The world is undergoing a “spyware revolution,” with advances in surveillance technology enabling states and private actors to surveil almost anyone, anywhere in the world, through their mobile phones. Autocratic regimes increasingly use spyware to spy on citizens, neutralize political opposition, and suppress dissent—but the use of such technology is not limited to authoritarian governments. Many democracies have started to use advanced spyware technology, as well.
What will happen if the adoption of predatory spyware continues to grow unchecked? The proliferation of this technology threatens to erode many of the institutions, processes, and values on which the liberal order depends.” If elites in any country can wield spyware technology to consolidate power, then the future of democracy “may soon be no more secure than the passwords on our phones.”
They show a coordinated attempt to suppress speech and cover up Hunter Biden’s laptop
December 9, 2022 | 12:31 pm
There are two pieces of deeply disturbing news to emerge from the “Twitter Files” released by Elon Musk. The first is that Twitter, under its old management, was not the open, politically neutral platform it pretended to be. Journalist Bari Weiss has shown that Twitter had secret “blacklists” and related methods specifically designed to limit the reach of conservative commentators. When Twitter’s old management denied that bias, as it did repeatedly, it was lying.
Second, we are learning that Twitter worked closely with like-minded government bureaucrats to squelch legitimate news, information, and discussion. They did so to protect favored candidates (Democrats) and political positions (progressive). We will undoubtedly learn that Facebook, Google and other media giants had similar ties to Washington. We certainly need to know.
The government’s role here is damning. Its primary job under the First Amendment is to protect free speech, not to kill it. It botched that vital job, and it did so deliberately to increase its own control over private speech in public fora and, apparently, to promote certain political views.
The only good news here is that Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, is exposing the old management’s efforts to suppress speech and promote political bias on its platform. To expose those malign efforts, he ordered some of Twitter’s internal documents be given to two journalists: Matt Taibbi (who quickly published some of his findings as tweets) and Bari Weiss (who is beginning to publish some findings and promises to publish a longer analysis).
We have now learned that some of Twitter’s holdover executives worked secretly to prevent the transfer of those documents to Taibbi and Weiss. The key figure here seems to be Twitter’s second-ranking attorney, James Baker, who came to the company from his post as the FBI’s top lawyer. When Musk discovered Baker was undermining him, Musk fired him immediately. We don’t know if Baker was trying to shield bad behavior by Twitter’s old management, or by the FBI and CIA, or by all of them. In any case, Baker seems to be one of those swamp creatures who routinely slide through revolving doors, forging profitable links between their private employers and government agencies.
As bad as Twitter’s old management was, the reaction of left-leaning journalists to Elon Musk’s efforts has been frankly astonishing. Instead of seeking full disclosure, as reporters normally would (and should), they have attacked Musk for trying to ensure it. Instead of demanding free speech, as honorable journalists would (and should), they have demanded even more censorship to stop legally permissible content from appearing on the social media platform. They believe in “free speech for me, but not for thee.”
Their distorted priorities are the hallmark of today’s media and another reason why the public no longer trusts journalists or their mates in the government bureaucracy. They are why the New York Times and Washington Post didn’t mention the “Twitter Files” story when it broke last Friday night or Bari Weiss’s bombshells when they broke Thursday night. “Nothing to see here” is the message from the paper that carries the banner “All the News That’s Fit to Print.” The Washington Post, which proclaims “Democracy Dies in Darkness,” went dark over the story. They are precisely what they warned us about.
Private companies, like the Times and Twitter, are perfectly free to publish — or refuse to publish — whatever they choose. They are free to blacklist and “shadow ban.” They are free to lie about it. They are free to collaborate with other private entities, like the Democratic National Committee. Private organizations can weigh in with publishers and make their case, as the DNC did so often and so successfully with Twitter. The public can then render its verdict on whether to trust them. That verdict will be far better informed if the backroom dealings are exposed, as Musk, Taibbi, and Weiss are doing.
Amid this pushing and shoving, our Constitution protects free speech not by requiring every media outlet to be fair and balanced but by letting each one make its own choices. Different outlets will make different decisions about what to publish, what to emphasize, and what to investigate, ensuring citizens have enough information and varied viewpoints to decide for themselves.
But that pushing and shoving applies only to private entities. The government, with all its regulatory power, is different. What is so troubling about the Twitter Files is they show how government agencies worked hand-in-glove with Twitter to prevent the publication of legally permissible material and suppress the readership of stories they didn’t like.
The FBI and others were apparently careful to avoid any direct statements like “don’t publish this.” Instead, they said something like what King Henry II said when he effectively ordered the execution of Thomas Becket, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Henry asked his knights, “Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?” The king’s retainers did not mistake his meaning. They rode to Canterbury and murdered Becket in the Cathedral. The king’s indirect request was enough to communicate his clear purpose.
That seems to be how senior FBI officials communicated their desires to Twitter (and presumably Facebook and others). That’s how the Bureau seems to have killed the distribution of the damning story about Hunter Biden’s laptop. US law enforcement and intelligence agencies knew the New York Post was about to publish that story. Knowing that, they told social media giants, including Twitter, that the Russians were about to dump some disinformation. When the Post story appeared immediately after that FBI warning, Twitter connected the two. The link was even clearer when 51 former high-ranking intelligence agents publicly stated that the Hunter Biden story had “all the earmarks of a classic Russian disinformation operation.”
But the laptop story was not disinformation. It was true and well vetted when America’s fourth-largest newspaper published it. Hunter Biden himself never denied the laptop was his. Nor did he deny the contents in the newspaper story. Years later, mainstream media outlets have confirmed the truth of the New York Post story. But at the time, thanks to the government’s false narrative connecting the laptop with Russian disinformation (repeated for years by Democratic representatives, led by Adam Schiff), the story was suppressed on social media. The New York Post’s Twitter account was blocked. Private users were blocked if they tried to circulate the story. Twitter’s rationale for this suppression was that the laptop was “hacked material.” It wasn’t, and they knew it. Even Twitter insiders were troubled by that threadbare rationale.
We need to know everyone who was involved on the government side of this shameful exercise. We need to know what they knew, when they knew it, and what they secretly communicated to the media. We need to know if other social media sites besides Twitter were involved in this operation. And we need a few journalists with the backbone to stand with Elon Musk, Matt Taibbi, and Bari Weiss to expose this malfeasance.— The Spectator
“Democrats have decided that state courts are friendly terrain, and so they now argue that ballot deadlines are discriminatory, along with signature verification for mail votes, and who knows what’s next. Unless the Supreme Court clearly narrows the prerogatives of state judges, the voting laws will be up for grabs from now until weeks after Election Day 2024, with damaging consequences for democracy. “
From WSJ: How to Calm Election Law Before 2024 in Moore v. Harper.
These midterm elections are critical to our township, state and country!
We are experiencing agendas from our local politicians that are in lockstep with the radical left Democrats that are in control of our local, state and federal policies. Many of you have experienced what is happening in our schools, zoning, crime and tax policies.
This election is pivotal to the direction of our country!
Freedom is not Free. These are tight elections and Every vote matters!
Talk of turning things around mean nothing if we don’t vote! Democrats outnumber Republicans dramatically in mail-in voting!
We are asking you to please exercise your right and have your say by coming out next Tuesday November 8th and VOTE!
Please make a plan to come out and vote early!
Thank you in advance for exercising your right and duty to vote!
Misfeasance by Secretary of the Commonwealth and the Deputy Secretary for Elections and Commissions cause integrity questions that will lead to challenges.
Fred Lucas— Almost a quarter of a million ballots were mailed to Pennsylvania voters without verifying their identity, state lawmakers say in a letter seeking answers from the state’s top election official.
“According to the data, as of Oct. 21, 2022, a staggering 240,000 ballots are ‘NOT VERIFIED,’” 15 Republicans in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives write Tuesday in the letter to acting Secretary of the Commonwealth Leigh Chapman.
“That is an enormous number of ballots, which, according to the law, must be set aside and not counted for the 2022 General Election unless the voter produces lD,” the lawmakers write.
State Rep. Frank Ryan, a member of the House State Government Committee, led the letter. It cites data on unverified ballots for the Nov. 8 election produced by the Pennsylvania Department of State, which Chapman heads.
Ryan and the 14 other GOP lawmakers add:
This will force the counties to, as one county election director described it, ‘go after the missing information’ to obtain proof of lD for the unverified ballots. What level of additional staffing is allocated for counties to attempt to contact and verify the identity of these quarter of a million of ballot recipients? Many of these unverified ballots are likely the result of transposition of numbers or letters but the purpose of the law is to ensure integrity. The law requires matching therefore all must be set aside and lD verified prior to being counted.
Chapman’s office didn’t respond immediately to The Daily Signal’s request for comment on this report.
The state lawmakers’ letter says the problem stems from a 2018 directive from her office “instructing counties to register voters without verification of identity.”
Ryan told The Daily Signal that a 2019 state audit found that the secretary of the commonwealth’s office was uncooperative and had an unreliable system for keeping election records under its Statewide Uniform Registry of Electors system, or SURE.
“All we are trying to do is get ahead of the balloting process this year,” Ryan said in a phone interview. “We are letting the [Pennsylvania] Department of State know we can minimize the number of challenges and fix this before the election.”
Ryan stressed that the issue isn’t about the outcome of elections.
“No one is saying this determines who wins and loses,” Ryan said. “We are just saying the database is so broken it needs to be fixed.”
The letter notes that during a Sept. 14 hearing by the Pennsylvania House State Government Committee, Ryan asked Jonathan Marks, deputy secretary for elections and commissions, to explain why the secretary’s office made so many requests to the Social Security Administration’s Help America Vote Verification system.
Marks responded that it was to verify information on applications for mail-in ballots. He told the committee that if someone submits invalid identification, the counties still must send a mail-in ballot to that requester.
During the hearing, Marks stressed the difference between voter registration and voting.
“[In] voter registration, there is no federal requirement or state requirement that those numbers match or that every voter has to have one of those two numbers,” Marks told the Pennsylvania House committee, referring to either a state Transportation Department ID number or the last four digits of a Social Security number.
“With mail-in balloting, it is a requirement,” Marks said. “lf when you apply, your PennDOT lD cannot be verified or your last four of SSN cannot be verified, the county can still issue the ballot, but the ballot doesn’t count unless the voter provides a valid form of lD.”
However, the lawmakers’ letter notes, the Pennsylvania Department of State contradicted Marks when it issued guidance on Sept. 26 for examining return envelopes for absentee ballots. That guidance tells counties that verification of who a voter is must happen before they send such ballots to an applicant.
“Before sending the ballot to the applicant, the county board of electionsconfirms the qualifications of the applicant by verifying the proof of identification,” the state guidance says.
The total of 240,000 unverified ballots stands as of Oct. 21 data, the GOP lawmakers say in their letter. They ask the secretary’s office to issue a clarification to county election offices and to provide a list of applicants who requested mail-in ballots.
“Due to the conflicting information provided by your deportment,” Ryan and the other lawmakers write to Chapman, “counties should be required to certify that all of these ballots have been set aside and make a record of the type of identification produced by the voter who previously provided non-matching ID.
Because he will say whatever he is told to say and espouse whatever doctrines his handlers put before him.
From the Spectator– Biden declares Republicans are “An extremism that threatens the very foundations of our Republic.” Whoa! There are a couple of things to bear in mind about the initiatives that Joe Biden hinted at in his comments about “the entire philosophy” that motivates Trump’s supporters. One has to do with arithmetic. At least 74,000,000 people voted for Donald Trump in 2020. Trump still vastly out-polls any other Republican candidate. What does it mean that Biden and his masters have demonized half the country? And what does it mean that in a few short years we have seen Democratic rhetoric proceed from describing Republican voters as an “irredeemable” “basket of deplorables” to describing them as believers in a “semi-fascist” form of “extremism” that threatens the very foundations of the American republic?
The other thing to contemplate is the statist nature of the forces fueling this white-hot assault. In the late 1930s, the Germans mounted a campaign of Gleichschaltung, a statewide program to bring all aspects of life into alignment with the governing philosophy of the party. The essentially Marxist idea of political correctness aims at the same thing: the insinuation of politics into all aspects of life and the utter subordination of the individual to the ideology.
In the American context, we have come to the point where, for those controlling the levers of power, “democracy” means “rule by Democrats.” One corollary is that power must be increasingly concentrated in the hands of the governing elite. In the Soviet Union, the nominally independent republics that constituted that empire were in fact all controlled by Moscow.
Something similar is happening in the United States. In Federalist 46, James Madison raises the specter of “ambitious encroachments of the federal government, on the authority of the State governments,” but explains that that is unlikely to happen. Why? Because any move by the federal government to overstep its authority would spark a “general alarm.” Every state would rise up. “Plans of resistance would be concerted. One spirit would animate and conduct the whole.”
Madison entertains what he calls the “visionary supposition” that the federal government might accumulate sufficient military power to subordinate the states. That won’t happen he says, because “the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger.”
Does that make you feel better? Remember, the Soviet Union had elections. Their leaders assured the populace that they were on the winning side of history, that they were creating a heaven on earth, that Marx’s vision of a society in which one could be a “hunter in the morning, a fisherman in the afternoon, and a critical critic at night,” was just around the corner. Meanwhile, their “basket of deplorables,” i.e., anyone harboring “bourgeois” or “counterrevolutionary” sentiments, must be ruthlessly purged in order to make way for utopia — a nation that is “free and fair, just and strong, noble and whole.”
The prosperity enjoyed by Upper Gwynedd residents is in peril, and we know it. Small talk at community events has moved beyond gas prices and the cost of groceries. Polite conversation has moved into something more urgent: survival. Recent studies paint a gloomy picture for the future. With dwindling savings, most suburbanites (Upper Gwynedd families included) are only two weeks away from a bad day. Study respondents cited gas and groceries as the primary concerns, but the largest sticker shock came from utility bills. That means that our households, with median incomes 40% higher than the state and national averages, are anxious about our ability to heat our homes heading into this winter. In turn, we are fundamentally changing our spending habits. In the recent studies, half reported that they simply stopped buying stuff. Thanks, Brandon! Thanks, Madeline!
Consumer sentiment stands at its lowest point since the 2008 financial crisis. Two-thirds of Americans believe that the country is on the wrong track. A recent poll by ABC News/Washington Post revealed that suburban congressional district voters are favoring Republican candidates by over 20 points. Are we in Upper Gwynedd content to be abused by progressive power structure? The midterms will be the first opportunity for Upper Gwynedd voters to express our discontent.
It is important to discern the difference between facts and Fake News. Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Budget Chair John Yarmuth (D-KY) are proponing false claims such as “Republicans are so hellbent on gutting social security and ending Medicare, as we know it, that they are willing to risk economic catastrophes to get it done.” Risk economic catastrophe to get it done? Speak for yourself, Rep. Yarmuth.
In this Congress alone, Democrats have passed scathing spending legislation, including $19.2 billion on the recent Continuing Resolution, $5.5 trillion on Woke infrastructure, $3.5 trillion on the “Inflation Reduction Act,” $1.9 trillion on the “American Rescue Plan,” $52.7 billion on the CHIPS Act, and over $54 billion on foreign aid to Ukraine.
It’s one thing to read the title of a Democrat bill before you vote on it; it’s entirely different to read the legislation itself. The American Rescue Plan will not rescue America. The Inflation Reduction Act will not reduce inflation. Spending money on other countries will not help our economy nor the well-being of American citizens.
Trillions of the Democrats’ spending bills signed into law by Joe Biden have created the inflation and ensuing recession we are experiencing today. When Progressive Democrats like Madeline Dean claim that Republicans are creating an economic crisis, they need to look at the facts and reconsider such remarks. Time to vote her out of your life.
Clown Emoji Distances Self From Biden- Babylon Bee
U.S. — The clown emoji 🤡 held a press conference Monday with the express purpose of distancing itself from Democrats who, according to the clown emoji, have caused significant harm to its brand and livelihood.
“My association with Democrats has tarnished my brand, perhaps irreparably,” said the clown emoji to journalists who have, themselves been associated with the clown emoji on a regular basis. “It has hurt my ability to be used in normal text conversations without being linked to the Democratic Party.”
The clown emoji described the damage caused by its emoji being tied to a certain Democrat, Nancy Pelosi, stating how it has been used to describe the liberal politician so often, that people began to believe Pelosi is an actual clown, which has caused a negative ripple effect across the entire clown industry.
The clown emoji ended the presser with the emotional statement, “I plead with Americans to use prudence when posting to social media about how ridiculously stupid Democrats are. The thoughtless use of emojis can cause real pain and heartache for us emojis. 💔”
Not a single arrest has been made in the more than a dozen attacks on pro-life organizations across the country claimed by left-wing pro-abortion group Jane’s Revenge.
Despite numerous follow up requests and demands for justice, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland has failed to make the Biden administration Justice Department take action to prosecute Jane’s Revenge members for the wave of attacks. No wonder trust in government is at an all time low. This November let’s send Oz and Nascimento to Congress. They’ll put the fire out and bring order to the chaos in DC.
PITTSBURGH >> A death penalty trial has begun for a man accused of having set a house fire that killed a young child and two women in Pittsburgh 41/2 years ago.
Martell Smith, 45, faces three counts of homicide, as well as aggravated arson and other charges in the early morning December 2017 blaze in the Homewood neighborhood, which Allegheny County prosecutors say he set after getting into a bar fight with another man.
Police say surveillance images show him buying a gas can and filling it at a gas station, and they say he then drove to the home, doused the three-story brick structure with the gasoline, lit it and drove away. Killed were Shamira Staten, 21, her daughter, Ch’yenne Manning, 4, and Sandra Carter Douglas, 58.
Defense attorney Randall McKinney told jurors Monday that the fight was brief and his client had no motive, but police did not look for another suspect, the Tribune-Review reported. He said gasoline was found on his client’s clothing because he filled a gas can at a gas station to take back to his own car, which was low on fuel.
Deputy District Attorney Brian Catanzarite, however, said the fight left Smith with a bloodied face, torn shirt and broken necklace. After the fire, he said, witnesses reported seeing the defendant pacing up and down the street, bragging about what he had done.
According to a survey of 1,277 U.S. adults, conducted by I&I/TIPP
“What we’re seeing now is either the beginning or the death knell of extreme MAGA philosophy,” Biden said at a closed-door meeting with donors in August. “It’s not just Trump, it’s the entire philosophy that underpins the — I’m going to say something, it’s like semi-fascism.”
If this was just hyperbole it wouldn’t be so damaging to our Republic, but as the fool says “I give my word as a Biden.”
Paraphrasing Niemöller: First they came for the Republicans, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Republican… Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Tracy Pennycuick, Jennifer Neha Sodha, and Donna Scheuren are being asked their views on topics including jobs, the economy and child care at an event being held at a local early childhood learning center, according to organizers.
“Child Care Voters, a project of the Children First Action Fund, is bringing together Republican and Democratic candidates vying for Senate District 24, and House Districts 53 and 147,” a release said.
It’s very important to go to this event in support of our candidates. The teachers union organizers see them as a threat and will do everything that can to control Pennsylvania the legislature and the Department of Education.
It’s happening at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13 at All My Children Learning Center, 114 Allentown Road, Souderton (Franconia Township).
In President Biden’s disturbing tirade of a speech last Thursday in front of our Independence Hall, he called all of us who believe in American greatness, extremists and a “threat to democracy.”
His message was an attack on tens of millions of American farmers, ranchers, truck drivers, energy workers, moms and dads, soldiers, police officers, constructions workers, small business owners and their employees who work hard every day to help their communities and their nation. These Americans do not make as much money as the elite speech writers and out-of-touch clueless White House staff that drafted Biden’s talking points.
Does Biden even know where the food, electricity and supplies come from that he and his administration’s staff enjoy?
So, is our support for our American constitutional republic and its limits on Federal government overreach extreme? Is our right under our Constitution to challenge the results of an election right up to the time that Congress certifies who will serve as President extreme? Does our right to be concerned about the unusual and unprecedented election activity in 2020 make us extreme?
Is it extreme to demand the rule of law and the constitutional rights applied for those accused of a crime to have a speedy trial rather than to rot in jail without trial and without the right of defense against accusations for almost two years?
So, what is extreme? Here is a short, but not complete list.
Extremism is for our taxpayer dollars to be used by Federal agencies to work to shut down free speech on social media outlets of opinions they disagree with.
Extremism is supporting the brutal and painful killing of defenseless babies and the criminal attacks on pro-life resource centers as well as senators calling for the eliminate of these non-profit organizations that support both moms and their babies as well calling those who promote a culture of life for our nation as extremists.
Extremism is preventing doctors and other scientists who provide studies about a virus, its effects and treatments, to be censured and even fired if they have medical information that could help the American people, but does not conform with the orthodoxy of the high and mighty bureaucrats that control our very lives with their inflexible dogma?
Extremism is for government official and so-called medical experts, who should know better, promoting efforts for very young boys to become girls and very young girls to become boys.
Extremism is politicians calling out any questions about the course of government policy as extremism so that they do not have to face scrutiny and debate.
Take Back Your Township: After months of stonewalling by the Upper Gwynedd Board of Commissioners, the Upper Gwynedd Township Republican Committee has exposed the truth regarding the Commissioners interest and intentions regarding the introduction of High Density/Government Subsidized Housing in the Township. https://ugrc.us/home/
It’s Long Past Time For Congress To Break Up The FBI
The D.C. bureaucracy and specifically the intelligence agencies have long become powers unto themselves and have become a threat to our democracy. This week the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s long history of abusing its power is once again prominent. We’re used to the FBI routinely intervenes in politics, such as when the FBI assisted the Hillary Clinton campaign in painting former President Donald Trump as a Russian intelligence asset. And remember the major abuse of power when the Biden administration mobilized FBI counterterrorism resources to investigate parents for expressing concerns at local school boards. We all know the FBI has a reputation of protecting the powerful and trampling on justice. We’ve seen this before. To preserve our democratic republic, the FBI needs serious reform. We want our new Representatives and Senators to break it up, devolve it!
WASHINGTON, D.C. — With many Americans up in arms over the unprecedented raid of former President Trump’s residence in Mar-a-Lago by the FBI, Attorney General Garland released a statement to assure everyone the raid was completely justified. Eyewitnesses noted he looked unusually fetching in an elegant Dolce & Gabbana evening gown and a Dior sun hat.
“We wouldn’t raid Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate or Melania’s wardrobe unless it was absolutely, 100% necessary,” said Garland. “I resent any accusation that this raid was influenced by partisan politics or my insatiable desire to wear pretty designer dresses.” The Attorney General then did a little spin in his purple gown as the press gasped with delight.
FBI Director Christopher Wray echoed the statement as he strode up to the Hoover Building in a dazzling pair of diamond-encrusted Alexander McQueen stilettos. “The men and women of the FBI are paragons of unassailable integrity and impartiality, and any suggestion otherwise is murderous treason, we’re just a little jealous.” he said. Several news outlets present also noted the delicious smell of Chanel No.5 in the air and that Hunter had a stunning new diamond stud in his right ear.
At publishing time, Trump took to Truth Social to announce that all his golf clubs were also missing.
Sen. Mike Regan represents Pennsylvania’s 31st Senatorial District covering parts of Cumberland and York counties.
In this nation one of the most sacred rights is the principle of one person, one vote. It’s the bedrock of our democratic process upon which more than two centuries of freedom, progress, and stability have flourished.
But lately, it seems confusion and distrust have eroded that foundation, leaving the people that my colleagues and I represent in the Senate desperate for restoration.
In May, a Franklin and Marshall poll found more than half of respondents expressed dissatisfaction with the way Pennsylvania conducts elections. A survey from the same college conducted six months earlier found that 40% of voters supported an election audit.
No matter where you stand on election integrity, these polls are quite telling. There’s an old adage that says avoiding the appearance of impropriety carries as much weight, if not more, than the impropriety itself. It’s clear the public perceives wrongdoing in our electoral process, and it’s vital that we restore their trust.
That’s why I proudly supported a bipartisan package of election reform legislation approved as part of the 2022-23 budget process, which includes two constitutional amendments that – if approved again in the next legislative session – would ask Pennsylvanians to decide whether ID be required in order to vote and whether the Auditor General should conduct post-election audits.
As I pointed out in my remarks on the Senate floor during final passage of the bill, my career as a criminal investigator taught me that individuals who conceal their identities typically have nefarious motives for doing so.
Beyond that, identification provides access to every facet of modern life – from signing a lease, to securing a mortgage, to applying for medical benefits, buying cough medicine, donating blood and adopting a pet, to name a few.
One of my personal favorites is the municipality in my district that requires photo identification for recycling yard waste and debris at their compost facility.
Showing ID is not a controversial topic for any of these ordinary activities, so why is it for exercising one of our fundamental constitutional rights?
This constitutional amendment regarding Voter ID is a step toward protecting our voting system, to preserving the right to vote and to making sure our elections are fair. This is exactly what Pennsylvanians asked us to do.
Another constitutional amendment within the legislation would give the independently elected auditor general the authority to conduct more thorough audits of election administration, instead of the existing questionable and inadequate process that’s led by the governor’s politically appointed Secretary of State. It’s a valuable reform that would provide an added layer of transparency and ease voters’ concerns about the way elections are conducted across 67 counties.
Because, after all, elections should function identically across all jurisdictions, given the precedence of state law. As we all know, that’s not what happened in November 2020.
In addition to court decisions and Department of State advisories leading some counties to implement different practices, in the months leading up to the general election the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL) granted $22.5 million to 23 counties to assist in election administration amid the pandemic.
Some local officials called these donations “life-saving” in multiple media reports.
However, just one-third of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties seemed to know about the grant program, despite all of them facing budget constraints brought on by the COVID-19 response. Even the Department of State took a $2.4 million donation from the CTCL.
The organization awarded roughly $350 million to more than 2,500 jurisdictions across the country for election administration costs in 2020. The vast majority of that money came out of the pocket of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
If CTCL truly cared about helping local officials conduct free and fair elections amid the unprecedented conditions of the pandemic, there’d be no ambiguity around the application process. We wouldn’t be learning about these dark money donations after-the-fact, as was the case in 2020.
That’s why Act 88 of 2022 garnered bipartisan support when being voted on by the legislature. This new law bans unscrupulous funding from influencing the outcome of our elections and instead implements a state-based funding mechanism.
This levels the playing field for all counties and ensures every single one can access the resources they need to keep the ballot box free and fair for all.
These first steps we’ve taken will begin to shore up the foundation of our democracy once again, but we are far from done.
After all, we have a responsibility to ensure faith, trust and integrity in all aspects of government, most importantly in how we choose those who govern us. We need these reforms to ensure that trust is never eroded again.
This election sharply contrast two diametrically opposed views of the world. A hackneyed worn out socialist 1984 style fascism versus a vibrant entrepreneurial freedom of choice democracy. A party apparatchik versus a self made independent thinker.
Note the difference in the Labor Participation Rate before COVID and last month. (63.4 vs 62.1) Too many working age Americans are still out of the labor force! You’re not seeing this covered in the Media because it does’t support their agenda.
UPPER GWYNEDD — A pair of lines in a county document approved last month have spurred a lengthy debate, and quite a few questions, for township officials.
Township residents grilled the board Monday night over a proposed project on Pennbrook Parkway that’s been on the drawing board for much of the year, and its recent inclusion in a county plan.
“Those things that are going on with that project, with the county, with applying for grants, that has nothing to do with this board’s approvals, which are land development-related,” said Township Manager Sandra Brookley Zadell.
Throughout that discussion, staff have said that only members of the township’s internal plan review committee have been part of those discussions, and no formal plan has been submitted for land development approval, while the applicant — named by staff during prior meetings as The Walters Group — has discussed applying for a zoning change first before any formal plan.
Those talks continued Monday night, with several residents noting, and querying, the board and staff on recent references to that project in a county document. On July 21 the Montgomery County commissioners adopted a 2022 update to their Housing Action Plan spelling out how roughly $11 million from several federal grant programs would be allocated to projects across the county, including two references to allocations totaling $1.3 million for a project listed as the “Cornerstone at Pennbrook Station” in Upper Gwynedd.
“Basically, the county seat is acting as a middleman between you, the board of commissioners of our township, and the federal government, which is bringing money from the government to us by using the Walters group,” said resident Carl Smith.
“The name ‘Cornerstone’ is interesting to me. That indicates a building block, a fundamental component to building a building. It’s the first thing you put in place. Is this the first thing that’s being put in place, and do we have more of these building blocks to look forward to?” he said.
Smith then asked if the commissioners or township endorsed “any grant application submitted to any funding source” by that developer, and board President Denise Hull said she or staff would reply to both questions, directly to Smith and in public at a subsequent meeting. Zadell then added that “the township has nothing to do with the name of the parcel, or of the development, and we are not in control of which projects come toward us.”
Linda Smith asked if the project would be considered “subsidized housing,” and Hull replied that no specific plan has been presented to the full board.
“They’ve given us preliminary ideas, we have sketch plans. We’re at the very introductory part. In this phase, things change all the time, so for us to comment on any specific of that plan is just premature,” Hull said.
Hull added that more specifics would be available once the ordinance is “more nailed down,” to which Linda Smith asked when that would happen, and Hull answered that it would be dependent on the developer.
“When and if it comes in front of the board, it’ll be advertised, the property will be posted, public notice will be provided, and I’m sure there’ll be announcements by the board. It has not been scheduled for a public hearing,” said solicitor Lauren Gallagher.
Resident Karen Verrillo asked for more information on the township’s comprehensive plan, which was updated in 2021, the surveys included in it, and how that plan set forth goals for future development. Commissioner Liz McNaney answered that the plan update started pre-COVIDand was meant to gather as much community feedback as possible and set goals for upcoming years, while she had heard little, and not seen any plans or the county information, about the Pennbrook project.
“What Carl said about ‘Cornerstone,’ I haven’t even heard that yet. That’s news to me,” she said.
“With the Walters group, I still don’t have all the answers. I know they went from 60 down to 44, and from what I read, I think they said they wanted four units to be affordable housing for people. Is that correct?” McNaney said, and Hull replied, “That’s why we shouldn’t really be talking much about it, because it’s very preliminary,” before McNaney added “There’s a chance that I might vote against it, too. I am learning with you.”
Zadell added that the report from the county about their housing priorities and funding decisions was separate and distinct from any action at the township level.
“We’re not the same organization, we’re a completely different governmental unit. So if the county is giving grants to an applicant, yes, we might write a letter of support. In this case, we did not,” Zadell said.
Fred Hencken asked if the board or staff knew why the Walters group had applied for the funding, and Zadell said she had “no idea why the applicant is applying to the county for funding, when they don’t have approval” from the township for any plans or the zoning change.
“That’s their prerogative, as the property owner, to do whatever they want with their property. And that’s all I can say. But it has nothing to do with the approvals that this board will render, or will not render,” she said.
Resident Roger Hammond said he didn’t understand “how one-point-something million dollars can be approved by anybody, without a written proposal, approved at the local level. That tells me that the county is pulling strings — which means politics — the state is pulling strings, or the federal government is pulling strings,” he said.
He and Gallagher then engaged in a back-and-forth, with the attorney reiterating that no formal plan has yet been proposed, and any decisions would be made after public discussions.
“If that application is to move forward, it requires several different approvals from this board. Right now, the only thing that has even been suggested is zoning amendments,” she said.
Tom Borneman asked again if the township knew why the project was included in the county plan update, and Zadell answered that the board has, in the past, applied to the county for funds for its own projects, but knew nothing about that specific application.
“We did not apply for any grants on behalf of the Walters Group. The board of commissioners did not authorize a letter of support on behalf of the Walters Group,” she said.
“I welcome you to submit an open records request, and I will gladly fill it for you very quickly, because I’m certain — unless some staff member did something here without telling me — that we did not do that,” Zadell said.
Borneman answered: “I just want to be clear … the people in this township do not want this.” McNaney countered, “They don’t want what? They don’t want affordable housing in Upper Gwynedd Township?” spurring another back-and-forth on definitions of “affordable.”
After the close of the hearing, Zadell gave a detailed presentation outlining the steps needed for any project going through the land development process versus any zoning change. Assistant Manager Megan Weaver filled in for planning and zoning officer Van Rieker, who was absent, to give a brief report on planning and zoning projects.
“I know we discussed this in detail tonight, but on Van’s report is the proposed zoning map and text amendment for 1500 Pennbrook Parkway, the proposal for approximately 44 dwelling units in the transit overlay district. And that draft is still being reviewed,” Weaver said.
Call some friends and exercise your 1st Amendment rights when the Upper Gwynedd’s commissioners next meet at 7 p.m. on Aug. 16 at the township administration building, 1 Parkside Place. For more information or meeting agendas and materials visit www.UpperGwynedd.org.
Insanity! Pennsylvania Dept. of Education Provides Students with Preferred-Personal Pronouns ‘Ne, Ve, Ze, and Xe,’ and Asserts that Even 3-Year-Olds Can Identify as Transgender
“According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, children as young as three years old can identify themselves as transgender, and the department recognizes the pronouns “ne, ve, ze/zie, and xe” as valid options for use.”
“As stated on the Department of Education’s website in the section titled “Creating Gender-Inclusive Schools and Classrooms,” teachers are urged to inquire as to their students’ preferred pronouns to prevent making inaccurate assumptions about their gender identities.”
“In addition to the traditional pronouns (he/him, she/her, they), some people prefer to use gender-neutral pronouns, such as ne, ve, ze/zie and xe,” according to the website. “If you don’t know a student’s preferred personal pronoun, it’s always best to ask.”
The website also provides a definition of “binary gender” as the “faulty concept that there are only two genders: male and female.”
From Pennsylvania’s Department of Education:
Gender Diversity: Words You Should Know
Assigned Gender: The gender a baby is given upon birth, usually based on the child’s birth sex.
Binary Gender: The faulty concept that there are only two genders: male and female.
Birth Sex/Biological Sex: A specific set of genetic, chemical and anatomical characteristics that we are either born with or that develop as we mature.
Cisgender: Describes a person whose birth sex and gender identity align.
Genderqueer: A broad descriptor many people use to indicate a person does not identify as either male or female.
Gender Expression/Gender Presentation: How we show our gender to the world through external choices (e.g. dress, behavior, hairstyle).
Gender Identity: How we feel about our gender in our hearts and minds.
Preferred Personal Pronouns: In addition to the traditional pronouns (he/him, she/her, they), some people prefer to use gender-neutral pronouns, such as ne, ve, ze/zie and xe. If you don’t know a student’s preferred personal pronoun, it’s always best to ask.
Transgender: Describes anyone whose gender identity and birth sex do not align. The word should be used as, “transgender,” not “transgendered.” For example, “My brother Sam is transgender. His birth name was Samantha.”
The definitions on the education department website were cited from a 2013 article by Carrie Kilman called “The Gender Spectrum,” which claims that “some kids know their gender identities and birth sexes don’t match almost as soon as they begin to talk” and that kids are capable of identifying as gender-fluid as young as 3.
“This article shares research and insights on how gender identity differs from biological sex, and how educators can help support students who are gender non-conforming or gender expansive,” the PDE website says about Kilman’s article.
The education department webpage, which is intended as a resource guide for educators, also includes a lesson guide for teachers to host a “gender-neutral day” in their classrooms for grades 3-12.
The guide says that as part of the activity, students should pick two to three ways they will reject gender stereotypes for the day, and the teacher should make specific commitments to challenge gender norms in the classroom.
On Tuesday Night, August 9th 2022, The Upper Gwynedd Township Republican Committee will hold their Monthly Committee Meeting at Touchstone, 142 S Broad St, Lansdale, PA 19446 at 7:00 PM. At this Special Meeting , all of the 14 recently elected Committee Members will be presented their Certificates of Election by Liz Havey, the Chairwoman of the Montgomery County Republican Party. Also, chairman of the Upper Gwynedd Township Republican Committee, Tom Borneman, will present each Member their Official Committee Name Tag. All Associate Members are Invited to join in the celebration. Our regular monthly meeting will take place after the presentation.
“Call it a recession or stagflation or a slowdown or a transitory blip or even Ethel or Fred—however you name it, the U.S. economy described in Thursday’s GDP report for the second quarter is struggling. That’s distressing for the American families and businesses living through it, and a political liability for the Democrats presiding over it. No wonder they want to pretend it’s not happening.” WSJ
Residents grill board on project proposal early in the process
In a demonstration of their power over the Community, the Commissioners disregard the concerns of traffic congestion, water run off, pollution & urbanization of our Township despite campaign pledges to conserve open space & claims they wanted to improve the quality of life in Upper Gwynedd.
From the Sunday, July 24, 2022 Reporter:
“UPPER GWYNEDD Residents are continuing to sound off about a proposed project on Pennbrook Parkway in Upper Gwynedd. Several residents continued to ask for specifics on that proposed project, and township officials continue to say there’s nothing specific to discuss yet.
‘It has not been presented to the planning commission yet. I don’t have a date for you, because I’m not sure where we are in the process — we’re still reviewing the draft,’ said township Manager Sandra Brookley Zadell.” But the Commissioners and the Solicitor seem dazed and confused about transparency and process. They continue to put the quality of life of Upper Gwynedd Township residents in jeopardy. For the full text follow the link below:
The administrative state is overriding the democratic process here in Pennsylvania by enacting an authoritarian carbonpricing program that imposes an unlawful tax. Residents of Upper Gwynedd Township along with the other Pennsylvanians are going to have their utility rates raised by these unlawful regulations. Roughly four dozen power plants in Pennsylvania must buy hundreds of millions of dollars in carbon credits annually and you will have to pay more for electricity and natural gas. It’s going to be much worse if the progressive Democrats win the Governorship and the Legislature. The candidates we support will put a stop to unelected progressives working in State agencies from ruining your quality of life.
Upper Gwynedd Commissioners consider amending the Township’s Zoning Code. This action will unnecessarily contribute to the Township’s population density.
At this meeting the Township’s Planning Consultant will be presenting an explanation of the rationale behind the Commissioners intentions.
In recent months Upper Gwynedd Republicans have been tracking this initiative. We Republicans have yet to receive anything from the Board of Commissioners that remotely justifies the introduction of high density housing in a neighborhood where it does not belong. The site currently Zoned Light Industrial (LI), and is located off Pennbrook Parkway and Church Rd.
This action appears to be yet another example of our Township Commissioners falling in line with other Democrat controlled municipalities behind a national progressive political agenda that will contribute to the transformation of Upper Gwynedd in the direction of undesirable urbanization.
The Upper Gwynedd Township Republican Committee urges ALL concerned Township residents to attend the Commissioner meeting scheduled for Tonight. Monday, July 11th. @ 7:00 pm
Pennsylvania Senate candidate John Fetterman used a security detail paid for with taxpayer funding on a vacation to the Jersey Shore in mid-2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, reports The Washington Free Beacon.
Fetterman, a Democrat and the current lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, made the trip when the Pennsylvania Department of Health warned against nonessential travel to curb a surge in cases during the pandemic. If it weren’t for double standards, he’d have no standards at all!
He was also advocating for strict coronavirus lockdowns, masking, and other measures at the time.
Typical Socialist elite above the rules they make: Good for Thee But Not for Me.
The National Education Association’s (NEA) annual conference is underway, and the teachers union is voting on calling for a national policy of mandatory masking, creating an enemies list, and rejecting the words “mother” and “father.”
“NEA is a social justice union that is a majority female and trans and gender non-confirming folx,” calling to “publicly stand in defense of abortion” and calling abortion limits an attack on “students, families, and communities.” The NEA will publicize its commitment to “young people’s right to learn about and develop their own sexual orientation and gender identity.”
Time for the North Penn Education Association and Pennsylvania State Education Association to denounce the NEA.
America can now rejoin the ranks of nearly every other developed democracy, placing basic, democratically enacted limitations on when in a pregnancy an abortion may occur. Instead of a debate shrouded in legal jargon, we can finally have the necessary conversation about whether this is an acceptable practice in a civilized society.
Pennsylvania is turning RED and Upper Gwynedd is the vanguard.
A political shift is beginning to take hold across the U.S. as tens of thousands of suburban swing voters who helped fuel the Democratic Party’s gains in recent years are becoming Republicans. And in Pennsylvania, the Republicans went from 58 to 63 percent of party changers.
One of the best comments about the Biden Presidency! This might be called the Democratic version of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT). He has no common sense, no political sense and, of course, no economic sense.
In an interview for the Delaware Valley Journal podcast, Havey said it’s important for the public to have faith that their votes will be counted. But with the drop box system, “there are so few security measures in place right now, that getting rid of the one or two ones that we have makes the election less secure and makes people believe that there’s an opportunity for fraud and that fraud has occurred. And what we’re trying to do is not disenfranchise voters. We’re trying to get people to vote.”
“I think people will vote their pocketbook,” said Havey. “There’s a lot of energy upset and anger against the Democrats in general and, according to polls, independents are dramatically breaking for Republicans two and three to one at this point.”
Join the winning UGTRC team this summer and have your voice heard in the fall.
Even at the grassroots level here in Upper Gwynedd Township, we realize the feckless and incompetent policies of the Democratic Socialist running the country are driving us to a bleak future. They’re clueless, everything is going wrong under their watch. We didn’t need a National Security Council member, Brett Bruen, to tell us that Biden was dangerous– but he did! “Biden’s careless comments are hurting his presidency and diplomacy. He needs a reset.”
“At the very least, from our own hemisphere to the Asia Pacific region, we have unnecessarily undermined our standing and irresponsibly handed propaganda points to our adversaries. Something needs to fundamentally change in how this White House deals with diplomacy.” But a reset won’t help, what we we can do is to replace his local enabler, Madeleine Dean, with Christian Nascimento. This new generation of Republican leaders understands how America can restore the Constitutions principles that make us the envy of the world.
It is unimaginable how far we’ve fallen in such a short period of time, and we must drastically reverse course. Join the UGTRC team and help us make Upper Gwynedd, the State of Pennsylvania and the United States of America into a place where people can prosper and retain the quality of life we deserve. To have your voice heard click on the CONTACT button on the menu bar. Organize your friends and neighbors to strengthen America.
We can all feel just how much life has changed since last year with liberals like Dean in complete control of Washington. Here are just a few ways our country is much different than it was 12 short months ago:
– Gasoline prices are up 55% – hitting record highs in all 50 states – Diesel fuel prices are up 75% – We have seen the most significant one-year inflation increase since 1981 – Baby formula is no longer available in American grocery stores – American families have an average of $9,000 less in savings – Unemployment has increased for women, Hispanic Americans, and Black Americans – Gun violence and illegal possession are up more than 100% in Philadelphia and convictions have steeply declined
Madeleine Dean’s leadership is leaving Americans behind. It’s shameful.
In another documented case of voter fraud, “A former congressman from Philadelphia pleaded guilty Monday to charges related to fraudulently stuffing ballot boxes for Democratic candidates between 2014 and 2018.” When the media and other propagandist tell you there is no such thing as ballot harvesting or tampering with the voting process they either are delusional or deliberately manipulating you. A corrupt media corrupts the integrity of elections, and the constant flow of negative stories from journalists out to get Republicans undermines public faith in their ability to report basic facts.
After participating in a George Soros sponsored White Fragility study group, the Board of Commissioner’s has determined that the residents of Upper Gwynedd Township are far too fragile to follow the actual 2040 Comprehensive Plan.
The Government Affairs Committee of our local Chamber of Commerce is pleased to welcome Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, PA-01 (R) and Congresswoman Madeleine Dean, PA-04 (D) to join us for breakfast and an update from DC. The Representatives will share their perspective on issues of concern for businesses and individuals including the economy, healthcare and foreign affairs.
The event will be held at the William Penn Inn on Friday, May 6 from 8:00 – 9:30am. Breakfast will be served Members: $30.00 Nonmembers: $30.00 with code “Promo” To register on line use the link below:
“Pennsylvania lawmakers in 2019 decided to allow mail-in voting for the first time. They enacted a statute providing that “a completed mail-in ballot must be received in the office of the county board of elections no later than eight o’clock P.M. on the day of the primary or election.” In 2020 the state Democratic Party went to court, arguing that in light of the Covid pandemic, the deadline “results in an as-applied infringement” of the right to vote.
The Democrat-dominated Pennsylvania Supreme Court—its members are chosen in partisan elections—sided with the party and ordered a deadline extension, even as it acknowledged the statutory language was clear and unambiguous. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal, so the 2020 election was conducted under this and other new, judge-imposed rules. The U.S. Constitution mandates that state legislatures [not the Courts] make the laws governing federal elections for Congress and the presidency. The Pennsylvania ruling was therefore unconstitutional.”
Your Upper Gwynedd Township Republican Committee is dedicated to free and fair elections and is staffing teams to work the polls in the Township.
The Upper Gwynedd Township Republican Committee follows the Light of Liberty. “The first elections of 2022 are just weeks away, and there are some basics readers should know before casting their votes.” Follow the link below for The Reporter Article.
UNITE or DIVIDE? Spinning contentious political issues to separate Pennsylvanians
Despite the best efforts of Berwood Yost, director of the Center for Opinion Research at the Lancaster college to spin the results, “the survey shows that 64% of registered voters approve of passing the law [prohibiting men identifying as women in female sports], with support coming from 80% of Republicans, 53% of independent voters and 30% of Democrats.
Yost said the findings of the poll were revealing, especially for state lawmakers who are currently debating these topics. Yost believes that these questions of DEI/CRT “are cultural wedge issues designed to generate support among particularly the Republican base.” No, Berwood, these are not Republican wedge issues, they are issues Democratic Socialist are using to normalize progressive dogma.
Revealing herself to a sympathetic woke base, Progressive lawmaker M. Dean calls her republican constituents ‘the mouths of a cult’ that has no agenda. Echoing the bigoted “clinging to their guns and bibles” slurs against Pennsylvanians in past Administrations, Madeleine Dean continues to demean the people she disagrees with. Along with smearing others she agreed that Democrats need to scare voters about democracy being at stake in order to be elected. The media and the Progressive machine all chant the same cult like fear mongering mantra.
“They have to scare the crap out of [the Democratic base] and get them to come out, “[The Democrats] can’t motivate them on the basis of hope or their pocketbooks or any of these accomplishments. They have to scare the crap out of them.”
According to Dean, all those who don’t agree with her “… do is whine and wallow about the things they are against, they never lift up anything that they are for. They only want to make you afraid of it. They only want to demonize the other. They have no plan. And I say this sincerely. I wish they had a plan. I wish they had an agenda. But this election is going to be clear, and we will retain, and I believe grow the majority both in the Senate and in the House,” she said.
She is detached from the reality of every day life in her district. She knows the people in Montgomery County believe in the Constitution, the separation of powers, equal rights under the law, justice in the application of the law and the right of self-determination. We are against Dean-like progressives and their attempts to deny us our rights.
The Fever of Identity Politics Drives Black America to the Republican Party
“Low-income Black Americans don’t share elite definition of diversity.” – Bob Woodson
Elites called out by African American Leaders for destroying culture and economic opportunities in America:
”It’s not only intolerant, but it’s insulting … they’re using the black issue about justice as the reason for the need for it [diversity], and I’m saying, that is just not shared by the majority of Black Americans. So, Black America, low-income Black Americans, do not share this passion for ‘racial diversity’ that is being thrust on down by Black and White elites.” They don’t identify as victims. The main beneficiaries of ‘diversity” hiring and training are already members of the elite and elite wannabes. The Code Switchers fooling the public. Whenever you hear “Diversity Inclusion Equity” (DIE) think grifter or “snake oil” saleswoman.
To borrow from President Obama’s lexicon, their peddling ”trickle-down snake oil” and the gullible can’t get enough.
“Is this the America you want, where Democrats say everyone is equal — but treat some “more equal” than others? In November, vote Republican to kill the cancel culture — before it becomes the cancer that kills America.”
A video obtained by the Montgomery County Republican Committee from Montgomery County through a right-to-know request appears to show a single person placing minimally six to seven ballots into a ballot drop box at the Upper Dublin Library on November 2, 2021.
Voters are only allowed to place their own ballot in the drop boxes. There is a process that allows a voter unable to visit a dropbox to designate a person to submit a ballot for them, but those ballots aren’t permitted to be submitted at a dropbox. Get in the fight to protect voting rights in Pennsylvania join us at UGRC. Volunteer.
“Historically Asians, at least Asian parents, are more interested in making a living and getting their kids through education than politics … But what we see is the dismantling of the education system and the parts of it that work. We have great schools. Schools that work really well. And they are just dismantling it. That is wrong. And that is why Asians are coming out by the thousands to volunteer, to campaign, to donate and to change the landscape.”
Upper Gwynedd Republican Committee Salutes the Lansdale Reporter During Sunshine Week
In a March 13, 2022 editorial the Lansdale Reporter talked about the challenging issues facing those seeking transparency in government: “Each year in March, news media organizations across the country highlight the importance of transparency in government and the work of journalists to ensure openness among elected officials.”
“The Pennsylvania News-Media Association, of which this newspaper [Lansdale Reporter] is a member, is the state sponsor of Sunshine Week to draw attention to the Sunshine Act and Open Records Law in Pennsylvania. These laws together guarantee the public’s right to access government information at public meetings and through public records, allowing the public to witness decision- making so that the democratic process functions properly — and to be made aware when the doors are closed.”
We, at UGRC, share the concern that “… the ability of officials to manipulate what reporters can see is a real danger, and the local press must be vigilant and the laws to ensure sunshine must be enforced.’ We are also concerned about the authoritarian response of local leaders when questioned.
As I’m sure many of you know, the NPSD has been challenged by the community at action meetings. Typically, during the public comment section, people who are exercising their rights and franchise are being called “obstructionist” because they follow the science. We all know the folly in mandating masks for children long after the science has shown masks don’t work. The speakers are being call “obstructionist” because they question the application of Marxist critical theory in the North Penn School District. It has gotten to the point that expressing your concern about an official you elected is called “abuse.” It’s clear that elected and appointed officials are abusing language and gas-lighting their own constituents. When they can’t defend their positions, they call us names. Many of those parents slandered by the rhetoric from the progressives on the Boards are intimidated and feel disenfranchised. They feel abused by the ad hominem attacks from the bully pulpit. Of course, that’s what the bullies want. When one person speaks up they are labeled a “crackpot,” when two speak up they are labeled “conspirators,” when three people speak up they are labeled “insurrectionists.” So we need to help these every day residents feel supported and let them know we appreciate everything they do for our community.
Did it all start at our own Penn State University? Give our local State representatives a message this fall. Vote to stop the progressive take over of our state.
“Law shapes as well as reflects culture, and Gail L. Heriot of the University of San Diego School of Law argues in her essay “The Roots of Wokeness” that those new Title VII damage remedies propelled the nation’s downward spiral into identity politics, speech regulation and an epidemic of irritability. ” Here’s the link to the Reporter article.
Issued by: Upper Gwynedd Township Republican Committee
Without disclosure or discussion at the Board’s February 7,2022 Public Workshop Meeting the Upper Gwynedd Township Board of Commissioners are poised to appoint a Public Relations firm, Galiey-Murray at an initial expense of $ 30,000.00. This appointment if approved at their Public Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, February 15th will take place regardless of the fact that there appears to be NO evidence that the Township prepared a Request for Proposal where the scope of work would be defined by the Township. There is also NO evidence that the Township interviewed other firms or even considered other firms. The decision to hire Galliey-Murray seems exclusively based on the recommendations of several other area Townships who coincidentally are controlled by the Democratic party.
Based on the appointment rationale memorandum written by Township Manager, Sandra Zadell the first priority project for Galiey-Murray is to assist the Township with the controversial and unjustified Open Space acquisition of the Martin Tract located at South Broad and Allentown Road.
At the September, 2021 the Board of Commissioners Meeting the Board was fully prepared to begin the condemnation process on the Martin Tract. That evening, their action failed to be approved due the public statements made by a group of concerned citizens, and the objections of the property owner, Mr. Thomas Martin. Mr. Martin stated that he was not given the courtesy or even advised by the Township that the Board was going to condemn his family’s property. The Board of Commissioners seemed stunned and due to the fortuitous absence of one Board member the action failed with a 2-2 tie vote. The Commissioners are a five (5) member Board. After being fully prepared to condemn private property in September at an expense of $ 2.9 million the Board of Commissioners now believe they need the help of Public Relations Firm to justify their actions at the expense of at least $ 30,000.00 of tax dollars
Upper Gwynedd Republicans question the need and secrecy that is at the heart of this proposed action. We urge the taxpayers of Upper Gwynedd to oppose this wasteful and unjustified expenditure of tax dollars.
Re: Upper Gwynedd Township Board of Commission consider the acquisition of the Martin Tract located at Allentown Road and South Broad St.
This press release is issued by the Upper Gwynedd Township Republican Committee (UGTRC). The Committee’s intent is to provide the residents and tax payers of the Township with factual information about this issue and to provide the voters and taxpayers an alternate view from the position held by the current ALL Democrat Board. The UGTRC believe that simple common sense should be considered on this issue and towards all other issues related to the management and operation of the Township.
The residents of Upper Gwynedd currently enjoy an existing inventory of 830 acres of mixed use open space. This inventory was created through the vision and hard work performed by the previous Republican controlled Township Boards. Previous Boards carefully included ALL of the salient factors in the deliberations to preserve open space. Political gain was never considered. Over the years very few acres were preserved via an expenditure of tax dollars. The current Board proposes to spend millions of tax dollars to acquire the 33-acre Martin property. WHY ?
The current Board wants Township tax payers to believe that their proposed purchase was a product of their recently approved (August 2021) 2040 UGT Comprehensive Plan. Township Minutes from 2017 reveal that this acquisition was really hatched by Commissioners Liz McNaney and Denise Hull when they were manufacturing issues for their 2017 campaign for Township Commissioner. In 2017 the previous Republican controlled Board of Commissioners explained to both then candidates McNaney and Hull that there was limited interest on the part of the Township in acquiring any part of the Martin property due to its market value. The law requires that fair market value determines what the Township would have to pay the owners to acquire the site. This expense, along with the current and future tax revenue producing potential of the property and other priorities made the acquisition unjustified. The position held by the previous Board of Commissioners yielded the construction of 26 high end tax yielding homes that were recently built on the portion of the Martin Tract located on the north side of Allentown Road. The position of the prior Board of Commissioners was formed and held in the context of a simple cost benefit assessment and was not driven by a means to gain political favor.
Yes, this site was included in the Township’s 2004 Open Space Plan. Research reveals that all existing substantial tracts were required to be listed in the Plan that was mandated by the Montgomery County Open Space Initiative. Every community in Montgomery County was required to prepare a plan. It would be a factual statement to say that through Republican leadership and careful planning, Upper Gwynedd Township was a model for wise open space preservation decades before any member of the current ALL Democrat Board was elected and before Montgomery County created their Open Space Initiative.
At the September 21, 2021 Board of Commissioners meeting the current Democrat Board came dangerously close to wasting nearly $ 3.0 million of your tax dollars to acquire this site through a process called Eminent Domain (Condemnation). If it were not for the objections of the owner and questions asked by
Upper Gwynedd Republicans and others who were in attendance the action would have been approved by our current Board. Fortunately for the tax payers of the Township there was a Commissioner absent and the measure failed on a 2-2 tie vote. Prior to the vote it was revealed by the owner that he had previously expressed a willingness to donate a portion of his tract to the Township as part of a negotiated land development plan. The current Board found themselves in an extremely embarrassing situation. Apparently acquiring a portion of this property at NO COST was NOT good enough for the current Board of Commissioners. The current Board was fully prepared to condemn the entire tract at an appraised value of $ 2.9 million to satisfy a poorly thought out 2017 political promise made by Commissioners McNaney and Hull.
In a recent Philadelphia Inquirer article (1-16-22) Commissioner Liz McNaney distorted the facts to advance the current Board’s agenda. In that article Commissioner McNaney stated that the Township owned “211 acres of municipal park space”. Her statement completely ignores the active open space owned by other agencies like the Wissahickon Valley Watershed (Green Ribbon Trail) and the expansive 240 acre Natural Lands Trust property (which includes a network of nature trails) located off Swedesford Road. McNaney further understates the recreation space available to residents in this neighborhood by ignoring Lansdale’s expansive Whites Rd. Park which is located within 750 feet of the Martin tract. Perhaps Commissioner McNaney does not know that the Whites Rd. Park is physically located in Upper Gwynedd Township. The previous Republican Board worked hard with both the Wissahickon Valley Watershed and the Natural Lands Trust organizations to advance the cause of open space protection and recreation, at ZERO cost to the Township tax payers. Prior elected Boards applied an efficient systems approach towards its Parks and Open Space strategy.
The public should also be aware of the fact that under eminent domain law the Martin family has a right to contest the fair market value offer made by the Township. Through taking the matter to a Jury of View proceeding the acquisition cost to the Township can increase substantially above the currently held $ 2.9 million value. These costs do not include what the Township will spend developing and permanently maintaining the site in accordance with their unjustified vision.
Lastly, despite continued requests made by Upper Gwynedd Republicans, the current Board and its staff have yet to produce or make public an economic impact study that would estimate the real estate tax revenue that will be permanently lost to the Township, County and the School District. Such a study will reveal the millions of dollars that will be lost once the Township takes ownership in perpetuity. Any clear minded individual realizes that this loss is increased exponentially when you factor in the value of the property after it being developed in a reasonable manner with community and neighborhood input. Upper Gwynedd Republicans would include public neighborhood input as to how this tract might be privately developed in the future.
Upper Gwynedd Republicans propose a common sense view of this entire issue. The existing 830 ACRE inventory of mixed use open space disbursed throughout the Township represents an outstanding accomplishment for the residents, environment and for wildlife. The existing inventory is 7X the recommended inventory prescribed by several agencies including the Commonwealth of Pa. We simply do not believe that there is any justification for this acquisition. This belief is further substantiated when considering the use of the Township’s power of eminent domain and the associated expenditure of millions of precious tax dollars. The UGTRC believes that the use of the governmental power of eminent domain (condemnation) should be used exclusively for land acquisitions involving necessity not for the fulfillment of a frivolous political campaign promise.