Only two - Philly Democrat Dwight Evans and Punxsutawney Republican Sam Smith - remain unscathed and in leadership jobs.
Evans is House Majority Appropriations Committee chairman; Smith is House minority leader. Unsurprisingly, neither wants to talk about it.
"It's been spoken to," says Evans, "I would like to think we've moved beyond it."
Smith, through spokesman Steve Miskin, said after the grab, "we changed how we operate" by, for example, cutting outside contracts and reducing caucus expenses.
The other leaders (four Democrats, four Republicans) experienced real change.
They include former GOP Senate leaders Bob Jubelirer, of Altoona, and Chip Brightbill, of Lebanon. Both were voted out of office by angry constituents in 2006.
The Senate Democratic leaders were Philly's Vince Fumo, now serving a 55-month federal prison term for misusing his office, and Peckville's Bob Mellow, then and now the Senate minority leader. Mellow's Lackawanna County home and district office recently were raided by the FBI, part of an ongoing probe involving the IRS and alleged misuse of tax dollars.
House Democratic leaders included then-minority whip Mike Veon, of Beaver Falls. He lost re-election in 2006. He's now serving six to 14 years in state prison following conviction for using public dollars to run political campaigns.
Also, then-minority leader Bill De-Weese, of Waynesburg, who remains in office but not in leadership, stands charged by a statewide grand jury with similar crimes. He awaits probable trial.
House Republican leaders in 2005 included then-speaker John Perzel, of Philadelphia, and then-majority Appropriations Committee chairman Brett Feese, of Muncy. Both are charged with using taxpayer money for political purposes and await probable trials.
None of these convictions or charges is linked directly to the pay grab. But they certainly contribute to the decline of an already-low public image dragged down by the Legislature five years ago.
And while citizen outrage led lawmakers to repeal the grab that November (an act of panic resembling creatures scurrying from a fire of their own creation), the pay raise remains a moment that defined the institution as duplicitous and greedy.
Events since, mainly corruption charges against leaders in both parties and dozens of their employees, have not served to much alter this definition.
So happy anniversary. And since the traditional fifth-anniversary gift is wood, I suggest baseball bats or hardwood back-scratchers.
I'll leave others to say how the bats might best be used. But the back-scratchers should be used as intended: Let lawmakers scratch their own backs instead of those of lobbyists, power companies, the tobacco industry and major corporations.
(After Veon lost re-election and before he was sent to prison, he was a tobacco-industry lobbyist.)
What's changed in five years, other than an unintended leadership housecleaning, minor process reforms, some retirements and some new faces? Not too much.
Today's tone-deaf incumbents continue a pattern of self-protection by maintaining $200 million slush funds, by hoarding $100 million-plus for pet projects and by refusing to reform gerrymandered districts; and of ineptitude by failing every year since the grab to pass a budget on time and by feeding on unlimited campaign contributions to create a culture in which special interests come before the public good.
Voters, with rare exception, endorse the pattern, leaving only prosecutors to bring change to an institution that somebody needs to take the wood to.
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