Democracy Rising PA
Survey of candidates for Governor
Questions about a Constitutional Convention
Many Pennsylvanians, as well as the member organizations of Democracy Rising PA,
believe that it is time for a constitutional convention to discuss many additional issues for which amendments to our Constitution
may be either necessary or desirable...
Jim Panyard - "(One of my campaign
Russ Diamond - "Yes. As with
other issues, we must examine systems in place in other states to determine an appropriate way to allow such democratic input
while preserving our republican form of state government."
Should Pennsylvania have a constitutional convention? Please explain.
Jim Panyard - "I agree with
the concept, but a 'stacked deck' must be avoided."
Russ Diamond - "My greatest
concern is that we already have a Constitution which is being neither followed nor enforced. Prior to rewriting our Constitution,
I would prefer to enforce the one we have. However, there are some issues Pennsylvanians should discuss in an open forum,
away from the three branches of government. The main goals of any Constitution Convention must be reinforcing and strengthening
limitations on those who govern, improving the democratic process and preserving our republican form of government."
you don't believe Pennsylvania should have a constitutional convention, are there nonetheless amendments to the constitution
that you would ask the legislature to enact and place on the ballot for voter ratification? If so, which amendments would
Jim Panyard - "If a CC is not
possible, I would strongly support the items checked above for voter ratification."
Russ Diamond - "There are no
specific amendments I would ask for at this time."
Pennsylvania has a constitutional convention, when should it occur, what process should be used to convene it, and how should
delegates be chosen?
Jim Panyard - "Probably in the
spring of 2008 with delegates elected by county in Nov. 2007."
Russ Diamond - "If a convention
is indeed held, no elected official should have any input as to the agenda nor should any elected official serve as a delegate.
Delegates should be chosen in non-partisan fashion."
or should citizens organize and operate a constitutional convention apart from control or participation by the legislature
and governor? Please explain.
Jim Panyard - "Only if it has
legal and binding standing."
Russ Diamond - "While the Constitution
itself dictates the method for offering amendments, it does not specifically spell out a method for holding a convention.
Article I Section II of the Constitution indicates the people 'have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to
alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think proper.' ”
there any issues that you believe should not be addressed at a constitutional convention? What issues not included in the
list above should be discussed at a constitutional convention? Please explain.
Russ Diamond - "If a convention
is held we must be certain to not reduce the liberties of individuals. Rather, we should insure that abuses of those liberties
are reduced or eliminated. The Constitution is the foundation of our Commonwealth and the bricks comprising that foundation
are the individual liberties enumerated in Article I."
Rather than concentrating on reform of the two-Party system in Pennsylvania which brought the arrogance of Party incumbents
to the forefront of attention, Russ Diamond is outlining a plan to alter, not reform, but alter Pennsylvania's foundation
of government from a republican form to a direct democracy.
Referendum is direct democracy.
Even though Diamond responds in his answer to Democracy Rising PA
we must examine systems in place in other states to determine an appropriate way to allow such democratic
input while preserving our republican form of state government
we must examine systems in place in other states to determine an appropriate way to allow such democratic input
while preserving our republican form of state government
But that answer is mere soundbite - trying to sound
as if Diamond doesn't want to disturb the republican form of state government we are guaranteed.
are direct democracy and no amount of clever wording alters that fact.
Diamond has stated he wanted to unveil his
campaign for governor of PA nationwide to attract national attention to his PAC.
The only issue to attract such nationwide
attention isn't a mere reform of the entrenched two-Party majority in Pennsylvania, or the way the state legislature passes
laws, or Ballot Access, or an Open Primary system, or Open Government, or Lobbying reform.
The issue to attract such
national attention is an alteration of our PA Constitution to provide for initiatives and referendums - or citizens
Some 26 states employ Initiative and Referendum.
That is the issue Diamond intends to ply in
order to obtain nationwide support and big bucks to fund his "grassroots" campaign.
The second pledge PA Clean Sweep
candidates were to take to gain the organization's support:
2. establishing a policy whereby all future compensation
changes for Pennsylvania's legislative, executive and judicial branches shall be subject to voter approval by referendum;
During a PA Constitutional Convention, which Diamond has already admitted is a major part of his platform the referendum amendment proposal would not be limited to only that one-time use.
"This could be a good time for a second American revolution," Diamond said...
The second American Revolution Diamond wants isn't kicking out all incumbents, but altering our PA Constitution...
The PA Constitution didn't give us the pay-raise debacle or incumbents who don't follow the PA Constitution.
PA Constitution already provides for the process for compensation of state legislators, and many chose to take the increases
in salary in the form of unvouchered expenses, going around the PA Constitution to do so.
It is the incumbents who
voted for the unvouchered expenses and those who took the unvouchered expense loophole to the bank who need to be held accountable.
Diamond is using the public's disgust with the bums to propel the idea that reform of the entire system of government
in PA is needed, including Initiative's and Referendum.
Wake Up, Pennsylvania. Follow all the money...
Follow the money to see who will support an inventive gov2b4pa Russ Diamond...
Missions and alliances
League of Women Voters Position Initiatives and Referendum
PA Libertarian Party position
We call for the repeal of state laws that make it difficult for new parties or independent candidates to be on the ballot
and thus entrench the two major parties. We oppose any law that would compel taxpayers to subsidize politicians and political
views they do not wish to support. We call for the introduction of initiative, referendum, and recall in Pennsylvania to give
the citizenry more choice. We call for the replacement of any unreliable, inaccurate voting machines or methods. We call for
an end to political "slush funds" and "walking around money." For national presidential elections, we favor switching from
the current "winner take all" method of determining state electors to the following method: a) each congressional district
will have one electoral vote, which will go to the candidate with the most votes there; b) the state as a whole will have
two electoral votes, which will go to the candidate with the most votes state-wide.
Third Party positions tracking national and state
Natural Law Party
Socialist Labor http://www.slp.org/