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27 November 2009
I hope that you had a very happy Thanksgiving!
This Update begins with a disclaimer that I will use for all future discussions of today’s topic.
In the five years since the PTCC was established I have always carefully avoided any partisan bias and always attempt to call the situation as I see it regardless of the politics involved. I firmly believe that the property tax crisis has been caused by the inaction of Republicans and Democrats alike and that it will require committed lawmakers from both parties to permanently solve the problem. Please keep this in mind as you read today’s Update.
The PTCC today is announcing its endorsement of State Representative Sam Rohrer for Governor of Pennsylvania.
For many years Representative Rohrer has worked tirelessly for the total elimination of school property taxes and a restructuring of Pennsylvania’s broken education finance system. Along the way he has been thwarted by shameful partisan politics, callous special interests, and the appalling cowardice of many self-serving lawmakers who do not have the political will to support such sweeping legislation.
On Tuesday, November 17, Representative Rohrer announced his candidacy for Governor of Pennsylvania. During his announcement address Sam emphasized that school property tax elimination will be one of the five main planks of his campaign platform and a priority of his administration.
From the standpoint of school property tax elimination we could not have received better news. As Governor, Sam Rohrer will be in a position to advance the education finance reform agenda in a manner that to this point has been impossible. His election as Governor would hugely increase the likelihood of school property tax elimination in a way that we previously could have only imagined.
Of the three Republicans and five Democrats who have announced their candidacy for Governor, Representative Rohrer has been the ONLY one to make this commitment. Five candidates have not mentioned the issue in any manner whatsoever, while the remaining two have used the tired, meaningless, nonspecific terms “property tax reform” and “cut property taxes” in their campaign.
Through his ongoing efforts, Representative Rohrer has proven that he truly understands the property tax crisis for what it is: A moral issue that must be resolved to free Pennsylvania homeowners from oppressive property taxes and not a cynical political ploy to be used to win elections.
Because of the PTCC’s singular focus on education finance reform, the only factors I will consider for this election are an unequivocal public commitment to eliminate school property taxes and a definitive plan to do so - that will be my litmus test for any candidate for Governor in 2010. Representative Rohrer has passed that test.
I believe that the time has come to forget labels like Democrat and Republican, red and blue, conservative and liberal, left and right. Self-centered politicians of all stripes have demonstrated their unwillingness to be responsive to their constituents’ desires, preferring instead to take the easy road and do what is politically expedient. It is time to end this charade by electing those people who are attuned to and sympathetic to our needs, regardless of party, if we are to regain control of the government that is rightfully ours. I hope that you feel as I do on this issue.
Representative Rohrer’s candidacy has not been sanctioned by those political party power brokers who choose our candidates for us and who are concerned only about amassing power and winning and losing. For Sam to succeed it will take a bottom-up grassroots groundswell of support to accomplish the task of electing a Governor whose primary concern is the will of the people who elect him to office. With our efforts – the power of the people - we can demonstrate to the uncaring political bosses that we will no longer be content with candidates who are forced upon us by those who have little interest in our well-being. We will, instead, show them that we will elect those who will truly work for the people and not for the party establishment.
During the years of effort I have spent advocating for education funding reform and school property tax elimination I have come to know Representative Rohrer very well and I respect him greatly. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work with him on this vital issue and sincerely believe that he is an honorable and principled man of tremendous integrity who will do whatever he promises for the citizens of Pennsylvania.
I am asking you today to please strongly consider supporting Representative Rohrer’s candidacy, regardless of your political preference, to help achieve our goal of school property tax elimination. This is a non-partisan request based entirely on advancing the cause we support and is not based in any manner on political philosophy or affiliation. During all of the years that we have been working toward this goal we have never had a better opportunity to reach our objective. Your help is urgently needed if we are to succeed.
You can read more about Representative Rohrer’s goals on his campaign website here.
In future PTCC Updates I’ll have specific suggestions on what you can do to support Representative Rohrer and the battle for school property tax elimination.
You can offer comments and discuss today’s update on the PTCC blog site here or on the new PTCC Facebook page – simply search for “PTCC” when you’re logged on to Facebook and become a friend. We’d like to hear your thoughts.
Please download the PDF file of this webpage and forward it to everyone you know to help spread the word and advance the cause.
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One more note for our friends in the Northeast: Representative Rohrer will be holding a town hall meeting on Thursday, December 10, at 6:30 PM at the Clarks Summit Volunteer Fire Department, 321 Bedford Street, Clarks Summit. Please be there to meet Sam, hear about his “Principles to Renew Pennsylvania”, and show your support! There will be more of these meetings in the future throughout the state and the PTCC will keep you up-to-date on locations and times.
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That’s it for today. My best wishes and my gratitude go out to all PTCC supporters and subscribers. Thank you very much for all of your help.