Friday, July 07, 2006

180: “Warning! Fraud Alert! Be On the Lookout!”


We are issuing this warning to alert the public of a large scheme by certain parties to perpetrate a fraud upon the unsuspecting public of Pennsylvania. Specifically, you are cautioned to beware of any political candidate calling him or herself a Republican. There are less than five currently holding statewide elected office in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

A very large group is currently working throughout the state, representing themselves as Republican candidates for the General Assembly, and for Governor. In reality, they are anything but Republicans. They are Republicans in name only. Many of them hold positions of leadership in the General Assembly. One is the Attorney General of the Commonwealth! Politically, such names as Perzel, Smith, Piccola, Brightbill, Jubelirer, and others are politically far more suited to the Democratic Party than to the Republican.

In turn, the Democratic Party has lost its way, becoming mired in the politics of hatred, and of money. Once proud progressives, they no longer push a progressive agenda in Pennsylvania, but rather an agenda of status quo. There is no ethical ambition in the Democratic Party. For that matter, there is none in the Republican Party either. The only ambition in either party is for personal gain and personal power.

This may come as somewhat of a shock to some, but the Republican Party in Pennsylvania is dead, dead, dead. You can count the real Republicans in the General Assembly on the same hand that you can count the real Reformers. They would be the same people. On one hand only.

The Democratic Party is not too far behind. Both parties have sold their souls to the Devil. Both parties are up to their necks in fundraising from special interests, particularly the gambling industry, the health care industry and other major corporations with deep interests in Pennsylvania. Those entities hold your elected officials under duress, but now without the complicity of those representatives themselves.

When you eliminate the people who voted for the Pay Raise, voted for the Gambling Bill, voted for Rendell’s Tax Bill, and voted for the recently passed tax reform bill, there aren’t many left.

Does no one else wonder about the fact that a Republican controlled House of Representatives and a Republican controlled State Senate have passed everything the Democratic governor wanted, and then some? Only when it came down to the recently passed property tax bill did enough pseudo-Republicans show any degree of spine by digging in their heels, and then only in the physical absence of Speaker John Perzel.

Recently, a group of Pseudo-Republican members of the House wrote a document about reforming the way business is conducted in the legislature. This misguided and half-a**ed effort misfired, drew little attention, and much scorn. Even while drafting it, these same legislators were passing the property tax relief bill, which will relieve no one in Pennsylvania of their obligations to pay property tax, but will increase the rent rebates to the poor, and were passing a budget with a 6% increase: all promised by Governor Rendell.

While they were dickering over reform, they were passing just about everything Rendell ever wanted, and plenty that Bill DeWeese, and Mike Veon wanted. There was no real resistance.

And the last minute rejection of the state budget in the Senate was simply Bob Jubelirer’s swan song, a final exercise in power that should have been wielded constantly over the past four years but never was. But then, whatever Jubelirer had to lose had already been lost.

Not one of those legislators who concocted that document of reforms has subscribed to the Roadmap to Reform. (Read the Roadmap to Reform here.)

The Gambling bill, Act 71 of 2004, has produced more felons than it has licensees, and has been sucking the various departmental budgets dry across the state to essentially produce nothing but adverse headlines, outright lies from its chairman, and an Executive Director who might soon be under indictment for padding her hours in the same post in Louisiana.

While trying to eliminate property taxes, even after giving Rendell a tax increase in 2003, the General Assembly was creating budgets that grew every year at a rate higher than the rate of inflation, while at the same time they were building larger bureaucracies and increasing spending on that expansion of government, while cutting state employees, and cutting state employee pay, and trimming state departmental budgets back beyond the point they can operated efficiently. For example, the Department of Welfare has been cut back so far it is actually costing the state money in penalties for non-compliance and lost revenues because they can not afford to institute computer programs that would cut millions of dollars from the department’s costs. While the Department of Welfare is the largest state department in terms of financial expenditures, it has borne the brunt of Rendell draconian cuts, and punishment of the unions that represent the department’s employees by forcing them to accept some of the ugliest contracts ever seen anywhere: no raises for two years, increases in contributions for medical coverage, hiring freezes lasting so long that normal attrition has reduced the workforce in the department to just above skeleton crew status. The work of the Department of Welfare continues to fall farther, and farther behind. It is like this in nearly all the departments.

But some departments fare better than others. While Welfare struggles to get aid to the needy, millions of dollars are shunted from various departments to the Gambling Control Board for operating expenses in a bureaucracy that will not generate any income for the first four years of its existence, and then will not recover its startup costs and begin to show any profit for at least four years after that!

Where are the priorities here? Neither party is willing to address this issue. People are starving while Pennsylvania tries to make its own legislators, and a lot of Las Vegas companies a lot of money.

True reform will not come to Pennsylvania unless and until all but a handful of incumbent legislators are removed from office, including all of the current members serving in positions of leadership. True reform will not come to Pennsylvania unless and until a group of responsible citizens calls for a Constitutional Convention. True reform will not come to Pennsylvania until and unless the voters of this state can put aside their partisanship long enough to do what they must to take back control of the state from the party committees.

Right now, over a million Pennsylvania Republican voters throughout the state are sitting and watching the evening news and thinking, “I really like Lynn Swann, but why couldn’t we have nominated someone like Jim Matthews instead…or better yet, Russ Diamond!

Right now, the owner/operators of the Republican State Committee are wondering why they are not getting any money for the Swann campaign. Duh!

Right now, those same owner/operators of the Republican State Committee are attempting to hijack the Reform movement in Pennsylvania. When you hear it from them, or their candidates, ask them, “Tell me about your idea of reform?” And, after making yourself familiar with the Roadmap to Reform, compare the candidates' answers to the Roadmap. There! You will then have uncovered proof positive of the fraud being perpetrated on the voters of Pennsylvania.

As if you needed any more proof after the past four years!

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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!"
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