To: Friends of Responsible GovernmentOriginally posted at
An army of dissenters and activists was formed all across Pennsylvania the morning of July 7, 2005. It was no different following the morning of Pearl Harbor, 12/7/41 and the World Trade Center, 9/11/01. Except in 2005, only the citizens of Pennsylvania were attacked by our leaders in Harrisburg. They approved the pay raise and unvouchered expense bombs; then retreated to their homes with their ill-gotten gains.
Again we face an invasion of our state’s treasury in the form of Bonusgate. Millions of dollars were illegally given to state employees for political activities on state’s time and dime. We’re learning just how deep corruption exists under the dome of our state capitol. We’ve many good legislators attempting to do their jobs, but are prevented by their leadership of instituting true government reform.
The power to change "business as usual" lies in the hands of the "old guard," those who have the seniority in leadership positions. It's been 4½ years since the pay raise fiasco and all we've gotten is repeal of the pay raise (except for the judiciary) and an average open records law, which is better than nothing. Reform remains a swear word to the leadership in government.
Reinforcements are on the way. The cavalry has arrived to bolster the army of activists fighting for reform in the form of a state constitutional convention. The Pennsylvania Bar Association News, in its January 4, 2010 edition has the lead headline that reads: "PBA House of Delegates Approves Formation of Internal State Constitutional Revision Review Commission."
The first paragraph reads – "The PBA House of Delegates has adopted a proposed recommendation detailing the formation of a PBA commission to study the need for state constitutional revision. The House took action on the recommendation during its Dec. 4 meeting in Harrisburg. Earlier in the week, the PBA Board of Governors unanimously approved the proposal."
The 2nd and 3rd sentences of the 3rd paragraph reads – "The commission will consider the review of areas such as legislative reapportionment, local government, public education, structure of the General Assembly, taxation and the uniformity clause. Upon a two-thirds vote of its members, the commission may consider additional areas of the constitution it deems appropriate for review."
Can this be the beginning of true government reform in Pennsylvania? Our government either cannot or will not reform itself. After all, why change a good thing (for themselves!)? Maybe, just maybe this is the prescription the doctor ordered for the good citizens and taxpayers of Pennsylvania who are sick of "business as usual" in Harrisburg!
A recovering reformer,
Who is feeling much better already! Thanks, PBA!
CC: Executive, Legislative & Judicial Branches of PA Government
Pennsylvania Bar Association, P.O. Box 186, Harrisburg, PA 17108-0186
"All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." - Thomas Jefferson