Sam Janesch/The Caucus


Sam Janesch is a political reporter for LNP. He can be reached at SJanesch@lnpnews.com, or (717) 481-6024. You can also follow @SamJanLNP on Twitter.

Latest by Sam Janesch/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

Pennsylvania Senate plans first step to enhance public access to expense information

Following reporting by The Caucus and Spotlight PA, the Pennsylvania Senate said it will post expenses online, though it’s unclear in what format.

By 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

Some Pa. lawmakers tout expense transparency. Their websites tell a different story.

Just 29 of the 253 full-time lawmakers in Pennsylvania post some information online about how they spend taxpayer dollars in their duties, despite many proclaiming, “It’s Your Money.”

By Sam Janesch/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

One ritzy fundraiser shows how tough selling lobbying reform in Pa. will be

A campaign event for Jake Corman, the top Republican in the state Senate, is being organized by a company that has cornered the market on a political practice he wants to end.

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

New Pa. GOP leader pushes transparency reforms despite party’s past reluctance, obstruction

Sen. Jake Corman wants to enact new transparency measures to restore trust in the legislature. But skeptics counter that the GOP has for years allowed reform efforts to fail.

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

Firm ran Pa. senator’s campaign and worked with super PAC to attack opponent, but denies coordination

Coordination between independent expenditure groups and political campaigns is forbidden. But weak state and federal campaign finance rules and meager oversight create gray areas and loopholes.

By Angela Couloumbis/Spotlight PA and Sam Janesch/The Caucus
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