Friday, November 21, 2008

Targeting 'systemic corruption in Harrisburg'

Brian O'Neill, a columnist for The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, recently interviewed citizen activist Tim Potts about his ongoing effort to reform Harrisburg.

Potts, a former legislative aide who founded DemocracyRisingPA, has a new strategy to keep the reform movement alive.

Potts is attempting to create a citizens watchdog network across Pennsylvania to keep an eye on state legislators, according to O'Neill.

From O'Neill's column:
Mr. Potts, of Carlisle, puts about 30,000 miles on his car each year talking to folks like these. He doesn't want to hear that Joe Citizen can't do anything about the systemic corruption in Harrisburg, and so is trying to counter it with systemic civic vigilance.

It's an ambitious, localized plan, and the punster in Mr. Potts can't resist calling it "Local Eyes." Citizen volunteers will home in on one state representative or senator and track all recorded votes on integrity issues, all sponsorships of reform legislation and any statements on public integrity.

Democracy Rising will provide volunteers with a list of bills and the voting schedule, but volunteers will be expected to meet each month with each lawmaker "for updates on activities toward the highest standards of public integrity in America."
Read the full column, Staring down a corrupt Legislature, at the newspaper's Web site.

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