Monday, November 06, 2006

Minger Upset in 131st? Incumbent Beyer Dishing Out the Dirt

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingThe race in the 131st legislative district deserves its very own post because it is so damn ugly. The district consists of parts of Allentown, Coopersburg, Lower and Upper Milford, Salisbury, Upper Saucon, and Lower Saucon Township. Longtime Salisbury Township Treasurer Linda J. Minger has challenged recent electee Karen D. Beyer to a rematch.

This race has turned into a c-c-catfight. Negative TV ads contain unflattering pictures of Minger, accompanied by sinister music. This dirty campaigning turns people off and could easily backfire. Ask Tony Rybak. But Beyer has even extended her negative campaign to her website with a special section entitled, "Don't be fooled by Linda Minger's Lies." She denies Minger charges that she spent a load of taxpayer dough to furnish her legislative office. But by her own admission, she spent $52,000. That's a lot of wallpaper!

She doesn't stop there. Her diatribe goes on to tell us Minger was "fired" over some ethics code violation. This is the same dirt she threw at Minger last time. The truth? Minger simply held two part-time jobs and worked those jobs during two different times of the day. State officials concluded she could not do this for some reason, and Beyer has seized upon this to distort Minger's work history. According to the Morning Call, Minger has served as Salisbury's treasurer for twenty-one years. According to her webpage, she has donated her own bookkeeping experience to help people set up payment plans when Salisbury balked at monthly installments.

Beyer told me she is far more liberal than her mentor, Doug Reichley. But just like her former boss, she refuses to endorse the Brighter Pennsylvania Initiative designed to improve government accountability on a state and local level. That's disturbing in the land of midnight payraises.

Minger has endorsed the Brighter Pennsylvania Initiative and other reforms, including lobbyist reform, requiring legislators to post expense accounts on the Internet, elimination of "ghost voting," regulation and auditing of Special Leadership Accounts and an end to legislative sessions by lameduck legislators with nothing to lose.

The Morning Call endorsed Karen Beyer, a former Morning Call staffer. It also published Minger's response, in which she maintains that Beyer, in fourteen months, "cost taxpayers more than $309,000 in office expenses, including public service announcements that are thinly disguised campaign ads. Ms. Beyer is not part of the solution, she is the problem."

I agree with Minger. Beyer's campaign has proved that. If people turn out, Beyer's gone.