Point, Counterpoint

Yesterday afternoon, the Capitol witnessed one of its more entertaining press conferences in quite some time. (That’s according to reporters who were there. I was at a decidedly not entertaining hearing on the Clearfield County gas spill.)

According to reports from podcast partners PoliticsPA and Capitol Ideas, Republican Congressional candidate Pat Meehan called a presser to link Democratic opponent Brian Lentz to Bonusgate. “This is a crime scene,” said Meehan, referencing the Capitol. The crux of Meehan’s argument: a state employee named Ann Collis received a state-funded bonus briefly worked on Lentz’s state House campaign in 2006.

As Capitol Ideas’ John Micek reports,  ” then things kind of fell apart. Meehan stumbled when he asked how it was possible to Lentz to rubber-stamp anything Veon did — especially since Veon was voted out of office in November 2006 and Lentz didn’t take office until January 2007. He also said he couldn’t provide any proof that Lentz knew that Collis was working on the taxpayers’ dime or that Collis even knew that bonus came from somewhere other than campaign money.”

Once Meehan was finished, Lentz strode to the podium to counterattack. “If you drove to Harrisburg for this, I apologize,” he said, calling the press conference “nonsense.” Lentz denied knowing anything about Collis’ bonus, saying he assumed she was a volunteer. He said he never had any conversations with Mike Veon or others about state-funded employees working on his campaign effort.