Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Statement from Russ Diamond, Independent for Governor, on the Pay Raise and the Governor’s Race

media -at- russdiamond -dot- org
It is amusing to watch Ed Rendell and Lynn Swann point fingers at each other regarding the pay raise of July 7, 2005.

Lynn rightfully points out that Ed is the one man who could have stopped the pay raise dead in its tracks - a statement I made months ago. Instead, Ed quickly approved it with his signature and proclaimed, “it’s legal, and that’s all I’m going to say about that.”

Later, Ed began to backpedal when he saw the reality of voter anger. His comments ranged from calling it “good legislation” on July 8 to saying it was “possibly illegal” on September 12 to calling it “a black eye” for government on November 5.

But he signed it nonetheless, and must bear full responsibility for it.

A few weeks ago, Ed revealed that he signed the bill - which most Pennsylvanians correctly believe violated more than one section of the PA Constitution – to “kiss a little butt” of payjacking legislators in order to curry favor for his own agenda.

I have a very pointed question for Ed: What did you know, and when did you know it?
The people of Pennsylvania have a right to know what knowledge of the pay raise you hid from them in the weeks and months leading up to July 7.

Ed rightfully points out that Lynn endorsed payjacker Bob Jubelirer, stumped for Jubelirer and refused to take a firm stand for anti-pay raise legislative challengers. It has also been reported by a Pittsburgh newspaper that Lynn lent some volunteers to the Jubelirer re-election effort in the last days before the primary election. This would seem natural, as Jubelirer contributed $15,000 to Lynn’s campaign.

I also have a very pointed question for Lynn: Why does it appear that you are more worried about who butters your bread than you are about government following our Constitution? You can’t have it both ways.

After visiting their campaign websites, I have more questions for both gentlemen:

Why is it that I cannot even find a link to the PA Constitution on your websites? Don’t you know how important this document is to carrying out the duties of the Chief Executive of our Commonwealth? Do you even care that this is what the people of Pennsylvania are concerned about now, first and foremost?

In order to predict how any person will perform as Governor of Pennsylvania, voters must look to how they reacted to the pay raise. Actions speak louder than words.

Ed - the Captain of the SS Pay Raise - firmly put his stamp of approval on the legislature’s violations of the Constitution.

Lynn - by consistently trying to play both sides of the fence - is now relegated to the role of a mere stowaway on the very same ship.

There is only one gubernatorial candidate who consistently and loudly opposed the pay raise, opposed the people who brought us the pay raise, worked to raise candidates to change business-as-usual and made the principles of our Constitution - and in turn, the best interests of every Pennsylvanian - his number one priority.

The race to reform has now begun in earnest. Pennsylvanians must examine each candidate’s reaction to the pay raise to understand which of them will actually bring real change to the Governor’s office and use it as a bully pulpit for change and which of them will only give lip service to the reform agenda.

The choice is clear.

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