House Speaker Mike Turzai accepted an $11-thousand flight from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg

Written by on June 8, 2020

House Speaker Mike Turzai accepted an $11-thousand flight from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg

By SIPA

June 8, 2020

Photo |Matt Rourke, AP Photo

House speaker Mike Turzai accepted an $11,000 flight from Pittsburgh to Harrisburg last year as a gift from a Pennsylvania businessman with multiple fracking-related ventures. The gift was detailed in Turzai’s latest financial disclosure. For Stateimpact Pennsylvania, the Allegheny front’s Reid Frazier reports. 

The flight was paid for by Stephen Frobouck, who co-founded a fracking waste water-processing company and leads another that wants to turn Marcellus shale gas into liquid fuel. 

Turzai, a frequent advocate for the gas industry, says he accepted the flight to make it back to the capitol in time for a voting session, after speaking at a natural gas industry conference in Pittsburgh. The price for the trip was inflated, the disclosure said, because President Trump was also speaking at the conference that day and air travel was limited. 

The flight was criticized by Rabbi Michael Pollack of March on Harrisburg, a non-partisan group that advocates for getting money out of politics. 

“I think that if you give a politician something of value and you have some business before the state, then that’s a bribe,” said Pollack.

Legislators in Pennsylvania can receive unlimited gifts, but have to report any travel over $650. 

A spokesman for Turzai said the speaker accepted the gift to save taxpayer money and that Turzai travelled alone on the flight. 


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