Skip Navigation

Michael Wereschagin/The Caucus

Michael Wereschagin is an investigative reporter, freelancer and author living in Pittsburgh. He works primarily for The Caucus, a Harrisburg-based watchdog publication covering state politics and policy.

Latest by Michael Wereschagin/The Caucus


For the first time, Pa. Senate gives public online access to spending records

Though a win for taxpayers, the information provided online is not searchable or easy to analyze.

By Angela Couloumbis/Spotlight PA, Michael Wereschagin/The Caucus, Brad Bumsted/The Caucus and Sam Janesch/The Caucus

Updated: August 6, 2021 | 12:21 pm

Theft charges brought down a state lawmaker. But Pa.’s reimbursement system was ripe for abuse.

Per diems allow legislators to collect flat-rate payments intended for food and lodging without turning over any receipts. They were front and center in the charges against Margo Davidson.

By Angela Couloumbis/Spotlight PA, Sam Janesch/The Caucus, Michael Wereschagin/The Caucus and Brad Bumsted/The Caucus

How one Pennsylvania lawmaker billed taxpayers $1.8 million in expenses

Mileage, meals, lodging, travel, and a special perk called per diems are part of the hidden costs charged to taxpayers to support Pennsylvania’s legislature.

By Angela Couloumbis/Spotlight PA, Brad Bumsted/The Caucus, Sam Janesch/The Caucus and Michael Wereschagin/The Caucus

Bill would force Pa. to post online how lawmakers spend millions in tax dollars each year

The bipartisan measure comes in response to an ongoing investigation by Spotlight PA and The Caucus into how taxpayers shell out millions each year for perks but are largely unaware of that spending.

By Angela Couloumbis/Spotlight PA, Brad Bumsted/The Caucus, Sam Janesch/The Caucus and Michael Wereschagin/The Caucus

Taxpayers foot huge bill to run Pa.’s full-time legislature, but are blocked from many details

A web of expense accounts, few reporting requirements, and questionable claims of “legislative privilege” help keep lawmaker spending obscured — and the public in the dark.

By Angela Couloumbis/Spotlight PA, Michael Wereschagin/The Caucus, Brad Bumsted/The Caucus and Sam Janesch/The Caucus

Updated: November 12, 2020 | 4:04 pm

Top Pa. senator’s campaign revives lawsuit against journalists over public records fees

The campaign of Sen. Joe Scarnati is appealing the dismissal of a lawsuit seeking thousands of dollars in fees for providing records of campaign expenses to a Spotlight PA journalist and others.

By Michael Wereschagin/The Caucus

Updated: September 16, 2020 | 4:18 pm

Top Pa. Republican’s campaign sues journalists over public records costs

Sen. Joseph Scarnati’s campaign is seeking thousands of dollars from a news organization and two journalists, even though a state agency says he’s not entitled to collect the fees.

By Michael Wereschagin/The Caucus and Ed Mahon/Spotlight PA

Lavish dinners, sports tickets, and nearly $3.5 million other expenses by Pa. lawmakers you’ve never seen

A year-long investigation by The Caucus and Spotlight PA uncovered other purchases, too: foreign trips, limos, fine wines and liquor, country club memberships, and even a DNA test kit.
By Angela Couloumbis/Spotlight PA, Michael Wereschagin/The Caucus, Brad Bumsted/The Caucus, Paula Knudsen/The Caucus, Sam Janesch/The Caucus and Alyssa Biederman/The Caucus