Thursday, July 17, 2008

Open Government Amendment, Pittsburgh City Charter -- Homepage

Open Government Amendment, Pittsburgh City Charter -- Homepage Shall Pittsburgh have Open Government?
Makes good sense to shed Pittsburgh's smokey city methods.

The Pittsburgh City Paper has a rather long feature article on David and his recent efforts. I was interviewed by the reporter in advance of the article, but he had just filed the story's first edition before my quotes were obtained.

It is a good article. Here is my take.

David T has done some good. His battle to get the voter database onto CD-ROM from Allegheny County's Dept. of Election was a major victory. Presently, anyone who shows himself/herself say with a driver's license, can get a two-disk version of the data without cost. Before, the policy made the obtaining the data nearly impossible as it was very expensive and poorly delivered.

In life: Your friends can hurt you worse than your enemies. Same with politics. Hence, it is often better to be a "lone wolf" so you don't drag your friends into the fray, either by design or by accident. Dave is a bit of a lone wolf. Same too, w myself and many others who jump into the political scene.

Furthermore, the machine players and status quo power holders are notorious for making 'blow back.' Counter attacks against associates and buddies for unjustified reasons, except to 'teach em a lesson' is right in the front of their play book. They often attack the messengers and miss the message. They often send in the health department, call favors of other department regulators, mess with public services and deny opportunities to your children. Of course jobs, contracts and employment are all down the drain -- gone in a blink of an eye.

Last night, I heard of a person who filed an ethics complaint and then the spouse gets served with papers and is the target of an investigation too. Blowback happens all the time here, sadly.

Seldom do we have organized groups make strong statements that make an impact in local political dealings. We've had the firefighters do it. We are seeing the bar owners do it now with Whiskey Rebellion II. Bloggers have their day in the sun -- but we are very loose as to an organized group and as an agenda moving operation.

Pioneers are the ones with the arrows in their backs. But the boundaries get moved by them.

We need insulated, secure, fast moving, rebel rousing, lone wolf advocates. It is better to have street credit and better to have a wide reaching voice. But, we'll take various running mates from various sectors and try to amplify their message, for what its worth.

Those that have the weight of the world on their shoulders could better change the world if everyone else with a sense of justice could take a couple of ounces of the load. That's a path to victory and a better community. And, it happens here, generally.

By and large, people don't want to devote ten hours to get a blank petition and then go out to friends, family and neighbors to get 20 valid signatures for David Tessitor, or for Ron Paul, or for Ralph Nader, or for an Open Government Amendment.

However, most people will sign the petition when confronted with the opportunity. Most people are generous for a minute or two.

Dave's got the weight of the world on his back trying to get 20,000 signatures this summer. That's fun for him to a point. Going on vacation and sitting at Sandcastle and thousands of other summer activities are way more fun. It would be wonderful if the city had 200 people who could each be counted upon for 10 signatures. Pittsburgh would be like heaven when we have 400 people who are willing and responsible for each getting 25 signatures.

200 x 10 = 2,000

400 x 25 = 10,000

See where the devil resides: in the total number of signatures needed.

That's why dead people like to sign petitions for Michael Diven's campaigns -- and he was one of the ones in power.

Nirvana comes as the number of signatures needed is put to a reasonable amount.

We should never need more than 100 signatures to put anything onto the ballot. Once it (a candidate or an issue) gets onto the ballot, votes are still necessary to have it win. And, many ballot efforts would be non-binding. Hey, Allegheny County voted to NOT pay for the building of the new stadiums and convention center. Some good that did, right.

At last night's Allegheny County Libertarian meeting, I put up this article and the petition drive as a topic of conversation.

We wish you luck and good times in trying to gather those signatures David.

Meanwhile, we've got our own candidates to get onto the ballot for the fall election.

Go read the news article:
OPEN SEASON (News), by: Adam Fleming - July 17, 2008, Pittsburgh City Paper. Activist tries once again to bring transparency to city government

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