Dariel Jamieson

State Rep Warren Kampf takes on TTDEMS Chair Dariel Jamieson for lying about him … again!

Below is an excerpt from an op-ed written by State Rep Warren Kampf (R-157).  In the article, Kampf is calling for an end to uncivil discourse.  He uses a couple of examples in his editorial of uncivil speech, including Dariel Jamieson’s recent letters to the editors.  It is not Jamieson’s right to voice her opinion concerning Kampf’s vote on the transportation bill that is the issue but rather her lying about a political pledge she states that Kampf took.  As I said in my last post, Jamieson compounded the difficult situation by writing a second letter to the editor and not taking responsibility for her incorrect accusations contained in her first letter. Civil discourse means to engage in conversation intended to enhance understanding – personal attacks and lies are wrong and diminish the value of the argument.

In his latest op-ed, Kampf does not say Jamieson’s actions were politically motivated.  However, when you write an editorial attacking a Republican elected official and sign the letter as chair of the local Democratic Committee (as Jamieson did), it is not a stretch to come to that conclusion.  For those keeping score – Dariel Jamieson has now written two editorials attacking Warren Kampf in the last couple of weeks and Kampf’s op-ed marks his second response back to her.  Here’s hoping that Jamieson does not feel compelled to write a third letter to the editor on the same topic!

Beyond the uncivil discourse created by Jamieson’s letters, I remain troubled that her actions as the political party chair are putting Murph Wysocki and Mark Freed, the newly elected Democratic Tredyffrin Township supervisors, in an awkward position less than a month before they take office.  Wysocki and Freed will join five Republican supervisors on the Board and this ‘war of words’ from Jamieson going on in the background cannot be helpful to them.  I will not believe that Jamieson sought counsel with either Wysocki or Freed before engaging in this discourse against Kampf – if she had, it is extremely doubtful that they would have approved either of these letters.

When you accept the role of president or chair of an organization, and act publically in that capacity, you need to ensure that your voice is representative of those that you are elected to serve – are Jamieson’s letters to the editor representative of TTDEMS members opinions?  I hope not.

In closing, I echo Kampf’s words,” … every citizen and every elected official – would be better served saying what we must in a way that achieves civil discourse …”   Below is the excerpt from Kampf’s Op-Ed, to read the entire article, click here.

It’s Time to End Uncivil Discourse

As State Representative, I am accustomed to hearing from constituents as they present their views and positions on issues being addressed in Harrisburg and here at home.  Some agree with me.  Some do not.  But, mostly, all make their points in a manner that is respectful and fair.   I work hard to do the same in answering their concerns.  It’s called civil discourse, and it is one of the foundations of our representative democracy.

Unfortunately over the past few months – as we have seen arguments over government shutdowns in Washington, D.C., differences surrounding the recently enacted Transportation Funding package in Harrisburg, and now the passionate feelings over eminent domain issues in Phoenixville – it has become clear that too many have abandoned civil discourse in favor of uncivil speech and actions.

This speech and these actions do us no good.  It forces people, who are otherwise normally reasonable, to abandon the idea of achieving pragmatic progress.  It forces gridlock.  It stops us from addressing truly important issues.

During the debate over the Transportation Funding package, I was accused in a Letter to the Editor of choosing my position based on a political pledge to a Washington, DC special interest group.  The problem?  I had never taken any such pledge (something that was easily verifiable with a simple internet search) and I had made it known publicly that my position came from surveying the people I represent.  My attacker, however, had no problem simply submitting a lie to the newspaper.  That’s uncivil discourse.

I give my attacker respect for her position on the issue and her passion over it.  I believe, however, her point could have been made in a way that was more respectful to both the public and me.  Had she made her point this way, I believe it may also have been more effective for those she wished to persuade. . . .

Let me be clear: I am in no way suggesting that citizens abandon making their voice heard, be it in favor or opposition to an issue.  As the saying goes, “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

I am just suggesting that all of us – every citizen and every elected official – would be better served saying what we must in a way that achieves civil discourse again.   In this way, we can find our way to truly addressing issues rather than just fighting about them.  That is a simple goal we should all strive to achieve if we truly care about making our community stronger.”

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Rather than partisan mudslinging, can we come together and move the Paoli Transit Center project and the economic redevelopment of Paoli forward?

The passage of the $2.4 billion transportation bill which will provide new funding for the state’s roads, bridges, tunnels and transit systems over the next five years, and the subsequent $14.5 million award earmarked for the Paoli Transit Center, brought excitement and renewed hope for Paoli. In discussion for 30 years, the train station project has languished with little movement and the new transportation funding, including multi-million dollar award for Paoli Transit Center, could be the needed catalyst. The economic redevelopment of Lancaster Avenue through Paoli hinges on building the Paoli Transit Center – its time is now. Paoli deserves a new beginning.

The release of Chester County Planning Commission’s 2013 Transportation Priority Projects report occurred prior to the House vote on the transportation bill although I did not see it until afterwards.  The report lists Paoli Transit Center as a transportation priority and includes a current photo of Paoli train station serves as the report’s cover. There is no question that the recent release of the Chester County report was a significant factor in the $14.5 million funding award for Paoli.

In addition to the county’s Planning Commission prioritizing Paoli Transit Center, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) continues to strongly support the project.  DVRPC adopts the Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), the regionally agreed upon list of priority transportation projects (as required by federal law) and its recommendations. TIP’s 2013-2016 project list includes the Paoli Transit Center as a priority.

As residents in this community, we are aware of the importance of the municipal government and school district receiving Moody’s Aaa bond rating. Moody’s ratings scale range from Aaa (highly unlikely to default) to D (in default).  To receive the highest rating, requires very strong financial operations, ample reserves and strong management policies. In fact, candidates seeking office often promote maintaining our Aaa bond rating on political campaign literature.  So … it was interesting to read that we can add Moody’s Investors Service (www.moodys.com) to the list of those pleased with Pennsylvania’s transportation funding bill, calling it “a credit positive for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania”.  Moody’s also gave the bill a credit positive because it phases out the annual funding burden that the prior transportation bill (Act 44) created for the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

There is strong support for the Paoli Transit Center including Tredyffrin Township (Paoli on the Move), Chester County Planning Commission, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, Transportation Improvement Program, SEPTA, Paoli Business and Professional Association, local business community, elected officials and many residents.

However, initial excitement about the transportation bill and multi-million award for the Paoli Transit Center, has been marred by some finger-pointing and local political wrangling.  In advance of the final House vote on the transportation bill, a letter to the editor by Darien Jamieson, chair of the Tredyffrin Democrats, appeared in the Main Line Suburban.  In her letter, Jamieson criticized State Representative Warren Kampf (R-157) for his lack of support for the proposed transportation bill.  Unfortunately, Jamieson took her criticism of Kampf too far, making an inaccurate and unsubstantiated claim.  Jamieson’s letter ‘Warren Kampf – Too Extreme for Tredyffrin’ stated that Kampf took the Grover Norquist “No Tax” pledge. Her statement was not substantiated and the claim was incorrect.

In his response to Jamieson (which also appeared in the Suburban), Kampf refuted her claims, stating, “I have never taken a “no tax increase” pledge with any group, including any in Washington, D.C., as Ms. Jamieson claims. I would challenge her to offer proof for this claim or admit it is 100% a fabrication”.   A couple of days later, the transportation bill passed (without Rep. Kampf’s vote) and the subsequent announcement made about the $14.5 million award for the Paoli Transit Center.

This week Main Line Suburban contains another letter to the editor written by Jamieson. Writing as the chair of the Tredyffrin Township Demoratic Committee, I assumed that the purpose of Jamieson’s latest letter was to offer a public apology to Rep. Kampf for her previous unsupported accusations.  But no, there was no apology or retraction from Jamieson to Kampf in her letter, ‘Warren Kampf: Watch what he does – not what he says’ .

As a supporter of the Paoli Transit Center and the redevelopment of Paoli, I too questioned Kampf’s lack of support for the transportation bill and did not agree with his position.  However, it was wrong of Jamieson to ‘make facts up’ to strengthen her case against Kampf.  The situation made worse by the fact that Jamieson had the opportunity to apologize to Kampf  and retract her accusations and chose not to.

I’m not certain from where Jamieson is taking her cues but I would think that following the local Democrats impressive election wins last month, she would take a low profile. With two newly elected Democrats (Murph Wysocki and Mark Freed) joining Tredyffrin’s historically Republican Board of Supervisors, it would not appear helpful to have their party chair immersed in a ‘war of words’ with our local state representative.  To be successful in their new supervisor roles, requires Wysocki and Freed to leave their political party ‘hats’ at the door and prepare to work hard for all the residents – Republicans, Independents and Democrats. That same sentiment goes for the Republican supervisors.

The transportation bill passed and the community received good news for the Paoli Transit Center – rather than continuing the partisan bickering that only serves to divide, can we come together and move the train station project and the economic redevelopment of Paoli forward.

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PA Transportation funding bill fails – what does this mean for the future of Paoli Transit Center and Turnpike widening project?

Unfortunately, the clock just ran out for transportation funding in Pennsylvania, at least for the near future.  Late on Monday night, the proposed $2.4 billion PA transportation funding bill was narrowly defeated on the House floor.   The House legislators voted 98 – 103 against the bill, which would have provided new funding for much needed repairs on our roads, bridges, tunnels and transit systems.  So close and yet so far away – what does this vote mean for the future of the Paoli Transit Center and the PA Turnpike widening projects in Tredyffrin?

Prior to the House vote on the transportation bill, a critical Op-Ed, ‘Warren Kampf – Too Extreme for Tredyffrin’ written by Tredyffrin Democratic Party Chair Dariel Jamieson appeared in Main Line Suburban.  The article focused on State Rep Warren Kampf (R-157) lack of support for the transportation bill, making a claim that Kampf took a ‘no tax’ pledge and that he [Kampf] is “standing in the way of job creation and prosperity.”

Kampf immediately responded to Jamieson’s criticism with his own Op-Ed, ‘Kampf Refutes Jamieson’s no tax increase pledge’ suggesting that she [Jamieson] needed to “stick to the facts, instead of creating her own” and stating that he never took a ‘no tax’ pledge.  Kampf restated that his opposition of the transportation-funding bill was a decision based on 60,000 of his constituents not wanting an increase in their gas prices to pay for the infrastructure improvements. Kampf separates his vote against the transportation funding bill from his support of local projects, claiming that he does support the Paoli Transit Center and the turnpike widening project.

In my opinion, the immediate future of the Paoli Transit Center was tied directly to the passage of transportation funding bill.  I understand there was no guarantee that the money would have come to Paoli if the bill had passed but clearly without this state funding the future of the project now looks bleak.  This is not a ‘doom and gloom’ forecast, more of a reality check. Money begets money – state funding was required for the transit center if the project was to receive federal funding.  I had heard that if the transportation bill failed, the transit center was not going to stay on SEPTA’s funding list.  So … where exactly is the funding going to come from for the transit center?  Tomorrow night is the third (and final) Paoli Transportation Open House, 4:30 – 8 PM at the Township Building.  In light of the defeated transportation bill, it will be curious to see how SEPTA representatives field funding questions at the Open House!

I think that the future of the PA turnpike widening and associated sound walls and storm water issues is more of a grey area.  Residents whose homes are located along the PA Turnpike have been working on storm water and sound wall issues for years. These issues have affected property values, saleability etc. The PA Turnpike Commission previously stated that if the transportation-funding bill was not passed, their Capital Plan would be reduced by removing major projects. It’s unclear if the turnpike’s construction project in Tredyffrin Township will stay on the front burner or now move to the back of the stove.

Without the House vote to approve transportation funding, when (or if) will the funding for the state’s infrastructure improvements resurface?  Once the momentum is lost, it is difficult to regain – since the funding was not approved in 2013, it’s highly unlikely that anything will happen during 2014 (election year).

In his response to Jamieson in Main Linen Suburban, Kampf reiterated his support of the Paoli Transit Center, but … how does he show his support for the project?  With the defeat of the transportation funding bill, Rep. Kampf is going to have many very unhappy Paoli business owners who were counting on state financial support through this transportation bill, now looking to him for answers. And if the PA Turnpike Commission removes the Tredyffrin section of the widening project from their ‘to do’ list, 4,000 local residents are not going to be pleased and will want someone to blame.

I may not personally agree with Rep. Kampf on his vote not to support the transportation funding bill, but I do give him credit for his unfaltering commitment.  He reported that he has 60,000 constituents who did not want him to support the transportation bill because it’s funding was tied to higher gas prices.  Wrong or right, he never wavered on the transportation funding bill and his vote reflected that decision.

Bottom line … without the approval of the transportation funding bill, the residents of Pennsylvania are left with deteriorating roads and bridges and an uncertain future for the Paoli Transit Center and the PA turnpike widening project.

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Integrity, Honesty, Decency . . . Have we lost those values in politics?

When I wrote my last post for Community Matters, I had a very specific message. The Tredyffrin Republican school board candidates made a choice and in my opinion, it was the wrong choice.  They sent a campaign mailer that contained a lie — stating that the Democratic school board candidates want an EIT and that they have begun the process to implement this new tax.  The Democratic school board candidates have not taken a position in favor of an EIT and it was wrong for the Republican candidates to lie and state that they had.

Integrity, honesty, decency . . . have we lost those values in politics?  How about doing what’s right?

Through comments on Community Matters and in personal conversations, it may be possible that the Republican school board candidates did not approve or see that mailer before it went out. Do I know that factually?  No.  Is it possible?  I guess so, but I stand firm that ‘as a candidate’, it is your name, your face and ultimately your reputation on the line, so the ‘buck stops with you’.  A mailer may come from a political party but if it has your name attached to it, you are responsible for its contents. In other words, as a candidate, you ‘own it’

Two years ago, during the 2009 campaign cycle, similar misinformation about my fellow candidates and me was perpetuated and unfortunately, as a supervisor candidate I was on the receiving end.  After that election, people should know that it has taken a lot of effort (and forgiveness) to move past the damage caused by that negative campaigning.  Similarly, I have struggled to get past the personal distress caused during the Special Election by the local Democrats over what I believe was an inappropriate use of Community Matters on a candidate mailer.

Based on the firestorm of activity on Community Matters in the last couple of days, it is obvious that I do not fully understand the level of partisan politics held by some in Tredyffrin Township. But I would like to appeal to the local political party leaders, Republican Mike Broadhurst and Democrat Dariel Jamieson to look around at what is happening in this community; the partisan divide in widening. Whether or not your candidates win on November 8, is the price of victory worth it?

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Every Vote Does Count . . . Duffy Concedes Special Election to Heaberg

“You have to admit we showed even one vote can make a difference.”
    ~ Molly Duffy

Although questions remain surrounding the malfunctioning voting machines and how 61  ballots were not originally counted, the special election ballots have been satisfactorily reconciled and as of tonight, Molly Duffy (D) has conceded the race to Mike Heaberg (R).  As a result of the special election, Heaberg will complete the vacated term of Warren Kampf, until January 2012.  

Chester County Voter Services has updated their website and are now indicating their results as official and certified.  Steve Shapiro, Judge of Elections for Tredyffrin’s W2 precinct has compiled the results of the election precinct by precinct into spreadsheets and kindly offers them to Community Matters readers. 

  • For comparison of unofficial to certified results by candidate, click here. 
  • For comparison of unofficial to certified results by party, click here.

Duffy and Heaberg will be on the ballot in the general election, along with Kristen Mayock (R) and Ernie Falcone (D). In November voters will choose 2 at-large supervisors between Heaberg, Duffy, Mayock and Falcone.

Dariel Jamieson, chair of the Tredyffrin Township Democratic Committee, provided the following press release on the Tredyffrin Township’s special election results.

Duffy Looks Long Term for Supervisor

Wayne, PA, June 13, 2011— Certification of the Special Election vote for Tredyffrin Supervisor should be announced this week after a complete manual count of ballots and full reconciliation by Chester County’s Voter Services. While there has still been no plausible explanation of how 61 ballots could have gone uncounted on Election Day, Democratic candidate Molly Duffy’s 40-vote lead on election night has fallen to a two vote deficit, out of over 4500 ballots cast. 

Molly Duffy said this about the race and result: “I want to thank all those who supported me and voted for me, especially my family.  Statistically the result of our campaign’s hard work feels like a ‘virtual tie.’ But it only takes one vote to win. We put forth a tremendous effort and showed that running a campaign based on qualifications and issues resonated with voters. Everyone should be heartened, not heart-broken, over the photo finish in the special election.

I know I’m looking forward to the November election for a full four-year term as Supervisor.  I’ll keep stressing the important issues facing our township:  We need to revitalize our business corridors, improve traffic management, and provide safe routes for pedestrians and cyclists.  It is vital that we maintain the quality of township services expected in Tredyffrin, including police and fire protection, while holding the line on taxes.

Our campaign noted my work with municipalities—including other municipalities, in addition to Tredyffrin. I’ve worked on business improvement and transportation plans, including for Paoli. I’m running for Supervisor because I believe in finding and implementing solutions.

It takes Supervisors with a bent toward action and some far-sightedness to help realize the community’s vision.  We’re fortunate to be living in a wonderful community.  I want to help preserve its virtues and enrich it as a great place to live.

Thanks again to everyone who came out to vote and made May an exciting election. I hope you will remember my experience and my vision, and bring some friends along to vote for me on November 8.

You have to admit we showed even one vote can make a difference.”

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TTDEMS Chair Dariel Jamieson Offers Comment on Special Election Ballot Hand-Counting

Dariel Jamieson, chair of the Tredyffrin Township Democratic Committee, provided a comment to Community Matters. Jamieson’s remarks speak directly to the hand count by Chester County Department of Voter Services on Monday of the Special Election ballots. Her remarks provide us with further details of the recounting process and I thought it important to provide them in this post (see below).

In her remarks, Jamieson brings up an interesting point – it certainly would have helped if Voter Services had run the ballots through a voting machine prior to the hand count. I would think that if Voter Services could duplicate the machine malfunction error, there would be a greater probability of correcting the problem! Echoing a question that another CM reader posed, what were the candidates told by Voter Services as the ‘reason’ for the 61 uncounted votes.

[Subsequent to this post, Dariel Jamieson has provided an official press release from the TTDEMS, click here to read.  According to Jamieson’s information, over 100 of the 223 precincts in Chester County have not reported voting irregularities.  In my opinion, there should be a complete internal examination of systems and procedures at the Department of Voter Services.]

In reading between-the-lines of Jamieson’s remarks, is there a sense that the end of the story may not yet be told?

Comment from Dariel Jamieson, Chair, Tredyffrin Township Democratic Committee

I have been told by our witnesses that there was NOT a machine count of the Tredyffrin votes prior to the full manual recount. We believe Voter Services acted with good intentions, thinking it would be helpful to speed resolution of the special election by going right to a manual count. While this did speed things up, I personally believe that a machine count first might have shed some light on how and why the machines might have been malfunctioning.

Voter Services also told our witnesses that there was no way to know for sure that all the uncounted ballots were Republican, although seeing the outcome of counting them Makes it look like they were. We were told that all the ballots that were accepted into the machines end up in the same compartment, so it could not definitively be said which ones were counted and which were not. If something was wrong with only Republican ballots, why did they not all reject?

A reconciliation of the number of ballots that were counted in the manual count has not yet been reconciled to the number of signatures in the sign in sheets and names in the poll books. Voter Services has said that those kinds of reconciliations will be done after all the precincts in the County have gone through the official count process. If those numbers all match, then one could conclude that the number of physical ballots that were manually counted was the correct number of ballots. If they should not match, one would have to ask where the additional ballots came from.

Speculation that putting the ballots in face up, face down, backward, or with poor tears of the perforation could all be possible, but that seems incompatible with the idea that all the unread ballots were Republican.

And adding 61 ballots to the mix will almost certainly change the totals in the other races, bur probably not enough to change any primary election vote outcomes.

We, too, are waiting for answers.

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Hand-Count of Duffy-Heaberg Special Election Ballots in Tredyffrin Finds 61 Uncounted Ballots . . . Changes the Outcome of the Race

A week ago the polls closed, the votes were counted and unofficially Democrat Molly Duffy had won the Special Election against Republican Mike Heaberg by 40 votes.  Chester County Department of Voter Services listed unofficially Duffy receiving 2,266 votes and Heaberg with 2,226 votes.

Immediately following the closing of the polls, there was discussion of voting inaccuracies and talk of machine malfunctions.  We learned first hand from Steve Shapiro, the Judge of Elections at the W-2 precinct, that there were an additional 5 ballots found in the voting machine that were not counted.  There were reports of similar malfunctioning machines at four or five other precincts in the township. As a result, Chester County Voter Services conducted a daylong hand-count yesterday of all 17 voting precincts in Tredyffrin.  Duffy and Heaberg attended the recounting by Voter Services, as did their attorneys and representatives from the Tredyffrin Township Democratic and Republican parties.

Late yesterday, after recounting all the ballots by hand, it was determined that 61 ballots were not originally counted, changing the results of the special election.  Of the 61 ballots found not counted, nine additional votes went to Duffy and 52 additional votes went to Heaberg.  The new unofficial vote total indicates Duffy receiving 2,275 and Heaberg receiving 2,278 . . . a difference of 3 votes, this time in favor of Heaberg. If this total is accurate, it may be the closest supervisor election in the township’s history.

It is my understanding that there was vote count issues found in 12 of the 17 precinctsHow is this possible?  That strikes me as a very high percentage of malfunctioning machines!  However, at this point, it is unclear to me if the problems were attributable only to machine malfunctions or if there were other types of errors.  Who could have predicted that a 40-vote difference in favor of one candidate could change with a recount to favor the other candidate by 3 votes?  What is the probability of that happening?

Again, there is caution that the new special election vote totals are unofficial until certified. Do we believe that the hand-count is accurate and that this final vote count will standOr, will it take 4-5 weeks as previously explained, for the certification process?  Assuming the new hand-count number is correct; will the Democrats challenge the election results?

For me, I’m still stuck on how 61 ballots went uncounted . . . and how many times in past elections has this same scenario played out but may have gone unchecked?  It really makes one wonder.

Bottom line, until there is official confirmation on the special election results, I guess we just need to stay tuned.

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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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It’s Official . . . Announcing Candidates for Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors & Tredyffrin-Easttown School Board!

Tuesday, March 8th was the deadline to file petitions for Pennsylvania’s May 17, 2011 primary election.

Special thanks goes to Mike Broadhurst, chair of the Tredyffrin Township Republican Committee and Dariel Jamieson, chair of the Tredyffrin Township Democratic Committee for providing the names of candidates for the Board of Supervisors and the Tredyffrin Easttown School Board.  Mike and Dariel have agreed to supply the bios and/or resumes of each of the supervisor and school director candidates which I will provide in a future post on Community Matters.

Note on School Director candidates:  To become a school board candidate, you must file a petition signed by at least 10 qualified voters of the school district for the political party with which the petition will be filed. It is my understanding that all school board candidates are cross-filing. To cross-file in a primary election (that is, to run on both political parties), a registered Democrat or Republican must circulate a proper petition for the other party. The petition must contain signatures as previously mentioned. If elected on both party ballots in the May primary, a candidate will appear on both party ballots in the general election in November.

The candidates for the May 17, 2011 primary election are as follows:

The Tredyffrin Township Republican Committee has endorsed the following candidates for the office of Tredyffrin-Easttown School Director:

  • Region 1:  James Bruce **
  • Region 1:  Tara G. LaFiura
  • Region 2:  Kristine Graham
  • Region 2:  Elizabeth Mercogliano

The Tredyffrin Township Democratic Committee has endorsed the following candidates for the office of Tredyffrin-Easttown School Director:

  • Region 1:  Karen Cruickshank **
  • Region 1:  Jerry Henige
  • Region 2:  Scott Dorsey
  • Region 2:  Jenny Wessels

The Easttown Township Republican Committee has endorsed the following candidate for the office of Tredyffrin-Easttown School Director:

  • Easttown, Region 3: Peter Motel **

The Easttown Township Democratic Committee has endorsed the following candidate for the office of Tredyffrin-Easttown School Director:

  • Easttown, Region 3:  No Candidate

For Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors, the Tredyffrin Township Republican Committee has endorsed the following candidates:

  • Supervisor at Large:  Michael Heaberg **
  • Supervisor at Large:  Kristen Kirk Mayock
  • District 1 East:  Paul Olson **  
  • District 3 West:  John DiBuonaventuro **

For Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors, the Tredyffrin Township Democratic Committee has endorsed the following candidates:

  • Supervisor at Large:  Molly Duffy
  • Supervisor at Large:  Ernani (Ernie) Falcone
  • District 1 East:   Victoria (Tory) Snyder
  • District 3 West:   No Candidate

For Tredyffrin Township Auditor, the Tredyffrin Township Republican Committee has endorsed the following candidate:

  • Bryan Humbarger

For Tredyffrin Township Auditor, the Tredyffrin Township Democratic Committee has endorsed the following candidate:

  • No Candidate

For Chester County Magisterial District Judge, District Court 15-4-01, the Tredyffrin Township Republican Committee has endorsed the following candidate:

  • Jeremy Blackburn **

For Chester County Magisterial District Judge, District Court 15-4-01, the Tredyffrin Township Democratic Committee has endorsed the following candidate:

  • Analisa Sondergaard

** Incumbent

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Tredyffrin’s Interim Supervisor Vacancy No More . . . Mike Heaberg Appointed

Attending last night’s Board of Supervisors meeting was much like attending a wedding.  Entering Keene Hall, I found members on the bride’s side of the aisle there to support Republican Kristen Mayock as the interim supervisor.  Left of the aisle, the groom’s side contained those gathered to support Republican Mike Heaberg.  Representatives from both sides promised that their candidate was the right one to lead the township. 

The audience heard from supporters of Mayock and Heaberg, as well as for the Democrat candidate Eamon Brazunas.  Friends and political allies praised Mayock for her personal, business and civic achievements.  Some of the words used to describe her were skilled negotiator, creative as well as committed and very intelligent.  A former Republican committee member and fellow attorney at her law firm, Scott Reidenbach spoke eloquently of Mayock . . . describing her as someone who ‘gets it’ and that she, “understands people and understands this township”.

Others rose to the microphone to extol Heaberg’s virtues, describing him as smart, talented, community-minded . . . the “ultimate selfless person who is seeking public office for all the right reasons”.  Sandy Gorman, a fellow FLITE board member and friend, said three words described Heaberg . . . integrity, reliability and thoroughness.

There is a part in a traditional wedding ceremony, when the officiant says, ‘if anyone objects . . . let him speak now or forever hold his peace.”   Like those words in a wedding ceremony, chair of the Tredyffrin Democrats, Dariel Jamieson took the microphone to make a case for the all-Republican Board of Supervisors to choose a Democrat candidate to fill the vacated Republican seat.  Supporting interim supervisor candidate Eamon Brazunas, Jamieson described the volunteer firefighter as committed to service and to the community; as someone we trust with our lives.  In her support of Brazunas, Jamieson explained that Brazunas had run twice before for the Board of Supervisors and represented broad appeal to both parties, having only lost the last election by 71 votes. 

Jamieson offered that 45% of the residents of Tredyffrin are registered Republicans and that the other 55% of the township population is not, so perhaps a Democrat should be appointed to add balance to the board. Unfortunately, Chairman Lamina’s partisan response to Jamieson was far from satisfactory; telling her that he could never vote for someone unless they were a Republican.

Elected to serve all the people . . . Republicans, Democrats, Independents . . . I found Lamina’s remark, particularly as chair of the Board of Supervisors, to be both inappropriate and offensive.  This kind of remark has the potential to continue to push the political wedge between members of this community.  And for what purpose . . .  for what political gain?  Tonight Lamina formally announced that he would not be seeking re-election; so why not try, in the last remaining 10 months of your term, to bring people together rather than continuing to separate and divide.

The five members of the Board of Supervisors (Paul Olson was on vacation) took a vote on the interim supervisor appointment.  As some expected, DiBuonaventuro supported Mayock and the other four voted in favor of Heaberg.  Mike Heaberg was elected 4-1 to fill the interim supervisor position and will be sworn in at the next Board of Supervisors meeting.

The supervisor appointment is over; but are the hard feelings between the Republican Committee people still there?  Will the two opposing factions come together to support and work with the newly appointed Mike Heaberg?  Can the badly split Republican Committee manage reconciliation for the sake of the ‘party’? On the other hand, if the fences cannot be mended, does this now create a permanent party divide?

Looking ahead, will Brazunas challenge Heaberg in the Special Election?  Will the Republican Committee endorse both Heaberg and Mayock as the two at-large candidates for the May Primary?  Will Brazunas enter his third bid for election to the Board of Supervisors?

Summing of the Board of Supervisors meeting . . . as someone who believes in ‘people’ and ‘issues’ and not partisan politics, I found the meeting disturbing.  As possibly the lone ‘Independent’ in a room filled with political stakeholders, the talk of Republicans and Democrats was both uncomfortable and unsettling.  And I cringe that our elected officials are discussing party politics from the dais.  Appoint the right ‘person’ and leave the party politics at the door. And once elected, we want them to set aside their ‘R’ or their ‘D’ and simply govern and serve us all.

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