In this legislative autobiography, Franklin L. Kury tells the story about his election to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, and later the Senate, against the senior Republican in the House and an entrenched patronage organization. The only Democrat elected from his district to serve in the House or Senate since the Roosevelt landslide in 1936, Kury was instrumental in enacting the environmental amendment to the state constitution, a comprehensive clean streams law, the gubernatorial disability law, reform of the Senate's procedure for confirmation of gubernatorial appointments, a new public utility law, and flood plain and stormwater management laws.
The story told here is based on Kury's recollections of his experience, supplemented by his personal files, extensive research in the legislative archives, and conversations with persons knowledgeable on the issues. Clean Politics, Clean Streams is well documented with notes and appendices of significant documents. Several chapters provide detailed "inside" descriptions of how campaigns succeeded and the enactment of legislation happened. The passage of the environmental amendment, clean streams law, public utility code, flood plain and stormwater management laws, and the gubernatorial disability law are recounted in a manner that reveals what it takes to pass such proposals.
The book concludes with the author's reflections on the legislature's historical legacies, its present operation, and its future.
Part One: Getting There, 1952-1966
Chapter 1: Getting Ready
Chapter 2: Cracking Gibralter, the Lark "Machine"
Chapter 3: Running for the House
Part Two: The House of Representatives, 1967-1972
Chapter 4: The Education of a Freshman
Chapter 5: Absentee Ballot Reform
Chapter 6: Ballot Box Reform in Northumberland County
Chapter 7: Clean Streams and the Enviromental Revolution
Chapter 8: The Enviromental Amendment to the State Constituion
Chpater 9: The Bridge at Sunbury
Part Three: The State Senate, 1973-1980
Chapter 10: Defying Gravity — Going to the Senate
Chapter 11: The Senate Is Not the House
Chapter 12: Senate Confirmation of the Governor's Appointments
Chapter 13: The "Bloodless Coup" Bill and the Governor's Disability
Chapter 14: Righting a Listing Ship by Rewritting the Utility Law
Chapter 15: Our Rendezvous with Flood Disasters
Chapter 16: The Thornburgh Administration and Farewell
Part Four: Political Life after the Legislature and Reflections, 1980-2010
Chapter 17: Political Life after the Legislature
Chapter 18: Reflections
Franklin L. Kury served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and Senate from 1966 through 1980 as a leader in the enactment of governmental reform and environmental protection legislation.
"During a time when state and national attention is being given to drilling and fracking to mine gas, with claims of various kinds of pollution, a review of how one legislator affected the changes in how the state has to treat water only a few years ago may be of interest."
– Pennsylvania Magazine