Apr 8, 2010

Candidates from the 3rd and 4th Congressional Districts Line Up for Inspection

Written by Roberta Biros

Wednesday, April 7, 7PM was the tip off for yet another “Meet the Candidate” night in Sharon. The meeting, which was hosted by the Pennsylvania Patriots in Action, was a gathering of all non-incumbent candidates that are vying for the Congressional Seats in the 3rd and 4th Districts. The event attracted a sizeable crowd that was a virtual “who’s who” in Mercer County politics.

The current office holders, Congresswoman Kathy Dahlkemper and Congressman Jason Altmire, were not present but they were still the main topics of conversation. Interestly enough, Congresswoman Dahlkemper was represented by a mole in the crowd . . . a member of her staff from the Hermitage office was hiding in the hall (and undoubtedly taking notes). The candidates each took the opportunity to explain why they would be the best choice to replace Dahlkemper and Altmire, and many of the more heated comments were pointed directly toward the incumbents (no shock).

I will outline my observations from the event below. PLEASE understand that I am trying to be as fair and unbiased as is possible, but this is a BLOG. I will offer my own spin on the events of the evening and I will interject my personal opinions and summaries where I see fit. Sorry, but those are the rules.

4th Congressional District

Mary Beth Buchanan and Keith Rothfus were on hand to battle for the Republican nomination for the 4th District against Altmire. I’ve met both candidates once before and I enjoyed another opportunity to hear them speak. I was pleasantly surprised, however, that an Independent candidate, John Vinsick, also surfaced at the event. Vinsick of Aliquippa was a highlight of the evening as he shot from the hip and added a bit of spice to the conversation.

Mary Beth Buchanan is a strong and spirited candidate who carries herself well in the debate style environment. She more than held her own and didn’t back down to some obvious shots that were sent in her direction. She focused on her platform of limited government, pro-life, and pro-2nd Amendment. She is extremely intelligent and very likeable. She makes me wish I was in the 4th Congressional District. For more information about Ms. Buchanan, you can visit her website at MaryBethBuchanan.org.

Keith Rothfus is an analytical individual with great ideas. He is a family man with 6 children who is running on a platform of limited government, lower taxes, repeal of ObamaCare, and traditional family values. Mr. Rothfus offered one of my favorite quotes for the evening when he stated that the first legislation that he would offer would be the “Restoring Edison Light Bulb Act”. He is a common-sense sort of guy with great ideas. For more information about Mr. Rothfus, you can visit his website at http://www.keithpa4.com/.

John Vinsick, the Independent candidate, was a treasure. His campaign slogan of “the will of the people must preside over the will of the politician” explains that his platform is anti-politics and pro-citizen. Mr. Vinsick will have an uphill battle in collecting the 3,731 signatures that will be required to get his name on the ballot, but he is optimistic about the process and he is even more optimistic about his chances in November. While he received some negative comments from hard-core Rs in the crowd (for threatening their Party), Mr. Vinsick hit home with a number of key points that were met with supportive applause. For more information about Mr. Vinsick, you can visit his website at http://www.johnvinsickforcongress.com/.

3rd Congressional District

For the 3rd District, Republican candidates Paul Huber, Steve Fisher, Clayton Grabb, Ed Franz, and Martha Moore were on hand. Mike Kelly was out of town and was not represented. The order of the six-minute presentations was based on a draw from a hat, and the speeches by 3rd and 4th District candidates were mixed together. Up first for the 3rd District was Clayton Grabb.

Clayton Grabb never fails to inspire me when he speaks. He is a conservative who is proud of his Tea Party activities, and his presentations are always geared toward the more "independent thinking" (that's me). He made a reference that struck a chord with me when he explained his reason for running as “If not me, who? If not now, when?” (NOTE: I’ll be using that quote as my own soon). Mr. Grabb speaks from the heart and is passionate about his country. For more information about Mr. Grabb, you can visit his website at http://www.grabbforcongress.com/.

Ed Franz is “just Ed”. Ed has a blue-collar/guy-next-door quality about him, and the people that support him like for exactly that reason. His platform is based on social conservatism, fiscal conservatism, and pro-life stands. He made a good point when he stated “this election year it’s government versus the taxpayers”. That simple statement summarized all of the political dancing that is going on in a few simple words. Mr. Franz pointed out that he feels that he is the best candidate to beat Dahlkemper in November because of his labor ties to Erie. For more information about Mr. Franz, you can visit his website at http://www.edfranzforcongress.com/.

Paul Huber, a fiscal conservative, took the opportunity to layout his plans for fiscal reform. He made the point that “all of the (government) spending is being put on a credit card”, and he explained his plan for freeing the taxpayers from that problem. He stressed that he was “born and raised on a farm and raised on values of honesty and hard work”. His presentation was analytical, but he manages to deliver his statistics with a personal touch that gives the distinct impression that his concerns are heart-felt. He closed his presentation with a statement that I liked . . . “when people find the courage, they can change anything” (NOTE: I’ll be using that quote as my own soon). For more information about Mr. Huber, you can visit his website at http://www.huberforcongress.com/.

Steve Fisher makes me smile. He is the perfect blend of intellectual, analytical, and personable. He is detail and fact oriented, but he connects with people on a personal level when he speaks. This is even more obvious if you get an opportunity to talk with Steve one-on-one. Mr. Fisher opened his discussion with an explanation of why he was running for Congress. He made reference to a quote “if you don’t want to be a part of the menu, you better take a seat at the table” (NOTE: I’ll be using that quote as my own soon). He went on to explain that his first goal in Congress would be to repeal the Health Care Bill . . . which met with positive feedback from the crowd. His experience in the insurance industry gives him a different perspective on the health care situation and offers a special value that should not be overlooked. For more information about Mr. Fisher, you can visit his website at http://www.stevefisherforcongress.com/.

Martha Moore continues to amaze me. As a country doctor from Stoneboro, she is not the typical candidate. She is outmatched in many ways by her fellow Republicans on the ticket, but she continues to show up . . . she continues to express her patriotism . . . she continues to quote Reagan . . . and she is beginning to gather a following. I had a great seat in the very back of the room and I was able to gauge the reactions of the crowd to each of the speakers. Dr. Moore got lots of nods and “I like her” comments from many of the women in the crowd. She began her comments with a simple quote that explained why she was running for office. She said “three words . . . enough is enough”. She is a concerned patriot that is running for office in an effort to stress the issues that are important to her. I give her credit for her courage and commitment. For more information about Dr. Moore, you can visit her website at http://www.moore4congress.com/.

Mike Kelly was unable to attend the event and there was no spokesperson available to speak on his behalf. For more information about Mr. Kelly, you can visit his website at http://www.mikekellyforcongress.com/.

In Closing . . .

I’d like to extend thanks to the Pennsylvania Patriots in Action for organizing the event. It was informational, but it also gives concerned citizens the opportunity to look into the eyes of the candidates to get a personal perspective of who they are.

I’ve been to several events, and I suppose that might seem unusual to some people. However, it is important to get to know the people that may soon be representing you. I make an effort to go to as many events by elected officials and candidates as possible. I do so to gain an understanding of them, and I do so in an effort to share information with those people that can’t be there themselves. I hope that my brief summaries give you a feel for the individuals, but I also hope that it encourages you to take a look for yourself.

I will begin publishing event announcements (as they are given to me) for all of the candidates listed above. If you are a candidate (or work for a candidate) and you would like your event posted here, email me with the details and I’ll do what I can.

I’ve been waiting to publish my results from the Mercer Conservatives Index regarding the candidates from the 3rd Congressional District. I’ve been continuing to gather information and my final scores have been in flux. I’ve already published my results for Congresswoman Dahlkemper (F) as well as the four state legistlators that represent Mercer County [Senator Robbins (F), Representative Brooks (B), Representative Longietti (C), and Representative Stevenson (D)]. It is my intention to put the finishing touches on my summaries by the end of this coming weekend. Please be patient and keep an eye on this site for the final publication.

As always, just my opinion.
~Mercer Conservatives


1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:51 AM

    From the Beaver County Times:

    Republican 4th Congressional District candidate Mary Beth Buchanan’s campaign manager, a Beaver County resident, did political work on legislative time while working for indicted state Sen. Jane Orie, according to testimony in Orie’s indictment.

    Read more at: http://www.timesonline.com/bct_news/news_details/article/1373/2010/april/08/beaver-county-man-named-in-orie-indictment.html