The Use of Community Matters on Campaign Ad without Permission . . . Illegal or just Disrespectful?

This week I received several phone calls and emails concerning the Molly Duffy campaign ad received by township residents. I was asked why I had sanctioned the use of Community Matters on the Special Election campaign literature. All I could say in response was that Community Matters was used without my permission.

Prior to the printing of this campaign ad by the Tredyffrin Township Democratic Committee, I was not asked, notified nor did I verify the identity of ‘Resident #1’; the source of the September 19th Community Matters quote used on the mailer. No identifying date or URL (identifying website) from Community Matters appears on the campaign ad, only the quote and the words, ‘Community Matters’. By using Community Matters without appropriate annotation, the reader of the campaign ad could attribute the quote to ‘me’ as the administrator of Community Matters rather than to someone who commented anonymously. The use of Community Matters on Duffy’s campaign ad could further appear that I sanctioned the use of this quote and/or the use of Community Matters for political purpose.

This situation and misuse of Community Matters in a political campaign ad by the Tredyffrin Township Democratic Committee has really saddened me this week.  My intention in creating Community Matters eighteen months ago was not to see it used in this way; it is too important. Community Matters is for the community not for use as political fodder.  This campaign ad using Community Matters has placed me in an uncomfortable and awkward position.

In the past, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Main Line Suburban and the Daily Local have sought my permission prior to any publication of Community Matters materials.  Other online news sources and blogs have added Community Matters to their sites but have done so with my permission. It would seem reasonable to expect that a local campaign committee would likewise extend the same courtesy.  Was the use of Community Matters by the TTDEMS without my permission illegal? No.  Was its use unethical or disrespectful . . . ?

Campaign ads that quote from blogs (in this case Community Matters), on which it is often difficult to identify the author, represent a new benchmark in Tredyffrin Township political campaigns. Some that study political advertising feel that using anonymous comments from a blog may violate a well-known standard in political campaigns that a charge against an opponent should be easy to verify.

When someone posts anonymously on Community Matters, how is it that a political campaign can just ‘use’ this information, state it as ‘fact’, and apply it against the candidate. In political advertising, you have to have a source and that source must be verifiable.  If the author of a comment posts under his or her actual name on Community Matters (that is verifiable rather than anonymous) a different situation is then presented.  Several people, including Andrea Felkins, Ray Clarke, John Peteresen, Kevin Grewell and Ken Buckwalter to name a few, have chosen to identify themselves in their Community Matters comments. Should a verifiable quote be used it would be different but  the quote used on this campaign ad was anonymous.

In a Washington Post, www.washingtonpost.com article, ‘Blog Comments Become Fodder for Campaign Ads,’ Gary Nordlinger, a Democratic consultant and past chairman of the American Association of Political Consultants ethics committee, said unnamed comments or remarks on blogs should be off-limits.  “The AAPC code of ethics says don’t run anything misleading, and arguably this [the use of anonymous comments from a blog] could be misleading,” Nordlinger said. “All a candidate has in his campaign is his or her own personal credibility, and when you run advertising that can be easily revealed as baseless, the attacking candidate puts their credibility at risk.”

I want to be clear . . . my speaking out is not intended to cost votes to one candidate nor do I expect my actions to influence or give additional votes to another candidate in next week’s Special Election. However, sometimes you have to stand up for yourself and do what you think is right; and for me this is that watershed moment.

Do I believe that the TTDEMs used Community Matters on the Molly Duffy campaign ad to intentionally harm me?  Probably not.  My guess is that they just did not give much thought to my feelings.  For the record, the Terms & Condition for Use of Community Matters appears on the home page, click here to read.

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  1. I missed this advertisement from the Duffy campaign, but from reading above am disgusted.

    My big question, which I may not have understood the explanation of, is this: how does the Duffy campaign KNOW that “Resident 1” is the person they are choosing to attack? Especially if they didn’t verify it?

    The Democrats cried and complained two years ago about mailers from TTRC in the Supervisor races, but those mailers at least had real back-up (citations with dates, etc) or verifiable facts.

    Apparently, losing so many times has thrown the Tredy Dems into the sewer.

    [Reply]

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    The point of my post today was the use (or misuse) of CM for political purpose, rather than to encourage political rancor. This incident has been very unfortunate and I am very upset by what has happened. As for the mailers two years ago, I was one of those candidates that was mischaracterized by the opposing party, so as far as I’m concerned the potential is for both political parties to act inappropriately. Since the 2009 election, I have made a commitment to speak out when I see campaign information is incorrect or misused – and that is without regard to who does it.

    [Reply]

  2. Since I have not seen what Molly Duffy and the TTDs sent out, I guess I need a better understanding. Did they quote YOU Pattye, or did they quote a post on Community Matters?
    If they quoted you without asking, shame on them. But if they quoted a post, then the entry you referenced above is absolutely on point:
    “The AAPC code of ethics says don’t run anything misleading, and arguably this [the use of anonymous comments from a blog] could be misleading,” …. “All a candidate has in his campaign is his or her own personal credibility, and when you run advertising that can be easily revealed as baseless, the attacking candidate puts their credibility at risk.”

    Does that mean I can post anonymously, glorifying a candidate, and then that candidate can use my post to self-promote? How do we know that the TTDems didn’t plant the quote?

    Like I have said before — watch out for what campaign material claims….For the school board, you’ll see all these references to fiscal responsibility and excellence in education. You’ll see endorsements by people who negotiated the contract in place….as if we can just conclude that NEXT time, they will know what they are doing. I’ve never understood why a candidate wanted an endorsement…..should be able to articulate your own vision ?

    This doesn’t have to be anti-candidate, but candidates do have to take some responsibility for what goes out with their name on it. This political expectation that voters are just stupid — and will believe their postal version of a sound bite is offensive. I said earlier that I was offended that a mailer for Karen Cruickshank misspelled LIAISON –and that if you want to be elected to dot i’s and cross t’s in a teacher contract, the least you can do is proof-read your political materials that are being mailed out. In Cruickshank’s case, the post card was paid for by “T/E Friends of Good Schools”…..whew…I was afraid it was a politcal mailer.

    So I think Molly Duffy, an attorney, should respond to this, not Dariel Jamieson. If this is HER campaign, she should be manning the helm.

    [Reply]

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    To clarify — the campaign ad was a comparison of the two candidates, Duffy & Heaberg. Listing several issues, the card compared the perceived stance of the candidates. On the topic of the Paoli Transportation Center, the card indicated that Duffy was ‘for’ the project and that Heaberg was ‘against’ the project. To make the case that Heaberg was against the Paoli Transportation Center, there was a sentence in quotes marks, with the words ‘Community Matters.

    I was not sure where this quote came from on Community Matters but after some research, I found that it was contained with a post (not a comment) that I wrote in September. I had written an article re the budget meeting and indicated that two people had written meeting summaries for me, Resident #1 and Resident #2. I did not indicate the idenity of either person. I believe that this was the only time that I had anonymous people write meeting summaries (I was unable to attend the meeting) for Community Matters. Readers often see that Ray Clarke will help me with meeting summaries but he writes under his own name.

    The use of Community Matters in this manner has placed me in an awkward place. People have questioned why I allowed Community Matters to be used in this way; why did I sanction its use for political purpose? I have continually explained that I was not asked and that I did not approve of Community Matters usage for this reason. In true ‘Independent’ spirit, I pride myself on supporting community, issues and people – not partisan politics. Hope that this clarifies my position.

    I am particularly disappointed that those responsible for this situation did not think enough of me to ask me in advance . . .

    [Reply]

    Tredyffrin Ted Reply:

    They quoted “Mike in Berwyn” comments , not Pattye. Let’s make that very clear.

    Mike Heaberg has admitted in the Supervisor Interviews that he was , in fact, Mike in Berwyn. It’s on record. Is he denying this?

    Mike in Berwyn has made comments that he is against the Paoli Transportation Center (look them up).

    They were used to contrast Duffy’s view vs. Heaberg’s. It’s a relevant point. Mike, against the PTC because it will make Paoli like 69th street. Duffy has the opposite view, that a Transportation center is much better than a superfund site. There’s a valid debate here. And yet everyone is talking about how awful it was to lift his comments for a campaign mailer. OK – should have asked permission maybe. But let’s get to the issues!

    Let’s not make this more than what it is. There’s an election Tuesday. A big issue is the PTC – one of the main differences between Duffy and Heaberg (outside of the fire company and party affiliation).

    Let’s make the election about Duffy and Heaberg’s positions, not the TTDems and this blog.

    [Reply]

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    As I have stated and will re-state the quote used on the campaign mailer was NOT from ‘Mike of Berwyn’. The quote was taken from ‘Resident #1. Again . . . Resident #1’s identity was not stated on Community Matters.

    Mike Heaberg has admitted in the Supervisor Interviews that he was , in fact, Mike in Berwyn. It’s on record. Is he denying this?

    Mike Heaberg DID NOT say anything about ‘Mike in Berwyn’ in the Supervisor Interviews. How do I know? (1) It was my idea that the supervisor interviews be public, (2) I attended the supervisor interviews, (3) I was the only taking notes on my laptop at the supervisor interviews, (4) the chair of the supervisors, Bob Lamina, gave me the list of questions and (5) Community Matters (or any other blog) was not part of any supervisor interview questions.

    You are right that the election is Tuesday but this post today is not about the election. It is about me and the use of Community Matters! You say, “. . . everyone is talking about how awful it was to lift his comments for a campaign . . . let’s get to the issues” — Tredyffrin Ted, the use of comments from Community Matters is the issue!!

    [Reply]

  3. Pattye —

    to you point, you are 100% correct that you should have been asked for permission. i understand that is your concern, along with not wanting the post being used for partisan political communications.

    to give it a rest’s point, using an anonymous post and attaching it to a candidate is just plain wrong, if not unethical.

    by this standard, anyone could use any post on your blog (or any other site) that was posted anonymously (or, as in your case provided anonymously as an article) and attach it to anyone.

    If people thought that the Donohue mailings two years ago comparing candidates were unfair, at least everything in them was true and verifiable. Where are those same people now decrying these tactics?

    [Reply]

    Pattye Supporter Reply:

    Not quite “verifiable facts”, but you can continue to believe that. How about we talk about this year’s campaign and stop certain people from trying to justify themselves on this blog that two years ago comparing marriage and number of kids was and is somehow a qualification for public office. Pathetic.

    Pattye – you are right to be upset about this and I appreciate all you do to bring attention to the many issues in Tredyffrin.

    [Reply]

    Howard in Daylesford Reply:

    For what it’s worth:
    The Donohue mailer did use text from his opponent’s website, and credited the website for the information. They did what any campaign is going to do and distorted the text into something deceptive. That’s politics.

    The only issue I have is when images, pictures, or logo’s are used without permission. I’m not sure how the copyright law differentiates between words and images, if it does at all, but to me they are off limits.

    The Donohue mailer was different because it was candidate vs candidate

    the TTDEMS used Pattye’s copyrighted material as their own for the benefit of their candidate, without permission. As they say on the radio “That’s a Violation”

    [Reply]

    Anonymous Reply:

    “The TTDEMS used Pattye’s copyrighted material as their own for the benefit of their candidate, without permission.”

    That’s right and this is the real issue of what this campaign did on behalf of the candidate. Why didn’t the democrat party ask her permission to use it.

    [Reply]

    From The West Reply:

    Funny, i thought you were signing off for a while. That didn’t last long.

    I made no comment as to relevancy for holding office, etc., all i said was that what was claimed 2 years ago was verifiable.

    i also don’t remember bringing any of your other points into this either, but as usual you are on your own path of destruction when it comes to the public officials you hate.

    I also don’t see you denouncing the TTDEMs tactics like you did then, but again that goes to your path of destruction.
    This was so nice for that day or two you ‘signed off.’

    [Reply]

    Jack Albion Reply:

    “If Mike does not embrace that behavior, he can make a public statement to that effect. His silence means he is “A-OK with what happened. It really is that simple.
    As for Tom working hard and giving time… what was really accomplished? What have I said that was untruthful? Seems to me that if Tom has a problem with it, he could do something about it…couldn’t he. So could Kampf. But they don’t..do they? There’s a very simple reason for that… I speak the truth.”

    Wouldn’t they have to be paying attention to you to take exception to you? You have a reputation. You don’t sway the electorate. Politically, you’re less than a flea, you’re nonexistent.

    [Reply]

    give it a rest Reply:

    You keep bashing Tom Colman — who hasn’t run for anything and has chaired BAWG, FLITE, the TESD Cost Containment (or whatever it was called) and other things in the community. Seems like the guy just works hard and gives his time.

    HOW can an unelected person “allow the process to be corrupted?”. TIlting at windmills.

    [Reply]

    phillies fan Reply:

    Allow me to ask – what exactly does FLITE do? You say Tom Colman works “so hard”. FLITE has this large advisory board I see on their website but considering they have so many people working “so hard” they don’t seem to do that much, except collect money from their large advisory board. It seems to me FLITE is just something created by people in this community to put their name to – so it seems like they are doing something. Maybe it eases their conscience to think they are helping the poor people. As far as BAWG, please. They were useless. I am apolitical so this is not partisan related. Just callin’ it like I see it. The only political people I see working really hard (unselfishly) in this community are JD, Senator Dinniman, and the entire school board.

    [Reply]

  4. Comments are in the public domain. They didn’t lift anything from you .
    Bigger question: how did they know Mike In Berwyn was Heaberg? That could only come from one source and one source only…
    Nothing was taken out of context. They were right from him. He’s admitted as much . Why the sad face ? Let him stand behind his comments about Paoli.

    [Reply]

    give it a rest Reply:

    Not true. John Petersen “outed” Mike in Berwyn by suggesting he knew who he was and then said so. I won’t go through the archives to find that — but I assure you that it did not come from “one and only one source.”
    Quoting an anonymous source is hardly “public domain” ……..I can post as Molly Duffy going forward? Would that be fair if another candidate then copied my quote?

    [Reply]

  5. “that two years ago comparing marriage and number of kids was and is somehow a qualification for public office”

    At least the actual information was verifiable and accurate, even if you believe the comparison wasn’t relevant.

    [Reply]

    Pattye Supporter Reply:

    Should we vote for Duffy because she has more kids or should we vote for Heaberg because he has been married longer? The answer is it doesn’t matter. Vote on the issues.

    To your comment…this comparison has no relevance in a side by side comparison. No kids, divorced, gay, 10 kids, etc has no bearing on who should be a Supervisor

    [Reply]

    give it a rest Reply:

    What issues exactly? Has ANYONE articulated a position????? Vote for Duffy because the Dems got her to run, or vote for Heaberg because the Reps got him to run?

    Someone challenges Heaberg because he posted on this site? Uh oh — community mattered to him.

    Challenge Duffy because her campaign created a misleading ad using anonymous quotes?

    Where exactly do we LEARN about the candidates — certainly cannot count on representations made by people here, and I agree with someone above who said Dariel Jamieson should identify herself when she writes a letter to the editor, but shouldn’t the newspaper point that out too??? Shouldn’t there be an “ed note” that this writer is the chair of the TTD party?

    Do the papers actually cover issues, or do they just print advertisements masquerading as letters to the editor? Unless the candidate comes to your door, or you have watched them in action in meetings, exactly where do we get our info?

    [Reply]

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    Yes, it would be refreshing if the candidates would write a statement for Community Matters.

    Monday, May 16 (the day before the Primary) was the day I had in my schedule for the Special Election candidate discussion. In fact, that gives me an idea — I will email both the Special Election candidates with specific questions and a word count for their responses. They will have until 9 PM on Sunday, May 15 to email me their responses. I will keep the questions simple and the word count short as this is their last weekend of campaigning. On Monday morning, May 16, I will post their responses and repost their resumes. This isn’t a perfect solution but maybe it will help us with our voting decision on Tuesday.

    If you have any ideas for questions for me to consider, please send them to me at tredyffrincommunitymatters@gmail.com

    Jack Albion Reply:

    “No kids, divorced, gay, 10 kids, etc has no bearing on who should be a Supervisor”

    This is merely your opinion, though you state is as fact. These factors play a part in the decision making of at least a portion of the electorate. Having children, being married, just like length of residency can connote having “skin in the game.” To some (since you raise the point specifically), a candidate’s homosexual orientation might be a deal breaker. If you can see through that element and get to the issues, bully for you. Not everyone is going to think that way.

    [Reply]

  6. I read Community Matters daily and I have always found Pattye to be extremely fair in her remarks and I cannot imagine her time commitment. What I find unsettling is that Pattye ran on the Dem ticket in the last supervisor cycle and this is the thanks she gets from that party. What about a little respect?

    [Reply]

    Jack Albion Reply:

    “What I find unsettling is that Pattye ran on the Dem ticket in the last supervisor cycle and this is the thanks she gets from that party.”

    Maybe they (wrongly) felt that Pattye was a partisan and that she wouldn’t mind them co-opting her blog for their partisan purposes. Such tactics smack of desperation.

    [Reply]

  7. In fact, that gives me an idea — I will email both the Special Election candidates with specific questions and a word count for their responses. They will have until 9 PM on Sunday, May 15 to email me their responses.
    ———————————————

    Pattye —

    I applaud your initiative, but I don’t know that I would hold out hope. If you remember what happened when you tried this in the 2010 state House campaign, you had to shut down the board because of the invective it caused. If I were one of the candidates, I would look at that and think twice — regardless of your good intentions which I both candidates understand.

    I have visited both campaigns’ websites to try and find out more and have had some luck, though both don’t have “white papers” on the issues. When I visited, Heaberg actually has a little more substance (not implying that means a great deal, just a little more) on issues. I suggest others do the same.

    I was also pleased to have Mr. Heaberg visit my neighborhood to answer questions/ask for my vote; I have not — yet — seen Ms. Duffy. Perhaps I will before Election Day.

    [Reply]

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    You are right that my intentions were in the right place re a Q&A but what’s the saying about the “road to good intentions”? I have reconsidered for a number of reasons, and will not pose any questions to the candidates & will not be asking for a statement. I will just leave it up to the voters on Tuesday.

    [Reply]

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    Update: I have notified the candidates that I have reconsidered. The candidates need to focus on their last weekend of campaigning and don’t need any distractions.

    [Reply]

  8. Tredyffrin Ted-

    It’s shocking that you are defending the Molly Duffy mailer by claiming that Mike in Berwyn is Mike Heaburg. Pattye has outlined the facts right here on the blog. She stated that you actually used a Resident #1 quote and not a Mike in Berwyn quote, and she also stated that– contrary to your claims on this post– Mike Heaburg never said he was posting as Mike in Berwyn during the Supervisor interviews.

    Based on your point of view, we could all post things as Molly Duffy on this board and then use them in mailings and negative attack ads. Then we could claim that Molly admitted she was posting on Community Matters under that alias. The truth just doesn’t matter, right?

    That is just unethical. I happen to think Molly and Mike are both qualified candidates, but I have lost a tremendous amount of respect for Molly over this issue. It was wrong to use a quote from Community Matters, and it was wrong to attribute it without proof. And it is wrong to continue to deny making a mistake after Pattye has clarified the issue for the readers on this blog. Molly Duffy made a choice to go negative in this race, and that reflects poorly on her. If she apologized for the mailer and for wrongly attributing a quote to Mike Heaburg, I think people would respect her more.

    [Reply]

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    Thank you for supporting my viewpoint re the use of Community Matters.

    [Reply]

    Just a thought Reply:

    I support you as well, Pattye – I would expect Molly Duffy to apologize to you personally, even if she was not involved in publishing the quote. This episode doesn’t diminish my belief in her abilities & qualifications as a candidate, but I do wonder about her support staff – they are supposed to give her GOOD advice.

    [Reply]

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    Something tells me that is not likely to happen — the TTDEMS are standing their ground on what they did. Unfortunately, the candidate gets caught in the political ‘strategies’ of a political party. When I was a BOS candidate, I may have been a ‘newby’ candidate but I was the one in charge of all political materials that had my name attached to it — even had a close friend do all the design work so that it was truly my own (and remember my black & white signs didn’t exactly match up with the rest!).

    I am sure that many people were not fans of my independent way of doing things – in fact, that may be partly why I am being treated this way over Community Matters. And we all know how far that free-spirited, independent attitude of mine got me in the BOS race! :)

    You are right that Molly Duffy is a qualified candidate as is Mike Heaberg.

  9. That is really unfortunate, because Community Matters is in the nature of a public service and should not be rewarded so roughly.

    Bad form, they should know better, shame on them.

    Keep up the good work Pattye! This sort of public forum blog is exactly what the nation’s founders identified as a key protector of liberties. Ben Franklin would be proud.

    [Reply]

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    This sort of public forum blog is exactly what the nation’s founders identified as a key protector of liberties. Ben Franklin would be proud.

    Love this!

    [Reply]

  10. Politics in Tredyffrin, why cant people do the right thing. The Democrats mess up and now try to make it out that Patty is to blame. I am a Dem in Wayne that wont be voting with my party.

    [Reply]

  11. I, for one, don’t think Pattye did anything wrong.

    What bothers me is that even after Patty presents facts that are in direct contradiction with their claims, the TTDEMs still refuse to apologize to her, Community Matters or the people of Tredyffrin.

    [Reply]

  12. Wow — the TTDems took a real swing at Pattye on their website. All I can ask is this — WHY would anyone “go negative” in a campaign for a special election for supervisor — and why when questioned about the approach have they dug in their heels. To suggest that taking a blog comment and concluding attribution, “quoting a small extract under fair-use principles” really misses the point. For them to further criticize Pattye’s response to the quote — “We are perplexed why she is taking issue with our documentation and why she chose to censor the evidence portion of Ms. Jamieson’s letter.” really doesn’t work for me.

    Just recently someone pointed out that Mike Heaberg hadn’t intended to be a politcal candidate as recently as a year ago. Yet Ms. Duffy’s postcard feels the need to say that Mr. Heaberg is an interim supervisor, “appoitned by politcal cronies.” Wow. Every single municipal position in this community is an appointed position except for those elected. The “interim supervisor” was appointed under law. Mr. Heaberg was selected to fill a vacancy — based on his credentials — the same way presumably Ms. Duffy was selected to do her thing.

    This insistence that the postcard wasn’t low road — that using the quote was under “fair use principles” is a warning sign to me. When winning elections is ONLY about winning, even for a municipal seat for 6 months, and to need to tear down someone like Pattye (their own party’s nominee in the last municipal election for supervisor) doesn’t predict fair minded government for me.

    Thanks to Mike Heaberg for his materials outlining his goals and visions. I appreciate no “here’s what’s wrong with my opponent” rhetoric. Going forward, I’m going to try very hard to support candidates who do what’s right, not expedient. Sad thing is — not sure how many elections I’ll find that in. We need to ask how and why of our candidates, not “why not their opponent” questions.

    Hang in there Pattye. That hand of friendship may have turned into a fist, but perhaps it will relax and be a shaking hand in the end.

    [Reply]

    give it a rest Reply:

    as was she

    [Reply]

  13. First, I regret all of the unpleasantness this has caused Pattye. It certainly was not anyone’s intention, and I understand why she feels angry that she was not given more consideration by a group that less than two years ago touted her as an excellent candidate for supervisor. No one meant any harm, nor did they anticipate that the use of a quote from CM would lead to this…

    I worked closely with Pattye during her 2009 campaign and know firsthand how upset she was with the TTRC’s last-minute shots at her and the other Democratic candidates. She was determined to turn a bad experience into something good for her and for the community. For Pattye, a blog that would rise above partisan politics and focus on the best interests of the community was the perfect tonic. She naturally looks at issues from all sides and is not swayed by political bias. So the role of independent blogger suited her very well. If there is such a thing as a community lens, Pattye looks through it.

    Eighteen months on, the simmering divide in local politics has again come to the fore. For base Republicans and Democrats though, all the commentary won’t make much of a difference. Party affiliation matters most to those who want to perpetuate control in our township and to those who are sick and tired of it.

    But for voters who care more about candidate credentials than partisan politics and use them (credentials) as the basis for casting their votes, facts DO matter.

    One candidate has served for three months as an appointed supervisor. Though he has lived in this community for 50 years, he has never served on a municipal board or gotten involved in local government. That’s a fact.

    In contrast, Molly Duffy has worked for and with local governments for 15 years, – as an attorney and consultant on traffic, energy and land use issues, and as an appointed board member and a leader on community projects that have measurably improved the quality of life in Tredyffrin.

    Molly moved here seven years ago with plenty of experience under her belt as a planning commissioner in Conshohocken, and before that, in other appointed positions in Swarthmore. She hit the ground running in Tredyffrin, founding the Sidewalks, Trails and Paths Committee, chairing the Environmental Advisory Committee, and working on the township’s Comprehensive Plan and revitalization plans for Paoli. She has been part of a working group on the Paoli Transit Center. She currently consults for TMACC (Transportation Management Association for Chester County.)

    Her leadership on the sidewalks-to-schools project around CHS and TEMS was crucial in our township’s receiving federal funding for the entire $2.8 million construction cost. If the grant application hadn’t been timely submitted and all planning work completed, this project would not have been “shovel-ready” and considered for funding. STAP worked closely with the Township and drove this project. Experience mattered.

    Molly has led on other successful projects as well, including a clean energy initiative in which more Tredyffrin residents participated than in almost any community in Pennsylvania. Measurable accomplishments that have benefited township residents. Ample evidence that Molly is ready to lead on Day 1. As I see it, she is clearly more qualified to be supervisor.

    Voters have a choice on May 17: to support the status quo or vote for broader representation and the skill and vision to move Tredyffrin forward.

    [Reply]

    give it a rest Reply:

    Congratulations — you have now turned CM for the moment in the local papers……posts that are nothing more than political endorsements.

    For me — you have to explain why someone with SO many credentials found it necessary to use a postcard bashing her opponent. Being on a board means being able to work with your other board members — and this is only for the INTERIM post. I have zero faith in anyone who so clearly is a sheep of her party in the election process. On her own, she may be fine Kathleen, but everything you said here could be her postcard — WHICH goes to registered Dems and independents. Instead, she chose to find ways to bash Mr. Heaberg, who presumably she doesn’t even know and hasn’t observed.

    That’s the character piece…and watching our boards operate over the years, character has been far more important than any specific experience. And I truly object to your final piece — “support the status quo”….at least acknowledge that you want democrats in place. Mike Heaberg — if you know anything about him at all — (which is all HIS campaign has been about — getting to know him) Is NOT status quo. His resume, which you call non-existent, reflects that he has not been linked to any party platforms.

    And I will say again what I said before — qualities that you attribute to Molly are wonderful community assets, and have no reason to enter government. Not one thing she has done would have been as easily accomplished or as purposeful had she required votes to launch them. She has clearly had a busy community life. WHY does she want to be an elected official, other than someone has convinced her to run…

    And where is HER explanation? Since John P believes he can launch quesitons at Heaberg and conclude whatever because he’s not responding in this forum, where is Duffy’s response? Dariel Jamieson and you are her surrogates? Is that independent thinking?

    [Reply]

    Kate Reply:

    And congrats right back, GIAR. You’re as predictable as rain. If a commenter expresses an opinion on a candidate or an issue that is at odds with yours, you quickly dissect it, label it pablum or a partisan endorsement. And then you post multiple follow-up comments to make sure your point is MADE.

    News flash! A postcard that draws a distinction between the candidates’ positions on the Paoli Transit Center hardly constitutes bashing. Mr. Heaberg made his opinion clear at the September 18, 2010 budget meeting, to which 35+ people were witness. A fact,, not an attack. The quote referenced on the mailer mirrored the exact words he spoke at the public meeting. There was 100% certainty that the quote came from Mr. Heaberg.

    Notice Mr. Heaberg has not denied making this statement, which is pretty offensive when you think about it. He suggested the development of the Paoli Transit Center might lead to the area becoming the next 69th Street, or Norristown.

    There’s really only one way to interpret his concern…

    You, who never give anything a rest, clearly have expressed partisan views yourself, shilling as you did for Warren Kampf in the recent past, and generally towing the Republican Party line. Just admit your own bias..

    Pattye wishes partisan politics didn’t enter into local elections. It WOULD be nice to choose the best qualified, community-centered individuals without regard to party affiliation. As far as I know, neither Molly nor Mike are party-affiliated people.

    But the system effectively requires that they choose sides to run. And when one party has a sense of entitlement as big as the sun and a disregard for the concerns of 55% of the township who do not call themselves Republicans, then the ideal is not only unrealistic, it is impossible.

    You say “character has been far more important than any specific experience.” Is that the best comeback you have to counter the huge gulf in relevant experience between the special election candidates? Laughable. What our township needs is well-qualified people of good character like Molly.

    You ask, “Why does she want to be an elected official, other than someone has convinced her to run…?” Again, an insincere and baseless question. Both candidates were asked to run; neither sought the position or their party’s endorsement.

    But wait. According to your logic, those who contribute most to the community should have no interest in holding elected office. …….Say what?…… How about the more likely truth…that someone who has invested so much in improving the quality of life in our township would like to play an active role in the future direction it takes in important areas such as economic development?

    If you are who I think you are – and your writing style is identical to that of several other commenters on this blog – one of them an identifiiable public person in our community – why write anonymously? Your inclinations are as transparently partisan as anyone’s.

    Why don’t you give Give it a Rest as rest and write under your own name.?

    I am a Democrat and a committeeperson. I am one person and have one vote. I just happen to have had the privilege of getting to know Molly well, and I sincerely believe she is the better choice in the special election.
    .

    [Reply]

    anonymous Reply:

    People, enough! the back and forth, between the Rs & Ds, the underdog after the one in power. Arent we better than this. People wonder why no one goes to vote. Im frustrated and disgusted by the partisan talk. Some of you need to really look at yourself. Do you think that you are helping your candidates, do you think people are inspired by your words to support them? Let the candidates speak for themselves, they certainly dont need your proxy to do their bidding. Shame on all of you.

    From the West Reply:

    1. You aren’t voting for someone you said when he was selected you wouldn’t vote for

    2. You ignore Pattye’s issues around Molly’s recent mailer to attack others for ethics — along with, of course, the usual band of suspects you hate

    3. You decided to vote tomorrow after saying you wouldn’t

    Yet another shocking display of the same hatred and vitriol as usual

    There’s your response, now you can begin to denigrate me…

    [Reply]

    Jack Albion Reply:

    “Molly Duffy has worked for and with local governments for 15 years”

    Mostly in places other than Tredyffrin.

    “No one meant any harm, nor did they anticipate that the use of a quote from CM would lead to this…”

    How is that possible? Isn’t the candidate an attorney? Is she unaware of what goes out under her name? How did she, and her handlers, fail to anticipate this? Sounds like amateur hour to me.

    [Reply]

    Jack Albion Reply:

    “Molly’s been consistent in her campaign. She hasn’t overreached or oversold.”

    Or done much of anything for that matter. Except for send out one unethical mailer.

    You know, I’m hearing this battle cry of “end one party rule.” Well, what’s the alternative? Change for the sake of change? Retreads like Jerry Henige? Dilettantes? The one Democratic candidate who makes sense to me is Analisa Sondergaard for District Judge. It would appear that she’s actually qualified for the position, and it appears that she’s running a decent, spirited campaign.

    [Reply]

  14. I for one am tired of the “clean energy” commentary. Everyone wants clean energy, and the development of new sources of energy. I am convinced that if the spirit of America is once again unleashed our energy problems will be solved, starting with the immediate needs of more safe drilling and refining. WHile that is going on, so our cars can have fuel at a cost that won’t act as a drain on our other economies, (can you say tax), entrepreneurs and others can work at other sources of fuel. I think all rational men and women could agree on that.
    I am concerned about a lawyer sitting on the board. Yes, this goes to my prejudice but it seems to me that lawyers seem to bollux up the works and stall improvement. Get a lawyer involved and it just costs more and creates more problems. She may be a great person with the best of intentions, and I will consider her as a viable candidate. Has she spoken out against the TT Democratic party in the Benson scandel?

    On the school board side, I think Karen Cruickshank has done a good job and deserves to be re-elected.

    [Reply]

    give ti a rest Reply:

    I would suggest before casting any school board vote that you look at the candidate’s family status. With all this tough talk about strikes and no raises in the next teacher contract, candidates without kids in schools are going to be more likely to pull that off. I’m not suggesting that anyone with kids cannot be good, but when “fighting” for the schools, I’m just not sure it’s easy when you ahve two kids in them, seeing your adversaries 7 hours every day. The incumbents on this school board approved the last contract.

    [Reply]

  15. maybe we should hire a school board, from outside the community with no vested interests, either way. I think that is what your comments are leading us to think? No re-election campaigns, just a 4 or 5 year “term”. Pretty mechanical, but maybe it would work. Pay every board member a set fee, equal to one another. Wonder if there would be any takers?

    [Reply]

  16. I take issue with the statement that Molly “founded” STAP……actually the BOS asked for volunteers and 9 very capable people came forward. The sidewalks took nearly 5 years of time & effort plus a great deal help from the township staff. Everyone involved in this project deserves the credit

    [Reply]

    election observer Reply:

    Thank you CHV for helping us to see it doesn’t have to be bashing to be wrong. Seems to me that KK above gave us all kinds of talking points about Molly — but Duffy’s campaign chose to expand and contrast — by knocking her opponent. Who is running this show? Are the parties making all the decisions?

    [Reply]

    election observer Reply:

    Molly hasn’t changed? How do we know? Besides her “cronies” claiming she founded STAP, where are her historical opinions? I don’t think Heberg has said she is unqualified. She said he was. Regular attender of BOS meetings? And using the croneys reference was lame. Only Molly has chosen to degrade her opponent. And why do you keep harping on BAWG and st. davids if you have such a problem with people changing their minds?

    [Reply]

  17. One thing is for sure — if someone was in charge of hiring a school board (whoever that person would be), you could definitely hire a better bunch than voters pick.. We elect whoever runs — not always any understanding of what the job requires or where their talents are/should be.
    “Vote for your friends.”

    [Reply]

  18. Nine out of 52 comments, GIAR. Where’s the rest in give it a rest?

    Your implication that school board directors with children in the schools might not be able to make judgments in the best interest of all members of our community is insulting …

    ..and amazingly hypocritical since I believe that YOU yourself are a former SB member who served when her children were attending T/E schools.

    Anyone who gives serious consideration to the composition of the school board would agree that a mix of members who currently have or have had children in the District plus those who are singularly focused on the tax burden for all citizens,including those on fixed incomes, is the proper mix. All have a vested interest in protecting our high quality schools while being fiscally responsible.

    The job requires such a tremendous commitment of time and effort that it is natural those willing to serve care most about keeping our schools great.

    The suggestion by Flyers Fan that maybe we should hire non-residents with no vested interest in maintaining the district’s excellence is ludicrous – unless you’re a cold-eyed free marketer who sees no difference between maintaining a valued community asset and a bottom-line business orientation at whatever cost .

    Maybe he should move to Michigan or Wisconsin where their states’ governors are in the process of taking over towns and school districts, appointing their own ideological supporters and cronies to fire all public sector workers, cut services to the bone and give away the development rights of publicly owned land to campaign contributors.

    [Reply]

    give it a rest Reply:

    KK
    Maybe if I was who you want me to be, then I would have experience with just how complicated it is to serve on a school board with children. Maybe I would know about having to retain a lawyer to defend an unfair labor practice when my son got a detention. Maybe I would know that once upon a time, labor peace was the critical goal of negotiations, and now that we have said up front that there will be no raises in the next negotiation, I know just how difficult it will be for any sitting board member with children. Maybe I saw the difference in how decisions are made for those without children, and where the weaknesses came from.
    Then again, maybe I’m just being amazingly hypocritical. Maybe I don’t care. At any rate, I know i will never post under my name ever….look what happend to the street name “Mike in Berwyn.” How fair minded principles excerpted comments made in a debate about a $1M drucker WAM donation for the PTC and claims about “new jobs” which many believe will continue to come at the expense of Chesterbrook and surrounding areas.

    Give it a rest.

    [Reply]

    give ti a rest Reply:

    You mean those governors duly elected? With an agenda to do exactly what they are doing?

    [Reply]

  19. the losers in all of this are the tredyffrin residents. here we have two good, fair minded citizens running for a pretty thankless job….and it’s all out war. I believe MD started on the wrong track but using some mailer to “contrast” herself with her opponent — which included inappropriate references and shallow attacks (cronies?).
    MH started on the wrong track by thinking out loud as he evolved a position and posted on this blog. What you can want as a citizen might not always reflect what you want as someone representing voters. But Mr. Peterson calls that flip flopping.
    Both of these candidates would be well within their rights to say WTF and head into the sunset. This isn’t one party rule. This is shouting above the information.
    When all is said and done, maybe it doesn’t matter who wins. Gridlock is a way of doing business, and around here, anyone with an opinion, or experience is likely to be assaulted on this board and elsewhere.

    [Reply]

  20. I feel sorry for Pattye.

    Petersen has a blog where he can write anything he wants about whoever he wants but that is not enough. He has to degrade every comment that someone makes that he does not agree with. Why? Does he think that he is gathering votes for Duffy or taking votes from Heaberg? Is he on Duffys committee to get her elected.

    I dont know Duffy at all, she never came to my door. But Heaberg stopped by (for the record, I live in Devon) and I found him thoughtful, respectful and he listened to my concerns.

    As an Independent, I was probably not going to make a special trip to vote tomorrow. But based on the highjacking of Pattyes blog today by Petersen, I changed my mind. Heres one vote not swayed, I will vote for Heaberg. This was not probably not the preferred outcome of the Duffy campaign but between the mailer and Petersen it is the result. Why, because I can.

    [Reply]

    Mr. Roboto Reply:

    John Petersen can’t resist insulting everyone he disagrees with.

    He also can’t resist Blog Bombing Pattye’s Website by responding to everyone’s comments. He has posted an astounding 14 of the 68 comments made thus far in response to this one topic! Really John Petersen, you have your own Website. If you want to pontificate why not use your own forum?

    [Reply]

  21. imagine that jp was the only one who wrote on this blog. what would happen to pattyes good intentions with this forum? I have been less active here and after coming back and reading his vitriol, I see why i find this unwelcoming. how many wtf”s does it take to get kicked off? It’s not provocative and not conducive to discussion. Time for Family Guy.

    [Reply]

  22. I suggest everyone go to the link Mr. Petersen provided and see for themselves what high brow discourse looks like, That will help anyone who hasn’t figured out exactly where he stands on any disagreement with him to do so.

    Pattye — I would especially ask you to do the same and think some more about the things you let him get away with here on your blog: personal attacks on the character of individuals, foul language, thinly veiled foul language and more. While I am all for allowing everyone their opinion, your forum has been hi-jacked and you should take it back.

    [Reply]

    Pattye Benson Reply:

    I am looking forward to moving past today’s Special Election and Primary. The last week has not been good and has caused some of my personal relationships to be strained. I am hopeful that tomorrow’s dawn will bring some welcome relief from local politics and a chance to re-focus on other important community issues. Thank you for your comments.

    [Reply]

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