Pennsylvania's Attorney General, Tom Corbett, spoke on Monday, October 6, 2008, at the Rotary Club of Harrisburg regarding the mission of the PA Attorney General's Office, the breadth of its jurisdiction & operations, some recent enforcement actions, and longer-term challenges he perceives for Pennsylvania.
He spoke not only as the present, previously-appointed Attorney General (known by the approximate 200 attorneys in that office simply as "The General"), but also as a candidate for election to that office in the November, 2008 general election.
One of his two opponents for that office, John Morganelli, candidate for PA Attorney General, will speak to that same Rotary Club on Monday, October 27, 2008, at noon. For information regarding the three contenders, see the PA Attorney General Voter Information webpage maintained by the Pennsylvania League of Women Voters.
As a Rotarian, I delivered the invocation for the meeting, and then sat next to Tom Corbett as he spoke. (I took the photo above from my seat.)
Mr. Corbett spoke from prepared remarks, and then answered questions from Rotarians. He outlined the expansive duties & operations of the PA AG's Office, one of 57 such chief governmental legal offices in the country, in both states and U.S. territories. I was impressed by his presence, his knowledge, his candor, his discretion, and his perceptions about future challenges to the citizens of this Commonwealth.
Before the meeting began, I complimented him on the PA Attorney General's website, which has won awards. The PA AG's website, with its email feed, regular news updates, creative presentations, and thoughtful organization of information, other online resources, and interactive fill-in forms, remains a model online presentation of complex information.
I wondered how he locked down the domain name, "attorneygeneral.gov", which is simple & generic. Likely it would be a much sought-after web address, I thought.
"My son reserved that in 2006," he responded with a smile.
"Good foresight," I replied.
Tom Corbet had good foresight, too (also in 2006), in creating the PA AG's Elder Abuse Task Force, and then in creating a Senior Crime Prevention University, both of which he mentioned in his remarks to the Rotarians.
Press releases posted on that website highlight recent activities of the AG's Office in matters that affect Pennsylvania's senior population:
- October 6, 2008 -- "Attorney General Corbett warns consumers about recent surge in 'easy money' lottery, sweepstakes and work-at-home scams" -- "Attorney General Tom Corbett is warning Pennsylvania consumers to be wary of various financial scams, including bogus international lottery and sweepstakes prizes, along with deceptive work-at-home and job-related schemes." * * *
- October 3, 2008 -- "Attorney General Corbett announces settlement in "Black & Gold Bash" charities case; nearly $270,000 to fund full consumer refunds" -- "Attorney General Tom Corbett today announced a consumer settlement that will pay nearly $270,000 to more than 2,100 southwestern Pennsylvania consumers who purchased raffle tickets to the "Black and Gold Bash," a 2006 Pittsburgh area event that was supposed to benefit a cancer charity." * * *
- September 16, 2008 -- "Consumer Advisory: Attorney General Corbett cautions Pittsburgh area seniors about telephone scam involving bogus pleas to help family members" -- Attorney General Tom Corbett warned Pennsylvania consumers to be wary of a new type of aggressive financial scam involving scam artists who pretend to be family members supposedly involved in a traffic accident in Canada." * * *
- Sept. 11, 2008 -- "Attorney General Corbett announces $2.3 million consumer protection judgment in Pittsburgh area real estate and mortgage fraud case" -- "Attorney General Tom Corbett today announced a court-ordered judgment totaling more than $2.3 million in a consumer protection lawsuit that was filed against a Pittsburgh area man accused of orchestrating a multi-million dollar mortgage and real estate scheme in Allegheny, Beaver and Butler counties." * * *
- September 9, 2008 -- "Attorney General Corbett announces arrest of Lehigh County insurance agent in $676,000 senior financial fraud case" -- "Attorney General Tom Corbett today announced that agents from the Attorney General's Insurance Fraud Section and Elder Abuse Unit have arrested a Lehigh County insurance agent accused of stealing more than $676,000 from senior victims stretching across eastern and central Pennsylvania." * * *
Selection of the PA AG should be taken seriously by voters. To foster a knowledgeable examination, the candidates will debate soon, according to "Pa. attorney general candidates set debate dates" (09/22/2008) posted by Penn Live:
The major-party candidates for Pennsylvania attorney general have agreed to a pair of televised debates in the days leading up to the Nov. 4 election, they said Monday.Need it be said? Vote on Tuesday, November 4, 2008.
The plan for back-to-back debates that will be aired on Nov. 2 and Nov. 3 was confirmed by incumbent Republican Tom Corbett's campaign and Democratic challenger John Morganelli, the Northampton County district attorney.
Both debates will be taped in late October.
The first debate, sponsored by the Pennsylvania League of Women Voters, will be held in the studios of WPVI-TV in Philadelphia. The second debate will be at the studios of WFMZ-TV in Allentown.
Libertarian Party candidate Marakay Rogers, a York lawyer, said she intends to take part in the Philadelphia debate but that she had no information about the Allentown debate.
On November 4, 2008, Tom Corbett won re-election as Pennsylvania's Attorney General, according to an Associated Press article posted by the Pennsylvania Law Weekly entitled "Corbett wins re-election as Pa. attorney general" (11/05/08).
Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett held off a challenger to return as the state's top law enforcement officer * * *.As to Corbett's focus on financial elder abuse, an article published in the Patriot News (Harrisburg, PA), entitled "Corbett will focus on bonus investigation, gun control" (11/07/08) by Charles Thompson, noted:
Corbett, a Republican, built his first-term record around an ongoing investigation into alleged corruption in the state General Assembly and vigorous prosecution of Internet sex predators, drug dealers and scam artists who prey on senior citizens.
"It was validation that this is what (voters) wanted us to do, validation that they believe in us," Corbett said. "Republicans and Democrats and Independents voted for that."
Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli was unable to break through and become the first Democrat in state history to win election as attorney general even though he was helped by a wave of new Democratic voter registrations.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Corbett had 52 percent of the vote and Morganelli 46 percent.* * *
Corbett, 59, is a former federal prosecutor for western Pennsylvania who is often mentioned as one of the GOP's best potential candidates for governor in the 2010 election.
He said he will answer the question of a possible gubernatorial candidacy "somewhere down the road," noting that he still has work to do on the legislative corruption investigation which, he said, will yield more arrests. * * *
Corbett also said he wants to expand consumer education efforts to help protect senior citizens and others from scam artists.
He said scams could be more common as the economy slows. * * *