Senator Raphael Musto or Ray as he prefers, nearly had his bags packed as he prepared to ride-off in to the sunset on his way to retirement. Musto intended to call it a legislative career at the end of the session.
Political insiders tell RocktheCapital.com over the months there was talk in the hallways of the Capitol about Musto and the appearance of shaky business dealings, so by the time the feds got around to indicting him the surprise had been long exhausted.
His image like so many lawmakers took a beating following his affirmative vote for a pay raise in the summer of 2005. Musto had no remorse about taking the cash – telling the Citizens Voice months after the vote, “when the pay raise issue first came up I felt in my case it was justified and I voted for it.”
Musto, not withstanding the outcome of a federal indictment, stands to receive at least a $70,000 a year pension from the state.
A Democrat, Musto, served in Pennsylvania’s House during the 1970′s, he was elected to less than one term in the U.S House of Representatives, and in 1982, he was elected to the first of six terms in the state senate.
Musto, perhaps, like most legislators arrived in Harrisburg originally focused on doing admirable things for Pittston, his hometown, and Wilke-Barre — the district he primarily served.
It’s a view that Barry Kauffman, Executive Director of Common Cause Pennsylvania, often hears in the beginning, “almost every freshman that I meet, coming to the Capitol, has the sort of the Mr. Smith Goes to Washington attitude.”
But as Pennsylvania has seen in too many instances that attitude loses its luster, especially over long careers such as the one Musto, up until now, enjoyed.
There is a system, especially in Pennsylvania, that too frequently just grinds them up and leads them to the dark side” said Kauffman
To learn more about the charges see the Rock The Capital story about Musto’s indictment.
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