Thursday, April 17, 2008

58 lawmakers kept the money

It's been more than 1,000 days since the Pennsylvania Legislature met in the middle of the night to give itself a huge pay raise. The vote took place at 2 a.m. on July 7, 2005. Not only did the Harrisburg Hogs raid the state treasury while most Pennsylvania taxpayers were asleep, but they took the money early in the form of "unvouchered expenses," a practice that was ruled unconstitutional by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Most of the payjackers have returned the money they took illegally from taxpayers, but more than two years after the fact, there are still 58 lawmakers who refuse to give the money back.

Read about Philadelphia-area payjackers in The Philadelphia Bulletin or go to, which has published a 42-page report on the payjackers and the amounts they refuse to give back.

And don't forget that Tuesday, April 22, is Primary Election Day in Pennsylvania. Many of the payjackers (at least the ones who haven't been kicked out of office yet) will be on the ballot. Voters should send payjackers a message that the violation of the public trust has not been forgotten.

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