G. Rogers Howard, the man who hopes to replace Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi as the senator for Pennsylvania’s 9th District told an enthusiastic crowd of 60 at The Delaware County Patriots, tonight, Jan. 11, that it was his grandchildren who are motivating him to run.
Howard said the state plus its municipalities are $125 billion in debt and that this debt is a form of taxation without representation on the unborn and the young which include his grandchildren all of whom are under 7 years old.
He said that the state Republican establishment is quite happy with the status quo regardless of what suffering should occur, and that this especially applies to Pileggi. He noted that the GOP took over the executive and legislative branches of state government last year after sweeping the 2010 elections.
“You expect to see the reform legislation that occured in Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana,” he said. He said what we got though were long discussions about “red light cameras in Chester.”
Howard, who will be using Roger as his first name throughout the campaign, pointed out that Pennsylvania gets about $27 billion in revenue annually but actually spends about $65 billion. The money to cover the gap comes from bond issues, and regarding bond issues he said the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program is basically just a huge slush fund.
The program which was begun with $400 million in 1986 was given the ability to borrow up to $700 million in 1993 which was increased to $1.2 billion in 1999 and with continued periodic increases now stands at $4.05 billion.
The program is used to give Aker Philadelphia Shipyard its annual $42 million payoff to keep from closing. It’s also used to fund things like the Arlen Specter Library and the John Murtha Library which have each received grants of $10 million apiece and the Comcast Center which has gotten a grant for $35 million. Howard explained that the actual cost of that $10 million grant is $33 million when funded with a 30-year bond.
Howard lives in Unionville, has a Ph.d in chemistry and served in the 82nd Airborne Division. He has pledged not to participate in the state pension system. He answered audience questions in which he spoke out in opposition to teachers strikes and in favor of the right to work. He said he is against gay marriage.
He says he will be getting a better website.
In other business, the Patriots passed out flyers regarding legislation passed by the State House that is being held up in the Senate run by Pileggi including HB 42, a bill that would make parts of ObamaCare impossible to enforce in the state.
Regina Scheerer announced that 12 members of the Pats including herself were running for committee seats — most against party wishes — and that help and funding were needed. She also issued a plea for help and funding for Howard.