With bloggers and internet message boards these days it's a whole different ballgame for the 'sunshine laws'.
I mean, even the news outlets are being scrutinized by the public these days (Example: CBS / Dan Rather and the producer who was fired over false sources recently)
The problem is that the 'Burgh (as a whole) tends to be about ten years behind the rest of the nation on these things (Hey, the 'gray hairs' and 'old men with hat' are lucky if they know that their kids and grandkids are using the internet).
It's a good thing though that this issue is being brought to light, If i still lived in Pittsburgh I might consider a Blog just on local politics. (And this is coming from someone who has NEVER had anything he thought was Blog-worthy)
I'm just so tired of the local politicians being either incompetant or out and out downright dirty. Having been born and raised in Pittsbugh, and having to leave (the first time in 82 - for three years, and then again in 96 - maybe forever) on economic grounds, I really feel as though quite a bit of my life has been taken from me... and the biggest blame goes to Ostrich politicians who ignore economics and keep their collective heads burried in the sand.
Interesting, but embarassing story:
In about 1990 I found a young politician who seemed to 'get it'.
He was running for a congressional seat held by a 'tax and spend' democrat named Doug Walgren. Walgren was a multiterm congressman who very rarely ventured back to the Pittsburgh area. He was totally out of touch with his constituancy.
This young 'wanna be' politician seized on that and pushed his 'responsible economics' agenda. He also promised to maintain his primary residence in Pittsburgh.
So here I was, a fiscal conservative, with fairly liberal social leanings, out knocking on doors with this congressman wannabe. He loved it because I was in my early/mid thirties with a ponytail, but talked conservatively. Which got him some face time with even the most liberal voters.
He got elected, and within a few years, he reduced his priority on Fiscal issues and started to push one of the most conservative (Even 'right wing' you might say) social agends in Washington. It wasn't long before he moved lock-stock-and-barrel to Washington and virtually abandoned Pittsburgh.
I'm embarassed to say, I helped get Rick Santorum elected to his first public office.
The exerience has forever soured me on politics.