Archive for the ‘Bucks County Politics’ Category

Strouse Toes the Line

October 29, 2014

Kevin Strouse, the challenger to incumbent Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick in Pennsylvania’s 8th District, spews Democrat Party talking points as well as a grade school student reciting a poem from memory. Not one word sounds like his and not one idea strays from the party line.

What else can be expected from a “carpetbagger” sent by Nancy Pelosi to make a run at Fitzpatrick? Moving to Bucks County from Washington for the sole purpose of challenging Fitzpatrick, Strouse can’t distance himself from the disastrous Obama/Pelosi/Reid agenda like many other Democrat candidates. He must toe the Pelosi line.

Pelosi’s choice of Strouse to do her bidding is a transparent, and poor, strategy. John Kerry’s Vietnam veteran status was highly touted in his run for president to appeal to the public’s respect for the military. It failed miserably because the left’s distaste for the military and Kerry’s bashing of the military after coming back from Vietnam could not be hidden.

Strouse, too, is a veteran as was Patrick Murphy before him, and it is getting stale for the Dems to keep using military service as a qualifier for their candidates. It doesn’t work. Also, Strouse’s CIA experience may have been beneficial years ago but today there is too much distrust in government agencies, especially Obama administration intelligence agencies, for it to be any help.

If you want to know what Strouse is running on, listen to a Pelosi/Reid/Obama speech and get it straight from the horse’s mouth. It is definitely time for a change, but not in the 8th District where Fitzpatrick has shown the leadership, experience, and competency sadly lacking at the top. Change needs to come where the Obama rubber stamp rules the day. Vote wisely.

David J. Hentosh

Home-Grown Fitzpatrick

August 13, 2014

Kevin Strouse is running against Mike Fitzpatrick for Congressman in the 8th Congressional District of Pennsylvania which encompasses Bucks County and parts of Montgomery County. He is originally from Delaware County, coming now to Bucks County from DC to run against Fitzpatrick. Mike Fitzpatrick was born and raised in Bucks County.

That is an important distinction for many – Mike Fitzpatrick is home-grown. Delaware County does not seem far enough away from Bucks to make much of a difference, but we are all influenced by environment, especially in our youth, and the closer to home, the better we feel about it.

Strouse may know more closely what the impact on Delaware Countians was when the Sun Shipbuilding and Drydock Company in Chester closed down in 1990, but Fitzpatrick knows better the 1991 continuing impact of shutting down the blast furnaces in Fairless Hills – and that’s just closer to home and more personal.

Strouse was imported from Washington, DC for the purely political purpose of running against Fitzpatrick and that makes him even more alien. He backed Obamacare and narrowly won against Shaughnessy Naughton (51% to 49%) in the Democratic primary, receiving endorsement (and money) from Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Conservatives will shun Strouse, especially because of Pelosi, and Independents will be unimpressed by his lack of experience and blind support for Obamacare. Many hard-core Democrats will, of course, vote for him because of partisanship, but that base may be eroding because Obama, Pelosi, and Reid seem out of touch with reality, the economy continues to decline, and Obamacare continues to implode. Bucks County Democrats are not deaf, dumb, blind, or stupid.

As Tip O’Neill once wisely said, “All politics is local” and Fitzpatrick is certainly local, giving him an advantage over a “ringer” from DC. Fitzpatrick’s record and experience increases that advantage and the growing dissatisfaction with the current out-of-touch administration in Washington should help bring him a win in November.

Then, again, voters elected Obama – twice. There is no sure thing.

David J. Hentosh

Naughton Challenges Fitzpatrick

April 24, 2014

Shaugnessy Naughton is running for Congress in the 8th District against Mike Fitzpatrick. In a guest opinion in the BCCT she laid out her “progressive platform” that contained very little detail but one: spend, spend, spend. That, of course, means more government spending.

The need for jobs, of course, ends up on every politician’s agenda, but the idea that government creates jobs is a progressive idea that is false. Government is not supposed to create jobs. It is only expected to help build an atmosphere where jobs can be created by private industry.

Naughton’s self-proclaimed “forward thinking attitude” was explained with all the right buzz words: investing in the future, investing in the infrastructure, investing in education and science and technology, modernizing transportation, raising the minimum wage, etc. How all this investing is to be paid for is left unsaid.

There is nothing wrong with investing, but “progressive” spending is at an all-time high and we are getting very little bang for the buck – and our children are being saddled with the bill. A little “forward thinking” a few years ago could have stopped Obamacare from being rashly devised and rammed through Congress. It could also have stopped our education system from deteriorating into a social engineering laboratory that is failing to educate properly. Naughton’s type of “forward thinking” always seems to ignore consequences.

Naughton complains about companies shutting their doors, but government over-reach and intrusion bears much of the blame. Government investments in alternative energy sources that have produced little could have done much for our failing infrastructure. Instead, the “progressive” agenda ruled the day and we spent foolishly. Appeasing the progressive agenda has put us in a difficult position. We need a real change.

Nothing Shaugnessy Naughton said makes one feel she is the change we need. She seems like more of the same, and that’s not working. Her science background is impressive, but science has been hijacked for political purposes to the point where it has lost credibility, especially when cited by politicians. We need to stop “progressing” and get our priorities straight. Then, maybe real progress can be made.

David J. Hentosh

Strouse Takes a Weak Shot

September 30, 2013

Democrat candidate Kevin Strouse, attempting to unseat Bucks County Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick, took a weak shot at Fitzpatrick in an opinion article in the Courier Times. His tirade, strict Democrat talking points, blamed Republicans for causing a government shutdown and chastised Fitzpatrick for playing politics with the shutdown and debt ceiling. Unfortunately, he exposed himself as another strict partisan unwilling to place any blame on his own party.

Congress, as whole, is playing politics with every issue it addresses and the chasm between the parties is growing wider and wider with less and less bipartisanship. Society, too, is splitting further apart and it is all being driven from the top downward. President Obama set the tone, refusing to listen to opposing views and demanding acquiescence to his views, never compromising. Futhermore, he demonizes all who dare challenge his policies, using the White House bully pulpit to spread fear and loathing.

His disdain for Republicans, disregard for the law, and his petty criticism of FOX News is unseemly coming from the White House and it has emboldened his unconditional supporters, and non-supporters, to follow suit. Consequently, we now have a mainstream media with no credibility and American voters unaware of the seriousness of administration failures.

If Kevin Strouse continues to carry Obama’s water, refusing to acknowledge Democrat’s part in this fiasco, his campaign will fail miserably. He need only ask Patrick Murphy how well hanging onto Obama’s coattails worked for him. Fitzpatrick has been taken to task for going against the grain of uncompromising Republicans several times, but that has not stopped him from doing what he, and not party hacks, believes is right. That is the best voters can ask of an elected official and it is what Bucks County, and the country, needs – not another meek, Obama sycophant.

Blaming Republicans for everything is just a repeat of blaming Bush. We have had enough of that. It is time to spread the blame around to all those who are guilty, and vote accordingly. Strouse and the Democratic Party need to look into a mirror and finally see their own reflection, not Obama’s.

David J. Hentosh

Kathy Boockvar Running on…Inexperience

September 25, 2012

Democrat Kathy Boockvar, a Doylestown attorney, is challenging PA 8th District’s Republican Mike Fitzpatrick for his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Boockvar ran for election and lost twice before, once for Commonwealth Court Judge and another for Bucks County Register of Wills. This is her third attempt at winning a public office.

Boockvar lacks political experience and although that is not normally a political show-stopper, it is particularly poignant this election cycle. Obama proved to all, or at least to those paying attention, that experience actually does count. Our economy, foreign relations, and social structure are suffering badly because of his inexperience and lack of responsible leadership. Voters should be hesitant to elect any political novice at any level at this time.

Adding to the bad timing of Kathy’s challenge is the absence of fresh ideas or a new direction that could at least spark interest from voters. Railing against the rich and corporations, blaming Bush tax cuts, and bringing our troops home are stale, Democrat talking points. So, too, is her bumper-sticker, fear-inducing accusation that Fitzpatrick wants to “kill” Social Security. Desiring a change to the tax code is pretty much an across-the-board issue with all candidates and accusing Fitzpatrick of partisanship sounds like the pot calling the kettle black

Boockvar will appeal to far-left voters because she certainly leans that way, but far-left tactics won’t convince others. On her website, she lamely tries to pair Fitzpatrick with Tod Akins, hoping printing their names together will stain Fitzpatrick with Akins’ infamous blunder. That and accusing Fitzpatrick of trying to “roll back women’s rights”, however, are typical far-left, over-the-top tactics showing her true colors – and they are bland.

One can find fault with Fitzpatrick as with any politician, but inexperience or extremism certainly do not apply. Boockvar offers nothing to make one believe a change is necessary. It seems that as far as elections go, it may be “three strikes and you’re out” for Boockvar.

David J. Hentosh

Overspending Isn’t Just a Washington Problem, It’s a Local Issue too

July 28, 2011

By Larry S. Breeden in the Bucks County Courier Times:

Tax and spend. That’s been the practice of politicians at all levels of government for generations. It became the standard operating procedure in Washington, D.C., and filtered down to the lowest level of political entity, the city/townships.
Not only have we been taxed enough already, our prosperity has been spent into oblivion by political operatives.

Thankfully, due to the public outrage over TARP, the trillion dollar stimulus and the trillion dollar health care disaster, some elected officials are listening to the people. The citizens have finally taken a firm stand and are replacing those who will not listen and want to continue their old practices. Many who replaced those who wouldn’t listen are standing firm for fiscal responsibility, to the benefit of the taxpaying citizens.
We’ve seen it at the federal level with the debt ceiling impasse. We are fortunate to have a cadre of congressmen and senators who are willing to represent their constituents in this endeavor. We are further fortunate to have Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick and Sen. Pat Toomey at the helm as our fiscal stewards.
At the state level, Gov. Corbett and Lt. Gov. Cawley have been spearheading budget cuts and implementing fiscal policies that will benefit all the citizens of the state. Although I wish they would have cut the million dollar salaries of the public universities’ presidents rather than allowing tuition hikes for students.
Fiscal responsibility and spending cuts have become the watchword for school districts, cities and townships throughout the state. In cases where the elected officials have been negligent in keeping spending and taxes down, they have been summarily replaced.
A case in point is Upper Makefield Township.

Read the rest here.

Bucks County Commissioner Candidates, Part II

January 13, 2011

This continues information from the Kitchen Table Patriots about the candidates for Bucks County Commissioner. Click here for Part I.

The Candidates:

Below is a list of the candidates for the position.  They are not listed in any particular order.  For each we will provide a summary of their resume as well as our own subjective opinions.  We hope that you find this of practical value and will use it to voice your opinion and, perhaps more importantly, establish a dialogue with the members of the Republican party that are charged with recruiting the next generation of elected representatives and leaders in Bucks County.

All of the candidates have a history of public service, are conservative, believe that fiscal responsibility and low taxes are essential to encouraging businesses to locate and expand in the county which will expand the base for revenue.  They are also aware of the increasing demands on county services and the contracting sources of revenue.  They believe that tapping into the counties reserve (rainy day) funds is appropriate for the existing budget shortfall, but are determined to achieve a balanced budget by scrutinizing the budget for potential cost savings and developing plans that would expand the tax base and increase revenues without increasing tax rates which would also preserve the counties AAA bond rating.  All of them praised the existing and prior Republican Commissioners for their job performance and effectiveness.

1. Andrew L. Warren  Video

Warrington Supervisor, Bucks County Commissioner, Penn DOT District Executive, Tullytown Borough Manager, PENJERDEL Executive Director

Andy is a very likable, engaging and frank character.  One advantage that he has over the other candidates is that he was a Commissioner for 15 years and is well aware of the requirements of the job. He enjoys interacting with the public and believes more people should attend Commissioner meetings. He presents himself as a Conservative first and a Republican second promising to do what is appropriate for the people of Bucks County and is willing to stand up to party pressure if it is in conflict with his principals.  He has been responsible for budgets on multiple levels of government and has negotiated effectively with contractors and unions.

2. George F. Komelasky Video

Northampton Township Board of Supervisors (25 yrs), Republican State Committee, Bucks County Executive Committee, Volunteer for many Federal, State, County, and Local Campaigns

George has a long history in the Bucks GOP and is currently a State Committeeman.  He also has a business that provides services to the county.  He is a big believer in the Open Space project at the county and municipal level.  When asked about participating in the lawsuit that was filed against Tea Party candidates for State Committee candidates last May, he said that he regretted the decision, though he believes the ruling was technically correct.  He was glad to talk with us, but is focusing his attention on the Committee executives for his candidacy.

3. Jennifer Yori Video

Southampton Tax Collector, Bank One Director of Regulatory Compliance

Jennifer presented herself as a very competent tax collector who enjoyed interacting with the taxpayers and making an effort to help them resolve any difficulties that they may have with making their payments, but expressed frustration with having a position with limited decision making authority.  She resigned her position at Bank One to entered public service.

4. John McMenamin Video

Chairman – Lower Southampton Board of Supervisors, Small Business Owner (20 employees), Philadelphia Fire Fighter, U.S. Army Veteran, Republican Committee Vice-Chair

John brings a unique mix of experiences to the table in that he is currently a small business owner and a township supervisor chairman.  He has also been a member of a union (fire fighter) and has had to negotiate on the other side of the table.  This experience has given him credibility at the table that has made him effective.  He has also saved his township over $800,000 by using a bond issuing company that did not normally do business with the county or township.  He is approachable, engaging, articulate and confident without being arrogant or apprehensive.  He genuinely seemed to enjoy discussing personal, professional and political issues with those of us who have only become involved in politics in the past few months or couple of years.

5. Lola Biuckians Video

Southampton Township Supervisor (3 – six year terms), PA Southeast Region Counter Terrorism Task Force,

Upper Southampton Civic Association President, Freelance and Portrait Photographer.

Lola has an impressive resume and came across as a regular person – genuine but not a polished politician.  She sees her priority to be to do what is best for the citizen and taxpayer and will resist pressure from interests that would come into conflict with that objective.   She is a creative problem solver with an ability to get along with people, adapt to new situations, and quickly learn new tasks. She is responsible, dependable and a hard working, experienced team leader.

6. Mary K. Smithson Video

Clerk of Bucks County Courts (Row Officer), Newtown Township Board of Supervisors,

Board of Directors  – Council Rock Seniors, Board of Directors – St. Mary Hospital

Mary has won four county-wide elections as a row officer and has been involved in the administrative operations of the county for many years.  That gives her an advantage in comprehending the inner workings of the county government that most of the other candidates are not able to bring to the table. Though she is soft-spoken, she presented herself in a very professional manner and is well versed in the challenges that will be facing the Commissioners in the next few years.

7. Rob Ciervo Video

District 31 Representative Candidate, Chairman – Newtown Township Board of Supervisors, Director of the Rutgers-Camden Learning Center at Rutgers University, Board Member – Bucks County Free Library

Rob brings fresh energy to the candidate pool and does not appear to have let his loss in the general election for State Representative by a handful of votes deter him from continuing to make himself available for public service.  He has a record of fiscal responsibility, keeping the growth of Newtown Township’s budget to about 1% per year and has proved himself to be a resolute negotiator with the public employee unions.  He was very relaxed and his answers were direct and concise.

8. Rob Loughery Video

Principal – The Keystone Companies Group, Inc.,

Rob has been involved in politics and the public sector since working on a campaign with Jim Greenwood.  He has a business that redevelops industrial areas that have not been used for years, bringing new jobs to the county through the initial redevelopment and subsequently though the business that occupy the spaces.  He has personal qualities that will appeal to a broad range of voters and though he is not as well versed on the specifics as other candidates, came across as someone who would be able to bring his mix of private business experience and broad based knowledge of the workings of government and the personalities involved to the position and provide an effective fresh perspective to the challenges of the County Commissioner.

9. Jon Forest Video

Chairman – Buckingham Township Board of Supervisors

Jon was not able to adjust his schedule to meet with The Kitchen Table Patriots.

Bucks County Commissioner Candidates

January 13, 2011

As a service to the registered Republican voters in Bucks County, PA, The Kitchen Table Patriots investigated and interviewed candidates seeking to fill the County Commissioner seat that will be vacated by Jim Cawley when he is inaugurated as Lieutenant Governor in January. We’ve divided their information into two parts: this first, which is some general information, and the second, which has information on the individual candidates.

Thanks to the Kitchen Table Patriots for compiling this information:

How Commissioners Are Selected:

According to law, this position will remain in Republican hands and be filled by a candidate selected by a panel of Bucks County Judges.  The list candidates to be considered will be submitted by The Bucks County Republican Committee.  The Republican Committee Executives (approximately 90) will vote on these candidates from the group of candidates that have applied for the position.  To the best of our knowledge, The Kitchen Table Patriots has met with all of the candidates.  Most of these candidates also agreed to be video recorded.  Although the interviews normally lasted about an hour or more, the recording that will be made available will consist of only an introduction by the candidate and their summary of their qualifications for the position.

The candidate that is ultimately installed will fulfill the remainder of Mr. Cawley’s term which expires in January of 2012.  He or she will also need to run in the May primary election along with the other existing Republican Commission Chairman
Charles H. Martin.  The two winners of the Republican primary will then stand for election in November of 2011 against two Democratic candidates which will likely include the current Democratic Commissioner Diane M. Ellis-Marseglia.  A third party or independent candidate could also run in the November election if the meet the requirements.

The three candidates with the most votes will then become the new Commissioners with a four year term.

The Challenge:

We are asking you to review the videos for watch of the candidates so that you can get a general impression of each of them.  We would also ask you to consider our impressions of each of the candidates based upon our research and our interview.  We will also provide a list of the executives and the areas that they represent.  We believe that it would be appropriate for you to contact these executives and voice your opinion to them on the candidates since they will be representing you when they cast their ballots.  Besides being selected to fill the position, it is also expected that this person will also be the endorsed candidate for the primary and, assuming that there is not an insurgent candidate that wins the primary in May, they will also be the candidate on the November ballot.  This is likely to be the only time to have your opinion taken into consideration regarding this position where it can make a significant difference.

The Interviews:

There were six people from The Kitchen Table Patriots involved in this effort, though not all of them were available for all of the interviews.  The opinions observations presented below have been the result of a collaborative effort amongst the KTP members involved.  We have also included the questions that we provided to each candidate prior to the interview at the end of this document.  Due to timing, some of them had less than a day to review these questions.  Most had several days.  There were also questions that were asked that were not on the list that followed the course of the conversation or were relevant to only a single or limited number of candidates.  The objective of the questions was to discern the qualifications of the candidates and not to catch them off guard or make them defensive.

See Part Two for information on the individual candidates.