Tuesday, May 09, 2006

146: “Things to Ponder Over the Next Week”

Just in this morning from friend Tim Potts at
Democracy Rising PA, here is some interesting information and more than a few questions for you to consider in the week that’s left until the Primary Election. That is fast closing on us folks, one week from today.

DR News May 9, 2006
In this issue:
A Voters’ Guide from
Rock the Capital
Over by October: A Request to Citizens and Media

A Voters’ Guide from
Rock the Capital
From the folks who brought us the Rally for Repeal at the state capital last September 26, we now have a voters’ guide to the pay raise. The guide lists:
· every Senator and every Representative.
· whether they voted for the pay raise.
· whether they took the pay raise.
· whether they gave back the pay raise.
· whether they gave the pay raise to charity.
· whether they just plain kept the pay raise.
· how the pay raise lifted some House members’ pensions.

Find the report at the DR web site: www.democracyrisingpa.com. Scroll down to The Newest News.” For questions and congratulations, contact Rock The Capital coordinator Eric Epstein: ericepstein@comcast.net; 717-541-1101.

Over by October: A Request to Citizens and Media
To refresh your memory about where Pennsylvania stands with respect to lame-duck legislative sessions (sessions that occur after the election but before final adjournment):

Pennsylvania is one of only 11 states that even permit lame-duck session. 39 states prohibit it.

Pennsylvania in 2004 enacted more legislation in the few weeks between Election Day and Thanksgiving than in the previous 10+ months.

Several years ago, Common Cause/PA launched a campaign that sought to have the egislature end its two-year session before Election Day, specifically before October 1. The idea generated considerable editorial support around the state but was ignored by the General Assembly.

In today’s political environment, we ask DR Fans and the media to push for this matter of public integrity once again. Here are five reasons why this makes sense:
  • Voters should be able to know an incumbent’s complete record before having to decide whether the incumbent deserves re-election.
  • This is true both for lawmakers and for the governor. An October 1 deadline to end the legislative session means that the governor will have to sign or veto any legislation before the election. This puts the governor’s complete record (with respect to legislation) in the voters’ hands before Election Day.
  • Lawmakers, who take multi-month breaks at Christmas and during the summer, have plenty of time to finish their (our) work before Election Day if they will manage their (our) time better.
  • Fewer session days mean fewer per diems for lawmakers, fewer catered meals in the capital, and a host of other savings for taxpayers.
  • This easily accomplished improvement in the General Assembly’s operation can begin to restore public confidence in the institution and its members.

Now is the time to push for “Over by October” while lawmakers and their leaders can still plan to finish work by October 1.


Preventing lame-duck session is easy. All it takes is a joint resolution by the House and Senate to adjourn sine die. An amendment to the state’s Constitution is worth pursuing, but it’s not necessary.

What’s needed are lawmakers who are willing to stand up for this very simple form of integrity. That means having a “people’s whip,” such as citizens and the local media, to collect commitments from lawmakers who will vote for adjournment on or before October 1. The “people’s whips” then can hold lawmakers to those commitments in September.

Why citizens and local media? Because lawmakers have little to fear from groups that advocate greater integrity in government. They have much more to fear from citizens and the local media that their constituents see every day or week of the year.

Questions for Lawmakers:
  • What issues have legislative leaders told you they want to hold for lame-duck session? (One lawmaker, Rep. Tim Solobay, D-Washington, has predicted a tax on newspapers in retaliation for their coverage of the pay raise scandal.)
  • Why shouldn’t those issues be debated and decided well before the election – such as during the General Assembly’s two-and-a-half-month summer recess?
  • Which issues are so urgent that they can’t wait until January 2007 if they’re not resolved by October 1?
  • Why haven’t you resolved those issues in the past 15 months?
  • Why can’t you resolve them in the next five months?
  • Why would another two months matter?
  • Will you support a final adjournment by October 1?
  • Will you lead the effort to adjourn sine die [Without a day specified for a future meeting; indefinitely] by October 1? How will we know?
Tim Potts, Co-Founder
Democracy Rising PA
P.O. Box 618,
Carlisle, PA 17013

Once again Citizen-Patriot Heroes Tim Potts at Rock the Capital, provide the valuable service of highlighting issues that are, and should be important to all of us. These two men, and more than a few others, are holding the feet of the General Assembly to the fire. The General Assembly leadership has created an atmosphere of autonomy and hubris in Harrass-burg that is simply unacceptable, unproductive, and unconstitutional.

We urge every one of you to visit Tim’s website at
Democracy Rising PA, and explore it. Read the list of legislators and find out if yours is a scoundrel or not.

We know ours is a scoundrel, a selfish one. We know Steve Maitland has betrayed the public trust by keeping the “unvouchered expense” from the unconstitutional and now repealed Midnight Pay Raise that he voted for, and then hypocritically kept the money after voting for the repeal of that unconstitutional pay raise!

What, exactly, has Steve Maitland accomplished after 14 years in office? His last attempt, an amendment to an omnibus gambling bill that would have eliminated Adams County as a possible casino site, is dead in the Senate even though the amendment passed unanimously in the House. It did so because everyone knew it was not going anywhere, that the Senate would kill the entire package. In fact, it is likely that Maitland’s amendment is the “poison pill” that killed the entire package.

Maitland’s record shows clearly that as a legislator he is weak, and not respected. Fourteen years in office and nothing to show for it but less than a handful of small pieces of legislation that frankly no one knows about.

We urge Republican voters in the 91st District to write in
Alan Henry’s name in the Primary Election next week. Alan Henry is the very moderate Democrat seeking the Democratic nomination, Maitland’s primary opponent is an unknown quantity who supports the casino project here in Gettysburg. So forget Party Loyalty, forget Brand Loyalty, do not dare to walk into that voting booth and say, “My rep is a good guy, I’ll stick with him.” If you do that, you are voting for business as usual, and that’s what got us gambling, an unconstitutional pay raise, and almost got us Act 72 shoved back down our throats in the guise of a property tax relief bill.

On the Democratic side, there is no question. Vote
Alan Henry for the General Assembly from the 91st District. Clean, honest, a hard working blue collar man. Alan Henry is a family man, and a man who knows what the people want. Neither Naugle, Moul, nor Steve Maitland have a clue. Alan Henry does.

Dump Maitland!

We’re just warming up folks.


“Kick the hubris out of Harrisburg!”

“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!"

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.”

Remember in May! Before you vote,

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