I thought the slew of new legislators in Harrisburg promised the voters all sorts of reforms? Running on platforms with strong reform messages, ten months into the year there's been very little action in Harrisburg. Aside from some cosmetic actions like restricting most voting to sane hours of the day, not much has been accomplished.
Nothing has been done on either lobbying or campaign finance, the two biggest problems. The constant flow of lobbying money ($37 million the first half of the year) and campaign cash (Bob Asher anyone?) corrupts our system completely. Bob Asher, convicted of political corruption, gave Montco Commissioner Jim Matthews $30,000 in the space of a few days in August.
If you peruse campaign finance reports (available online at the Dept. of State website) you see single checks being written of $50,000 and up. What's worse those aren't the only checks written by those contributors. Pennsylvania continues to have no limits on campaign contributions. Our reporting of lobbyist activity and expenditures is equally scandalous.
Money corrupts the political process. We all know that and our Representatives and Senators know that but they refuse to do anything to stop the gravy train. If these people refuse to realize who their real bosses are it's up to us, the voters, to throw them out of office once again. What better message to send the group of new people than to toss them out next year for failing to pass these reforms. Think that might get the message across? If not we do it again in 2010.