Monday, September 01, 2008

PA State Rep. Tim Mahoney Keystone Opportunity Zones Position Not Noted

This site does not endorse candidates for political office.

We do seek truth and straight talk about public official's actions. Likewise, we point out the actions and record of any opponents seeking office.

Mr. Griglak neglects to point out state Rep. Tim Mahoney stated publicly he agreed Keystone Opportunity Zones are unfair, not uniform according to the PA Constitution, and are unconstitutional.

Monday, September 10, 2007
Keystone Opportunity Zones unfair agrees state legislator Tim Mahoney

Then Rep. Mahoney had an opportunity to vote his conscience and oppose the House measure initiated by colleague Rep. Peter Daley to expand KOZ's run another 7 to 10 years to those who applied for the designation and who received approval.

Daley expedites governor's economic recovery plan

On the other side of the coin, is Rep. Mahoney's opponent, Gary Gearing, running as an independent candidate for the 51st District seat.

Gearing supports KOZs and in fact received KOZ designation for property he owns.

we cover these issues here and at Wake Up.

Net the Truth Online

Mahoney praised for leadership
By Martin Griglak

It is a rare occasion when I feel compelled to write a letter to a newspaper. In this case, a friend recently gave me a clipping written by a person who would like to have state Rep. Tim Mahoney's seat in the state House of Representatives. He has every democratic right to aspire to elected office. However, I am concerned about how his ambition has driven him to attack the honorable reputation of our incumbent, rather than presenting his own qualifications for how he could do a better job...

...Tim Mahoney is a man of few words. If he says he's going to do something, you can take it to the bank. Unlike most politicians, he doesn't use "political correct" speech. He is not ambiguous, but is the epitome of straight talk. I have never known him to renege on a promise. His debut in Harrisburg has been spectacular...

PA State Rep. Timothy Mahoney responds to a Herald-Standard letter-to-the-editor written previously by his opponent, Gary Gearing, an independent running for the 51st District seat Mahoney has held in Harrisburg for the past two years. A major criticism of both candidates for PA representative for the 51st District is individual support of Keystone Opportunity Zones.

Gary Gearing obtained KOZ status for property back about 2002. Three taxing-bodies endorsed the tax-forgiveness program for the building and apartment units in downtown Uniontown, with the "stipulation" the building was "brought up to code," and efforts were made to attract outside, and new, business.

To date, it is unclear whether the Fayette Bank building - a wonderful historic building the Gearings purchased at an auction-sales around ten years ago - complies fully with the local building codes or has been improved to any large extent.

State Rep. Timothy Mahoney's criticism is well-placed, to some extent because he is certainly correct the KOZ program involves tax-shifting.

And a mere year ago, it appeared Rep. Mahoney was well on his way to embracing the facts KOZs are unconstitutional. Last September, 2007, he said publicly in response to a question on a local radio program he agreed KOZs were unfair, not uniform according to PA Constitutional and unconstitutional.

Monday, September 10, 2007
Keystone Opportunity Zones unfair agrees state legislator Tim Mahoney

Yet nearly a year after he made the comment on WMBS radio, he voted for bill which again EXPANDED and EXTENDED KOZs.

We've covered these situations here and at Wake Up.

Search Results Net the Truth Online

HB 2297 PN 3702 susp mot rules


Prior to that vote, we wrote Rep. Mahoney twice using his online form site submission. We have yet to be afforded the courtesy of a response.

It's truly puzzling why the letter in response to an opponent's letter does not include Rep. Mahoney's clear position on support of Keystone Opportunity Zones.

Rep. Mahoney states in his Herald-Standard letter

Results are what really counts
By Rep. Tim Mahoney

...Mr. Gary Gearing, on the other hand, already receives a complete property tax break with his Keystone Opportunity Zone (KOZ) status on the Fayette Building in downtown Uniontown. (KOZ, if you don't know, is a program for a commercial, industrial and/or residential site where most state and local taxes have been eliminated).

Somebody should ask both candidates, and any others who may run as write-ins, how tax-shifting, as Rep. Mahoney correctly notes is fair, uniform according to existing law, and constitutional?

On another issue, open records, Rep. Mahoney states in the Herald-Standard Letter:

I led the charge for open records in Pennsylvania and that is a documented fact. I am very proud of that and I will continue to work to bring openness to government.

While all would certainly agree Rep. Mahoney indeed led a charge for legislation on open records, and his legislation did include the "flip of presumption" so central to any decent open records legislation, (that effort was supported at the outset by many, including these quarters, and the PA Newspaper Association, the legislation Rep. Mahoney originally submitted did NOT APPLY to past records.

From the outset neither the PNA or other organizations were overly critical of that aspect. a mere handful, include us, of activists criticized the bill heavily for that detraction. Even after undergoing House amendment process, the original legislation never did when it was ultimately sent to the Senate for agreement or alteration.

The Senate Bill 1 altered that facet of House Bill 443. In addition, at the outset of the presentation of Rep. Mahoney's bill, the PA Newspaper Association supported the overall effort to enable the "flip of presumption" and was on-board with that aspect over any detracting parts of the bill. Those included its application to only future records. Spokespersons for the PNA also criticized the bill for its exemptions as did Democracy Rising PA's Tim Potts who noted legislation passed in other states did NOT include many of the 2 dozen exemptions in Mahoney's Bill.

It's unclear when Potts tagged the bill the "Corruption Protection Act," but he did so around the time the state government committee took action which expanded an exemption pertaining to electronic communications. The committee expanded the exemption. That led the PNA to pull its support from House Bill 443, due to its "blanket exemptions for legislative e-mails," and turn its attention to Sen. Pileggi's Senate Bill 1.

Meanwhile, state Rep. Babette Josephs presented an amendment which would have removed the language for "blanket exemptions..." and while Rep. Mahoney, Kula, and Daley voted yes on the measure, state Rep. H. William DeWeese cast a NO vote.

Yet, Rep. Mahoney, and the others from this district have not uttered a word about this true obvious difference of opinion with their Democratic caucus leader.

We'll track further and update with more links should more info become available on Rep. Mahoney and Gearing be asked about their KOZ positions and how they differ.

Net the Truth Online...

Results are what really counts
By Rep. Tim Mahoney


Local Reps Reps. Daley, Kula and Mahoney voice support for DeWeese...

PA Citizen Investigator Anonymous | 2008-08-20 11:03:08 | +1

Have to agree with soccerdad999 that the Herald-Standard Harr article was an insightful story. (inciting, too or should be to thinking out of the poli-box voters) Thanks to RJF for the Net the Truth Online link plug above.

Surprising is Daley’s continued support knowing full-well of DeWeese’s in-House tactics to ‘reign’ in any strays from the fold. The Mahoney/Kula support isn’t quite as puzzling as it’s quite easy to say one thing in public and do everything but behind closed-doors and later even in public.

See Mahoney’s flip-flop on his stated negative position on Keystone Opportunity Zones, but his actions in a House vote on an extension of KOZs.

Monday, September 10, 2007
Keystone Opportunity Zones unfair agrees state legislator Tim Mahoney

By the way, it was Rep. Peter Daley who co-sponsored the KOZ expansion legislation that passed with the OK from Mahoney. The measure was a little-known but key part of Gov. Ed Rendell’s economic stimulus package.

Daley expedites governor’s economic recovery plan

What’s missing from the Harr article? Any notice or info of a call by new-leaf DeWeese, or any others who touted their own horns on delivering open records reform, to release all the details pertaining to those House Democratic Caucus (alleged)(campaign) spam or blast emails, and the electronic addresses on which they are based, and any and all related political campaign websites. Un-released to the public as of yet are the particulars of those contracts engaged in between the House Democratic Caucus and either/or/and Eric Buxton and businessman James Russell (who allegedly according to the Corbett Bonusgate Grand Jury report actually secretly vied for the contract for those services).

Tuesday, August 19, 2008
DeWeese Not Asked to Open Closed Bonusgate Blast Email Website Contracts

At the very least, all of these area legislators should call for immediately opening up the House Democratic Caucus records regarding these (alleged taxpayer-funded/resources) blast emails and potential political campaign websites whose particulars might be in the alleged, but ‘existing’ contracts. No excuse the Corbett investigation continues and we can’t release anything, or we don’t know. It isn’t a matter of knowing or not knowing the contents of the contract/s. The public now knows at least if they’re paying any attention, bonusgate is about much more than what the regular media is publicizing or covering back home.

A contract or contracts exist between at least the House Democratic Caucus and Buxton’s private company and Russell and firm. (allegedly)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008
PA Bonusgate Lists Helped 2006 Winners

Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Bonusgate PA Spam Scam

The voting public should have all the info before November 2008 to make an informed choice among political party candidates. Less than that is simply business as usual. A mode-of-operation DeWeese vowed to alter, actually, he said upon his 2006 re-election, he’d noted a culture existed among the four General Assembly caucuses.

DeWeese’s statement upon (July 2008) indictments handed down by Tom Corbett.

Said DeWeese: “Today’s announcement is an indictment of a culture that has existed in all four caucuses of the General Assembly for far too long, and which I committed to changing upon my re-election in 2006.

We tracked in-his-own words in that regard, too. How could DeWeese be aware of a culture among the four caucuses “upon” his re-election in 2006 when notification of a potential “investigation” of bonuses related to campaign work didn’t occur until long after that November election? In fact when exactly did H. William DeWeese hire Chadwick Associates who subsequently conducted an internal House investigation of legislative communications, before announcement of Corbett’s investigation? The Post-Gazette article note is dated Dec. 16, 2007 and references a March in-House investigation, so that puts the date of any potential knowledge gained from the internal investigation at approximately March, 2007.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Will DeWeese Face Electoral Defeat for Wrong Understanding?

E-mails show how Dems tied staffers’ bonuses to campaign work
Sunday, December 16, 2007
By Dennis B. Roddy and Tracie Mauriello, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
HARRISBURG — E-mail messages exchanged by top aides in the Democratic caucus starting in 2004 make clear that taxpayer-funded bonuses were given to legislative employees for their work on election campaigns.

The messages, obtained by the Post-Gazette, are a key component in an investigation by Attorney General Tom Corbett into the bonuses and whether they constituted an illegal use of state money for political work…

…DeWeese investigation
Most of the e-mails and spreadsheets were first uncovered by House Majority Leader H. William DeWeese, of Waynesburg, who had delegated much of the day-to-day operation of the caucus to Mr. Veon. Mr. DeWeese, after accumulating information from state computers, provided thousands of e-mail exchanges, which are now at the core of the state attorney general’s case.

None of the materials obtained by the Post-Gazette suggests that Mr. DeWeese was aware of the scheme. Mr. Veon did not respond to a message seeking comment.

After initially being told by staff that the bonuses were routine seniority and holiday awards, Mr. DeWeese said he discovered that the bonuses amounted to $1.9 million. He then ordered an internal inquiry, calling in William Chadwick, a former prosecutor, in March, prior to the announcement of a criminal probe by the attorney general.

E-mails show how Dems tied staffers’ bonuses to campaign work
Sunday, December 16, 2007

November 14, 2007

One of a few articles on the blast emails and website (s) ? service

Eric Buxton, a former Democratic aide and son of Rep. Ronald Buxton, R-Harrisburg, testified under immunity about setting up the House Democratic Campaign Committee Web site in 2004 on state time. He also described how campaign e-mails were written and sent from inside the Capitol using an offsite server in Michigan to mask their origin.

Buxton testified that in 2005 he set up his own private company, Govercom, after negotiating a deal with Manzo and director of information technologies Steve Keefer to do work for the caucus.

Keefer, of Lebanon County, is also charged in the case. Buxton told the grand jury that the contract appeared to be for legitimate government work but instead was for e-mail work for Democratic campaigns.

The House Democratic caucus paid Buxton’s company $420,000 in taxpayer money between 2005 and 2007, the report states.

Businessman James Rossell was granted immunity and testified that his company, Gravity Web Media, also did campaign work with state contracts. He told Keefer and Manzo that he could do a better job than Buxton of servicing Web sites and sending blast e-mails, and later was awarded a caucus contract with terms that are not disclosed in the grand-jury report.

“The subsequent contract made no reference to the performance of any campaign work,” the grand jury report states. “Rossell testified that it was very clear, from the very beginning, that his work would not be limited to the language of the contract.”

Little fish snag Pa Bonusgate immunity By RICHARD FELLINGER Public Opinion Harrisburg Bureau in

bobguzzardi | 2008-08-20 13:04:29 | +0

On the other hand, DeWeese and Mahoney got Open Records passed. It would never have happened had Perzel been Speaker or Rs in the majority. Opening up the bonus records is what started this all rolling and there will be more in 2009 and even the Gov deserves credit for appointing someone who appears to be a public servant and not a hack.

Systemic secrecy of the Leadership Accounts is not being addressed by anyone, not media, not bloggers, not grassroots, not Republicans or even conservatives.

PA Citizen Investigator Anonymous | 2008-08-20 18:58:14 | +0

DeWeese and Mahoney got Open Records passed. It would never have happened had Perzel been Speaker or Rs in the majority. bob guzzardi

The original Mahoney HB 443 open records bill and the subsequent HB 443 the House passed and sent on over to the Senate did not apply to past records.

Pennsylvania pushes to open records By Brad Bumsted Tribune Review Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Lawmakers said they are working on the exemptions to records that would be publicly released, such as those containing trade secrets, Social Security numbers, credit reports and details of ongoing police investigations.

Advocates are concerned about a provision in Mahoney’s bill that would limit release to future records, Wilson said.

Any records from the past would be covered by existing law, Mahoney said. “Why do we want to go backward when we should go forward?” he said.

Pennsylvania pushes to open records By Brad Bumsted Tribune Review Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Also see:

Wednesday, January 30, 2008
PA Open Records Reform: Exemption Central

And, the House version offered by Mahoney originally contained approximately two-dozen exemptions. In October, 2007, Tim Potts, Democracy Rising PA, tagged HB 443, The “Corruption Protection Act.” It’s unclear whether he made the statement just prior to the House State Government Committee action, or shortly after action. The action expanded the e-mail exemption clause to “blanket exemptions for electronic communication.”

Brad Bumstead’s Shh! More State Secrets published November 11, 2007 points out a little known amendment to HB 443 presented by Rep. Babette Josephs. Had the measure passed, it would have removed the language from the bill regarding “blanket exemptions for electronic communication.”

Rep. Babette Josephs, chairwoman of the House State Government Committee, last month offered an amendment to remove what the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association calls a “blanket exemption” for lawmakers’ e-mail in House Bill 443. The Philadelphia Democrat’s amendment was defeated 127-69 with seven members excused.

Here’s the punch-line: Fayette representatives who voted yes on the amendment included Kula, Daley, and Mahoney. So Mahoney voted yes on the amendment because a yes vote would have removed the blanket exemptions for e-mail language.

The lone “No” vote from the Fayette contingency: Rep. H. William DeWeese.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008
PA House Leader DeWeese No Questions on Open Records Email Blanket Exemptions

Bumstead’s Shh! More State Secrets November 11, 2007 A “yes” vote would have made lawmakers’ e-mail available (if approved finally). A “no” vote scuttled her amendment and maintained the status quo:

Meanwhile back in 2006 Absence of re-elected DeWeese’s name from a December 2006 PA Newspaper Association’s Brighter Pennsylvania “open records” effort

Now take a look at 2006 close election results.

Around October, 2007 the PA Newpaper Association pulled its support from 443 and cast its attention to Pileggi’s efforts in the Senate per Senate Bill 1. Per that pressure, changes were made to SB 1 - Pileggi too saw the value of the “flip of presumption…”

Key Pa. Senate leader backs wider state open-records law June 4, 2007 By MARK SCOLFORO
Associated Press Writer

The PA Newpaper Association and its project Brighter Pennsylvania was satisfied and Pileggi’s bill went forward to passage. Importantly, SB 1 reversed the House’s presentation and its non-application to past records, and removed the blanket exemptions for electronic communication.

Meanwhile, in the House, there were still grumblings, but House members had no recourse but to sign on to the Senate bill.

last time I checked, Senator Pileggi is a Republican.

Senator Pileggi’s Open Records Bill Unanimously Approved by Senate Appropriations Committee

Senator Pileggi’s Open Records Bill Approved by Senate; SB 1 Moves to House for Consideration

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