DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this forum are those of the individual authors and contributors. Mercer County Conservatives offers a round-table platform that encourages discussion and involvement. If you are interested in becoming a contributor, contact the editor at Roberta.in.Mercer@gmail.com.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Impossible to tell the District Attorney from a Common Criminal

Published by Roberta Biros

People from the Mercer County area often contact me with stories that they feel would be of interest to my readers.  Today is an example of exactly that sort of "information sharing".  Below is an email message that I received from two different sources. 

The letter has been submitted to the local papers as a "Letter to the Editor".  Knowing the the papers are generally in the pockets of local politicians . . . it is safe to also assume that this letter will never be printed by any paper (local or otherwise).  For that reason, I feel that it is important to publish the letter HERE so that Mercer Countians can remain posted regarding REAL NEWS regardless of what the local papers have in mind.

Below is the letter in it's entirety.  After reading it, I am sure you will agree that District Attorney Bob Kochems has once again confused his "hats" (see the Blog reference to this HERE).  The District Attorney (and his wife . . . who is never far away) seem to have their hands in TOO MANY private little clubs in Mercer County and it makes me wonder how the DA manages to claim that he is ever unbiased at all?  Between his ties to the Democrat Party (read HERE) . . . his ties to the Mercer County Republican Party (read HERE) . . .  his lust for drug money (read HERE) . . . or his bullying tactics (read HERE) it is difficult to tell District Attorney Bob Kochems from a common criminal.

Please read the letter below and make your own determination . . .
Dear Editor,
I will not support the Mercer County Humane Society and neither should you, this is why. For WELL OVER A YEAR NOW, I as well as many neighbors, have been trying to

get help for some starving horses and nothing has ever been done. This past Thursday, Officer Regina Martin from the PA Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, knocked on my door, trying to determine just who owned the horses next to me. She had recieved a call on their hotline about the deplorable condition they were in and had come to investigate. Officer Martin assured me they would be in a shelter by Sunday, and finally get the care they so despertely needed. All she needed to do was obtain a warrant to seize them from the DA. Friday morning I got a call from her with terrible news. Renee Drogody from the MCHS had interferred with the investigation and informed District Attorney Kochems that the horses were under vet care and not in that bad of shape. He in turn refused to sign the warrant to have the horses seized. It appears DA Kochems wife just happens to be on the board of the MCHS, which in my opinion should have been a conflict of interest. Therfore, the ethical thing he SHOULD HAVE done, was to remove himself from the decision making process. My question is, why would a so-called employee of the Humane Society,block help to these poor suffering, starving, non sheltered horses? Isn't that the job they are getting paid to do? Aren't they supposed to prevent cruelty to animals? It would appear Ms. Drogody has some sort of connection with the owners, which has prevented her from upholding the oath she took. So if anyone knows of any abused animals, please call THIS HOTLINE: 1-866-601-SPCA, you will get immediate response. Also any donations made with the prevention of cruelty to animals in mind, would be better off sent at to: PSPCA 350 E. Erie Avenue Philadelphia PA 19134, they service all of Pennsylvania much more efficienly and professionally. In conclusion, I have included some of the nauseating and I will warn you, very disheartening photos of the horses and what has been allowed to happen to them under the watchfull eye of our Dispicable so-called Humane Society of Mercer County.
Lori Liszka

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Thank You!


I ran for the office of State Senate this year because I believe that normal hard-working Americans need to be involved in the “process”. We all have a responsibility to get involved in our government in order to reign in the insanity. I still believe that.

For two years I’ve heard nothing but continuous complaints that the “incumbents need to go” and “we need people to run against these lifetime politicians”. The feedback that we received this year was amazingly and overwhelmingly positive. Personal “thank you” messages from people of the area that were excited to have a choice on Election Day.

With the help of our team (more like “our new family”), we put together an amazing grassroots campaign. We had very little money to work with, but we pulled our resources and did the best with what we had. We had name recognition, we had a great message, and we worked our tails off to contact voters in the District.

What was our Election Day message? DON’T VOTE STRAIGHT TICKET.

Why? In a race against a 20-year incumbent/career politician, we had a gigantic hurdle . . . that being the fact that my opponent was running as both a Republican and a Democrat. Having managed to get his name on both ballots, he would receive ALL straight party votes. Voters would cast their ballot for him if they didn’t pay attention . . . or if they didn’t care.

What was the final result? We lost . . . overwhelmingly . . .82% to 18%.

In an analysis of the numbers (examining Mercer County numbers right now as an example because they are the only details available), you find that almost 50% of the people that voted . . . voted straight ticket! In a race for over 70,000 votes, Bob Robbins pulled out of the gate with a head start of 35,000 votes that he didn’t deserve. He started the race with a 35,000 vote advantage.

Why? . . . Because 50% of the voters don’t take their votes seriously. 50% of the people that went to the polls on Election Day let their “party” make their decision for them.

Good News? You might think that it is difficult to find a bright spot in a 82% vs. 18% race, but you’d be wrong. One amazing number was that 521 people voted straight ticket for the “Unaffiliated Independent” party. 521 people in Mercer County realize that the biggest problem that we have is “party politics”. By casting a vote for the “Unaffiliated Independent” ticket, they voted for ONLY ONE candidate . . . me. Thank you!

Second, in the total District race, 12,725 people looked at the names on the ballot and chose to vote for the Independent Candidate. They were NOT drawn to vote straight ticket. Instead, they wanted ALL OF THEIR VOTES to count. They took their duty to vote seriously. Thank you to those 12,725 individuals that understand how important Election Day is.

What was most disappointing? In the end, it is clear that the “Tea Party” has become an extension of the Republican Party. A majority of Tea Partiers went out on Election Day and decided that the best way to fix the problem was to vote straight ticket . . . the Republican ticket.

On a positive note . . . I still believe that we need to get people to run for office. If we, as concerned citizens, don’t get involved, the ship will never turn. I urge fellow concerned citizens to get involved and remain involved. Run for office at the local, county, state, and federal level. Run! It is only by continuing to push back that we will send a message to our governmental leaders that We the People call the shots.

I want to extend a personal “Thank you” to the thousands of people that we’ve met over the past two years. The thousands of supporters and serious thinkers that realize that we have a problem in this country that needs to be fixed. Thank you to my many friends who gave their time and effort to support our campaign this summer. We had a hard-working team that has become a very close family. In the end I am the winner as I forged friendships that will last a lifetime. It was a truly amazing experience that I would not change for anything. It was perfect!

Thank you and God Bless

Roberta Biros


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bob Robbins Endorsed by the Pennsylvania Progressives

This post was Written and Published by Roberta Biros, Independent Candidate for State Senate

I’ve spent the last two years explaining to concerned citizens that all is not as it appears. Just because an elected official belongs to a certain party doesn’t mean that they embrace the beliefs of that party. That is exactly why I finally decided to define myself as an Independent for Good Government . . . because any other label would tarnish what I stand for.

I have a perfect example for you today. I am running for State Senate against 20-year incumbent and self-servant Bob Robbins. If it isn’t bad enough that this so-called “lifetime Republican” is running this year as both a Democrat and a Republican, Bob and his friends have done it again. They have provided their own proof of exactly what Bob stands for. Bob may claim to be a conservative, but he is clearly embraced by progressives. Would the real Bob Robbins please stand up!



In the link above you will find the candidates that have been endorsed by the PA Progressive Voter Guide. The PROGRESSIVES of Pennsylvania have chosen their slate of candidates. The PROGRESSIVES, who represent such groups as the Sierra Club, Clean Water Action, SEIU, Planned Parenthood, AFL-CIO, and Pennsylvania State Education Association PACE, has provided a list of the candidates that they support.

Who is included in the list?

For Governor . . . Democrat Dan Onorato

For U.S. Senate . . . Democrat Joe Sestak

For U.S. Congress . . . Democrats Kathy Dahlkemper and Jason Altmire

For State Senate . . . Democrat/Republican Bob Robbins

For State House . . . Democrat Mark Longietti


So, I respectfully ask all of you . . . does the PA Progressive Voter Guide reflect your values? Do you agree with the endorsements of the Sierra Club, Clean Water Action, SEIU, Planned Parenthood, the AFL-CIO, and PSEA? If so, please note the candidates that you should be cheering for. IF NOT, I urge you all to get out and vote on November 2nd and be sure that you DON’T VOTE STRAIGHT TICKET! If you do, you will be voting for a Democrat/Republican. Instead, I urge you to vote carefully and make selections for Good Government.

On November 2nd, vote for Roberta Biros . . . INDEPENDENT for GOOD GOVERNMENT!

Thank you.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Senator Robbins' vote for HB 2497 is a vote for Big Government and Big Spending

The vote on HB 2497 occurred this afternoon at roughly 2:10pm.

HB 2497 has been labeled as the "SERS & PSERS pension reform bill".  Unfortunately, the bill doesn't provide real reform at all.  Instead, it provides a way to finance the unsustainable pension system.

The Bill passed the State Senate 41 to 8.

Senator Bob Robbins of Pennsylvania’s 50th Senatorial District voted for the bill. Once again, Senator Robbins voted for big government and big spending.

In contrast, I feel strongly that the State Pension system is completely unsustainable. If elected, I WILL NOT become part of the problem. I have signed a promissory with EmpowerPA.org whereby if I am elected I will decline a state pension. That document is available for on-line review HERE.

If I were a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate, I would have joined with Senators Folmer, Eichelberger, and others and voted AGAINST HB 2497.

The bill is essentially a 30-year mortgage on current and future generations of Pennsylvanian’s. This ‘mortgage’ will be used to bailout the Unions as a payback for past and future financial support and donations. This is highlighted by the PSEA's overwhelming support for the bill and their efforts to push for it's passage (read HERE).

The Bill FAILS to move the state pension system to a 401K-style plan, which is the ONLY way to properly reform the pension system. Instead, it was amended to include the creation of a new ‘fiscal office’, which is just another layer of unnecessary bureaucracy in an already bloated legislative staff. Our legislators need to understand that we need LESS spending, LESS bureaucracy, and LESS self-service. What we need is MORE fiscal responsibility, MORE relief for taxpayers, and MORE public service.

Today Senate leadership, including Bob Robbins, voted to bankrupt future generations of Pennsylvanians by voting for HB 2497.

If Senator Robbins’ past voting history FOR 2AM pay raises . . . FOR unconstitutional budgets . . . and FOR himself and his pension are not enough reason to vote him out on November 2nd, today’s vote FOR a 30-year mortgage to fund his pension should give voters of the area good reason to vote Bob Robbins out of office on Election Day.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Why You Can’t Trust Bob Robbins and Good Reasons Not to Vote For Him!! (Part III)

Part III of a Series

Part I can be read HERE
Part II can be read HERE

(The following statements are my opinions, perspectives, and views after several years of volunteer work within the Mercer GOP. I served 12 years as a precinct committeewoman and 2 years on the PA GOP state committee.)

While driving around the county the other day I was pleasantly surprised to see that there are Republicans out there who refuse to support the continued reign of Senator Bob Robbins. This refusal is evident when you see a display of Republican campaign signs and either the Robbins sign is missing from the front yard OR, better yet, a BIROS sign is displayed. This could provoke Robbins and no doubt his people will be taking names and addresses. Robbins does not tolerate criticism or the audacity of non-support. Is there something seriously wrong with a local political machine, that has the operating principles of a Banana Republic? Allow me to share a few examples of how The Republic of Robbins retaliates against anyone who disagrees with the long-standing incumbent Senator.

First, there is the systematic purging of the local Republican committee to eliminate volunteers who may have a questionable loyalty to the incumbent circle of control. You may wonder what does it take to be part of the circle of control. I have an opinion about this; my view is that their judgment is based solely on self-interest, not on any higher principle (what an unfortunate, intolerable trait). I have witnessed the Senator aggressively forge ahead with a committed action to interfere in the democratic processes of the local Republican committee, not caring about the fall-out or damage to the character of hard-working committeepersons. Of course you have read in Part I and II of this series how Senator Robbins vilified, threatened, and screamed at me during an executive committee meeting (more details on this later in this article). Many other volunteers endured character assassination from his cronies, and as far as I know these people left the committee, thereby playing directly into the plans of the Republic of Robbins; viz., elimination of all contrary viewpoints. There are a couple brave souls who believe that the way to reform the Republican committee is from within, and they retain their precinct positions. These brave souls already have targets on their backs, and a recent perfect example of this, as reported to me, is that Senator and Mrs. Robbins groaned aloud during this past summer’s reorganization meeting when one of these brave souls was elected to a regional leadership position on the local Republican committee. The Senator complained audibly in a stage whisper, “There goes my support in that region of the county.” The only evidence that the Senator needed to make his judgment was the excellent reputation of this newcomer for fairness and honesty.

The second example of Senator Robbins and his Circle of Control’s vicious tactics occurred during a February 2008 executive committee meeting, when a planned attack was directed by this group on a newly appointed assistant chairman. The “straw man” that the group used to disrupt this meeting was that the assistant chairman had been appointed without the required quorum (the committee never has a quorum but business is conducted anyway as long as it does not contradict the interests of the Circle of Control). The real reason for the disruption of the meeting was simply “Pay-Back”; the new assistant chairman had once written a mildly critical letter to Senator Robbins about the sneaky, midnight pay raise vote. I have read that letter and in no way was it disrespectful; in fact, it is a letter which every voter would agree to sign. During this meeting, several of us were stunned to be subjected to the devious and harsh behavior of The Banana Republic of Robbins, including one disturbed individual repeatedly jumping from his seat, pointing his finger at the assistant chairman, and screaming at him. It was so bad that I was concerned for the safety of the assistant chairman as well as my own safety, and I contemplated calling 911. It was obvious that this attack was pre-planned with assigned disruptive “roles” to certain elected officials--three incumbents who jealously guard their dominant position within the Republican committee. If these three spent as much time on their elected offices as they do with the minutia of local politics, Mercer County citizens would be enjoying better service from their representatives. I might add that the assistant chairman endured the upheaval and conducted a stellar meeting.

Finally, during the turmoil of 2007 and 2008, there was a question raised about the failure of the local Young Republicans, to grow and assume a role in county politics. At that time, the YR‘s was led and advised by a co-sponsor whose residence was apparently out-of-state. This co-founder, clearly a member of the Robbins Banana Republic, appeared at meetings when a show of force was called for by the Senator and cronies. In an inquiry about the YR organization, a phone call was made to a staff member of the Harrisburg state YR office. What transpired thereafter is not fully known, but Senator Robbins bragged that the Harrisburg office immediately reported the inquiry to him. The Senator boasted that he “finds everything out, one half hour after it happens.” Next, the committee called a meeting of the Vice-Chairs to discuss the matter, and in response, Senator Robbins individually and privately pressured each of the Vice-Chairs to sign a document which the Senator had drafted, to prevent attendance at the meeting. This was a blatant and unnecessary action of the Senator, who escalated a helpful inquiry to a battle skirmish. This was his way of “bringing out the artillery”, a phrase which he enjoys using.

And now comes the irony: If the inquiry had been allowed to proceed, the local Republican committee would have discovered that the out-of-state resident YR co-founder was a Class III pedophile sex offender/felon in his state of residence (Class III connotes use of force). Instead, the discovery occurred accidentally when a mother of one of the felon’s victims saw the felon on a local television news report. Just imagine, if that mother had not called the television station, Senator Robbins would have succeeded in perpetuating the control of the YR organization by a convicted sex offender, and one can only wonder, was this person using his stature as a co-founder of a youth organization as a source of victims.

I offer this information to the public in order to shine a light on what is wrong with continuing another term of Senator Robbins. Fortunately, the voters have a choice this Fall election, and it is not inevitable that they must re-elect an ineffective incumbent. A grassroots, patriotic American who wants to do better things for our voting district, is the perfect alternative.  She is Roberta Biros. 

This article represents Part III of a Series

Part I can be read HERE

Part II can be read HERE


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Animal Farm Redux: GOP-controlled state senate lurches left

Comments by Roberta Biros:

The following article was written by Lowman S. Henry of the Lincoln Institute. It clearly explains the obvious problem with the Pennsylvania State Senate and its leadership.  When you read it, please also remember (and refer to) my recent article titled "When you blame “Senate Republicans” be sure to blame Senator Bob Robbins".

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
This article was written by Lowman S. Henry of the Lincoln Institute and is reprinted here with permission.
In George Orwell's 1945 classic Animal Farm, the humans running the farm are displaced in an uprising by the animals who take charge. As time progresses, the revolutionary leaders become corrupted by power and morph into new versions of the people they displaced. That is an apt description of the Pennsylvania senate. In this case though, the animals who took charge and then lost their way are RINOs (Republicans in Name Only.)

Four years ago, on the heels of the infamous middle-of-the-night pay jacking, Republican primary voters ousted the top ranking members of the senate; President Pro Tempore Robert Jubelirer and Majority Leader Chip Brightbill. Never in the history of Penn's Woods had both leaders been defeated at the polls in the same election.

Republican voters did this because the senate leadership had lost its way. Like GOP leaders in Washington, Jubelirer and Brightbill became big spending, big government liberals who failed to reflect the core principles of their party. Voters reacted by tossing them from office, electing in their districts two stalwart conservatives.

On the leadership level, Senator Joseph Scarnati of Jefferson County and Senator Domenic Pileggi of Delaware County were respectively elected President Pro Tempore and Majority Leader. Unfortunately, over the course of the last four years, they have also drifted from their party's core principles and are currently advancing an agenda so liberal Barack Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi would be proud.

Among the leftist legislation pushed by Scarnati and Pileggi:
  • A bill that would increase the number of "jackpot juries" in Pennsylvania by allowing trial lawyers to suggest to jurors at closing the amount of damages that should be awarded. Such a change would prejudice the jury toward a guilty verdict and fix an amount for damages in their minds. After a furious lobbying campaign by business, taxpayer and TEA party organizations the bill was pulled from the agenda.
  • The so-called "Sub-Contractor Extinction Act" passed with the amazing support of 14 Republican senators who voted to make it next to impossible for the 85% of Pennsylvanian workers who choose not to join a union to get work on major projects. The legislation will dramatically increase the cost of construction. It also was a sop to the labor unions, who contribute heavily to Pileggi's campaigns.
  • Having climbed into bed with trial lawyers and labor unions, the senate's Republican leadership also wants to have a dalliance with the radical environmental movement. Scarnati and Pileggi plan to bring to a vote a bill which would increase the percentage of solar power which must be purchased by Pennsylvania electric companies. Pennsylvania Power & Light alone estimates that will increase its generation costs by $200 million per year. Consumers will pay in the end with significantly higher electric bills.
  • Senate leadership has pledged to enact a severance tax on gas pumped from the Marcellus Shale reserves. The tax was agreed to in the budget deal struck with Governor Ed Rendell last summer. Proponents of the tax claim Pennsylvania is the only state without a severance levy. What they fail to say is that Pennsylvania is the only state in the nation that imposes both a Corporate Net Income Tax and a Capital Stock and Franchise Tax on companies. A severance tax would have a chilling effect on one of the few industries in Pennsylvania that is actually growing.
  • Stuck it to citizens who want to obtain documents from state, county and local governments by watering down the Right-to-Know law. The Pennsylvania Newspaper Association opposed the legislation because it narrowed the scope of the law and will also allow governments to place onerous per page copying fees on information requested.
  • Scarnati and Pileggi are pushing for the creation of a legislative fiscal office. This new bureaucracy would cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars to provide budget information to lawmakers who already employ sizably staffs on their appropriations committees.
And, let us not forget that it was the Senate Republican caucus that has partnered with Governor Ed Rendell in passing state budgets with unaffordable levels of spending and massive debt that has created a fiscal mess of historic proportions.
Pennsylvania's Republican-controlled senate has become indistinguishable from the Democrats. In true Orwellian style the animals have morphed into the humans - and the result is a government that steals personal freedom and economic liberty from the governed.
The Declaration of Independence established that liberty as a God-given right. It also says that: " . . . whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government."
That time has come once again.

(Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal. His email address is lhenry@lincolninstitute.org.)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

When you blame “Senate Republicans” be sure to blame Senator Bob Robbins

I read a fascinating article today that was written by Lowman S. Henry, Chairman and CEO, Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research. The article was titled “Fiscal Folly: Proposed legislative budget office more useless bureaucracy” and it is available for on-line review HERE. Please read it. It is an important summary regarding Pennsylvania’s fiscal problems, and I agree with it whole-heartedly.

The article referenced above very clearly states that a large portion of the blame of our fiscal problems in Pennsylvania is “Senate Republicans”. We ALL need to understand EXACTLY who those Senate Republicans are.

Above is a photo of the 2009-2010 Pennsylvania State Republican Senate Leadership.  Included are Top left to right, Majority Caucus Chairman Mike Waugh (R-28), Majority Caucus Administrator Pat Browne (R-16), Majority Policy Committee Chairman John Pippy (R-37), Majority Caucus Secretary Bob Robbins (R-50), and  Appropriations Committee Chairman Jake Corman (R-34). Bottom left to right, Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-9), President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25), and Majority Whip Jane Clare Orie (R-40). 
First, it should be noted that Majority Whip Jane Clare Orie (R-40) is no longer part of the Senate leadership as early this year she was forced to resign from her leadership position because she was under investigation for mis-using legislative staff (which is paid for by tax payers) for her sister's campaign in 2009 (read an update to the story HERE). This is important because it illustrates that there are already known problems with the State Senate leadership. It also reminds us that ALL legislators should be held accountable when it comes to the way that they spend OUR tax dollars (read my example of how to hold legislators accountable HERE).
Second, it should be noted that the remaining Senate leadership ALL voted for the unbalanced and unconstitutional state budget in June of 2010 (you can read an overview by Bob Guzzardi of the Conservative Reform Network HERE and you can read my comments on the same budget HERE).
Knowing all of that, look at the faces in the photo and realize that the people shown are ALL Republicans but they DO NOT represent CONSERVATIVE values . . . and their voting record proves it.
More specifically, I want my readers from the northwest corner of Pennsylvania to understand that the Senator in the upper right-hand corner of the picture (with the Cheshire cat grin) is our own Senator Bob Robbins.  The same Bob Robbins who claims to be running on "his record" is part of the problem in Pennsylvania.  Senator Bob Robbins is one of the "Senate Republicans" that is referred to repeatedly by conservatives when they point fingers at greedy incumbents.  When you read the words "Senate Republicans", be sure to realize that YOU have allowed this man to get voted into office repeatedly.
When you actually take the time to review Bob Robbins' record, you find that he is NO CONSERVATIVE.  This was demonstrated in a review of his LibertyIndex.com F- grade this year (read HERE), and it was outlined in detail in my recent blog post (read HERE).  However, it is also revealed repeatedly if you take the time to look.  Another example is a review of his voting record as it is recorded through "Project Vote Smart" (VoteSmart.org).  His specific record on "Budget, Spending, and Taxes" can be seen HERE.  That record illustrates that Bob Robbins has rarely seen a spending bill that he didn't like.  If you compare his voting record against conservative Republican Representative Michele Brooks (view HERE), you will see that Bob Robbins is usually on the opposite side of the fence of his conservative colleagues.
When you read an article, comment, or commentary criticizing "Pennsylvania Senate Republicans", realize that the reference is calling out Senator Bob Robbins of Pennsylvania's 50th District.  As more and more problems are blamed on "Senate Republicans", realize that Bob Robbins IS part of the problem.  Most importantly, realize that THIS YEAR we have the opportunity to remove Bob Robbins from the equation.  We have the opportunity to Take Out the Trash on November 2nd of 2010.  The ONLY WAY to fix the problems with the Pennsylvania State Legislature is to begin with the not-so-conservative Republican leadership in the state senate.
On November 2nd, realize that the 50th District has a choice.  Please read the article titled "Truly Independent Common Sense Constitutional Conservative Roberta Biros’ Candidacy for State Senate" by Bob Guzzardi for a summary of the battle that is brewing.  Then access my website at ElectBiros.com to find out exactly how my conservative "Platform for Good Government" can help to turn Pennsylvania's Republican Senate around.

Fiscal folly: Proposed legislative budget office more useless bureaucracy

Written by Lowman S. Henry, Chairman and CEO, Lincoln Institute of Public Opinion Research

The compromise that resulted in the state budget agreement last summer included promised action on two major issues by October: enactment of a severance tax on gas in the Marcellus Shale Reserve, and creation of an independent legislative fiscal office. Amazingly, Republicans - particularly in the state senate - appear poised to both approve a job-crushing tax and to create yet another needless state bureaucracy.

The deal gives off the appearance that the GOP sold-out on the severance tax in exchange for getting a legislative fiscal office. It may or may not have been a quid pro quo, but in politics appearances are what matters. This appears to be a cave-in on piling additional taxes on the one industry in Pennsylvania that is actually growing so the legislature can expand its bureaucratic empire. Both actions are antithetical to the Republican Party's supposed free market, less government philosophy and serves to further alienate voters who are already distrustful of both political parties.

Lawmakers pushing for establishment of a legislative fiscal office claim that it is needed because the Budget Office, which is under the governor's control, has failed to accurately project state revenues over the past few years. The recession, of course, had a lot to do with the faulty revenue forecasts. But, Senate Republicans in particular were eager to accept the numbers last year in order to bring an end to the state's budget stalemate. Thus their claims of concern over inaccuracy ring hollow.

What is actually at play here is legislative ego. Since the governor has a fiscal office, so too must the General Assembly have such an office. And, to satisfy their egos, leaders of both political parties are willing to spend millions of our tax dollars. At a time when the state faces a budget deficit that could approach $5 billion, legislators are willing to spend more on indulging themselves. The proposed legislative fiscal office is projected to cost $4 million in start-up money, and then take a minimum annual appropriation of $3.6 million. You can bet the mortgage that the final costs will be significantly higher.

All of this will merely duplicate tasks that are already performed by multiple state agencies. First of all, there are already two legislative committees dealing with fiscal matters. Both the senate and the house have appropriations committees. Each committee is flush with staff, all paid for by our tax dollars. Then of course there is the state Budget Office in the executive branch. Add in the independently elected state fiscal offices: state treasurer and auditor general, and you have literally thousands of state employees paid millions to monitor the financial affairs of the commonwealth.

The real issue here is not one of getting accurate budget numbers, or even streamlining the legislative budget-making process. It is a matter of the legislature wanting to be on an "equal" footing with the governor. This is why the four legislative caucuses have escrowed hundreds of millions of dollars into operating reserve accounts rather than release the money to pay for essential state services. The legislature is empire building. And you can bet that if, and likely when, the legislative fiscal office is created it will quickly grow in size and scope.

Further, the creation of a legislative fiscal office will do nothing to address the core cause of Pennsylvania's fiscal woes. The core problem is that the legislature, prodded on by Governor Ed Rendell has spent well beyond our means. Senate Republicans caved into the spending last year, and this year leaders of all four caucuses backed a fiscally irresponsible budget. The problem is not a lack of information, the problem is a lack of political courage to stand up and make the tough decisions needed to get Pennsylvania's finances back on track.

The creation of a legislative fiscal office is a boondoggle of the highest order. It will be just another useless bureaucracy churning out more numbers for legislators to hide behind. Worse, millions that could be spent on fixing roads and bridges, funding education, or a wide range of other core government services will instead go to legislative ego feeding. And with elections looming voters should hold their legislators accountable.
(Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal. His email address is lhenry@lincolninstitute.org.)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The 2010 General Election: Our Opportunity to Take Out the Trash

The movement is growing . . . people are angry . . . but this time is different! Rather than sitting at home and throwing their shoes (and gosh knows what else) at the TV, people are getting out and trying to make a difference. Devoted Democrats and Republicans alike are annoyed at that “darn TEA Party movement”. Democrats call them “right-wing nut jobs”, and Republicans call them “spoilers”, “kooks”, and (of all things) “right-wing nut jobs”. But who are they really? These “so called TEA Partiers” (as they were referred to by Alan Colmes this morning on Fox) are normal people like you and me who are fed up with big government, big spending, and the continued loss of our freedom and liberty. We are sick and tired of the establishment (referring to BOTH parties) running the show, and we are getting involved in politics like never before. They (the TEA Partiers) are SO MUCH like you and I that they ACTUALLY ARE you and I. If you are reading this message right now, YOU are one of US.

We call ourselves TEA Partiers, but we don’t actually have a “party”. We simply describe ourselves as “conservatives”. Some of us have tried to be “conservative Republicans” . . . some of us have tried to be “conservative Democrats” . . . some of us have tried both! Some are trying to take the Republican Party back . . . while others yet are considering starting their own Conservative Party. There are some of us that have gone so far as dare to be a conservative unaffiliated independent with NO tie to ANY party. We are, however, all one and the same.

Yesterday there were some very big Primary races across the United States. The results of those races are surprising some people . . . but not us. Conservative TEA Partiers are beating Republicans on their own turf, and overwhelmingly so in some races. Today the talking heads are saying “sure, they won but they have NO CHANCE in the General Election”. To that I say . . . “really? . . . REALLY? . . . seriously?”

Most (if not all) of you know that I am involved in my own race right now. I am running against a 20-year incumbent Republican State Senator (Bob Robbins). My race exemplifies the battle of the TEA Party movement, and here are a few clear illustrations:


I am a conservative. I firmly support a platform of “good government”.

My opponent is a Republican . . . but he is NO conservative. When asked questions he tells people to look at his record. Well, when you do actually look at his record you find that he is not for limited government, fiscal responsibility, or liberty. This is clearly shown in his poor marks on the Liberty Index. CLICK HERE for an outline of the results of the Liberty Index.


I am FOR a platform of smaller and more limited government, term limits, fiscal responsibility, and public service. I have outlined my full platform and details regarding my political views on my website. CLICK HERE for details.

My opponent supports NONE of those things. He voted FOR an unconstitutional state budget. The problems with the budget and his support for it were outlined in an on-line article HERE. It was also pointed out by Bob Guzzardi of the Conservative Reform Network HERE. He spends tens of thousands of dollars to protect his LONG career. This was described in a blog post by Rich Talbert of Grove City HERE. His history of fiscal irresponsibility was documented by former Republican State Committeewoman Helen Kirk HERE.


I am for term limits. If elected I will limit myself to no longer than 2 terms (8 years) as a State Senator. I have agreed and signed the EmpowerPA.org candidate survey that reflects that opinion HERE.

My opponent has PROVEN that he does not support term limits by his 20 year career as a State Senator.


I feel that the State Pensions offered to elected officials are not sustainable. I have signed a promissory with EmpowerPA.org whereby if I am elected I will decline a state pension. That document is available for on-line review HERE.

My opponent is not only NOT against his pension, he is willing to do anything to keep it . . . including running as both a Democrat and a Republican this year. Don’t believe it? Well, don’t take my word for it . . . read the article written by Grove City’s Rich Talbert on the topic HERE.

Is Biros vs. Robbins Northwest Pennsylvania’s equivalent to O’Donnell vs. Castle in Delaware?

When you simply examine the shape and taste of a political race, it is interesting to compare my race to yesterday’s race in Delaware. While the election in Delaware was a Primary, there are a number of similarities. First, the Delaware Primary will be much like the General Election here in the 50th District because I believe it will ultimately be decided by conservatives. Pennsylvania’s 50th District is very conservative, and I don’t believe that left-leaning Democrats will be much of a force on November 2nd. The biggest difference, though, is that being a General Election my race will benefit from the votes of independent and conservative Democrat voters.

Stepping inside the voters minds for a minute

None of us know how voters will be thinking on November 2nd. No one can anticipate the attitudes of the people that get up, get dressed, and drive to the polls on Election Day. I would, however, be interested to do a poll on voters reactions to the ballot itself . . . as that will be the moment when voters make their final decision on who should get their vote.

Below is an image of the actual ballot as it will appear on the voting machines in the 50th District (a printable copy is available for download as a PDF HERE):


Upon close review you will find something that rarely happens. Under “straight party”, you will see that voters will have the opportunity to vote for the party of “unaffiliated independent”. Get accustomed to this as I have a feeling that it is something that will begin to appear more often as the years progress.


The race between me and Bob Robbins is the perfect example of a race between “TEA Party mentality” and “the old guard”. In true Arlen Spector style, Bob Robbins’ listing on the ballot tells you everything that you need to know about him . . . DEMOCRATIC/REPUBLICAN . . . he is trying to be EVERYTHING to EVERYONE and will do ANYTHING to win. As a true TEA Partier, my listing on the ballot tells you everything that you need to know about me . . . UNAFFILIATED INDEPENDENT . . . controlled by NO party.

How will voters react on November 2nd when they look at their choices for Senator in the 50th District? I’m not sure, but I’m hoping that we all remember that on November 2nd we need to “Take Out the Trash!”


Monday, September 13, 2010

The 2010 Fair Season Comes to an End!

Whew!  Allow me to open today's blog with the words of the Grateful Dead . . . "What a Long Strange Trip It's Been".

Back in May we began the long series of festivals, fairs, and parades that have stretched across the summer of 2010.  This weekend marked the official end of fair season.  On Saturday, September 11th, our team celebrated the end of a very successful summer of policking with the Mercer TEA Party and the Jamestown Parade and Fair.

The morning began with the Mercer TEA Party (sponsored and organized by the Mercer County Christian Coalition).  We had an information booth available, and I had an opportunity to talk to concerned citizens from the area regarding issues of good government.

I was then transported by 'high-speed vehicle' to the line up for the parade in Jamestown.

We then all ended up in our information booth at the Jamestown fair.  We distributed information and answered questions, but we also managed to have a pretty good time!

The 2010 Fair Season was wonderful!  Most importantly, my campaign is gaining traction . . . gaining popularity . . . and growing in size!  We've spent months getting our message out and our efforts have been amazingly successful.  The word is getting out and it is being embraced by the voters of Mercer, Crawford, Lawrence, and Butler Counties.

I want to extend a very public thanks to my campaign team.  Each and every one of them is a blessing.  Our numbers are growing and our small group of friends is growing exponentially. We are more than a campaign team, we are a family! In the words of my campaign chairman "Politics is fun . . . if you are really serious about it!"

BUT . . . our work is not done!  While the fair season is now officially over, it is time for us to begin the final phase of our campaign.  This is where we put all of the final pieces of the puzzle together in order to WIN IN NOVEMBER!  Our team is made up of hardworking and honest concerned citizens and we want YOUR help!  Our teams is a perfect illustration that "many hands make light work", and we'd like for you to join with us in order to achieve success as a team in November.

Contact me at roberta.in.mercer@gmail.com if you would like to be a part of the most motivated grassroots group to ever be seen in Mercer, Crawford, Lawrence, and Butler Counties!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

LibertyIndex.com Provides a Report Card for PA Legislators

Have you ever asked an elected official where they stand on an issue and they simply respond with “check my record”? Well, in Mercer County that is an every day occurrence. As a candidate for public office, people ask me my opinions on issues every day. I respond as openly and as completely as possible as a matter of transparency. When I can I provide written responses and I usually attempt to post those responses to my blog or my website. Unfortunately, INCUMBENTS don’t offer the same level of transparency. Why? Because, as ‘career politicians’ they are more concerned about staying out of the spotlight and simply hanging on to what they have. They figure that if they keep their mouths shut they will squeak through another election cycle without being spotted and called out. Uninformed voters will vote for them because they don’t know any better.

When an incumbent elected official says “check my record”, have you? Most people don’t have the knowledge or resources to really dig down deep and research the voting record of an elected official . . . and that is why the response works so well. Luckily for us, there are individuals and groups out there that are willing to do the hard work for us. One example of such a resource is the LibertyIndex.

This Liberty Index is produced by RGI Inc, the Conservative Reform Network and The Conservative Reform PAC , Bob Guzzardi, President http://www.bobguzzardi.com . According to the LibertyIndex.com website, “The purpose of the Liberty Index is to allow the user to find out how his or her Senator and Representative voted and to give the user our evaluation of his or her performance. Because the Liberty Index advances an agenda of Limited Government and Economic Freedom, we have rated legislation whether or not it advances that goal.”

I’ve used the LibertyIndex.com as a tool in the past. Some of you may remember that in early 2009 I published the results from the LibertyIndex.com for each of the legislators that represent Mercer County. That blog post can be read HERE.

Mr. Guzzardi recently released new statistics for the 2009-2010 legislative voting calendar. I was, of course, eager to see how the legislators from Mercer County performed. I was not surprised by the results, but you may be. As a summary for the 2010 session, Mercer County legislators scored as follows:

Senator Bob Robbins (D/R – 50th): F-
Representative Dick Stevenson (R – 8th): C
Representative Mark Longietti (D-7th): F-
Representative Michele Brooks (R-17th): B-

Hmmmmm. On a scale of Limited Government, Economic Freedom, and Liberty ONLY TWO Mercer County legislators scored at or above average. Conservative Representatives Stevenson (C) and Brooks (B-) had voting records to be proud of. On the other hand, not-so-conservative Democrat/Republican Senator Bob Robbins (F-) and Democrat Representative Mark Longietti (F-) received frightening ratings. Interesting, don’t you think?
With the basic scores in hand, we should all be asking ourselves “are these legislators really representing us properly?”. Is this a fluke? Well, perhaps we should dig a little deeper. According to the date from the LibertyIndex.com, here are the results for those same legislators since 2003:

Upon review of the voting records of Mercer County’s legislators over a longer period of time, we find that Senator Bob Robbins and Representative Mark Longietti score at a consistent D+ to F- range. Representatives Stevenson and Brooks continue to keep their heads above water with consistent A- to C ratings.

So again I ask “are these legislators really representing us properly”. “Is this a fluke?”

When I look at the data it seems clear to me that Representatives Stevenson and Brooks are working to promote Liberty in Northwest Pennsylvania. It also seems clear that Senator Bob Robbins and Representative Mark Longietti are working hard to strip us of Liberty and they are clearly working against limited government and economic freedom.


There are plenty of resources out on the web that provide summaries of data just like the Liberty Index.  The Liberty Index, though, focuses on issues that are important to ME (and those of us that are committed to Good Government).  I actually compared these same legislators from Mercer County in my own index just a few months ago. 

In my blog post titled "The Mercer Conservative Index: Grading Lawmakers and Candidates on a Simple Scale of Fiscal Conservatism and Public Service" I compared Mercer County's legislators on a scale that I designed based on such issues as intellect, public service, likability, and transparency & accountability.  Oddly enough, the results of that comparison were not that different than the Liberty Index.  Specifically, Senator Bob Robbins rated an "F" (see the details HERE), and Representative Michele Brooks rated a "B" (see the details HERE).  Could these grades be so far off if there are such close similarities between the end results?


When you look at the results of the Liberty Index and the Mercer Conservative Index, don't you wonder how or why these very different legislators seem to stick together and support each other so fiercely? If they don't agree philosophically or legislatively, why do they support each other politically?  Does it go back to the idea that political party and ideals really don't matter?  Does it go back to the fact that incumbents simply support incumbents (like in the Mercer County Incumbent Party) because they are ultimately more concerned with their 'careers' than public service? 


I invite you all to check out the data on the LibertyIndex.com on your own. The on-line database is rich with valuable information. You can view the records of each and every legislator, and those records link to the voting records as well as the actual legislation in question. Take a close look at their records and decide for yourself if you agree with the work that your legislators are doing for you.


I have taken the time to gather the detailed results for the legislators that represent Mercer County. I’ve collected those results into one downloadable PDF document that can be accessed HERE. I urge you to download it and print it out. The next time you meet up with one of Mercer County’s legislators, ask them where they stand on the issues of Liberty, Limited Government, and Economic Freedom. When they say “check my record”, please pull the document out and tell them that you have. Then remember that moment when you go to vote on November 2nd.

Event Announcement: Mercer Tea Party September 11th!


9-11 Memorial and TEA Party

Mark Your Calendar & Join Us:

Saturday, September 11, 2010
9:30 am - NOON
Rain or Shine


Program includes:

* Patriotic songs by Linda Weber

* Memorial tribute by Rev. Charles Swartz, Pastor of Bible Baptist Church, Mercer

* Lee Wishing Director of Grove City College, Views & Visions

* Fran Beven of Eagle Forum

* John Kennedy, Chairman of Citizens Allliance of PA

* Rev. Jim Erb serving on "AIM", a network of churches and ministries

Bring friends, a lawn chair and if the weather is questionable an umbrella.

Sponsored by the Mercer County Christian Coalition


Friday, September 3, 2010

Why You Can’t Trust Bob Robbins and Good Reasons Not to Vote For Him!!

(Part II of a series)

(The following statements are my opinions, perspectives, and views after several years of volunteer work within the Mercer GOP. I served 12 years as a precinct committeewoman and 2 years on the PA GOP state committee.)

Summary of Bob’s Slush Fund: His Campaign Money or 2nd Salary

Let’s recap a section of Part I of this series, concerning Bob’s campaign fund, somewhat hidden accounts from my perspective. We could say that Bob is the Count of Hidden Accounts! Not only does this greedy official draw an outrageous salary for part-time work, a pension, and all expenses paid, including a Virgin Islands trip (corrected after he was caught), BUT it appears that he and his wife use the campaign fund as their private open checking account. Here’s a summary: $23,000 at Sam’s Club since 2006; $29,378 in “miscellaneous” reimbursement to Bob; $78,000 to the PA Republican Senate Committee in 2006 and $27,000 in 2008. His Dem friends and those Dem write-in’s should take note of Bob’s assistance to the Republican Club to the tune of over $100,000. Another absurd expenditure was over $168,000 for his 2006 re-election campaign, and lastly his $43,000 sneaky Dem write-in campaign. It is no wonder that the Count of Hidden Accounts does not want to give up his seat. The readers are invited to “do the math” and see how much money has changed hands since 2006.

The Robbins GOP Club

The Mercer GOP IS Bob and Cindy Robbins and Ginny Richardson, and maybe a little Brian Shipley on the side and everyone else is window dressing as far as they are concerned. Bob jealously guards his position and perks within the local GOP, the Northwest GOP Caucus, and the PA GOP State Committee. He, and his wife, work diligently within these organizations for their own selfish interests. Let me ask a reasonable question: For all the decades that Bob has held the senatorial position, including the extra bonus as senate secretary, WHAT GOOD HAS COME TO MERCER COUNTY? Nada, Zip, Nothing! He has just simply held the position; he is an ineffective senator.

Our county has higher unemployment than the national average, terrible crime, and poor prospects for the citizens. What has PayRaise Bob done to help solve any of these problems? NOTHING! Not only nothing, he has been quoted as saying that “it is a waste of time” to do any outreach in the Shenango Valley area. He avoids Farrell like the plague. His resignation to the status quo is not ever going to change things for us.

Bob’s Petty Power Plays and Why I Don’t Trust Him

Bob kept a low profile during 2006, since he was scared witless that his dark-of-night payraise vote PLUS the vote for full reimbursement of unvouchered expenses, would knock him out of his catbird senate seat. After he squeaked through the election, Bob was soon again the cocky Napoleonic, self-appointed undercover head of the Mercer GOP and the NW PA GOP Caucus, along with his wife, leading the charge against any rising stars or talents. When I decided to run for a PA State Committee seat, all hell broke lose. The Robbins and Richardsons began their campaign against me. Mind you, there are three committee seats and four of us were running. The senator and his wife visited my home, while I was at work, and met with my husband to urge him to convince me not to run. This is when the senator threatened “to bring out the artillery against me.” How ridiculous, and sad for all of us to have this type of man as our legislator. There was also a visit from then-Senator Arlen Specter’s Erie staff rep to my husband, again to convince me not to run. As far as I know, no one visited or threatened George Pokrant, and no one ever spoke to me about the matter. Mrs. Robbins also did her dirty work, behind the scenes and most likely on her cell phone (paid for by campaign money no doubt), and she conjured up $3000 from Bob Asher, the PA GOP national committeeman (convicted felon of fraud vis-à-vis the Bud Dwyer kickback scheme), $3000 which was given to Mrs. Robbins and Mr. Richardson to run their state committee campaign. Again, absurd, and another example of how greedy and mercenary the Robbins are about money: spend everyone else’s!

My experience as a PA state committeeperson was educational. There is a small network of so-called leaders and legislators who make decisions behind the scenes and then force them at the committee members. Unfortunately, I found that about 2/3 of the membership goes along to get along with this strategy, and 1/3 are independent thinkers. However, it was refreshing to be part of a group outside of the Mercer GOP, and I met many dynamic people.

A highlight of my state committee experience was my part in unseating the unscrupulous chair of the NW PA Caucus, a person who collaborated with the Robbins to do what was in his and their best interests. A lowlight was a verbal assault directly at the end of one of the state committee meetings, right there in the ballroom, by Ginny Richardson (she attended with the county chair‘s proxy), a puzzling assault on me because of my involvement with opening a McCain-Palin Victory Center in the Shenango Valley. Both of the Robbins were standing behind Ginny, silently backing her up. I came to see, by the end of my first year on the state committee, that we would never be able to elevate the GOP with leaders like Bob, Cindy, Ginny, Brian etc., who operate in the dregs because that is where they do their best work.

I don’t trust Bob Robbins because he is focused entirely on the control of persons and assets that serve his interests. I will never support him or vote for him and I urge all voters to seriously review the reasons which I have offered and dare to make a change and vote Independent this Fall. It is time that these imbedded incumbents are eliminated from controlling all levels of our government. It is time that we replace Bob Robbins.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Kelly vs. Dahlkemper in Mercer County

Yesterday, AARP hosted a candidate forum in Hermitage, PA where Republican candidate Mike Kelly took on Democrat incumbent Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper. I attended the event along with a few hundred of my closest friends. I have been interested to see the two candidates take on the issues face to face, and today’s event achieved that perfectly.

While I don’t have the time to devote to outlining all of the details of the event, I’d like to focus on a number of highlights . . . from start to finish.

The Start

The debate began with a coin toss. Mike Kelly chose heads and won. It was his option on who would make the first opening statement. Mike said “Ladies first”. It was cute, but many of us laughed out loud. We all know that this is NOT a race that involves any type of chivalry, so the attempt was laughable.

Kathy Dahlkemper’s opening statements outlined her achievements from her first 20 months in office. She mentioned securing Medicare, improving health care for seniors, and attempting to secure Social Security. Kathy also stated that she didn’t like the “direction that our country was going” and she felt that we need to invest in our children and invest in infrastructure and move forward . . . rather than moving back to the near collapse of our economy. For a minute . . . just a minute . . . she sounded like a TEA Partier. Hmmmm.

Mike Kelly’s opening statement started with “I’m not here as a politician”. I laughed out loud. He went on to say that he would be speaking from the heart today because he, too, is concerned. He highlighted his thoughts by saying things like “things are not good” and “the future is not rosey”. He rallied the TEA Partiers in the crowd by saying that it isn’t “We the People” anymore . . . it is “We the Government”. In closing he stated “the beneficiary should be the American people . . . not a Party”. For a minute . . . just a minute . . . he sounded like an Independent. Hmmmmm.

The Middle

The questions started with predetermined questions from AARP including topics like the economy, stabilizing Social Security, Medicare, and the deficit.

The line of questioning then moved to questions that were submitted by attendees of the forum. Those questions ranged from Cap and Trade, farming, education, tort reform, and international relations.

The topics were diverse, but the answers to the questions from both candidates were extremely interesting. Not so much in what they said but how they said it . . . if you know what I mean.

My Scoring

To explain and rate the general conversation, allow me to provide a few examples and score some of the highlights of the debate accordingly:

Kathy Dahlkemper claimed that the problems that we have were there before she was elected . . . Kelly responded by saying “don’t blame Bush”. [+1 for Kelly]

SCORE: Kelly 1 point; Dahlkemper 0 points

Kathy Dahlkemper stated that Social Security is the only program that never contributed one cent to the national debt and, instead, it is a source to borrow from. She feels that it needs to be protected in a “lock box” . . . which received groans from the crowd (including myself). [-1 for Dahlkemper]

SCORE: Kelly still 1 point; Dahlkemper -1 points

In response to a question regarding the recent cut in Medicare payments by 21%, Mike Kelly blamed health care reform legislation. Kathy Dahlkemper had to explain that Mike obviously didn’t understand the question as the change in Medicare had nothing to do with the recent health care legislation bill that was passed. [+1 Dahlkemper]

SCORE: Kelly still 1 point; Dahlkemper 0 points

Regarding the deficit, Dahlkemper stated that she is a Blue Dog Democrat and believes in fiscal responsibility . . . and we all laughed. [-1 Dahlkemper]

SCORE: Kelly still 1 point; Dahlkemper -1 point

In response to the same question regarding the deficit, Kelly said “We need to hold elected officials accountable to the people . . . not accountable to the Party”. To this I say “Bravo”, and once again Kelly sounds (for just one minute) like an Independent and not a Republican. [+1 Kelly]

SCORE: Kelly 2 points; Dahlkemper -1 point

In response to Cap and Trade, Kelly didn’t answer the question. [-1 Kelly]
Dahlkemper’s response is that she voted against Cap and Trade [+1 Dahlkemper]

SCORE: Kelly still 1 point; Dahlkemper 0 points

In an interesting twist, Kelly felt it necessary to say that Dahlkemper only voted for Cap and Trade at 5 minutes before midnight after making certain that her Party had the necessary votes to pass it. For this, Mike Kelly loses points as it was an unnecessary jab and it made him look petty

SCORE: Kelly 0 points; Dahlkemper 0 points

In response to a question regarding helping farmers, Kelly pointed out that a big problem is the death tax. [+1 Kelly]
Dahlkemper, on the other hand, said that the death tax is fair is not problem with a little tax planning. Ugh. Really! Seriously? [-1 Dahlkemper]

SCORE: Kelly 1 point; Dahlkemper -1 point

Something odd happened during the question regarding tort reform. Dahlkemper stated that tort reform is actually a state issue, but in some strange twist the conversation turned to “Cash for Clunkers”. In the end, Kelly explained that $600,000 in “cash for clunkers” money went through his dealership and was paid TO customers. He stated that he was not a beneficiary of the stimulus money. Kathy Dahlkemper, however, correctly stated that he was a beneficiary of the profits generated from the increased business that came from “cash for clunkers”. Mrs. Dahlkemper clearly won the argument and earned a point. [+1 Dahlkemper]

SCORE: Kelly still 1 point; Dahlkemper 0 points

The End

In the closing comments, Mike Kelly explained that it comes down to “faith and trust”. He stated the “we have lost faith in the people that represent us”. He explained that they don’t vote for us but vote with their party. (once again . . . for just a minute . . . Kelly sounds more like an Independent than a Republican). He explained that this leads to a lack of trust. He said that when he comes home from Washington he wants to say “I voted the way my people told me . . . not my Party”.

For this Mike earns another point in my book [+1 Kelly]
SCORE: Kelly 2 points; Dahlkemper 0 points

In Dahlkemper’s closing comments, she stated that there are two things that she looks at when she votes. (1) her conscience (2) her constituents. It all sounds nice as a sound bite, but she seemed to offend a huge number of her constituents with her health care vote and it never seemed to bother her conscience a bit. I won’t discount her points for it, but it makes me say “Hmmmmm”.

However, in a horrible display of lack of self control, Mike Kelly made a series of annoyed faces in reaction to many of Dahlkemper’s remarks and markedly so during her closing remarks. I found the move distasteful and I have to discount a point for it [-1 Kelly]

Final Score

In the end, Kelly earned 1 point, and Dahlkemper ended up with 0.

Comments and Suggestions (even though no one asked for them)

Dahlkemper looked good. She looked calm, cool, collected, and confident. She held her own and kept her composure. If she can maintain this, she will do well. When she gets shaken, she makes mistakes. Mike managed to do it to her once during the debate, and the general anger of the crowd seemed to concern her (and rightly so). This could be her weakness.

Mike looked nervous, flushed, angry (something I’ve warned him about on multiple occasions), and (at times) frustrated. He needs to calm down and keep his composure. He needs to be the “loveable teddy bear” that we all like so much, and his alter ego (the “angry football player”) needs to stay tucked away for the next few months. If he can do this he will do VERY well. If not, he will self destruct.

What did I like?

I enjoyed seeing that Dahlkemper made attempts to sound like a fiscal conservative, although actions speak louder than words. So far she has demonstrated that she is only a fiscal conservative in the press . . . but not in real life.

I enjoyed hearing Kelly make numerous statements that it is about “We the People” and NOT the Party, but again . . . actions speak louder than words. Unfortunately, Mike has demonstrated that he is all about “the Party” and he is prepared to march with the GOP (even if it is off the next cliff). Why? Because that is where the money is.

Most of all, I think it is really funny that everyone wants to paint themselves as a "fiscal conservative Independent”. Unfortunately, we all know that there is only ONE of those in this area . . . and SHE is running for State Senate!


Saturday, August 28, 2010

This is NOT the Mike Kelly Website

I received a comment today regarding a past blog post. The statements that were made were interesting and I thought they were worth sharing here now. The comment was submitted by “JD Gib” and it read as follows:

I was just reading what you posted on April 23rd, 2010 on a Mike Kelly Article:

"I’d like to make it very clear that I am doing everything that I can to make certain that Kathy Dahlkemper is defeated in November."

"I’d like to remind all of you that after May 18th it is important that you all set aside your personal differences and back the ONE candidate that ends up on top after the Primary."

I ask that you follow through on this promise and start blogging positively about Mike Kelly. My hope is that you and Dr. Martha Moore help support Mike Kelly to the best of your ability and help him defeat Kathy D.

I enjoy your blog, but it needs to be supportive of Mike Kelly and I am sure you would get more traffic :-)

-JD Gib

In response to “JD’s” comment, I’d like to first say that (although I cannot find the direct reference on this website) I am certain that I made the statements that were quoted. Before the Primary it was important to remain as neutral as possible and attempt to report the events as they transpired between the six congressional candidates. At that time, I believed what I said because (very honestly) all six candidates were starting to look very much like each other. They all seemed to stand for the same things, and they all seemed like good choices.

AFTER THE PRIMARY, however, Mike Kelly disappeared from the face of the Earth. He contacted NO ONE and made NO attempts to bridge the divide between the 6 separate candidate camps. Instead, Mike Kelly went into hiding. When he ended his hibernation, he emerged as a candidate that had nothing to say and stood for nothing in particular. He emerged a complete and utter RINO. I saw it . . . others saw it . . . and others are still seeing it.

To respond to your statements directly though, JD, it is not my responsibility to “blog positively about Mike Kelly”. This is NOT the Mike Kelly website and we are not here to service and promote Mike Kelly. Instead, it is Mike Kelly’s responsibility to give us something positive to write about! Do something . . . say something . . . stand for something!

If Mike Kelly wants (or needs) good press, there are two ways to get it. He can either do positive things to EARN it, or he can pay people like you to attempt to create it.

Thanks, JD, but I’ll suffer on my own without Mike Kelly as a draw to this blog site. If you would like to help Mike Kelly perhaps you should start your own blog or join Mike’s campaign, but please don’t waste your valuable time by telling me what my opinions should be.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

We REALLY Need to Take Our Country Back

Please watch the YouTube video below. After watching it, ask yourself "is government part of the solution or IS government the problem?"

If you feel that government is part of the solution, I invite you to re-elect every single incumbent this year.

If you feel that government IS the problem (or, at least, a part of it), I invite you to vote against the establishment this year in an effort to turn things around! VOTE THEM ALL OUT . . . whether they are Republican . . . Democrat . . . or (in some cases) BOTH! :-)

If you can't view the video above, CLICK HERE to view it at YouTube.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

On The Road to Harrisburg: Biros’ Candidacy for State Senate is Official


Independent State Senate candidate Roberta Biros received verification from the Pennsylvania Department of State this afternoon that the nomination papers that she filed on Thursday, July 29, have gone unchallenged. According to Pennsylvania election law, all challenges to nomination papers were to be filed with the Department of State no later than 5 pm on Monday, August 9. As a result, her name will appear as an independent candidate for State Senate in Pennsylvania’s 50th District on the November 2nd General Election ballot.

To mark the closing of the nomination process, Mrs. Biros today proudly introduced the members of her campaign committee, Citizens to Elect Roberta Biros for State Senate.

Dr. Martha Moore of Sandy Lake serves as Committee Treasurer.

"Dr. Moore is a former CPA and a well-respected medical professional," Mrs.Biros said. "As the primary administrator of the committee, Dr. Moore is the lead for all campaign and committee activities. I am thrilled to have someone of her reputation and character working with me."

Mrs. Biros selected Joe Zentis of Hermitage to be her Committee Chairman.

“Mr. Zentis brings a high level of energy and creative thinking to the team,” Mrs. Biros said. “He is a well-known writer, author, and entrepreneur, and his level of commitment to my Platform of Good Government is unmatched. Mr. Zentis will be involved in campaign strategy, planning, and team building.”

As a hands-on candidate, Roberta will be working shoulder-to-shoulder with Dr. Moore, Mr. Zentis, and her entire team of volunteers during her campaign for State Senate in Pennsylvania’s 50th District. If you are interested in joining Roberta’s campaign team, please contact the campaign committee by email at biros4senate@gmail.com or access the campaign website at http://www.electbiros.com/ for additional information.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Biros Files Nomination Papers

Mercer County: Thursday, July 29, 2010

Roberta Biros, Independent Candidate for State Senate, officially filed her nomination papers in the Office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth today, July 29, 2010.

Roberta personally delivered the nomination papers that qualify her as a candidate for State Senate in Pennsylvania’s 50th District this afternoon. According to the election standards of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Roberta was required to gather 827 signatures from registered voters in the 50th District (including Mercer, Crawford, and portions of Butler and Lawrence Counties) in order for her name to appear as an Unaffiliated Independent candidate in the November election.

Roberta Biros’ opponent in November is long-time Republican Senator Bob Robbins, who will be running as the nominee on both the Democrat and Republican tickets this year.

Roberta Biros is challenging Mr. Robbins on a platform of Good Government. She believes that Pennsylvania needs to decrease the size and cost of government and decrease spending. Roberta supports (and has agreed to in writing) the initiatives of EmpowerPA.org including term limits, support of a part-time legislature, and pension and tax reforms. Roberta has signed a “Declination of State Pension” pledge where she states that, if elected, she will decline enrollment in the State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS). She has also accepted the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” where she officially opposes increases in State spending and taxes. In her effort towards full transparency and accountability, Roberta’s Platform for Good Government is available through here website at http://www.electbiros.com/.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Will You Join Our Campaign?

Dear Friends,

As many of you probably know, I have a very diverse group of people working on my campaign. We all come from different walks of life with different backgrounds, but we all share one common interest. We all share a desire for Good Government and ethical leadership in Mercer and Crawford Counties and in Harrisburg. I’d like to share with you today an email from one of my volunteers. He tells his story of why he is involved with my campaign. His story is not much unlike many others that I have heard, but he has come to realize that it is only by joining together that we have a chance of “beating Goliath” in my race against 20-year career politician Senator Bob Robbins.

As the race heats up, ugly lies will be told about me and those that I am working with in my campaign. As some of you may have already experienced, the attacks will be harsh and they will be very pointed. Please remember that you can’t believe everything that you hear, and I ask that you investigate accusations on your own before you take anything for granted. If you have questions, please ask. After you are convinced of the real truth, I urge you to join my team as we drive forward to Election Day on November 2nd. You can be a part of a small army that is going up against insurmountable odds and dishonorable tactics. While I cannot guarantee victory (who can?), I can promise you that we will remain honorable for a worthy cause. NOW is the time for us to take our government back . . . one small step at a time. It needs to once again be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people!

Thank you for your time.

Roberta Biros
Independent Candidate for State Senate
Email: Roberta.in.Mercer@gmail.com
Web: http://www.electbiros.com/
CLICK HERE to make a Contribution to Roberta’s Campaign!

-----Original Message-----
From: Joe Zentis
Sent: Thursday, July 22, 2010 1:17 PM

I really need your help. To explain why, I will tell you a little story.

Once upon a time (April 15, 2009, to be exact), a quiet, passive, friendly 70-year-old conservative (that would be me) inadvertently became a radical right-wing. How can you do that inadvertently? By attending a TEA Party. Through the next year, barely anyone noticed the change, because I remained a quiet, passive, friendly 70-year-old conservative who did little more than attend a few more TEA Parties, watch Fox News, write a few letters to the editor, and complain to friends about the sad state of our nation. Actually, I did one other thing. I stopped into the Mercer County Republican headquarters at least three times and told whoever was there that I wanted to help out the Republican Party in whatever way I could. I gave them my name and phone number. Never heard a thing.

Before the primary elections in May of this year, a TEA Party activist alerted many of us to the fact that many precincts in Mercer County had no committeemen on the Mercer County Republican Committee – nor candidates to fill those offices, which are elected during the primaries every two years. He suggested that we write in our names on the ballot. I did, and got elected with a grand total of two votes. One would have been enough.

I started my grand political career a month later at the biennial organizational meeting of the committee. I quickly learned why no one from the Republican leadership had responded to my earlier attempts to get involved. The committee is tightly held by several longtime party leaders who view newcomers (especially TEA Partiers) as threats to their bastion of power. They nominated a slate of candidates for the five committee offices, and immediately moved that the nominations be closed.

As that motion was being voiced, another committee member moved to nominate someone else for committee chairman. The leadership begrudgingly allowed that nomination to be made. Big surprise: he lost. Bigger surprise: within a day, the committee leadership leaned on the upstart nominee to resign from the committee – not because of the nomination, but because he has been known to support a friend of his, Roberta Biros, an Independent running against our beloved State Senator (and current Republican senatorial candidate) Bob Robbins.

During the meeting, Senator Robbins had spoken vociferously against the very idea of any committeeman supporting anyone but Republican candidates. It was against the committee bylaws, he said. He didn’t explain why we couldn’t campaign against the Democratic state senatorial candidate, maybe because that’s also Bob Robbins. Through an active write-in campaign this spring, he got himself nominated as candidate for both parties to ensure that his 27 years in the state legislature will be extended by another four years.

All of this made me curioser and curioser. I had met Roberta Biros once or twice, but didn’t really know her. All I knew is that she was a troublemaker who had been a Republican, then a Democrat, and finally an Independent. Talk about wishy-washy switchy swatchy! I couldn’t figure out why the committee leadership in general and Bob Robbins in particular felt so threatened by her.

So I decided to learn more about her. Best way to do that is talk directly with her. She told me a story that paralleled my own. She had been very serious about getting involved in politics to change the direction of our governments. Being Republican, she tried to do that by getting helping out in the county Republican headquarters. She was pushed away. So she tried to work with the Democrats. Again, she was pushed away. She didn’t switch parties because she was wishy-washy. She switched because she was determined to find whatever way she could to fight the corruption and ineptitude of our state government.

Given no other choice, she decided to run as an Independent against Republican/Democrat Bob Robbins. Her chances at the moment are in the category of David/Goliath, snowball in hell, or you’ve-got-to-be-kidding me. Virtually unknown, with practically no campaign funds or staff, she is up against the treasury and army of Bob Robbins and the Mercer County Republican Party.

So why, again, are the Republicans so concerned with her candidacy? Because they know her well – her tenacity, her determination, and her abilities.

I’ve decided to go whole hog to support her. After all, David beat Goliath, and snowballs can survive thrive in hell if they are positioned right (at least according to Dante’s Inferno).

I invite you to join us – to work to make a difference. What will it take? A few people doing a lot of work, plus a lot of people having a few moments of fun. Roberta needs people to walk with her in festival and fair parades, a d stand beside her in campaign booths at local fairs. Spend an evening or two or three with friends who want to do more than gripe and moan about big government, excessive spending, ever-increasing taxation, and continual loss of freedoms.

If you are willing to do even a little bit to help us – or if you have questions or comments - please e-mail me or give me a call. Monetary contributions would also be nice, but mostly we need your involvement.

- Joe

Please check out these websites: http://www.electbiros.com/ and mercerconservatives.blogspot.com

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