Pattye Benson

Community Matters

State Representative-Elect Warren Kampf Revisits His Campaign Promises

Warren Kampf confirmed his campaign platform of fiscal responsibility and promise to honor that commitment to the residents in a recent article in The Phoenix. Previously Kampf had publicly stated that he would not be taking the automatic cost-of-living (COLA) salary increase. However, we are now learning that Kampf plans to continue cost-cutting measures in various other ways. I was pleased to read that Kampf will not be taking the State’s allowed per diem but choosing instead to receive reimbursement for actual expenses. In my opinion, I cannot imagine reimbursing elected officials any other way!

( Last March, I wrote an article, “Pennsylvania Legislators can use Tax-Free Per Diem for Home Purchase . . . What about taxability issue or fraud possibilities?” To read the article, click here )

Kampf also states he will not be taking the state-assigned car and opting instead for actual mileage reimbursement. I am not sure how the cost differs between a state-assigned car vs. actual mileage expenses. On the surface, it would seem that turning in mileage expense would be cheaper but a source in Harrisburg suggested to me that it is actually cheaper for taxpayers if state representatives opt for use of a state car. Just an interesting aside, and I am not sure if the expense can be confirmed one way or the other.

As another form of fiscal responsibility, Kampf announced that he would not be taking the state’s defined-benefit pension plan and will work on the creation of a defined 401K-type plan for legislators and state employees. The state’s pension plan could certainly use reformdid you know that more than half the state’s municipal pension plans are less than 90 percent funded? Calculated as the ratio of assets to liabilities, 644 municipal pension plans are labeled as “distressed” by the state’s Public Employee Retirement Commission (PERC). Of those, 26 are less than 50 percent funded and branded as “severely distressed.”

In an effort to lead by example, Kampf is taking his cost-cutting campaign promises to Harrisburg. Elected officials struggle to understand the pain of their constituents (especially in such severe economic times) so I give Kampf credit for his personal cost-cutting decisions.

It is my understanding that Kampf will have a State Representative office in the Malvern Federal bank building in Paoli. With just days remaining before his Harrisburg swearing-in, he most assuredly has hired a chief of staff and other constituent service staff for his Paoli office. The broad scope of the 157 district will require experienced and knowledgeable staff; I am curious about his staff selection. The community will need contact information for constituent services – I will send him an email of inquiry on that subject and provide an update on Community Matters.

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  1. I applaud Warren Kampf for these actions, however, taking a mileage reimbursement for his “activities” as a state rep is a huge ripoff to taxpayers. So, if Warren goes to any function at all in the 157th even remotely political related, such as a fair, which is generally campaign-related in nature, he gets reimbursed for that mileage. Unless of course he is only referring to mileage costs to get to Harrisburg and back when he is required to be there. I certainly hope that is the case, and if it is, I applaud him even more. Although to be fair, it does help that he is personally wealthy.

      1. yes, it is known that Warren came into his trust fund. the man went to Exeter in New Hampshire after all – hello? he grew up in devon and conestoga wasn’t good enough for him? $$$$$. there is nothing wrong with it. it’s just that it is much easier for him to give up a pension, etc, when he has money. there are some reps who struggle to raise families on the salary they are given.

    1. The applause is a bit hollow when you feel the need to append the comment about WK being personally wealthy. It’s a throw away comment that should be thrown away. He is not personally wealthy. There may be family money somewhere on his tree, but it is not reflected in his lifestyle nor his standard of living. So give it a rest.
      And for the record, mileage reimbursement rates are set by the government. Presumably they reflect the cost of using a car — so they are not a rip off. If the alternat6ive is to give reps a car to use, how much more expensive is that? Tecnically it should be a wash.

      1. flyersfan – name me one pennsylvania state rep who has a lot of personal wealth. (that has not come from being in office for years and years). most people who have personal wealth generally do not run for lowly state rep. they usually run for much higher office – like Doug Pike. Warren tried, but he could never get the nomination for a higher office. poor guy.

        also, another comment on the mileage reimbursement. why doesn’t warren forego it all together? he wants state workers to have pensions and other benefits like those in the private sector. well, do workers in the private sector get paid to drive back and forth to work? it’s not like warren has to drive to harrisburg every day. it’s actually a fairly small number of days he has to be there to vote in a calendar year. so why take the taxpayer’s money at all?

  2. Kudos to Warren Kampf. Not only has he honored his campaign promises, but he has now gone far beyond them by showing that the era of politics as usual in Harrisburg is ending.

    Even John Petersen has to credit Warren for not only talking the talk, but also walking the walk.

  3. Is it December 2011? or 2010 and Warren kampf has not taken office yet? If Paul Drucker accomplished so much, then why is the Paoli TS dead? What happened to the project if he – to use your language – actually did something? I’m hoping the project does not materialize because I don’t think turning Paoli into 69th Street was particularly strategic. But again, if Paul managed to do so much, what is the legacy? I’m not questioning what he did – I’m asking what remains?

  4. Yes, John, our new state rep has made some pretty self-serving decisions and occasionly shown poor judgment while on the BOS. The St. David’s fiasco , the fire funding charade, his vote on the sewer “fee” increase, and even his recent decision to take the police union to arbitration do not inspire confidence.

    Even as he resigned from the Board he acknowledged only those who have suppported him. As state representative, he is expected to represent ALL of his constituents, regardless of how they voted. Will the hyper-partisanship ever end?

    On the other hand, the man now has a clean slate as our state rep. Let’s give him a chance to establish himself and see what he can do.

    Paul Drucker could be counted on to advocate for residents living along the turnpike as the expansion projects has moved forward. Will we be able to count on Warren Kampf?

    Paul Drucker made funding tor the Paoli transportation project his highest priority, knowing the jobs and retail revenue it would bring to the community. Will Warren continue to keep this project alive?

    Paul was a friend to the district’s police, fire and EMT personnel. Will Warren keep their funding needs in mind?

    Paul made it a priority to stay in touch with the district’s business community and bring their concerns to Harrisburg. Will Warren do the same?

    Let’s give the man a break and see what he can accomplish on our behalf.

    1. I am curious what Drucker did that would make you characterize him as a friend to the police, fire and ems? Or is it simply that when compared to the “support” offerred by Kampf, Lamina, and Olsen he would look like a hero by simply being indifferent?

      I dont recall any true actions of support toward emergency services by Drucker- although at the state rep level I am not sure how much opportunity there is/was.

      1. You say, “Locally, Paul supported increased funding for the fire services.”

        Did he do this as a state rep? or in his time on the TTBOS?

        I was simply looking for the substance behind Kate’s statement. Drucker’s support of the firefighter cancer compensation bill is an example of supporting firefighters. Was there anything else? for firefighters? police? ems?

        I am not debating or disputing the multiple and repeated failings of Kampf, or his buddies toward emergency services. I get that, and it was clear that i get it in my first question. no need to sing that song to me.

    2. so all of Kampf’s people are Republicans! And Tea Partiers! woo hoo. What kind of place is this board anyway. Paul Drucker was great. Paul Drucker for President.

      1. I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt, FF, and assume you have started your New Year’s Eve “celebration” early.

        Of course that doesn’t explain all the other unflitered remarks you’ve made on this blog…….

        Your bursts of cynical humor and political bent are well known to CM regulars . I’m afraid there’s no changing you….. But Happy New Year to you and yours anyway!

        1. thank you Kate. But I like to not think I’m cynical, just have an opposing view, to alot of the folks here on the CM board. Also, I don’t drink. Maybe I should. But my comments that triggered your last comment was a cynical response to a ridiculous comment made by you in describing Kampf’s s staff. To paraphrase someone… “we won” he gets to chose. You did say earlier that we should give him a chance. so let’s do so. HNY

  5. The next stop he’s got in mind would have to be a shot at Andy Dinniman’s State Senate seat. Jim Gerlach’s not going anywhere.

  6. Mr. Peterson
    You must be THRILLED to learn that Sean Dempsey and Colleen Eckman are WK’s big staffers locally.

    1. Let me see if I have this straight —

      Warren Kampf, Republican State Representative & Tredyffrin Republican Committeeman

      Sean Dempsey, Kampf staff, Republican Committeeman from Schuylkill Township

      Colleen Eckman, Kampf staff, Republican Supervisor from Lower Providence Township (don’t know, maybe she is also a Republican Committeewoman)

      And we are now to believe that the Democrats and Independents from the 157th district will receive fair representation in Harrisburg.

      What a joke! And moderate Republicans, you may not be represented either — unless you show some support for the Tea Partiers.

      God Help us All!

    2. Though Tredyffrin and Phoenixville represent by far the two largest communities in the 157th , Mr. Kampf has chosen:

      – Sean Dempsey, a highly partisan toady and Republican committeeperson from Schuylkill Twp (who displayed his lack of knowledge about Tredyffrin and the 157th many times on this blog), and ….

      – Colleen Eckman, a Republican supervisor and committeeperson from Lower Providence – who is currently being sued for libel for a campaign mailer she sent out in 2009.

      Good choices, Warren.

      It would seem both Dempsey and Eckman are Tea Party supporters. How NOT in keeping with the largely moderate 157th district.

      Also , Warren’s choice of office locations: Paoli – aren’t we fortunate he lives here, AND Audubon. I guess Phoenixville doesn’t rate – no representation, no accessible constituency services. All those Democrats who stayed home on Election Day will now begin to feel the consequences…..

    3. I am completely speechless at Warren’s choices for his staff. He clearly has not one clue what he is in for. Sean Dempsey cannot, I repeat, CANNOT, handle that job. Warren better start planning his run for Andy’s seat right now, because in 2012 he is toast.

      And, to all the Rs on this board, congratulations on your spectacular choice. I have no idea what you were thinking. Blind partisanism.

    4. It was far from all of the R’s that supported Kampf, check the results. Thank the TTRC for lacking the courage and sense to endorse Ken.

  7. We now know who will be on Kampf’s staff and the hours of operations of his Paoli office. The press release clearly encourages residents to contact the office.

    As for communicating with constituents — just to let everyone know, I sent a personal email to Warren 3 days ago, asking for the staff information and tel. # of the Paoli office ( as I mentioned that I would do in this post). I received no response from him or his staff. He could have at least acknowledged recept of the email and sent the press release to me when available. Someone else sent me the release, I apparently do not count. The email that I sent was very positive with this post attached & even wished him and Megan a Happy New Year.

    It is most unfortunate for all of us, if this is the way that communication will be with State Representative-elect Kampf and his office for the next 2 years. Perhaps other residents will fare better . . . ?

    1. Warren is selectively attentive, probably paranoid, and probably in possession of a Nixon-like “enemies list.”

  8. Since there was much less scrutiny of any other office holder that I am aware of, can you tell me who is the office staff for any other representatives, past or present? Didn’t this blog say people turned down the Kamp job? Audubon is close to Phoenixville and would you be hard on 3 offices?

  9. well I hear the partisan bickering on location, staff choices and the color of his hair. For now, let’s see how it shakes out. Warren Kampf won, and like any winner, Democrat or Republican he has the opportunity to run his office, encourage his good choices and correct the bad ones. The winner gets to pick. The loser goes home. Isn’t that what the Democrats told the Republicans when they won? (See President Obama) Too much criticism already. I wouldn’t expect any different, though, from the partisan Democrats here. Take a deep breath and lets see what happens.

  10. Pattye —

    While I appreciate the intent of your blog, I could see why Mr. Kampf would not answer your questions if you are asking them for publication.

    While you try to be fair and somewhat journalistic, the comments on the blog are far from either of these items once the politics of the 157th become involved.

    Sadly, there are no true journalistic standards in the blogosphere and regardless of the positive intent of any blogger (I count you in that category), that will be an issue for a long time. This becomes doubly true when it comes to comments on the blogs.

    I am sure that Representative Kampf would be willing to add you to his mass e-mail announcements (you just sign up on his website at If you were to take this simple step, you would receive information in a timely manner.

    The comments above that suggest a conspiracy or enemies list are fine examples of what I mentioned above.

    1. Thank you for your comment.

      If my publishing the information was a concern, simply a thank you for my email and that the information would be available shortly would have sufficed. As a State Representative, open communication with the now larger (and more diverse) constituent base should be considered. For the record, I did receive an email from him late last night with a copy of the press release suggesting that I sign up on his website for future information – as you also suggested.

    2. Why do you take shots at someone who is just trying to answer?
      I think we all know that just like our own JP, WK has a bit of a mean streak –and he’ll have to figure out his way through constituent services. As many have said here and elsewhere, if he does a lousy job, he won’t be back. The problem with politics right now is that constituents aren’t what you need to serve — you need the political machine in your camp. That’s true for both “sides.” The only reason the tea party is making any progress is because it is energizing a voting bloc that can decide elections. Because being in government is about getting re-elected more than it is about doing a good job. The state has to figure out how to pay for itself — so services are going to be few and far between. Instead of just talking, posters need to energize a bloc of like-minded individuals. that’s how you get attention.

    3. Sadly, there are no true journalistic standards in the blogosphere

      Absurd.. You need to separate the comments from the core posts. If anything the core posts contain more relevant information than the traditional newspapers. AND…newspapers are increasingly turning to blogs. If anything, the traditional press has been muted…a situation many politicos are quite fond of.


      JP —

      I find it interesting that you, of all people, would claim that journalistic standards exist in the blogosphere and say that you must separate the “core posts” from the comments.

      Right or wrong, members of the BoS called you out on your own “core posts” to your blog a year ago and you were forced to admit — on TV — to calling them “a-holes” and using other vulgar language. These are both items that would not pass any basic journalistic standard, yet they made it onto the blogosphere.

      While I usually follow a practice of not commenting back to you directly, I thought that this instance required it as your own actions are in direct conflict with the very points you try to make to discredit me.

  11. JP’s posts were brought up because he sent an email to the entire board with a very threatening tone just prior to the meeting he references. In fact the BoS read that email on tv that night and JP agreed it was his, the same as he later agreed the vulgar comments and, yes, Jackboot comment, was his.

    As the Board members stated, they wanted the public to understand that JP’s comments that evening were the continuation of an on-going attack against them. And, JP still got to make his comments about St. David’s, so his rights weren’t abridged.

    While I don’t agree with JP’s tone, he has a right to opinions expressed freely…the same way the members of the BoS had the right to make their feelings known about his threatening e-mails and vulgar commentary against them.

  12. May I ask once again that when someone does not use their “real name” that Mr. Petersen not try to presume who they are. The decision to post anonymously is a personal one and I think should be respected. WHile you are not using the real name in your accusation, you are trying to narrow down. If someone doesn’t want their name behind what they say, I don’t want to hear guesses about who they are.

    “which you are in fact a member”… fact?

  13. I have said this before and will again: despite Mr. P’s conjecture, I am not a TTRC member. In fact, I am not a Republican or a Democrat.

    I choose to post anonymously because I do not feel comfortable with using my real name, partially because of the invective I see in some of the comments. That is my right and while it may be fun for some to guess who I really am, for them to state these guesses as factual — when, in fact, they are quite wrong — is simply outside the bounds of respect one should expect for making this decision and outside the bounds of respect for every other poster on this site.

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