Tuesday, February 15, 2011

You can't create checks and balances without an opposition.

Before I get into this, let me be clear...this group is NONPARTISAN. I think that the divisive labeling of our citizenry based on "democrat" or "republican" ideals that are defined on the national, not local level have contributed to a political system where the best, most qualified candidate is often NOT on the ballot.

That being said, I will shout from the rooftops for anyone to hear:


Don't believe me? Take a look at the most historically corrupt and/or mismanaged municipalities in the United States and find a common thread:
  • Washington, DC
  • New Orleans
  • Baltimore
  • Chicago
  • Detroit
  • Camden
  • Newark
  • Boston
  • Oakland
  • Philadelphia
All of these cities have had little to no republican opposition for up to (and sometimes greater than) forty years. Not to say that any of these cities (or any others) would be good under republican rule with no democratic opposition; but it's obvious by looking at this list that any time a city lacks a system that would provide checks and balances, it festers in corruption, mismanagement, crime, and political abuse of office.

Think about it - if almost everyone in city government comes from the same party from which they were elected; who is there to oppose any activity that is not in the best interest of the people? I believe everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but then again...there's only so much patronage that can occur before you can assume guilt by association. For example:
  • Can we view Mayor Nutter as a reformer when he was a councilman from the same party as the Street brothers?
  • Can we trust DA Seth Williams to be tough on public corruption when he was appointed by John Street as Inspector General during the same time that the Mayor and his executive staff were under FBI investigation (and indictment)?
  • How can we assume that Barbra Deeley, who served as a Chief Deputy in a small, 230 member Sheriff's office NOT have known about the misappropriation of $53 Million (and $30K in campaign funds), and
  • How could Sheriff Green, who oversees municipal warrants, the sale and seizure of property for delinquent taxes NOT have known about the blatant tax evasion of Councilman Milton Street and the refusal to collect upwards of $1 Billion in bail revenue at the Clerk of Quarter Sessions?
Does our elected leaders actually think that we are that naive and asleep at the wheel to not notice the blatently unethical practices at City Hall? Of course not. They simply know that there's no challengers powerful enough to do anything about it.

Will the republicans do anything to change this? Apparently not. Why? Apparently those in control of local republican party is under the impression that there needs to be party-level patronage here in Philadelphia.

As seen in today's article: Philly GOP has no candidate to endorse for Mayor Old-time party bosses Vito Canuso and Mike Meehan (relation to Sheriff Aus Meehan) apparently feel it's better to stay out of the race then to endorse any candidates to oppose the people who've been fleecing our city for over thirty years...because they apparently failed to "kiss their ring".

If nobody is telling them this...let me:

Dear GOP,
After years of getting away with it, our current leadership is being caught with:
  • Massive theft and/or budget misappropriation scandals at the Sheriff and Clerk of Quarter Sessions,
  • A GIGANTIC budget deficit, and
  • The DROP program scandal
You couldn't ask for a better chance to make a statement in an election, get some more council seats, and possibly take over some line offices.


Our city needs checks and balances. If the opposing party is too weak, lazy, or mismanaged to step up, who will represent us?

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