HARRISBURG, PA – On November 12, 2015, Otto Voit the Republican candidate for State Treasurer announced PACheckbook.com (release below). “Government should be more accountable to taxpayers, and I want to open up the system via Pennsylvania’s first-of-its-kind transparency website called ‘PACheckbook.com,’” Voit said. Otto has promoted this plan in countless public appearances including television and radio interviews, as well as, social media and on OttoVoit.com.
“It has come to our attention in recent days that our opponent Joe Torsella has adopted Otto’s plan and is promoting it on his website. We have to assume Mr. Torsella is endorsing our plan. The alternative can only mean he does not have any plans of his own and was forced to plagiarize Otto’s idea. We want to think the best of Joe so we’ll take it as an endorsement at this point,” said Vincent Galko, Senior Adviser to the Voit Campaign.
At the time of his announcement PaCheckbook.com received endorsements from Pennsylvania officials including this one:
“As a County Controller, I am excited for Otto’s newly released initiative-PACheckbook.com. The ability for the public to see all the state’s expenditures and revenues is exactly what we need in Pennsylvania to restore accountability, transparency, and, most importantly, our trust. This new program would also engage our counties across the state.”
– Lehigh County Controller Glenn Eckhart November 19, 2015
“Imitation is the highest form of flattery, however, in the future if Mr. Torsella needs some ideas he should just pick up the phone and call Otto rather than cut and paste his ideas,” Galko concluded.
Voit Campaign release in November 2015:
PACheckbook.com is modeled after the successful venture of Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel called OhioCheckbook.com. After implementing it, Mandel saw his state climb from 46th to 1st in spending transparency. Ohio received a perfect score of 100 points from the U.S. PIRG this year — the highest in the history of U.S. PIRG rankings.
Torsella’s recent post:
Modeled on the successful and award-winning Open Checkbook site developed by Ohio’s Treasurer, Joe’s plan will move Pennsylvania from the lowest tier of transparency into a higher rank of states nationwide providing access to financial information.
Voit Campaign release in November 2015:
A user-friendly web portal, PACheckbook.com gives Pennsylvanians the ability to search for the details of spending subsidies and tax expenditures for all state government entities. It will chronicle state expenditures by year, and include the categorical breakdown of each year’s spending on different sectors. The launch of this website marks the first time that Pennsylvania’s state expenditures will be posted online in one place for its citizens to search, download, compare, and analyze.
Torsella’s recent post:
Making information that is already a matter of public record accessible, searchable and navigable, Joe’s Pennsylvania Sunshine Checkbook initiative will provide citizens and government officials alike with a powerful new tool to scrutinize and reform the Commonwealth’s financial practices.
Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own, with or without their consent, by incorporating it into your work without full acknowledgement. All published and unpublished material, whether in manuscript, printed or electronic form, is covered under this definition. Plagiarism may be intentional or reckless, or unintentional. Under the regulations for examinations, intentional or reckless plagiarism is a disciplinary offence.
Source: Oxford University website https://www.ox.ac.uk/students/academic/guidance/skills/plagiarism?wssl=1
Original Release on PACheckbook.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Voit for PA Treasurer Campaign, (484) 938-8648, [email protected]
OTTO VOIT ANNOUNCES PLAN FOR PA CHECKBOOK
Thursday, November 12, 2015
BERKS COUNTY – Otto Voit, candidate for Pennsylvania State Treasurer, announced a new plan to restore transparency and accountability to the Pennsylvania Treasury Office. His new initiative,PACheckbook.com, will give hardworking Pennsylvanians the opportunity to follow their tax dollars online to see how state government officials are spending public money.
A user-friendly web portal, PACheckbook.com will give Pennsylvanians the ability to search for the details of spending subsidies and tax expenditures for all state government entities. It will chronicle state expenditures by year, and include the categorical breakdown of each year’s spending on different sectors. The launch of this website would mark the first time that Pennsylvania’s state expenditures and revenues would be posted online in one place for its citizens to search, download, compare, and analyze.
“The goal of this initiative is to shed light on the true costs of government, so that taxpayers understand when and where there is waste. Once implemented at the state level, this website will make elected representatives more accountable to their constituents in every county and township of Pennsylvania.”
With this initiative, Otto Voit sets a higher standard for transparency and accountability in our state government. Harrisburg and the Treasurer’s office need to be reminded of whom they serve, and to whom they are accountable. Recent fraud and corruption scandals evidence that they have forgotten the meaning of the words transparency and accountability.
PACheckbook.com is modeled after the successful program implemented by Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel called OhioCheckbook.com. Voit sought Mandel’s advice, as after the implementation of OhioCheckbook.com, Ohio climbed from 46th to 1st in the rankings of state government transparency released by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. Pennsylvania current ranks 29th, and is in great need of improvements to its transparency and accountability.
“Why reinvent the wheel if I know a state that is doing it right,” Voit said.”I am not interested in ego, I am interested in helping to bring transparency to Harrisburg.”
By shining light on state spending and decisions made deep in Pennsylvania’s bureaucracy, PACheckbook.com enables taxpayers to help root out waste, fraud, and abuse. It is a necessary step modeled after a proven success that our state must take to restore Pennsylvanians’ trust in government.