Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Burg Blog: The Worst

About the only place you’ll find Scott Wagner’s face in Harrisburg–on a sign across the street from the state Capitol.

Who’s the worst person in Harrisburg?

I can name a few candidates.

In March, someone shot up the area outside Double D’s. That’s pretty bad.

How about the guy who, in May, was caught on video kicking his dog on Front Street? Also bad.

Heck, that fake student Artur Samarin made a return to the spotlight lately. Years of bad behavior right there.

According to the state Democratic Party, though, the worst person in Harrisburg is none of these. That dubious distinction goes to former state Sen. Scott Wagner, the GOP’s nominee for governor. In fact, there’s a whole campaign called, “Scott Wagner: The Worst of Harrisburg.”

Which I find bizarre. Not only is Wagner not of Harrisburg (he’s of York County), but, unless you travel in the rather specific circles of state politics or solid waste, you never see Scott Wagner or hear much about him here.

Yes, yes, I know. When the Dems say, “Harrisburg,” they don’t actually mean Harrisburg, as in the city. They mean “Harrisburg,” as in the dysfunctional state of government.

Then, I humbly suggest, they should say what they mean.

During the many years I lived in Washington, D.C., nothing irked me more than politicians who “ran against Washington.” Oh, that Washington is a horrible, horrible place. Please, voters of [insert name of distant state or congressional district here], send me back there!

And they would, like sheep. And nothing ever changed in Washington.

Now that I live in Harrisburg, I feel the same way. I don’t like politicians and their operatives using the name of my city as a pejorative, especially when they’re the ones who are responsible for the very gridlock, pettiness, bickering and dysfunction that they decry.

Visiting other parts of Pennsylvania, I’ve had people ask me, with a cynical tone, “So, how’re things in Harrisburg, huh?”

And I begin to tell them about Act 47 or our combined sewer system, knowing perfectly well that’s not what they mean.

So, now I will make an appeal that I’m pretty sure will fall on deaf ears.

Politicians: Please stop saying, “Harrisburg” when you actually mean the place where you all work. If you mean the state Capitol or the legislature—you know, that cursed, godforsaken place where your office is, where you all want to return come Nov. 6—say that. Don’t use the H-word. Here in Harrisburg, we have enough problems without you people dragging us into your bizarre, alternative world of political dysfunction.

Today, I received a press release from the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, itself based in Harrisburg, entitled, “John Fetterman To Denounce Scott Wagner As The Very Worst Of Harrisburg.”

“Democratic Lieutenant Governor nominee John Fetterman will call Wagner out for what he really is—the very worst of Harrisburg,” says the release.

Yikes—you too, John?

Are you sure you don’t want to talk about our combined sewer system? It really is pretty bad.

Lawrance Binda is editor-in-chief of TheBurg.

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