Monday, July 14, 2008

No Need for PA Convention to Downsize Legislature

Making the rounds of Pennsylvania discussion forums again, a Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention, for something, anything...

We've covered the dangers of such extensively - see our sidebar info... on PA Constitutional Convention

Selected links

Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Response pacleansweep: A reflection upon a Pa. convention


PA state reps Galloway and King want a referendum for a PA Constitutional Convention - the referendum would be submitted, according to reports posted, this November 2008. Gee isn't that kind of rushed? Also isn't the most important election in our nation's history about to take place this November 2008? Why a rush to push a selection of delegates and authorize convening a convention - whenever - at this point in time? What on earth is the rush? How about we see if H. William DeWeese gets kicked out, and other oath-breakers?

Reps. Galloway, King: Time to review the state's constitution

Lawmakers call for citizens' constitutional convention

Update Galloway video everybody else has these conventions, why can't we... have a study? A study is different than actually convening a convention...

Update links to hearings held on call for convention


Monday, July 14, 2008 - 1:58 PM EDT
Pa. lawmakers call for constitutional convention

Two Democratic legislators from Bucks County announced efforts on Monday to get a referendum placed on November's ballot, calling for a citizens' constitutional convention.

Pennsylvania's constitution last received a limited review in 1967 and hasn't been significantly updated since 1857, said state Rep. John Galloway, who along with state Rep. Chris King, introduced legislation to get the referendum placed on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Update Times Tribune legislators should sign on to PA Con-Con cause they are so ethically-challenged and bonusgate happened...

Corruption needs response Hold session on integrity, constitutional convention
Published: Friday, July 18, 2008

Update Donald Hoffman OK with a PA Constitutional convention for...

Another View

Pennsylvania needs a coalition of reformers
Donald Hoffman
July 15, 2008,0,3396455.column

Update Mark wants one for...

Friday, July 18, 2008
Democracy Rising Reports about the PA Folly
Posted by Mark Rauterkus

Tim Potts Democracy Rising PA for...

Tuesday, Jul. 15, 2008
Pennsylvania can and must do much better

Grassroots PA Say it isn't so?? OK only Diamond (and Conservative Goddess) hot on support. Everybody else is looking behind the public image mirror... especially regarding Chris King.

Capitolman | 2008-07-15 18:21:57 | +1

King thinks that this will take some of the heat off of him for accepting a $5,000 bonus while he took part of the year off to campaign in 2006. Folks aren’t that stupid, Chris!!

Russ Diamond continues to stomp for a Pennsylvania citizen's constitutional convention. There, in the grassroots PA Forum

And For... well, whatever comes up, like bonusgate outrage

what're the next steps for PA Clean Sweep asks a PA Clean sweep poster to the topic Bonusgate Pics

Diamond responds in the large letters


and for what purpose, why... incumbents just don't face party challengers in the Primary, oh no... call a Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention... just can't get enough people to elect me for representative of 101st District, instead of... an incumbent

Slim and none

See below for more Diamond spin.

Problem as we see it - a PA Constitutional Convention cannot be made to stay "limited" by an enabling act, once the delegates convene... delegates don't like gun rights... bye bye. A new Constitution could be crafted, in fact, and then submitted to the people who might, yes, might say OK. Courts would have no recourse to overturn because the "people" ok'd the deal...

We'll keep tracking, especially with talk of a potential this November for a referendum question to call a convention in 2009. And, those delegates, why they'd be chosen this November.

Again, seem kind of rushed to you?

If the people wake up to their true power which is in their hands every couple of years, it's called the ballot box, the legislators won't need to call a special session for integrity, or anything else. They'll fear they won't be sent back to Harrisburg if they don;t shape up.

The Constitution of PA is not broken, nor does it need tampered with and fixed to get "good government."

Good government comes with good people. Elect only those who adhere to the PA Constitution (and U.S. Constitution) - and dismiss all others who don't.

Net the Truth Online

Original post included

PA Clean Sweep

There are currently two bills aimed at enabling a constitutional convention in Pennsylvania, HB649 and SB291. Both bills follow the 1967 convention model, which is unacceptable in today’s atmosphere.

Despite the deficiencies in both bills, we awarded 3 points to all co-sponsors (X) to reward their acknowledgement that a major restructing effort is required to steer the Commonwealth back on the right track. Others (Z) have publicly indicated definitive support for a constitutional convention. If a better bill is introduced, we'll adjust this category accordingly.

See Diamond's posting at Penn Live Capitol Forum

7177.1. You Don't Need
by RussDiamond, 5/28/08 20:19 ET

Apparently, state Sen. James Ferlo wants a convention to reign in the ethically-challenged state legislators so appropriate in the midst of the recent announcement of indictments related to bonus-gate...

Watch if they don't try to sell us a convention to make them stop such illegal activities...

Our sidebar links include material that shows the dangers of calling a convention, even one that might be considered limited via an enabling act.

Our state legislators just don't get it. Neither do many others. It's not the PA Constitution's fault the state elite took payraises during the same year they authorized a salary increase - all done to skirt the existing law as outlined in the PA Constitution. It's the legislators.

We don't need a convention to downsize the state legislature, rachet back the salaries of legislative staff, or have our legislators eliminate their own unconstitutional perks, etc.

We need legislators who read the PA Constitution, understand its intent, and then follow it.

Net the Truth Online

Corbett mounts war against 'culture of corruption'
By Brad Bumsted
Sunday, July 13, 2008

"Too much power rests with individuals based on seniority," said Sen. Jim Ferlo, D-Highland Park. He has sponsored a bill that would authorize a limited constitutional convention to curtail things such as leaders' power, salaries and the size of legislative staffs.

Penn Live Forum 7395. PA Constitutional Convention?
by onceaDZ, 7/14/08 12:35 ET
How do we the voters go about getting our Pennsylvania constitution reformed? I should know this from high school Civics classes, but that was a while ago. We need to amend the Pennsylvania constitution to 1) make our legislature part-time again (no more career state legislators) 2) reduce the number of legislators, and 3) impose term limits. Why should anyone be permitted to serve longer than the Chief Executive? A maximum 8-year term, and scuttle the salary&benefits-for-life after one has served. I so agree with Reeves' column in today's Patriot-News. How do we make that happen?

7396. Maybe we need
by jenmil, 7/14/08 13:01 ET
a march on the steps for a Constitutional Convention. Just like we did against the payraise.

7177.1. You Don't Need
by RussDiamond, 5/28/08 20:19 ET
Re: Kingdom for attorney by IMmattfoley, 5/28/08
a legal background to explain it.

The statutory and/or constitutional changes required to make this happen are a simple matter of accumulating the sufficient votes necessary in the legislature.

But because lawyers stand to lose big in a "loser pays" system, because they pretty much own the executive branch, the judicial branch, and have many of their members peppered amongst the General Assembly, the chances of attaining sufficient numbers to make it happen are quite diminished.

Pennsylvania allowed the lawyers to fully take over government in the 1960s, to include re-writing nearly the entire Constitution to their liking, and now we're feeling the brunt of it 40 years later.

Just one more reason why we need a citizens' constitutional convention a la SB1290.

I'm not bashing lawyers here - there are some good ones - but this is the reality of PA.

Folmer pushes for "citizens' convention"

HARRISBURG — Lebanon County Sen. Mike Folmer has started a new push
for the state's first constitutional convention in four decades.
Folmer sponsored a bill that would allow 150 ordinary citizens to
decide on changes to the state's fundamental laws. It's the latest
call for a constitutional convention since the aborted legislative
pay raise of 2005 focused newfound attention on how the state works.

Lebanon Daily News
March 3, 2008

Yet convening one appears to be a long shot.

Legislature needs to be downsized

...The size of our lawmakers' staffs is out of whack and getting wackier.

The question is: Do we need such a large, full-time Legislature? How do other states govern with fewer lawmakers working far less time on their legislative duties?

Outlining the pros of a new 'con con'
Sunday, February 25, 2007

PA Constitution

Just found

Planning official wants to make municipal consolidation easier

Elwin Green, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The new chairman of the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission called for a state constitutional convention yesterday to rewrite Pennsylvania law so that local governments can more easily consolidate...The report, compiled by PolicyLink, a California think tank, advocates regional development that "reduces economic and social disparities" by such initiatives as reverse-commute programs that provide transportation between suburban employers and inner-city neighborhoods, and land banks that recycle vacant and abandoned properties.

Saturday, February 24, 2007
State Senate discusses constitutional convention
Friday, February 23, 2007
By Ann Belser, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Voters in Pennsylvania could have a new state constitution to ratify as soon as the next presidential election.

But there's a lot to do if that's going to happen.

The state Senate Government Committee, headed by Sen. Jeffrey E. Piccola, R-Dauphin, held its first in a series of hearings yesterday on convening a constitutional convention for the first time in 40 years.

Sen. Jim Ferlo, D-Highland Park, was the first speaker on the proposal at the hearing held at Duquesne University Law School. Mr. Ferlo had proposed a bill calling for a constitutional convention during the last legislative session and has introduced his bill again.

Mr. Ferlo said a constitutional convention could address legislative salaries, the size of the Legislature, "procedural issues such as lame duck sessions and the process for the introduction, amending and adoption of bills."

This post was updated Friday July 18, 2008

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