Monday, May 24, 2010

Keystone Progress re-files Right to Know Request concerning Corbett’s suit to overturn healthcare reform

Keystone Progress re-files Right to Know Request concerning Corbett’s suit to overturn healthcare reform

First request was denied. Keystone Progress seeking more specific information after
Corbett’s office tried to hide correspondence with his major political funder.

(HARRISBURG)—Keystone Progress (KP) has filed a detailed and specific Right to Know Request with Tom Corbett’s Office of Attorney General, seeking information on correspondence concerning Corbett’s politically motivated suit to overturn the federal healthcare reform legislation.

The request seeks all correspondence concerning that suit between the OAG and numerous political operatives and organizations. This is KP’s second request for this information. The first was turned down by Corbett’s office.

Keystone Progress recently uncovered emails that revealed Corbett’s office has been working with a Republican campaign organization to plan to overturn the recently enacted federal healthcare reform law. KP uncovered the relationship in a series of emails released by the State of Wisconsin Department of Justice under a similar request by One Wisconsin Now.

Fourteen state attorneys general have filed suit to overturn the Affordable Healthcare for America Act, the federal healthcare reform law. Corbett has repeatedly denied that his efforts are political, despite the fact that he agreed to join the suit even before he had read the healthcare reform law. The lawsuit was filed just seven minutes after President Obama signed the bill into law.

The staff of the attorneys general have been working with the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC). RSLC describes itself as “the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the office of Attorney General, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State and State Legislator.”1 RSLC is organized as a 527 organization which has contributed over $58 million to elect Republicans at the state level. RSLC was Corbett’s largest contributor during his race for reelection as attorney general, giving him $691,000, according to the PA Department of State.2


“At the risk of getting subpoenaed or being subjected to retaliation by Attorney General Corbett, we are filing another request for this correspondence,” said Michael Morrill, Keystone Progress’ executive director. “The Wisconsin emails reveal what we believe is the tip of the iceberg concerning the involvement of the OAG and political operatives in this suit. Corbett’s office should comply with this request as the AG’s office in Wisconsin did.”

The request seeks all correspondence between OAG and the following:

  • Republican State Leadership Committee
  • Republican Attorneys General Association
  • Republican Party of Pennsylvania
  • Republican National Committee
  • American Justice Partnership
  • Caleb Consulting
  • Tom Corbett for Governor
  • Tim Barnes, Chairman, Republican State Leadership Committee
  • Scott Ward, President, Republican State Leadership Committee
  • Ben Cannatti, Political Director, Republican State Leadership Committee
  • Erin Berry, Associate General Counsel, Republican State Leadership Committee
  • Casey Phillips, Regional Political Director, Republican State Leadership Committee
  • Michael Luethy, Regional Political Director, Republican State Leadership Committee
  • Adam Temple, Press Secretary, Republican State Leadership Committee
  • Robert Sechrist, Director of New Media, Republican State Leadership Committee
  • Michael Steele, Chairman, Republican National Committee
  • Karl Rove
  • Chirag Shah, Campaign Manager for JB Van Hollen WI Attorney General
  • Rob Gleason, Chairman of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania
  • Joyce Haas, Vice-Chair of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania
  • Christine J. Toretti, Republican National Committeewoman
  • Robert Asher, Republican National Committeeman

1 Republican State Leadership Committee website
2Pennsylvania Department of State

Keystone Progress is Pennsylvania’s largest online progressive network with over 200,000 subscribers. Keystone Progress is also a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

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