Abraham Lincoln instructed, "The people are the masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution,
but to overthrow the men who would pervert it!"
PACleanSweep on PCN Thursday March 16, 2006 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
PACleanSweep founder & chair Russ Diamond addresses the LP State Convention. Check http://www.pcntv.com
for more details.
There was no
mention by Diamond during his talk of his own considerations for office - for Governor, even though, according to the recent
news, the dispute between Diamond and his board of directors arose in early March when Diamond relayed a potential bid for
asked by an audience member at the convention to elaborate on the pledges candidates seeking the support of PA Clean Sweep
the first part of the three-item pledge "to repeal the pay-raise" was done, not an issue.
part of the pledge was to have a referendum of the people on any new salary increases for Governor, general assembly, and
The third part
of the pledge was to have a ten-day cooling off period for any legislation after the consideration of the bill after the 3-day
requirement so the people could weigh in.
Read the Declaration
candidates must sign:
listed on pacleansweep.com have signed the following declaration:
I, the undersigned, hereby declare my commitment,
upon election to the Pennsylvania General Assembly by the citizens of my legislative district, to sponsor and/or vote to enact
legislation to specifically meet the following goals:
- the repeal of Act 44, effectively returning compensation for
members of Pennsylvania's legislative, executive and judicial branches to pre-Act 44 levels;
- establishing a policy whereby all future compensation
changes for Pennsylvania's legislative, executive and judicial branches shall be subject to voter approval by referendum; and
- establishing a policy whereby no
legislation in the General Assembly shall be considered for final passage until the citizens of the Commonwealth have been
given no less than ten business days to review such legislation and provide comment to their respective legislators.
bothered to question the second Declaration as being one that would require a major alteration in the Pennsylvania Constitution?
The PA Constitution
does allow for referendums when the PA Constitution itself is about to undergo alteration via a legislative Amendment to it.
pledge would affect the salaries of members of the General Assembly and is already adequately addressed in the Constitution.
ARTICLE II. THE LEGISLATURELegislative Power
8. The members of the General Assembly shall receive such salary and mileage for regular and special sessions as shall be
fixed by law, and no other compensation whatever, whether for service upon committee or otherwise. No member of either House
shall during the term for which he may have been elected, receive any increase of salary, or mileage, under any law passed
during such term.
In July 2005,
in the wee morning hours, legislators passed a measure that increased their salaries - That was legal.
legislators can pass legislation that increases their own salary, and that of those under their jurisdiction during the current
term. However, legislators cannot receivgoes around e the increases until the next term.
What went beyond
the Constitution was legislators taking the increase during the same term the legislation to increase salaries was passed.
To get around
this problem, legislators took the salaries as unvouchered expenses. (See wikipaedia for treatment of the pay raise controversy)
pressure, and pressure generated by Young Conservatives of Pennsylvania organizer Chris Lilik, Russ Diamond and PA Clean Sweep, Gene Stilp, - tagged Citizen heroes of the pay-raise rebellion - the pay raise was repealed.
that part of the pledge was then accomplished.
Not a single
journalist is asking why the second part of the pledge of candidates who seek the support of PA Clean Sweep remains.
PA Constitution doesn't need altered for the people to vote on salary increases of legislators in a referendum.
Just tell your
state legislator to follow the Compensation clause of the PA Constitution.
after appearance of Diamond and others shows the intention - alteration of our PA Constitution.
pledge of PA Clean Sweep candidates reveals the hidden slight of hand of PA Clean Sweep.
Even if the
referendum should be instituted for that occasion alone - salary increases - how long will it be before there will be measures
for more referendum for whatever - how about term limits? How about for access to phone records of legislators?
How about for whatever. You get the idea.
be a call for a convention to present any number of amendments and those will run the gamut of desires, populist desires,
the will of the people.
this kind of
new Pennsylvania is not what the Founding Fathers fought for - they fought for a Republic - if you can keep it.
of the Lincoln Institute April 3, 2006 Diamond's Digital Democracy
proposal from journalist, keep adding to the wish list
Constitutional Convention wisdom
Keep momentum growing to attack the core problems in Harrisburg
Wednesday, July 05,
Talk is in the air of mounting a Constitutional Convention to update the Pennsylvania Constitution.
For one thing, the furor over the Legislature's secretive after-midnight vote last July to increase its pay has boiled over
into talk of trimming its size...
More who support
a PA Constitutional Convention
for Pennsylvania's Future
Convention Needed in PA November 15, 2005
Makes Case For Citizens' Constitutional Convention
has not had a general constitutional convention since 1872-73. More recently there was a limited constitutional convention
in 1967-68 – limited meaning that some ideas were not officially authorized for discussion. Currently in the House,
there is a proposal for another limited convention that would be authorized by House Bill 1995. Here’s the link: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/WU01/LI/BI/BT/2005/0/HB1995P2748.HTM.
newspapers and political leaders discussing a constitutional convention, 2006 could become the year when Pennsylvania prepares for a general citizens’ constitutional convention in 2007. To that
end, we have gathered ideas from people across Pennsylvania. They are
listed below. Some ideas ultimately may be better pursued as ordinary laws while others require amending the Constitution.
Deciding which ideas fit into which categories also could be part of the discussion leading up to a convention.
Mon, Mar. 20, 2006 By Martha Raffaele The Associated Press
...From local officials who have cut their political teeth on school or municipal boards to people who have never held
political office, challengers of all experience levels have stepped forward to try to dethrone incumbent state lawmakers in
what promises to be a lively -- and potentially historic -- election year.
In all, 394 candidates filed petitions to challenge incumbent members of the General Assembly or vie for open seats
left by the retirements of 30 legislators. It's the largest number of challengers since 1992, when 436 nonincumbents sought
election to the General Assembly.
The challengers are overwhelmingly male, and nearly two-thirds are battling to oust incumbents. They are concentrated
primarily around southwestern, south-central and southeastern regions of the state. The pay-raise fallout has fueled several
non-party organizations seeking to capitalize
Perhaps the best-known is PACleanSweep, an anti-incumbent group formed by Russ Diamond, an Annville businessman who
is a registered Republican but lost simultaneous campaigns for the state House and Congress as a Libertarian in 2004.
Diamond contends that the furor over the pay-raise law -- passed in the wee hours of July 7 without public hearings
or floor debate and subsequently repealed -- provided an opening for a broader discussion of the need for legislative
reform. In his view, the only way to accomplish that is to send as many new legislators as possible to Harrisburg...
Pay Raise Foes Push For Other Reforms
by Tom BarnesPittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pay raise foes push for other reforms
Say 2006 will be 'year
of integrity' for state Legislature
HARRISBURG -- Now that the year that saw the pay-raise debacle has ended, a coalition
of citizens groups wants to make 2006 the "year of integrity" for the state Legislature.
Reform groups like Common
Cause, the League of Women Voters, Rock the Capitol, Democracy Rising and Pa. Clean Sweep yesterday urged lawmakers to make
state government more "open and accountable" to Pennsylvania's 12 million residents and to give all bills adequate hearings
before they are voted on....
Besides seeking to oust incumbents, especially those who voted for the pay raise July
7, the citizens groups have set out an ambitious list of goals for the year, including:
Urging the House to approve,
by Jan. 31, a lobbyist registration and spending report bill already approved by the Senate.
Ending the "lame duck
sessions" held in November of even-numbered years, when many controversial bills, including pay raises, are passed right after
legislators have been safely re-elected.
Beginning discussions aimed at a "citizens constitutional convention" in 2007,
where changes could be made to the state constitution, including reducing the size of the House and Senate. It would be the
first such convention since 1968.
Wednesday, January 04, 2006 Activists Hope To Reform State Government
Citizens’ Constitutional Convention (C3) Update
Thanks to all of you who have sent us ideas for debate and decision at a
Citizens’ Constitutional Convention in 2007. DR Fans from across Pennsylvania have submitted dozens of good ideas on
subjects from the legislature to elections to local governments to the judicial branch. We are now researching facts about
your issues, including how other states treat them. As we finish our research, we will begin posting detailed information
on our web site for additional comment.
In the meantime, interest in a constitutional convention continues to run strong.
Here’s a timely editorial from the March 22nd ...
Friend support 2007 PA Constitutional Convention
sites around the state to determine how much one-sided coverage the so-called "reforms" ideas have received.
FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 2006
2:00 PM Susan Staub, Pennsylvanians for Right to Work - LIVE
2:15 PM Lynn
Swann, Republican for Governor - LIVE
3:30 PM Reforming
the Keystone State
- Panel Discussion - LIVE
Sen. Jeffrey Piccola, R-PA Senate Majority Whip
Rep. Michael Turzai, R-Allegheny CountyTim Potts, Democracy
Rising PAChristopher Friend, Foundation for Pennsylvania's
News sites, search Diamond, Friend, Potts, PA Clean Sweep, Common Cause, Foundation for PA's Future, Democracy Rising
and its offshoots