Lisa Esler Campaign Explained

Lisa Esler Campaign Explained. Lisa Esler Campaign Explained.
Lisa Esler at the podium on the steps of the Delaware County Courthouse about 10 this morning, June 15.

In a passionate, heartfelt speech beneath dreary skies before a crowd of 40 at the steps of the Delaware County Courthouse, Lisa Esler explained, this morning, June 15, why she entered the race for the 161st District Pennsylvania House seat.

The seat is open because just-elected Republican incumbent Joe Hackett stepped down April 30 saying he wanted to return to law enforcement.

The Delaware County GOP to the puzzlement of many picked county AFL-CIO boss Paul Mullen as their candidate to replace him. Mullen had been a strident supporter of Democrats over the last several election cycles, even to the point of serving as a muscleman enforcer.

Mullen’s only foray into public service was a stint on the Penn Delco School Board in the mid-oughts, which, like Hackett, he quit soon after his appointment.

Mrs. Esler, an Aston resident, described herself as a wife, mother, grandmother, certified optician, and a member of the Penn Delco School Board.

And a Republican.

She said she is running to give the district’s voters a choice.

“I am challenging the Delco GOP’s candidate because in my role as a school board director, I have seen how Harrisburg is tainted by special interest lobbyists. As head of the AFL-CIO in Delaware County and the business manager for the IBEW, Mr. Mullen is the poster child for special interests,” she said. “Further, Mr. Mullen has supported liberal Democrats in the last two major election cycles — under his leadership, his union supported Barack Obama and Bob Casey; and Mr. Mullen personally supported Joe Sestak and John Kane. That the Delco GOP machine would favor a man who is, for all intents and purposes a Democrat, is a slap in the face to every Republican in Delaware County.”

She noted that Mullen was picked before the ostensible committee-person vetting process. While taking questions after her prepared statement, she said that a GOP Facebook post announced that Mullen was the candidate an hour before the official selection meeting started May 28.

Mrs. Esler will be running a write-in campaign which, with the new voting machines, is no longer tilting at windmills. The Democrat candidates for Delaware County Council got on the ballot this year via a write-in campaign and Scott Wagner won a write in campaign in a special election last year to take the 28th District State Senate seat.

The official Democrat in the race is Leanne Krueger-Braneky of Swarthmore who lost to Hackett last fall by 2,696 votes.

Mrs. Esler said the district needs someone who will fight for the taxpayers and that there are many cost saving measures that could be implemented without loss of services but are kept from doing so by the political class.

“I am not and do not intend to become a career politician,” she said, and specifically pledged not to take a pension.

“I pledge to the people in the 161st District that I will not burden them by taking part in the pension system that makes our legislators wealthy and is bankrupting our Commonwealth.”

She said people were needed to stand up to the lobbyists and the party machines and to work for the taxpayer.

“I will work for you and not be beholden to any special interest group, lobbyist or political party. I am in this race to win and hope the people of the 161st will give me the opportunity to go to Harrisburg and work for them,” she said.

The 161st District is the townships of Aston, Nether Providence, Ridley (PART, Wards 01 [PART, Division 03], 02 [PART, Divisions 01 and 03], 03, 05, 07 and 08) and Springfield (PART, Ward 03 [PART, Division 02 (HD161)]) and the boroughs of Brookhaven, Rose Valley, Rutledge and Swarthmore. Total population: 63,539

Lisa Esler Campaign Explained.
The Lisa Esler campaign has begun.

24 thoughts on “Lisa Esler Campaign Explained”

  1. Bill, just to let you know – after redistricting this is the new district:

    DELAWARE County.
    Part of DELAWARE County consisting of the TOWNSHIPS
    of Aston, Nether Providence, Ridley (PART, Wards 01
    [PART, Division 03], 02 [PART, Divisions 01 and 03],
    03, 05, 07 and 08) and Springfield (PART, Ward 03
    [PART, Division 02 (HD161)]) and the BOROUGHS of
    Brookhaven, Rose Valley, Rutledge and Swarthmore.
    Total population: 63,539

  2. Good article, Bill.

    Voters of the 161st District hopefully realize that the special election to be held on August 4th is not a primary between two Republicans, but a general election involving a Democrat who has a real shot at winning.

    And hopefully they realize that there are a lot of other issues to consider besides union affiliation.

    For instance, where do the candidates stand on taxes, pro-life, school choice, and Senator Toomey’s 2016 re-election?

    I know that Helen Weber, Lisa’s mother, and a frequent commentator on your blog, has said publicly, many times, that she will not support Pat Toomey for Senate in 2016.

    Fortunately, Lisa said yesterday that she will support Toomey in 2016.

    Delaware County Republican Chair, Andy Reilly, said today on the Dom Giordano show, that the Republican nominee, Paul Mullen, will also support Toomey in 2016.

    Now that the issue of Toomey support has been settled, my other huge concern is that Lisa’s candidacy will mostly benefit an extreme Liberal Democrat, Leanne Krueger-Braneky–a woman whose career has been dedicated to sustainability/ agenda 21–and abortion rights.

    The voter registration numbers in the 161st District are close enough that if Lisa takes enough votes away from Mullen, then Krueger-Braneky will become the newest State Representative from Delaware County.

    That would be a pity.

    If Lisa really wants to challenge Mullen in a serious way, she should wait until the 2016 primary rather than attempt this flimsy write-in campaign.

    This is an issue of strategy–not Lisa’s credentials or principles, which are more than sufficient and deserving of support.

    1. Did Mrs. Weber ever support Joe Sestak or push people around for John Kane?

      And for that matter, why would you doubt for second that Mullen has no qualms with unrestricted abortion if he supported Kane and Sestak? If he says he’s now pro life would you actually believe him??? Even for a second?

      This election, FWIW, is not about social issues but the mind-blowing corruption in Harrisburg destroying the standard of living for the moms and dads and retirees trying to do what’s right.

      In that regard Leanne Krueger-Braneky would actually be a better bet than Mullen.

      Fortunately there is a choice in Lisa Esler.

      1. Please Bill,

        Right now, Governor Wolf is threatening the Alternatives to Abortion organizations with budget cuts.

        I have spoken with the head of a Pennsylvania Pro-Life organization and they are very concerned with the pro-abortion record of Leanne Krueger-Braneky.

        And BTW, school choice is much more than a social issue.

        And taxes are also a concern.

        There are a host of issues to consider when voting for State Rep.

        It is extremely irresponsible to suggest that Krueger-Braneky would be better state rep than Mullen when she is clearly a progressive socialist.

        Many involved in this push for LIsa are emotionally angry at the local Republican party and are not thinking clearly on strategy.

        In order to win, which should be the goal, those involved should organize now to defeat Mullen in the 2016 Spring Primary.

        1. Krueger-Braneky wouldn’t be a better state rep than Paul Mullen. She’d be exactly the same as Paul Mullen. And that’s the problem. It’s not anger. It’s not emotion–except a passion for good representation which is what we all should want and is what we all deserve. For all intents and purposes, Mullen is a Democrat. Sorry no true leader “dutifully carries out” an action that he or she does not agree with. Andy Reilly indicates that’s why it appears that Mullen supported Obama, Casey, Wolf, Sestak, and John Kane–he was acting “dutifully”. I’m tired of that kind of obfuscation.

        2. Please Don, you sound as though you are supporting Paul Mullen! Are you?
          C’mon, out with it. You really want that Jerk to beat our Lisa Esler. Shame!

        3. I was at the Delco Courthouse to hear Lisa’s heartfelt comments. She would be a breath of fresh air in the stodgy halls of the State House. Go get ’em Lisa . Pee down the back of Mullen’s leg.

    2. I read with great interest your comments and now here are mine.

      Lisa doesn’t need anyone’s approval or permission to run for office. If her running is not something that sits well with you, that’s fine–but don’t try and sabotage her efforts. Trying to intimate that she wouldn’t support Pat Toomey was a low blow–one that equals something the Republican Party would do. To clear your mind about that, Lisa stood with me in my home with Pat Toomey at a press conference when he was running for his Senate seat. Lisa and I and many others worked very hard to get him elected and will do so again in what’s going to be a tough race next year. To put out a piece that suggests because her mother isn’t happy with him, Lisa wouldn’t support him, was low and childish.

      I’m sure that Andy Reilly will be very happy when he hears of you parroting his talking points about Mullen. Let’s get a few things straight. There was not a “democratic process” used to choose the Republican candidate. The endorsement meeting was held from 7PM-8PM. At 6:03PM there was a posting on Facebook about who the endorsed candidate was. Had Mullen been vetted, perhaps he would have been asked about his cheerleading for Sestak and John Kane–there was no vetting and he was not asked. The phrase “dutifully carried out” in terms of his endorsing his Democratic buddies is now the buzz phrase to try and remove him from responsibility. You might also be interested in knowing that he was asked one question at the endorsement meeting that he could not answer. Lisa was asked three which she had no problem answering. Perhaps you also don’t know that Mullen was appointed to the same school board, on which Lisa has admirably served some years back–and abruptly resigned after a few months. Nobody asked him about that either. The point being he accepted commitment to the voters in the school district and he didn’t have the dedication, for whatever reason, to carry out his commitment to them. The same as Joe Hackett didn’t have that commitment this time around. Is that a good choice for voters who are being forced to foot the bill for a special election because of someone’s lack of commitment? It’s a question that needed to be explored and it wasn’t. You might also be interested in knowing that while Andy stated yesterday he encouraged Lisa to run for school board–the party did not endorse her either time she ran and she won both times. This last time she won the primary with more votes than any other candidate on the ballot. You talk of alienating the Republican Party like it’s a concern to anybody. It’s not. They will never endorse anyone who has the courage to be an independent thinker and do what’s good for those they represent as opposed to what the party wants. Their idea of conservatives being “in the big tent” is to have them sit in somebody’s campaign office and stuff envelopes–they are not welcome to be candidates or be in positions where they can make a difference. If you recall, Lisa and I ran for state committee–we both lost but as total newcomers with no name recognition and no party backing we both got 44% of the vote in our respective districts. Not to mention the money spent againsdt us for an unpaid seat. What you might not know is the woman who won in Lisa’s district resigned after a very short time. Lisa was not appointed to that seat despite her terrific showing in the election. So, Don, nobody here really gives a darn about the Republican Party or what it wants. We want good government and good representation because we’ve had it with the games.

      The problems we face in Pennsylvania are all tied to special interests. You might be content to appease the Party and let that continue–some of us are not. There can be no larger special interest than a union boss sitting in a legislative seat. As for Leanne–my former district’s rep is a green person and that’s all he is. He has been in the PA house for over 20 years and has not made a difference there at all. I suspect Leanne will be the same if she starts using her position–as he has–to champion the environment and the greening of the planet. They’ll probably pal around and have lunch together and bemoan the fact that nobody pays attention to them. As far as votes that affect us all day to day–Leanne and Mullen will vote the same way–to protect the special interests that are bankrupting us.

      It’s curious that you, being a champion of conservatism, don’t have a problem with the Delco GOP choosing a candidate whose stands on the issues were unknown until AFTER the endorsement was made. And that that candidate will not talk to the media–check it out–and that the party chair is his surrogate. Liquor privatization is a pretty simple thing–the government runs the state stores or it doesn’t. According to Andy Reilly, Mullen’s position depends on how liquor privatization is defined. Really? He is against paycheck protection–he’s put that out there in writing. Hard to find where he stands on other things because he doesn’t talk about it. When he was first considering running, he was contacted by a reporter–when he realized it was a reporter–he hung up on them. Dom has repeated many times that he’s invited Mullen to come on and no response. Don’t you think it’s a bad sign that he won’t put himself in a position where he can be questioned about his thoughts on issues, his background, his union work–you know the same questions any candidate gets asked? That tells me there are things he doesn’t want the voters to know.

      If this man is acceptable to you and if you believe the party has done the right thing–great. But please don’t sabotage a good candidate because you want to stay in the good graces of the party. Personally I don’t care if I’m in their good graces or not. This move by the Delco GOP is the impetus for my upcoming change in party registration. I don’t want to be associated with a party that lies, that is in bed with special interests, and that doesn’t give every Republican a fair shot at elected office. While your major complaint seems to be your belief that Lisa can’t win–if the party backed her, her chances would be much improved wouldn’t they? She didn’t even have a fair chance at having that happen. And if you can defend that–so be it.

      By the way, check out Andy Reilly’s bio for his law firm. Check out the clients he personally represents. I believe the IBEW Local 654 for which Paul Mullen is Business Manager is on that list. Politics makes strange bedfellows.

      Hopefully this gives you a little more background that you didn’t have previously.

  3. Bill,

    One other thing.

    Paul Mullen might very will be pro-life. Many union members in Delaware County are Pro-Life.

    If Mullen is Pro-life, expect him to get the endorsement of Pro-Life groups over write-in candidate Lisa Esler.

  4. It is interesting that Mullen was invited on the Dom Giordano’s show and instead of him going before the public to answer questions, Andy Riley had to appear and speak on his behalf. What is Mullen hiding that he will not appear publicly and answer questions himself. The premise that liberal activist Mullen would be a better choice than a liberal democrat is questionable. If Mullen is sent to Harrisburg, he will caucus with the republicans and be aware of strategy that is being planned. What an opportunity for an left wing activist to be able to carry the republican strategy to his democratic buddies.

    1. It’s very curious that Mullen will not speak to the media. What political candidate refuses to do that? It does seem that there is something he doesn’t want to talk about and the more he avoids the press, the more that appears to be the case. To have the Party Chair have to step in to do damage control instead of the candidate speaking on his own behalf is strange at best and deceptive at worst. I wonder if he’d accept a request to debate or participate in a candidate forum?

  5. To even insinuate that Lisa Esler wouldn’t support Pat Toomey is small minded and petty. Who you are seen with is an indication of where your support lies. Paul Mullen was pictured in his union’s newsletter proudly praising Joe Sestak. Lisa Esler, conversely, was seen standing in my home at a press conference for Pat Toomey. She went door to door for him and supported him unequivocally. It’s unbelievable that her support of him would be questioned because of something her mothers said. Lisa is a grown woman, a free thinker, and very intelligent. Her mother’s opinion would not sway her and anyone who knows Lisa would know that.

  6. I want to know what qualifies Mr. Mullen as a Republican? Just because he has an R by his name? So if a democrat switches parties, then we should endorse him? Shouldn’t we be looking at his positions rather than whether he has an R by his name?

  7. If Lisa doesn’t win, someone who believes that putting ink on paper solves all problems and provides a nice income for the one putting the ink on the paper will whether that someone is from Aston or Swarthmore.

    Lisa did not choose to run because of irrational “emotion”. She is a school director. She sees what the programs Mullen supports cost and the damage they do.

    Ask yourself this, why is Mullen’s positions being kept off the record? Why is the GOP chairman doing the speaking for him?

    Mullen was a friend and ally of Keith Crego, and a member of one of the most notorious school boards in the history of this state. Why wasn’t this guy vetted?

    The residents of Aston and Brookhaven make up a pretty sizable bit of the 161st and they know the history. Many Republicans in those places would sooner vote for a dead skunk that someone who was part of that crowd. Lisa gives them a choice, whereas they would just stay home or even vote for the D.

    I think I would if I lived there.

  8. Don, why are you so against Lisa’s candidacy. You impugned her integrity without and provocation and now you are questioning her motives in running even going so far as to almost take glee in letting us know she will lose. The most difficult thing to understand here is how you are justifying endorsing a very dubious candidate with less than stellar credentials. Still begs the question…who’s side are you on? What ax are you grinding here?

    1. Based on the last time I heard Don Adams speak, I’m not the least bit surprised with his position. He and his sister attended a 5 year anniversary of Founders Values in Delaware in March of 2014. At the event, various group leaders in attendance were asked to say a few words to the attendees. Don said that grassroots organizations should work hard to get in the good graces of the GOP and support it even when it betrays us and works against us. Don’s commentary brought audible gasps along with a lot of head shaking from the audience.

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