Friday, March 24, 2006

110: “Dedicated to Rep. Steve Maitland (R-91)”



We have been extremely disturbed at Representative Steve Maitland’s obstinate refusal to return the money he took as an “unvouchered expense” last summer. Despite all of Mr. Maitland’s good points, there is this one issue that goes above and beyond the potential illegalities of keeping money received as compensation from an unconstitutionally passed pay raise that has since been repealed.

This is from the friends over at Operation Clean Sweep, who owe their start to the impetus provided by the hubris-filled legislature’s attempted theft from the citizens of Pennsylvania.
The legislature, with the complicity of the State Supreme Court, particularly Chief (mis)Justice Ralph Cappy, and of the Governor who signed the unconstitutional pay raise into law, attempted to pass a fat (16-34%) pay raise for themselves by the stealth method – after midnight, with no public input or discussion, and no notice. Further, it is unconstitutional for the legislature to pass a pay raise for themselves. Only the next session of the legislature can benefit from a raise. So, despite what the legislators claim, and despite what Cappy claims, and despite what Rendell claims, the raise was unconstitutional, and plainly so.

But that did not stop our “benevolent” legislators, as hundreds of them immediately accepted huge payouts under a scam called the “unvouchered expense”, a vehicle the legislature concocted for just such a purpose. Most of the legislators who accepted the money have either repaid it in full, or made arrangements to do so (although this amounts to an extended interest-free loan at the expense of the tax payers!). Now, the few greedy hard-heads that still have not repaid the money stand to up their retirements in addition to gaining from an unconstitutional piece of legislation.

A good case can be made for charging these individuals with felony theft, for failure to make proper disposition of funds, and/or illegal taking. The repeal of the legislation wipes out any entitlement to money accepted under the repealed pay raise. Ergo, those who have not returned their ill-gotten gains are stealing from the General Fund of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and in effect, from the citizens and tax-payers of Pennsylvania.

But this should never have come to this. The shame of it is that so many of the legislators in the General Assembly simply do not know the difference between right and wrong.

Let us be clear about this: it is simply wrong to keep that money - morally, and ethically wrong. There can be no argument about this fact. No amount of rationalization can make it right. Even if legal, which it is not, it is still wrong to keep that money. Just because something may be legal, does not make it right.

One clear and unequivocal example of such rationalizations is the Holocaust committed by the German nation under the thrall of the National Socialist (Nazi) party and Adolf Hitler. In order to make sure of the forced enslavement, confinement in concentration camps, and eventual murder of more than six million Jews, Gypsies, Homosexuals, and Poles during World War II, the Nazi’s gathered for a conference at a Berlin lakeside resort called Wannsee.

The Wannsee Conference, held on January 20, 1942, was conducted by Reinhard Heydrich, second in command of the Nazi SS, commanded by Heinrich Himmler. Heydrich conducted an aggressive agenda, laid out by Adolf Eichmann representing the Gestapo. That agenda coerced top level Nazi political, military, paramilitary, and most importantly, judicial leaders into justifying and upholding what was termed as “The Final Solution”, the eradication of the Jews in occupied Europe and Germany. It was an official conspiracy, a policy projected from Hitler, Himmler and the Nazi hierarchy and it became policy for the entire Third Reich, and it was, after this conference, fully sanctioned and justified by the entire German government.

Understand that the taking and keeping of the money from the pay raise is insignificant compared to the Holocaust, but the rationalization process is the same, and where the Holocaust was wrong, so is keeping the money.

Some justify keeping the money by the spurious reasoning that they do not get involved with the money from lobbyists, or some of the other “perks” available to members of the General Assembly, so they are just getting a “little of their own.” In response to this rationalization I ask, “Is an evil not an evil because it is the lesser of two?”

Obviously, greed has pervaded the General Assembly, and our state courts, as well as the Governor’s office. So much greed that it compares evenly with gold fever like that experienced by the miners involved in several Gold Rushes in the mid to late nineteenth century, specifically in California, in the Black Hills of the Dakotas, and later in the Klondike. The greed and treachery that pervaded those events was such as to reduce man to his basest, and most selfish and paranoid self.

That pretty much defines the nature of our elected state government officials. They have long since stopped serving you, the citizens and taxpayers of the Commonwealth.

There is an election coming up. Remember in May, before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Let’s stop electing legislators, governors and judges who do not know the difference between right and wrong, are driven by greed, and are filled with hubris.

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“Kick the hubris out of Harrisburg!” -- THE CENTRIST

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" --GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.” --GettysBLOG

Remember in May! Before you vote,
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