Would a Move From Harrisburg Clean Up Corrupt PA Government?


The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review asks whether moving Pennsylvania’s capital out of Harrisburg to Pittsburgh or Philadelphia would reduce government corruption in the state. Two recent studies — one by Harvard University researcher Felipe Campante and one by the National Bureau of Economic Research — found corruption is more prevalent in “remote” state capitals with less intense media scrutiny than in big cities. Law enforcement officials are skeptical, given the white-collar rap sheets of the two larger cities.

“We certainly couldn’t count on a capital in Philadelphia reducing corruption,” said Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed. The City of Brotherly Love has recently produced a rogues gallery of corrupt public officials. Since 2009, more than two dozen people with ties to the state’s General Assembly, including two former House speakers, were convicted of felonies in prosecutions by the state attorney general and local district attorneys.

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