With two of the state's biggest Democratic political figures under indictment or already convicted for public corruption, you'd think the Democratic Party would take the lead in pushing ethics reform.
No so in Pennsylvania, where Democrats tend to look the other way when one of their own is caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
So it's up to the Republican Party to take up the cause of reforming what some consider to be the most corrupt state government in the country.
House GOP Leader Sam Smith unveiled the House Republican plan to help put state government on the right path: Pennsylvania's Agenda for Trust in Harrisburg, or PATH.
"We stand at a crossroads to either keep going in the direction of the status quo or change paths and make substantive changes in the way our government operates," Smith said at a Capitol new conference. "For the sake of our Commonwealth's future, I believe we have to change our ways."
Since the pay raise fiasco of July 2005, Pennsylvanians have lost trust in much of government, Smith said. The conviction of state Sen. Vince Fumo on 137 corruption charges and the Bonusgate charges against a dozen Democratic House staffers and elected officials have kept corruption in the headlines over the past few years.
Smith offered a 12-point agenda for dealing with the culture of corruption in Harrisburg.
Among the highlights: End the 'pay-to-play' system where campaign contributors receive lucrative state contracts; a ban on public officials starting nonprofit organizations while in office; strengthening the state Sunshine Law; creation of an Ethical Code of Conduct for executive branch; and independent audits of General Assembly spending.
"Pennsylvanians must believe their government is as effective, efficient, and accountable as it should be," Smith said. "I think it is the right thing to do. We have to stand up and say 'Enough, all this garbage must end now.'"
Read more of Smith's proposals in this press release posted at his Web site.