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Keystone Corruption: A Pennsylvania Insider's View of a State Gone Wrong Paperback – September 9, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

Review

An honest politician is one who, when bought, will stay bought. --Simon Cameron, 19th-century Pennsylvania political boss

About the Author

BRAD BUMSTED is an award-winning Harrisburg reporter for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review He is a well-known political analyst who regularly appears on radio and television news programs focusing on state politics. He is the co-author, with William C. Costopoulos, of Murder Is the Charge: The True Story of Mayor Charlie Robertson and the York, Pennsylvania, Riots (2004). He lives with his wife, Gail, and daughter Lindsey, in New Cumberland
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Camino Books, Inc.; 1st edition (September 9, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933822805
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933822808
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #943,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
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4 star
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See all 31 customer reviews
He writes in an easy-to-understand and conversational style, and the book is never boring.
pgh girl
Bumsted compares the Pennsylvania corruption to political corruption in .Columbia and elsewhere where politicians and candidates are murdered and pay-offs are rampant.
Leon Czikowsky
This book is interesting reading and very informative regarding politics in the state of Pennsylvania.
Sam

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By pgh girl on September 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a book about Pennsylvania legislature corruption over the past decade, so it seems weird to say I enjoyed it---but I did. I read 2 PA newspapers each day so I was familiar with the scandals, but to have all of it presented in 1 book made it seem more disgusting and hopeless---and it made me angrier and sadder. The author is a journalist who covered this beat, and he is well-versed in PA politics. He tells the reader how PA government works, and he knows the legislators involved so well that he tells us what they ate and drank along with what they stole. His anecdotes are priceless. These scandals were given names like Bonusgate and Computergate, but the author is passionate about explaining the who, what, when, where and why of these scandals with the predictable names. He writes in an easy-to-understand and conversational style, and the book is never boring.

He also writes about the many good things these legislators did which, unfortunately, are outweighed by the bad. The most outrageous practice to me was the buying/selling of state government jobs. Make a donation to these jackals--get a job. The corruption spanned all parties and included legislators and their staff--38 of them. PA no sooner convicts these people, than a new scandal arises in March 2013 involving the Turnpike Commission. I hope he writes a book about that one.

It's a joke to the good people of PA about the state's chronic corruption and that's part of the problem. Although a voter rebellion occurred when the legislature illegally voted itself huge pay raises (in the middle of the night), the citizens of PA need to quit acting like the sheep in George Orwell's "Animal Farm".

Finally, the author presents interviews with Pennsylvanians on 3 ways to stop the corruption. Very, very interesting. But talk is one thing and action is another.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Chas on September 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
Impossible to put down.
A disowned history of what made Pennsylvania infamous.
"It went on a 100 years ago and will go on 100 years from today." Probably longer(me).
Plato said "This City is what it is because our citizens are what they are."
Until that changes...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By James E. Panyard on September 15, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review state capitol reporter Brad Bumsted has captured the sordidness and greed of decades of Pennsylvania's political tradition. Bumsted covered much of it himself and does a terrific job of recounting the dark history that predates him. Political junkies and concerned citizens will love the book. As an old journalistic/political war horse myself, I found the book a walk down a dark Memory Lane. Bumsted is much more understanding of the human foibles that led to massive violations of the public trust than I would have. He does put to rest,however, the perceived requirement that elected leaders be "citizens above suspicion." A highly readable book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Moe on September 14, 2013
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Brad did a spot-on rendition of what took place in the many courtrooms and trials we had to follow through the AP.
I have admit, I can't put it down. I'm at the chapters that focus on Bill 'The Weasel' DeWeese. I learned so much more than just AP stories I posted for breaking news during the Bonusgate ordeal.
An awesome job he did with details to place us right there as these events took place.
I can't wait to finish it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David N. Taylor on October 8, 2013
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As someone who was quoted by the author in this work, I shouldn't offer my own comments but I did want to share the praise of my boss, a veteran observer of Pennsylvania politics and government. Frederick W. Anton III, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association, called KEYSTONE CORRUPTION "the best political history I've read in a long time."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Bloom on September 19, 2013
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If you want to grasp the moral and ethical battlefield that is Pennsylvania state government, then this book is a must read. It serves as a stark warning for all of us striving to constructively influence public policy. There's an old saying, "power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." This book reveals how the very quest for that power too often ruins those who seek it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Linda K. Meyers on October 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A Keystone Corruption should be read by all Pennsylvanians. It is the true story of the corruption in the State Capital and the lengths of cover-up to which our ELECTED officials went.
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Format: Paperback
Journalism abounds in great clichés that reporters enjoy tossing about in their jocular exchanges in the newsrooms or watering holes. That is, in part, because many of those clichés originated in those stories that spewed from the thoughts of those covering those tales of the naked city.
Such as "truth is stranger than fiction."

In Brad Bumsted's latest book - "Keystone Corruption: A Pennsylvania Insider's View of a State Gone wrong" - that strange truth melds with the perverse pleasure of rubbernecking at one political crash after another as the list of corrupt Pennsylvania officials is presented in an unvarnished and incredulous parade.

Pennsylvanians have long suffered from poor state government and corruption, helped by the handmaidens of dishonesty seeking power for personal gain rather than public benefit. So Bumsted's telling of the tales one after another may be the confluence needed to inject a reality cocktail into voters in a state whose future viability demands actual public leadership rather than individual buccaneering.

OK, that may be too much to dream about even from a very good book such as this.

Pennsylvania is one of four states known as a "Commonwealth" and in the case of many state legislators, they take that FAR too literally. The wealth of the state was theirs to plunder.

From 2007 through 2012, prosecutors charged 37 public officials with ties to the Capitol with public corruption. That is just a tiny slice of the corruption throughout the state's history that Bumsted has observed reporting and now details.

An analysis by the Daily Beast of the most corrupt states in the country based on arrests and convictions for public corruption and fraud ranked Pennsylvania number eight.
Read more ›
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