Wednesday, September 07, 2005

PARTY COMMITTEES begin to fracture because of the payraise

There appears to be some backlash aimed at the incumbents - from their own party committees! One county GOP committee has publicly denounced its own incumbents for their payjacking votes. One Democratic county committee is considering adopting a resolution condemning the payjack.

Dems, see the comments for a news story from a fair petition effort at a Dem booth that got hot.

The GOP state committee has a committeeman that is to propose a resolution condemning the payjack at their meeting this weekend.

These developments are particularly important to keep our eyes on as it is these committees that endorse candidates (incumbents) year after year. As such, PACleanSweep holds these committees responsible for their role in tainting the electoral system for all Pennsylvanians.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Beaver County Democratic Chairman Vince LaValle (724-728-5700 x22270 )

Pay-raise repeal petitions ignite argument

J.D. Prose, Times Staff

NEW SEWICKLEY TWP. - A petition demanding that state legislators rescind their recent pay raise caused a furor at the Big Knob Grange Fair over the weekend, when county Democratic leaders told party members to stop collecting signatures at the party's booth.
Beaver County Democratic Chairman Vince LaValle said he was called by
Annamarie Perretta, district director for state Rep. Mike Veon, D-14, West Mayfield, Saturday night after a public-address announcement
notified fairgoers that the petition was available at both the Republican and Democratic booths.

Veon, who guided the pay raise bill through to its 2 a.m. approval with
no discussion or debate, has steadfastly defended the legislation, which ignited a firestorm of criticism.

LaValle said he got on the phone with Steve Kochanowski, a member of the Young Democrats, and told him to stop collecting signatures because the petition drive was not approved by the county committee. Having the
petition at the Democratic booth made it appear as if the party approved of the petition, LaValle said.

"No one of us, me included, can go up there and commit the party," he

Kochanowski, however, said Perretta was "berating the committee people"
at the Democratic booth because she was trying to protect Veon. He said
the controversy over the petition was a "political ploy" by Perretta to try to make supporters of Jay Paisley look bad.

Paisley, a Big Beaver councilman and former county council candidate,
intends to challenge Veon in next year's Democratic primary. Paisley
also is circulating the petition on the pay raise.

"I feel that Mike Veon's office was trying to stop the citizens' First
Amendment rights," said Kochanowski, the Potter Township Democratic

Economy resident Ken Boustead said he was working at the Democratic
booth when Perretta, after talking to LaValle, tried to take the
petition pages, saying she was supposed to hand them over to LaValle.

"I said, 'I have a problem with this,' " Boustead recalled. " 'A lot of people signed these petitions expecting action to be taken, and I don't want to see them destroy- ed.'"

Boustead said he saw 17 pages with 14 names on each sheet, which would
total 238 names.

Boustead said he relented when Kochanowski said he would take the
petition pages.

Perretta said Tuesday that she simply became concerned when she heard the announcement about the petition.

"The Democratic booth cannot be sponsoring a petition drive without the authority of the Democratic Committee," said Perretta, adding, "Everyone has a right to sign if they are against the pay raise or not."

Perretta said she was unaware that petition pages gathered at the
Republican booth were included in the stack in the Democratic booth. She said Veon was not involved in the incident and LaValle was handling the matter for the party.

Marty Matthews, the county's GOP chairman, said whoever has the petition pages - which ask for a name and hometown, but not party affiliation - is "obligated to forward those" to the person circulating it.

That person would be Paisley.

Besides the petition pages in question, Paisley said he also had eight pages containing more than 100 names disappear from the Democratic fair booth on Friday. He said the reaction from Democratic leaders on
Saturday was uncalled for. "What they're trying to do is stifle the
people's right to protest," Paisley charged. "If people are ticked off
(about the pay raise), they should be able to express their outrage."

Paisley said the petition stemmed from the efforts of a Harrisburg radio talk-show host and the signatures would eventually be sent to the station. The petition isn't endorsed by any party, he said.

LaValle insisted there was no effort to thwart the right of residents to
petition lawmakers. He said he merely wanted to ensure that the
petition's language did not make it seem as if the county's Democratic
Party endorsed it.

If there isn't a connection to the party, LaValle said he couldn't
oppose the petition. "I just want to make sure the party has not been
bound in any way, shape or form," he said.

Kochanowski and LaValle were supposed to meet Tuesday evening, but LaValle had to cancel that appointment. Kochanowski said he would keep the 25 to 30 pages of signatures until he met with LaValle.

After that, Kochanowski said, he would forward the petition to the
Harrisburg radio station. "Nothing will be destroyed," he said.

CBeaver County Times Allegheny Times 2005