Tea-Turfing 2010

I normally don’t get into national politics on here, but this was so laughably bad it just had to be pointed out.  So without making this about any one particular youth-, tech-, or idea-challenged political party, I’m going to make this a tale of caution to social media marketers everywhere.  When you want to create the illusion of mass support for your cause, you have to put at least several seconds’ worth of effort into the execution.  Otherwise, your propaganda gets lost in the cacophony of Internet laughter.

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$850 Million in the Hole

The last two weeks have seen a lot of cheering* and celebration* over the passing* of the 2010 Pennsylvania Budget.  This is good* news because unlike last year’s disaster, not a single state agency was forced to alter operations and not a single state employee was forced to work without pay.  Now that the budget is finally* in place*, we can go on with our lives* and enjoy things as they are for the next 11.5 months.

* – There’s a catch.

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Tom Corbett Gets Slapped Down

Facing a mountain of criticism from local and national news agencies as well as a firestorm of commentary from social media sites, Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett backed down on his subpoenas yesterday.

Earlier this month, his office issued a subpoena demanding private information on users critical of his campaign.  With growing accusations that his office has improperly flexed its muscle to help his gubernatorial campaign, perhaps they finally realized that flexing their muscle to help his gubernatorial campaign might not be the best way to respond.

Because if he was truly right — if he truly believed he had such powerful evidence that he needed to invoke the power of a grand jury in order to hear it — he should never have backed down.  You don’t give up a fight when you’re right, and we don’t pay our politicians to back down when they’re pursuing a just cause.

Let’s assume — for the sake of argument — that Corbett’s subpoenas really were part of a criminal investigation.  And let’s assume that the use of a grand jury to seek evidence for a criminal trial that has already concluded is somehow appropriate.  And, just to play devil’s advocate, let’s assume that CasablancaPA really is Brett Cott.

Assuming Corbett was right on all counts, that leaves just one question unanswered:

With Cott having been rushed off to prison immediately after his sentencing, why is the blog and Twitter account in question still being updated?

Either CasablancaPA is not Cott, or the account password has been shared across multiple people.  Tom Corbett was either wrong in his assumption about the account’s true owner, or he willfully used his office’s power to obtain the names and IP addresses of innocent citizens who happened to criticize his campaign.

Tom Corbett for Governor?

Generally speaking, I don’t do politics on this site.  If it’s politics you want, you can Google the name of your favorite candidate or party and find approximately eleventy trillion other sites on which to get your fix.  But earlier this month, our Attorney General did something that can only generously be described as “questionable”:

He subpoenaed Twitter and Google to reveal the identity of some people who have been critical of his campaign for governor.

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Pennsylvania Budget Impasse 2009: Part 3

Note:  This is part of a series of posts detailing the 2009 Pennsylvania budget impasse.  To see all posts in this series, click here.

Pennsylvania’s annual budget impasse (2009 edition) is well underway.  Today, June 30th, is the deadline for a budget to be passed as per state law.  Naturally, our legislature and governor are all too busy having a pissing match to be bothered to actually do their jobs.  But they’ve all found plenty of time to spread a lot of misinformation.  Despite what Governor Rendell might suggest, AFSCME’s 2008 lawsuit did not declare that state employees must not be paid.  Here’s why:

Continue reading Pennsylvania Budget Impasse 2009: Part 3