Friday, November 27, 2015

Pileggi's Vox Populi

The state Senate's boss is asking the people to weigh in on improving the Legislature's website. He could more suggestions than he'd like.

Pileggi's Vox Populi


(A brief discussion twixt Baer & Baer's editor, a.k.a. BE)

JB: Hey, chief, didya see that the head of the state Senate, GOP Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, is asking for public suggestions on how to improve the Legislature's website?

BE: The Legislature has a website? Wait, of course it does, it has everything else: good pay, good perks, per diems, fancy offices, half the year off, why wouldn't it have a website?

JB: Whoa, let's not get ahead of ourselves. He's talking about making access to legislative doings better. He's talking about reaching out and better connecting with constituents. His office issued a press release on the subject Monday asking for public input.

BE: Yeah, well, I'll bet the public would love to offer input. Like cut the Legislature in half, cut the salaries, end the automatic annual pay raises, enact campaign-finance reform, pass something unrelated to guns, abortion and limiting voting rights...

JB: Again, boss, this is about improving the Legislature's website, allowing people improved access to their government. As Pileggi says in his press release, "No suggestion is too large or too small."

BE: Well, then here's a large suggestion. Do something about issues to serve the public and democracy. Fix our highways and bridges. Stop the ridiculous gerrymandering of legislative and congressional districts for partisan gain. Oh, and here's a small suggestion. Forget about listening to "the people" about your website. Listen to "the people" about a Constitutional Convention, about term limits, about reducing the size and cost of redundant representative government, about...

JB: Maybe you could testify at Pileggi's Legislative Data Processing Committee's scheduled March 7 hearing on way's to improve the website.

BE: HEARING?!! They're holding a hearing on this? They have a COMMITTEE on this? They're dedicating time and resources to this? Why? So they don't have to deal with tax policy or spending cuts or the $500 million revenue shortfall or decaying infrastructure or state stores or vouchers or shale taxes? They're focused on their WEBSITE??

JB: March 7, dude. Be there or be square. And be sure to bring your very best GRRRR.


Daily News Political Columnist
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About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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