Editorial: Shame on Perzel

It’s been a tough time in the area lately. First there was the Great Quake of ’11 and the Great Su­per­in­tend­ent Scan­dal of ’11, both of which took place on the same day last week. Then there was Great Irene’s megadose of wind, rain and power fail­ures, com­plete with power­ful but ne­ces­sary evac­u­ation warn­ings from Gov. Chris Christie of New Jer­sey but nary a word from The In­vis­ible Man of Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Corbett. Then, just this Tues­day, the Phil­adelphia Eagles gave their star dog ab­user, Mi­chael Vick, a six-year ex­ten­sion on his con­tract. All in all, a lot of dis­turb­ing news for man and beast alike.

The icing on the cake came the same day as the Vick an­nounce­ment, with word that a house­hold name in North­east Philly, John Perzel, is about to of­fi­cially be­come a crook.

The long­time former state le­gis­lat­or and ex-speak­er of the Pennsylvania House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives, who was charged nearly two years ago with 82 counts of cor­rup­tion, is go­ing to plead guilty, let­ting down not just his fam­ily, friends and the 60,000 or so people he once rep­res­en­ted, but the en­tire state.

What really stings in this case is not that Mr. Perzel was brash, ab­ras­ive or ma­nip­u­lat­ive, or that he was one of the mas­ter­minds of the il­leg­al pay raise state law­makers gave them­selves in the middle of the night back in Ju­ly 2005. What should hurt Mr. Perzel’s fans the most is that he lied to them, big time.

John Mi­chael Perzel is just the latest in a long line of politi­cians who give politi­cians their sleazy repu­ta­tion. That im­age will not change un­til mem­bers of the vot­ing pub­lic get off their butts and pay at­ten­tion in num­bers too big for crooked politi­cians to ig­nore.

Send let­ters to: pronews@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at staff@bsmphilly.com.

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