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Angry Taxpayers Cause "Earthquake in Pennsylvania"

Last July, several leaders in the Pennsylvania legislature in Harrisburg crafted a pay raise of 16 to 34 percent for themselves and other state officials. The pay raises were later rescinded in November, but that did little to defuse voter anger, according to today’s Pittsburg Post-Gazette. According to the Post-Gazette, “Senate President Pro Tem Robert Jubelirer, R-Altoona, and Senate Majority Leader David Brightbill, R-Lebanon, two of the architects of the pay raise, were defeated by candidates who presented more conservative platforms.” Ten other incumbents also lost primary challenges. See also the Pittssburgh Tribune-Review's take on yesterday's elections in Pennsylvania, or this AP story noting that the two parties are spinning the story in different directions.

The paper also reported, ""This has been a tremendous defeat that I predict will reverberate throughout the Legislature for months to come," said G. Terry Madonna, head of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin & Marshall University. Mr. Madonna said that across the state many Republican incumbents lost their nominations to more conservative challengers. That could mean substantial changes in the relationship between the Republican-controlled Legislature and Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell. "It looks like we're going to have a much more conservative leadership in the Republican Party," Mr. Madonna said.”

And for a cartoonist's view of how the Pennsylvania legislature treated taxpayers, the National Taxpayers Union cartoon blogged the story last July.