A dog urine detector? How Pa. lawmakers spent millions in campaign cash

Listen 14:17
Pennsylvania Senate President Joe Scarnati led the state in lavish campaign spending, according to an investigation by The Caucus and Spotlight PA. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, file)

Pennsylvania Senate President Joe Scarnati led the state in lavish campaign spending, according to an investigation by The Caucus and Spotlight PA. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, file)

Listen to The Why wherever you get your podcasts:
Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | RadioPublic | TuneIn


A country club membership, California wines, and… an ultraviolet dog urine detector? All items Pennsylvania lawmakers have paid for using campaign dollars. Angela Couloumbis, a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Spotlight PA, explains why it’s legal for candidates to spend donor cash this way — and to hide what they spend it on.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.