PA Politics (Sigh)
It's election time again, so brace yourself for disappointment. In this area, we're continually subjected to the same useless, self-important jerks winning re-election with little (if any) effort.
Everyone should become a politician in this state. You've got nearly unconditional job security. No matter how poor your performance, you'll be grossly overcompensated & always get re-elected here.
Our new state motto should be "Pennsylvania: Bastion of Low Expectations".
After the last election, I didn't think I could ever be more disapointed in politics. There was so much to break my spirit last November but a here are standouts:
A man who's never practiced law or held any job in the private sector was elected as a judge. He was the only candidate not endorsed by the local bar association.
And the chorus of praise for the Sheriff's office absolutely floored me.
There was more integrity in the Wild West than there is in the Allegheny County Sheriff's office. A lawless criminal element masquerading as law enforcement, it makes the murderous gunslingers of prospecting days seem like mischevious neighborhood boys in comparison.
After that, what could possibly be worse?
Right now, it's our local media. Hard to believe, especially if you've witnessed the juvenile debate tactics of our US Senate hopefuls, but true.
Many voters rely on the local papers to inform & guide their ballot choices. Passionate reporting of the facts might even motivate some listless folk to cast a ballot they would not have otherwise cast. Sadly, the wishy-washy drivel in our local papers is nearly identical to the noncommittal lip service we're receiving from our politicians.
For example, the Post-Gazette has chosen to narrow it's scope of issues to a frighteningly myopic two. Every candidate is rated based on their views of abortion & smoking.
This isn't to say that the hot potato of property tax relief is being ignored, it's just that the PG will endorse any candidate no matter how futile their ideas, as long as the person is pro-choice without restrictions & anti-smoking without exception.
Regardless of your stance on either issue, any informed voter would concede that neither issue is the most important in Pennsylvania right now. Nor is either issue even close to being important enough to decide an election.
It's very irresponsible to endorse incumbents who have proven to be useless for the public's interests, term after term. I'm hard pressed to provide a worse alternative than most incumbents. Even the ones that didn't take the pay raise did nothing to warn taxpayers of the sneaky pending legislation.
None of the incumbents are making a concerted effort to decrease the cost of our legislature which exceeds $430 million dollars per year. Imagine the roadwork, bus rides & property tax relief that could be financed instead.
There's been a recent spate of articles about our crumbling transportation infrastructure (mass budget deficits, bridge safety, etc.) but the PG hasn't felt the need to tell us what (if anything) incumbents have done or propose to do to fix it.
On the same day, they ran an article about proposed transportation taxes while specifically shunning a promising candidate (Dilemma in the 20th). The editorial admits that the incumbent (Walko) is poor a choice but criticizes the challenger (Stalter) for having a job in the private sector (he'd be "a part-time legislator"). A lot of people think that's great but a lot of sheep are going to be against it, thanks to this editorial.
I'd love to see someone in office that wasn't there to line their pockets with my tax dollars (has a job), but that's just me. Part-time legislators & term limits are very popular but they're referred to like four-letter words in this piece.
Progressive goals such as tax reduction & accountability in our state legislature are condescendingly dismissed: "Mr. Stalter's agenda is from the standard conservative playbook."
They go on to mention that Stalter is anti-abortion & against the Allegheny County smoking ban. The piece closes by asking if voters should "overlook the incumbents flaw on the pay raise or embrace the obvious flaws of the challengers." (emphasis mine).
To say that the incumbent has just one flaw to overlook is an insult to readers' intelligence. To dismiss progressive ideals & new options when our state is in such dire straits is irrepsonsible at best.
The PG is no friend to the voter this election & is not an objective source of guidance. I don't even know what's more disgusting, the close-mindedness or the assumption that readers are so dumb & pliable that they don't even have to cloak their bias & agenda.