Many months ago, as the Chair of the Abington Democrats, I wrote“what’s wrong with politics today?”
Unfortunately, here we go again, and this time I again have hope that the same ending as the last time will continue to show what's right with our town. As many of you are no doubt aware, there is a special election tomorrow, Tuesday, to fill the unexpired term of Josh Shapiro's seat in the state House of Representatives, the 153rd.
A week or so ago, the Montgomery County paper, The Intelligencer editorial board described the republican running, Nick Mattiacci, as immature, naïve, with answers easily dismissed. I was relieved. Relieved not just because I'm the Chair of the Abington Democrats and I'm obviously for Madeleine Dean, but because that was exactly what I was thinking about Mr. Mattiacci as well and it was reassuring to my own judgment to hear that an independent board saw Mr. Mattiacci as I do. As an attorney, I was trained not to “close my eyes” (sorry for stealing your line Gov. Corbett) to the opposition's arguments. However, each time I saw Mr. Mattiacci, each time I see one of his mailers,the descriptions, “immature, naïve and easily dismissed answers” came to mind.
Let's look at the evidence.
Out of the gate, Mattiacci's slanderous telephone poll telling people that Madeleine was “disbarred and illegally practicing law”was ridiculously false. (Exhibit A, Madeleine's Active license).
Then Mattiacci's stance on billboards In his best Mitt Romney impersonation, Mr. Mattiacci feigned concern to many citizens when asked about our local fight against billboards. Then, he plastered his campaign photo on the only billboard currently near Abington over by Mt. Carmel church. Anyone have an etch-a-sketch for Nick to use?
Mattiacci's campaign has included paid workers shipped in from New York and New Jersey with signs on street corners that say “Democrats for Mattiacci” and yelling to passer-bys that he is the Democrat running; Further, it came to light recently that someone on Mattiacci's payroll (to the tune of thousands of dollars) was writing“letters to the editor” all over the Internet and to the TimesChronicle pretending to be an unbiased observer.
That's bad enough, but hardly shocking given how Nick and his buddies in the Harrisburg Republican GOP (who have bankrolled all of Nick's mail pieces and that disgusting phone poll that lied about Madeleine Dean and her family) have run his campaign so far. But what's even more troubling was ironically pointed out by a commenter to one of the above “unbiased letters,”(hat tip to Mark Lombardi on Abington Patch). That is Nick's ties to now jailed Fmr. House Speaker John Perzel.
It's no secret that Perzel took over the Philadelphia Patronage Authority, excuse me, the Philadelphia Parking Authority so that he could fill the PPA with PhillyRepublican patronage jobs. http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2011/11/04/part-2-the-land-of-oz/
It's also no secret that Nick's one and only job, his only experience, has been with the Parking Authority for the last five years.
Mr. Mattiacci has been running hard on the “I'm the new guy,” “Dean's a Politician,” “I'm independent of party politics” spin, yet he's worked at the biggest patronage palace this side of the Mississippi for the last five years and now we find out he has on his payroll the same guys that were on Perzel's payroll.
Nick's trying so hard to fool you into thinking he's independent, he lied about it. Ironically, on April fools, Nick wrote “I've never been active in any political party organization.” http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/local/the_intelligencer_news/opinion/why-i-m-running-for-state-representative-in-the-rd/article_080d2d3f-5ddb-5a33-ba63-761799990645.html
Never been active? That's a lie. See Exhibit B (I made this exhibit, not bad if I do say so myself).
Finally we have the twisting of Madeleine's record. Madeleine has been a professor for the last 11 years, probably around the time you were going to Prom Nick. Much like Mr. Mattiaccci has his license in New Jersey but apparently didn't practice there, so he failed to pay into the NJ Client Protection fund 3 years in a row. Thus, the NJ Supreme Court and the NJ Disciplinary Board ordered Mr. Mattiacci not to practice law in New Jersey. (See Exhibit C).
Yet, despite having the same administrative orders against him 3 years in a row, Mattiacci attacks Madeleine for not keeping up her continuing legal education credits to maintain “active” status one time three years ago, when she hasn't practiced law for longer than he's been a lawyer.
That's more than disingenuous, that's flat out hypocritical.
Your a hypocrite Mr. Mattiacci because you've actually been involved with Philly Republican politics longer than Madeleine's been involved with local politics and you're a hypocrite because you've attacked Madeleine knowing you have the same administrative orders against you in NJ.
I 've heard some of Mattiacci's supporters say “he's young, he's independent, just like Josh Shapiro.” Well, in my best Lloyd Bentson voice, I'd say, I know Josh Shapiro, and Mr. Mattiacci, you are no Josh Shapiro. What made Josh “Josh,” was not his youth, but it is his strong integrity, just like Madeleine.
Despite all that you and the Republican's in Harrisburg have thrown at her, she still wants this race to be about the serious issues that face our area and our state. That's why the Intelligencer said “Madeleine Dean has a maturity that Mr.Mattiacci lacks.” It's that kind of strong integrity, maturity as the editorial board called it, in addition to her intellect and strong ties to the community that inspired the Democratic party to ask Madeleine Dean to consider running to fill Josh Shapiro's seat.
She's no “opportunist” Nick, as you keep trying to accuse her of, rather, her strong integrity and strong ties to the community are opportunities for our area.
She’s lived in Abington her whole life, her very large family deeply rooted in this community, especially Glenside. I’ve talked to a lot of people in this township, and let me tell you, there’s something special about Glenside, the way the people know and care about each other is amazing.
Like the community of her roots, Madeleine trusts and cares so much about Abington as a whole. For example, after the shock and hurt as the calls streamed in about that slanderous poll, she remained resolute and handled the above attack with class and dignity, because she’s confident that once the people heard the truth, the people in Abington wouldn’t stand for this. Abington, you should be proud that you produced her. Instead,Mattiacci and the Republicans in Harrisburg see fit to “double-down” their attack on her. That’s sad and frankly their mistake.
While you Mr. Mattiacci, from what I've seen, your entire campaign has been built upon a house of cards.
You're not the Democrat, as the sign holders you hired from NY and NJ were yelling to passer-bys;
You're not independent, as you state in your “April fools letter” as the State GOP has paid for every one of your despicable mailers, and that disgraceful “push poll.” Margeret Gibbons, an actual columnist, (aka not paid for by the Dean campaign) asked the question: “WHO IS IN CHARGE” of Nick Mattiacci's campaign? I can't phrase it any better than she did:
“If candidates refuse to accept responsibility for all aspectsof their campaigns, then voters should hold those candidatesresponsible.”
So, who is in charge of Mattiacci? easy one: the republicans in Harrisburg of course.
The state GOP in Harrisburg, the same guys who've slashed our kid's eduction one billion dollars, that's billion with a B, while leaving corporate loopholes untouched;
the same guys who are waging the war on women by trying to pass the most invasive forced ultrasound legislation in the country;
the same guys who passed the voter suppression law that will risk hundreds of thousands of the youngest, poorest, and most senior constitutional right to vote;
the same guys who at this very moment, have a bill that will define marriage as between a man and a woman. (yep, here in Pa);
the same guys that keep giving the oil and gas industry hundreds of millions in hand outs by refusing to pass an adequate severance tax to protect our landand water anywhere near what states like Texas and Alaska have in place right now. Instead, the republicans in Harrisburg give the oil/gas industry laws like the “GAG LAW” on our doctors who find out what's in that poisonous mess they are using to frack, by law,the Doctors can't tell anyone, including their patients, that's us. Thankfully, doctors are fighting this, but Nick won't fight it if he gets to Harrisburg.
Mattiacci is for all this, but he doesn't want you to know it. Here was his response to the Editorial Board of the MontCo paper: “What really floored us, however, were his comments about Act13,the controversial law governing the gas drilling industry. Mattiacciexpressed confidence that the safety regulations passed by Republicanlawmakers are sufficient, and that the Legislature would never pass abill that endangered Pennsylvania citizens. Such naivete can hardlybe reassuring to voters.”
That same Editorial Board described Nick as “naive,” with answers “easily dismissed.”
I would add hypocrite given the above – you're not independent Nick, and that's your choice, but stop trying to pull the wool over the people in Abington and Upper Dublin's eyes. As Margaret Gibbons wrote, take some responsibility.
So, on April 24th:
If you believe in education;
If you believe we need more oversight on the oil/gas industry thathas swooped into our state;
If you believe equal protections under the constitution, and not the crazy laws the Harrisburg Republicans are passing against gays and women right now;
If you believe elections should be about issues, and not the immature non-sense that we have seen from Mr. Mattiacci;
Then you agree with the Editorial Board and will vote for Madeleine Dean.
Please, don't forget to vote tomorrow in the Special Election, Tuesday,April 24th, obviously it matters.