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Congressional Campaign Turns Into Mob Scene

Friday, September 17, 2010

U.S. Rep. Chris Carney’s new television campaign ad attacking Republican challenger Tom Marino is devastating. So is the radio ad. So is the newspaper and online coverage of the growing controversy.

The charges that Democrat Carney makes in the ads will likely destroy Marino’s bid for Congress.

Cornered and desperate, Marino’s supporters must be livid.

The truth hurts. We’re not talking Hollywood here. We’re talking the real world.

Unlike Johnny Depp in “Donnie Brasco” and Robert De Niro in “Casino,” Marino is not acting. Depp played the part of Joe Pistone, the legendary FBI crime fighter who, at great risk to his life and to the security of his wife and children, went undercover to infiltrate the mob and take down Mafia killers.

De Niro played a mobster casino boss – a dark glasses-wearing shady character in the film about the Vegas underworld.

Although taxpayers once paid Marino to fight crime and he looks just like De Niro in the Carney TV ad, Marino is a flesh and blood political candidate in a stark situation that impacts the nation. I’m not being dramatic when I say that national implications exist in the drama that Marino created.

Marino, a former U.S. Attorney for the Middle District in Pennsylvania and former lawyer for reputed organized crime associate Louis DeNaples, is frantically dodging the consequences of his own words.

Those very words cut to the core of his character. Those very words raise the specter of dishonor and the continuing threat of corrupt government in America. Those very words must be repeated time and time again until we know their exact meaning.

This mob scene started when Marino called my show one day in April to talk about his campaign. He had previously stopped by the studio while I was on the air and I invited him inside to talk and get to know each other. The April interview provided me with the opportunity to ask Marino about DeNaples.

DeNaples is a powerful man whose allegedly saintly qualities make him one of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s most beloved patrons of culture and community. The reputed head of the Bufalino crime family also accuses DeNaples of being a longtime associate of organized crime, an accusation DeNaples denies.

Federal prosecutors in the same office Marino once headed affirm the accusation against DeNaples and say they can prove it.

So I asked Marino about his relationship with DeNaples. And I asked Marino who asked him to act as a personal character reference for DeNaples, an admitted felon who stands convicted in federal court of a federal felony. Marino said he didn’t remember who asked him to stand with DeNaples in his bid for the first gambling casino license in Pennsylvania – a license DeNaples received.

Marino also said in the live interview that he received permission from Justice Department supervisors when he asked his superiors if he could act as a reference for his longtime friend.

Marino’s claim astounded me. But Marino was now on the record making his stunning claim. Now we needed proof.

Days later I called his campaign headquarters and left a message asking that Marino give me the name of somebody at the Justice Department who would confirm his claim. Several phone messages and emails later, I finally made contact with Marino’s campaign manager.

He said “Tom has a letter for you” from the Justice Department that will substantiate the claim.

Four months and many requests later, Mario has not turned over the letter.

Carney is now on the attack. Using my recorded WILK News Radio interview as well as details from several online columns I wrote about the matter, Carney is taking the offensive in this quest for the truth.

I, too, want truth. I also want a congressional investigation if the Justice Department did give permission to a U.S. Attorney to act as a personal reference for a convicted federal felon and alleged organized crime associate. I want truth even after the November election.

Marino resigned soon after Matt Birkbeck of the Allentown Morning Call broke the story about Marino’s reference for DeNaples. Unanswered questions remain about the circumstances surrounding that resignation. Marino then went to work for DeNaples as a lawyer.

Now he wants to work for us.


Tags :  
Topics : Law_Crime
Social :
Locations : Pennsylvania
People : Chris CarneyDonnie BrascoJoe PistoneJohnny DeppLouis DeNaplesMatt BirkbeckRobert De NiroTom Marino

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09/17/2010 10:43AM
Congressional Campaign Turns Into Mob Scene
Please Enter Your Comments Below
09/17/2010 12:34PM
This is sad. Carney has no interest in talking about the issues. His wife's cancer... check. Marino's relationships... check. Liberal voting record in lock step with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.... no check.
09/17/2010 1:23PM
Street Action
09/18/2010 8:08AM
Turn out the lights--the party's over---
It's time for Marino and the so-called leadership of the Republican Party to get out of this political campaign for Congress in the 11th District. We do not need another politician in the halls of congress whose only attribute is that he is a goodlier!
09/18/2010 8:29AM
The People no longer care about the false left right paradigm
The people want to run the whole establishment out of the country. Writing as if the fraudulent spectacle in local state or national politics is still creditable is symptomatic of the larger problem that America does not have a creditable media.This column only proves that. Continuing to project the false left right paradigm on the minds of the people will land people like Mr. Corbett with a wonderful Job writing the menu at McDonald's. The people are not playing along anymore Mr. Corbett why do you?
09/18/2010 8:53AM
Pa Homeland Security Oh I mean Israeli Homeland Security
09/20/2010 5:19AM
question mr corbett
I just listened to the interview in WILK's archives. No where did I hear Mr. Marino state that he received permission. All he said was it was vetted? Could you please provide the audio clip because I must have missed it. thank you
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