Questions Posed to State Representative Candidates . . . Should Voters Expect Responses from Drucker & Kampf

Voters can visit the campaign websites of State House 157 candidates Paul Drucker and Warren Kampf and read about the issues . . . explore how the candidates feel about jobs, economy, spending, education, environment, etc.  Using social media as an integral component of their campaigns, the candidates suggest that you follow them on Twitter, become their Facebook fan . . . sign up for email updates, etc. Drucker and Kampf give voters contact information including special campaign email addresses and encourage questions or comments from the public.  Just this week, Kampf tweeted, “. . . if you have any questions or comments feel free to contact the campaign at contact@warrenkampf.com.”

Representing Community Matters, I recently contacted each of the candidates through their campaign websites.  Based on Community Matters discussion and questions posed from readers, my questions to Drucker and Kampf were straightforward and non-confrontational. Candidates encourage questions from the public so I asked each a question and the results are in . . . below are the questions that I posed to Drucker and Kampf and their respective responses.

Recently, Drucker presented a $1 million check from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program to Strategic Realty for phase 1 funding of the Paoli Transit Center.  In the press release, Drucker stated that the project would “. . . ultimately create more than 5,000 construction jobs and more than 2,000 permanent jobs in Paoli.” 

My question to Drucker: Could you please provide the analysis for the 2,000 permanent jobs in Paoli that would be provided by the Paoli Transit Center Project?

Peter Monaghan, president of Strategic Realty provided Rep Drucker with further details on temporary job and permanent job estimates for the Paoli Transit Center Project. Estimates for permanent job creation are based on the square footage of planned office, retail and residential space.  The private development component of the Paoli Transit Center project will yield approx. 300,000 sq. ft of office space, 75,000 sf of retail space and 525,000 sf of residential space.  The formula for permanent jobs is as follows:

  • Retail: 75,000 sf @ 1 job/500sf = 150 jobs
  • Office:  300,000 sf @ 1 job/200sf = 1,500 jobs
  • Residential: 525,000 sf @ 1 job/10,000sf = 53 jobs
  • Transit:  50 jobs

A recent post on Community Matters prompted 80+ comments (including Phoenixville Councilman Ken Buckwalter).  The subject of the post – the current FBI investigation of local attorney Jeffrey Rotwitt for his role in the Family Court land development project scandal in Philadelphia.  In April, Rotwitt hosted a campaign fundraiser for State Rep candidate Warren Kampf. As a result of Kampf’s association with Jeffrey Rotwitt, Rep. Drucker released a statement calling for Kampf to return of money raised at the Rotwitt fundraiser.  Hoping to provide Kampf an opportunity to respond to Drucker and to the resident’s interest in the topic, I contacted Kampf for a response.

My question to Kampf: Do you have an official response to Mr. Drucker concerning the FBI investigation of Mr. Rotwitt and money raised at your April political campaign fundraiser hosted by Mr. Rotwitt?

Unfortunately, there was not a response to my email by Kampf nor any acknowledgement of my communication.  Not receiving a reply, I sent a follow-up email that repeated the question . . . to date, there remains no response.  For me, I am left to wonder why Mr. Kampf sent this tweet to his followers “. . . if you have any questions or comments feel free to contact the campaign at contact@warrenkampf.com.”  

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  1. Voters should expect answers. What is Mr. Kampf hiding? He invites questions on his website and Tweets, but fails to answer your question. Why does anybody think this guy is worthy to represent us? It’s bad enough he is a supervisor. Looks like another Kampf character flaw to add to the list.

  2. Thank you, Pattye, for shedding light on just how the estimate of permanent jobs at the future Paoli Rail Yard Redevelopment site was calculated.

    Those 2,000 permanent jobs, in addition to the 5,000 construction jobs necessary to build the project, will be a real shot in the arm to the local economy. Can’t wait to see it become a reality.

    If i understand it correctly, the number of temporary construction jobs was developed using federal guidelines : the overall estimated project cost (around $467 MM) divided by the average annual cost of one job.

    I am pleased to finally see these job numbers substantiated. Now let’s hope the economy keeps improving and the financing can be lined up to move this worthy project forward.

    I appreciate the fact that Rep. Drucker has been working on moving this from vision to reality for over four years now. I trust he will continue to make it a high priority.

  3. Really? It sounds to me that he invited questions from citizens who might be inclined to actually vote for him, not to entertain gotcha questions from Drucker partisans.

    1. I’m glad Pattye got an answer to a request that she, and I made, separately to Mr. Drucker’s office on 6/22. If someone from Mr. Drucker’s office reads this, you don’t need to send the info to me – Pattye has given us the data I requested.

      I went to Mr. Drucker’s votepauldrucker.com website to confirm the wording of his announcement: “the overall project is expected to create an estimated 5000 construction jobs and 2000 permanent jobs.” First of all, according to his formula, it is 1753 permanent jobs. Much more importantly, I agree that the retail, transit and residential jobs are probably incremental jobs and thus 253 jobs “created” by the PTC project. However, the office jobs, I’m not so sure about. Did the project “create” a new permanent job if a business moves from an existing office building in Paoli or Berwyn into the new PTC space? While the offices may contain 1500 workers, they are not necessarily new jobs “created”- some may be. If a person with an existing job moves their office in Station Square into the PTC office building, that’s not a new job “created”. Just my opinion.

      1. ‘If a person with an existing job moves their office in Station Square into the PTC office building, that’s not a new job “created”’

        Of course its not a job created, but it sure sounds good doesn’t it?

        Shouldn’t he have at least mentioned that the job creation numbers assume that there is 100% occupancy of the space?

        How many office buildings in the area do you think currently have 100% occupancy?

    2. How is asking Warren for a response to the press release a “gotcha” question? This is Pattye after all asking the question. I don’t think she is the queen of “gotcha” questions. Put it this way, if you think that a question like that is a “gotcha” question, then I would say that you don’t have much faith in Kampf.

      One other point, it’s not up to Kampf or any candidate/official to declare what is or is not off limits. Pattye’s question deserves an answer. Clearly, Kampf has something to hide and his hope is that it will all just “go away.” The irony is that the longer he waits, the more of an issue it becomes. Remember, its never what is being covered up that is the issue. Rather, it’s the cover up.

      Drucker partisans? It’s Kampf that makes distinctions on who is a Democrat.

      1. Anon, here are the facts. Pattye runs a great blog, but she’s clearly a partisan. She ran for BOS last year on the Democratic slate. It’s clear where her sympathies lie. It absolutely IS up to the candidate and the campaign to decide what is a question worth answering and what is not. After all, you don’t see a pro-life candidate answering a NARAL questionnaire, now do you? As a candidate, you answer questions that might get you an endorsement, not questions that will only serve to create controversy.

        1. I take such issue with your comment.

          I determine my support of individuals based on their qualifications and experience, not on whether they have an R or D attached to their name. Just to remind you — of my very vocal support of REPUBLICANS Judy DiFilippo and Ken Buckwalter, both who were in this very same race!

          Here are the facts — Ken Buckwalter always responded to every email or phone call from me (and that was even when Judy was still in the race!) And of course, Judy always responded to my questions. Paul Drucker always reponds to my emails or phone calls. Warren Kampf did not. You can spin it however you want anon but those are the facts.

          At a minimum an email inquiry to a candidate deserves an acknowledgement, especially when the candidate is advertising that he wants questions and comments. Mr. Kampf’s could have responded with a simple response — “I received your email Ms. Benson and at this time I have no comment”. That would at least be an acknowledgement of the inquiry. I would suggest that Mr. Kampf re-word his tweets in the future — and not ask for questions and comments. This is all very telling.

          As a heads-up for Mr. Kampf and his campaign committee — I will continue to ask both of the 157 candidates questions. Kampf can make the decision to ignore my questions; but be assured that if he chooses to ignore me, I will continue to report it on Community Matters. Believe it or not — the same standard and expectation is applied to Mr. Drucker and his campaign.

        2. John: I would agree that every candidate is, in fact, a partisan, as they either are, or seek to be, the standard-bearer of a political party. I also think that you often argue because you like the sound of your own “voice”.

        3. That would be why “voice” was in quotations. Forget the law degree: are you sure you graduated from high school? That’s not name calling; it’s a reasonable question given your comment, as most folks who claim to have university educations and advanced degrees would have easily recognized this. By the way, thanks so much for proving my point. A prediction: you will just have to have the last word. You are most welcome to it.

  4. Wow, Stefan, you read a lot into Warren’s invitation.

    He may believe he can win enough votes by just catering to his loyal base, but that ‘s very unlikely. He will have to persuade some undecided people along the way. And by choosing to address only friendly questioners he is not exactly impressing these voters – who rightly expect their state representative to take ALL constituents into consideration.

    Questions on issues affecting the 157th are not “gotcha” questions. Even a clarifying statement regarding his relationship (or lack ) with Jeff Rotwitt would be helpful.

    Harrisburg ain’t Tredyffrin. There are a lot of Democrats up there, and Warren would have to work with them – occasionally.

  5. Stefan,

    The fact that Warren blew off a question from any one of his would-be constituents is shameful. An elected official serves ALL the people. Not just members of his/her own party. Rep Drucker lives by this rule as I’m sure many who read this blog can attest to.

    1. Again, even though you’re a different “anon”, please see my response to the other Anon. Applies equally to you. This is politics, not a game of jacks.

  6. Stefan, if you are a representative of Kampf’s committee,I think you (they) need to change the approach for any chance of winning. To suggest that Kampf only needs to respond to ‘certain’ people or to ‘certain’ questions is not going to get him elected. The local BOS may be all Democrats but as someone else pointed out, Harrisburg isn’t. To win the 157, Warren needs some degree of Ind and Dem votes doesn’t he? And who is to say that he has every Rep vote sewed up? My 2 cents on the subject.

    1. in fairness, Pattye, we both contacted Mr Drucker’s office re the PTC jobs. I emailed Mr. Drucker’s office on June 22. They DID NOT acknowledge my first email – I made a second request on 7/6 and they responded the next day that they were awaiting the analysis from the developer. You got that info and posted it yesterday – so it took a month to answer the question. That said, Mr. Kampf should acknowledge the receipt of your question or any other, for that matter – if he ultimately chooses a “no comment” or an actual answer, that’s up to him.

      BTW, it seems that the claim of 2000 permanent jobs created is based on questionable analysis and I would be interested in others’ thoughts.

      1. Mike – That is exactly my point. You sent an email to Drucker’s office, no response . . . you sent a 2nd one and you received a response. I’m not saying that I Kampf had to give me any kind of ‘answer’ to my question — totally his call. But at least have the courtesy to acknowledge my email. I sent 2 emails to Warren Kampf and received no response.

      2. My point on the correspondence is, it took a second email to get any response from Mr. Drucker’s office and a month to get an answer – so he is not above reproach. I am not defending Mr. Kampf – I repeat, Mr. Kampf should acknowledge receipt of Pattye’s email and give her some answer ultimately, even if it’s “no comment”. But, we don’t know when Pattye asked – was it yesterday, a week ago, or a month ago? It did take Mr. Drucker 1 month to answer a simple question.

        BTW – the “2000 permanent jobs created” is based on suspect analysis, which Mr. Drucker parroted. It appears that he simply took what he was told by the developer at face value, which doesn’t give me much comfort? C’mon folks, if a business moves 100 people from offices in Station Square to the new PTC offices, are those “100 permanent jobs created”?

    2. To Chesterbrook Res: Not a member of Kampf’s committee or campaign. I’m only giving my best guess as to why no response has been given as of yet to that question.

  7. Stefan

    You clearly don’t know Pattye very well. She is less partisan than most people you’ll meet. But not bc she is unengaged. She cares deeply about issues, about openness and transparency in government – at all levels, about regular people having their voices heard, and about the character of candidates – not their political affiliations.

    She ran for the BOS as a Democrat because she was persuaded that the “right-wing-itude” of the local GOP was not a good fit. She’d never had any Democratic Party affiliations and openly described herself as a life-long independent.

    So trying to discredit Pattye’s views and questions as partisan doesn’t wash.

    Re Warren’s choice to play politics instead of “a game of jacks”, as you characterize the act of openly answering constituent questions, he does so at a cost to his credibility and seriousness as a candidate for ALL of the 157th.

    Reminds me of the conduct of many national level Republican candidates who screen entrants into their political events. Only blind loyalists are welcome. Hardball questions are to be avoided at all cost. Run away from the questioner if you must (a la Sharon Angle.) Project and protect an image with prepared statements in front of friendly audiences. No off-the-cuff remarks. It worked for W, didn’t it?

  8. This does not surprise me at all — since I get no response from our infamous state senator from this area when I contact him at his official state website address. Maybe he has no answers to a simple question…
    But reading the canned responses from some college intern when contacting the folks in DC is even more discouraging. In fact – one response from Casey’s office was worse than no response at all.
    Seems to me that it don’t matter what party they are – they all feel that THEY know what is best and those that they represent are a bunch of sheep that need their guidance back to the corral.

  9. I think that papadick is right on == the job of being a representative at any level has gotten so absorbed by raising money to get re-elected that no one takes any risks or does any real out of the box thinking. Pennsylvania defeated Specter at its own peril, as he was a force in DC and the Dems were willing to support him (i.e., pork for PA)….but the responses I got from him as a Dem and as a Rep were all template canned responses. Email is an easy way to ask questions — because the responses are from the “office.” As a candidate only (and not a representative), I’m guessing Kampf does not have a staff….so would be obliged to answer on his own. Given his responses to any of the folks on this blog in public forums, I would imagine he hits delete when he sees the email coming. It’s a shame — but these are times of political calculation, not candor. Not right, but certainly predictable. So I don’t hold much weight to judging that Drucker’s “office” answered an email a month later vs. Kampf’s campaign did not….bottom line is that given the nature of the two questions, I do not fault Pattye, but I believe that WK is not likely to ever respond to a Rottwitt question until the FBI has done more than announce an investigations.
    And in saying that — Kampf supporters will be fine with it, and Kampf bashers will add it to his pile of woes….so I don’t expect to find any response here other than “”See. Told ya.”
    It’s all broken folks. The US just extended unemployment benefits — rather than fix a broken unemployment system….because it’s better “politics” to just keep the checks coming than to examine the disincentive behind continuing the benefits vs. adjusting the ability to draw a check until you get back to making what you did (not drawing a check vs. not working at all vs. working some and getting help to be made whole).

  10. Well, well, Township Reader, you had me agreeing with you when you lamented, “It’s all broken, folks” …..that is, until you used the extention of unemployment benefits as an example.

    Therein lies an example of the huge ideological divide that separates this country. You and Senators Boehner, McConnell, Kyl etc.- heartless hard-liners…..who believe that a few hundred dollars a week act as a disincentive to looking for work (the one job available for every five people looking for one) , and not a lifeline that allows families to eat and maybe keep from losing their homes.

    So you think the unemployed should be applying for jobs at Walmart – even those with graduate level educations and professional credentials? And if I understand you correctly, once they’ve gotten a minimum-wage job , you’d magnanimously support the government’s helping them out a little? How about the fact that many of the unemployed have paid into unnemployment for decades.

    It’s an insurance program, not an entitlement….

    But never mind. No response is necessary. In fact, please don’t . You folks believe what you believe. I can guess which people on this blog agree with you.

    I’m one of many in this country who believe very differently. Sadly, there seems to be no middle ground…….

    But you’re right, TR. Government is broken. And it needs fixing, not shrinking “til it fits in a bathtub”, as one of the Right’s heavyweights, Grover Norquist, likes to say…

    1. Actually, Minority Leader Boehner’s a member of the House of Representatives. He might be inclined to thank you for the promotion, but I’ve got a feeling he thinks the Speaker’s chair might suit him better.

      1. My humble thanks for the correction. Just careless on my part. Of course I know the Tan Man is House Minority Leader, a man who can be relied upon to trash the President’s policies, demagogue the issues and present his party’s talking points effectively. Hopefully he will not enjoy a promotion any time soon.

        His Senate colleague Sherrod Brown is head and shoulders his superior, and even long-serving Senator Voinivich has shown some backbone and voted his conscience over the years. Here’s hoping the retiring senator will be replaced by someone who represents the PEOPLE of Ohio and doesn’t front for Wall Street, big business and the top 1% at the expense of everyone else..

  11. You don’t think you can put me in a category and tell me “never mind” on responding. MIddle ground comes from LISTENING and actually making an effort to understand the “other side.” Something you failed to do.
    Where in my post did I say that extending the benefits was wrong? What I said is that government is broken because our politicians are too busy getting re-elected to actually do some work. There are countless articles about how the unemployment system is dysfunctional — and I’ll hunt up some links, but here’s the primary issue:

    IF I lose a job making 50K a year for the past year, I get unemployment based on that. About $500 a week. (The actual figures are approx 36% of weekly wages — but it’s all taxable). Originally FUTA was designed to last 26 weeks. It is absolutely not enough to live on — but if I go and get some kind of work to supplement that — I LOSE IT. (In 18 states, you can apply for unemployment for a reduction in hours — so employers reduce hours rather than complete layoffs…so SOME states have tried to figure it out and pay attention to the complexities) But for the most part, if my new lower paying job lays me off, or I lose that job, my new unemployment benefits are based on the last job I lost. (Quarters worked, wages earned)…hence the disincentive against taking a job with any risk — because my baseline changes. It’s not about making more than unemployment — it’s about losing the unemployment baseline.

    So don’t give me some liberal party line about how any criticism of the system puts me into your easy “heartless hard-liner” category. That’s crap. I have family and friends that are on unemployment — and I am talking from a very real position. Rather than address the flaws in the system, our federal government just votes to extend the benefits as is. There IS disincentive to working under the current system –ironically as much for high income people, but also for people with decent skills who cannot afford to be under-employed, despite losing heart sitting at home waiting for something to come their way. WORK is healthy — not demeaning. But almost any income that would be declared puts them in a new pool of employees. Oh — and unemplloyment only applies for the most part to companies with 4 or more employees — and you must lose the job through no fault of your own. Self-employed and work dries up — sorry. That is your fault…..(that’s a union provision — there is no denying that)

    So I will conclude AGAIN that our system is broken. It doesn’t have to shrink, Kate, but with the debt for next year now estimated at over $1.4 TRILLION….and considering that unemployment benefits are largely paid for by the states (who may borrow WITH interest from the federal government), just what kind of expansion do you think this country can afford?

    FIX things that are broken — don’t just extend them because there are too many pieces to actually analyze the problems and look for better ways. Our legislators are too busy making deals with each other for projects for their own constitutents. We will reach a time when the only secure job will be a government job — but even that credit line might just dry up.

    I won’t wait for your apology. You made this response personal, and you don’t know anything about me. It’s too knee jerk to say the things you said — and magnanimous obviously is your personal adjective . Two kinds of liberals — really rich ones who have enough discretionary income and don’t care how much the government takes — and really poor ones who have to look to the government to help them. If someone is holding on, working hard and trying to save money — we are just greedy….. ? Give me some time….I’ll be at the poor end and will need a hand out (your term)…. FYI — the “unemployed” don’t pay into unemployment…

    FROM THE US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

    1. In general, the Federal-State Unemployment Insurance Program provides unemployment benefits to eligible workers who are unemployed through no fault of their own (as determined under State law), and meet other eligibility requirements of State law.
    Unemployment insurance payments (benefits) are intended to provide temporary financial assistance to unemployed workers who meet the requirements of State law.

    2. Each State administers a separate unemployment insurance program within guidelines established by Federal law.

    3. Eligibility for unemployment insurance, benefit amounts and the length of time benefits are available are determined by the State law under which unemployment insurance claims are established.

    4. In the majority of States, benefit funding is based solely on a tax imposed on employers. (Three (3) States require minimal employee contributions.)

    1. To Township Reader – I was reading and agreeing with your post (that the unemployment insurance system is broken and is in need of restructuring)…and happy to see that you promote a “middle ground” when discussing politics and its impact…BUT, then you made this statement:

      “Two kinds of liberals — really rich ones who have enough discretionary income and don’t care how much the government takes — and really poor ones who have to look to the government to help them.”

      That is such a cliche and more than a little biased.

      How about a another type of “liberal” (what I consider myself) – one who thinks that this country should use some of its revenue to take care of its people who can’t take care of themselves (because of illness, unemployment, lack of opportunity, etc.) I am neither rich nor poor, I pay a sizable chunk of my income in taxes, I worry about the increasing debt the US is accumulating, I believe in a strong defense, etc.

      However, when I consider the purpose and function of government, I want mine to also have a social services component. At the most basic level, isn’t government simply about how the money that flows into the treasury (either directly from taxes & fees or is borrowed) is to be used? It can be used to protect us, to manage us, to keep our infrastructure and natural resources safe, etc. I think that list should also include feeding the hungry, providing shelter for the homeless, and other benefits that to many are categorized as “handouts”.

      I know many people think that the private sector should take on these “charitable” activities, but in reality, there just isn’t enough interest or money to go around – which is why I think “we the government” should ultimately be responsible.

      1. Well said — and the “two kinds of liberals” was meant to reflect the “hard hearted right wing” spin…. I don’t consider your type of liberal (which in fact is simply a humane and caring individual) to be a type at all. THe only need for liberalism as you define it is to combat ultra-conservatives. In fact, I think moderate behavior serves us all — it’s just that people seeking election seem (at least in the pre-election run-up) to pander to whatever it is they consider their base. “Ultra” anything scares me — because it’s about core beliefs and not an examination of the facts…and my POINT about unemployment is that people (who write the legislation) don’t look at the facts. They look at the polls, at the models, at the history — and then their watch….and they “move on.”
        I certainly believe in the whole notion of a government safety net. But I believe old ideas need to be dissected…”welfare to work” under Clinton had an admirable goal. Was it liberal or conservative? NO — practical and positive.

        I think when the lobbies (both corporate and social) are running the agendas, no one knows how to advance a platform. But it’s good that we talk about it.

  12. The 31 Republicans voting for the measure were: Reps. Brian Bilbray (Calif.), Gus Bilirakis (Fla.), Mary Bono Mack (Calif.), Ahn “Joseph” Cao (La.), Shelley Moore Capito (W.Va.), Michael Castle (Del.), Charlie Dent (Pa.), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (Fla.), Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.), Vern Ehlers (Mich.), Jim Gerlach (Pa.), Dean Heller (Nev.), Tim Johnson (Ill.), Walter Jones (N.C.), Steve LaTourette (Ohio), Frank LoBiondo (N.Y.), Don Manzullo (Ill.), Thad McCotter (Mich.), Tim Murphy (Pa.), Tom Petri (Wis.), Todd Russell Platts (Pa.), Bns had suggested using remaining unspent stimulus funds, which are running short.

  13. T.R. :

    You may be wasting your time. I am beginning to realize that few on this board are interested in a substantive, fact-based discussion of issues. With the notable exception of a few, Ray, Andrea and sometimes Pattye and very occasionally John come to mind, most here use every thread as a forum to cheerlead/mudsling for their preferred candidate or party. Some here wring their hands about partisanship, but don’t talk about the issues, only the politics of the issues.

    For example, Mr. Drucker made a statement that the PTC will create 2000 new permanent jobs and the supporting analysis is above. I have offered my assessment of the “analysis”, which is notably weak. Anyone willing to say “Mike, you’re full of it and here’s why” – nope. Has someone said, “This analysis IS shoddy and based on assertions that don’t make sense” – one person.

    A couple of weeks ago the PA OECD gave more than $6,000,000 for local solar projects, including to a large, profitable public company, a private developer and the Church Farm School (which has a $150million endowment) – let’s discuss it. What are the economics of these projects, to what extent should the government “jumpstart” solar, and who should get these types of grants? (Somebody on here might be able to help me to appreciate a capital investment with a 40 year payback.) 422/SVM is a major regional challenge – let’s try to understand the costs and revenues, the tradeoffs, the pitfalls, etc. – tolling, diversion to local roads, Norfolk Southern, “exceptions”, financing.

    I suggest we use this forum more to discuss the actual issues, help understand the qualitative and quantitative analysis, share points of view, AND help our elected officials and local leaders, many of whom read this board, understand what many citizens think about the challenges this community faces. I would like to see less politics, more issues. This can be a powerful communication tool.

    My 2 cents…

    1. John:

      “There are two types of people…those who do…and those who think about doing.” Frankly, I want someone who is going to think before they “do”- after all, they are spending your and my money – in the case of PTC, tens of millions of OUR taxpayer dollars. It is the responsibility of our elected officials, to spend our money carefully and thoughtfully. I want a representative who is going to subject the information they get to scrutiny and study.

      I am “hammering” Paul on his #s because this situation gives the appearance of him not doing his homework. He admits he took figures, given to him by the developer, who obviously has an interest in getting the project funded, at face value. If he had read the “analysis” and thought about it for 2 minutes, he would have questioned the premise that a new building with 1500 “seats” is 1500 permanent jobs created – and like any rational person, he would not have stated that the PTC would create 2000 permanent jobs (especially since even the developer’s numbers are 1753 jobs).

      BTW, John, it would improve your credibility if you would admit that Drucker has ever done anything wrong or that Kampf has ever done anything right.

    2. >What makes you think Kampf, Lamina, Olson and/or Richter care about what we think as citizens? Did the St. David’s decision not prove anything to you? <

      Do you mean the initial decision, or the reconsideration? I think the reconsideration validates the notion of QED. I know you like to think your threat was the reason….but that's not how many of us view it.

  14. I think there are some important distinctions to make between the questions Pattye asked.

    The question asked of Drucker was to verify numbers he claimed to help justify giving $1 million of our (tax) money to a private developer. That seems legitimate and non-political — or at least fair of taxpayers to ask.

    The question asked of Kampf was driven by a 100% political press release from his opponent’s campaign as well as (at least some) politically driven comments on this blog.

    One of these seems fair and not about politics, the other seems “gotcha”-ish.

    What bothers me are two things:

    First, Mr. Drucker utilized figures provided by the private developer to justify giving that developer (and contributor) $1 million. That doesn’t sound like independent research to me on which to base the awarding of $1 million.

    Second, (as reported by others on this blog) the Kampf campaign reports show that Mr. Rotwitt did not contribute a single dime to Kampf’s campaign. They also show Kampf’s campaign paid for the expenses of the event. Kampf shouldn’t reply when there is no there, there.

    1. Thank you for your comment and your opinion. My question to Mr. Kampf should be treated as any question to a candidate from a voter. I still believe (in my world of communication) that if a candidate is running for an office, suggests that voters contact him with his/her questions & comments — at a minimum there should be an acknowledgement that the voter took to the time to ask the question. It was simple — why not just give the voter the courtesy of a response — even if it’s nothing more than, ‘Thank you for your question, I have no comment at this time’. I think it is wrong for any candidate to simply ignore a voter’s question (regardless of who the voter is!). If I had attacked Mr. Kampf or antagonized him with my question, possibly he would not need to respond. But I did not.

      Going forward to November’s election, there are probably going to be tough questions asked of both Drucker & Kampf (and I may be the one asking the questions) Do you think that Kampf will ever answer my questions (on any topic)? Or, does Mr. Kampf keep a list of people who receive no response, regardless of the question? Guess it would be very interesting is if I asked both the candidates the same question, via email and see who responds.

      1. Pattye
        I’m guessing that Mr. Kampf does not see you or this blog as part of his political strategy — and unless seriously reviews that perspective, is not likely to respond to any written request from someone associated with this blog. Just a guess…..I said before — politics is about getting elected….not debating the truth.

        1. I am not suggesting that Kampf see me (or Community Matters) as a component of his campaign strategy — far from it. However, if a candidate doesn’t feel compelled to respond to a voter during the campaign, why should the voter think that the candidate would be any more responsive (if elected). Ah, maybe that is one of the reasons I lost my election — when someone asked me a question, I gave them an honest answer. It never mattered to me who the person was that was asking the question; he/she deserved an answer. Seems to me that Judy DiFilippo, Ken Buckwalter & Paul Drucker share my viewpoint. Bottom line, I will continue to ask the questions of candidates & Kampf can choose to not answer the questions. His choice.

        2. Pattye
          I don’t mean to condone this political behavior. And strategy is a “made up” word when it comes to these local campaigns….
          You are probably partially correct about your own election. People want to hear answers they WANT — and if you gave honest, thoughtful answers, that only works for voters who agree with you. The small handful of people who decide elections are the ones who put one side or the other over the top — and the hard part is deciding what criteria they actually use…it’s why money matters so much. All those fancy post cards and mailers — with pictures of family and endorsements…mean exactly what?
          It has been awhile, but I have had poor responses when I contacted Mr. Drucker’s office….and I get only canned responses when I go higher in the food chain….so it is clearly up to the voter to filter the information they hear and make decisions. John again can lump it all together — “See. Told ya.” But those who want to support their candidate will always see a reason to bash the opponent (it sometimes gets hard to find a reason to support one)

  15. For a candidate to ignore a voter is WRONG. Doesn’t matter who the candidate is or their party affiliation. it also shouldn’t matter who the voter is that is asking the questions – give the voter the courtesy of a response. If a candidate can’t communicate effectively as a candidate, do you think that they will all of sudden ‘wake up’ once elected and develop that skill?

  16. Righteous indignation over whether or not a candidate answered a question, while a sitting representative had a staff send a canned response taking the faulty numbers about new jobs (clearly crap as many on this board were saying from the start) is hardly worthy of much more ink.
    Kampf should not ignore voter questions — but since he likely does NOT have a staff, he has put himself out there to answer questions and I’m guessing that the name Pattye Benson doesn’t sound like someone he wants to go on the record with. That’s wrong. But politics is rarely about what is right and wrong.

    For John and others, the constant references to St. Davids (which was subsequently publicly reversed by the way) is public condemnation of all things Kampf.

    For others, Drucker’s affiliation with a potential union attack, or using WAM for the PTC with the support of Dwight Evans — using Developer figures — that is a condemnation of Drucker.

    Just vote. However small a turnout, this is not the most important issue in our lives, and beating this incredibly dead horse is not taking us in a direction where we can learn about issues…

    So — the candidate that ignored the voter is wrong. The sitting representative who parrotted the developer is wrong. Do we have a 3rd choice….since we are aiming to perfection?

    1. To kate,
      You are right about something. We should quit the dialogue. We are too right wing insensivite yokes to dare enter the conversation.

  17. I’ve been away from here for a while, but I see the discussion did touch on the unemployment benefit extension. I have no doubt that this measure increases unemployment. Subsidize anything, you get more of it. Very many years ago I was part of a start up in Western PA. The company has flourished in the decades since I left (no causality, just correlation!), but now it is being told by prospective hires that it can not compete with unemployment benefits.

    I’m getting very depressed by how hard it is to have an objective, fact-based discussion about anything. Emergency services funding, the gulf oil spill, Shirley Sherrod, unemployment benefits, state deficits, federal deficits, tax policy, etc. etc., it’s all spun up into a partisan and populist windstorm. Is it only when someone with courage can seize control, like Christie in NJ, that equilibrium can be restored and maybe the foundation for future growth can be laid?

  18. Pattye —

    Let me be a little more specific.

    I think you should get an answer. But I can also see where Kampf may not want to answer you if he believes it will be posted on your blog for John Petersen to bloviate about. I think even you will admit that some could believe no matter what Kampf says, JP will attack it.

    To Mr. Petersen: the Rotwits opening their home is NOT an in-kind contribution. If they have paid for the food or drink, yes it would be. If their home happened to be a hall open to regular rental, yes it would be.

    In-kind donations are for items one would normally pay for that someone else has taken care of. As the use of this private home is not normally paid for, it is not an in-kind donation. I know you will find a way to “discredit” this, but the fact is that the Kampf campaign didn’t have to report this.

    Per the Department of State on in-kind donations…

    “(k) The words “valuable thing” shall mean all securities, goods, facilities, equipment, supplies, personnel, advertising, services, membership lists commonly offered or used commercially or other in-kind contributions provided without compensation, or at compensation which is below the usual and normal
    compensation for the items. The dollar value of a contribution of a valuable thing is the difference between the usual and normal charge for goods or services at the time of the contribution and the amount charged the candidate or political committee.”

    For example, use of Pattye’s B+B rooms would be required as an in-kind, because they are normally paid for by consumers.

    I agree with Ray Clarke — this blog has, sadly, been high-jacked by politics.

    I know I suggested this once right after the primary, but I believe people making assertations about the candidates should have to cite independent, verifiable sources. This might help ratchet down the hyperbole and vitriol.

    1. John,

      Unfortunately you are wrong about ‘I can make the argument it applies in this case’.

      From the PA Department of State website:

      Any of the categories hereinafter excluded from the def-
      inition of “valuable thing” shall not be deemed a contribution
      or expenditure for purposes of reporting or recordkeeping.
      The words “valuable thing” shall not include such de min-
      imus items as the following:
      (1) Voluntary personal services provided by
      individuals who volunteer a portion or all of
      their time on behalf of a candidate or political
      committee.
      (2) The operation of a motor vehicle owned or leased
      by a candidate or a member of his immediate
      family or for consumption of food or beverages
      by a candidate or his immediate family.
      (3) The use of real or personal property, including a
      community room or a church used on a regular
      basis by members of a community for
      non-commercial purposes, and the cost of
      invitations, food and beverages voluntarily
      provided by an individual to any candidate in
      rendering voluntary personal services on the
      individual’s residential premises or in the church
      or community room for candidate related
      activities, to the extent that the cumulative value
      of such invitations, food and beverages provided
      by such individual on behalf of any single
      candidate does not exceed two hundred fifty
      dollars ($250), with respect to any single election

      1. Thanks, Jacko. That was my point…but I still don’t think the department of state’s guidelines on this will stop the bashing.

    2. John says “I don’t get it. Rotwit does not donate and does not pay for the booze. Why then did Rotwitt provide his house???? Seems odd. The whole purpose of hosting a fundraiser is to provide a contribution. Definitely odd. ”

      I am surprised to discover that the concept of goodwill and charity are beyond your grasp, especially considering your self-purported expertise on ethical behavior.

      “Like it or not, politics is at the root of everything that is going on now… ”

      I couldn’t agree more…
      Exhibit A is Drucker’s press release, purposefully designed to mislead people into believing that Rotwitt and Kampf had a ‘working relationship’, leaving the reader to question whether Kampf may somehow be involved in the FBI investigation. The truth is, and Drucker’s high-paid hit-piece artists know very well, that the two men hardly know each other.
      Exhibit B is your relentless, repetitious, far-reaching and purposely misinforming comments.

      1. John, one thing, and probably only one thing struck me in your response to our Asian friend…I think it is refreshing that Kampf hasn’t responded to requests to explain himself on this one. Especially when it comes from those who would like to trip him up… Yes of course you will say he tripped himself up. But I’m not so sure. I like a politician who knows when to keep his mouth shut, especially on issues that are promulgated on a community board where it may have more meaning for some here than anywhere else. regards,

      2. John says “I just don’t happen to think that guys like Rotwitt engage in the political process for purposes of goodwill and charity. In fact, I don’t know of anybody who does….”

        Does that include your contributions? And would Drucker’s re-election ambitions fall under that umbrella too? Interesting…

  19. Ray — I feel for you. You have seized on the reasons that so many of us have run from the public service sector. In my 3 terms on the school board, it was incredibly rare that anyone had something positive to contribute — but we could fill the auditorium with critics. I served on the school board because I love kids and felt that my skill set would serve well in that capacity. I left the school board because I got tired of the Lake Woebegone families and the “only ever lived here” taxpayers. Parents hiring tutors for their 2nd graders to get them into the top match group, and then complaining that our class sizes were a barrier to their kids success….I actually had to sit through a parental rant about how we should have a “gifted only” elementary school (for the 20% of highly gifted I guess?) so that our gifted kids didn’t fall through the cracks that were so often filled with “special ed” kids….parents who complained that special ed got all our attention. I lost it that day and suggested to this group of quality parents that I was fairly sure that special needs parents would gladly trade the services for the opportunity for their child to be one who didn’t need them… It all made me too sad. Helicopter parents, 50s era mind-set taxpayers, and a community of school districts who won’t work together to solve a labor crunch.
    Earlier Mike pointed out that it may be difficult to have a fact-based discussion – I think you have identified the probable cause of that difficulty. I truly think that the reason there are so many “right wing” and “left wing” blogs and radio talk shows is that the Middle is silent — and dare not ask a question or pose a suggestion because they will be attacked by one side and claimed by the other…. And I cannot wait until the responses to your suggestion that Christie has courage….good luck!

  20. Well said, Ray. Where are the true NATIONAL leaders? Reagan? He was polar opposite to Tip Oneill but he was able to work with him.

    We need someone to arise like a phoenix from the ash heap of what is our current political climate. It is like great chess match with each side manuevering around the other. Who is interested in the entire board?

  21. Ray,

    As intelligent and thoughtful as you and others are in your comments, you are singular people just expressing singular opinions. One person, one opinion, one vote.

    I think we probably can agree that no one person or group has the inside track on long-term solutions to the upheaval our towns, cities, states and country are experiencing. It will take real compromise on both sides to reach any consensus and move forward. I would welcome real bi-partisan compromise, as opposed to a continuation of what we have now.

    The anger and frustration felt by people in general is palpable.

    So based on anecdotal evidence, you feel sure that your former employer cannot attract workers bc – why? – they’d rather sit home and collect unemployment? That is very hard to believe unless the employer is offering wages and benefits that are worth less than the U/E checks potential workers are currently collecting..And since the unemployment benefit is typically far less than the income/benefits earned by full-time employees, what does this say? People make rational decisions that work best for their families. Is your point that desperate workers who’ve run out of unemployment benefits would agree to work for rock-bottom wages? And that that is a good thing for the economy, even if not for individual families?

    Given the extraordinary economic circumstances in which many hard-working people have found themselves over the last two years, I fweel just as strongly as you do that the extension of U/E benefits is the right and humane thing to do right now.

    And I wonder how those who so strongly oppose the extension (bc it adds to the deficit) can in the same breath justify foregoing projected tax revenue expected upon the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and the reinstatement of the estate tax for the very wealthiest Americans. All contribute to an increase in the deficit.- and continuing the tax cuts costs more than the entire cost of expanding healthcare.

    The last nine years’ tax cuts have benefitted the wealthy disproportionately (because more of their income was taxed at lower capital gains rates) and added hugely to the deficit. By comparison, the cost of U/E benefits represents a drop in the bucket… And yet the battle lines remain in place…

    Just a Thought expressed well the liberal thinking on the role of government: : to provide a basic safety net for people who cannot take care of themselves – the elderly poor, the permanently disabled , the unemployed for a period of time, senior citizens who have paid into the SS/Medicare systems their whole working lives and count on modest payments from the government.. This is not socialism.. It’s part of the social contract this democracy made with its citizens. And we need to honor it.

    1. Kate:

      I know for sure that my former company is having a hard time attracting workers, and that the merits of unemployment compensation are being cited by interviewees as a reason. And it’s not for want of competitive compensation, unlike when we were starting up 3 decades ago, unsure how the next payroll would be met and hardly giving a thought to health insurance.

      I’m not so much against extending the benefits because it adds to the deficit (the stimulus added to the near term deficit but I think it helped to stabilize the economy), but because it adds to unemployment.

      I do agree that allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire will likely do little harm and help to address both the deficit and the unacceptable income disparities in our society. But your last paragraph gets to the heart of the problem:

      “…the role of government …. to provide a basic safety net for senior citizens who have paid into the SS/Medicare systems their whole working lives and count on modest payments from the government..”

      The amounts paid into the systems do not begin to cover the the payments, which are less and less modest. (Another report from the trenches: the wife of a friend fell, got a cut on her face from her glasses, went to the Emergency Room, had 3 stitches and a CAT scan and walked away with a $5,000 bill to Medicare. There is indeed a social contract to provide basic healthcare, but this is just crazy.)

      Much of the economic growth of the last decade was illusory, financed by the housing bubble. With expected growth unraveling, contracts – either implicit or explicit – made in those years – from public sector union contracts to fire company township funding to Medicare prescription drug coverage, etc. etc. – can now only be met by taking from one segment to give to another. It seems to me the more flexible everyone is, the easier it will be to get back on a growth track.

  22. Kate:

    According to Larry Summers, current Director of the White House’s National Economic Council, writing in the 2005 Concise Encyclopedia of Economics says:
    “First, government assistance increases the measure of unemployment by prompting people who are not working to claim that they are looking for work even when they are not. The work-registration requirement for welfare recipients, for example, compels people who otherwise would not be considered part of the labor force to register as if they were a part of it. This requirement effectively increases the measure of unemployed in the labor force even though these people are better described as nonemployed—that is, not actively looking for work.”

    “The second way government assistance programs contribute to long-term unemployment is by providing an incentive, and the means, not to work. Each unemployed person has a “reservation wage”—the minimum wage he or she insists on getting before accepting a job. Unemployment insurance and other social assistance programs increase that reservation wage, causing an unemployed person to remain unemployed longer.”

    For more of Summers on this subject:
    http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/Unemployment.html

    Further, Christina Romer, Mr. Obama’s Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, has published an article (co-authored with David Romer) in the June 2010 issue of the American Economic Review
    “This paper investigates the impact of tax changes on economic activity. We use the narrative record, such as presidential speeches and Congressional reports, to identify the size, timing, and principal motivation for all major postwar tax policy actions. This analysis allows us to separate legislated changes into those taken for reasons related to prospective economic conditions and those taken for more exogenous reasons. The behavior of output following these more exogenous changes indicates that tax increases are highly contractionary. The effects are strongly significant, highly robust, and much larger than those obtained using broader measures of tax changes.”

    “Our estimates suggest that a tax increase of 1 percent of GDP reduces output over the next three years by nearly three percent.”

    This is the academic research of two highly respected economists in their respective areas of concentration, and probably the two most important economists in the Obama Administration.

  23. Mike,
    Isn’t it important to facilitate government policies that INCREASE GDP, (private sector) which will then add to the revenue streams the government receives?

    One of the fallacious arguments made by the liberal left is that Conservatives/Republicans don’t want a safety net for those displaced by our current employment situation. This is not true. I don’t want my parents eating dog food, nor do I want anyone to do so. So yes, there must be a safety net, and part of that can be support from families as well as the government.. Moral contract as you say. It is not productive conversation to say Republicans/Conservatives dont care, generally…..

    It seem on a macro level, the policies prescribed by the current administration and Congress run counter to the idea of increasing GDP. Are things getting better?

    1. thats what I said.. by employing strategies that increase the GDP (growth strategies) taxes will increase to the government. That is fine with me. You can have reduced tax rates and increased government revenue. Of course it would help to reduce spending too.
      Should be no “problem” with this John. But I am sure you will find one.

      I don’t really care about liberal left, etc. I just don’t like being defined as some cold hearted right wing extremist.

      And yes, Bush was too profligate in his spending for me, but Obama has made him look cheap.

  24. FF:

    That was my point – the Administration is proposing policies that directly contradict the research of their own economists! This tax increase in 2011 will contract the economy – just ask Christina Romer. Extending unemployment benefits raises the level of unemployment – just ask Larry Summers.

  25. sorry anonymous, not negative. Except for some who personally attack others, this is a good forum for the give and take of ideas. I am sorry just a little if you don’t like my ideas. Thats what a forum is about.

    What are you specifically referring to? regards

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