July 20, 2011

Tea Party's Next Battle - Philadelphia

...That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government... - The Declaration of Independence

Philadelphia - In the city where Liberty was given birth, a new movement is underway intended to shake the foundation of a corrupt government machine and, if successful, could become one of Philadelphia's most significant political moments in its history.
Courtesy WeThePeoplePhila.com 

Over the past several months a previously little-known public employee retirement perk called DROP  (Deferred Retirement Option Plan) has been getting a bit of media attention and the politicians who support it - stalwart Philadelphia names like Rizzo, Meehan, and Tartaglione - are fighting for their political lives, and losing badly in the sphere of public opinion.

Now, voter anger has boiled over, and a bi-partisan effort is underway to establish a government study commission - the vehicle by which Pennsylvania Law allows citizens to regain control of their muncipality - by getting the concept on November's ballot.

The commission would comprise of ordinary citizens (no current or former elected officials) and their anticipated goal is to audit the City's operations and eventually rewrite the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter. To do this, supporters of this concept are canvassing neighborhoods throughout the City gathering signatures for petitions, required for such a measure to take place.

Leading the way are a handful of activist groups - Philadelphia Tea Party Patriots, Philadelphia's Loyal Opposition, Reform Democrats, and members of the Black Clergy.

Combined, the group calls itself We the People of Philadelphia Committee and their website is full of evidence detailing where the City's leaders have failed those they are elected to serve, solutions and recommendations for the new Home Rule Charter, and legal justification for the movement.

The last time Philadelphia modified its Charter (think constitutional convention) was in 1951, and was intended at the time to rid the City of corruption by a then Republican-led dynasty who had controlled Philly for 70 years. Since then, the Democratic Party has ruled and the existing charter has done little to stem the tide of corruption running rampant through City Hall and beyond.

I anticipate great resistance from the Philadelphia ruling class, the media elite, and union leadership on this one - shocking, I know. They'll mock, organize against the effort, and do whatever it takes to keep what, they feel, is theirs.

It's no surprise to hear a bold, daring, and aggressive fight against the powerful and corrupt ruling class would take place in Philadelphia and it's the Tea Party leading the way, again.

This should get real interesting - it is Philly after all.

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