Keystone Corruption: A Pennsylvania Insider’s View of a State Gone Wrong traces the cyclical nature of misconduct in Pennsylvania government over the course of the last hundred years. Most of the book focuses on corruption since the 1970s, when the author had a front-row seat during the unprecedented scandals of 2007 through 2012. He witnessed the prosecutions of current and former lawmakers for the theft of some $14 million in taxes, and he provides an insightful analysis of several of Pennsylvania’s most colorful political characters, including Boies Penrose, Matthew Quay, John J. McClure, Egidio Cerelli, R. Budd Dwyer, John Perzel, William DeWeese, Al Benedict, Ernie Preate, Tom Druce, Frank Gigliotti, Robert Mellow, Frank LaGrotta, Jeffrey Habay, Brett Feese, Vincent Fumo, Mike Veon, Michael Manzo, and the three Orie sisters — Jane, Janine and state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin. The book is not intended as a complete history. It includes the author’s impressions of powerful legislative leaders and top aides who abused the taxpayers in ways that did not, like many of the allegations against them, land in criminal court. When it came to crimes — from Bonusgate to Computergate and the “BIG” caper — Bumsted tracked the cases at every turn.
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 coauthor, 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, in New Cumberland.