Saturday, April 21, 2007

Beware of phony reformers

David Kessler was swept into the state Legislature as part of the anti-incumbent, pro-reform movement in 2006. But how much of a reformer is this guy?

Kessler, a Democrat, managed to win the 130th House District seat held for 20 years by Republican Dennis Leh. Kessler was in the right place at the right time.

It now appears voters in eastern Berks County are having second thoughts about Kessler.

Don't say I didn't warn you about Kessler. He's a classic tax-and-spend liberal and has quickly fallen in line behind the master spender himself, Gov. Ed Rendell. Kessler won't stop cheering for Rendell, who will bankrupt Pennsylvania with his taxes and borrowing.

Voters in the 130th District tossed out Leh because he voted for the pay raise and failed to deliver on promises to eliminate property taxes. Leh also couldn't make up his mind whether he wanted to keep the job, so voters made the decision for him.

Voters thought they heard the right things from Kessler about property tax cuts and reform, but a closer examination of Kessler's campaign materials and information on his Web site show that he's out of step with the voters in the 130th. This guy will rubber-stamp anything Rendell sends down the pike, including those seven new taxes the governor wants you to pay.

That's not exactly what taxpayers had in mind when they voted for change.

I've talked to several of Kessler's constituents who keep asking me the lowdown on their new state representative.

Everything I wanted to say about Kessler was neatly summed up by a resident of the 130th Dist., who recently penned this letter to the editor.

Here's the letter published in the April 20 issue of The Mercury:

Rep. Kessler abandons taxpayers

The voter's rage against the "raise" last year was good, but, the voters have to know and remember that responding to the dollars involved in those raises was significant, but those dollars were and are not that important when compared to the dollars voters are compelled to pay every year for ever escalating property taxes! School property taxes have been, are and will ever be a major and ever escalating cost unless the voters, once and for all, rise up against Harrisburg.

I give credit to Bill Evans for his astute analysis on Rep. David Kessler's proposed 3 percent impact fee on the purchase of a home. Kessler is the guy who stood in front of an Amity Candidate's Night crowd saying he would work for property tax elimination. We better not hold our collective breaths.

Two months ago, I challenged Rep. Kessler on his pledge. His telephone response was that the Commonwealth Caucus plan does not work and that if that plan were enacted then all of New Jersey would move to Pennsylvania because they would not have to pay school taxes and this would drown Pennsylvania with school children and greatly increase costs to run the schools.

This is the type of logic Kessler feels that the voters swallow. He went further to say that he would be proposing next year to have a 40 to 45 percent reduction in school property taxes. We know about "Slick Eddie" and now we have "Deceptive Dave" right here in our own backyard of this district.

As Bill Evans calls on all voters to "not fall asleep" on the PIT and Act 1, not only must we defeat that proposal by voting No, but we must also launch an aggressive campaign to let our legislators know, in no uncertain terms, that major school tax reform is a must this year, not next year or the year after.

Unless we, the voters, take and make the effort to stay on top of this issue, the most significant of all issues that impacts family life and all its inherent and ramified influences, families cannot afford to stay and live in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; Seniors cannot afford to live in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and certainly single persons cannot afford to live in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Other states will be more inviting.

Even the state of New Jersey has gotten the message about confiscatory school property taxes by starting to greatly reduce their school taxes and not just blow smoke and scams at the tax paying voters as our legislators have and are again doing.

Yes taxpayers, let us wake up and become active. Write letters, contact the legislators and stay the course to make it happen.


I couldn't have said it better myself, Mr. Ferensick.

Voters in the 130th should start looking for an alternative to Kessler for the 2008 elections.

Kessler answers to the party bosses in Harrisburg, not the residents back home.

Take a look at all the campaign money that poured into Kessler's coffers last year from Democratic Party big-shots and career politicians across the state. They don't invest that kind of money on a candidate unless they're sure he'll vote the way he's told.

Getting rid of Leh was the right thing to do. He lost touch with the folks back home and fell in love with the perks of the office. But his replacement isn't much better.

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