Marc Stier

Democrat for State Representative

Working Together to Build Strong Communities


Rosita Youngblood, Ghosts, and the Culture of Corruption

During this election I have been having a little fun at Representative Youngblood's expense by calling her a "ghostly presence" in our district. I don't think anyone can be a good representative if he or she one does not come out and meet the voters and community leaders. And Representative Youngblood rarely attends community meetings and, to my knowledge, never goes door to door.

I have also joked about the "haunted mansion" that is her office on Greene Street. Because Representative Youngblood has no paid staff office, this beautiful office has mostly been closed for over a year.

What I did not know, however, is that ghosts can vote! As the Philadelphia Inquirer has reported in recent weeks, there is a common practice of legislators using coins or wadded up pieces of paper to fix their voting machines so that they are recorded as voting even when they are not present in the House of Representatives chamber. In some cases, our Representatives have been recorded as voting even when they were not present in Harrisburg.

This ghost voting is a violation of House rules and a terrible practice. How can a Representative adequately represent us if they are casting votes without knowing what they are voting on?

We don't know whether Rosita Youngblood has cast ghost votes. She has refused to answer the questions of newspaper reporters. But we do know that she has helped other Representatives cast ghost votes. As reported in the Inquirer, she was recently seen doing so.

Rosita Youngblood is part of what critics have called a "culture of corruption" in Harrisburg. One way to begin to dismantle that culture of corruption is to remove her from office.