests have a lot of interest in this election.

And they’re spending a lot of money in support of those interests.

Recognizing both the importance of the election and the potential challenges that arise when those interests start pouring money into judicial campaigns, the Philadelphia Inquirer turned to a noted political authority on the subject.

That authority is Robert Asher, a member of the Republican National Committee, former chairman of Pennsylvania’s Republican Party, and currently the head of a group called PA Future Fund, which has invested more than $80,000 (so far) toward the purchase of two of the three Supreme Court candidates.

The PA Future Fund, by the way, describes itself as

…a pro-growth State Political Action Committee, whose members are dedicated to improving Pennsylvania as a place to live, work and do business. The Future Fund encourages and supports the election of candidates who share its members’ vision for Pennsylvania’s future – a future in which Pennsylvania’s business and commerce will continue to grow stronger. The results are policies and legislation that ensures the state’s growth and a membership that is continuously enhanced through its shared ideals.

The Inquirer asked Asher why people – including his organization – contribute to state Supreme Court candidates. Here’s how the Inquirer described that conversation:

What exactly do these people want? Merely a “fair hearing,” said Bob Asher, the Republican power broker who chairs PA Future Fund, another top contributor to the Supreme Court race, with $83,500 spent on two GOP candidates so far. “We want the business community, when they have issues, to have a fair hearing,” he explained to The Inquirer.

What the Inquirer didn’t share with its readers, though, is why Asher, this “Republican power broker,” is such an authority on the subject of the influence of money on politics.

But The Curmudgeon will share.

money in politicsWhile chairman of Pennsylvania’s Republican Party in the 1980s, Asher was convicted of perjury, racketeering, conspiracy, and bribery in connection with the awarding of a state contract. Asher spent a year in jail for his crimes – after which he returned to politics and was welcomed back with mostly open arms by his Republican brethren.

And here he is today, a member of the Republican National Committee and the head of a group of Pennsylvania businesses. Clearly, those people have no problem with Asher’s past and are quite comfortable associating with him and being associated with his past.

Yet another reason why people hate politicians.