Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Kampf-Drucker 2012 Election Rematch for PA House of Representatives, District 157

Rumored for weeks, it is now official – Election Day 2012 will see a rematch between State Rep Warren Kampf (R) and former State Rep Paul Drucker (D) for the PA House of Representatives, District 157.

Drucker defeated opponent Guy Ciarrocchi (R) on November 4, 2008 to succeed retiring Republican Carole Rubley. If you recall, the Drucker-Ciarrocchi race had the distinction of being the most expensive (and possibly the nastiest) race in the state in 2008. A close race for the legislative district 157, Drucker defeated Ciarrocchi by a margin of 50.95% to 49.1%.

After serving 2 years as our State Representative, Drucker was defeated in 2010 in his re-election bid by Republican Warren Kampf. Earlier this month, Kampf formally announced his decision to seek a second term to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

The Chester County Democratic Party held their nominating convention tonight. Democratic Committeepersons and proxies cast their votes and by the end of the night, Drucker emerged from the convention endorsement process as the chosen endorsed PA House of Representative democratic candidate for District 157.

The Pennsylvania Primary Election date is April 24, 2012 and is likely an uncontested primary for both Kampf and Drucker.

Looking ahead to this rematch between Drucker and Kampf, can we hope that the candidates, and their campaign committees, will stick to the actual voting records and history on issues of their opponent?

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  1. Been there –done that. Why would Drucker not just get on with his life and move on. What is it about a State Rep job that you would want it back? Not only do I support term limits, I support one bite at the apple….do the Dems really have no one else (who can afford the time off to run and the money to finance it?)

  2. Pattye —

    I agree this will be an interesting race, but I disagree with your last statement about sticking to the record.

    If you look at the 2010 race, I would challenge someone to find an attack made by the Kampf campaign that wasn’t focused on Mr. Drucker’s record. It was Mr. Drucker’s campaign that tried to make issues out of Mr. Kampf’s legal career, etc. — basically things that had nothing to do with State Representative or even state issues for that matter.

    In 2008, when both Drucker and Ciarrochi were “new” candidates to the State House, those records didn’t really exist so the race got nastier. I will say though that in looking back there were several Drucker mailers that had footnotes that, when checked, had no relation to the claims they were making.

    Personally, Mr. Drucker lost my vote this spring when, touting the Democratic talking points, he called on the legislature to spend a $700 Million surplus that was based wholly on a rosy estimate of future state revenue and at the same time the state faces other looming financial obligations (pensions, possible repayment of MCare Fund from its being raided.)

    As we know today, state revenue is lagging behind even the conservative estimates utilized by the Governor and the Legislature. If Mr. Drucker had his way, we would now be facing a $1.2 Billion deficit for the 2011-12 year.

    I just can’t support someone who seems to think money grows on trees during these really bad economic times.

  3. Paul Drucker did a great job as State Rep. He worked tirelessly to assure the Turnpike Commission didn’t take properties and produced a responsible plan, He was instrumental in bringing significant funding to advance the Paoli Transportation Center. Who has better experience to “hit the ground running” in Harrisburg to counter the short-sighted and mean-spirited Corbett administration?

    1. “Significant funding” — that’s a talking point. The million dollar check from Dwight Evans to the developer certainly seems to have a cost….where is it now? Is that million dollars still in an account somewhere? We know Dwight Evans can’t produce it again.

      I have no residual problems with Mr. Drucker, but I wonder what he has done for the past two years that he’s dying to come back. I think his time with Rendell speaks for itself. It’s just that he played a hand and lost, and you think the reason he should come back is because he’s not a Republican. We had 8 years of Rendell and I keep hearing about what Ridge did….how much time do we give regimes to turn things around? I know that WK is facing off against the PSEA on his pension approach — which means Mr. Drucker will have strong support from that union. That support will have a cost too. Who pays it?

  4. No first term state rep is expected to take the lead on a major piece of legislation. In the first two years, it’s all about learning the ropes and forming alliances with like-minded legislators on issues that matter to your district, your region, your party.

    In this regard, Drucker and Kampf will have an even playing field -each one-termers with similar backgrounds and credentials – i.e. attorneys who began their careers working as assistant district attorneys, served on Tredyffrin’s BOS, with solid records of public service.

    But if you have been troubled in the last year, as I have, by the sweeping changes pushed by Gov. Corbett and supported by one-party control of the State Assembly, it’s time to use the power of your vote to change course.

    Consider what occurred under total Republican control in 2011, and what is on the agenda for 2012. This is just a sampling:

    – Corbett is pushing to redirect a significant portion of education funding to for-profit charters and for vouchers to private schools – or as the governor likes to describe it ” letting the money follow the child”.

    – Corbett clearly intends to close down the Chester-Upland school district and force thousands of students to find their way into neighboring districts or existing charter schools – in the middle of a school year! Even though the state has controlled this school district for most of the last 20 years and drastically cut its funding for 2011-12.

    – The Dept. of Education plans to “help” distressed school districts with a governor- appointed receiver who will have the power to end any collective bargaining agreements, fire any school personnel at will, and effectively end all local control. (Remind you of Michigan’s reviled governor Rick Snyder, or Wisconsin’s soon to be recalled Scott Walker?)

    – DPW has announced a May 1 date to impose means testing for all PA food stamp recipients that is so draconian and short-sighted ( it discourages any saving by those who’d rather eat) that hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians will potentially go without food.

    – Corbett pushed for the recently enacted “safety” law that took advantage of the public outrage over abortion doctor Gosnell’s criminal activities to justify closing the majority of the state’s women’s health centers. See

    Corbett’s real intent and that of anti-abortion legislators is to make an end-run around Roe v. Wade and impose their personal beliefs on all of the state’s women. – even though the majority of Pennsylvanians believe that this service should be available and the choice a private one.

    -Kampf and his fellow House Republicans have voted to pass a voter ID bill that will suppress the votes of hundreds of thousands of currently registered PA voters in the ABSENCE of any cases of voter impersonation. The Senate has proposed amendments to H.B. 934 that do little to improve this partisan legislation. Corbett is waiting to sign it as soon as it reaches his desk.

    – Senator Pileggi has proposed a bill to apportion PA’s electoral votes by Congressional district – with the clear intent of limiting Obama’s electoral votes in PA. Only Maine and Alaska split their votes now. They have a total of 7 electoral votes. PA has 20.

    – The 5- person, Republican majority redistricting committee predictably drew up new district lines that will benefit Republicans – cutting up municipalities to increase Republican voter percentages – even eliminating some Democratic districts entirely.

    But at least temporarily, the redistricting plan – passed in a straight partisan vote by both houses – was been put on hold by the state Supreme Court yesterday.. See:

    If you support vouchers and the defunding of public education, state appointed receivers having complete control of school districts, rigged voting, shredding the safety net for the state’s most vulnerable citizens and other unopposed one -party shenanigans… then Mr. Kampf is your man.

    Here’s a sample of Mr. Kampf’s voting record.

    But if you oppose many of the actions taken or planned by Corbett and his voting majority, then consider doing your part to restore two-party government in Harrisburg by sending Mr. Drucker there.

    This year the choice couldn’t be clearer.

    1. Kate,

      I find your indictment of Mr Kampf utilizing inititatives that are not his or broad strokes incredibly hollow and politics as usual. You would flip if I tried to denigrate Mr Drucker using Obama’s issues and simply calling them the same. You should try better if this race and blog are to be kept civil and on point to the 157th.

      1. FTW, As you well know, I did not “indict” Mr. Kampf at all. It is up to the voters of the 157th to examine Rep. Kampf’s voting record and statements of support regarding the Corbett agenda. I did not suggest they are joined at the hip.

        It is simply a fact that our state is in the hands of one party and that most legislation passed under Corbett has been along party lines.

        The Democratic minority has few options right now. Bringing the fight directly to the voters and fighting to make bad bills better are all they can do when an ideologically driven majority has set about slashing government and undoing the democratic process.

        If you support deep cuts to education, charters over traditional public schools and taxpayer dollars for vouchers to private schools, the shredding of the social safety net while letting gas drillers off the hook, then by all means, defend and vote to support the status quo.

        But if you are troubled by what a one-party majority has done and plans to do – with Governor Corbett anxious to put his signature on it – then it’s time for change in 2012.

        One point: Paul Drucker is running for state office. What does President Obama’s re-election platform have to do with issues that affect Pennsylvania? ….Unless you were trying to make a Drucker-Obama connection equivalent to a Kampf-Corbett one. Good try.

        You wrote:” You should try better if this race and blog are to be kept civil and on point to the 157th.” Ditto, FTW. Ditto.

        1. Kate, lots of indictments in your post. Some may like whats happening in harrisburg with new regime and want to give it more time. Change.. yea yea..

    1. I sincerely hope not, CJ. There are clear policy differences between the two candidates. Voters will either consider the current one-party system in Harrisburg acceptable, or they won’t.

      Mr. Kampf is a good man, a dedicated public servant who has voted his conscience over the last year.

      Voters will decide whether they support the Corbett/Kampf agenda or not.

      Mudslinging and personal attacks will not shed any light on this process.

      1. I agree kate, Warren is a good man and he will have my vote again. Will be eager to see how his second term goes, assuming he gets one. I think he trumps Drucker on many fronts and I’m not concerned about the so called one party system as it exists now.

  5. soon to be recalled Scott Walker? Not so fast I just hope the petulant Democratic state representatives stay in town this time.

  6. I am a Democrat who lives in Lower Providence.

    Paul Drucker has set the Democratic brand back 15 years with his goofy plan to toll 422.

    The GOP successfully used it in 2011 to deny the Democrats of a clean sweep in Montco County Politics.

    Here is an analysis.

    If Drucker stay in there is no reason to think the GOP will not use Drucker as a bludgeon against every other Democrat in the region.

    So every GOP member should cheer that Drucker remains in the race.

    1. If Drucker stays in there is no reason to think the GOP will not use Drucker as a bludgeon against every other Democrat in the region.

      So Joe, are you saying that Paul Drucker should just drop out of the 157 race?

      In your analysis, you seem to be giving Drucker alot of credit by stating that,

      ” … every other candidate goes down because of a small state rep who wants his seat back.”

      Any specific other candidates — or all Democratic candidates in the region?

      Drucker won his 157 seat in the 2008 Obama presidential election – Isn’t it possible that the 2012 presidential election could help Drucker again? Just asking …

  7. To clarify to Joe the Nerd: it was not Drucker’s plan to toll 422. He was just the only elected official dumb enough to come out and talk about it – on a whim during an interview with The Mercury. In fact, he didn’t even bring it up, nor was it in his platform – he was asked the question out of the blue, and his bone-headed answer effectively ended his career. He could have salvaged it, but despite pleadings from people on both sides of the political spectrum in Tredyffrin (yes, he had Republican supporters until he alienated them – in fact Paul Drucker has managed to alienate most of the people who were around him), he stuck to his guns, refusing to believe it would hurt him. Why he clung to it so tightly, since it was never something he truly cared or talked about previously, is only a question Mr. Drucker can answer. Although I can guess: extreme arrogance?

    I agree that it severely hurt Democrats. Then, the local party endorsed him this year, effectively endorsing the tolling of 422. Can’t you just hear local Republicans jumping up and down with happiness?

    Pattye, as far as the Obama effect, ask Roggio and Trivedi how that worked out for them. The HDCC didn’t spend a ton of money fighting a race in 2008 that was going to be won by the Obama effect. I see no way for Drucker to win. He should drop out. And certainly, the local Democratic parties should not be supporting him. They should have found another candidate, although I understand Drucker was their “candidate of last resort”.

  8. Joe, Democrats come in all stripes. I’d call you a DINO with an agenda. I seriously doubt your animus toward Mr. Drucker emanates from your anger at Paul’s statement on 422 tolling.

    I’ve heard you supported a person wholly unqualified to represent our party and our district in Harrisburg. Sour grapes, perhaps?

    Also, your powers of prognostication are based on the results of an election that was very different from the one facing voters in 2012. Given that difference, you make a number of leaps from the 2010 vote totals.

    And you make them with such conviction!

    Let’s be honest. You’re just a person with an opinion. Like the rest of us…..

    As a Democratic committee person from Tredyffrin, I can assure you that our membership enthusiastically supports Paul’s candidacy and does NOT endorse 422 tolling.

    I see that you don’t bother to discuss the need for infrastructure improvements to free up weekday gridlock on 422 in your Huff Post screed, Joe.

    And you surely know that tolling was never the only or even the preferred solution to the problem. It was one of a number of possibilities given the lack of public funding available.

    Voters who’d be most affected by tolling – those who travel the length of the road daily – made their feelings clear. They didn’t want tolling. Now it’s time to focus on alternative solutions to the gridlock – unless you plan to make political hay out of old news.

    Is that your plan, Joe?

    You should know Paul Drucker is not a partisan ideologue who works for special interests. He is interested in solving problems. As the 157th state rep from 2008-2010, he was a consensus-builder interested in getting things done.

    Notably, he never sought public office He was asked to run for both township supervisor and state representative as a man in his 60s. He ran because he cares deeply about our region’s economy and the quality of public education.

    In the last 14 months a one party state government has focused on carrying out their ideological agenda, disregarding the will of the people on Marcellus Shale, education funding, bridge and road repair and other issues.

    We need to return Paul Drucker to Harrisburg to work in a bi-partisan way and focus on the kind of economic-development projects that will bring prosperity to our region.

    Needless to say, I strongly disagree with Joe the Nerd and THPT.. We need a state rep who will represent the moderate, reasonable majority of residents living in the 157th. Someone who will push back against Corbett’s crushing cuts to education. Someone who will work for all the people.

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