Tuesday, October 31, 2006

196: Why the Delco Times Should Print This Letter

A friend of ours recently sent a letter to the editors of the Delaware County Daily Times (or Delco Times). It was a letter the Times will never publish.

In a series of recent editorial pieces the Time editorial board issued their endorsements for local candidates in the coming election. The endorsements for state offices were covered in multiple articles, with at least one paragraph devoted to each race. My friend was anxious to see how Casey Roncaglione came out. Here is what the Delco Times had to say in making an endorsement for the 164th Legislative District (Pennsylvania House seat from eastern Delaware County – Upper Darby, East Lansdowne, Millbourne and Drexel Hill):

Pa. House, 164th District. This race at once offers one of the most clear-cut calls, and interesting candidates in the race.

Republican incumbent Mario Civera is another lawmaker whose service stretches for decades. He’s served in Harrisburg for 26 years.

He’s opposed by Democrat Casey Roncaglione, a Temple student and 2004 Upper Darby High graduate. Roncaglione brings the view of a new generation to the race. It’s one that should be encouraged.

Civera voted for the pay hike, and now admits it was a mistake. And he’s heard plenty about it from his constituents, as well as from Roncaglione. But Civera is a valuable member of the Legislature, who has a keen eye on education funding issues, as well as an independent streak, as evidenced by his willingness to back gun-control measures such as one-gun-a-month proposals to combat urban violence. The clear choice in the 164th is Mario Civera.

Now, 26 years is a long time, and for someone with so many years in office, Mr. Civera certainly has not done much to distinguish himself, nor to elevate himself. In fact, one would look at Civera as being ‘comfortable’, and in a ‘cushy’ position. He wields some power, but not much more than a Representative who has been reelected once. Civera is what we would describe as one of the RINOs (Republican In Name Only) that have ruined not only the state Republican Party, but also the state legislature, especially over the last four years under Governor “Fast Eddie” Rendell. The General Assembly has played too close, too cozy and far to cooperative with Rendell, and in return, he signed their pay raise, unconstitutional as it was. The merits of its constitutionality were recently destroyed in a State Supreme Court decision – with Chief Justice Ralph Cappy recusing himself – but most people who know how to read knew on the day after its passage in July of 2005 that it was unconstitutional on several levels.

Civera is a good friend of Speaker of the House John Perzel, who should be indicted for impersonating a Republican.

The raise became a cause celebre for a number of political and civic activist groups, and created a very effective one in Russ Diamond’s Operation Clean Sweep. As a result, coming into the next election, over 50 incumbents will not be running for reelection either by retirement or through being defeated. Many more incumbents are up against candidates backed by Operation Clean Sweep. The Reform movement has its roots in Tim Potts’ Democracy Rising site, and its Roadmap to Reform.

[Note: we strongly urge anyone reading this to visit those sites and become familiar with the material on them. If you already have, it would be a good idea to revisit them and refresh your memory of why Pennsylvania is in the absolute political mess it is, and how to get out of that mess.]

That said, here is the letter written by my friend to the Delco Times regarding their endorsement of Civera:


I believe you have made a serious mistake in not backing Casey Roncaglione. By using the logic that Civera is valuable to Delaware County because of his leadership position, you have stepped into the snare that causes the problems we have seen in the legislature over the past few years: greed, avarice, and a total disconnect with the electorate -- and the state Constitution.

The problem IS legislative leadership!

Casey Roncaglione offers a clear alternative to the same old, business-as-usual legislature that has brought us such dillies as the infamous Midnight Pay Raise (which Civera voted for), a tax increase, no legitimate property tax relief (a race track alone will never allow Chester to recover its tax base, but real property tax relief will help!), and no ethics reform or lobbyist disclosure. And they promise to raise the sales tax next term!

So much for the effectiveness of Mario Civera as a part of leadership!

The Pennsylvania House MUST have fresh ideas, members with ethical standards higher than the incumbents, and a new energy to move it out of the path of moneyed interests. Casey Roncaglione offers that choice.

Please reconsider your endorsement. Your readers will respect you for it, the voters will love you for it – and they’ll love having Casey Roncaglione working for them in Harrisburg!
Here is an important point: my friend the letter writer, and myself, are both good conservatives. And here we are advocating for a Democrat and against a Republican. We do so because Reform is more important than partisan politics. We do so because it is not just important, but vital, that the voters of Pennsylvania send a crystal clear message next Tuesday that there must be no more of the business as usual graft and corruption in our General Assembly (indeed, both parties are guilty of such).

In spite of calling it a clear choice, the editorial board of the Delco Times knows full well that to return Civera to office is to vote for continued graft and unconstitutionality in Harrisburg.

It really is that simple, folks. A governor and General Assembly that together have raised your taxes, failed to deliver meaningful legislation on ethics, lobbyist control, property tax reform, and enacted a bill to authorize the expansion of gambling in Pennsylvania that was passed as unconstitutionally as the infamous Midnight Pay Raise!

It does not matter which party you belong to, you must vote for Casey Roncaglione. If you are a Democrat, he is your candidate, and offers the clear choice for State Representative. If you are a Republican, you need to look at Casey Roncaglione’s
website and his Blog, and see that his values, and ideas are far more in tune with yours than Civera’s desire to remain ‘comfortable’ in his ‘cushy’ position as part of leadership in a graft-ridden General Assembly.

The clear choice is Roncaglione. Vote Casey Roncaglione in the 164th District on November 7!


We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“Kick the hubris out of Harrisburg!” -- THE CENTRIST

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" --GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.” --GettysBLOG

Remember in November! Before you vote,

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