FUMO WRITES TO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE CONCERNING LAW WATCH
HARRISBURG, September 25, 2001 Ė State Senator Vincent Fumo today sent the following letter to Charles Pizzi, President of the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.
(On Senator Fumoís Stationary)
September 25, 2001
I learned through the news media that you have sent letters to your executive board members, apologizing for my remarks at your meeting last Thursday. Please understand that it is not necessary for anyone to ask for pardons on my behalf. I am capable of, and would prefer, making my own apologies when I think they are warranted. In this case, I definitely do not believe that they are.
Law Watch is preparing to become involved in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court election. If the track record of similar groups in several other states provides any indication, this group will run right up to the line of campaign law violations, and perhaps cross it. The business community has been the main source of funding for these groups in other states, and the business people in your organization deserve to know about the potential legal hazards of becoming associated with Law Watch.
As a businessman, a politician and a lawyer, I believe I was qualified to deliver that message. That fact that my warning was stern merely reflected the seriousness of the matter. Yes, I talked tough, because I wanted to impress upon your members the fact that I and many others in this state will not close our eyes to campaign law violations. I find it laughable that you think your membership must be protected from such a discussion. I canít believe that the captains of industry in our stateís largest metropolis are so sensitive that they canít withstand a little tough talk about political reality.
I repeat here the advice that I gave to your members: If they want to donate to the candidate of their choice, thatís fine. They should write a personal check. But they should beware of donating corporate funds to a campaign committee that might try to pose as a public interest group in order to criminally circumvent Pennsylvania election law.
VINCENT J. FUMO