Wednesday, November 15, 2006

House "Leadership:" Same Old Same Old

The Democratic and Republican caucuses elected their leadership yesterday in a private vote. It's pretty much what it was the day before the vote, except that Keith McCall replaced Mike Veon, who was not reelected.

House Minority leader Bill DeWeese said in a press release:

“We are a diverse and inclusive caucus, truly representative of the Commonwealth’s rich and varied tapestry. As a leadership team, we intend to move our Caucus forward on those premises into the new legislative session,” he said.

My views on the diverse and inclusive caucus's leadership team match those on Capitol Ideas:

With the notable exception of Rep. Dwight Evans (who's African-American), House Democrats really scoured the four corners of the commonwealth to build a leadership team that looks like Pennsylvania.
How'd they do?
We can proudly announce: Mission Accomplished.
At the end of a three-hour meeting yesterday, Democrats elected lumpy, middle-aged white guys from southwestern, northwestern and northeastern Pennsylvania.

More uninspiring news from an article in the Inquirer ("State House leaders reelected," by Amy Worden:

"We've heard the voices of the people," DeWeese said. "There will be aggressive efforts to help in reform, internally and and externally."

You will forgive me if I am skeptical.

Later in that article:

[House Majority Leader Sam] Smith, whose caucus debated leadership posts for almost six hours, said he thinks the House has already responded to voter concerns by passing the lobbying and gambling reform bills this fall, but promised to look at reforms presented by Schroder and others who sought leadership posts.

"Their message was heard," Smith said. "But we don't want reform simply for reform's sake."

Then I don't think he heard the message clearly enough.


Matthew Best said...

Great commentary Jane. I've officially diagnosed all the members insane. Albert Einstein's definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expceting a different result. That's exactly what the members did when they put the same leadership team in place.

AboveAvgJane said...

I feel much the same way.