Skip to main content

After attending yet another one of those "local" meetings tonight, where it is clear that the "Board" has been bought and paid for, I looked around me and realized there were only three or four other residents in attendance.  Other attendees?  Well there were a lot of engineers, including the County Engineer; there was a Deputy, there were two business type individuals hoping to seal their trucking contract...and that was it...

Having attending a County Commission meeting just last week, where "elected officials" from other locales were there in support of this project or that, and there were numerous business interests represented, attorneys and whatnot, looking around the audience, I saw five or six other residents in attendance.

Reading national news, and seeing the words "pay to play" utilized in as much as the Governor of Illinois...

made me realize that "pay to play" was also a phrase utilized in several local corruption scandals.  It doesn't start with a Governor's Office, it doesn't even start with the President of the USA, or the Senate or House leaders or Committee Chairs, it starts right in your own backyard.

All of these years fighting community battles, I realize just how little the "community" participates.  Most say they have no time, they have other obligations, or government will do as they will do whether "I" participate or not, and some just say they just didn't know until it was way too late...

When I review this awesome site, where so many are in tuned with the outrages happening at the top echelons of government, I wonder how many are in tune with their own local community, their own county, their own taxing districts....(you know all of those bodies you pay taxes to in one form or another)

Corruption doesn't start at the top and trickle down, it starts at the bottom, creates a political way of life, and is dominating every form and fashion of government as you know it, from elected officials, to the staff they utilize, to the various "analysis" utilized for making decisions whether based upon fact or not....  

In thinking about the term "Pay to Play", realize it could just begin with "park improvements", who gets the contract, who becomes employed, or fired...Its Your Park....are you really watching?

Originally posted to LtdEdishn on Wed Dec 10, 2008 at 07:25 PM PST.

Poll

In the last year, how many governmental meetings have you attended?

16%4 votes
41%10 votes
20%5 votes
0%0 votes
20%5 votes
0%0 votes
0%0 votes

| 24 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  As always... (7+ / 0-)

    if you have thoughts or opinions...they are always welcome...

  •  Thank you...I needed this reminder! n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LtdEdishn

    To all my ancestors who have moved from "sense to soul", a mountain of gold could not repay you.

    by rubthorn on Wed Dec 10, 2008 at 07:27:49 PM PST

    •  A government of the people... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChocolateChris

      is only as good as the people who participate?  I hope the reminder stirs you to action wherever you live.  The antipathy I see locally really depresses me, and I believe it allows "pay to play" to become the norm rather than the exception...

    •  Thanks for the link... (0+ / 0-)

      but what I have discovered about local organizing is that is really is "local".  At every meeting I attend, I have found comfort in those who really turn out.  Locally, "some" are just discovering that everything is connected.  

      I have been receiving non-stop email from those I linked with in the past about Federal, State, County and Local projects that are now showing themselves to really be connected, and not connected to the people but connected to "pay to play" scandals.

      Local organizing doesn't brighten with a national link that laments John McCain and voting for Palin...but if that is your preferred link...what can I say...

  •  I moved into a new small city (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LtdEdishn

    in S. California.   Went to a few of the council meetings, even had some impact in changing the local parade back to Holiday, from Christmas.

    But the frustration is just too much.  It just makes me angry and the incumbents get elected no matter how incompetant.

    I'm embarrassed to say, I just don't want to be involved.  There was one night when in a city of 60K people, I was the only one there at the end of the meeting.

  •  I work for a city (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jabney, LtdEdishn, kurt, SciMathGuy

    and had occasion recently to watch a council meeting. OMG. Even though the topic was of major significance to my department, and our director kicked ass with his budget presentation, it was still mind-numbing.
    The last time I went to a council meeting was ten years ago, when my department,along with the fire department and several other bargaining units spoke at a council meeting because the city essentially refused to negotiate with the unions. Most of us had been working without a contract for a year and fighting just to keep existing benefits in the new contract. Also, a mind numbing experience.
    As much as I dislike the decisions the elected officials make, I can't imagine spending one night a week sitting through these sessions.

    Local government is hard. It's very good-old-boys. And it takes A LOT of time to be able to make a difference.  Even homeowner associations are that way. There is an entrenched set of power, and it's hard, and very frustrating to overcome it.

  •  Our local health dept banned smoking... (0+ / 0-)

    ... anywhere, even private offices, and had a couple of public meetings. I actually wrote a Letter to the Editor of our local paper urging people to stay home and avoid the meetings because:

    1. It was already a done deal, signed, sealed, and delivered.
    1. All going to those meetings would have done was waste gas and time.
    1. Banning smoking is in fashion, and the control freaks will have their way regardless of what anyone else thinks.

    The results: Two people went so far as to look me up in the phone book and leave nice messages on my phone!

    The good news: the only 2 folks on the board who voted against the deal were the 2 elected officials. I know that they, along with the former mayor, read my letter in the paper - so that letter had more impact than going to the hearing would have had.

    The bad news: the rest of the board isn't elected. What are we supposed to do - give 'em dirty looks?

    Fucketh not with the MF diary, for you have but 5 HR, and we (collectively) have hundreds.

    by SciMathGuy on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 04:54:06 AM PST

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site