“A Little Rebellion Now and Then Is A Good Thing.”

I saw Governor Rendell of Pennsylvania on television stating that if there isn't an increase in the state personal income tax, the state may have to cut subsidized health care to the 194,000 children in the state who are covered by CHIP. CHIP insures the children and Rendell is lobbying the legislature to raise the personal income tax to ensure the program doesn't face cuts.

There's nothing like using the vision of children suffering from lack of heath care to get your agenda passed.

But, hold on a minute. I also saw a report by Common cause that stated that the gaming industry has given $4.4 million in campaign contributions to state government candidates in Pennsylvania, including over $1 million to Gov. Ed Rendell. An additional $12.3 million in contributions has come from lawyers and lobbyists licensed to represent the state's 14 gaming facilities.

Let's see – that adds up to $16.7 million in donations made to our state politicians to influence their support of gambling in PA.

What if the $16.7 million had been donated to the state to support CHIP? Maybe the governor wouldn't have to hold the specter of damaging the lives of kids over our heads in order to push his "temporary" income tax increase. Maybe if our elected officials spent less time with the folks from the gambling industry and more time with the people who elected them, they might actually understand the will of the people and work and vote accordingly.

By the way, I'm not anti-gambling. People want to gamble and they are going to do it.

But what makes me sick to my stomach is hearing about any industry that can legally contribute $16.7 million to people that we elect. And, that's just through 2008. The donations are continuing as strong as ever.

What makes me sick to my stomach is our lack of backbone and our inability to stand up and tell the politicians "NO." It's time this state passes a law to do away with (never happen) or limit campaign contributions. We're one of only a few states in the country that doesn't limit contributions. And, by law, we won't know how much more these representatives of the people have taken to line their pockets until January 2010.

It's time to tell our representatives to actually represent us.

  • Don't tell us that gambling is going to be a solution to tax revenue and at the same time threaten us with cutting health benefits to our children.
  • Stop taking millions of dollars from lobbyists and "industry representatives."
  • Start doing your job and represent the will of the people – all the people.

We're running out of patience. And, we remember the words of Thomas Jefferson that pretty much sums up the character of most of our politicians these days.

"He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world's believing him."

Jefferson also wrote in a letter to James Madison, "A Little Rebellion Now and Then Is A Good Thing."

Let your representatives (wherever you live) know where you stand – whatever your beliefs. They really do believe they can do anything they want to us these days and we'll accept it.

Maybe they're right. What do you think?

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