Mindy Fee fighting Steve Black here in Pennsylvania’s 37th state rep district.

I want to move off the subject of Japan-side expat, freelance journalists fighting with each other on Twitter, to more important matters.

Like the Republican primary race here in the 37th District to see who will become the Republican nominee for State Representative.  (This is like an Assemblyman in New Jersey, where I’m from.   Lord knows what in Japan—because you don’t have states.)

I was so surprised to see lawn signs popping up around the boro, because I thought our current state rep, Tom Creighton, was in there good.   He seems pretty popular around northern Lancaster, and I visited his office 2 or 3 times on the Temple Japan rent issue.

So, one day, as I said, I see these signs for Fee and Black.   Well, it turned out that Tom is retiring, and grabbing that nice-sized pension that Pennsylvania puts out there for elected government officials.   “Hey, if you can get it” must be, like, the motto of the early 21st century.   But I digress.

So I don’t know anything about Fee and Black.   One thing I do know, though, is that Lancaster County has been Republican since Abraham Lincoln—even though Lincoln would go into one of his melancholies if he came back to life and saw what the contemporary Republican party has turned into.

I can give you 50 years of history, or more, about Somerset County, New Jersey; something about Philadelphia.   Lancaster is really unknown.   And so, to me, Fee and Black were also unknowns.    I went down to the Meet the Candidates event, where there were about 60 citizens of the good district, and I listened.

When you are a Republican nowadays, running for something, you just keep repeating about how effen conservative you are.   Makes you sick.   There is a whole litmus test, like it was ripped out of a prayer book.   A Nicene Creed of what you faithfully support.   It’s all these friggen social issues that the power people use as excuses to do nothing to fix the economy.   Since you’re talking to retirees, they “got theirs” already, so you don’t bring up anything about cut social security and Medicare.   Otherwise, you would need police escorts from one meet-and-greet to the other.    So you talk up guns and abortion.   And gays, too, in the context of “what is a real marriage”.   Oh, and don’t legalize pot, like that would really happen in Pennsylvania.

So Ms. Fee and Mr. Black affirm their pledges, and then, finally, it gets to the question that I had:   the multiple, full-color flyers that are clogging up the family mailbox.    Where is the money coming from, Mr. Black, for all of these mailings?    Black gave a standardized answer, saying that most was from inside the county, with some coming from supporter-friends in Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre.   But that really was the meat of it, to me.    When I got home, I looked up the rudimentary filings that Pennsylvania requires about contributions to candidates.    Other “friends”, it turns out, were a big law firm, the local building and construction lobby, and one other big local advocacy group.   Not Mom and Pop money, unless you look at near-billionaire Mitt and Ann Romney as a Mom and Pop.   After all, she worked taking care of the kids.

I concluded that Black was trying to use direct mailings, funding by special interests and shadow money, to buy the election out from underneath Mindy Fee.

Some people kiss off elections, because they can’t stand the smell around them.   But I carefully analyze my two choices—even though the whole election will not be decided by my one, sole, vote.   I will most likely vote for the Democrat in the Fall, but for April, I am voting for Mindy Fee.   Since the Republicans do well in Lancaster, if Fee wins, it will probably be Fee in office next January.

[Update 4/25/12: It looks like Mindy Fee won.]

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9 comments

  1. Leslie P. · April 18, 2012

    Stumbled upon your blog after googling Mindy Fee and Steve Black. The latter’s ugly direct mailings and robocalls (falsly accusing Fee of supporting Clinton and Gore b/c she dared to register as a democrat so she could support a candidate in primaries in 1996 and 2000 primaries) are loathesome. I hope the electorate becomes as annoyed as you and I and tells him and his special interests to take a hike next Tuesday!

  2. Check CB · April 19, 2012

    I stumbled onto this doing the same google search and wonder a few things.

    1 – If you are so concerned about social issues, why aren’t you upset at Fee as well who is promoting herself as 100% pro life?

    2- Where did Black ever say anything about Fee that wasn’t true? I read the mailings: Black never said she voted for Clinton or Gore, never said she supported them. What he said is she switched parties to join the Dem Party when they were the head of the party and this was their agenda. He also pointed out — proving it with her own words — that she switched to vote for Tom Foley (a pro-choice candidate) over several pro-life candidates.

    Fee can (and has tried to) change the subject and accused Black of lying – but the things she says he lied about, he never said. I guess that makes her a liar, too? (except for her lie can be proved)

    • hoofin · April 19, 2012

      Well, I think you have a couple things wrong:

      1) If you actually read what I said, I am more concerned about economic issues. “Pro Life”, as espoused by some, is its own silly little chestnut. They never say anything about giving potential mothers any money to raise children. Netherlands has a very open abortion law, PLUS a very generous child support. They even pay for the crib and the diapers. As a result, the abortion rate in the Netherlands is lower than in America. Explain that to me. Few “pro life” people can.

      2) On your second point, this is what Steve Black seems to be saying about Mindy Fee: Because Mindy Fee supported her [late] husband’s friend, Tom Foley, who was running against [Democrat] Bob Casey Junior for Auditor General, it means that Mindy Fee subscribed to everything going on in the Clinton-Gore administration. Additionally, it suggests that I’m an idiot, and anyone else is, who thinks that the Auditor General position has anything to do with abortion in Pennsylvania. Mindy Fee switched parties to vote in a primary. Many, many people have been registered Democratic and Republican along the years—including Arlen Specter, who was well-regarded in this state. This is a moderate state, despite what the bully loudmouth, so-called conservatives think. Are they still calling themselves “the Tea Party”? They have to keep changing the marketing, because they turn so many people off.

      Steve Black is insulting the voting populace. He is using shadow money from wealthy, powerful, interests to inject non-issues—phony controversy—into a public election. Mindy Fee is also conservative, but she is less of an unattractive candidate than Steve Black.

      • Check CB · April 20, 2012

        I have seen the mailers. Every single one of them included a positive portion about Mr. Black and a plan that focused, first and foremost, on Economic Issues.

        Second, I believe Ms. Fee switched for the reason you say, but she took FOUR YEARS to switch back. That, whether you agree or not, is an issue to a lot of Republican voters who are tired of “politics as usual” — and using Arlen Specter as an example is no great shakes to many of these Republican primary voters.

        Finally, what “shadow money” — he filed his campaign finance reports (on-line as a matter of fact, Ms. Fee’s were still not available this morning). They show EXACTLY who contributed to his campaign. Not very shadowy. And who contributed? Groups like Lancaster County Assoc of Realtors. Wow, there’s a scary group! And the PA Builders Assoc. – a group of people he built relationships with over 30 years as a business owner. The people who know him, support him. Shocking! I would be more concerned if they didn’t.

        • hoofin · April 20, 2012

          You say:

          They show EXACTLY who contributed to his campaign. Not very shadowy. And who contributed? Groups like Lancaster County Assoc of Realtors. Wow, there’s a scary group! And the PA Builders Assoc. – a group of people he built relationships with over 30 years as a business owner. The people who know him, support him. Shocking! I would be more concerned if they didn’t.

          This is what I mean. Myself–and most all other voters—don’t have a clue who the people are in these “groups”. Why does my representative have to be bought and paid for by the Pennsylvania Builders Association? Or the Lancaster County Association of Realtors? What do these people want from the next state representative?

          What it tells me is that the builders and realtors are making an issue about someone else’s registration to support a friend, which is a non-issue.

          If this is really about so-called Pro Life, then what do the builders and realtors have to say about crib and diaper money, like in Holland? Nothing.

          Do you see? The builders and realtors are stuffing mailboxes with something about a registration change, which allegedly “shows” that Mindy Fee supported the current law on abortion (which, by the way, a majority of the country, and probably Lancaster County, does, too.) Even though she herself does goes for total Pro Life. It sounds like the builders and realtors want to talk about something other than issues that would benefit them personally. Those get talked about in secret, in Harrisburg, after the election. Rather than now.

          • Leslie P. · April 20, 2012

            Thank you! I’ve gotten FOUR desperate mailers, attacking Black’s opponent, and a robocall doing the same. Paid for by interests outside of the 37th District that he’s running to represent. What do his contributors expect from him if he wins? And will he be looking out for THEM, or us, the people of the 37th District?

  3. Maribeth Petery · April 25, 2012

    I could not support either candidate because they strongly support school choice, or in other words, they will work to ruin PA’s pubic schools.

    • hoofin · April 25, 2012

      I am for using the income tax more (and property tax less) to fund schools. If Pennsylvania did that, I don’t think there would be such a push to have public school opt-outs.

  4. Pippa · January 22, 2013

    they get funding from realtors and builders because of federally mandated workforce housing initiatives…and feds are also anti sprawl so they want to mandate that any new housing be in already densified areas to save the earth, yeah right. many repubs are referring to themselves as conservatives but that is just to get the votes of low info voters like the dems have done for decades referring to themselves as the voice of the people, yeah right on both. Big sham on the tax payer from the get go. Libertarians know what is going on but have no power – yet.

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