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There's A Sucker Born Every Election

Friday, April 15, 2011

Talk about a sucker move.

State Rep. Tarah Toohil ran for legislative office on a sweet promise of transparency, honesty and weeding out corruption. Now that she’s elected she’s part of the government abuse.

And you went for her pledge hook line and sinker.

Talk about the deadliest catch.


After promising to stand firm for the hard-working, law-abiding people she serves, Toohil hired Deb Reznick as her Hazleton office manager. Reznick previously served
as executive secretary for admitted criminal and corrupt former Luzerne County President Judge Michael Conahan.

Attorney Toohil herself once worked for Conahan after landing a paid internship with this very bad man who turned the county criminal justice into a criminal enterprise from which he profited to the tune of millions.

Now she’s made a Conahan insider one of her insiders. And taxpayers who crave the restoration of public trust to public office are on the outside looking in.

But Toohil refuses to address the hire. She refuses to return my telephone calls or appear on the air to explain her decision. She refuses to be accountable for spending public money on a politically-connected insider, who, like herself, now works for Republicans instead of for the truth.

Reznick also refuses to return calls about her job or explain her reaction to the massive public corruption scandal that went on in the very office where she served as an executive. When I called for her this week she was either “on the other line” or out to lunch.

I recently asked Toohil’s legislative assistant in Harrisburg to tell Toohil that I wanted Reznick’s job application if one existed, Reznick’s resume if one existed and any reference letters written on her behalf. I also wanted a job description as well as salary and benefits information.

After not hearing from the lawmaker, I filed an official Right To Know request with the House of Representatives RTK officer. Officials have five days to respond to such a request so I should have an answer by early next week.

Although I provided Toohil a regular platform on “Corbett” during her campaign because she lacked the big bucks I thought it would take to unseat Democratic powerhouse Todd Eachus, I did not endorse her for office.

After all, she was a Republican and if elected would become part of the slash-and-burn cult of chiselers that would do far more harm than good to Northeastern Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the Commonwealth.

Toohil wasn’t even a real Republican. Democrats had shunned her attempt to run for office because she was nobody and they had a good thing going with Eachus, who many people considered immune to an upset.

Now, other than doing a favor for a friend from the old days in the office of a severely corrupt judge, we’re not sure where Toohil’s loyalty lies.

In 2008, taxpayers paid Reznick $49,750.

Taxpayers don’t know what she pulling down today because Toohil won’t tell us.

But I’ll tell you if and when I get the information I requested. I’m hoping I have better luck this time because when I requested information on any outstanding college or law school loans for Toohil, the RTK office turned me down. And Toohil steadfastly refuses to talk about whether she owes money to an industry she is partially responsible for overseeing.

Toohil has refused to talk with me ever since I asked her a simple question that was circulating during her campaign. It took her six days to respond with a terse one-word “no” to whether she ever visited the Florida condominium where Conahan and his gangster judge colleague Mark Ciavarella partied with a convicted cocaine dealer and washed money from their illegal enterprise.

Sooner or later Toohil will be forced to talk about whom and what she is really is as an elected official and public servant. Her naïve ruse can’t go forever. If and when she ever matures, she will realize that the public deserves to know how their money is being spent.

After all, isn’t that mission part of the sacred Republican creed Toohil espouses?

Toohil says it best on her official state Web site: “As the public remains skeptical of the actions of state government, Tarah will be part of an increasingly open and honest government that is accountable to state residents. She will advocate a transparent government and stand behind efforts to weed out corruption wherever it is found.”


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Topics : Politics
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Locations : FloridaHarrisburg
People : Deb ReznickMark CiavarellaMichael ConahanRight To KnowTarah Toohil

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