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Apply grease here

Pennsylvania House Speaker Mike Turzai was asked by the Trib five times if the work of his former chief of staff-turned-lobbyist influenced his changed position on expanding gambling. Five times he refused to answer.

In the past, Mr. Turzai had adamantly opposed expanded gambling. Now he’s for it, “as an alternative to raising taxes provided it’s done in a responsible manner,” he says.

But Turzai’s refusal to answer that simple question five times only raises the specter of just another bad old-fashioned political grease job.

Meanwhile, The Times-Tribune of Scranton reports that the Wolf administration moved the governor’s Northeast regional office from Scranton to Pittston — to a building owned by an attorney who contributed nearly $21,000 to Mr. Wolf’s 2014 gubernatorial campaign.

The Wolf administration denies any skulduggery (as does the attorney, Ray Hassey), says the new headquarters is more centrally located and cites nearly $50,000 in annual savings. The newspaper suggests the bidding process was tailor-made for Mr. Hassey. Wolf & Co. deny it. But it still looks greasy.

Grease and government always have gone hand in hand. Indeed, facts matter. But when it comes to the public’s business, the appearance of a grease job is just as bad as an actual grease job.


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