Category Archives: Berks County

Let’s Hold Them Accountable

Now that the tea party and Republicans have taken back the House and control Harrisburg, let’s hold them accountable.

We want jobs, jobs, and more jobs.  We want jobs in Pennsylvania that employ Pennsylvanians.

Maloney promised to finally get rid of our property taxes.  We want no more property taxes. 

Toomey promised American jobs.  We want jobs in Pennsylvania and not jobs off shored to another country.

Gerlach promised jobs.  We want jobs in Pennsylvania and not jobs off shored to another country.

Corbett promised to not raise taxes.  We don’t want any more money taken out of our pay checks to bail out the State.

Republicans promised that they will reduce the deficit without touching our Social Security.  We will hold them to that.

Republicans promised to lower taxes for EVERYONE.  We will hold them to that.

They have two years to deliver:

  • Jobs, jobs and more jobs
  • No more property taxes
  • Deficit reduction
  • Lower taxes

We don’t want to dismantle the health care reform.  We want either single payer or public option health care to replace mandatory private insurance.

We don’t want to spend two years wasting tax payers money on frivolous investigations.  We want Congress to work on jobs and more jobs.

We don’t want our Social Security handed over to Wall Street.  We want the Government to honor their promise to our seniors and to not use Social Security to reduce the deficit.

We don’t want endless wars.  We want our troops home NOW.

We don’t want bank bailouts.  We want responsible bank and Wall Street regulations.

We don’t want to keep drilling deeper and deeper for oil and gas which destroys our environment.  We want renewable energy like wind power and solar power.

We don’t want to keep supporting big agriculture which sends us dangerous foods.  We want safe food, produced by local farms.

Two years… that’s all they have.

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Jim Gerlach’s Latest Campaign Literature and the Flat Out Lies Within.

The Lit:

Creating Jobs Here, Creating Jobs Now

Jim Gerlach has always aggressively worked to put Pennsylvania back to work by helping businesses create jobs. His Package of job-creation bills would increase credit to businesses looking to expand, and extend much-needed tax relief so small businesses can hire more employees, purchase new equipment, and offer incentives for companies to expand here at home instead of shipping jobs overseas to countries like China.

The FACTS:

Jim Gerlach voted NO on S 181 which project Smart Vote’s synopsis of the bill is: “Vote to pass a bill that redefines unlawful employment laws and counts each paycheck as an offense if a salary is ruled as discriminatory.”

Jim Gerlach voted NO on HR 4213 which project Smart Vote’s synopsis of the bill is: “Vote to concur with Senate amendments and adopt additional amendments to a bill that extends unemployment insurance provisions and amends tax law in various ways to extend tax credits and deductions and to offset expenses.”

Jim Gerlach voted NO on HR 2847 which project Smart Vote’s synopsis of the bill is: Vote to concur with Senate amendments and adopt additional amendments to a bill that appropriates funds, authorizes appropriations, issues new tax credits, and modifies existing tax credits for purposes related to employment, infrastructure, and transportation.

Jim Gerlach voted NO on HR 5522 which project Smart Vote’s synopsis of the bill is: “Vote to pass a bill that requires the Secretary of Labor to set safety standards for combustible dusts.”

Jim Gerlach voted NO on HR 800 which project Smart Vote’s synopsis of the bill is: “Vote to pass a bill that amends the National Labor Relations Act to eliminate a requirement for a vote to organize a labor union, outline a time frame for the bargaining process, and provide certain penalties for employers who attempt to influence the formation of a union.

The Conclusion: Jim Gerlach is ANTI-BUSINESS and ANTI-WORKER.

The Lit:

Cutting Government Wast and Reduce Record Debt

Record spending in Washington will soon triple our national debt. That’s why Jim voted against the failed 2009 trillion dollar “stimulus” bill, against record new debt and against runaway spending. Jim will always stand up for taxpayers, families and seniors. Jim also supports a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

THE FACTS:

Jim Gerlach voted NO on HR 5982 which the govtrack.us synopsis of the bill is: “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the expansion of certain information reporting requirements to corporations and to payments for property, to eliminate loopholes which encourage companies to move operations offshore, and for other purposes.”

Jim Gerlach voted YES on HR 4818 which project Smart Vote’s synopsis of the bill is: “Vote to pass a bill that appropriates $821.9 billion in funding for various departments and programs for fiscal year 2005.”

Jim Gerlach voted YES on HR 5631 which project Smart Vote’s synopsis of the bill is:Vote to adopt a bill that appropriates $418.32 billion to the Department of Defense and related agencies.”

The Conclusion: Jim Gerlach is PRO TAX LOOPHOLE FOR THE RICH and PRO BIG SPENDING AND ADDING TO THE NATIONAL DEBT WITH “STIMULUS” WHEN THE PRESIDENT IS GEORGE W. BUSH.

The Lit:

Providing Tax Relief

Extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts which will help create jobs and stop the largest tax increase in American history from occurring in January 2011.

THE FACTS:

Jim Gerlach voted NO on HR 4351 which project Smart Vote’s synopsis of the bill is: “Vote to pass a bill that extends the alternative minimum tax credit and adjusts the repayment plan for nonqualified deferred compensation.”

Jim Gerlach voted NO on HR 4154 which project Smart Vote’s synopsis of the bill is: “Vote to pass a bill that permanently sets the estate tax exclusion amount (the amount of an estate that is exempt from the estate tax) at the 2009 level of $3.5 million, permanently sets the maximum estate and gift tax rates at the 2009 level of 45 percent, and reinstates the statutory Pay-As-You-Go budget rule.”

Jim Gerlach voted NO on HR 5982 which the govtrack.us synopsis of the bill is: “To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the expansion of certain information reporting requirements to corporations and to payments for property, to eliminate loopholes which encourage companies to move operations offshore, and for other purposes.”

The Conclusion: Jim Gerlach is PRO TAX LOOPHOLE FOR THE RICH and ANTI TAX RELIEF FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS.

The Lit:

Stopping Illegal Immigration

Secure our borders once and for all, complete the border fence, and oppose amnesty which rewards law breakers and will bankrupt Social Security and destroy Medicare for seniors, and families.

THE FACTS:

Jim Gerlach voted YES on HR 6095 which project Smart Vote’s synopsis of the bill is: “Vote to pass a bill that grants state and local officials inherent authority to investigate, identify, apprehend, arrest, detain, or transfer undocumented immigrants to Federal custody as well as clarifies specific litigation issues.”

Jim Gerlach voted YES on HR 6061 which project Smart Vote’s synopsis of the bill is:Vote to pass a bill that authorizes the construction of an additional 700 miles of double-layered fencing between the U.S and Mexico and grants the Secretary of Homeland Security authority to take necessary steps to stop unlawful entry of immigrants into the U.S.”

The Conclusion: Jim Gerlach is for securing our borders the WRONG way. When illegal immigrants come into this country it’s not to bankrupt it, it’s for a better opportunity, doing the jobs our people refuse to do. If we provide a way for them to get to the back of the line and pay back taxes, not only is it good for our economy, it will help to not bankrupt the Social Security Congressman Gerlach helps to raid (AKA the “310 million tit cow”) but help sustain it. As far as the destruction of Medicare, I’ll get to that.

The Lit:

Building Energy Independence

Jim has long supported an “all of the above” approach to developing our most efficient energy sources to break our dependence on foreign oil. Jim voted against “cap-and-tax” which would kill local jobs and will make energy rates skyrocket.

THE FACTS:

Jim Gerlach voted YES on HR 6515 which project Smart Vote’s synopsis of the bill is: “Vote to pass a bill that additionally facilitates drilling in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska and encourages oil companies to drill on already leased land in the United States.”

Jim Gerlach voted YES on HR 6 (Sponsored by his buddy Joe Barton) which project Smart Vote’s synopsis of the bill is: “Vote to pass a bill that would change the nation’s energy policies, regarding production, taxes, and operations.”

Jim Gerlach voted NO on HR 3534 which the govtrack.us synopsis of the bill is: “To provide greater efficiencies, transparency, returns, and accountability in the administration of Federal mineral and energy resources by consolidating administration of various Federal energy minerals management and leasing programs into one entity to be known as the Office of Federal Energy and Minerals Leasing of the Department of the Interior, and for other purposes.”

The Conclusion: Jim Gerlach is all for “DRILL BABY DRILL” while voting against transparency in how energy companies pillage the land. No where do you find a vote for alternative energy like Wind or Solar. When you get money from Joe Barton’s oil company buddies, why would you vote any other way?

The Lit:

Reforming Health Care

Jim voted against Medicare cuts and rationing of care that government-controlled health care will now put in place. Jim will continue to push for commonsense, market-based reforms that preserve quality of care, reduce health care costs, and keeps patients, families and doctors in control of decisions.

(Sorry, I barely got through that without throwing up)

THE FACTS:

Jim Gerlach voted YES on HR 4297 which project Smart Vote’s synopsis of the bill is: “Vote to pass a bill that reduces federal spending by $56.1 billion over five years by decreasing the amount of funds spent on Medicaid, Medicare, agriculture, employee pensions, conservation, student loans, and other projects and retains a reduced tax rate on capital gains and dividends.

Jim Gerlach voted NO on HR 3590 which project Smart Vote’s synopsis of the bill is: “Vote to concur with Senate amendments and pass a bill that amends various statues related to health care and heath insurance coverage, including, but not limited to, the establishment of a Health Insurance Exchange Program, an individual mandate to purchase insurance, a prohibition on insurers denying or rescinding coverage based on a preexisting condition, a tax on “high cost employer-sponsored health care plans,” various mechanisms aimed at reducing Medicare spending, and an expansion of Medicaid eligibility.”

Jim Gerlach voted NO on HR 4872 which project Smart Vote’s synopsis of the bill is: “Vote to concur with Senate amendments and pass a bill that issues various amendments to HR 3590, including, but not limited to, the following highlights.”

The Conclusion: Jim Gerlach is against health care for all people in this country. He doesn’t care that people are shut out due to “Pre-existing conditions”. He voted to first reduce spending on Medicare, then voted against eliminating the over-spending (by reducing spending by 1% in year 2014-15 for the hospitals that have high costs).

The Lit:

Protecting Our Enviroment

Jim has long been a champion for protecting open space and preserving farmland in our area. He founded the Land Conservation Caucus in Congress. Jim supports holding BP accountable for the damage done to the Gulf and the economy.

THE FACTS:

Jim Gerlach voted NO on HR 2996 which project Smart Vote’s synopsis of the bill is: “Vote to adopt a conference report that extends temporary federal spending measures in order to fund the government through December 18, 2009 and appropriates $32.39 billion for the Department of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, and related agencies for fiscal year 2009-2010.”

Jim Gerlach voted NO on HR 2454 which project Smart Vote’s synopsis of the bill is: “Vote to pass a bill that amends various statutes related to energy, including, but not limited to, establishing a cap and trade program to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.”

Jim Gerlach voted NO on HR 5351which project Smart Vote’s synopsis of the bill is: “Vote to pass a bill that extends renewable energy tax credits and increases taxes on oil companies.”

Jim Gerlach voted NO on HR 2776 which project Smart Vote’s synopsis of the bill is: “Vote to pass a bill that makes changes in U.S. tax code regarding renewable and fossil fuels.”

The Conclusion: Jim Gerlach is against incentives for promoting renewable energy. He’s against regulating greenhouse gas emissions, which cause global warming. He’s for conserving lands that we could in theory drill at some point! He’s for tax breaks for his Oil industry buddies, again, if they gave you campaign contributions, wouldn’t you do the same? (If you too, didn’t have a conscience?)

The Lit:

Endorsed by Veterans’ Vision and awarded an ‘A’ rating by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. Jim has always supported our veterans, our troops, and their families. Jim voted “yes” to improve veterans health care services, cost of living increases and supports a Veterans’ Bill of Rights.

THE FACTS:

Jim Gerlach voted NO on HR 2861 which project Smart Vote’s synopsis of the bill is: “Vote to pass a bill that would appropriate $122.7 billion for the departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development.”

Jim Gerlach NO VOTED on HR 2642 which project Smart Vote’s synopsis of the bill is: “Vote to adopt an amendment to HR 2642 that provides education funding for eligible members of the Armed Forces, extends unemployment compensation, establishes moratoria on certain actions regarding Medicaid, and appropriates funds for various domestic and international purposes.

Jim Gerlach voted NO on HR 3221 which project Smart Vote’s synopsis of the bill is: “Vote to pass a bill that increases mortgage grants, mortgage limitations, various property assistances to the homeless and veterans, and the line of credit for mortgages under Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. “

The Conclusion: Jim Gerlach has no problem sending our men and women into war, but DOES have a problem supporting them when they get home. Whether it be Health Care, Housing, or Education Jim Gerlach has FAILED our veterans. Someone who hasn’t served in our armed forces certainly wouldn’t understand what Veterans and their families go through. All he understands are special interests and the money donated to his campaign by them!

And finally, from http://www.ontheissues.org:

  • Rated 10% by NARAL, indicating a pro-life voting record. (Dec 2003)
  • Rated 70% by the NRLC, indicating a mixed record on abortion. (Dec 2006)
  • Rated 56% by NAACP, indicating a mixed record on affirmative-action. (Dec 2006)
  • Rated 97% by the US COC, indicating a pro-business voting record. (Dec 2003)
  • Rated 25% by the NEA, indicating anti-public education votes. (Dec 2003)
  • Rated 33% by CAF, indicating a mixed record on energy independence. (Dec 2006)
  • Rated 50% by the LCV, indicating a mixed record on environment. (Dec 2003)
  • Rated 0% by APHA, indicating a anti-public health voting record. (Dec 2003)
  • Rated 22% by SANE, indicating a pro-military voting record. (Dec 2003) <NOTE: PRO-MILITARY NOT PRO VETERAN>
  • Rated 0% by FAIR, indicating a voting record loosening immigration. (Dec 2003)
  • Rated 83% by USBC, indicating a sealed-border stance. (Dec 2006)
  • Rated 7% by the AFL-CIO, indicating an anti-union voting record. (Dec 2003)
  • Rated 18% by the AU, indicating opposition to church-state separation. (Dec 2006)
  • Rated 0% by the ARA, indicating an anti-senior voting record. (Dec 2003)
  • Rated 0% by the CTJ, indicating opposition to progressive taxation. (Dec 2006)

If The Voters Only Knew

That Nelson Long was planning on retiring in two years, the outcome from Tuesday’s election may have been different.

Among his plans for the office are straightening out problems in the tax claim office and streamlining the county tax collection system.

Retirement also is on his agenda in two years when he reaches age 72, Long said.

He was just re-elected into office as Treasurer for Berks County. What this means is that he is planning on being a “quitter”. Berks County residents better make sure that an independent audit is done before Long leaves office. After all, he still has some explaining to do to the tax payers regarding monies spent on furniture and trips and there still is that investement risk (derivatives and junk bonds) that tax payers should be concerned about.

Nelson Long… another dishonest Republican bringing “tricks” to the voters.

Berks County Row Offices – Republicans 2009


Mary Ann Sutton is the current Prothonotary for Berks County. She is 73 years old and even though she claims to have implemented the software purchased by the tax payers of Berks County for streamlining the document management that is required by the Prothonotary’s office, she doesn’t take full advantage of this software. It’s time for her to retire and enjoy her thirteen grandchildren and her Social Security.  We need a person with leadership and computer skills that will save the tax payer’s money by fully implementing the software purchased by Berks County.  Not someone that is more interested in decorating her office for the holidays than learning new skills that would save Berks County money.  Sutton needs to hire consultants to do the work that she and her staff should be doing.  That’s not efficiency nor is that cost effective.

Now this isn’t illegal, but, it is questionable.  If you visit the Berks County Republican Committee website and click on Maryann Sutton’s name you get a link to her email account (msutton@countyofberks.com), the one that is paid for by the tax payers of Berks County.  How much “party politics” does Maryann Sutton do on the tax payers time when she should be working for us instead?

Nicholas Bybel, 76 years old, is trying to make a comeback as Coroner for Berks County.  He made a statement to the Pottstown Mercury saying that he was going to fire employees if he gets elected and hire medical staff to do the coroner assistant work.  Berks County was sued for this very reason before, must we visit this again?   Bybel lost the primary 4 years ago to an unknown lawyer because Berk’s County tax payers had enough of covering all the lawsuits that Bybel had incurred against the Coroner’s Office.   He lied by making a false statement regarding endorsements (see previous post).  Besides, he too, should be enjoying his retirement and stop wanting the Berks County tax payers to raise his standard of living.  Our current Coroner is doing an excellent job.  He has NOT incurred any lawsuits because he does his job.  We had Bybel once and that was enough.  Say “bye, bye to Bybel”.

Nelson Long, 70 years old, is the “youngster” running on the Republican ticket.  His position as Treasurer leaves many questions such as:

1. Why does he repeatedly refuse to allow scutiny of the County Record Improvement Fund by Internal Audit?

2.  How does he justify expenditures for furniture, appliances and trips using Record Improvement Money?

3.  Why does he risk losing money in the Berks County pension fund by recommending that the County invest 8% of these funds in junk bonds?  (Can anyone say ‘derivatives’?)

4.  Why did he try to hide the fact that he failed to include the cost of outsourcing work for the Tax Claim office to his campaign Chair by claiming that he saved money when in fact he didn’t?

5.  How does he explain two huge losses of pension fund assets in excess of $50 million (ouch) in the past ten years that he oversaw?

6.  Why does he ignore repeated recommendations of the PA Auditor General to provide proper checks and balances over the handling of cash? (from audit reports for periods ended 2002 and 2006).

7.  Is he too computer illiterate to implement the Cash Management portion of the County’s new computer system that was paid for by the tax payers?

WHAT IS NELSON LONG HIDING FROM THE TAX PAYERS OF BERKS COUNTY?  INSTEAD OF TRASHING HIS OPPONENT WITH LIES, HE HAS EXPLAINING TO DO REGARDING HIS MANAGEMENT OF BERKS COUNTY FUNDS.

It time for him to retire, also.  We need someone that is willing to use the Record Improvement Fund for its intended purpose as is done in other counties.  Berks County is way behind the times and it is costing the County money.  We need someone that can implement the proper checks and balances to safeguard Berks County assets.  So far, Nelson Long has failed in protecting Berks County assets.  We can’t afford to trust him with our money any longer.