Watching Pennsylvania’s Political Alphabet Soup

Pennsylvania politics present an obstacle course of closed doors, deep pockets, and smoke and mirrors. In the best of times, navigation of this political geography proves difficult. The Commonwealth includes 1546 townships, 958 boroughs, 67 counties, and 56 cities: it’s easy to get lost.

Attached to these political subdivisions are Authorities, Boards, and Commissions (“ABC’s”). The ABC’s are populated by political appointees who dole out millions of dollars in contracts. The ABC’s can fund valuable public works in the service of Pennsylvania residents. They can also quietly reward politically connected and influential contractors and vendors. They are not immune from political influence, and often operate without public oversight.

The alphabet soup of Pennsylvania politics provide valuable services relating to alcohol distribution and procurement, basic utilities, “economic development”, education, housing, sewage, tax values, transportation, and water use.

Authorities, Boards, and Commission can turn into a political Frankenstein and bond taxpayers into indentured servitude. To that end, Rock the Capital is currently monitoring some of the most impactful Authorities, Boards and Commissions in the Commonwealth.

• ICA (Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority for Harrisburg)
• PA LCB (Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board)
• PTC (Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission)
• PHEAA (Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency)
• SRBC (Susquehanna River Basin Commission)