For the past few weeks, Russ Diamond and PACleanSweep have been giving Pennsylvania voters 10 reasons why they should vote out 66 incumbent state judges.
All 10 reasons are listed on the group's Web site.
I've been waiting for the No. 1 reason and Diamond does not disappoint.
His top reason? "We Don't Need No Stinking Reasons." Read the article below:
From the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:
Article I, Section 2
"All power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their peace, safety and happiness. For the advancement of these ends they have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think proper." [Emphasis added.]
We are the sovereign People. As sovereigns, we are entitled to vote in any way we choose for any reason we see fit. We do not need the permission of judges. We do not need the approval of legislators. We do not need a note from the Governor.
We especially don't need to read some handbook on "How To Vote" produced by a bunch of lawyers at the Pennsylvania Bar Association who have a vested interest in maintaining business-as-usual. And we don't need them to infer that a retention vote is somehow too complicated for us to understand.
We do not live under Lords. We do not follow the mantra of some High Priest. Judges are not better than us. They are our servants, and we can choose to fire them at will. They are not automatically entitled to another term.
Year after year, the Republican Party infers that we'd be much better off if all elections were won by Republicans. The Democratic Party fights to elect all Democrats to office. Rational Pennsylvanians know that neither of these arguments hold water, yet we have an election system that provides a 'party lever' at the polling place to allow people to make such blanket votes.
This year, PACleanSweep is advocating a 'no' vote on most (not all) judges up for retention not to place power in the hands of some political party, but to return power to the People. All three branches of government have failed to defend the plain meaning of the Constitution. When they fail, the people must step up to the plate or risk losing all their rights.
We've heard a lot of reasons to vote a certain way in any given election: Because he's a Democrat. Because she's NOT a Democrat. Because he's rich and famous. Because she has the best hair. Because he's the best looking. Because she cheated on her husband. Because we need to send a message to Harrisburg.
The fact is, all these reasons - regardless of how silly some of them may sound - are perfectly viable reasons to vote for or against any candidate. There is no handbook on the proper way to vote. There is no right or wrong reason. It is up to each individual voter to make up their own mind in their own way. This is why We the People are sovereign - because ultimately, we can make any choice we like.
We don't need no stinking reasons. Really, we don't. Despite not needing any, PACleanSweep has provided a number of rational reasons in our Top Ten Reasons to Vote NO list. The most important of those reasons is to defend our most fundamental law, the Constitution. Government has utterly failed us in this area - despite every single elected official having sworn an oath to the document - so we must act on our own behalf.
It is not just our right; it is our duty and responsibility.
A 'yes' vote on retentions is a vote for continuing the culture of arrogance, greed and corruption in Pennsylvania. A 'no' vote applies the brakes and helps turn the Commonwealth in a new and better direction.
The choice is clear. And that choice is ours to make - in private, without anyone looking over our shoulders.
We don't need no stinking reasons.