Little Rock - The building of the new Arkansas state capitol (1899-1915) caused a lot of controversy around the state, especially in the summer of 1905 when two state representatives and four state senators were charged with accepting bribes! Only one senator was convicted and sent to prison, but the legislature’s reputation was damaged!

Baton Rouge - When Huey Long was governor of Louisiana, and later as senator, he used kickbacks, intimidation, bribery and money-laundering to support his campaigns. And he wasn’t the only one with his hands in the state treasury!

Harrisburg - Although the Pennsylvania state legislature appropriated $4 million in 1901 to build their new capitol, somehow the commission overseeing the building was not well-controlled, and wound up spending almost $13 million! Some of the highlights of the scandal were:  

     a flagpole worth $150 was billed at $850

     a $125 shoe shine stand was purchased for $1619

     $3257 spent on a mahogany case that should have been $325

Five men involved in the construction of the capitol were convicted of fraud and sentenced to prison terms.

Albany - In the rebuilding of the ceiling of the New York state assembly chamber in 1888, the building contractor substituted panels of oak-veneered paper board for the solid oak panels specified by the contract (so he could keep the difference in the price)!


Frankfort - William Justus Goebel, the newly elected governor of Kentucky, was gunned down in front of the old Kentucky state capitol. No one was ever charged with his murder, and to this day he remains the only state governor in the history of the nation to be assassinated while in office.

Baton Rouge - US Senator and former governor Huey Long was shot and mortally wounded in the Louisiana capitol (that he was instrumental in getting built). He died just two days later, on September 10, 1935. He was 42 years old.

Saint Paul