Good friend Russ Diamond of PA Clean Sweep is keeping up the pressure with his “Wall of Shame”, a complete listing, with photos, of all the legislators and their record on the pay raise, including whether they have paid it back or not. If not, they go on a special Wall of Shame on his website. To come off, they must provide documentation that they have, or have made arrangements to pay back the “Unvouchered Expenses” they took almost as soon as the pay raise went into effect.
PA Clean Sweep is also still aiming for a complete clean sweep (the return of no incumbents) in the next elections. In line with that, the organization, which is NOT a political party, and has NO political affiliation, is recruiting candidates to run against these unethical, and shameful legislators who have made Pennsylvania the laughingstock of the nation. Here is Russ Diamond’s press release:
ANNVILLE, PA - [12.29.05] PACleanSweep has launched an advertising campaign aimed at encouraging citizens to run for a seat in the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 2006. The "Help Wanted" campaign will run throughout the month of January.
PACleanSweep Launches "Help Wanted" Candidate Recruitment Campaign
Grassroots citizens group to run radio, internet ads to attract legislative challengers.
The initial advertising buy includes internet ads on Philadelphia area blogs and the popular political site grassrootspa.com as well as radio spots on WILK-AM in Luzerne County. Additional media buys are planned in coming weeks, and PACleanSweep is soliciting contributions to purchase airtime in a variety of markets.
"After criss-crossing the Commonwealth for the past few months, I'm convinced that Pennsylvanians are ready for a real change," said PACleanSweep founder and Chair Russ Diamond. "But change cannot take place unless the incumbents have challengers. We need honest, hard working citizens willing to go to Harrisburg and do the right thing."
A page on the group's website –
- offers the radio ads in downloadable MP3 format. In addition to promoting the idea of running for office, PACleanSweep's ads offer assistance to would-be candidates and tout the group's recent role in focusing voter pressure on repealing the pay raise.
"It was the people who brought about the repeal, and we need that same kind of effort to successfully raise challengers," added Diamond, "because we can't return government to citizens until we return citizens to government."
Prospective candidates interested in getting their name on the May primary ballot will be able to start gathering signatures on February 14 and have until March 7 to turn in their petitions and other paperwork to the Department of State. To date, the group has raised 93 prospective candidates across Pennsylvania, 60 of whom are lined up to face an incumbent at the primary election.
Listen to the "Help Wanted" radio ads (mp3 format) About PACleanSweep PACleanSweep is a non-partisan effort dedicated to defeating incumbent elected officials in Pennsylvania and replacing them with true public servants. For more information, please visit:
THE CENTRIST would like to see something else, however, and that is a campaign to get the leadership of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, that is the Speaker and Officers of the House of Representatives, and the President Pro Tempore and Officers of the Pennsylvania Senate, to immediately resign their positions of leadership, and all committee assignments.
Failing this, perhaps the floor needs to rebel again and call for new leadership elections. Vote the bums out. They are corrupt in their duties.
THE CENTRIST also wants to see a strict lobbying law, based on the premise that if you want a lobbyist to work on your behalf in Harrisburg, all he can do is meet with Representative, senators and staff, in the Capitol, and make oral and written presentations on your behalf. Lobbyists would have to work for a living, and be good persuaders. As part of the law, nothing of any value may be received by any member of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, their staffs, employees of the Pennsylvania legislative caucuses. No dinners, no gifts, no money, not even a pen with a company’s name on it. No trips, no golf outings, nada. Need space to address a large group of legislators? No problem, we’ll clear a hearing room for you. And, no, lobbyists do NOT get special admission privileges to the Capitol, no parking, no free lunch, nada. Want to work for your client? Get an appointment and go see the man.
If it isn’t obvious to everyone by now, Pennsylvania’s political parties are eyeball-deep in the clutches of special interests. Many are on the take from these interests. They have even, as in the case of ownership of casinos, made it legal to be on the take…and not only that, it can remain hidden from the public! Read the law!
(Note: the link takes you to another blog that contains Act 71 of 2004, a monstrous assault on the well-being of Pennsylvanians, and a monstrous piece of secretive legislation passed with no hearings, no public comment in the wee hours of an early July morning in 2004, in the same fashion the pay raise was passed in 2005! The Legislation is so big it was broken into 9 parts to make it handle easier in the blog.)
Pennsylvania desperately needs a lobbying law. It is the only state in the nation without one. Even the Federal government has one.
If you make it as strict as above, you will not need a lobbyist disclosure clause. Rather, the personal and political financial records of all legislators, the governor and his staff, justices and judges, and senior (appointed) officials of Pennsylvania government must submit a quarterly detail of all transactions (personal and political). All. A watchdog committee of citizens, with groups such as Democracy Rising, Common Cause, and the League of Women Voters represented, but not in control of said committee, should peruse these records quarterly and report any violations of ethics and lobbying laws.
The Ethics law must be re-written, and a Constitutional Amendment passed to establish that no piece of legislation can make any legislator immune from any ethics laws, sunshine laws, etc. What are saying here? We’re saying that often, legislators will put language into a bill that says, “you can do this, and you can’t do that. When enforced, the penalty is..” They follow this with an exclusionary clause that exempts them from adhering to the same stipulations as everyone else.
No more of that. No more special status!
This insanity simply must stop. Many of these legislators truly believe they are special, and therefore, do not have to have the same standards you, the common citizens have. No offense intended to the readers, but a legislator’s solid personal waste is the same color and has the same aura as everyone else’s.
They’ve fed at the trough long enough, folks! Vote ‘em out, pressure them to resign. Anything, just get them all out of office ASAP before they do more damage to Pennsylvania and Pennsylvanians. Clean ‘em all out! Let God sort ‘em out then.
Remember: “Legislation without representation is tyranny!”
Don’t put up with it!
"It is the duty of every citizen according to his best capacities to give validity to his convictions in political affairs. " Albert Einstein
Copyright © 2005, “THE CENTRIST”. All Rights Reserved.