Pattye Benson

Community Matters

Ken Buckwalter

Judy DiFilippo Officially Endorses Ken Buckwalter for 157th State House District’s Republican Primary

For those who follow closely, a couple of days ago, Judy DiFilippo’s endorsement of Ken Buckwalter for the 157 was on Community Matters briefly and then removed.  The confusion has been resolved — here is her endorsement.

Former Tredyffrin Township supervisor and candidate for the 157 State House District seat herself, Judy DiFilippo has decided to formally endorse Ken Buckwalter of Phoenixville in the Republican Primary.  Below is Judy’s endorsement statement:

The 157th State House District includes Tredyffrin, the Borough of Phoenixville, Schuylkill Township, and 6 precincts located in Lower Providence and West Norriton Townships in Montgomery County.  Two qualified candidates were recommended by the members of the Chester County Republican Committee in this District for our consideration in the Primary Election.  As voters, we must now do our part and choose the person whom we believe will best represent the Republican Party in the General Election and then serve the citizens of the 157th District.
This is not a ‘Tredyffrin seat’ nor is it a ‘Phoenixville seat’.  As candidate – and now U.S. Senator – Scott Brown said, “It is the People’s Seat!”  It is my belief that Ken Buckwalter is running for the People’s Seat.  I have observed that he is guided by principles, not politics.  He has shown his ability to garner support from voters across ‘party lines.’ On behalf of taxpayers, he is capable of making tough decisions about budgets and quality of life issues.  Though in the minority, he has worked with his fellow elected officials for the ‘greater good’ of the community.
As a small business owner, he has first-hand knowledge of how the economy affects jobs and our families.  In addition, he understands the benefits of volunteer organizations and has been a volunteer himself.  Ken has reached a place in his life where he can devote himself fulltime as a Legislator. All of these attributes deserve our consideration.
While each candidate is qualified, after long and careful thought, I have made my choice.  On May 18, 2010 I will cast my vote for Ken Buckwalter in the Republican Primary, the candidate who will represent the 157th District in the People’s Seat.

Judy L. DiFilippo

Countdown to May 18 Primary . . . Can we escape negative campaigning?

Days are beginning to countdown to the Pennsylvania Primary on May 18 and then on to Election Day on November 2. As the campaign season prepares to get in to full swing, I want to publically state my strong opposition to negative campaigning. Recalling my own experience in last year’s campaign cycle, I know all too well the personal effect of negative campaigning.

On a local level, based on past performance the potential exists for negative campaigning in the Pennsylvania State House 157 race. The Primary has Ken Buckwalter and Warren Kampf seeking the Republican nomination; and incumbent Paul Drucker as the endorsed Democrat candidate. I have had a conversation with two of the three candidates to express my concern that this campaign season not take us down the negative path.

I think that negative campaigning can backfire in local political elections. Poll after poll has shown that voters severely dislike negative campaigning. Ask almost anyone and they will agree: one of the most distasteful things about political campaigns is when a candidate decides to “go negative’ on an opponent. Often times it seems that the definition of “negative campaigning” really depends on which candidate you’re supporting. Many consultants and campaign managers like to call negative campaigning “comparing” or “contrasting” candidates by showing the voters the clear differences between their choices. If your candidate starts “comparing” himself with his opponent, then you’re more likely to look at it as completely acceptable. If, on the other hand, the opponent does the same with your candidate, then it becomes “negative campaigning.”

In our local election, where many of us may know the candidates personally, going strongly negative and personal in the campaign can end up costing you our respect, and ultimately our vote. Sending out a negative mailer about a candidate who everyone knows and thinks is a fairly nice guy probably isn’t going to make us change our opinion of him. It’s much more likely to get us angry at you, instead. I look at this way: if a candidate is severely flawed, then odds are that other people know plenty about his shortcomings. If, on the other hand, the candidate is a generally well-liked person with a clean record, then trying to convince his neighbors otherwise with a negative campaign is a losing battle. Let’s stick to the candidate’s actual voting record and history on issues. An opponent may claim to support a tax cut, for example, but his voting record may show a number of previous votes in favor of tax hikes . . . that would be fair game in a campaign. But personal attacks on an opponent’s private life, name-calling and mudslinging are unnecessary and not OK, and will likely not be favorably rewarded on Community Matters.

If you’re a candidate in a local election who is thinking about “going negative” on your opponent at some point during the campaign, I hope that you will reconsider. The stuff that really wins elections is called Hard Work . . . and if you’re really putting the necessary effort into running a great campaign, you won’t have time to waste on spreading rumors about your opponent, anyway.

Here is a preview of Ken Buckwalter’s campaign mailer for the State House 157, which is going out next week. Ken is taking the ‘high road’ with his campaign strategy, here’s hoping that the other two will follow suit.

Just in . . . Carole Rubley Endorses Ken Buckwalter for PA State House 157 District

I received the following press release from Ken Buckwalter announcing that Carole Rubley is endorsing him for PA State House 157.

Hon. Carole Rubley endorses Kendrick Buckwalter for 157th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

“I respect his work ethic, his strong commitment to the community.”

PHOENIXVILLE, PA. Carole Rubley, the highly respected former member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, today announced her endorsement of Kendrick Buckwalter to become the next member of the House of Representatives from the 157th District.

Rubley said, “I have known Ken for many years. I respect his work ethic, his strong commitment to the community, and his faithful observance to our Constitution. I strongly support his candidacy for State Representative. Ken is a man of principle and integrity who stands up for the Rule of Law. He can be counted on to work fulltime for the citizens of the 157th District.”

Buckwalter, a business owner and member of Phoenixville Borough Council, said, “I’m honored to have the support of Carole Rubley. She faithfully represented our district in Harrisburg. She is a respected member of our community and I appreciate her help and her support.”

Buckwalter is running in the May 18, 2010, Republican Primary for the position. He is a recommended candidate by the Republican Committee of Chester County.

“I’m looking forward to representing the district,” Buckwalter said. “As a Councilman for eight years I’ve compiled a record of protecting taxpayers. I look to cut government programs that waste tax dollars. As a business owner for 36 years, I know the value of a dollar. I’m a businessman, not a career politician.”

Buckwalter is also a defender of the Pennsylvania Constitution. As a councilman, he filed a lawsuit when he believed council was violating a provision of the Constitution. “I took an oath to uphold the Constitution. I believe in the founding principles of this country and I had a duty to challenge a violation of our laws. The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania unanimously upheld my view.” Buckwalter has also served his community as a volunteer firefighter and being a foster parent.

He strongly supports creating jobs, government fiscal responsibility, economic growth, entrepreneurship and personal liberties. Buckwalter has compiled an outstanding mainstream conservative record as a councilman. “I believe in conservative values, fiscal sanity, transparency, honesty, law and order and family values,” Buckwalter said.

Public Invitation Includes Speakers Gerlach, Toomey and Kampf . . . but Where's Buckwalter?

A friend gave me a public invitation she received in today’s mail. Here was a part of the invitation:

Come and Hear:

Jim Gerlach

Tredyffrin Supervisor and State Representative candidate
Warren Kampf

Plus a Surprise Speaker!

Sponsored by Tredyffrin Township Republican Committee

I am puzzled and confused by this invitation. On February 20th, both the Democrats and the Republicans held their nominating conventions and I wrote about both of the conventions. For the State House Representative 157, incumbent Paul Drucker was endorsed by the Democrat Party. However, at the Chester County Republican Convention neither Warren Kampf nor Ken Buckwalter were endorsed by the party. After three rounds of voting (Round #3, Kampf 29 – Buckwalter 27) the decision was to recommend, not endorse either candidate. To receive the party’s endorsement would have required one of the candidates to receive 60% of the votes. To read about the Chester County Republican Committee vote which I posted, click here.

So then I look at this invitation and wonder to myself if the TTGOP is sponsoring this public event in a public place (the event will be at the Strafford Library, April 12, 7-9 PM) a couple of things jumped out at me. First thing, I wondered was where was Ken Buckwalter’s name? Warren Kampf is recommended (just like Ken) and this is sponsored by the local Republican party, so shouldn’t both of their names appear on the invitation? Shouldn’t Ken have the same opportunity as Warren to speak at this public forum? Was this a simple oversight . . . a miss-step . . . or what? The opportunity to participate in this forum should be open to both candidates. If Warren had been endorsed by the party, this would be a different matter but he was recommended, just as was Ken. I think that Ken should be included and given the same opportunity to participate; level the playing field.

Then the next question I have about the invitation is re Jim Gerlach. Is this invitation intended to imply that Gerlach has endorsed Warren Kampf? That’s the way it reads to me but I don’t recall seeing a press release to that effect. Has Gerlach endorsed Kampf? Did Gerlach OK this invitation? Does Gerlach know that Ken Buckwalter was not included? For the sake of party unity, I would think that Gerlach would want to treat both candidates fairly until the primary.

Now my third comment on this invitation, I was curious who the ‘surprise speaker’ was? I did some checking around — and was able to track down the surprise speaker — Pat Toomey. Very interesting . . . I wonder if Gerlach was told about the surprise speaker? Interesting trio of speakers – Gerlach, Toomey and Kampf. Comments anyone? Do you agree that Ken Buckwalter should be asked to join this group on April 12 and given an opportunity to speak?

A Couple of Political Points of Interest . . .

I found a couple of interesting political notes in the last couple of days . . .

On the Republican side: Phoenixville Councilman Ken Buckwalter (R) who is running in the Pennsylvania State House 157 primary race, has received an endorsement from longtime friend Ed Shanaughy. You may not know Ed personally but I bet that you know his restaurant – Our Deli in Paoli (with the large steer out front). Ed served as president of Paoli Fire Company for 35 years, recently stepping down (John Beatty is now president) to become the fire company’s Chairman of the Board. As a Director of Paoli Business and Professional Association, Ed serves with me on the Board as Director Emeritus.

Both Ken and Ed are local small business owners and have known each other for 30 years; in fact Ken attributes some of his early success with Buckwalter Framing to Ed’s support. Ken Buckwalter stated in his press release,

To have his [Ed Shanaughy] endorsement is gratifying. I had stated at the candidate interviews in early February that I live in one major end of the district and have done business for many years in the other. I am well-known throughout, and my public service is largely without controversy.”

On the Democrat side: I found this next political tidbit an interesting sidebar on the local Pennsylvania Senate primary race, Senator Arlen Specter (D) vs. Congressman Joe Sestak (D). Yesterday in a press release, Specter claimed that Sestak does not pay all his campaign staffers a living wage, or even the minimum wage, unless they are a member of his family. Specter’s report shows Sestak employees receiving what appears to be far less than the minimum wage. The response from Sestak’s camp is that those are all part-time employees who split their time; people who work 10 percent of their time for the campaign.

In a second press release today, Specter called for Sestak to clarify the reports, or turn himself into the authorities for violating minimum wage law requirements. Sestak’s email response to Specter’s latest pronouncement,

“It’s a shame with the enormous challenges facing our country that Senator Specter is spending his time working on this, rather than focusing on getting our economy in shape or reforming our healthcare system. This kind of petty diversion and focus on personal attacks is why so many people hate Washington-style politics.”

Just In . . . No Endorsement from the Chester County Republican Committee for the State House 157 Race . . . There Will be a Primary!

This just in . . . Chester County Republican Committee has completed their voting for the Pennsylvania State House 157. The committee voted not to endorse either Warren Kampf or Ken Buckwalter. To receive an endorsement requires 60% of the votes; the voting went as follows:

  • Round 1: Kampf 32 votes; Buckwalter 26 votes
  • Round 2: Kampf 31 votes; Buckwalter 27 votes
  • Round 3: Kampf 29 votes; Buckwalter 27 votes *

* It is my understanding that 2 Tredyffrin committee people left before Round 3 vote.

As a result of the voting, the Republican Committee has made the decision to recommend both candidates (neither candidate receives an endorsement). So there will be a Primary race between Kampf and Buckwalter; both candidates will appear on the ballot. Paul Drucker’s Republican opponent for the State House race will be decided by the people on Primary Day, May 18, 2010.

Interesting that we will have a Republican Primary between a Paoli candidate and a Phoenixville candidate . . . wonder when the last time that happened? Has there ever been a non-Tredyffrin Township State House Representative? Exciting local political news!

Chester County Democrat and Republican Nominating Conventions Being Held Today . . . Who Will Face Paul Drucker in the State House Race?

The Chester County Democrat Committee Nominating Convention is being held today in West Chester, 10 AM – 1 PM. Petitions will be signed for senate, congressional, gubernatorial and legislative candidates.

Also today is the endorsement process for the Chester County Republican Committee. The outcome of today’s vote will determine if there is a primary for the Republicans in the State House 157 race. The was a straw poll held a couple of weeks ago between Warren Kampf, Judy DiFilippo and Ken Buckwalter. As a result of the straw poll, Judy made the decision to leave the race, leaving committee people today to make a choice between Kampf and Buckwalter. Although the outcome of the straw poll has historically given good indication of who will get the GOP endorsement, the results are unofficial and nonbinding. It will be curious to see if Kampf, the frontrunner after the straw poll receives the GOP endorsement or if Phoenixville resident Buckwalter receives it. If a 60-40 margin is not reached among committee people, there will be no endorsement. The next question will be whether the committee people decide to recommend one (or both) of the candidates. If one of the candidates doesn’t receive an endorsement or recommendation, it would appear unlikely that the candidate would remain in the race.

Paul Drucker (D), the incumbent State House 157 Representative kicked off his reelection campaign this week with the opening of his Paoli Campaign office. “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the people of this community over the past year, and I am proud of my work on issues important to residents here, from our successful efforts to increase education funding to progress on job creation and transportation, as well as the urgent need for reform in Harrisburg,” Drucker said. “While we have done some very good things together, there is much more to be done to make Harrisburg reflect the priorities of the people, and that is why I will ask the voters to give me the opportunity to continue to serve them.”

The Chester County Democrat and Republican committee process is important today for Tredyffrin residents. By the end of the day we will know the opponent(s) for Paul Drucker in the State House 157 legislative race. Just so everyone understands, the 157th legislative district encompasses Tredyffrin. Schuylkill, Phoenixville, and in Montgomery County – 4 precincts in Lower Providence and 1 precinct in West Norriton

Will the May Primary have both Warren Kampf and Ken Buckwalter on the ballot? Will one of them be endorsed by the Republican Committee? Look for an announcement later today; as soon as I know something, I will post.

Tredyffrin's Republican Candidate for State House 157 Withdraws from Race . . . Leaving me with the Question, Where is the Integrity and Honesty in this Township?

I have really struggled for the last 2 days as to how write this post. On Wedneday night the TTRC held a straw poll which included the State House 157 race. There were 3 candidates — Judy DiFilippo, Warren Kampf and Ken Buckwalter. As a result of the straw poll, Judy did not feel that there was support from the Republican committee for her to continue in this race.

Challenging myself to remain fair and balanced on issues, I feel compelled to speak out on this topic. Sure, Judy and I have been the best of friends for nearly 20 years, so I openly admit to bias when I say that many Republican committee people of Tredyffrin Township simply ‘got it wrong’ on Wednesday night. It escapes me why you would not support the person with the highest level of integrity, honesty and commitment of anyone that I know. Judy is the kind of person who governed with honesty and fairness, as she did for 20 years as a member of the Board of Supervisors. Judy doesn’t look at issues based on a political slant, or make decisions based on how many votes that she may ‘win’ or ‘lose’. Judy didn’t just ‘serve’ the township, she was one of us . . . she loves this community and its residents, not because it was her ‘job’ but because she believed in us!

But instead, many of the township Republican committee people cast their vote for Warren Kampf. Have you not been watching the actions of Mr. Kampf for the last 2 months; his decisions in regards to the BAWG report, the $50K cash offer from St. Davids, the political ‘cardboard check’ for the firefighters rather than restoring funding to the township budget, and then his latest decision . . . casting out policies and procedures of our local government in lieu of ‘making up the rules’ and setting precedent for special treatment for a country club.

I know many of the Republican committee people personally so I am left wondering, when did integrity, honesty and commitment to this community and its voters stop mattering? With her withdrawal from the race, Judy is no longer a choice for the Republican committee members. Before you take your vote to Chester County Republican Committee meeting on February 20, I would encourage you to seriously review the actions of Mr. Kampf on the Board of Supervisors (particularly during the last 2 months). After review, I think that you should then look at Republican candidate Ken Buckwalter from Phoenixville. I had the pleasure of meeting Ken and he represents that same type of commitment to the community as Judy. He believes in serving all the residents with equal and measured leadership. I want to see a May primary between current State House Rep Paul Drucker (D) and Ken Buckwalter (R); they both represent experience, honesty and integrity.

Even as Judy makes the disappointing decision to leave the State House race, she does so with her brand of honesty and truthfulness. Below is an email sent to her supporters:

Dear Friends –

As many of you know I have been seeking support as a candidate for the 157th State House District. I am writing to you to let you know that today I have officially withdrawn my name from consideration.

A straw vote taken last evening showed that the majority of the Republican Committee members have decided to support one of two other candidates. I have called both of them and wished them well as they endeavor to win a recommendation or an endorsement.

I want to let you know how much I appreciate the support you gave me through your words of encouragement, by your willingness to allow me to use your name on my letterhead, or by saying, ‘How can I help?’.

I know not what the future holds, but I know I have been blessed with your friendship.

With deepest gratitude,


PA State House 157 Race Adds Ken Buckwalter of Phoenixville

Ken Buckwalter of Phoenixville made his formal announcement in The Mercury that he is in race for the PA State House 157. To read the full article, Phoenixville Councilman Seeks GOP nomination for State House click here.Besides the many other accomplishments of Mr. Buckwalter (volunteer firefighter, Phoenixville councilman, businessman) his background includes an interesting twist,which caught my eye. Since 2006, Ken has been an active blogger; his blog Watching Phoenixville is dedicated to ‘Keeping an Eye on Phoenixville and the General Surrounds and Holding those in Leadership Positions Accountable’.

Yesterday, Ken highlighted my Community Matters in a post on Watching Phoenixville, as he compared Tredyffrin Township’s recent Board of Supervisor meeting to some of the past Phoenixville Council meetings. As a blogger, Ken has an interesting vantage point from which to launch his State House 157 campaign. In reading his blog post, Ken makes an interesting point, ” . . . it is important for candidates of an office and those who have been elected to office to understand those who put us in office deserve transparency and accountability of our actions. Citizen journalists and their following are watching and taking notes.”

From one blogger to another, I offer best wishes to Ken as he takes on this latest challenge.

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