HARRISBURG - Defense lawyers on Friday tried to chip away at the credibility of a former state House Republican aide who said ex-Rep. Brett Feese, one of two remaining defendants in the so-called Computergate trial, had authorized efforts to develop state-funded software for political purposes.
Attorneys for Feese, a former chairman of the House GOP campaign committee, and co-defendant Jill Seaman, a former Feese aide, challenged Al Bowman's testimony about trips he had taken, and about the House Republican caucus' multimillion-dollar contract with a Louisiana company with which Bowman worked closely.
Friday's testimony concluded the third week of a trial focused on the alleged spending of millions of taxpayer dollars by the House GOP caucus between 2001 and 2007 on technology and consultants to give its candidates an edge.
Seaman's lawyer, William Fetterhoff, questioned Bowman about the need for a state-paid trip to California that he and another caucus aide made in 2003. They met with the head of a Los Angeles firm that had contracts to supply e-mail addresses of Pennsylvania voters for the GOP caucus.
When Fetterhoff pointed out that the executive attended a meeting in Harrisburg less than two weeks later, Bowman said he had not known that before the trip.
The lawyer countered with an e-mail exchange between Bowman and the executive that indicated otherwise. "You knew he was coming to Harrisburg, didn't you?" Fetterhoff asked.
"According to this e-mail, I guess I did," Bowman replied.
Joshua Lock, Feese's attorney, quizzed Bowman about his role in developing sophisticated software that equipped candidates with customized street maps to identify voters in specific areas.