Thursday, June 01, 2006

160: "Russ Diamond, Leading the Way for Reform"


When I heard Russ was running, my first thought was that finally, Pennsylvanians will have someone to vote for, rather than against. My second thought was that finally, Pennsylvanians will have someone to vote for that has ethics, and is not tied to either the political machines, or the monied interests. Bingo! Instant candidate, and one I have to endorse!

I first came across Russ Diamond last summer when two of my cousins hit me with the link to the Operation PACleanSweep website. I was immediately struck by a number of things, starting with the head-on approach to the matter of the Midnight Pay Raise of Last July. I was then caught by the scope of what this guy wanted to accomplish…sweep all the incumbents out of office. I thought, “Great idea! Should happen…uh…how are we going to do that?”

I suspect Russ had it all figured out all along. He had a plan. And that plan worked. Russ was able to channel an awful lot of voter anger and direct it where it needed to go. After the astonishing ouster of Supreme Court Justice Russell Nigro, and the near ouster of another Supreme Court Justice, voters began to believe. The voters not only retained their anger (thanks in large part to Russ Diamond’s organized “Pink Pig Rallies” across the state), they began to get directly involved in the process.

Russ Diamond’s Operation PACleanSweep then began to build momentum for the spring Primary elections and the fall General Elections. Clean Sweep folks recruited, interviewed and vetted hundreds of candidates for the General Assembly. In the recent primary, many incumbents were defeated, and many PACleanSweep candidates won their party endorsements against non-incumbents.

But wait! Russ Diamond stepped down from his position as Founder and Chairman of PACleanSweep. And he did so before the Primary. Why? Because he is a man of high ethics. Operation PACleanSweep was founded to be an apolitical organization that acted as a clearing house for new faces to run for the General Assembly in November. And Russ wanted to give the voters another choice, a third choice for Governor. Russ decided to run for Governor as an Independent.

I was reminded the other day of an incident that occurred in the early 1980s at the Army War College in Carlisle. There was an uprising, I’ve heard it referred to as the “Night of the Colonels”, that resulted in the Army switching to an all-volunteer service, the crowning achievement of which was the first Gulf War, and certainly the current all-volunteer Army’s service in the War on Terror is a credit to the results of that uprising. It made me think of the political situation in Pennsylvania…hoping it was happening here, that people were rising up to fix something that was broken…and who better to lead the way than the man who first organized the people behind a cause, Russ Diamond.

Essentially, Russ Diamond is right on all the important issues, but his edge on Swann and Rendell stems from the fact that Pennsylvania Government is broken and needs to be fixed. Corruption and graft are rampant in Harrisburg, and it transcends party lines. Russ knows this, and knows how to fix it. Rendell can’t do that because he is part of the problem. Swann can’t do it for two reasons: he doesn’t have the acumen to take on the political fights and be decisive; and he has already tapped into the “big” money of the special interests. Both Swann and Rendell have accepted money from the gambling industry, which, in large part, is responsible for much of the mess the state government is in right now.

In contrast, Diamond’s campaign is a grass roots, no nonsense, shoe-leather express that gets face to face with the citizens of this state. Russ is in touch with the people. Swann and Rendell are in touch with the money.

Before the General Assembly can enact a property tax bill that is fair, the General Assembly must, itself be fair. It has not been these past four years. As the Independent candidate for Governor, the first item on Russ Diamond’s agenda is to restore integrity and accountability to Harrisburg. That starts in the Governor’s Mansion. If there is no integrity or accountability there, then there will be none in the General Assembly. As Governor, Russ Diamond will work to provide the leadership that is required of good government, will lead with integrity, and candor, work toward making State and Local government transparent, and restore the faith and trust of the people in the office of Governor.

Ed Rendell signed at least two pieces of legislation into law that were unconstitutionally (State and Federal Constitutions) passed, in secret and without benefit of a full public hearing. Indeed, the bills were shielded from public scrutiny on their way to passage in the wee hours of the morning. Thanks to Russ Diamond and many others, the latter of the two bills, last year’s Midnight Pay Raise was repealed after the November Election convinced the legislators that the voters were steamed and that they had gone too far over the line. Russ promises to repeal the first of the unconstitutionally passed bills, the Gambling law, Act 71 of 2004. Russ is neutral on gambling, but not neutral at all on violations of the State and Federal Constitutions.

The ethical leadership of the Governor can prevent such things from happening again. Changes in the way the General Assembly is structured, reducing its size, and greatly reducing its cost, can only come about with strong leadership in the Governor’s Mansion. Obviously Rendell doesn’t have it. He can schmooze, and he can wheel and deal, but he can’t lead, and he can’t govern. Swann can’t do any of those things. Russ Diamond has the strength of character to see this through.

From where I sit, Russ Diamond is the only man for the job, the only one who can put the “people” back into that “government, of the people, by the people, and for the people.”
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3 comments:

Barb said...

Nice post about why Russ is a great candidate, but he's not on the ballot yet. He needs about 100,000 signatures by August 1.

Please encourage your readers to get involved in his campaign so we can get our government back....all the way up to the Governor's Office!

Otherwise, we're left with the the other two choices for Governor....bleech.

www.russdiamond.org

GettysBLOG said...

You are absoloutely correct. I wanted to get this out so people would have something to compare the three candidates with, and to help them get to know Russ.

Now that he has been introduced thoroughly to my readers I can hit them up for signatures.

Watch for this coming up.

GettysBLOG said...

Anonymous wrote:
--------------
"I suspect Russ had it all figured out all along. He had a plan. And that plan worked."

Yep. He sure did. And he strung along a bunch of well-meaning, impartial, ethical people.

He's correct on the issues.
But he has zero integrity.

Pennsylvania deserves better.
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GettysBLOG replies:

In this case, we suspect a case of sour grapes over something.

It is very easy to sit back and make assertions anonymously and not prove anything.

Doing so demonstrates a lack of integrity on the accuser's part.

We have worked with Russ Diamond for almost a year, and in that year we have not seen one scintilla of evidence of any integrity problems.

Indeed, as our posts have demonstrated, Russ has shown himself to be a man of great integrity and high ethics.

Russ has followed through on all his efforts. He has accomplished miracles where no one believed he could.

Russ has identified what almost all agree are the problems in state government. He IS the man the people must send to Harrisburg to fix state government.