Keeping an Eye on Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania Government

Readers in my state and/or city might find these interesting:

Open Pittsburgh

The current crisis in Pittsburgh didn’t happen overnight. It’s from more than a decade of bad policy and mismanagement by both the Mayor and City Council. As a result, City residents must now suffer and pay for something which was largely perpetrated behind their backs.

But how could this happen? It’s because there is currently no effective mechanism for city residents to learn for themselves what is really going on inside their government and they have been unable to give their informed consent or hold their public officials accountable.

What can we do about it? The best answer is to pass the proposed Open Government Amendment to the Pittsburgh City Charter, but to do that we must first place it on the November 8, 2005 ballot and that requires collecting over 15,000 signatures from Pittsburghers between June 21st and August 7, 2005.

Learn more about the Pittsburgh City Charter Open Government Amendment.

Operation Clean Sweep

Operation Clean Sweep is aimed at one simple goal: cleaning house in the Pennsylvania General Assembly by defeating every single incumbent officeholder up for re-election in 2006.

The current members of the General Assembly have slapped taxpayers in the face by awarding themselves a huge pay increase. While some members did vote "no" on the increase, it is common knowledge that all votes were pre-arranged to protect vulnerable seats.

Operation Clean Sweep is not a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Constitution or Green Party issue. It’s us vs. them. The governed vs. the government. The taxpayers vs. the tax spenders.

Are you outraged at the recent legislative pay raise? Are you fed up? Are you genuinely ready to make a real change in Pennsylvania? If so, this is your chance to set things straight.

In 2006, all 203 members of the House of Representatives and 25 of our 50 Senators must face re-election. With your help, we can give them all a run for their money by seeking out qualified candidates – in non-partisan fashion – to challenge the incumbents in both the Primary and General elections.

These incumbents are betting you will forget this pay raise before the next election. We’re betting you won’t. Together, we can do more than just get mad – we can get even!

Please, join us now…


…because taxpayers are not sheep!!!


Related news story: Pay raise anger starts boiling over

Comments 6

  1. howard wrote:

    Well, at least sweep out the arrogant thieves who voted for this pay raise — though I suppose a case could be made that some who voted against it were already certain of its passage, so they did what they thought would make them look good — so, yeah, I with you on this.

    Which is academic anyway, as my rep not only voted for it, but also commandeered the local op-ed page to tout his own courage at passing this legislation!

    Posted 22 Jul 2005 at 8:26 am
  2. Jerry wrote:

    His courage? Pray tell us how he made a pay raise sound courageous, or at least how he tried to make it sound so.

    Posted 22 Jul 2005 at 2:37 pm
  3. 4HisChurch wrote:

    I’ve the like to Operation Clean Sweep on my blog. Vote the bums out!!

    Posted 22 Jul 2005 at 11:03 pm
  4. 4HisChurch wrote:

    Sorry. That is supposed to be “I’ve got the link to Operation Clean Sweep on my blog.” I hope they succeed!!

    Posted 22 Jul 2005 at 11:04 pm
  5. howard wrote:

    His courage? Pray tell us how he made a pay raise sound courageous, or at least how he tried to make it sound so.

    -You’re testing my memory a bit with that one (especially since I can’t seem to find the article online anymore), but I’ll take a stab at what he was trying to pull over the readers’ eyes:

    It basically had to do with sacrificing his good reputation for the good of the budget. In other words, “If we hadn’t branded ourselves as greedy public servants by taking this pay raise, we would have never been able to pass this otherwise fantastic budget. I, of course, could have voted no, but we all realize by now that the pay raise was destined to pass and that even most of those who voted against it were in favor of it (but were too afraid to be linked to it officially). And since the executive and judicial branch employees salary increases are tied to the legislative raises — and we do want to attract the best and the brightest to serve the Commonwealth, right? — you see, we just had to bite the bullet and give ourselves this horrible pay raise.”

    Of course, that’s the paraphrased version, but when you look at it like that you realize these fine ladies and gentlemen of the Assembly subjected themselves to the scourge of a higher compensation package for the good of the state. In essence, they took one for the team.

    I never said I was buying his story, but that’s the basic gist of it.

    Posted 23 Jul 2005 at 8:55 am
  6. Jerry wrote:

    Ah, the gall! Howard, I cannot kick his sorry tail out of office, so I’m counting on your and neighbors to please enjoy it for me!

    Posted 23 Jul 2005 at 11:18 pm

Trackbacks & Pingbacks 5

  1. From Ales Rarus - A Rare Bird, A Strange Duck, One Funky Blog » Screwed Up Priorities on 20 Mar 2006 at 7:51 pm

    […] Given a choice between lowering taxes on necessities, like groceries, or a non-necessity that causes health problems, some deadly, for users and those around them, which cause increases in everyone’s insurance premiums, I’d think anyone with more than sawdust for brains would choose groceries.  Publius and some folks in the comboxes have suggested that no matter how steep the tax on smokes got, poor people would still buy them, which certainly wouldn’t help them become any less poor.  If all we were talking about was raising the tobacco tax, I might agree with them that little good would come from it.  However, Gov. Harper had an opportunity to sign a bill into law that would not only raise the tobacco tax, but also lower the grovery tax.  It seems to me that at worst poor people would break even in that scenario; what they’d save on groveries, they’d spend on smokes.  On a side note, I’d like to point out that PA, a state whose legislature is full of selfish asshats, does at least one thing right by having the decency to not tax groceries.  Taxing necessities – how retarded is that?!? […]

  2. From Ales Rarus - A Rare Bird, A Strange Duck, One Funky Blog » Rock the Capital [of Pennsylvania] on 10 Apr 2006 at 10:58 am

    […] I’ve told you about Operation Clean Sweep before (here and here). Now it’s time to Rock the Capital. […]

  3. From Ales Rarus - A Rare Bird, A Strange Duck, One Funky Blog » Holding Politicians Accountable on 10 Apr 2006 at 11:51 am

    […] Remember that raise PA legislators gave themselves? Well, Operation Clean Sweep Pennsylvania isn’t the only group torqued by it. Common Cause Pennsylvania wants in on the butt-kicking. […]

  4. From No Open Government in Pittsburgh | Pennsylvania @ Ales Rarus on 25 Sep 2006 at 10:14 pm

    […] Recently I highlighted a grassroots effort to make Pittsburgh's government more open to public scrutiny – or return it to that state, as the case happens to be. Sadly, that effort has met with failure. […]

  5. From Ales Rarus - Lining Their Pockets on 10 Apr 2008 at 10:01 am

    […] Operation Cleansweep is looking better and better… […]

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