Jubilation in Pennsylvania! Jubelirer and Others Booted Out of Office! It's Pay Raise Pay Back Time!

Jubilation Time in Pennsylvania!

Bob Jubelirer and Others Booted Out of Office!

It's Pay Raise Pay Back Time!

For a lot of us in Pennsylvania it's been a long time since the day after election has been such an enjoyable experience! It's like waking up in springtime seeing the morning sun, the blossoming flowers, and listening to the chirping of the song birds!

How did this very strange event ever come about? Some months back the members of the PA State Assembly voted themselves a pay raise and did this at about the midnight hour or a bit thereafter -- a repeat of what they have done on previous occasions! Isn't it strange how very questionable happenings seem to take place at what some people refer to as "an ungodly hour?"

But this time it was a little different -- an 8.5 magnitude sized protest spread across the Commonwealth. One group arranged to have a gigantic inflatable pink pig constructed and a protest rally was held on the steps of the capitol in Harrisburg -- the media really focused in on this.

Contrary to incumbents' assumption that voters are a bunch of ignoramuses with short term memories, this one did not go away as they figured -- you know, they say "We got away with another pay raise and perks -- we'll put up a smokescreen about other issues and come election time, they will have forgotten all about it, and we're in for another term of office, living high off the tax dollars of the citizens!"

So what happened? Some campaigns got pretty intense, but after the dust cleared here is how it was. Bob Jubelirer, one of the most powerful politicians in Harrisburg, was solidly defeated by his opponent. Bob, who had been in office for 8 terms, had put together the pay raise grab with assistance from the senate majority leader who was also defeated. And there was more good news -- there were a number of other incumbents who were defeated who had been gorging themselves at the pay raise "trough!"

So we citizens, who have to put up with one of the largest and most cumbersome legislatures in the whole United States, have a good thing going. So let the "vote 'em out" spirit continue and grow over the years to come, not only at the state level, but also at the federal level as well.

Some ways to keep the ball rolling:

    ALWAYS vote anti-incumbent -- join that with a clear statement demanding that these people need to bring their salaries and benefits, including retirement, more into line with the average existing among the citizens whom they claim to represent -- that way they will have a greater appreciation as to what the citizens deal with on a day by day basis in meeting financial responsibilities. After a few years perhaps things will begin to settle down and it may be possible to reelect a person to serve in office -- but it's going to take a while -- you know, sometimes you have to whack a mule over the head with a 2 x 4 to wake him up to reality! But if the majority of voters vote CONSISTENTLY anti-incumbent in each election at state and federal levels, the message will get through and positive changes can take place in the affairs of government -- first and foremost, elected officials will see that personal greed is not to be a part of their agenda!

    ALWAYS vote against retaining judges -- things have gone crazy in the judicial system with the kind of decisions being handed down such as the one ruling that students are not permitted to be exposed to the teaching of "Intelligent Design" in regard to life origins as opposed to the heresy of evolution -- just maybe if there is a consistency in throwing out judges over time, then the replacements might get the idea that their decisions ought to reflect not only a high level of common sense, true justice, and fairness for all, but decisions which also are in agreement with the holy standards revealed by the Creator of this mighty universe of which we are a very, very small and insignificant part!

    PROTEST the practice of lobbying at state and federal levels -- it actually should be outlawed due to the very selfish nature inherent in the practice. It amounts to a thing such as this:

    "My group deserves more consideration, hand outs, privileges, exceptions to the rules, etc. than does yours -- you get in line behind me and if there are a few pennies left after I get what I want, then you can have them!" Lobbyists are paid big bucks to twist arms in our state capitols and in Washington DC -- in fact a number are former elected officials who got defeated in an election and then set up shop to woo the politicians with whom they did the "scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours" thing over the years!

    The only type of "lobbying" which should be allowed by law is a personal one on one kind -- that is, I as a voting citizen have the right to personally appeal to my representative or senator concerning issues that affect me, my family, and my community. It ought not be permissible that I be a part of a group which pays some "fat cat" in my state's capitol or in Washington DC to pressure elected officials to pass legislation which will highly favor me and my group and which will mean someone else is going to lose and be worse off as a result! A for example wild one here in Pennsylvania -- coal companies have abandoned a lot of mines in PA and did not pay the taxes on those coal rights -- some companies have bought up those "rights" for practically nothing (minimal unpaid taxes) and are now drilling to tap into methane gas deposits in those areas. These characters can go on to farm lands and set up their drilling rigs, drill holes in the middle of a farmer's field and the farmer can't stop them, even though they don't own the land on top of the methane! Somewhere in the past some things went on behind the scenes with pressure on politicians and "laws" set up about "mineral rights" so that now, if you are a company "owning" methane gas under the ground, you can barge right in with your drilling rig on to land which you really don't own, set up your rig, mess up a farmer's field and his crops, and extract your gas! Nightmares such as this under a wide variety of circumstances happen endlessly due to a very unholy mix -- greedy groups of persons of some kind, lobbyists, and politicians without a strong set of moral and ethical convictions!

    Speak up repeatedly and protest by letters, phone calls, faxes, etc. It is important to draw attention to the fact that over the years those elected to represent the citizens have horrendously abused their power and privileges -- an itemized list of salaries, perks, health and retirement benefits which they have heaped unto themselves will prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that these people deserve nothing less than the highest degree of contempt and to be removed from office as soon as possible -- message to the new office holders should be,

    "Bring those salaries and benefits more into line with the average of the citizens you claim to represent, or else your exit from office will be arranged upon the next election!"
    The second message should be,
    "Pass necessary legislation which will make lobbying for special interest groups, companies and corporations completely illegal -- that 'lobbying' can only be done by the citizens on an individual basis -- personal appeals on a one by one basis -- and that paying an individual to do nothing more than to try to twist the arms of elected officials for favorable legislation would be illegal, with offenses subject to heavy fines and mandatory prison sentences of a minimum of 10 years!"

For more on being involved, see What Can I Do? -- NOTE: use reverse feature on your web browser to return to this area.

The sad fact remains -- very, very few people can handle wealth and power responsibly -- whether in business, political office, or in church (watch newly elevated church officials on this one and see what happens -- seems at times the temptation to be "heady" with power is even more severe in a church hierarchy than in politics!).

But for a while there is a great experience of euphoria among many in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania knowing that a number of pay raise "grabbers" didn't get away with it this time! But there is also a down side to even this -- guys such as Bob Jubelirer can retire with benefits beyond the wildest dreams of the average citizen in the district which he "served" for 8 terms, and who knows -- Bob is in a position to make even more bucks by becoming a lobbyist in Harrisburg PA if he so chooses!

But while I mentioned the down side of this thing in booting out some "pay raise grabbers" it is good to remember that the days of political shenanigans are definitely numbered -- for details you have to go to Good News! A Day Coming in Which All Politicians Will Be Removed from Office! -- NOTE: use reverse feature on your web browser to return to this area.

Yes, the future can be bright upon making the right choices in life and sending some loud and clear messages at election time -- remember the time of jubilation in Pennsylvania on May 17, 2006!

And now a PS on all this -- there will likely be some who read the above and will cry "Foul!" or maybe even something which can't be repeated -- certainly a politician who may venture into the area and read the above statements would be more than a tad disturbed. And those citizens who tend to elevate their favorite politicians to a status which is about 10 centimeters below the level of God Himself!

This is a confession -- the statements made above about the political scene and those who are in the center of it are "flavored" a bit as a result of years of study of the prophets of the Old Testament. Bible history reveals a wealth of information about the prophets and the times in which they lived. Included in that information are facts about how they viewed the political scene and comments which they made regarding the persons who were politically in charge of the kingdoms of the time. A vast majority of comments made by the prophets, and on occasion it was a face to face confrontation (e.g. Elijah facing King Ahab of the northern kingdom of Israel) with the prophet being rather negative in what was said. But this was due to the corruption that had set in and the fact that the people and their leaders were no longer listening to and obeying God -- the order of the day was "We will everyone do the evil that is in our hearts!" -- you can find this in the prophet Jeremiah. If those fellows were resurrected and walked around our country a bit, the only thing changed in their message would be names of people and geographical locations -- otherwise, the content of their messages would be every bit the same as it was centuries ago. If you don't believe it, then take a hard, honest, and slow look at what they had to say!

It was been said that those who ignore the lessons of history past are doomed to repeat them! What is that ghostly chant I hear -- could it be the voices of fallen civilizations from out of the past saying to the United States, "Welcome to our club!"

May 18, 2006
Clayton D. Harriger
Elder in full connection
Western Pennsylvania Annual Conferenc
The United Methodist Church
and presently pastor of
Gipsy Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Gipsy, Pennsylvania
ALSO a non-affiliated registered voter in Cambria County, Pennsylvania

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