PA House Bans Cash Gifts

Abandoned sting operation produces its first reform in Harrisburg.

CBS Philly reports: “Leaders of both parties in the Pennsylvania House have banned most types of cash gifts in response to recent allegations that some state representatives accepted cash from a confidential informant in a criminal investigation.”

The House Bipartisan Management Committee on Wednesday adopted a new ethics rule prohibiting cash gifts, although money from non-lobbyist family members and friends is allowed.

A spokesman for House Speaker Sam Smith says the move is in response to reports in The Philadelphia Inquirer that four members accepted payments from a lobbyist wearing a wire for state prosecutors.

Which is good and wise, but also stunning: It’s 2014, and Pennsylvania leaders are just now getting wise to the idea that unlimited cash gifts can have corrupting effects in a democracy! Honestly, we wonder how they got away for so long with such naivete.