Monday, October 02, 2006

Act Blue for the Other Casey, Blue Collar Casey

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingOne Casey is pretty much a professional politician, a political insider, on the inside track to a seat in the U.S. Senate. The other? A true outsider. He's been a trucker, a professional mover and is currently a warehouse manager. Like most of you, he knows what it's like to work for a living. He owns no three piece suits, and has never held public office. He's the other Casey. Chris Casey. Blue Collar Casey. And he's running for state rep. in the 134th legislative district, along the western edge of the Lehigh Valley.

Doug Reichley, current occupant of that office, is in a heavily Republican district. He's part of the LV's landed gentry and wears a tuxedo to bed. He's treading water as state rep. until Jim Martin gets tired of being Lehigh County DA. His re-election should be a slam-dunk, right?

Not exactly. According to Harrisburgbuzz, a right wing blogger, Reichley's seat is threatened. He's gone from being a heavy to only a slight favorite. And just like his pals Santorum and Dent, Reichley has responded by going negative, plastering Blue Collar Casey because he's poor. Reichley even had one of his trolls visit this blog anonymously to tell us Blue Collar Casey once went broke.

Oh my goodness, that's horrible! Why, that's just like Abraham Lincoln, our first Republican president. It's as bad as Harry Truman, one of GW's favorite presidents. Blue Collar Casey must learn his place!

Reichley's camp must think public office is only for aristocrats. All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.

Blue Collar Casey can't afford to give up his job while running for office. So when he's not working, he spends a lot of time knocking on doors. It can't be easy because he recently had a hip replaced, but he's shuffling along in a heavily Republican district, against all odds.

Why does he do it?

In his words, "I will put the needs of the people, not politicians, first."

Casey told me he sees too many people who spend far too much time working several jobs just to get by. He was furious when the legislature gave themselves and judges a nice payraise while letting people on minimum wage suffer. Seniors are getting squeezed out of their homes as property taxes continue to rise. People have trouble filling gas tanks. Kids don't get to see a doctor or dentist as often as they should. This is the kind of thing a blue collar guy notices. And Chris Casey's inspiration was another blue collar worker - his dad. As a child, Chris tagged along as his father delivered food from church pantries to less fortunate families.

"We don't eat if they're hungry."

That's what Blue Collar Casey Senior would tell his son. It's a good message. Incumbent state legislators from both parties may have trouble getting that message. But Chris Casey understood. He understood so well he went broke taking care of his parents when they became ill and died. Some things are more important than money. That's family values, blue collar style. Let's contrast these to Reichley values.


The Reichley Values

That Midnight Payraise

Reichley did vote against the midnight payraise that state legislators gave to themselves and judges, but also voted to suspend rules that would have required consideration on three separate days before enactment. That's what made the raise possible. And he took the money and ran, although he now claims to have given some of it back for bullet proof vests or something. He's featured on Bill White's rogues' gallery of state legislators who either voted for or accepted the midnight payraise. And he's also a member of PaCleanSweeps's Hall of Shame, and there he'll stay until he can document his claim to have returned his payraise. Reichley's re-election site is silent on the issue. In fact, his silence is deafening.

Lukewarm Support For Minimum Wage Hike

Another issue that Reichley's pretty quiet about is our minimum wage. Incumbents and other business interests frustrated any attempted increase for nearly two decades. Reichley had no problem taking a wage hike for himself, but sure hated the idea of giving any relief to blue collar folks. After the public outcry over the midnight payraise, Reichley finally went along with a meager raise to $7.15 by July 1, 2008. But he also sponsored an amendment that would reduce that payraise well below our poverty level.

Friend of the Working Man?

In addition to his lukewarm support for a minimum wage hike, Reichley's a big sponsor of "right to work" legislation. That's a nice way of saying that he's a union basher. "Right to work" laws weaken unions, which lead to lower wages and unsafe working conditions. And blue collar guys are the ones who will feel the impact of smaller paychecks and bigger on-the-job accidents. This concern doesn't bother Reichley a bit, and he proudly lists the endorsement of Pa.'s Right to Work Committee.

Sprawl daddy Reichley

Take a glance, just a peep, at Reichley's most recent campaign finance report. If you look much longer than that, you're going to be sick. It's a veritable who's who of local builders and developers. Reichley was sitting on $107,000 in May, and most of that money came from all the sprawlmeisters in the Macungies and Lehigh Valley. He pulled in nearly $20,000 in the first few months of this year alone from developers and builders! With that kind of special interest sugar, it's pretty clear he's their beeotch. Don't look for any meaningful land use reform from Reichley. Look for more development, sprawl and flooding. By the way, the builders and developers' lobby has also endorsed him.

Government for Sale

If you think developers are the only special interest in town, think again. It's disturbing to see Reichley rake in $3,300 from energy industry in the first few months of this year. And the telecom industry, which wants to abolish net neutrality, kicked off the year with $850. These special interests have certainly padded Reichley's coffers since then.

Reichley's Terrific Environmental Record

To be fair, Reichley is worried sick about snakeheads. Other than that, his environmental record is abysmal. Thanks to LVDem, we know that Douggie has been awarded "worst offender" status for his environmental record. Maybe the Sierra Club should give him a few bucks.


Reichley pretty much stands for perpetuation of a corrupt system of government, slanted heavily in favor of the aristocracy. Blue Collar Casey stands for the rest of us. In his LVDem interview and with me, he made it clear he wants strict lobbyist controls, an end to ghost voting and real tax reform.

Casey stands for good government. That's why Republicans should vote for him. There's plenty of time for partisan politics once we have real legislators in place who are serving us instead of developers. But to spread his message, Blue Collar Casey needs your help. He doesn't have the support of special interests. He only has you. Please take the time to visit my Act Blue page and give him a few dollars. A few bucks here and there can make the difference in this very important election.

And so the battle rages.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, I live in the 134th dist. and on Saturday I rec'd a letter from (since you say he's part of the LV's landed gentry) Duke Reichley. It opens with "I am writing to you and hundreds of other Republicans in the 134th..." which I found rather strange, since I am not a registered Republican (for the record, I'm registered "no affiliation"). Then, before begging for money, it talks about how "the Fringe Left are happily contemplating overthrowing Republican control of the United States Congress and Senate...". I guess if you're gonna sling it, go all the way. I'm just surprised that he didn't pay hommage to King George W. the 1st.
It goes on to talk about Ed Rendell (evil man that he is), and how he and those damn liberals want to "roll back" all of progress made by the repubs.
Of course, there is no mention of the "pay raise," the voting that allowed it, nor those who took the money in the form of vouchers (such as himself).
I can't wait to call his office today and pledge my vote to his opponent.
dg

Bernie O'Hare said...

dg, Expect a lot more where that came from. Precision Marketing is the political consultant being paid to run Reichley's campaign, from what I see of Reichley's campaign finance reports. They take no prisoners.

LSTresidentPIA said...

Sounds like my kind of guy, but how does it qualify him to be a representative?

Bernie O'Hare said...

LST, Qualify? What are you talking about? Do you think that you must belong to some special class to be qualified for public office? Casey is a common sense guy woith blue collar values. The legislature should be packed with Caseys. It would be a much better institution.

Anonymous said...

A blue collar guy like Casey would never qualify as he most certainly lacks the necessary skills. Among the requirements to be a politician these days are:
1) Taking money from the highest bidder and not losing sleep over it.
2) Tell some of the truth, some of the time. If that doesn't work, just lie.
3) Never admit you're wrong.
4) Blame someone else.
Am I being too cynical? Well, for starters just look at the mess we're in with Iraq.
dg

Bernie O'Hare said...

dg, I really did feel sick when I looked at that campaign finance report. And I could only bear to look at the most recent report. It's totally disgusting. A state rep. candidate does not take $20k from builders and developers in a few short months unless he's in their pocket. Don't count on Reichley to be looking out for you in the 134th. Don't look for him to assess builders with impact fees or to discourage sprawl.

People are fed up by this sort of thing. It's time to dump guys like Reichley in favor of someone who will be looking out for us instead of special interests.

To be honest, I don't klnow how even a Republican can vote for someone like Reichley.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
It will be interesting to see if the voters in this area finally realize how bad Reichley really is. Unfortunetly, I doubt it.
I'll bet that, while most know he didn't vote for the raise, few know that he voted to allow it to come up for a vote in the way that it did. And I wouldn't be shocked if those who knew he "vouchered" some of the money for himself, take him at his word that he "donated" it.
The people in this district are too affluent and too Republican.
dg

Bernie O'Hare said...

dg, A true Republican, like a trie Dem., could not support Reichley. He's part of the Harrisdburg problem. He has participated silently in a system that has enabled ghost voting, no lobbyist regulation, expensive perks for legislators, and gigantic leadership accounts that can't be reviewed under our archaic open records laws. He's no Republican, but is instead a servant of special interests. He really has to go.

LSTresidentPIA said...

NO Bernie, I don't think you have to belong to a certian class of people to be in any type of public service position whether council member or legisltor, but running on a platform of just common sense will not cut it. I wish it would but... polite society does not like common sense and common sense is found in reality.

Does this guy have any government experience like serving on a local council or such? Does he have a HS education or college? You said he is a warehouse manager but does that give him the ability to deal with complicated budget issues and other fiscal matters?

Dem Fly on the wall said...

Dear LST:
Mr Casey served in the U. S. Army with my husband. I know he graduated from high school and attended Ohio State. He is originally from Columbus, by way of Boston. Try checking out his bio on www.caseyfor134th.com.
I am biased in my support, but I can't vote for him because I don't live in the district.
Read his bio and make up your own mind.

Dem Fly on the wall said...

I would like to add that Abe Lincoln never finished college, and Harry Truman wasn't all that great at farming, but they knew what was important, and stuck to it.

Bernie O'Hare said...

LST, You say that BlueCollarCasey does not have to belong to a special class of people to seek public office, and then follow that up by demanding to know jhis educational background an d whether he has any prior government experience. And then you worry whether he might have the intellect to deal with complicated budget issues.

Sounds to me like you'd feel a lot more comfortable if he were wearing a three piece suit.

In my post concerning Casey, I told you he has no prior government experience, which is a plus in my book. I've linked to his website, where you would see he has a HS education and some college. And his common sense platform is very concrete.

By the way, I've seen plenty of guys with post grad degrees who are idiots. I'm one of them so I ought to know. And I've seen plenty of guys who have no formal education but who are brilliant. Angle is one such guy, and no one can skewer a budget better than him, no matter what you may think of the guy.

And on the other side we have a fellow who took the payraise and is in the pocket of developers like the one who is giving you such a rough time. Is that what you want? Does it make you feel better that he wears a suit?

Bernie O'Hare said...

That dufus Lincoln, who also went broke and didn't own a suit until 1840 or so, had only one year total of formal educative.

When he became president, one of the first things this moron did was go the Library of Congress and enroll so he could take out books. (Lincoln liked books). The form membership application asked him for his education (1 yr, 2 urs, etc.). Lincoln's answer? "Defective."

Upper Mac Queen said...

I have researched Mr. Casey, and find him to good, honest, and caring about his fellow man. I think he will work hard for the people in his district.

In comment that he is not of "governmental" education, look where that has gotten us with Mr. Reichley. He has done nothing to defend himself, but has done everything to defame Mr. Casey. Yeah, that's the kind of guy I want representing me.

His so-called "walking-around" money being used for breakfasts to inform residents of happenings in Harrisburg, are nothing more than a campaign blitz, and he is doing it at our expense, despite his heavy PAC coffers.

It might be time for "common sense."

Anonymous said...

Not that I needed Bernie, or Dem Fly, or Upper Mac to convince me, but it is about time we replaced the "status quo" bullshit with some common sense. And Dem Fly...I believe you've got until Oct. 7th to change your registration. If you get your husband to agree and I get my wife to okay it...you can move in with us and vote for Casey.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Upper Mac Queen, Agreed. The best way to determine whether someone is qualified is at the ballot box. Let the people decide. If 134th residents want to return a fellow who serves developers and contracts and who took the payraise, that's their right. If they want someone who did nothing to reform a corrupt legislature, then they should vote Reichley. If they want a man who votes against the environment and in favor of McMansions, then by all means they should pick Reichley. He has a degree. And he wears a suit!

Bernie O'Hare said...

To Anon 3:16, A swingers' club in the 134th?

LSTresidentPIA said...

NO, Bernie, if I could I would probably vote for this man myself. I appreciate his background, But being unemployed for the last year with only a year with only year of community college under my belt, I know that in this world, of college educated people, most look for people to have the same. I don't assume just becuase he does have a BS degree in something that he is not qualified to be a representative. In my experience I have been turned down for too many jobs becuase I don't have a college degree or the right experience.

I appreciate blue collar people, that is how my father and boyfriend make their living, but it is a white-collar world...

Bernie O'Hare said...

LST, You have to rise above that kind of thinking. Judge the man and not how he dresses. And throughout the history of this country, quite a few blue collar candidates have done quite well. On a local level, Jerry Seyfried was a great county exec. His background was as a machinist. He ran the county like you would run your house, on a pay as you go basis. It is only a "white collar world" if you let it be that way.

LSTresidentPIA said...

Just a side note here Bernie, I met with professor Bauer, but he was unable to recommend the preservation of the bridge as a project for his program. He did give me the name of a LU professor, David Small, who might be.

Professor Bauer is the guy who ran the Bachman House Project that Lafayette students did to make it a tourist attraction. Mr. Stoffa and the County want to sell this historic building because they were holding the mortgage but seem to need the money to fix the messy county budget.

LVDem said...

http://www.lehigh.edu/~inpolsci/faculty/morgan.html

Another person to check out at Lehigh is Ted Morgan. He does an internship/seminar that pairs an intern with a community group that needs organizational support. That link above will give you his contact info.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't vote for Casey if you paid me to. He cries about Mr. Reichley defaming him, however I know first hand how Mr. Casey runs campaigns. I actually volunteered to assist him and was screwed over by him to put it nicely. LST I definitely see your point, running for state rep you should have some idea of government policies and procedures, how to responsibly handle a budget and the public. I have yet to hear/see Mr. Casey do any of the above. While I do not agree 100% with Reichley, I know Casey could not take the heat in Harrisburg.

Anonymous said...

Anon/Lynn - thanks for the kind words for Mr. Casey!

Perhaps just because he did not come to the far side with you, but saw things more reasonably, and you could not take the challenge, you don't agree with him.

Your loss.

Anonymous said...

I am not the same Anon as the previous posts and I am not Lynn.

Bernie O'Hare said...

To Anon 7:14 & 8:08, Thanks for your opinion. I welcome a spitited exchange. Now you tell us you don't agree 100% w/ Reichley. Tell me where you do agree. Don't you find it just a tad obscene that he would have a $107k warchest in May, and that $20k of that money would come from developers and contractors in a few short months? Do you agree w/ Reichley's decision to suspend House rules that would require the payraise to be considered three separate days? Did you agree w/ Reichley's decision to take the money and run? Did you agree w/ Reichley's refusal to condemn his colleagues or his acquiescence in such shoddy practices as ghost voting? Did you agree with Reichley's refusal to take an active role in curbing lobbyists? Did you agree w/ Recihley's lousy environmental record, or his decision to try to reduce the minimum wage hike? Do you agree with his attempt to destroy unions w/ right to work laws?

And by the way, Reichely has not "taken the heat" in Harrisburg. He's a tool, and you must see that.

Now you obviously have a problem w/ Chris Casey and feel personally besmearched by him for some reason. But are you willing to perpetuate a corrupt system just to satisfy that vendetta? You say that LST has a point, and one of the points she made is that Blue Collar Casey is the kind of guy she could like. You question Casey's qualifications, yet tell us you volunteered for him. Why volunteer for an unqualified person? You're certainly entitled to hate Casey. Perhaps he did not run his campaign the way you wanted. But he's the candidate and you're not.

But when people quarrel, there are three sides - one side, the opther side, and the truth.

If you feel strongly about this, I strongly encourage you to announce your own candidacy as a write-in candidate. But whatever you decide, don't let Reichley slip back into office. Look at the facts. Is that the guy you want representing you in Harrisburg?

Take care.

Dem Fly on the wall said...

Is the Casey Hater what we call a "sock puppet" for Dougie, or just a dissatisfied "Troll"?