About Me

My photo
Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

State House Race in 131st: Beyer v. Simmons v. Horton

State Representative Karen Beyer has launched her re-election campaign for Pennsylvania’s 131st Legislative District, where she has served since 2005. Twice, Karen has won close contests against Democrat Linda Minger. This year, she's being challenged from the left by Mike Horton. Hard line Republicans are running Tea Party delight Justin Simmons against her, too.

“For nearly five years, it’s been my honor to serve the people of the 131st District,” Beyer stated, “I’ve fought hard to bring about much-needed change in areas such as consumer protection, fiscal accountability in government, and eminent domain abuse – and I’ve been proud to deliver results for the people of Lehigh and Northampton Counties.

“We’ve accomplished a lot, but there is still much more to do. Pennsylvanians still need tax relief, but in order to accomplish this, we must first address out-of-control spending. Since 2003, our state debt has spiked by $18 billion – and the burden per family of four stands now at a startling $5,600. Meanwhile, the state’s pension funds continue to rob taxpayers of their hard-earned dollars. This is wrong, and we must put a stop to it.

“The good news is, we can. My record demonstrates that meaningful reform is possible, and if entrusted with the opportunity to keep serving the people of this district, I pledge to continue this record of strong leadership characterized by attentiveness, accessibility, and action.”

Beyer is best known for her work ethic and willingness to work across party lines. The Northampton County Bulldog, Ron Angle, is convinced Beyer never sleeps. But I like her bipartisan approach. For example, she was one of only five House Republicans who had the common sense to vote to break the state budget logjam. Ironically, her vote against gridlock is supposedly what motivated Republican Justin Simmons to run against her.

Karen has sponsored or supported bills that

· Expand eligibility and increase funding for property tax relief and rent rebates;
· Protect property owners against eminent domain abuse;
· Institute penalties for telephone “spoofing” – in which callers attempting to defraud others provide false caller ID information;
· Prohibit price gouging within 30 days following the end of a state of disaster; and
· Hold cyberschools accountable for their use of taxpayer dollars.

She also joined Rep. Doug Reichley in speaking out against the closing of Allentown State Hospital, citing the hospital’s critical role in providing vital psychiatric treatment to adults affected by mental illness.

She's picked up endorsements from Congressman Charlie Dent, Senator Pat Browne (who held the 131st District House seat before his election to the State Senate), Senator Bob Mensch, and Representatives Julie Harhart (183rd District – Northampton/Lehigh), Doug Reichley (134th District – Berks/Lehigh), and Gary Day (187th District – Berks/Lehigh).

Beyer currently serves on the House Health and Human Services Committee, the House Commerce Committee, the House Consumer Affairs Committee, and the House Urban Affairs Committee, and she is a member of the House Republican Policy Task Force on Infrastructure. Additionally, Beyer serves by appointment on the advisory board of Pennsylvania’s Tuition Account Program (TAP) as well as on a Select Committee charged with evaluating the awarding of state government contracts to women, minority and disadvantaged owned businesses, identifying any barriers to involvement by these businesses, and proposing strategies to remove such barriers.

A graduate of the College of William and Mary, Beyer is a decorated Air Force veteran. She lives in Lower Saucon Township with her husband Merrill, a United Airlines pilot and retired Air Force Lt. Colonel, and their three children.

Karen's Republican opponent is a kid fresh out of college, an obvious Toomey wannabe, who brags that he "actually resigned his position with the Senate in order to focus on his campaign and representing the residents of District 131." What he fails to point out is that ALL legislative state employees who decide to run for office are required to resign. So he starts out by being a little dishonest with the voters, never a good sign.

In embracing the Tea Party movement (and its voters), he tries to paint himself as an outsider. Really? Let's see. He interned with Congressman Pat Toomey, then Senator Rob Wonderling, then worked for Wonderling and his successor, Senator Mench.

Oh yeah, he also wants to get rid of the "Philadelphia metality" in Harrisburg, whatever that is.

Simmons is touting 816 signatures on his nomination petition, but the only number that counts is the one on election day.