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Thu Sep 17, 2020, 12:00 AM

Top Pa. Republican's campaign sues journalists over public records costs

HARRISBURG ó The campaign committee of the state Senateís top Republican is suing a publication of LNP Media Group and two journalists who uncovered questionable spending by the lawmaker and other politicians.

Senate President Pro Tempore Joseph Scarnatiís campaign filed the suit on Aug. 10 in district court in his home county of Jefferson, seeking $6,070 from the Caucus, its bureau chief Brad Bumsted, and Spotlight PA reporter Angela Couloumbis.

Scarnatiís campaign alleges that the trio owe $5,070 for work an accounting firm conducted to produce public records the journalists requested during an investigation into his and other lawmakers' campaign spending. The campaign also wants $1,000 for attorneys' fees and court costs.

Should it prevail, the suit could make it easier for politicians to hide their campaign spending from the public, while at the same time having a chilling effect on investigative reporting, media experts said.


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