Framing the Dialogue

Taking Care of…Himself

Many times as I read an article I find a few sentences that capture the essence of the piece. In “Phrase-e-ology” I’ll post some thought followed by key phrases. As always I’ll have a link (in blue) to the original article.

I read this morning about the pending retirement of Camille “Bud” George from the Pennsylvania legislature at the ripe old age of 84 and after 19 House terms!  So that is nearly forty years that Mr. George has been looking out for the “people” or at least that is how it is being characterized;

Longtime lawmaker Bud George leaves legacy of ‘taking care of people’

I have a different take on things having worked in and out of government and see these longtime lawmakers for who they often are.  I confess to having nothing ever to do with Mr. George so I am only basing my judgement on his arrogant words.  Forty years in power makes you powerful.  Mr. George is a mini-Robert Byrd (D-WV) who was know for bringing home the bacon to his West Virginia.  Power is important.  Power begets more power.  Power gets you elected.  Elected over and over and over and over again.  Power keeps you in power until you are way past your “normal retirement age.”  Here are some phrases from the article linked above;

“There’s your way and the Bud George way. Trust me: My way’s a lot better,”

As state workers tried to take away his office furniture, George recalled, ‘I basically told them to bend over. Because that furniture was mine, and I paid for it and put it in. They didn’t.”  [Note: the taxpayers of Pennsylvania typically pay to furnish legislators’ offices]

“during 19 House terms, helping position his once-little-known 74th District as a prime recipient of state money for infrastructure and other development projects.”  [you can read this as bringing home more pork to ensure re-election]

“Political analyst Christopher Borick said he thinks funding for the district will drop, regardless of Sankey’s affiliation. ‘It’s hard to replace someone like Bud George, who’s institutionally a staple,” said Borick, a political science professor at Muhlenberg College in Allentown. “You can’t manufacture that overnight, even if you are in the majority caucus, which is an advantage.’ George’s legislative longevity, behind-the-scene persistence and irascibly assertive streak helped Clearfield County receive more than its fair share of state resources for projects, said current and former state officials.”

“Through PENNVEST, George guided more than $200 million in public money to his district. Millions more came from other state programs ‘that the governors were kind enough to give me,’ he said. The money supported construction of a Wal-Mart distribution center off Interstate 80, a state prison, an ethanol plant and a Lock Haven University campus, generating hundreds of jobs. ‘I took care of the area and all of the people within it every time I had the chance,’ said George.”  [That’s about one million dollars of taxpayer earning per job]

“You know, this might sound funny, but I thank the guy upstairs for being overly kind to me,” George said. “When I look at what I had to offer, it wasn’t any more than anybody else had to offer. But I just offered it and kept my word and made it work.”

If there was EVER a better argument for term limits please let me know.

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