Friday, October 29, 2010

Jane Orie attacks Dan Demarco for a property tax reduction

I went off the other day about Sen. Jane Orie attacking Dan Demarco for raising taxes $15 (or 150%) based on legislation that Orie voted for that raised most of her constituents taxes by 420%. Then little information was provided to me about this 'tax hike' from 2004. The legislation that Dan Demarco voted for to increase the Emergency Municipal Services tax (formerly the Occupational Privilege Tax, currently the Local Services Tax) included a Property Tax CUT for Ross Township Residents. So Dan Demarco voted to REDUCE the property tax from 2.0451 mills to 1.9671 mills. Here is the the PG article.

The PG gives some more detail on the Emergency & Municipal Services Tax, which is essentially a 'user fee', that affects about 22,000 workers in Ross of which 86% don’t even live in the Township but use Ross services. So Dan Demarco was looking out for the people he represented and Jane Orie wants you to think she is the one that will fight for us? I hope the voters see through her games.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How much support with Keith Rothfus accept from organizations that don't disclose their donors?

This is the third direct mailer that has been sent out against Jason Altmire this month from the 60 Plus Association. With a $600,000 television ad buy by the Americans for Job Security and three direct mailers from the 60 Plus Organization how much money will Keith Rothfus accept in indirect campaign assistance from organizations that don't disclose their donors?

I would hope the voters and the candidates call for the end of this shady money like this that is influencing our elections. However, Mr. Rothfus doesn't just stand on the sideline like most candidates would in this situation. Mr. Rothfus has come out in support of these shadow groups while at the same time saying we need campaign finance reform. So is Rothfus's idea of campaign finance unlimited and undisclosed money for our political campaigns?

Mike Turzai Mailer

Let's be honest, I don't think it is possible for Mike Turzai to lose. I might be okay with him being my State Rep, if he didn't take the time to go after the only local elected Democrat in his legislative district just because of party politics during the 2009 elections. Mr. O'Malley was a young fresh voice on the entirely senior citizen Richland Township Board of Supervisors. Mr. O'Malley voted 99% with the Republicans on the Board of Supervisors.

So why did Mr. Turzai waste his important time to send out a mailer against someone who never raised taxes, consolidated the police force, saved taxpayers a million dollars in building costs, and eliminated a 1/3 of the Richland Township employees? Sounds to me like Mr. O'Malley was doing everything that Mr. Turzai says he is fighting for in Harrisburg. I guess policy will always be trumped by party politics in Mike Turzai's world.

FYI, Mr. Turzai's opponent is Dr. Sharon Brown. I don't know much about her other then some bad literature I saw during the Primary Election and that Mr. Turzai challenged her petitions in the spring. The Post Gazette has endorsed Mr. Turzai.

Random RNC Mailers

Just thought I would share.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Jane Orie: I was for the tax before I was against it.

Sen. Jane Orie has really outdone herself this time. In her most recent mailing she accused her opponent, Dan Demarco, of raising taxes by 150%. Local elected officials in Pennsylvania have very few taxes they can impose or raise. One would assume this 150% tax increase must be property taxes, but that would mean a major increase in property tax millage. Generally our citizens pay very small amounts of our property tax bill towards the municipality. Our school taxes are the largest chunk of our property tax bill. A little research on Ross Township’s property tax rate will find the 8th lowest property taxes (1.97 mils) in Allegheny County. That seems like a pretty impressive record for any elected official in Allegheny County.

So what tax is Jane Orie talking about? She is referencing the $52 Occupational Privilege/Emergency Municipal/Local Services Tax. In 2004 the state gave every municipality the option of raising the tax on citizens that worked in the municipality from $10 to $52. So Dan Demarco and Ross Township only raised the tax to $25. So Sen. Orie is telling us because of a $15 increase in taxes we should vote for her and Dan Demarco is just another tax and spend liberal. Jane Orie wants to scare us with facts and figures, but would we be as scared if she told us that Dan Demarco didn’t raise taxes as high as 110 other municipalities in Allegheny County did?

In order for Ross Township to have this option of raising this tax in 2004 on those that were employed in Ross Township, the state had to amend the local tax enabling law of 1965. So the State Legislature had to approve this new option allowing municipalities to raise this tax. Guess who supported and voted for this tax increase? Sen. Jane Orie. So using Jane Orie’s math, she approved a 420% tax increase in 2004, and now is trying to use that same legislation against her opponent.

I started to think back a few years and I remembered that this isn’t the first time Jane Orie has used legislation that she voted for against a political opponent. When first running for State Senate against a member of the Rooney family she attacked him because the Rooney’s accepted public funding for Heinz field and the implosion of Three Rivers Stadium. The kicker was she voted for the legislation that approved funding to be used for the stadiums and convention center.

Jane Orie, just another power hungry politician grasping at straws.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Another 60 Plus Mailing for Rothfus

The other day I was told by a Keith Rothfus supporter that my first post about the Anti-Altmire 60 Plus Association direct mailing was "difficult to read the fine print on your blog, but it seems to be primarily an anti-tax ad, not anti-Altmire." and "In fairness, that ad doesn't even mention Rothfus OR voting against Altmire. It says "Call" him & ask him to vote."

If you can't see that this is a shady attack attempting to convince you that Congressman Altmire is behind the 'claims' of these mailers that are not true and talking points from Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh, then enjoy your far right world.

If Conservatives want to close their eyes and pretend they don't care where the money comes from for organziations like Americans for Job Security and the 60 Plus Association that will influence their Elections so be it. However, I don't want to see these same conservatives complain about candidate funding and attempt to make it a campaign issue. So I was surprised to see after I was told that there was nothing wrong with these anti-tax mailers, that this same blogger wrote a post about Congressman Altmire outfundraising Keith Rothfus. She tried to highlight money that Altmire received from groups with addresses outside of Pennsylvania as an campaign issue. It will be completely ignored by those that are blindly fowling the Republicans and Tea Party that at least $650,000 has been spent on TV and direct mail against Congressman Altmire. We will never know where that money has come from.

So once again, will Mr. Rothfus denounce these ads? It doesn't matter now, these ads have already accomplished what was needed. They have allowed Mr. Rothfus cover, while these organizations put out attacks on Congressman Altmire based on lies and innuendos.

North of the Burgh: Post-Gazette Endorses Jason Altmire

North of the Burgh: Post-Gazette Endorses Jason Altmire

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dan Demarco Mailers

Letting you all know that Jane Orie isn't the only one sending direct mail in the 40th District PA Senate race.

Why Did Jane Orie get indicted? Hmmm...

Why Did Steve Zappala indict Jane Orie? Hmmmm.....overwhelming evidence is the correct answer. The actual question is misleading since a jury of Orie's peers indicted Sen. Orie (h/t RossRenegade on Twitter):

* Rioja (Intern) testified that beginning in fall of 2009, she personally observed Orie's paid staff members performing political campaign work for Orie's sister, now Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin.

*Rioja became aware that various election and campaign materials for Orie Melvin were being created on Orie's district office equipment, including the photocopier, scanner, computer(s) and telephone(s) which were provided and paid for by the Pennsylvania Senate.

*Rioja testified that a majority of the political work that she observed had been conducted in the Orie office during the legislative workday by senate staffers Joshua Dott (hereinafter "Dott") and Kurt Acker, Esquire (hereinafter "Acker"). Rioja also stated that she had heard Acker state to fellow staffers on at least one occasion that if the Attorney General's Office knew what was occurring in Orie's office, that "they all would be in handcuffs".

*Young indicated via IM that Frantz had been directed to conduct certain campaign work for Orie Melvin's campaign during the legislative workday while at Orie's office.

*That day, after Rioja had submitted her resignation from her internship, Rioja called both the Pennsylvania Bureau of Elections and later the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General to report the political activities that were being carried out at Orie's legislative office. Rioja was told by the person with whom she spoke at the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General that her complaint should be directed instead to the Office of the District Attorney of Allegheny County. Rioja's own telephone records for that day have been admitted into evidence, and they corroborate Rioja's description of the sequence of the phone calls that she made that day that ultimately led to her filing a written complaint with the Investigations Unit of the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office. (Where were you at Mr. Corbett???)

*Pavlot recalled that on October 29, 2009, Pavlot directed Frantz to make phone calls to convents because Orie wanted to deliver letters to nuns promoting Orie Melvin's campaign for Supreme Court Justice.

*According to Pavlot, as per the directive by Orie, Campbell, Frantz, Young and another Orie staffer, Dan Soltesz, all helped to prepare those campaign materials for delivery to the convents; Pavlot admitted that this work was done at the legislative office using senate-owned equipment and supplies, as well as legislative workers who were on state time.

*This Grand Jury takes note of the fact that during the pendency of this investigation, no fewer than fifteen either current or past members of Orie's Senatorial staff have testified under oath before this body that they either participated in, and/or observed non-legislative work occurring during legislative working hours. Staffers reported that directives to do this political and campaign work came from at least three sources: Orie herself, Orie's Chief of Staff, and, in regard to the 2009 political campaign of Joan Orie Melvin, from Orie's sister, Janine Orie. (I'd like to point out that I know someone that did a high school shadow study with Ms. Orie when she was still a State Representative in 1999. He observed campaign work on state time and even had a staffer tell him that it was 'part of the job?')

Did Jane Orie "screw" with the Zappala family? She didn't pass any legislation that has hurt the Pennsylvania Casino Association. She just makes up stories about casino gangsters based on popular movies so that she can frame her crazy arguments.

By the way Jane, your opponent is Dan Demarco, not Steve Zappala! Demarco is a Ross Township Commissioner that is so 'unconnected' that he didn't even decide to run against you until April. Demarco had to get on the ballot as a write-in candidate. If this conspiracy theory exists about the Zappalas and the insider deals, wouldn't the Zappalas have lined up a candidate to go against you this year in February when a candidate can circulate a petition to get on the ballot?

Ms. Orie, I used to have respect for you. I also used to vote for you. These mailers and your campaign is a joke.

Also, why haven't we heard more Joan Melvin Orie's indictment?

The Rest of the Jane Orie Mailers - So Far

I might have more to say later, but sometimes the crazy speaks for itself.

Friday, October 15, 2010

More $hady money flows for Keith Rothfus

A few weeks back, I was reading an article at the New York Times about the organization named "Americans for Job Security" that was running ads against Congressman Jason Altmire. I was one of the people that was very disappointed in the Supreme Court's decision regarding companies being able to make independent expenditures against and for candidates. Over the last few months we have seen more and more groups that don't have to disclose their donation sources buying television ads and sending mailers against candidates. I have seen it on both sides of the political isle. I would like to see the candidates that these ads support denounce these groups as shady and their money shouldn't be influencing our democratic process.

Here in my district, Tea Party candidate Keith Rothfus has been the benefactor of a $600,000 television ad buy from Americans for Job Security:

Just your usual attack ad with no basis other than scare tactics. I particularly don't like that all of these conservative/tea party/Republican groups act like Democrats have raised taxes when in fact since 2008 federal income taxes have been lowered by Congressman like Jason Altmire. Actually in the last 7 years, my only tax increase was by the all Republican Pine-Richland School Board. Jason Altmire and Barack Obama lowered my federal income taxes and Governor Rendell and the State Legislature lowered my school property taxes. I guess the Republicans will stick to their guns and call everyone with a D next to their name a tax and spend liberal. Even if there isn't any proof.

The other day I got a horribly misleading mailer from the 60 Plus Association. This is another group that does not disclose their donors. This mailer is made to look like it is a IRS bill and I can't believe they can get away with the line: "Please submit your check today to avoid penalty." The figure on the front of $31,000 per household is misleading since very few people in this country pays $31,000 per year in federal income taxes. It based on averages by extremely conservative groups that ignored the spending of the Bush administration. On the back of the mailer there is a figure of $42,000 per household in 2020. I can't find anything to back that up that claim and they don't give a source. Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

So Mr. Rothfus, will you denounce these ads? Or will you just keep your mouth shut and reap the benefits of half truths being spewed by your Conservative friends?

We don't need another extreme right wing or left wing member of Congress. I believe that there are enough people in the 4th District that are independent thinkers and know that Congressman Jason Altmire is representing us in Washington. As Congressman Altmire's ads say, 'He listens to us.'

Dan Demarco Mailers

I thought since I was showing off all of Jane Orie's mail, I would let you see what her opponent was sending. Some positive mail pieces from Dan Demarco.

Will these mailers convince you that Jane Orie didn't abuse taxpayer's money?

#1: Jane Orie is not running against Steve Zappala or his family, she is running against Dan Demarco, a Ross Township Commissioner and Harrisburg outsider. Hardly a 'Good Old Boy'

#2 Are we supposed to ignore the nepotism by the Orie family when Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin (Soon to be indicted!) gave Janine Orie a government job working directly for the Supreme Court Justice.

#3 Why everyone ignoring how poorly Tom Corbett handled the intern's complaint?

#4 Did Jane Orie blatantly break the law and use taxpayer money and resources to campaign for her sister because she knew she would be safe from an Attorney General investigation? Does anyone remember this quote from the Trib:
"As a former prosecutor, I understand it's extremely complicated and (the investigation) expands as he goes along," said Sen. Jane Orie, R-McCandless, a former assistant district attorney in Allegheny County. "I'm confident in (Corbett) and I think he has handled this well."

#5 This is a sad display of a power hungry politician and family.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Jane Orie's Fantasy World

I thought I would take a moment to share last few pieces of mail that State Senator Jane Orie has been crushing my mailbox with. If you have ignored every newspaper article about her indictment, maybe you could believe this fantasy world that she is trying to create about how she is 'under attack' and is 'fighting for us.'
Jane Orie has been watching too much Boardwalk Empire:

Seriously, who is she fighting to 'clean-up' the gambling industry? She has held press conferences and put out press releases, but it has all been grandstanding at best.
Fighting for our wallets - to pay her staff to do campaign work: