Philly Blunt

Freelance writer. Editor and web-video producer. Former Atlantic City Press and Philadelphia Weekly staff writer, City Paper managing editor/columnist and Dougherty for Senate campaign manager. Comments welcome here or emailed to brianhickey9 [at] hotmail. Now on: Facebook (Brian Hickey, in Philly) Twitter at Flickr at Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court:

12 July 2009

Hi, my name is Vinnie, and I'm a powercoholic. (Hi Vinnie!) It'll be 11 to 14 years till my next sip. (Applause)

The other day, somebody in the political know asked me why I was so repulsed by Vinnie Fumo. My answer: "He represents everything I consider loathsome in people. He should burn in hell." Or something to that effect.
After reading this morning's A1 Inquirer story about his enablers, I think a few more people just joined the Loathsome to Me List.
... it was a meeting on the 51st floor of a major Philadelphia law firm that has come to exemplify best how Fumo flourished.
This was the crucial gathering in which the president of Verizon Pennsylvania asked two of Philadelphia's top lawyers - David L. Cohen and Arthur Makadon - for advice after Fumo began pressuring him for more than $50 million. The pair's recommendation, the businessman said, was that he "work it out with the senator."
The meeting was the talk of Philadelphia's legal community after Daniel Whelan testified in January during Fumo's trial.
The former Verizon president has been the only participant to publicly describe the session in detail. Since he spoke out on the stand, The Inquirer has put together a fuller picture of the session from new interviews and a review of trial testimony and documents, including exhibits.
In interviews, a series of veteran lawyers said they could not understand why Cohen and Makadon did not at least explore alerting federal prosecutors to Fumo's tactics.
"If I had a client that I thought were the possible victim of a shakedown, I would get him to the U.S. Attorney's Office as close to the speed of light as possible," said Gil Scutti, a former federal prosecutor.

So, if I have this right, both Ed Rendell's and John Street's right-hand men (allegedly) suggested a shakedown-victim just "work it out with" the (convicted) shakedown-artist. And, the politopic du jour these days is questioning Michael Nutter's fitness for office?
The piece then goes on to dig into Philly's lobbyist culture, but since I have a friend who swims in that pool, I shan't comment upon it here. Business is never not personal to me, I guess. But, it seems that people who love commenting when it suits them didn't quite want to talk to Craig McCoy and Emilie Lousenberry...
1. Whelan declined to comment for this article.
2. Wojdak also declined to comment last week.
3. Conover, who was also at the meeting, declined a request for an interview.
4. "I'm not interested in talking about this," Cohen said recently.
5. Makadon spoke briefly with The Inquirer during the trial. Asked for a follow-up interview, he said, "I have nothing more to say."
6. Leonard, a former city controller, is an an old Fumo friend and political compatriot who lived a block from him on the same street in the Spring Garden section. Like Cohen, he has not agreed to talk about Fumo.

Wonder if they'll man up, lose the inexplicable fear of a pasty-white power-hungry convict who wasn't smart enough when it mattered most, and be able to call a criminal a criminal after Tuesday's sentencing which I cannot wait to see go down. The sentencing, that is. Not the defendant in an attempt to get medical pity. Again.


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