Dinniman responds to Chesco GOP chairman
To the Editor: Val DiGiorgio is so obsessed with the fact that there is a Democrat in the mostly Republican Chester County legislative delegation that his phony attacks on me have become an unfortunate part of his persona.
Val, who is a paid Harrisburg lobbyist, knows that 96 percent of the votes in the senate are either unanimous, procedural, or have only one or two dissenters. Thus, he knowingly made a fallacious comparison in saying that I only voted with the Republicans 35 times out of 1,597 roll call votes since January 2009.
I’ve been elected and reelected in Chester County because voters here are fiercely independent and still care deeply about the substance of issues, not Val’s phony statistics.
Let’s look at my votes over the last year. They clearly show that I listen and respond to my constituents, who support me at their independent voice.
I voted for Act 39, updates to the liquor law, which mean that you will increasingly be able to buy wine in grocery stores and six packs of beer in convenience stores. Each month the number of such opportunities grows. I was one of only two Democrats who voted with the Republicans to create a more privatized and consumer-orientated system. We, of course, still have more work to do.
I crossed party lines to resolve last year’s budget impasse and prevent the closing of public schools and other important nonprofit social service organizations, which would have occurred if the deadlock continued. I strongly believe it was the right action to take and I was the only Democrat to do so.
I joined with a handful of Democrats who voted with the Republicans in the senate to finally bring about pension reform, by putting new employees into a system that included 401Ktype plans.
I voted to eliminate the property tax and was part of a bipartisan coalition of senators who pushed for the bill. We lost in a tie vote, but have regrouped and are prepared to work for changes to significantly reduce or eliminate the property tax in the 2017 session.
On the environment and open space, I joined with a coalition of suburban Republican and Democratic senators to protect our environment and landscapes. That’s why I am endorsed by the Sierra Club, Conservation Voters, and Clean Water Action.
I voted with both Republicans and Democrats to support and protect our emergency first responders. That’s why I am endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, the Chester County Police Chiefs Association, the Pennsylvania Professional Fire Fighters Association, and five firefighter and emergency response groups in Chester County.
Over the summer, when I’d walk by the Republican headquarters in West Chester, I saw only Jack London signs in the window. There were none for Donald Trump, Pat Toomey, John Rafferty, or any of the other Republican candidates. I asked Republican leaders what Val’s obsession was in focusing all his attacks and energy on me. The consistent answer was, “Andy, you need to understand that Val wants to be chairman of the Republican state committee and believes that defeating you – the only Democrat from Chester County – is his ticket to obtain that position.” So, that is why Val is using his Philadelphia-style politics against me.
My answer to Val is this . . . get over your obsession. Time after time, both Republican and Democrat voters in Chester County have elected a senator who thankfully doesn’t answer to you. After all, that’s what it means to be an independent voice. Also, based on recent polling, Val’s utter lack of attention on or support for other GOP candidates besides Jack London will probably lead to at least two local Democrats winning seats in the state house. That sure is an unusual way to get elected state party chair.
Val, if you wanted to run against me, you should have had the courage to put your own name on the ballot. Instead, you are trying to launch your campaign for Republican party chair behind Jack London as your smokescreen.
State Senator Andy
Candidate for Reelection in the 19th District