PA State House 157

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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PA State Representative 157 Race – Candidate Question #5 and Response

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 #5:  Small business owners are struggling to keep their doors open in today’s economy. What should government do to help them?

Paul Drucker’s Response:

The best way for government to help all business, small and large, is to make an environment that is friendly to them. One step government can take to help small business owners is to improve local downtowns and develop older communities. 

What’s more, we need to ensure that businesses, particularly start-ups and small businesses, are taxed at a fair and responsible rate. With that in mind, lowering property taxes is not only important for homeowners, but for business owners as well.

As I mentioned earlier, it is critical that we have a well-educated workforce and provide small businesses access to capital in this tight credit market.

And, once again, we cannot separate economic development from our transportation needs. We will not attract 21st century businesses with a 20th century infrastructure.

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Would the Founding Fathers Be Happy?

It’s only 2-1/2 weeks until Election Day 2010, and it’s not easy to find something that Americans agree on these days.

Referencing our own backyard, the Philadelphia Inquirer today refers to the Drucker-Kampf Race as a ‘battleground house race’.  With just a couple of weeks remaining until Election Day, the rhetoric continues  at a heightened level with much at stake . . . both sides dissatisfied with the other and both parties anxious to see their candidate win.  The growing tension is recognized everywhere we look . . . I am receiving nearly daily robocalls from campaigns in addition to regular candidate mailings. 

We turn on the news and there is more mud-slinging and political divide.  We have witnessed the emergence of the Tea-Party Movement, describing themselves as a “community committed to standing together, shoulder to shoulder, to protect our country and the Constitution upon which we were founded.”  

Locally, the Valley Forge Patriots website claims Tea-Party Conservative status and the goal of their organization “to protest and act to remove: out of control federal spending, impending huge taxation of ALL Americans, governmental and corporate fraud and abuse, and legislation which will reduce our Freedoms, Invade, and Control our Personal Lives.”  The group honors Glenn Beck and asks that supporters join their weekly mall rallies on Rt. 202, King of Prussia, noon to 3 PM each Saturday.  I find myself struggling to understand some of the tea-party viewpoints; but it is apparent that others do support and are following their cause.

Anger, hatred, discontent . . . it’s so hard to see this in America today.  Will the results of Election Day 2010 somehow ‘right’ the wrongs of the past and satisfy those looking for a change?  Will Americans wake up the morning after Election Day and believe that the government will now self-correct to their liking with the election results?  Will having their candidate win on Election Day suddenly improve their quality of life?  Will the partisan political divide somehow lessen based on who wins the election?

Interesting questions . . . especially, as we look at our own battleground and the Drucker-Kampf state house race. 

Pressure on for Pa. midterm . . . The balance of power in Harrisburg is at stake, and both parties are fighting hard to help their chances.
By Angela Couloumbis
Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau

HARRISBURG – Outside the halls of the Capitol, in the main streets of small towns and big cities, Democrats and Republicans are waging a fierce battle for control of the state House of Representatives. Just three seats separate haves from have-nots in the 203-member House, where Democrats hold the majority and the power that comes with it: the coveted ability to drive the legislative agenda and, next year, the upper hand in the once-a-decade redistricting process.

With so much at stake, both parties have been feverishly fund-raising, spending, and strategizing to get voters to pull the lever for them Nov. 2 . . .

Battleground House races in the Philadelphia suburbs include Rep. Barbara McIlvaine Smith (D., Chester) against Dan Truitt, Rep. Paul Drucker (D., Montgomery) against Warren Kampf, Rep. Steve Santarsiero (D., Bucks) against Rob Ciervo, Rep. Matt Bradford (D., Montgomery) against Jay Moyer, and Rep. Rick Taylor (D., Montgomery) against Todd Stephens.

G. Terry Madonna, veteran pollster at Franklin and Marshall College, said that given the political stakes, voters could expect to hear a lot in the next few weeks about these and other legislative races.

For starters, there is redistricting. State legislative and congressional districts are redrawn every 10 years based on the census. The process will start in earnest with the new legislature next year. If the GOP controls both chambers, the party could redraw the maps to benefit its candidates.

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Do Political Campaign Signs influence your vote? How About in the Drucker vs Kampf election?

Do political campaign signs make a difference in in election results?  Do they influence individual voter decisions? Do how many signs a candidate has, or conversely a perceived lack of signs by individual candidates have any effect on voters? 

In driving around the township yesterday, there certainly is a plethora of political signage. At least now, the leftover campaign signs of former Republican Lieutenant Governor Candidate Daryl Metcalfe are no longer alone.  Metcalfe came in a distant third in the May primary but his red and white signs remain ever-present in our community 5 months later!  Which begs the question, which is responsible for removal of the signs post-election . . .  the candidate, the political party, volunteers?

Political signs display grassroots support. When voters display your political campaign signs in their yards, it shows neighbors that they believe in you enough to temporarily alter the landscape of their property. Recognizing the power of that association, does that influence other voters? 

Among the traditional campaign signs, I noted a new political sign, ‘Republican for Paul Drucker’.  As a Democrat and incumbent State House Representative Candidate, Paul is looking to gather support from the registered voters of the opposing party.  Do we expect that the Warren Kampf campaign will likewise use signage touting registered democrat voter support?  With the growing ‘Independent’ party affiliation among voters, is there signage claiming ‘Independent for Drucker’ or ‘Independent for Kampf’ on the horizon from either candidate?

Voter turnout was very low in the primary and historically Tredyffrin Township has not fared much differently in the general election (especially non-presidential election years).  However, with the Governor’s race at stake this year, can we hope for a better than average turnout.  Low voter turnouts make is easier for single-issue candidates and candidates with narrow but deep support make a good showing.  If you are one of those folks, than you probably don’t want to tell the public when the election is.  However, if you are a serious candidate with broad appeal than why not tell the public when to vote. 

To inform the voters, and build interest in the fact that there’s an election date coming, why not some signs stating Election Day November 2 or at least on Tuesday, November 2, signs that say “Today’s the day”. 

As a registered voter hoping for greater voter turnout, Election Day signage is something that I could support!  I’d like to make a suggestion that the township as a public service could set-up those temporary sign boards to notify the public of the upcoming election.

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PA State Representative 157 Race – Candidate Question #4 and Response

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 #4: Looking past the 2011 state budget, what are your recommendations to close future budget gaps and still meet the needs of the residents? Until the national economy improves, where do you propose making cuts in future state budgets?

Paul Drucker’s Response

I look at the state budget the same way I look at my family budget. It’s a matter of setting priorities and making difficult decisions.

While the 2010-2011 budget included some very painful cuts, I felt it was important to pass a responsible, balanced and timely budget. I will continue to feel the same way as long as the voters of the 157th district send me back to Harrisburg.

While the volatility of the economic climate makes future revenue estimates unreliable, there is no doubt that some very difficult decisions remain ahead of us. It is my hope that we can put aside partisanship and work together to produce a budget that is in the best interests of our constituents.

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PA State House 157 Race — No further comments accepted for candidate question #3!

No further comments will be accepted in response to candidate question #3.

In August, when I approached State House 157 candidates about a candidate forum, I envisioned a much different outcome than has evolved.  I designed thoughtful, engaging questions that I thought would be representative of important issues to this community.  I stated that I would not edit the candidate’s responses, and as moderator, I would not weigh in with my opinion.  Presumably seeing no value in this process, candidate Warren Kampf chose not to participate.  However, incumbent candidate Paul Drucker returned his responses to my questions.  At the time, I questioned whether I should go forward with the Candidate Question and Response forum with Paul’s responses (without Kampf’s participation).  Ultimately, I moved ahead with the forum, deciding that Paul Drucker should not be penalized because Warren Kampf declined to participate.

I now recognize that my vision for this candidate forum was naïve.  Rather than tolerant, respectful dialogue that discussed the questions and candidate response, I had the task of reading and uploading some of the most negative partisan, personal attacks than I could have imagined. Many comments were not on topic and some remarks lacked civility and respect. It is my opinion that the partisan, negative remarks were evenly distributed between both sides.

Having a strong opinion (from personal experience) on political misinformation and campaign negativity, I have chosen to accept no further comments on candidate question #3. I view negative campaign remarks in a negative light.  These comments do not focus on substantive issues or policies but rather tend to focus on personality.  This type of negative approach may motivate the base of support of each of the candidates but I think it could also alienate centrist and undecided voters from participating on Election Day – and possibly reduce the low voter turnout even lower.

 On Monday, October 11, I will post candidate question #4 and will accept comments.  If the comments remain on the question’s topic, I will continue to accept comments until the following Monday.

Thank you.

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PA State Representative 157 Race – Candidate Question #3 and Response

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 #3: There is evidence of the large and growing gap between infrastructure needs and the resources available in Pennsylvania. How do you propose paying for transportation improvements?

Paul Drucker’s Response

The needs of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) have been growing from year to year. There are now 12000 structurally deficient roads and bridges throughout the commonwealth. There is simply not enough money in the budget to repair them all, let alone to break ground on new projects.

I have met with members of the house and senate transportation committees, transportation industry leaders, the chambers of commerce, commissions and boards created to address the transportation needs and constituents. The one thing everyone agrees upon is that something must be done.

I propose that we begin to explore new revenue sources not only for our roads, but also for new light-rail systems and other mass transportation needs. With an additional $3.5billion needed per year merely to keep up with infrastructure maintenance, there are some difficult decisions ahead of us.

I know there is some talk of imposing tolls on certain roads and that this idea is being studied. There are additional potential sources that the Governor has suggested be utilized for revenue, such as closing tax loopholes for oil companies and creating public private partnerships. While these ideas seem worth exploring,  I’ll want to make sure they are fair, reasonable and that all impacts are fully evaluated and addressed.

We should also consider dedicating some portion of a tax on the Marcellus shale natural gas extraction to fund our transportation needs.  Pennsylvania has the second largest reserve of natural gas in the United States.  However, of the top 15 energy-producing states, Pennsylvania is the only state that does not have a severance tax. Such a tax, on the billion dollar companies making huge profits off our resources, would begin to fill the revenue gap.

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Quick Response from Township Manager & Public Works . . . Political Campaign Signs Removed from Township Park

I received a response from township manager, Mimi Gleason thanking me for me email and explaining that the township would take care of the removal of the political campaign signs from Swedesford Road Open Space Park.  Within minutes of receiving the email, a public works truck and  two township workers arrived at the park.  A township worker stood on the top of a tall ladder and  a garden rake and his long reach were required to remove the signs.  Good news . . . quick response from the township and  the political campaign signs are down . . . bad news is that is that it required township time and money for the removal.  

I’m sure that township residents don’t want their taxpayer dollars spent this way; I ask that political candidates instruct their campaign volunteers not to use our township parks for political signage.  Thank you Mimi and Steve Norcini for your quick response!

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PA State Representative 157 Race . . . Candidate Question #2 and Response

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 #2:  How do you propose to encourage job growth in the Commonwealth and specifically in your district?

Paul Drucker’s Response:

The length and depth of this economic downturn is astounding. I think a great deal about my friends, neighbors and constituents who are unemployed or struggling to keep their businesses afloat—and I know that we have to do a better job of fostering a climate of economic growth in Pennsylvania.

While I am proud of some of the economic development projects I helped bring to the district, like the $1 million grant to the Paoli train station that will produce 5,000 construction jobs and 2,000 permanent jobs, I also know we need fundamental changes to Pennsylvania’s business climate.

First, we need to invest in a modern day infrastructure that includes new roads and bridges, better rail access and high-speed internet in rural areas. Next, we need to ensure Pennsylvania students have the best education in America. Finally, we need to help our small businesses grow and expand with a fair tax burden and access to low-interest grants and loans for new equipment and technology.

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State House Candidate Discusses State Budget . . . Can We Count on His Support to Discuss Township Budget?

During the liaison reports at the July Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Donahue presented his finance committee update.  In advance of the 2011 budget discussions, Donahue suggested that the township schedule two public budget meetings prior to the traditional November  budget talks.  His suggestion supports transparency in the township budget process and encourages the residents input.  

As a result of Chairman Lamina’s absence at the July BOS meeting, I am guessing the decision to move forward with the suggestion was placed on hold until the August BOS meeting.  The August supervisors meeting is this Monday so I assume there will be a formal motion to schedule these public budget meetings.  Scheduling the budget meetings in September and October will allow necessary time for the residents to weigh in before the traditional November budget discussions. It is important for community members to be part of the budget process — thank you Supervisor Donahue for your suggestion of public meetings and I look forward to their scheduling!

 
I actually was reminded of the township public budget discussions by Supervisor Kampf.  Yesterday, Kampf posted the following article on his campaign website in regards to the state budget.  Kampf takes to task the government’s handling of the state budget and the passage of a  “fiscally irresponsible budget”.   Understanding the need for responsible economic forecasting at the state level certainly underscores the need as Kampf says, to “bring the hens home to roost”  for our township’s 2011 budget process. 
 
Based on Kampf’s discussion of the Commonwealth’s 2010-11 budget process, I am certain that he will support a thorough and open discussion of our township’s 2011 budget.
 
Below is Kampf’s article in its entirety:
The 2010-11 Budget: Taxpayers Are Already in the Hole
August 13th, 2010

During this year’s budget negotiations — during which the Governor and his allies in the House Democrat caucus tried to raise spending billions of dollars — one thing was made clear to all legislators: the federal government was NOT going to come through with $850 million in funding that they were considering in their revenue projections.

Despite this warning, and the fact that the proposed budget included tens of millions of dollars in borrowing to “balance,” Paul Drucker and his political bosses forced through a fiscally irresponsible budget.

This week, the “hens came home to roost” as they say, and the federal government — as warned and expected — provided Pennsylvania with $250 million less funding than Mr. Drucker’s budget counted on.  The fiscal year has already begun, and taxpayers are already a quarter-billion dollars in deficit.

As a result of the state not receiving this funding, the State Senate is now leading the effort to consider cuts to the irresponsible budget that Paul Drucker voted “yes” to passing.   And what are Paul Drucker and his House Democrat bosses doing?  Attacking others for wanting to cut spending on government programs that they passed knowing the state couldn’t pay for them.

I will bring a different way to state government — just as I did here at home.  I will make sure budgets are based on REAL economic forecasts and that the state doesn’t spend what it can’t pay for.  That’s called fiscal responsibility, and it’s what we need now more than ever in Harrisburg.

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