PA State House 157

PA State Rep Warren Kampf (R-157) announces re-election bid for 4th term

In a morning press release, State Representative Warren Kampf (R-157) announced that he will seek a fourth term in the Pennsylvania State House. The 157th District includes Tredyffrin Township, Schuylkill Township and parts of Phoenixville Borough in Chester County, as well as Upper Providence Township in Montgomery County.

First elected in 2010, Kampf focused his re-election statement on issues of particular importance including his support for increased state funding for education, reasonable public pension reform, natural gas drilling severance tax and liquor privatization.  Kampf states, “I will continue to be an independent voice, opposing partisanship and working for common sense solutions to the challenges we face.”

Citing economic growth and job creation as hallmarks of his state representative tenure, Kampf used the passage of his “Innovate PA” program into law as an example of personal accomplishment in this area.  Innovate PA expands investment in Pennsylvania’s bio-tech and life science industries and fuels job creation.

In a move to encourage contributions to charitable organizations, Kampf authored new legislation that gives tax credits to businesses for their donations. In his re-election statement, Kampf explains that the new tax credit is intended to provide additional funding to basic needs service organizations that provide medical care, food, clothing, child care, adult care, shelter, or other assistance that is reasonably necessary to meet an individual’s immediate basic needs.

Now that Kampf has decided to seek re-election for the 157th seat in November, an announcement of a challenger will no doubt shortly follow.

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It’s Official — Democrat Marian Moskowitz to challenge incumbent Warren Kampf for the PA State House 157!

marian moskowitz

UPDATE:  At today’s Chester County Democratic Nominating Convention Jed Grobstein withdrew and Marian Moskowitz was endorsed by acclamation.

A two term incumbent, State Rep Warren Kampf (R-157)  has announced his decision to seek a third term for the office.  However, it is now official — there is another challenger for the job.

I received a press release today from Democratic candidate Marian Moskowitz officially declaring her candidacy for the PA State House 157 race. (See press release below). A successful local businesswoman, Moskowitz joins previously declared Democrat candidate, teacher and  campaign organizer  Jed Grobstein.

Moskowitz has an impressive list of accomplishments in the business community, including multiple real estate projects such as the award-winning Franklin Commons, created from an abandoned factory building in Phoenixville.   Economic redevelopment and job creation combined with her successful business and real estate background makes Moskowitz a formidable candidate for the PA State House 157 race.

Democratic committeepersons will vote at  the Chester County Democratic Nominating Convention on the candidate to support.  The purpose of the Nominating Convention is to select the 2014 U.S. Congressional and PA Statewide candidates to be endorsed by the Chester County Democratic Committee. Only one Democratic candidate can receive the party’s endorsement in each race, including the 157.

TREDYFFRIN BUSINESSWOMAN TO CHALLENGE FOR PA. HOUSE SEAT

Marian Moskowitz, a 30-year resident of Tredyffrin, today announced her candidacy for the 157th Legislative District seat currently held by Warren Kampf.  A successful businesswoman, community leader and a Democrat who calls herself a “consensus builder,” Moskowitz seeks to bring a fresh voice to Harrisburg. “It is critical that we have people in office who know how to create jobs, understand the importance of education funding and are sensitive to the issues that women face every day,” Moskowitz said.

Moskowitz, 58, has two children who attended Tredyffrin-Easttown schools, three stepchildren and five grandchildren. She has been married to Malvern attorney David Moskowitz for 29 years.

A former paralegal, Moskowitz has been a principal in multiple real estate projects and many small businesses.  Her most notable real estate development work has been the adaptive re-use of an abandoned Phoenixville factory into Franklin Commons.  Started in 2006, it is now a vibrant educational and mixed use complex and was named “Best Mixed-Use Project of 2011” by the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Moskowitz said her business ventures have created numerous jobs. She has been directly involved in day-to-day management and administration in both for-profit and non-profit sectors with leading roles in budgeting, finance, sales and human resources. She was named “Outstanding Citizen of the Year” by the Phoenixville Chamber of Commerce in 2011 and has been honored by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission.

A member of the board of directors of the Chester County Economic Development Council for five years, Moskowitz was appointed to the Board of Trustees of West Chester University by Gov. Rendell in 2006 and re-appointed by Gov. Corbett in 2013. She also serves on the board of trustees of Neumann University and the board of directors of the Colonial Theatre and is the co-chair of the fundraising committee for its expansion.

“I have worked very hard over the years to help foster economic development in this community and in Chester County,” Moskowitz said. “I know I could do so much more in the state legislature to encourage growth in this District.”

She scoffed at the increase in school funding in Governor Corbett’s recently released budget. “He has not even given us back what he took from us in the first year of his administration,” she said. “As a trustee of West Chester University, I see firsthand how these cuts have affected our students. We must do everything possible to make our educational institutions our first priority.”

Moskowitz also believes women need better representation in Harrisburg. “Of 253 members of the Pa. House and Senate, only 45 are women. Yet there are so many issues up for vote that are important to women. ” she said. “We need to give women more support in business. I have owned and run numerous companies and know firsthand the problems women encounter in business.”

Moskowitz was born and raised in Philadelphia and, unable to afford college, became a switchboard operator at age 17.  She took community college classes when she could pay for them and at age 34, became an adult college student at Neumann University. She earned a bachelor’s degree with a concentration in real estate in 1991, taking classes at night so that she could continue to work and raise her family.  Moskowitz believes Franklin Commons is a testament to her belief in the value of education. “I’ve very proud of Franklin Commons,” she said. “It’s the only building I know of where you can begin your educational career at 3 months old and continue to get an Associate’s and, in some instances, a four-year degree.”

The 157th Legislative District includes Tredyffrin and Schuylkill townships, parts of Phoenixville in Chester County and parts of Upper Providence township in Montgomery County.

This is Moskowitz’s first foray into politics. “I look forward to the challenge,” she said. “I have a wide network of colleagues from both parties. I like to think of myself as someone who brings people together and gets things done.”

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State Representatives Receive Committee Appointments

Harrisburg has announced the committee appointments for state representatives.  The following is the announcement from State Rep. Kampf’s office.  According to the release, he will be using his experience as Tredyffrin Board of Supervisors on his Local Government committee appointment.

Rep. Warren Kampf (R-Chester/Montgomery) has been appointed to the House Labor and Industry Committee, as well as the Local Government, Consumer Affairs, and Urban Affairs committees for the 2011-12 legislative session. 

“Now more than ever, we need to free job creators and businesses from over-burdensome regulations and tax policies that stifle, rather than stimulate, growth in our economy and job markets,” Kampf said.  “I will use my position on the Labor Committee to help clear the path for entrepreneurship by reigning in practices that work against job growth.”  

Kampf’s experience as a Tredyffrin Township Supervisor will make him an asset to the Local Government Committee, which reviews bills dealing with the municipal codes by which local governments operate.  “As a former local official, I witnessed firsthand how some state laws, regulations and mandates increase costs to local taxpayers,” said Kampf.  “From the Local Government Committee, I will listen to and work with local officials from across the state to help reduce these burdens and control property taxes.”    

Kampf’s responsibilities on the Urban Affairs Committee will dovetail with his work on the Local Government Committee, as many of the issues being dealt with (including manufactured housing, building codes, urban redevelopment and enterprise zones, and sprawl) have components which are addressed by both committees. 

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State Rep Paul Drucker Exits Harrisburg . . . Thank you for your service!

What was the voter’s message in November? Does this signal an acceptance, or rejection, of either party?  Does this message play similarly in Pennsylvania . . . and in the local 157th  district?

With “the economy, the economy, the economy,” being chanted by people across the country, many were engaged in the political system during this voting season . . . some for the first time.  We have now elected and re-elected many different types of people across our country.  The impact of our choices is already being felt.  Democracy needs the relentless participation of its citizens to be most effective.  With the electorate’s intense anger reverberating across the country, the anti-Washington, anti-establishment sentiment rejected many incumbents in November, including  State Representative Paul Drucker.

It does seem like our political problems should have clear solutions but often times do not.  Consider how hard it must be for someone to get their name on a primary ballot, win that primary, and then win a general election.   People holding any political offices are effective achievers who have support of family and friends but also have convinced a large group of strangers to believe in them. Paul Drucker was that person in 2008 and in November, voters of the 157th district chose differently. Were the election results reflective of Drucker’s job performance in Harrisburg? No, I think the vote spoke more to the intensity of the anti-Washington sentiment.  A personal defeat for Drucker when the votes were counted, his loss was not a statement to his personal accomplishments in Harrisburg.

Although I am a proponent of looking forward, I believe that there is merit to reflecting on one’s past.  Much can be learned from life’s experiences and this week, Alan Thomas for the Mainline Suburban Life interviewed Drucker.  The article, ‘Drucker reflects on work done and work not finished in House term’ is an exit interview . . . an ‘introspective’ of sorts. (Click here for full article).

Much like his re-election campaign platform, Drucker points to his list of most important concerns in the 157th district as jobs, education and transportation and sees the issues as inter-connected.  Drucker strongly supports fixing the state’s infrastructure and getting people to work.  He views the Paoli Transportation Center plan as a project to spur economic growth and as a means to create new jobs in the community. With a new Republican Governor-elect Corbett at the helm in Harrisburg, Drucker voiced concern for the Paoli rail yard project. With sign-off on the project required by Corbett, the future of this transportation center remains in peril.

When Thomas asked Drucker what changed during his two years in the House, his reply was, “Well, it’s changed me, I made a lot of new friends, new contacts. I certainly have a good perspective on state government. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do. I’m going to stay active and involved in what’s important to me. I’m still recharging my batteries. It’s a 24-7 job. I have never worked so hard in my life.”

For the long hours and reduced pay that many candidates receive when elected, we need to stop and thank those that have served.  I thank Paul Drucker for serving as State Representative of the 157th district.  And I thank him for his commitment to important issues and for caring about the residents of our community.  

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Pennsylvania Officials Getting 1.7% Pay Increase Starting December 1 . . . Some Lawmakers are Standing behind Campaign Promises and Not Accepting Increase! What Will State Rep Warren Kampf Decide?

After elections won by many candidates based on fiscal conservatism, amid high unemployment numbers and screams to stop the spending, how is it possible that in Pennsylvania all the top officials, including legislators and judges, are getting pay raises of 1.7 percent? 

That’s right, newly elected and returning legislators will get this cost-of-living pay raise starting December 1, when the new Legislature opens for business, even though they won’t be sworn in until January.  Apparently, a 1995 law makes such adjustments automatic.  State legislators’ salaries will increase from $78, 315 to $79,623, while the higher-ranking officials are paid more.

Do you remember the middle-of-the-night pay raise scandal in 2005?  Pennsylvania lawmakers voted themselves a 16% salary increase making themselves the second highest paid legislators in the country (second only to California).  The voters were outraged and amid powerful public backlash, the law was repealed several months later. In the 2006 elections, voters turned 24 incumbents out of office.

This year’s cost-of-living raises are authorized by a 1995 law and are based on changes in the US Dept of Labor’s Consumer Price Index that is set for the year ending in each October.  Although that usually results in an increase, the index declined in 2009 and there was no adjustment to that year.  Although I have not always been a fan of Governor Rendell, it should be noted that the governor has turned back his raises since 2008, and accepted no salary increase. Rendell does however pay taxes based on the full-authorized amount.

Based on campaign promises of fiscal conservatism in Election 2010, do you think our elected officials should keep their 1.7% salary increase?  It is already being reporting that some legislators across the state are standing up to their campaign promises and refusing the salary increase.  State Representative Brad Roae (R) representing the sixth legislative district is accepting his cost-of-living increase (which amounts to approximately $100 extra per month) but is giving the extra pay to a different charity each month. State Sen. Richard Alloway (R) from Franklin County has publicly stated that he will not take the increase because he expects state workers to be laid off in 2011, and thinks taking the extra pay sends the wrong message to his constituents.  

For those Pennsylvania legislators who campaigned on controlling legislative expenses, how can they now accept the pay increase? 

Fiscal responsibility was certainly a hallmark in our recent local election, so wonder what our newly elected State Representative Warren Kampf will decide.  Should he keep his 1.7 percent increase?

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Moving Past Tredyffrin’s 2010 Election Cycle

The political signs have gone. The phones have stopped ringing. There are no more calls reminding us to vote or asking who we like in certain races. There’s no one knocking at the door urging us to vote. It’s nice and quiet. What we have left are the victors and the losers. The numbers settle it all, once the votes have been counted. 

Locally, the dust has begun to settle post-election 2010.  After a heated, and at times very negative mud-slinging campaign between Paul Drucker and Warren Kampf, a victor emerged in the State House 157 race.  Warren Kampf will take his new office in January and State Representative Paul Drucker will complete his term on November 30. In the aftermath of any election there is always discussion as to what ‘went wrong’ or what ‘went right’ with the campaign.  Campaign insiders are left to ponder the future.

I think it is unfortunate that politics has increasingly begun to feel like a game, but one that is very often played outside the bounds of civility.  During this past local campaign cycle, my reaction to both sides was often profound sadness and disappointment.  Winning at all costs became the focus, and that it did not appear to matter what it took to get to the winner’s circle.

Last night I was picking up Chinese food in Berwyn and walked past the window of Fellini’s Restaurant on my way to the car.  In the window, I saw Paul and Robin Drucker and stopped in to say hello.  Paul was with some of his campaign staff; my guess is that in the near future, many of these young campaigners will disburse in their separate directions.  Looking at the group gathered, I reflected on the idealism and passion of being a political campaigner; and of being 20-something.

Regardless of their associated political party, there is an unwavering commitment to political candidates by the often young campaign staff.  These young people have placed an importance on local politics.  They support their local legislators with the understanding that these officials make decisions that affect our daily lives.  These things matter. 

Looking ahead, maybe there is hope for the future . . . that the grassroots optimism and idealism of youth can help create a civic landscape with great vibrancy for which we can all be proud.

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Election Day 2010 . . . The Day After

Driving many voters to the polls across the country in yesterday’s election was the theme of anxiety and disappointment.  Just about everywhere, Election Day 2010 felt far removed from 2008.  Two years ago, after all, there was no Tea Party. The rise of the conservative Tea Party movement added a new element to the election cycle, boosting little-known and inexperienced candidates into national media spotlight and in some cases, ultimate victory over mainstream political figures. Guess the jury is out whether the Tea Party movement will remain a lasting force in American politics.

Two years ago, the nation was in financial shock.  Now hard times are all too familiar.  I heard one report that 30% of all voters yesterday had  first-hand experience with unemployment; with an immediate family member currently out-of-work.  With such difficult economic times, it was particularly depressing to read that this long and bitter campaign season cost more than $3.5 billion.  How many better ways could these billions of dollars been spent in this country?

These past two years, politics across America has been fueled by turmoil – town hall meetings that dissolved into shouting matches, persistent questions about the motives of leaders on both sides and a non-stop partisan battling.  Enough negativity and nastiness existed to spawn last weekend’s rally in Washington with John Stewart, all in the name of restoring sanity in America.

The disappointment and helpless sentiment was not hard to find across the country in an election that took place against a backdrop of persistently high unemployment, no sign of real improvement in the economy and divisive politics. Everywhere you look, people seem to be looking for someone or something to blame – whether the President, Congress, a political party, etc.  Finding someone to blame would make things a lot easier to accept; but I am not entirely sure that is realistic. 

Locally, in the State House 157 race, Warren Kampf defeated incumbent State Rep Paul Drucker.  As a current sitting supervisor, Kampf will be vacating his Tredyffrin seat for his new job in Harrisburg. His departure from Tredyffrin’s Board of Supervisors is only an assumption . . . maybe there is no requirement and he can be both a state representative and a township supervisor.

Many have been let down, including myself, about the partisan divide and what seems unwillingness for people to work together and move forward.  There is much work to be done in the country, the Commonwealth and here in Tredyffrin Township but . . . I remain hopeful for the future.

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Negative Political Campaigning Needs to End . . . Election Day 2010 Cannot Come Soon Enough!

Tuesday cannot get here soon enough!  Turn on the television and you are certain to see a barrage of negative campaign ads from various candidates attacking their opponents.  With Election Day 2010 just days away, households across America are being attacked by negative political ads.  Without an invitation, the negative attack ads are finding their way into our homes, by way of television, robo-calls, on our computers and in our mailboxes. 

Everyday someone says to me they cannot wait until Wednesday when it’s over, and Election Day 2010 will be only a memory.  The amount of time, energy and money spent on negative sound bites feels eternal… and maybe it is.  With unlimited dollars (both domestic and foreign) buying airtime, it takes a persistent and dedicated voter to ferret-out all the paid-for misinformation. People complain and say they hate the ads, the mailers, the political phone calls and the mudslinging that we see in the news articles and the opinion pieces.  But they must work.  After all, it is amazing how much money is spent on these political campaigns.

Look at the contents of the political ads on TV and in the campaign mailers.  The distortion, the exaggerations, the misleading claims – the blatant lies.  True or false? Fact or Fiction?  Most of the campaign ads are more like half-truths, half-falsehoods – and a lot of embellishment. 

But do these negative ads actually work . . . do they influence decisions?  I would like to hope that they don’t work and that they don’t influence voters.  I want to believe that voters are smarter and more informed and that they rise above the distortions and exaggerations. Unfortunately, psychological research has shown that the brain processes negative information more deeply than positive information.  Guess political campaigners support the scientific research and have decided that negative ads do work – at least better than positive ads. 

By the time the calendar hit mid-October, the viciousness of the negative ads had picked up momentum.  And it is no surprise that the closer the individual race, the more negative the ads. Research suggests that negative campaign ads work even though people hate them.  I think the potential also exists that people just get tired of the negative campaign season and that this feeling can actually drive the voter turnout down.  Eventually, after being influenced by the candidate’s negative campaigning, is it possible that a voter would just stay home on Tuesday, thinking “why bother?”

Negative ads can have a powerful impact; people tend to remember them. . . . Isn’t that why bad news always enjoys more ‘play time’ on TV than good news. I would bet that none of these ads tells the whole truth – the truth you would accept as a reasonable person. Almost all the negative ads are partial or biased on one way or another or just misleading. In a perfect world, positive ads would have as much an impact as the negative ones. What would happen if someone ran an issue-based campaign with no mention of the opponent and no mudslinging?  Would an issue-based campaign ever be possible in today’s society?  Would it even work?

Where does all this leave us for Election Day; what is a voter to do?  There are no campaign enforcement police making sure everyone is telling the truth. My hope for all of you who hold the privilege to vote is to think for yourself.  Do a little research and use that developed human brain of yours.  Please try not to be influenced by the negative campaign ads. Your vote is worth more than a nay saying ad or a half-truth campaign mailer.

I hope that residents in our community have enough sense and reason to make logical decisions and can only hope that others beyond Tredyffrin will do the same.  I would ask that you stay informed by multiple sources.  Think for yourself, beyond what your neighbor, your friend or co-worker favors. Know the candidates and support those who have shown ethical behavior.  Exercise your right to vote in a sane, thoughtful manner and make your vote count this Tuesday!

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PA State Representative 157 Race – Candidate Question #6 and Response

This is the final week of candidate questions and responses on Community Matters.  As stated in the beginning, there were 6 questions ending the week before the election.  To those that followed the discussion, thank you.  To those that provided commentary to the responses, thank you. 

 Although disappointed that candidate Warren Kampf chose not to participate in the Candidate Question & Response forum,  I do want to acknowledge and thank State Representative Paul Drucker for his participation and responses to the questions.  During the past 6 weeks of candidate questions and responses, I abided by my ‘own terms’ and did not offer an opinion nor respond personally to any of the questions or comments.

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This is the Candidate Question & Response Forum for the Pennsylvania State House 157 candidates.  As previously stated, candidate Warren Kampf declined to participate in the question and response forum.  Candidate Paul Drucker’s response follows the question.  Each Monday for six weeks, a new question and response will be posted.  The candidate forum will end the week before the election.

Question #6: Many politicians speak of the need for reform in Harrisburg. In your opinion, where is the greatest need for reform and how will you support that reform.

Paul Drucker’s Response

I was motivated to seek election to the Pennsylvania State House two years ago to help usher in a new era of reform, openness and accountability.

From the pay-raise to Bonusgate, I was shocked at the news coming out of Harrisburg and disappointed that our elected officials seemed so unwilling to deliver the type of meaningful change we deserve.

That’s why I organized an event with fellow first time candidates to propose specific changes to how Harrisburg does business. And that’s why I am fighting every day to reform our redistricting process, encourage whistleblowers to come forward and ensure taxpayers know exactly how their money is being spent.

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The Phoenix Provides State House Rep 157 Candidate Profiles: Paul Drucker, Warren Kampf

The Phoenix newspaper has posted profiles for State House Representative 157 candidates Paul Drucker and Warren Kampf. Although the article did not indicate, I am assuming that the newspaper asked for candidate comments specifically on tax and job issues.  The candidates remarks are below:

State House Rep 157 Candidate Profile: Paul Drucker

Taxes: Paul is committed to ensuring that homeowners in the 157th District aren’t unduly burdened by property taxes. Though a necessary source of funding for many projects, property taxes often place an undue burden on homeowners—especially on our seniors. Paul is dedicated to ensuring a sane, responsible property tax policy that doesn’t burden our senior citizens.

Jobs: Paul is dedicated to bringing jobs and economic activity to our district, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to earn and feel safe from the mounting pressures of everyday financial challenges.

State House Rep 157 Candidate Profile: Warren Kampf

Jobs: Warren knows families are hurting in today’s economy and they are worried about making ends meet and securing good-paying jobs – that’s why he’ll make job creation his top priority in Harrisburg. Make Pennsylvania More Competitive; Invest in Small Business and the Jobs of Tomorrow.

Taxes: Warren is as frustrated as every other taxpayer and homeowner that the politicians in Harrisburg promise property tax relief every year but nothing ever gets done. Use Gaming Money as Promised; Ending Pork Barrel Spending.

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