Bonusgate Developments and Senate Reforms

Tom Barnes of the Post-Gazette notes that the Pennsylvania Senate is outlining a number of new rules, largely related to legislative staff and taxpayer dollars being used to support political campaigns. A lot of the rules would forbid things that are already illegal, but the reforms would prevent legislative staffers from campaigning on “Senate time”, using Senate resources for campaign, or serving as a “campaign officer” for a senate candidate.

In completely unrelated news, Todd Nyquist, chief of staff to President Pro-Tem Joe Scarnati – after taking leaves to work on campaigns for Joan Orie Melvin, and senate races for Bob Mensch and Dave Argall this year – is joining former Senate staffer Mike Long’s political consulting and lobbying firm. According to Capitolwire, Nyquist will continue to run the Senate Republican Campaign Committee, while also helping Long on the lobbying end, representing interests like the Turnpike Commission and PennFuture.

There is also speculation of more developments in the on-going “bonusgate” investigation. The Post-Gazette suggest former Speaker of the House John Perzel may be indicted, and there is a buzz after former lawmaker Brett Feese resigned his position as counsel (where he was the highest paid legislative employee), given that Feese was considered a central figure in the bonusgate investigation.