Community Matters Clarification on BOS and School Board Candidate Responses

It has come to be attention that some readers may be confused about the last couple of Community Matters posts and are questioning why Tredyffrin Republican supervisor and school board candidates did not respond to my questions and that the Democratic candidates did. Hope this post will offer clarification.

In early October, I sent an email to all the Tredyffrin Republican and Democratic supervisor and school board candidates.  In addition, I sent the Republican and Democrat school board candidates in Easttown the same email.  The email asked the candidates to (1) idenify what they thought was the most important issue facing either the school district or the township, (2) the candidate was asked what they would do to help or solve the issue if elected and (3) what in their background or experience qualifies you to help solve the issue.  I was specific and asked that the 3-part question be 200 words or less and gave them a deadline that was prior to the League of Women Voters debates.

The Easttown school board candidates Pete Motel (R) and Craig Lewis (D) responded with their answers prior to the deadline and those responses were posted on Community Matters on October 19.   In that October 19 post, I also explained that the Tredyffrin Republican and Democratic supervisor and school board candidates had declined to participate.  Here is an excerpt from that post:

. . . Believing that it is important for voters to make an informed decision on which candidate they elect to serve us, I saw no downside to the candidates participation in May nor did I at this time.

Much to my surprise, the individual Tredyffrin Republican supervisor and school board candidates declined my offer, suggesting that voters could visit their websites for information and that, “We are more than happy to answer questions from individual voters across Tredyffrin – and are doing so while going door-to-door, attending community events, and more.”

The chair of the Tredyffrin Democratic Party Dariel Jamieson responded on behalf of the Democratic supervisor and school board candidates, declining to participate until after the League of Women Voters debates.  Here is an excerpt from that email:

“Our BOS and School Board candidates prefer not to submit answers to the questions you posed to them until after the LWV [League of Women Voter] debates. The questions were all ones that were asked in the debates two years ago – as they should have been, they are key questions – but to have our answers published first is not fair to the LWV and makes the job of our candidates harder to distinguish themselves in the debates.

Following the League of Women Voters debates, I received responses to my questions from the Democratic supervisor and school board candidates.  Although the responses were past my original deadline, I thought there was value for the voters in posting them.  But so everyone knows, I actually sent a courtesy email to the Republican candidates last week to explain that the I had received the Democratic responses and offered the Republican candidates a second opportunity to answer the questions. My email to the Republican candidates stated that that no response was required if they were not going to participate; and for the record, there was no response to my email.

So there is absolutely no question in anyone’s mind — if the Republican supervisor and school board candidates would like to answer the 3-part question — I am now making a third offer to them.  Candidates — answer the 3-part questions in 200 words or less and email them to me at: tredyffrincommunitymatters@gmail.com  I will be happy to post your responses!  I hope this clarifies the timeline and that I gave all candidates exactly the same opportunity.  I am sorry if there was any confusion!

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16 Comments

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  1. Just curious, why make a deadline if it’s not enforced? And why make the deadline before the debate, making it awkward for both sides to not undermine the League of women voters?

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    Pattye Benson Reply:

    I decided to ask the candidates the question before the date for the LWV was public. Because residents are the ones that write their questions at the debates, there was no way to know that the question I had asked the candidates would even be one of the questions asked. I believe in giving out the information so that voters will make informed decisions on Election Day. When I set the deadline for the responses, I never said that I wouldn’t put the responses up if received late & didn’t consider that option until the Democrats sent in their responses after the LWV debates. Which is why prior to posting, I gave the same opportunity to the Republicans that they could also respond and that I would post their responses. The offer remains open to the Tredyffrin Republicans and to date they have chosen not to respond.

    NEVER was it my intention to UNDERMINE the debates — didn’t even know the debate schedule when I sent the question. Further, I don’t see how more information for the voters could ever be a bad idea.

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  2. Pattye — don’t explain. No one wants to hear reasons — they want to assess blame or attribute evil motives. But today did it for me — two postcards — one personally calling out Heaberg and Mayock (for some very strange reasons?) with information that is USELESS and intentionally misleading. The other card crossed the line — pointed out the personal voting habits of two candidates who have never held public office — as if that scrutiny was uniformly applied as a qualification for elected office. Two Private Citizens — who haven’t claimed anything — had someone go through public records to check out their personal voting habits. I find the morals behind that decision reprehensible. IN today’s digital world, there is very little we cannot find out about someone — but I don’t expect a political party (the cards came from two different but similar entities — Tredyffrin Township Democratic Committee and Tredyffrin Township Democrats) to do the “opposition research” on something that clearly offers zero information abou tthat person’s ability to serve in a volunteer, unpaid and highly scrutinized position.
    Shame on you all — now please give us the voting records of every single person running now or who has ever governed, so we can compare how that behavior reflects on governing styles and potential.

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    Pattye Benson Reply:

    I hear you — however, it should be noted that about 3 weeks ago a campaign mailer from Republican Paul Olson against his opponent Tory Snyder called out her voting record, citing her missing 3 elections in the last 10 years — according to Tory, the first election missed was for her wedding, the second miss was because she was in labor at the hospital giving birth to her daughter and the third time was because her daughter was very sick. When Tory explained it to me, I was horrified that Olson (or someone on his behalf) had gone and found this information and used it as a reason that she should not be elected! (wedding! childbirth!) That may have been the first mailer that was sent out so the bar got set fairly low and by all accounts hasn’t moved very far from that mark.

    It really saddens me that both the political parties have chosen these tactics.

    Yesterday’s robo call at my house was from the Dem school board candidates and today I received a robo call from the Rep school board candidates — both calling out the other side for their misinformation. For the record, I have received only one robo call for the supervisor race – Kristen Mayock – and she did the call herself rather than some anonymous voice! Her message was upbeat – about herself, her qualifications and asked for a vote on Tuesday. There was no negativity or tearing down of her opponents. Thank you Kristen for taking the high road — some of us voters are keeping score.

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    Township Reader Reply:

    Thanks for the info about the Olson mailer. I don’t live in that area and would not have seen it, but I will make it a point to tell him just how poorly that reflects on him too. I imagine Jason E is associated with that decision? It’s all too creepy. I won’t ever give a dime to another campaign, and I won’t check the box on my tax return. Death by defamation.
    I am appalled that these campaigns have so little to do with ideas. No one has talked about where the money they will manage is going to come from….though some claim grants will do it. Grants — tax dollars from some other poor schmuck. If we cannot afford it, we shouldn’t build it.

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  3. Is there any way to “OPT OUT’ of this mess …the political mailers & robo calls are too much.

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    Pattye Benson Reply:

    I like that idea!! How about if each candidate decided ‘in lieu’ of just one political mailer to donate the cost of that one mailer & postage to a worthy cause — maybe T&E Cares or REACT, the local food bank. I think we’d all be shocked at the amount of $$ candidates are spending on this election! Not one or two mailers — multiples.

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  4. did the TTDems pay for those stickers on the front page of the Suburban? If not who did. Anyone?

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    Pattye Benson Reply:

    What did the stickers say?

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    Township Reader Reply:

    Vote Democratic….stuck on the front of the paper inside the fold….advertising?

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  5. It’s interesting you point out that Kristen took the high road when Kristen sent out 2 negative mailers. One had a set of false teeth next to wysocki and and Duffy that said “all talk” . I received another that said wysocki and Duffy had “no record”. But Kristen did!?! Interesting you seem to select who you are pushing in your comments Pattye. We all know you love Tory and Kristen and your love for Heaberg is lost.

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    Pattye Benson Reply:

    My comment re Kristen was specifically on her robo call vs the robo calls that I received from the school board candidates. For the record, I have chosen not to publicly endorse any school board or supervisor candidate on Community Matters. However, I will re-state that I endorse Tom Hogan for District Attorney.

    Example — I have very strong opinions on the school board and supervisor candidate debates. I actually created my own ranking system and their debate performances will help me decide who I vote for on Tuesday. But so as not to influence anyone, I have chosen not to make public those opinions.

    Do I think that the Republicans stepped way over the line with all their ‘No EIT’ signs and statements that the Democratic candidates are planning to set a new tax in motion? Yes, and I have repeatedly stated that. Do I approve of mailers that attack people’s voting records (both parties) are OK? No. And I found the yellow Democratic signs that said ‘Lower Property Values Vote Republican’ very ‘reaching’ to say the least and absolutely unnecessary.

    I think that you may have read more into my comments than was intended. People may think that they ‘know me’ and who I will vote for — but the truth is, they might be very surprised! Who I vote for will remain private — except for the vote that I cast for Tom Hogan for District Attorney. He had my vote the day he decided to run!

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  6. And for the record I have it on good authority the repubs spent over $200k on mailers , many of them negative. No idea what the dems spent but it’s far less. Township reader you are obviously a repub cp spreading garbage spin. Shame on us? Your writing implies the repubs sent out zero negative mailers. Shame on you !

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    From The West Reply:

    This is total BS. Name your source. $200,000? That’s what county wide campaigns spend.

    If you want the truth, wait a little bit…the finance reports will be public (some already are) and this type of misinformation can be defeated/disproved.

    Many of them negative? Let’s see. The GOP BoS sent 5 mailers that I got…not one was “negative” though two mentioned the Dems briefly on one side. On the other side, the Dems sent two mailers that I got — both had negative parts and one entire side of each was attacking the candidates.

    On the school board side, I got 4 pieces from the GOP and would say that 2 were positive and 2 were half-neg/half-positive. I got 2 pieces from the school board and would say 1 was positive / 1 was half-half.

    Not exactly like both sides are clean or more or less negative than the other.

    And if you think about it, the Democrats started this year running a nasty campaign against Mike Heaberg, using information that Pattye says was untrue. They were the only people who “went negative” in the spring. I would bet the GOP candidates just figured they would do it again this fall (which they have) so they did it to.

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    Township Reader Reply:

    Thanks FTW — thanks for stepping up and pointing that out. As you know, the multiple sources will not all be affiliated with a candidate, so they can the Dems haven’t spent much. . The “EXTREME LIES” with the fingers crossed that says that DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATES OPPOSE AN EARNED INCOME TAX. PERIOD. is paid for by Tredyffrin Township Democrats. The specifically personal attacks on Heaberg and Mayock asking “who are the Real Republicans” (I still don’t get that?) is paid for by Tredyffrin Township Democratic Committee, Christina Johnson, Treasurer. All my Dem cards were mailed with a first class permit out of Wilmington DE (not even keeping the jobs in PA?) Note that the Republican mailers were done with permits out of Southeastern (Republican Party mailer says PA) ….small piece of info, but not without some irony about which side claims to know how to help our local economy. Maybe Wilmington is more convenient for their offices? Or do you think they do their print in Delaware as well? Save on PA sales tax???

    So don’t be tiresome Bob. We can make up anything we want to make up. But we don’t need to. Both sides have dirty linen….and it’s tedious to take up time pointing that out. Tell us what is GOOD about yoru candidates.

    One point to help you see the error of your ways: The Who are the Real Republicans card: the footnotes on the Who are the Real Republicans postcard reference a BOS session on 9/18/2010 and a BOS meeting on 2/7/2009. Both of those dates are Saturdays….. Duffy and Wysocki — two real estate lawyers looking for a way to beef up their business? Otherwise, why bash the only non-lawyer in the field.? And how carefully do they even review this “Wilmington based” materials.

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  7. Bob
    If you want to drop in every so often and read a single post, so be it. But the reality is that I have said from the beginning that these mailers come from both sides and are insulting to voters. But I also stand by the notion that voters are what make these mailers effective — because all you do is bash what the other side says. If you love your side, so be it. Religion and politics often have little reason to support it. I know a major study was done (and I’ve read about it here and elsewhere) that the baby boomers are more likely to be the party of whoever your parents supported in the Nixon V. kennedy Election. In other words, your independent thinking is not nearly as independent as you claim.
    Shame on you for thinking that this forum is to bash posters…but then again, your purpose is pretty clear. I oppose ALL this EIT stuff — and have told the people who are running that I do. I oppose just as much the Democratics backing off from the EIT … they owe the voters the reasons they wanted the TSC to go forward. Because they wouldn’t provide that information, I have no faith in Ms. Cruickshank’s ability to deal with the teacher negotiations. At the first sign of lost popularity, they all backed off. And for the record — this is not solely a Harrisburg problem — and when I approached the school board 4 years ago about not preparing for the PSERS problem, I was met with attitude and secrecy. I suggest anyone wanting to understand the full complexity of the finances of the district to read the minutes from the Aug 2011 meeting
    http://www.tesd.net/cms/lib/PA01001259/Centricity/Domain/56/082211%20Agenda%20PublicVersion.pdf

    There will you read about the contracted services (pp. 20 ff of the PDF) .

    WHo cares who spent what on mailers….you are kidding yourself if you think the Repubs spent more — they just only had one pocket. I have gotten mailers from the Ds paid for by 3 different groups.

    It’s all crap. Learn about the candidates and pick the one you trust. Trust — not blindly believe.

    [Reply]

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