On Tuesday, February 4, 2014, at 7 pm, the PA House Democrats had a Tweetup. “House Democrats have planned a lively event to focus on what the budget means for real people, not the special interests,” Democratic Leader Frank Dermody (Allegheny) gushed to PA Politics, in anticipation. “No topic too big, no detail too small. House Democrats are all ears,” House Democratic Appropriations Committee Chairman Joe Markosek, (Allegheny/Westmoreland) proclaimed.
Well: Boo @PaHouseDems! I found no reply to any Tweet with #pabudgetchat and #fracking in it. I also found nothing on the @PaHouseDems page with #fracking in it, although I found posts with both hashtags by @BerksGasTruth @PACWA @BigRick4 @gaslandmovie @ruthforpahouse @slbernhardt @EnviroAction @Fractivista.
Whats the Point? That my Democratic party – or at least our decision makers – are avoiding our party’s platform, while depending on our parties rank-and-file to vote for its candidates. In particular, the plank which passed with overwhelming support among our elected Committee. You know the one calling for a moratorium against injecting carcinogens into our ground, with only purposefully fractured rock between it and our groundwater? You know: the one that would give our other 65 counties the protections our leaders gave to Buck and Montgomery counties? You know: the one all but one candidate for Governor has rejected in their ongoing campaigns, and our most recent Dem Gov Ed Rendell has called “ill-advised”? Yeah, that one.
The House Dems had no problem replying rapidly to everything the PA Young Republicans asked in that Tweetup. It seems they were just avoiding #fracking Tweets. I know several of the senders of those Tweets to be not only Dems, but generally active ones. Odd thing for the House Dems to do.
You’d think they’d respond to the people whose votes they rely on. And whose dollars and activism they rely on. Yes, I would tend to put those folks at the front of the line. Or I would at least put them before those named PA Young (avowed opponents). Crazy talk, I know.
What started out as a good idea seems to have gone askew. What was touted as a way for our leaders to find out ” how the state’s spending plan impacts you and your family,” turned into a way to ignore that. What started out as a “Yippee, bravo,” from this active Dem, turned into a resounding “Boo @PaHouseDems!”