Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Blog for Equality Redux

Last year, I participated in "Blog for Equality Day" on this blog. While I have been blogging less regularly this year, equality is still near and dear to my heart.

Once again, the Pennsylvania State House is wasting time and taxpayer money on ridiculous pet projects. The state of Pennsylvania has repeatedly voted against re-defining marriage as between one man and one woman in a special constitutional amendment, but repeatedly our pathetic sniveling hypocritical house members keep leading the charge against equality.

House Bill 1434
is the latest iteration and was introduced on May 3, 2011 by Representative Darryl Metcalfe, a Republican from Butler county. He is also responsible for House Bill 934 which would require everyone to show a government-issued ID to vote and House Bill 2479, an Arizona-style immigration law, because Butler County and Pittsburgh are simply overrun by immigrants. If you live in Butler, please vote this clown out of office, so he is forced to stop merely pandering to his conservative constituents instead of fixing our broken legislature and economy.

Honestly, this bill has a long ways to go before it can do any damage. There are 3 steps to amending the state Constitution:
1) Pass the bill in House and Senate in year 1.
2) Publish it in newspapers around the state, then pass the bill in House and Senate in year 2.
3) Finally, there would be a statewide referendum.

The likelihood of all that happening is slim to none as cooler heads will prevail. But that doesn't mean that it's not a hateful joke of a bill. Read more outraged opinions here.

Friday, May 6, 2011

2011 Primaries - Allgheny County Controller Edition

There are 3 varied and qualified Democratic candidates running for the illustrious position of Allegheny County Controller. The incumbent (Mark Patrick Flaherty) has tossed his hat into the County Executive position leaving the job of Controller up for grabs.

Valerie McDonald Roberts - She has a long history of public office in Allegheny County from Pittsburgh School Board President to City Council member to her current position as Recorder of Deeds. This woman is a spitfire who is hell bent on equal rights for women and minorities in public office. Hearing her speak is a pleasure. Infusing more of that passion into County government could only be a boon for us all as Pennsylvania lags behind the rest of the country's not-so-great gender wage gap. Let's see an audit on that!

Chelsa Wagner - This motivated woman is currently serving Pittsburgh in Harrisburg as a State Representative. You could say that auditing runs in her blood; she's the niece of State Auditor General Jack Wagner. I can't blame her for wanting to get the hell out of Harrisburg in spite of a potential pay cut. She's the youngest candidate by 20 years and would certainly shake things up in the county.

George Matta - George is running based on his years of experience as Controller and Mayor of the city of Duquesne. Though if you ask me, it's a stretch to call Duquesne a city with its population of 7,332. Additionally, Duquesne has seen better days. Its only high school closed down in 2007. It was designated a financially distresses municipality by the state back in 1991 - a status that's never been rescinded. And lastly, 35% of its residents live below the poverty line. Maybe he should be running for mayor of Pittsburgh with all that experience. For the past 10 years, George has been the Allegheny County Clerk of Courts.

Historically, the position of Controller has been a stepping stone for running for Allegheny County Executive. Honestly, I have nothing against any of these candidates, so at this point, I'm going with my gut. Valerie and a representative of Chelsa both attended the South Side Slopes "Meet the Candidates" meeting. George was absent. Valerie showed her passion and dedication through strong words and by virtue of showing up. She won my vote.