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Friday, April 08, 2016

Simmons: Pension Reform or Bankruptcy

Justin Simmons
The first of three debates hosted by the Lehigh Valley Tea Party last night was the most raucous. Pennsylvania's 131st legislative district consists of the southern portion of Lehigh County, a tiny sliver of Montgomery County and part of Lower Saucon Township in Northampton County.  It has been represented by Justin Simmons for the last four years after he pulled off an amazing upset of Karen Beyer in 2010. make no mistake about it, Justin Simmons is a hard-core conservative. he has been the republican Democrats love to hate in the western part of the Lehigh Valley.  In the last two elections, Simmons has faced stiff competition in vicious campaigns that included teacher union advocate Kevin Deely and Republican-turned Democrat Michael Beyer.

All this adversity has made Simmons very effective during debates. He's a skilled orator and was clearly the most polished of all the candidates in three debates last night.  A few times, even opponent Bill Coyle joined in the applause after an answer, only to catch himself and look in amazement as his own hands would betray him. Coyle also had to admit and even apologize for a mistake in supporting the Manchin-Toomey gun proposal that would require background checks on the sales of firearms at gun shows and in Internet sales.

Three Term Pledge

To his credit, Coyle conceded his weakness. ""I may not be the best debater, I may not be as up on the issues as someone who's versed in it, but I've had success in my career, and I think I can translate that to our district." A wholesale furniture salesman, Coyle claimed he was running because Simmons has broken the three-term pledge limit that he made when he first ran for office.

And he has.

But Simmons had an answer.

"The people of my district have asked me to run for a third term because I'm actually one of the people who have gone into government and done what I said I'm going to do,"he explained. "I fought for conservative principles. ...  We've just got a victory from this Governor and have passed a budget that does not increase taxes."

Who's the Real Conservative?

Bill Coyle
It was a debate in which both Simmons and Coyle maintained that each was the real conservative.

Simmons painted Coyle as a liberal in conservatives clothing.

"Mr. Coyle has been backed by teacher union presidents, has been associated with Jennifer Mann, a former liberal Democrat, and with Karen Beyer, my liberal predecessor," he said. "I don't believe his intentions are really on the term limit pledge. I believe his intentions are a liberal Republican that wants to take a conservative out."

Coyle claimed he was the real conservative because he'd close one of the district offices. Simmons scoffed at that idea, noting those offices exist to serve constituents. Then he returned to Coyle's ties to the teachers' union.
"When the president of the teachers' union at East Penn School District says, 'Bill Coyle will represent our interests in Harrisburg," - someone that opposes paycheck protection, opposes pension reform, opposes everything that conservatives stand for - and two other teacher union people - I have the photo right here, saying 'Bill Coyle is the moderate alternative to Justin Simmons,.' Bill Coyle is not a conservative."
Simmons also pointed to Joanne Jackson, a Democrat sitting in the audience, and claimed that she had just told him that Democrats plan to mount a write-in campaign for Coyle. Jackson was so incensed that she has decided to mount her own write-in campaign.

Reducing the size of the state legislature (203 state reps, 50 state senators, 2d largest in country)

Both candidates said they'd like to reduce the size of the state legislature."Any time you can cut expenses, I think that's a good thing," said Coyle. "I'm a little concerned that it would give too much power to Philadelphia."

Simmons claimed a constitutional amendment will soon be in the hands of the voters.

"I've always been an advocate of reducing the size of the legislature,"" he claimed. "Texas, a state double the size of Pennsylvania, has a legislature, half the size. ... We need to reduce the size of the legislature and move to a part-time legislature here in Pa. ...It's going to be a constitutional amendment so we have to get it through the next session as well and then it will go to the ballot for people to vote on the issue. ... My opponent has said it will never happen. We're very close to this happening."

Pensions and per diems for state reps

Noting that Pa. has a $54 billion unfunded liability for pensions. Simmons signed a pension declination form. "I will not accept the pension," he observed. .

He lambasted per diems as "a ridiculous system" in which a "legislator can go out to Harrisburg and get $165 blank check to spend money however they want. No direct expense. It's wrong. I've been on every bill to eliminate the per diem system, I do not take per diems. I do direct expense because my expenses, when I have to spend the night in Harrisburg, come in about half the $165 per diem. The per diems have got to go."

Coyle agreed, but added he would eliminate pensions completely from the legislative branch.
"My opponent ridiculed me for that, but I think we should eliminate [pensions] from the legislative branch."
Differing views on term limits. 

Coyle stated he supported term limits for state representatives They should run for four-year terms and be limited to two terms.  Under the current system, state representatives are always campaigning, which he called a "full-time job."

Simmons claims to have "evolved" on the issue. "The voters decide at the ballot box," he argued  He also noted the irony of being attacked on term limit pledge by an opponent "who will not take the term limit pledge because he said he didn't know how long it would take to get things done."

Is It Time for HB76 Or Some Alternative to Eliminate Property Tax?

Coyle said he supports HB 76, which replaces a property tax with increases in the sales tax. It's hard not to support that bill," he said. But he admitted a "little bit of fear" about the impact of a consumption tax on clothing. Noting the outlets in Tannersville, he predicted that there "will be an impact in having a tax on previously untaxed articles of clothing. It's hard not to support that bill."

This fear about a tax on clothing was disputed by Simmons. "HB76 still does exempt clothing. You gotta' read the bill,  Bill. Sorry."

Simmons claimed to have voted for HB76 each time it has come up. Noting that the bill has 91 co-sponsors, but got 50 votes, Simmons claimed one of those votes came from him.

Simmons also disputed whether Coyle is really for property tax elimination. "When you are endorsed by teacher union bosses in the district, when you are trying to get written in by Democrats, you can't be for property tax elimination," he charged. "You can say that to a tea party crowd, but you're obviously not saying that to the Democrats."

Second Amendment and HB503, which will require that all firearms be registered with the state police and that there be an annual $10 gun tax.

"I'm pro Second Amendment," said Simmons.."I'm always endorsed by the NRA. I'm going to be endorsed by the NRA in this primary. I supported the castle doctrine. I was a co-sponsor of the castle doctrine because I believe you should be able to protect yourself in your own home. ... I have to do a contrast between my opponent and I. My opponent, on Bobby Gunther Walsh, says he supports Toomey-Manchin, the Toomey- Manchin federal law that is more into gun control. I don't support Toomey-Manchin. I think law-abiding citizens that own guns aren't the problem. ... I am pro-Second Amendment. I will oppose HB503, and I will continue to fight for your second amendment rights as I always have done."

Coyle, who stated he is also pro second amendment,acknowledged that "I did make a mistake on Bobby Gunther Walsh and didn't do my research on a national issue. I thought it would be more state specific and I wan't up to speed on it. And I apologize for that, and have since amended my position on it.

Coyle not only opposes HB 503 and its $10 annual assessment on each firearm. He also thinks "it's insane that we have fishing licenses." He complained about "government trying to extend their tentacles around all of us."

Take Your Pick, Pension Reform or Bankruptcy

Putting aside debate styles, Simmons also made a scary prediction. He believes Pennsylvania faces bankruptcy, probably within the next five years, unless it enacts pension reform.
"Here's the thing we gotta' do. The first step. We gotta' put all new hires into a new defined contribution 401k system, like 95% of the private sector has. We have to take taxpayers off the risk of what the pension system has caused. We have a $54 billion unfunded liability here in pa. It's not sustainable. And here's the thing if we don't do something about this. ... If we don't legislatively enact pension reform, the state's going to go bankrupt. Thirty dollars of every $100 right now goes to the pension system. That will be $50 of every $100 of the state budget within five years. The state will go bankrupt and the federal government will have to come in and allow states to go into bankruptcy protection. A lot of you remember what happened to the Bethlehem Steel and the retirees there. If we don't fix it now, that's what's going to happen herein Pa.
Noting that pensions were created to make jobs that no one wanted more attractive, Coyle said, "We shouldn't fund other people's retirements. We should fund our own."

(Blogger's Note: I will have reports on the other two debates on Monday).

106 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the report, BO. Simmons will get my vote again. Coyle is obviously no a serious contender.

Scott Armstrong said...

Jo-Anne Jackson a Coyle supporter. Game over on any claim he is a conservative or even a moderate Republican.

Anonymous said...

Simmons' lie about two terms = no vote this time. Sorry, Justin. I teach my kids not to lie and can't in good conscience vote for you again.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the debate summary. How come you included Simmons one-liner about needing to read the bill hb76, but left out that Coyle accurately corrected Simmons that the current bill would tax clothes over $50? Seems the person sitting in the job should know that.

Ray Nemeth Sr said...

Simmons is right on, forget the pledge, he is correct about the pension and the $54 billion is just the state pension, not the teachers pension, it has its own unfunded liability of $43 billion. Put them together and it is $100 billion, 3x the states revenues from within the state. It is a walking dead plan and when the next recession hits it will all be over. Then we can start over with a new defined contribution plan. The current retires will then be able to collect what they can with a federal administrator. Don't blame the taxpayers, blame the intransient unions.

Anonymous said...

Why would Democrat Joanne Jackson even go to a Tea Party debate, let alone tell Simmons that she is "incensed" at others (Dems presumably) who are mounting a write in for Coyle on the D side? Now Simmons can mount his own and defeat her on the write in, too, alomg with Coyle. Idiot. No wonder the Dems in the Lehigh Valley can't win anything. They are the gang that can't shoot straight.

Anonymous said...

It amuses me that these people continually accuse each other about not. being a conservative. They are holding up litmus tests that prove nothing, other than their definition of what it is. If they cannot agree with each other, how can they govern? The sad mess in Harrisburg is a perfect example.
Simmons looks like a deer in the headlights in that picture.
Running again shows he is not a man of his word.

Anonymous said...

I read that Simmons states the people want him to run for a third term.Has he not already run and served three terms? Can he be so out of it to believe that if he makes it sound as if this will be his third term people will believe it to be true.

Anonymous said...

Gary W. Gorman writes:

I am a Democrat who voted for Simmons...twice. Both times, it wasn't a vote necessarily for Simmons, but a vote against the Democratic candidates.

But, alas, Simmons, has now turned into another dubious, soon-to-be career politician who clearly lied about only running for two terms in order to get into office and now he is putting the Fox News spin on why he is allowed to break his campaign promise. He'll probably win a third term, but this time, it'll be without my principled vote.

He's probably the type of Republican who points at Secretary Clinton and calls her a liar. Now, that's funny!

Anonymous said...

She is a liar.

Anonymous said...

Simmons was elected 2010' 2012, 2014. Three terms done!

Anonymous said...

Simmons is a proven liar because he broke his pledge and an arrogant career politician because he just expects us to go along with him running for another term. He declares himself a "true conservative" and accuses his opponent of being a "liberal Republican", as if that means anything. It is this two-faced arrogance, and Simmons inability to find a way to get a BALANCED state budget that will fund our schools and municipalities passed, that will cause me to vote for Coyle, even if he is not "pure". The latest budget he voted for is NOT BALANCED and therefore NOT a "conservative" budget. The one he is just starting to work on for this year starts out with a $2 billion DEFICIT! But Justin Simmons continues to lie to us and claim that he is "conservative" because he thinks the voters in the 131st are easy to deceive with empty rhetoric. I am voting for Coyle because he can't be any worse than the lying career politician Justin Simmons.

Anonymous said...

This fool boasts about defeating Wolf's tax increase and then goes on to say how he supports raising sales tax and eliminating property tax. That WAS Wolf's plan, you idiot.

And the penis measuring that goes on to prove who is the bigger conservative only makes candidates try and outdo each other leading to the far rightward shift we've seen over the past decade. It will ultimately be the destruction of the Republican majority as we can see in the Presidential contest.

Anonymous said...

Coyle = Empty Suit . He has no political or legislative acumen . Rep. Simmons completely schooled Coyle in both debates . The only thing standing between the liberal governor wolf and huge tax increases is the strong conservative opposing voice of Justin Simmons . Simmons completely explained why he is running for a fourth term and thank God he is . We don't need a legislative trainee like Coyle in Harrisburg representing us with a liberal like Wolf as our Governor .Coyle won't impose term limits on himself yet you people have the balls to hold Simmons to a higher standard especially when the alternative is an empty suit like Coyle.
Simmons has my vote !

Anonymous said...

Simmons wouldn't be held to term limits if he hadn't made that the backbone of getting elected in the first place. The issue is not about term limits, it's about Simmons not keeping his word, not because the district is begging him to run again, but because it isn't convenient for him to keep his pledge.

Anonymous said...

The governor can balance the budget, just make spending match revenues, there is more money than last year in the budget, just not the increased spending he wants. Wolfs plan was not to eliminate property taxes, it was the classic bait and switch, cut some property taxes, mostly in democratic areas, and raise other taxes. It was bullshit, and you all know it.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we, the people, (or "you people" if you prefer) are just holding Simmons to the standard he set for himself and Coyle is too honest to make such a politically self-serving pledge. Your statement that the only thing standing between Wolf and a tax increase is Justin Simmons is laughable. For all of his legislative "acumin" Justin still has not found a way to deal with the political reality that getting legislation passed that will fund our local schools and municipalities can not be achieved by career politicians like Justin, who make a lot of noise to cover the fact that they can't do their jobs and don't know how to work with other elected officials, including (God forbid!) "liberals", to actualy get something besides partisan gridlock out of Harrisburg. I will give Coyle a chance because Simmons has done nothing but break his promise and make a lot of noise. Justin Simmons is all smoke, no fire or, as they say in Texas, all hat, no horse.

Anonymous said...

I really can't believe Coyle is still going through with this. He is going to lose by a minimum of 30 points. Does a man with his arrogance and ego really want to embarrass himself like this? Every time he opens his mouth he makes a fool of himself.

He thought he was better than Simmons because of his age and "experience" and Simmons has just totally outclassed and destroyed him.

And oh my God, he's really going to try a D write in? He wants 6 more months of this? It's only going to get 10 times worse from here for you Bill. It's always smart to play into your opponent's narrative about you.

Anonymous said...

Coyle is honest? Lol. He lied about why he's running. It's not about term limits. It's about....

1.) His job is in trouble
2.) He's a shrill for a group that wants state funding for a local YMCA
3.) He a liberal republican who doesn't like Simmons voting record but can't say that in a republican primary. (get ready for the pivot if he gets the D write in)

Bill Coyle has got to be the dumbest candidate I have ever seen run for office. The guy is a joke.

Anonymous said...

What poll are you looking at, the one made up of the cult that follows the prodigal son around to these JV debates and curses out anyone who challenges his lack of accomplishment? Don't put the words Simmons and class in the same sentence.

Anonymous said...

I see Simmons merry family of syncophants are up and trolling on Facebook for Simmons again. All they are doing is peddling the same old lies about Simmons and character assasination against Coyle that they do with anyone who dares call out his campaign manager's career poltician meal ticket little Justin.

Anonymous said...

Look at me, I'm Justin Simmons and when retire i wont have a pension or anything but I will change allegiance and suck off the system and take ssi and medicare medicade and live off of you the taxpayer

arent i a wonderful narrow sighted state rep

vote for me i will make sure your childrens futures are even bleaker than they are now

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to see how many people want more government spending , they should consider getting a job in the private sector, oh that's right, they tried that and they had to work harder to make more money, it is far easier to elect the right politicians.

Anonymous said...

The only thing standing between Wolf's tax increases and you is Justin Simmons? Really, get over yourself. Simmons is a follower. 3rd term and not a single leadership role on any committee in the house. Stop fetching diet cokes for the rest of the establishment and try leading something, anything. You are quick to take credit for party accomplishments, but quicker to point fingers when things you are specifically involved with make no progress.....liquor privatization, route 29/100 construction, supposedly pension reform. You've accomplished little in 5+ years so it's time to give someone else a shot.

Anonymous said...

"Conservetive"Justin Simmons just voted for a state budget that "liberal" Governor Wolf refused to sign because he (Wolf) noted that the budget was not balanced. That budget became law and now Justin and his fellow "conservatives" are facing a budget this year that is already $2 billion in deficit. For Justin Simmons to claim he is a "conservative" is fundamentally dishonest. See, it is not just about him lying and breaking his self-imposed term limit pledge. It is because he has decided to become a career politician who thinks he can lie to his constituents and they will blindly follow him just because he says he is "conservative", even though he is demonstrably lying to them. Justin Simmons thinks his constituents are stupid. He is wrong. We are watching.

Anonymous said...

It's spelled conservative idiot

Anonymous said...

The vitriol Coyle and his minions have for Simmons is really amazing since there is supposedly is no difference on policy between Coyle and Simmons according the the mattress salesman.

Again, the man is a two-faced liar and not a conservative or he wouldn't have this vitriol or even be running if he agreed with Simmons policies.

The fact that you have to have your wife's boss come to each debate and make an ass out of himself for you is pretty pathetic Bill. Couldn't find another colleague in the mattress industry? Or maybe they've all lost their jobs and yours is next.

Anonymous said...

Leadership on committees is based only on seniority in the House. Plain and simple.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Anons 8:13, 9:06 and 11:04 -

You need to put a damper on your dislike of Justin and pull out a dictionary and look up lying. Lying is making a statement you know is not true when you make it. That is not the case with Justin as he had every intention of keeping his three term pledge when he made it in 2010. Saying that Justin lied then is analogous to saying someone who is now getting a divorce lied when they took their wedding vows. Justin has said he made a mistake in making the pledge and circumstances have change which led him to seek another term. Voters can make their own judgement about whether that offsets the work that Justin has done over the past six years.

And speaking of lying, that does fit Coyle who has described himself as a "super voter". Yet he has not voted for Lehigh County Executive (2005, 2009, 2013), for Lehigh County Commissioner (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013) or for School Board Director (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013). Coyle did not vote in the special election to fill the seat he is now running for and he did not vote to keep Bob Casey from defeating Rick Santorum for US Senate. So Coyle is flat out lying when he says he is a super voter knowing that this is his record.

Anonymous said...

Please everybody stop and read what Simmons said, the people want me to run for a third term, he is so much a liar that he thinks he can make voters believe that this will be his third term instead of the fourth.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

11:41AM - yes the Bill Coyle campaign will indeed be over very soon.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Tell Ryan Mackenzie that you clown. He's in his 3rd term and is Vice Chair of one committee and Secretary of two others. Just another Simmons excuse. You think it is about seniority, but actually it is because Simmons is not respected by his peers and no one wants to work with him.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with 11:46! It's OK for Coyle to lie, but Justin takes a beating. Plain and simple, Justin is the ONLY viable candidate in the race. Coyle's wife has been going around saying hubby's just is on the line, so we know he's using this race as a job interview, and failing miserably! Coyle, keep those resumes out there, b/c soon you will not be using this valuable position as a job interview! I will add, reducing the size of the legislature AND becoming a PT legislature in a state this size..... BAD IDEA! You still need to have staff for constituent services, so you will be increasing office space and all the expenses that go with it, including payroll and benies. What you WOULD be reducing is the legislators themselves.... eh, ok. But before you make this vote, please visit states that have a PT legislature and see how that works..... I know one state that SUCKS AT IT! SIMMONS IS THE BEST AND ONLY CANDIDATE FOR THE JOB! RE-ELECT JUSTIN SIMMONS! ps, I see Coyle and Kerr have been beating away at the computer keys!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Let's knock off the anonymous personal attacks at people who are not candidates. I see no reason for all these anonymous personal attacks at the candidates, either.

Anonymous said...

Ryan and Justin are both well respected in H'burg. The diff with Ryan is that he was very seasoned before being elected b/c he held a position in Harrisburg and was head of the dept. Sorta giving him ghost senority.....

Anonymous said...

Cogratulations to the LV Tea Party for running a tighter debate than the last one in Emmaus. I only heard Simmons father yell an obscenity at one of the constituents attending this debate. What an embarrassment.

Anonymous said...

Just like a lot of people in district 131. I wanted Justin to run for office again. I wanted a true conservative. And not someone that will be doing on the job training. Coyle only, proved one thing in both debates. That he is clueless.

Anonymous said...

12:17PM - Oh here we go. Coyle repeating what Simmons haters like Karen Beyer and his fired staffer tell him. Bad people to get advice on Simmons from Bill. Simmons ended their careers.

Karen Beyer is a loser and can't get over that she lost to Simmons just like you can't seem to get over that you're getting crushed by him.

When you see Simmons campaign finance report, I think you will see he is VERY respected by his peers. When you see local elected officials that endorse him you'll see as well (that's just because he's an incumbent right? Always have an excuse Billy Boy). You're not the insider you think you are Bill. Try voting first before acting like a know it all.

And people on committees are asked if they want those positions like secretary. Simmons was a Secretary on committees his first two terms. He declined this time. Not to mention the select committees he's been appointed to. Again, you're an idiot. Go back to mattresses.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Thanks for the debate summary. How come you included Simmons one-liner about needing to read the bill hb76, but left out that Coyle accurately corrected Simmons that the current bill would tax clothes over $50? Seems the person sitting in the job should know that."

Coyle, who had just been corrected, was muttering under his breath at that point while it was Simmons' turn to speak, so I did not catch it. He did state he was concerned about a sales tax on clothing, and Simmons corrected him. I have since looked at the bill and it does exempt all clothing unless it costs more than $50 on the 2013-4 version of the bill.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Scott, I spoke with Joanne Jackson and her husband last night. They sat right behind me. She is waging her own write-in That is not the action of someone who supports Coyle.

Anonymous said...

I love Coyle always comparing Simmons to Mackenzie. Like Mackenzie isn't a "career politician?" Doesn't Mackenzie take the pension and the other perks?

Again, Coyle has no consistency in his arguments. He just wants this job SOOOO bad.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"It's spelled conservative idiot"

Thanks.I corrected my error. I usually spell it asshole.

Anonymous said...

That was what Coyle said, clothing over $50 is still taxed. I heard it sitting in the middle of the room, not sure how you missed it sitting right in front of the candidates.

Anonymous said...

Gary W. Gorman responds to comment 9:01am:

Duh commenter! She is a liar. We're all liars to some degree or another, but someone in Simmons' position, you'd think he would be above that; work with others and embrace a fellow liar like Hillary- instead of throwing stones at her, which I'm positive he does.

That is simply one reason I will not vote for him this time around.

Anonymous said...

The comparison to Mackenzie was a response to another Simmons excuse for why he has no leadership role in the house. First those roles are based on seniority, then he was offered but declined, then Mackenzie has an advatage, and then attack Mackenzie. Simmons can't hold Mackenzie's jock. Truth is that Simmons is on the outside of his own party looking in. Run off now little Justin and fetch everyone a diet coke.

Bernie O'Hare said...

2:35, I sat in the front of the room to make sure I heard what was being said. I recorded the debate and listened to it repeatedly to ensure my report would be accurate. I was up until nearly 5 am for that sole reason. When I read your initial comment, I went back and listened sgain to that portion of the debate. It was Simmons' turn to speak. He was speaking, and Coyle interrupted to say something, but Simmons cut him off and talked over him. i can play you the tape if you like. Send me your email address and I'll send tgat portion. My report is factually accurate.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, I see you put a somewhat better picture of Justin Simmons on the story. What, didn't he like the other one? Not much of an improvement. He still looks like a know it all little punk.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I did replace the picture after going thrrough the ones I took bc I liked that one better. I did not like any of the pics I took during that debate of any of the candidates. That was my call.

Anonymous said...

2:28PM - Well LYIN" Bill Coyle, he's a lot closer to the inside then you'll ever be.

Enjoy getting your ass whipped and never being able to run for office again.

Anonymous said...

Justin will be fine when the voters show him the door in April, remember he is in high demand and had another offer on the table....BS. There isn't a strong market for 29YO blowhards who left mommy's basement to go push paper around Harrisbug and tell people how conservative they are. Pity about poor Justin, though. Tick-tock, tick-tock.

Robert Trotner said...

Why is it that term limit pledges are a good thing except for certain people with certain ideological views? And where is the poll that says the people want Simmons? Some things seem just a little top convenient and self serving.

Anonymous said...

Does Coyle's daddy still pay for his Saucon Valley Country Club membership so Coyle can pretend to be one the big boys?

Maybe that's why he wants that State Rep title. Mattress salesman doesn't cut it.

Anonymous said...

Wow , I was undecided about who to vote for, but if Simmons generates this much hate, he must be doing something right, I do know he voted not to raise taxes, that's all I need to know.

Anonymous said...

I really think that if you are a government employee, you should loose your right to vote, as it is a big conflict of interest. It seems that almost every household has someone working for the government. No wonder taxes keep going up and there is never any cuts to government.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Justin Simmons is a true conservative - I have talked to him more than twice over the years. He is always stable and has his feet planted on the ground. He is a wonderful young man --wish I had been as good as he is at his age.- and he he does not have any known INTEGRITY ISSUES.

Anonymous said...

So Simmons has disdain for liberal republicans, let alone democrats because he's a "real conservative"...that is unless he can use their support to pat himself on the back. What are voters supposed to make of this mixed message of support from a democrat he is promoting? Justin wants to have his cake and eat it too because he's mr tea party. Is it simple and he is just a hypocrite that holds himself to a lower standard than everyone else? Is he stupid but believes he's smarter than everyone else? Or is he just plain lazy and reckless not even knowing who he's associating with? Probably all of the above.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

6:34 more than two is like what, three? JS problem is his feet are so planted in one place he doesnt get anything done. Operative word...KNOWN....to you that is.

Anonymous said...

Simmons need to explain why he is against background hexes at gun shows. Don't gI've us some lame talking points. Simmons need to explain why a person who was issued a PFA Friday afternoon can walk into a gunique show on Saturday and load up without any sense for a persons safety. Background checks should not impose on the rights of a lawful person. Even the NRA tells members to get background checks.

Anonymous said...

Simmons promised to be term limited. He lied. Integrity must be in the eye of the beholder.

Anonymous said...

The childish nonsense posted in these comments speaks to the lack of integrity of the writers. Debating policy is what is important, not personal attacks. Those who posted personal insults need to look in the mirror and ask themselves how they have found themselves in this position. How very sad and dishonorable this conversation has become!

Bernie O'Hare said...

I agree. In three previous threads about this race, I have shut down comments. At this point, there have been enough anonymous personal attacks at the candidates. From this point, I will delete any comment that makes a personal attack unless the author identifies himself or herself and is willing to allow me to confirm it. While you folks slam each other, Sems can sit back and laugh. Is this what you want?

Anonymous said...

At 4:41 appealing to authority, clouding the issue and accusing people of ignorance is just a typical attorney ploy. It probably would be too much trouble to just ask the people that live in Justin's district. The people of Justin's district have asked him to run for office, again. Also, he is has proven himself by preventing our taxes from increasing and that is good enough for me.

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Anonymous said...

FISHERMAN - DO NOT VOTE FOR COYLE! Bill Coyle stated he will do away with fishing licenses if elected ! Does Coyle realize that the revenue generated from those licenses is what sustains the stocking and preservation of our freshwater lakes rivers and streams and would single handily destroy the fishing industry which provides a lot of business , tax revenue and jobs for the State of Pa.! If you are a fisherman you cannot support Bill Coyle under any circumstances . Coyles position on fishing licenses was documented on this post on Bernie's debate report .

Anonymous said...

They go after the low hanging fruit of teacher pensions but not anything about prison term reform that is costing the state million sand milli8o9ns of dollars to support the prison industry. Not something that is popular with this crowd.

Anonymous said...

3:20 is correct. We should go after both at the same time.

Anonymous said...

I'm an avid fisherman .Coyle wants to cancel all licenses ? Wow .. What a position ! The guys who like to fish are not going to like this .
Coyle lost my vote .
Is this guy for real ? He is ignorant to the core.

Anonymous said...

LV Tea party claims it will rate all elected officials on the 4 basic principles of the limited government resolution. Those principles according to the LVTP are 1) that taxes must be lowered, holding the line is not good enough, 2) government can't engage in deficit spending, 3) public debt must be decreased, and 4) government power must be reduced. Maybe someone from the LVTP can be honest about how Simmons rated. This isn't comparing what one politician believes versus another, but what has or has not been achieved. Unless the LVTP ignored their basic principles his rating must be a train wreck. Be honest LVTP, don't make excuses if you want your organization to be taken seriously.

Anonymous said...

Tea Party members look at this ... and then look in the mirror.

https://www.facebook.com/100005039869392/videos/552440198267304/?pnref=story

Bernie O'Hare said...

"They go after the low hanging fruit of teacher pensions but not anything about prison term reform that is costing the state million sand milli8o9ns of dollars to support the prison industry. Not something that is popular with this crowd."

It would make sense for conservatives to have questions about things that matter to conservatives. What you could do is schedule a debate, rent a hall, contact the candidates and prepare more balanced questions and try to attract as many people. The Dems, despite the superiority in numbers, cant do that. Nor can Rs. I disagree completely with the tea party on most issues, people like Campione certainly are virulent and intolerant, something his comments just here establish. But as Tom Carroll stated at the debate, they are engaged. You have to give then=m that. Many of them are also honest and sign their names.

Anonymous said...

Coyle.. I love to fish . You are one uninformed man saying licenses are unfair. That's the difference between you and Rep . Simmions . He is informed and experienced . Your as green as the grass .Simmons gets my vote .my fishing buddies will be notified of your stance .

Anonymous said...

Is Simmons now in search of donations from a fishing super PAC? Panic mode has set in. Stick to writing notes from your dogs about your Humane PA endorsement. Congratulations by the way, 31 Democratic candidates posted the same message about that endorsement. Get back to Simmons headquarters team, the wheels are falling off.

Sezary said...

I do not know Mr. Simmons or Mr. Coyle. I do not live in that district. I did however attend the debate Thursday 4/7/16 and did speak to Mr. Simmons after the debate with Mr. Coyle. Mr. Simmons answer to the term limit issue was in addition to that "the people in his district want him to run again", he also said that he now sees that "there is more to do...". I told Mr. Simmons that there will always be more to do or accomplish. He was also willing to dish it out, but was not willing to take it. I reminded him that you get what you give and must be prepared for that. He did not appreciate the feedback and actually got angry. Mr. Simmons has gone to Harrisburg and become an arrogant, polished politician. He doesn't get that he is now part of the problem. He's got a great gig now, why give it up?

Bernie O'Hare said...

You are lapsing into anonymous personal attacks without telling us all who you are.I have already warned against that behavior. I have allowed quite a bit, but am now insisting that any personal attacks of Simmons or Coyle include the identification of the person making the accusation. There will be no more warnings.

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Tom Campione said...

To anonymous who said "LV Tea party claims it will rate all elected officials on the 4 basic principles of the limited government resolution."

First, you really should have the balls to use your real name.

Second, you are wrong. When and where did we say we would rate all candidates against those attributes, for all time? Show me.

In our very first political act, this time last year, we looked at county candidates and decided that since we were late to the game, and since some were previously elected with voting records and some were not, we'd distribute a questionnaire and rate their answers based on how they align with our three core values.

We rated their answers to a questionnaire. We did no in-depth candidate rating. Anyone can say anything on a questionnaire. We left it to voters to decide if they felt that the candidate was lying. In my view, none lied and all were honest in their answers.

So, get your facts straight. Seems to me you are one of the candidates who scored poorly, or a prime supporter of that slate, maybe even the person who originally wrote the LGR.

Anonymous said...

At 5:15 Your name is a literally a disease. Why don't you use your name and stop passing around lies.

Anonymous said...

Tom, visit www.lvtp.org/limited-government-resolution/. This is the same site that lists you as chairman. Click the link next to Read the entire resolution here. Adopted March 5th, 2010. Look at the bottom of the page. "We will rate all elected officials based on these four principles and educate the public about their actual voting records." I'm neither a prime supporter, or a candidate who scored poorly. I have no idea what any candidate scored because I couldn't find the ratings. My facts are perfectly straight, unfortunately your knowledge of your own web site is not.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, Sezary is a name of a disease.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Tom Campione, When I was at your meeting as a guest, I was respectful and did not insult tea party members or even you. I even signed in when asked and put $1 in the bucket when it was passed around, although the second tome, I took $10. You are here as a guest and I ask that you be respectful to my readers. You were not personally insulted. There is no need for you to use vulgarities with another reader, especially since that person was able to tell you right away that he got his info from your own web page.

Bernie O'Hare said...

11:40, Yes, it is. A very apt name for that person, whom I know.

Anonymous said...

5:15 - I sat behind this gentleman. He wore a Boston Red Sox sweater. He came in with Bill Coyle. He was a Coyle plant.

Typical Coyle move.

Anonymous said...

and who are the democrats that support union pension reform? crickets ????

Bernie O'Hare said...

I am a Democrat and support union pension reform. So did Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan. So does Easton Mayor Sal Panto and Bethlehem Mayor Bob Donchez. But it has to be prospective. We cannot interfere with existing pensions as a matter of contract and constitutional law.

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Anonymous said...

Notice how these same pension haters will never go after police or firemen public pensions. Things that make you go Hmmm!

Bernie O'Hare said...

You can slam Dems in the state House and Senate, or the Governor. But this argument has no application to the Democratic mayors of many Pa. cities. In fact, it is John Callahan who worked out the first deal in the LV that limits pensions to new hires in the police department. Donchez would follow through with the fire department. So you are partially correct, but you are also very wrong when it comes to police and fire.

Anonymous said...
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Bernie O'Hare said...

I cannot allow you to attack Campione unless you ID yourself. I can't take him to task for insulting my readers and then let them insult him. I suppose I can, but I won't.

Anonymous said...

Are taxes lower = NO. Is there deficit spending = YES. Is Public Debt reduced = NO. Is government power reduced = NO. By all four measures your organization went on the record with, your organization is a failure. Will you step down?

Anonymous said...

There was no insult of Campione. There was a question whether he had a comment after being "shown" in response to his "show me" challenge. I'm guessing he realized he should be better informed about communications residing on the Web site of the organization he supposedly leads. Still never answered the question about ratings of incumbents the LVTP is aligned with. Let me guess, they are all "true conservatives".

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yeah, there was. And posting a comment complaining about my comment policy is also a violation of my comment policy.

Jeff Fox said...

I am Sezary. Sezary Syndrome is indeed a disease. It is the disease that I was diagnosed with in 2009. It is a rare form of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, which is a non-hodgkins lymphoma. I have gone through years of various treatments, including experimental treatments at the University of Pennsylvania, which is one of only a handful of centers in the country that deals with Sezary Syndrome effectively. I hope that clears that up. I try to be an "open book". Please always feel free to ask. My interaction with Mr. Simmons post debate was my interaction with Mr. Simmons post debate. Obviously it is from my perspective with my opinion added. I did not get a good feeling from my interaction with Mr. Simmons. That is all. Calm down.

Jeff Fox said...

I was not a Coyle plant. I did not come in with Bill Coyle. I do not know Bill Coyle. Yes, I am a Red Sox fan, since 1967.

Anonymous said...

Jeff Fox.. Thank you validating that Coyle has no name recognition . In political circles that spells doom for any candidate .

Anonymous said...

5:45 you are a bottom feeding scumbag.

Anonymous said...

5:45 Jeff Fox stepped up and corrected someone's incorrect assumption about him, but you only hear what you want to hear. If you listen more closely not only will you hear the truth, you'll hear the sound of the clock winding down on Simmons 3rd and final term.

Anonymous said...

Just to clear the air . . . The subject of a new YMCA came up in the debate. The proposed new Saucon Creek YMCA will be funded by private and corporate donations. The YMCA is a non-profit that is funded by donations--NOT tax dollars. Mr. Simmons has this project confused with the Upper Perkiomen YMCA project that was completed a few years ago. That YMCA may have been eligible for some state grant money. Mr. Coyle supports the IDEA of a YMCA. Mr. Simmons also supports the IDEA of a YMCA. NO ONE has asked Mr. Simmons or Mr. Coyle for tax money for the Saucon Creek YMCA.