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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Deely DeRails at DeSales

Yesterday, I witnessed something you don't see every day. I saw a high school English teacher at a loss for words. I saw a teachers' union advocate schooled in the cost of government. I saw the S.S. Deely, in a race rated among the top ten by PoliticsPA, hit the Simmons iceberg. You'll be able to see it too, when a debate between incumbent State Representative Justin Simmons and Easton High School teacher Kevin Deely is aired on WFMZ-TV69's Business Matters,, hosted by Tony Iannelli. It's scheduled for Monday, October 22, at 7:30 PM.

This debate, taped at the DeSales University Center before a pro-Simmons crowd of about fifty people, is focused on the question whether Simmons should continue to represent the hodgepodge known as the 131st legislative district, or whether he should let Kevin Deely give it a whirl. If this fiery debate is any indication, Simmons will be back. If I were in Deely's camp, I would have thrown in the towel after about five minutes.

Justin Simmons is a freshman who defeated a fellow Republican, Karen Beyer, to win the seat two years ago in a hotly contested primary. At the time, some of us, including me, questioned his youth and inexperience.  He proved us wrong, not only at the polls, but in his subsequent record in the House. Unlike most pols, he refuses per diems and a state-owned vehicle. He has declined to participate in a state pension plan. He has pledged that he will only serve three terms. He wants to reduce the size of the state legislature, which he believes should be part-time. As he explains it, "we need to change the way the system works in Harrisburg."

His opponent, Kevin Deely, is a 12-year Easton High School teacher who moved into the district about two years ago. In 2005, students named him "Most Inspiring Teacher." He's also an ardent advocate for the teachers' union, where he served as president in Easton.

Deely claimed he's running for the state house, even though he loves teaching, because our current state legislature is "stealing the future from our kids." As an example, he pointed to a Spanish teacher in Allentown who must educate 40 kids in a school cafeteria. He noted that funding there is $5.6 million less than the year before.

Simmons countered that the state has actually poured $26 billion into public education, about double what it was in 2000. He noted that Allentown asks for $4 million in distressed funding, but can somehow spend $1 million to replace a field.

Deely insisted schools have been gutted, and then Simmons turned it on. "They've been gutted because of the organization you represent," he charged, noting that Deely has just received $12,000 from the teachers' union and $36,000 in total from public sector unions.

"Who are you going to represent?" asked Simmons. "You're going to represent the unions," he said, answering his own question.

Deely insisted he would be representing "the working man," and quickly changed the subject to Voter ID, insisting there is no voter fraud.

"Do you believe in the tooth fairy, too?" asked Simmons.

Simmons wondered how Deely could represent the district when he just moved into it.  "You have no connection to this local community." Deely claimed he moved here to raise his children. But in response to a question from Simmons, he acknowledged they don't live here.

Tony Iannelli asked both candidates about the quarry issue in Lower Milford, a hot local topic. Simmons is opposed, but Deely said he's "currently uninformed on that issue."

"That''s why you shouldn't have run," noted Simmons.

While Deely was proud of his work as a union president in Easton, Simmons had a different take. "In the Easton School District, where you were the teacher union president, property taxes went up 16% and the buget contract you negotiated blew a $12.9 million hole in the budget. You did such a good job that you didn't even run for re-election as a teacher union president. Instead, you moved here, to run against me, to be a representative of the PSEA." All Deely could do is laugh.

His supporters looked like they were crying.

Noon Update: Express Times Endorses Simmons! "The battle for Pennsylvania’s 131st District House seat comes down to a freshman lawmaker who is familiar with most issues and willing to take stands vs. a newcomer who is spending most of his energy on one subject."


Anonymous said...

Simmons sounds like he is taking classes from Ron Angle.

Anonymous said...

both individuals are inadequate

Anonymous said...

Fox in the hen house=Deely as state rep.

The cost of the public employee defined pension program is skyrocketing and will make public education financially unsustainable very shortly.
How do you think someone who participates in that same pension plan, and actually represents others who do, will vote on that issue in Harrisburg?
The very viability of public education is at stake here. There is no more money to throw at it.
I voted against the new turf.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Getting baked before the big debate is never a good idea, Kevin.

Teachers should be prohibited from running for anything. They just aren't that smart. That's how they ended up as teachers.

Jon Geeting said...

Sounds like Simmons had some good zingers, but he's totally lying about Corbett and the GOP majority's record on education funding. Per student spending is down by 1.2% since 2008.

Anonymous said...

There's no correlation between per student spending and individual student achievement. In fact, the opposite may be true when unions take all the money and provide diminishing returns.

We paid good money to educate Geeting. Would a couple more dollars have made him less ridiculous? Of course not.

Re-elect Simmons.

Mark Baker said...


The proof is in the pudding. all you have to do is look at Bethlums lackluster council and you have solid proof. 5 of the 7 are either teachers or ex teachers. the blind leading the blind

Anonymous said...

Bernie...Thank you for the candid and objective summary of the Simmons/Deely Debate . I was there as well and concur with your assesment.Rep Simmons took Deely apart piece by piece leaving no question that Rep Simmons is the CLEAR choice as our State Representative. I can only hope that undecided voters watch the tape because it will become clearly evident to them that the right man is in office and deserves relection.Deely is not in Rep Simmons league.

Anonymous said...

Wow John 1.2%!?!?! My house value is down 25% My income is down 20% and my retirement account is down 17%. Are you telling me schools can't find 1.2% to cut per student? Stick with that argument I am sure it's a winner. What an ass.

Anonymous said...

Taxpayers have spent millions on Sesame Street and Geeting still hasn't assimilated The Count's basic math lessons.

I wish my household income was only down 1.2% since my wife's downsizing 22 months ago. We're struggling to keep our house and Geeting still wants more from us. He's very charitable with others' money. That's liberalism in a nutshell.

Anonymous said...

Re: Simmons' "Zinger" on Allentown being distressed and spending money on replacing the stadium turf.

This comment does not speak well to his being informed, though it does show he can spin.

As reported in the papers, this money came from the sale of a capital asset (land) and per state law can only be used for a capital expense. The stadium is used very heavily by Allen, Dieruff, Central, marching band competitions and other community groups.

I realize an expenditure like this is low hanging fruit for those who like to criticize, but they'd be the first to pass laws mandating turf replacement if someone got hurt on turf that was past its useful life.

Anonymous said...

To continue the SS Deely analogy, hopefully after this gets out all the public sector unions will jump ship. But I think that they will end up going down with the ship; bringing tens of thousands of your tax dollars, laundered into the democratic party through the unions, with.

Anonymous said...

When you are "uninformed" on local issues like the quarry, expect to be dismantled.

He lost the election right there.

Anonymous said...

I think that it is a valid point, how can a school district that needs money so badly suddenly come up with a million dollars for something that has nothing to do with education? At the end of the day a football field has NOTHING to do with education. The million dollars from that land sale would be much better served to make sure that kids aren't having Spanish class in the cafeteria like Mr. Deely claims.

Anonymous said...

Bernie -

Is the quarry a state issue? Could you give some more background on the quarry?

I think Simmons is by far the best candidate but was curious why the state is involved.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The quarry is a local, not a state issue. But someone running from state office in that locality should have some familiarity with the issues in that community. And the qaurry is a big one that has consumed attention over the last 7 years. You can read about it here: http://uppersaucon.patch.com/articles/seven-years-later-lower-milford-township-denies-quarry-application

Bernie O'Hare said...

John Geeting , The question is NOT whether oer student funfing is down since 2008. The question is whether the state contribution to public education has doubled since 2000, as Simmons claimed in his debate. You have failed to rebut that claim, but are quick to call him a liar.

Anonymous said...

I always thought that a bright young person could make a good State Rep. Maybe too many elected officials have too much "experience". I'm very impressed by Justin Simmons examples of selfless representation of his constituents.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" this money came from the sale of a capital asset (land) and per state law can only be used for a capital expense"

In a financially distressed district like Allentown, there are plenty of capital expenses besides a football field. Get real.

Anonymous said...

In the case of ASD, I support abandonment and then giving cash vouchers to all students in Allentown to attend other regional public schools, charter schools, parochial schools or other private schools. The traditional model of public education fails when a region's public schools are allowed to be segregated by race and income and one district is saddled with nearly all the region's poor and minority students.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The reductio ad absurdum argument is clever, but flawed in that you are ascribing positions to Simmons that he did not take during the debate. Also, you are proving the point made by the ET in its editorial endorsement of Simmons today. Deely is a one-issue candidate.

Bernie O'Hare said...

10:18, And you have been proven correct.

Anonymous said...

Despite this bitch-slapping, the race will be close. Deely supporters are handout seeking idealogues who would vote for someone who chopped up his mom and put her in the freezer, as long as he will do their bidding.

They already knew KD is a dumbass burner and, still, they are fighting like hell for him. He will protect the trough from which they feed non-stop. Simmons will put them on rations.

The uninformed Deely is representative of the vast majority of the check cashers posing as teachers these days. His performance shows there are much greater problems with public education than the defined benefit pension (not that the dbp is not a ginormous problem).


Anonymous said...

Wants that teacher pension and that state pension...

Anonymous said...

Jon Geeting,

You need to take out the Large chunk of stimulus money that Ed Rendell plugged into education before you compare Corbitt's record on education.

That money was one time funds that Rendell used to plug the gap, that money was not going to be reocurring.

Corbett did not cut money from the budget he simply did not get another chunk of change from the Feds to fill the budget gap.

Anonymous said...

We need Minger and Minder NOW!

ironpigpen said...

No money for schools?

That sucks.

Plenty of cash on hand, apparently, for the record-smashing Pawlowski Palace of Sport!

I am pretty sure the official tab for the "transformative" ice rink in the City Without (Spending) Limits is $ 177.1 million dollars (The Morning Call front page, September 25, 2012).


ironpigpen said...

Anybody remember when this project was only supposed to be $ 80.0 million dollars?

Ha ha.

I guess only whackos like me can do that.

Got your season tickets yet?



ironpigpen said...

How many schoolbooks can $ 272.0 million dollars buy?


Anonymous said...

Simmons lies--he has said that he voted to increase spending on public education to its highest levels ever. Look at the numbers--the 4 years prior to Simmmons the state contributed more to public ed than since Simmons has been in office.

Watch out--if he wins reelection he'll also renig on his promise to only serve 3 terms. He'll be a career politician, he doesn't know anything else.

Anonymous said...

In allentown, one is a district magistrate, in fact the one that presided on the women that shot her infant son?

Anonymous said...



Anonymous said...

No amount of dollars will properly educate birdbrains like the "renig" booger eater.

Just as the poor will always be with us, so to imbeciles.

Anonymous said...

The video looked and sounded like two children trying to be adults!

Anonymous said...

anon 7:07

Yes...maybe the vast number of voters in this district will request that Rep Simmons run for a fourth term. He's done a great job and Do hope he stays longer to keep you liberals at bay.

Anonymous said...

The Guy works for FREE!...DUMMY!

Anonymous said...

We need jobs..Triple the SIZE of the QUARRY!

Unleash the Business and create JOBS!

Anonymous said...

These two guys are both Derailed!