Wednesday, June 9, 2010
My Cow Died Last Night So I Don't Need Your Bull.
After all the stories surrounding the courthouse scandal in Luzerne County one would think that every person elected or employed by a government entity would be vigilant in the performance of duties to take care not to cross the line that would bring even the slightest suspicion.
Not so in Wilkes Barre it seems. The city’s deputy director of public works decided to use a city backhoe to remove debris from his yard. Brightest bulb in the socket, not. If his brains were TNT they wouldn't be enough of it to tip over a bottle cap. Really, what was this guy thinking especially with a salary of $$68,414 per year.
What amazes me about such an incident is the perception by the public that "these things go on". If the public would put its foot down and turn their voices up maybe our hard earned dollars wouldn't go to support such intolerable actions.
Look at this editorial by Senator Dayton Leach of Pennsylvania critical of the Grand Jury report about the need to restructure state governement. The culture that pervades his editorial is exactly what leads to behavior by a city deputy director of public works.
With respect to the Grand Jury who spent countless hours hearing testimony he states The methodology, conclusions and recommendations of the report are, in many respects, dead wrong.
He then goes on to explain:
First, let me concede that bashing the Legislature is effortless. Like any profession, we have our bad apples and it is lazy but easy to generalize their conduct to everyone. Further, because virtually every citizen is unhappy with some of our policy decisions, it's not difficult for a candidate for governor or other office to glean votes by pandering to those who think that only people who are corrupt or stupid could make the decisions we make.
That said, it is important that the following also be said: The overwhelming majority of Pennsylvania's legislators, on both sides of the aisle, are extremely smart, hard-working, completely honest people who are doing their level best to make Pennsylvania a better place.
If that is so Senator Leach start electing leaders who want to lead the fight to make your statements shine, not some half-baked attempt at legislative reform. Don't stop half-way go all the way. Reimbursement for actual expenses shouldn't be voluntary it should be expected.
This statement is really paving new ground.
The notion that legislators are, (except for rare exceptions) corrupt in any way is plain false. And thus any "reforms" based on this notion are ill-grounded. Sir, you get to make the rules. The public does not have a say in your rules. So you make the rules that benefit your elite then hide behind them and state "there is nothing illegal being done." My cow died last night so I don't need your bull.
He makes the claim An example of a sloppy factual assertion is that an "overwhelming majority" of legislators care more about serving themselves than serving their constituents. How many legislative aides were charged in bonusgate? Obviously Bonusgate and the related investigation into the misuse of taxpayer funds for political purposes has clearly demonstrated that these hires were for political campaigning, not constiuent services.
The rant continues
For example, a part-time Legislature is a terrible idea. We make decisions affecting tens of billions of dollars in complicated policy areas such as transportation, health care, criminal justice and economic development. In some matters, such as abortion, the death penalty and access to medical care, our decisions literally have life and death consequences. Senator, with all due respect, there are 50 states in this great Union of ours. Only nine of those states are labled to support full time legislatures according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. At least 17 states are characterized as having part time legislatures. I guess the people in those states don't have complicated policy areas such as transportation, health care, criminal justice and economic development. My cow died last night so I don't need your bull.
State. Sen. Daylin Leach, D-King of Prussia, represents the 17th District in Montgomery and Delaware counties. So how many public works people in Philadelphia do you think use city equipment for personal gain? My cow died last night so I don't need your bull.