Pay-to-play law not on Harrisburg’s radar after scandal

    Many in scandal-hardened Harrisburg were surprised by the second “pay-to-play” scandal in as many years.

    Yet, top Pennsylvania lawmakers remain unconvinced of a need for a law that puts an arm’s length between those who get state contracts and their campaign contributions. 

    Lawmakers say Treasurer Rob McCord knew where the line was. He resigned last week and agreed to plead guilty to federal extortion charges after investigators recorded him devising ways to use his position to strong-arm donations to his gubernatorial campaign.

    There are already targeted pay-to-play restrictions in Pennsylvania, such as for casino owners or pension investment managers.

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    Craig Holman of Public Citizen in Washington, D.C., says he’s optimistic that pay-to-play laws he helped write in New Jersey, Connecticut and Illinois are working.

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