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This official statement comes from the Elect.Rauterkus.com campaign.
Please post comments on the associated "discussion" page. Only campaign workers should edit this page.

As an advocate of Democracy and Referendums, I think certain decisions are best taken out of the hands of political elites and determined directly by the people. Democracy makes an important focus area for this campaign. Democracy builds trust in our sense of freedom as well as accountability.

Plank Edit

  • I support a vast majority of the planks and issues advocated by Tim Potts and his organization, Democracy Rising PA.
  • I would never work to toss an eligible candidate off the ballot.
  • I would, if the situations were well suited, encourage a possible and/or declared candidate to join my campaign so as to guide that person to more effective pursuits, avoid ridicule from others, and not toil in fruitless efforts.
  • I have worked to suggest the best possible dates for special elections. Holding a special election for a local office in a district with a college campus at the time of spring break sends to wrong message to many faculty, staff and students who might want to be responsible with their vote.
  • I fully support the efforts of the Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition.

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Term limitsEdit

  • Term limits are generally considered a blunt-force policy. However, the policy of term limits is more favorable in light of the wrath of Act 47, municipal bankruptcy threats, property tax increases of 34-percent and two oversight boards. Given Pittsburgh's state of politics, its one-party rule, the widespread perception of patronage, and the history of people are in office, time and time again, the establishment of term limits is prudent.
  • Term limits can be made to sunset. Pittsburgh should establish term limits as a check for a period of years and made to expire and sunset in a decade or so.
  • Voters can decide upon term limits. Questions that introduce new term limits laws should be put onto ballots as city-wide referendums.
  • The Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh should serve no more than two terms. The voters should approve that new change to the city's charter.
  • Every term in the city should be cut by 50% for the next 20 years. So, all four-year terms for city council, controller and mayor would become two-year terms. The shorter length of the terms allows for more accountability to the voters. The voters should approve the new change to the city's charter.

Voting machines Edit

  • Voting machines must be with open source code and never closed code. Otherwise, they should not be tolerated. Wisconsin made this a part of its law in January 2006.
  • The deadline for voting machine purchases, as forced by the federal government, should be ignored in Allegheny County. The timeline and rush could kill our election process in America.
  • A tiger team of high-tech and low-tech users should present serious tests to the propsed voting machines for a number of weeks before they are purchased. If any questions linger about the machines after the testing, then the purchase should be nixed. A tiger team seal of approval needs to be obtained before the purchase for all the machines is finalized. We need to use experts and concerned citizens from within the county, not some state appointed board to do these tests.

Ballot AccessEdit

  • Third-party candidates on a general election ballot should have no signatures required if the party membership amounts to at least 0.05 percent of registered voters in the state.
  • Independent candidates should be required to gather as many signatures as Democrats and Republicans.

Retention VotesEdit

  • Authority Board members should all face Retention Votes. They can be appointed, but need to face the voters to keep their board positions. This includes PAT, Parking Authority, the RAD Board and all the other authority agencies.

RedistrictingEdit

  • Redistricting reform of jurisdictional boundaries needs to occur. This isn't the most pressing problem, but it needs attention and certain fixes are easy to implement and cost nothing.
  • Template:Art-2007 Redistricting happens every ten years. However the reform and policy changes need to occur before redistricting's years arrive. This is the time to think again about redistricting, before it is too late. As a Template:SSI-job-title, I'd start redistricting reform plans in the first season.
  • Redistricting reform should go to the voters in referendums. Retired judges can be participants on a pannel to make a new maps of each district every ten years. Voters then vote to confirm the new maps, by each district. If a vote fails, then that section is re-drawn. So, the citizens would approve the map and verify it.
  • Redistricting can be held to another test and measurement of accountability, total border length. The calculation of the border length of various districts needs to be part of the discussion process. If one district has a border that is too great, then that should be made straight. In the redistricting slated for 2010, total border length of every district should decrease by 10-percent and 20% of the districts should have total border length reduced by more than 50-percent.

Residential allowances Edit

  • A candidate who resides in one district should be permitted to run for elected office in another district with limits on miles from the district's boundaries (i.e., 25 miles) and years. The residential allowances should only be permitted in two years of each decade after redistricting is completed.

Process example of redistricting and residential allowances: Edit

  • Year 0, the census is taken and reported.
  • Year 1, the retired judges pannels gather and draw lines.
  • Year 2, voters confirm the new borders.
  • Year 3, border re-dos for those vetoed by the voters.
  • Year 4, the new borders are applied.
  • Year 4 and 5 provide candidate allowances for residential eligibility.
  • Years 6, 7, 8, 9, 0, 1, 2, 3 are when candidates must reside within the border to be elected.

Referendums Edit

  • Tax increases are always a big issue. I advocate a referrendum on each and every increase beyond cost of living in Pennsylvania, Allegheny County and city of Pittsburgh taxes.
  • Without going overboard, as a city council member, I'd introduce measures throughout the year so as to strive to have 10 ballot questions as part of every public election. This includes elections held in the spring (often just a primary), fall (general election) and special elections.
  • If the citizens put forth a question and obtained signatures on petitions, I'd do my best to offer support so that the question appears before the voters. I would never work to toss a ballot question submitted to the election office off of the ballot.
  • As citizens propose various ballot questions, in the planning stages, I'd offer my insights, resources and wisdom to their process. Confusing questions and questions that would be sure to raise legal challenges should be avoided by proactive editing and discussions.
  • It takes time to figure out the best alternative for new, electronic voting machines. A rush to puchase new machines while junking the mechanical voting machines was foolish. The old voting machines are trustworthy.

2006 Edit

  • I will work hard to increase instances of direct democracy within our political landscape.
  • The internet tool, eVote, is something that can be deployed on a broad range of issues within the community, after I get elected to city council.
  • I will work within my powers to make sure that the issue slated for votes by the voters get formal debate opportunities leading up to the election days.
You could help to organize a community wide meeting to give various questions their due, making smarter voters on various issue decisions.
  • As a member of Pittsburgh's City Council, and as a resident of Allegheny County, I'd strive to put at least one measure onto the ballot for Allegheny County voters.

Template:Art-2007 Edit

  • I will work to see that the ballot question on additional row office reform moves through County Council and is put onto the ballot. Voters should be given office-by-office decisions to eliminated elected positions.
  • Individual I.C.A./Oversight Board members, other elected leaders (past and present), academics, civic leaders and citizens can be organzied and work with me and the budding Help Center in the hosting of a summit for democracy in the city.

Template:Art-2008 Edit

  • As a member of Pittsburgh's City Council, and as a resident in Pennsylvania, I'd strive with others to build a state-wide network of concerned organizations and citizens to address state-wide referendum powers. Presently, a serious lack of power resides among the citizens for the delivery of state-wide referendums. These efforts would lead to a state-wide constitutional adjustment.

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LinksEdit

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