The York Dispatch editorial board has been meeting with most local state House and Senate candidates for the past month or so to learn more about them and their agendas.
One of the things we learned is the incumbents' agendas are remarkably similar -- in some cases right down to the same phrases and examples.
Why, it's almost as if the GOP leadership -- all but one member of York County's delegation is a Republican -- issued talking points to ensure no one strayed from the party line.
It makes one wonder which is more important to them: pleasing the higher-ups or serving the needs of us little folks back home.
That's why it's so refreshing when an elected official "goes off script."
Steve Chronister isn't a state representative or senator, but he is an elected York County commissioner and he is a Republican.
And he is not happy with the top of his party in Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Corbett.
State officials this week announced how much each county will receive this year from new impact fees charged to gas drillers in the state's Marcellus Shale formation.
York County's share of the $204.2 million pot is $369,030, which should be arriving from the state in a couple of weeks.
What was Chronister's reaction?
Well, remember when your son wanted a Playstation 3 for Christmas, and you thought he'd enjoy a used Sega Genesis just as much?
Kind of like that.
Great, Chronister said of York County's allocation. Maybe it can be used to plug that huge hole Corbett blew in the county budget when he cut funding to human services and other programs.
Yes, the governor was sticking to his pledge not to raise taxes, but he ended up "passing the buck" down to local municipalities, forcing them to either raise taxes or cut programs, Chronister said.
The commissioner also pointed out counties would be receiving much more from the natural gas drillers if the state had enacted a severance tax -- as every other large gas-producing state does -- rather than an impact fee.
But that also would have broken Corbett's no-tax pledge.
So, Chronister said, "I guess we take what we can get."
It's not just counties that are hurting from Corbett's misplaced priorities. School districts also are dealing with staff and program cuts because of reduced funding -- although our state delegation continues to insist the Legislature has pumped more money than ever into education.
The elected officials we send to Harrisburg would be wise to note the displeasure back home with some of the governor's policies -- as well as their lockstep support of them.
A Philadelphia Daily News/Franklin & Marshall College poll released late last month showed more registered voters than ever -- 30 percent -- view Corbett unfavorably. The newspaper reports the governor's sagging numbers have energized Democrats, who think they have a real chance to unseat him in 2014.
Maybe going rogue isn't such a bad idea for Republicans after all.