Why Harrisburg Is More Corrupt Than Other State Capitals

Wonkblog directs our attention to a recent paper that finds a correlation between public state-level corruption and the state capital’s proximity to the major population centers in the rest of the state. The farther one is from the action, the more likely it is that legislators are getting away with crime. Why? The media and hence, the public, just aren’t paying as much attention.

As the chart demonstrates PA (what’s up, Vince Fumo?) fits the bill. It’s true that in state capitals like Boston and Providence, to pick two notoriously malfeasant northeastern cities, the political class is far more focused on state government than city government. In Philly, we (ahem) obsess over city politics, which for all we know, is causing Harrisburg to run wild.

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