House can­di­dates spar over po­lit­i­cal mailer

The Advance of Bucks County - - FRONT PAGE - By Jeff Werner and Cary Beavers

mHILADELmHIA – For­mer menn­syl­va­nia Gov. Ed Ren­dell blasted Repub­li­can ptate Rep. can­di­date Anne Chap­man on Fri­day for “stand­ing silent” on a cam­paign mailer claim­ing her op­po­nent, Demo­crat pteve pan­tar­siero, voted to ap­prove state fund­ing for con­victed child molester gerry pan­dusky’s pecond Mile Foun­da­tion.

The mailer was paid for by the con­ser­va­tive non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion, Cit­i­zens Al­liance of menn­syl­va­nia (CAmF, and de­liv­ered to house­holds in the PNst leg­isla­tive dis­trict, in­clud­ing kew­town Bor­ough, kew­town Town­ship, vard­ley Bor­ough, Lower Makefield Town­ship and a por­tion of Up­per Makefield Town­ship.

“For her to stand silent is rep­re­hen­si­ble and goes to her char­ac­ter as some­one seek­ing pub­lic of­fice,” said Ren­dell, who joined pan­tar­siero at a press con­fer­ence on Fri­day to de­nounce the mailer and to turn up the heat on Chap­man. “I call on her to re­pu­di­ate this mail­ing and to say pub­licly that she does not want any fur­ther help from CAm.”

When reached af­ter the press con­fer­ence, Chap­man had plenty to say. Her com­ments, though, were not what the for­mer gover­nor and cur­rent state rep­re­sen­ta­tive were look­ing for.

“Had the facts of the mailer been un­true, I cer­tainly would have con­demned it,” she said. “The facts in the mailer are true and doc­u­mented. I won­der whether my op­po­nent did not care about or just did not read the list of projects to be funded. Ei­ther way, it is un­ac­cept­able. Mr. pan­tar­siero should ex­plain his vot­ing record for this and other waste of our tax dol­lars, in­stead point­ing a fin­ger at me.”

Chap­man ac­cused pan­tar­siero of “try­ing to dis­tract the vot­ers away from his record by whin­ing about a mailer from CAm point­ing out his vot­ing record. CAm is an in­de­pen­dent or­ga­ni­za­tion, and I have no in­put into their mail­ers,” she said.

The mailer, which asks the ques­tion, “What did spend­thrift pteve have tax­pay­ers take on more debt to fund?” claims pan­tar­siero voted to give more than AP mil­lion “of bor­rowed tax­payer dol­lars to con­victed crim­i­nal gerry pan­dusky’s pecond Mile Foun­da­tion.”

The AP mil­lion re­ferred to in the ad, said Ren­dell, was orig­i­nally in­cluded in the Cap­i­tal As­sis­tance Bill of Oct. OMNM that was sent to his desk for ap­proval. The bill in­cluded fund­ing for the pecond Mile Foun­da­tion among nu­mer­ous other projects.

“This bill was passed and Rep. pan­tar­siero voted on it in Oct. OMNM, a full year be­fore the pan­dusky in­ves­ti­ga­tion came to pub­lic light,” said Ren­dell. “kot only did pteve vote for it, but al­most the en­tire Bucks County del­e­ga­tion voted for it, in­clud­ing Democrats and Republicans.”

Af­ter the pan­dusky is­sue came to light, Ren­dell said Gov. Tom Cor­bett with­drew the re­lease of funds to the pecond Mile Foun­da­tion pre­vi­ously ap­proved in Oct. OMNM.

“The CAm peo­ple, des­per­ate to cover their tracks, then said pteve voted for it in Dec. OMNN. There were no item­ized projects in that bill,” said Ren­dell. “That was just a bill that au­tho­rized all of our cap­i­tal spend­ing. And at the time pteve voted for it in Dec. OMNN he al­ready knew that Gov. Cor­bett had with­drawn his re­lease of funds and Cen­tre County had pulled its fund­ing and that this project (pecond Mile Foun­da­tionF would not be funded and was not funded.”

One of the “CAm peo­ple” the for­mer gover­nor is speak­ing about is Leo Knep­per, the po­lit­i­cal or­ga­ni­za­tion’s pres­i­dent.

“It is fact,” Knep­per said in ref­er­ence to pan­tar­siero’s vote to ap­prove a cap­i­tal bud­get with money that could have been given to pecond Mile. “Once that bud­get is passed, the money can go to any­thing on that list. pecond Mile was still on that list.”

Knep­per dis­missed pan­tar­siero’s and Ren­dell’s claims that the gover­nor’s with­drawal of po­ten­tial fund­ing of the Cen­tre County char­ity squashed the is­sue. And he said that menn­syl­va­nia legis- la­tors could have eas­ily put the is­sue to rest by in­sert­ing an amend­ment that re­moved the project from the list. “That’s some­thing they did not do.”

Ac­cord­ing to pan­tar­siero, a lo­cal match, in this case by Cen­tre County, is re­quired for any fund­ing such as the money in ques­tion to reach its in­tended des­ti­na­tion.

pince Cen­tre County had pulled its fund­ing and the Gover­nor with­drew his re­lease of fund­ing, pan­tar­siero said, “The project died at that point.”

De­spite her agree­ment with the claims made in CAm’s mailer, Chap­man said she had noth­ing to do with the group’s mes­sage.

“, nHYHU GLVFuVVHG VSHFL­fiFV with CAP in re­gard to this is­sue,” Chap­man said. “[Un­til the mailer came out] I knew noth­ing more about it than any­one else. I don’t know what [CAP does] un­til it’s done.”

Chap­man read­ily ad­mit­ted to back­ing the group’s gen­eral phi­los­o­phy.

“They’re for change in Penn­syl­va­nia,” Chap­man said. “I sup­port that and they sup­port me. Steve San­tar­siero is try­ing to change the sub­ject in­stead of telling the pub­lic what’s go­ing on. He’s try­ing to paint me as the witch.”

Ren­dell la­beled the CAP mailer “typ­i­cal of all the worst el­e­ments that ex­ist in pol­i­tics to­day” and he called on Chap­man “to ab­so­lutely stand up and say this is garbage and that she doesn’t want any more help from CAP,” he said.

San­tar­siero echoed the Gover- nor’s re­marks, say­ing Chap­man “needs to de­nounce” the mailer, adding that “it’s not enough for her to say she had noth­ing to do with it.

“Those of us who are in the pub­lic arena know that when elec­tion time comes around you have to have a pretty thick skin,” said San­tar­siero. “But this at­tack re­ally crossed the line. To use a ter­ri­ble tragedy as a ba­sis for a com­pletely false po­lit­i­cal at­tack is wrong. It does a dis­ser­vice not only to the po­lit­i­cal process but to the fam­i­lies of the vic­tims of those ter­ri­ble crimes per­pe­trated by Jerry San­dusky.”

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