What happened next?
Well Senator Mellow quickly announces that he is retiring. Article link HERE.
Now is it me or is it just a coincidence that the resignation comes on the heels of surrendering the endorsed copies of the above mentioned cash payments? When it comes to politics...particularly in this area...I don't readily believe in coincidences.
So what to make of all this? At this stage I am unsure. As I've written before, it's my opinion that Senator Mellow should have resigned years ago:
- The issue with the nearly two hundred thousand dollars in cash campaign payments.
- He has engaged in blatant conflicts of interest by accepting Board positions with institutions (such as BC/BS of NEPA) that he can indirectly have a hand in regulating via proposing/voting on legislation, acting on appointments, etc. If I engaged in similar behavior at work I would be told to resign from the Board(s) or face termination of employment.
- It has been reported that he crafted a deal whereby the state was paying him to rent property for his own office at a higher-than-market rates.
- His blatant disregard for constituents who were rightfully enraged to over the last legislative late-night pay raise.
- His penchant for using OUR MONEY to have things named after him. I wrote something about two years ago about how anything named "Mellow _______" should instead be renamed "Taxpayer __________" as I highly doubt that the Senator has been spreading nearly has much personal cash around as he has been spreading out ours.
Needless to say, I am glad to see the Senator retire. Here's to hoping that his replacement will have an ever so slightly smaller ego and a stronger desire for constituent...rather than personal... enrichment. This, coupled with the indictments in Luzerne County (and at least one possible indictment in Lackawanna County) could mark the end of the "political favors as a cottage industry" that has been the hallmark of NEPA for decades.