|Jeanette Eichenwald and Vic Mazziotti|
Democrat Eichenwald and Republican Mazziotti stood together yesterday outside the Lehigh County government center, to discuss their proposal. From a few floors above, I was sure Executive Tom Muller might drop a few water balloons, especially since I was there. But he spared us. For all I know, he might even agree with this proposal.
Mazziotti stated that, in reaction to what appears to be an intensive federal pay-to-play practices, he has been approached by many members of the public who are "sick," "amazed" and "distraught." He explained that they "look for elected officials to respond. They're tired of hearing crickets." Hence his legislation.
For her part, Eichenwald stated she is "honored" to be part of a solution "that transcends party affiliation." Se called it a Win, Win, Win. Vendors would win because they no longer will fell obligated to make contributions as a cost of doing business. Citizens will win because they will see better goods and services. Elected officials will win because they can concentrate on good government.
Of course, this law can be avoided by funneling money to a few PACs and letting them make the contributions. Mazziotti agreed, but added, "There's a way around just about every law out there."
Both Eichenwald and Mazziotti would like to see a statewide solution, but Mazziotti stated that people want action now. Eichenwald stressed that the ban being proposed survived a court challenge in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court They both argued that doing nothing is no longer an option.
Mazziotti, a sometimes fire-breathing conservative, quoted from John F. Kennedy. "The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality." Kennedy was referring to Dante's Inferno, in which Dante passes by a group of dead souls meandering outside the gates of Hell. They are barred from entering either heaven or Hell because they never chose sides, making them distasteful to both God and Satan.
Mike Schware, a Lehigh County Commissioner like Mazziotti, appears to have taken a side.
Ron Beitler, a Lower Macungie Commissioner who I finally had the privilege to meet, was also at the news conference. He is considering similar legislation in his Township.
This legislation has also made its east of Route 33 and is being considered by several members of NorCo Council. There are even some members of the business community who are considering a pledge to curtail the amounts of money currently being poured into political coffers.
But some refuse to take sides. Despite an invitation from Eichenwald, no other member of Allentown City Council attended the news conference. Are they the lost souls mentioned by Virgil?
And he to me: "This miserable wayUpdated 10 am: Hozza also takes aim at pay to play, as reported in The Whitehall-Coplay Press. The Morning Call reports what could only be called tepid support from Pawlowski's Puppets. One member, Daryl Hendricks, ridiculously suggests it could interfere with the federal investigation.
is taken by the sorry souls of those
who lived without disgrace and without praise.
They now commingle with the coward angels,
the company of those who were not rebels
nor faithful to their God, but stood apart.
The heavens, that their beauty not be lessened,
have cast them out, nor will deep Hell receive them -
even the wicked cannot glory in them."