Friday, March 27, 2009

You May Be Wondering...

...What happened to the once, twice, thrice daily posting? You may be saying "he used to post every day, why is Bill slacking?"

Well, to sta
rt things off, I used to do most of my blogging during my breaks and lunch at my former employer. Since I worked the "graveyard" shift, I had a lot of time, alone, to contemplate the posts, the subject matter and the message. Alot has changed since November.

I got laid off on November 21st of last year...a week before Thanksgiving. That's enough to take the wind out of anybodies sails, but I tried to persevere. For the past 4 months, I've been trying, in vain, to find a job. In between the job search, I've been tackling some of the jobs around the house that I have been putting off until "next week".

Unable to find a job, I've decided to "blow my own smoke" so to speak and am in the process of starting a business. What I used to do for other people, I'm now doing for myself, and have laid the groundwork for "Bilijohn Graphic Design", a design and print service company.

For those of you that have wo
rked with me politically, you've probably seen my work. I plan on offering my design skills to candidates and businesses, far cheaper than most established design firms, while offering the value added service of seeing the job through all aspects of the printing process...quote, design, print, finishing, direct mail, etc.

Oh, and the reason why I can't find a job? or the few companies that are hiring, scores of pe
ople are "underselling" their skills, just to get the job...they're taking a 30 buck an hour job for 18-19 bucks an hour. It's sad what the "rat race" has become, in only a few short months.

Anyway, I'll be setting up an LLC within the next week or so, then hanging out my shingle...responsible only to myself, my family
and my clientele, as it should be. Have a fantastic weekend.


Read Full Text/Comments

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Random Thoughts About The Past Week

Last week, I had the opportunity to sit in on and then comment on the ethics debate at the Montco Commissioners meeting.

One thing I noticed throughout the meeting...whenever Republican Commissioner, Bruce L. Castor, Jr. agreed to vote yes on the Hoeffel ethics package of 1998, they other two commissioners backpedaled and hesitated to vote on it.

Jimbo then laid out about 19-20 changes that he'd like to see, exempting many people from the ethics statute, and Hoeffel, who was the one who touted the need for this reform to begin with, also laid out a list of those who he wanted exempted.

Only Commissioner Castor was for a total ban of politicking in the courthouse.

For Hoeffel and Jimturd, this amounted to a "have your cake and eat it, too" proposition.

You may say, why does Castor want a total ban on politicking? Simple. Jimbo and Joe will never agree to a total ban, because it's not in their best interests to agree to it.

A total ban would exempt Jim Maza from working on the judicial races for the democrats. A total ban would keep Jim's (former) assistant from her political appointment as County Human Resources Director (a change in the job requirements paved the way for this glorified secretary to become Jim's tool for hiring and firing in the courthouse), and would never have allowed a democrat political leader from gaining the First Deputy Controller's job.

This "I was for it before I was against it" policy making stinks of John Kerry and his 2004 run for the White House. Electioneering 101, so to speak. Flip-flops, pure and simple, when the situation requires it, period.

I had the opportunity to ask Jimmy-Matt about his ban on District Attorney's employees being banned from running for office. I posed the following scenario: How could they be for banning what may be some of the best and brightest minds from running for office, simply because of where they work?

The example I gave was Sandra Schultz-Newman...a former ADA who subsequently became the first woman to be elected to Pennsylvania's Supreme Court.

Jim's answer to me? He argued my position that these people are the "best and brightest" was false (I guess on the job training would never produce such a stellar District Attorney, vis a vis Bruce Castor and his successor, Risa Vetri Ferman), and he made it a point to let me know that Schultz-Newman was not a DA when she became a judge (BTW, I knew that, the situation I posed was hypothetical...and, Jimbo knew this).

Jim yammerred on for a few more minutes, then called for a vote to table the ethics reform that his lackey, solicitor Barry Miller (along with Hoeffel's lackey, asst. solicitor, Jeff Albert), wrote. Mind you, this is the same Barry Miller who, as a county employee, threw his hat in the ring to fun for DA, now writing an ethics policy that could, essentially, stipulate that he could run for anything, but could also stipulate who could not...a severe conflict of interests? I'd say so.

Anyway, here is the gist of the debate, in Castor's words:

"This (ethics reform statute) would have passed with Matthews' wholehearted approval had I not raised the obvious defects on Thursday. That the other commissioners feel they have POWER over the independently elected row officers on non-budget matters is stunning. No place in Pennsylvania is this so, but the other commissioners are drunk on power and believe their two votes can overrule the thousands of county citizens who put our row officers in their jobs.

Already, several of the row officers are threatening legal action against their own county government. Madness. (So) I offered a series of amendments to impose campaign finance reform (something both my colleagues have said they are not interested in) and true ethical restrictions from practicing politics by our county employees at the highest levels. 

I suggested that we step back and rewrite the proposal taking the care the authoring of a "law" warrants.

Even Commissioner Matthews who was avidly seeking to ratify Hoeffel's dangerous and illegal proposal, saw the wisdom in taking a step back to reconsider. Are you ready for this? Hoeffel OPPOSED being careful and still wanted to bull ahead even in the face of the patent defects in the proposal."
Who said politics wasn't fun? Kudos to Commissioner Castor for keeping his word and putting the interests of the taxpayers of Montgomery County first.

One of the more interesting aspects of the meeting was when Jim, speaking about hiring done by row officers, said this:
"If you want to hire somebody as a row officer, and it is within budget, it cannot be stopped..."
I submit one name...Marcy Toeppel. Jim voted against approving her salary when the Recorder of Deeds, Nancy Becker, wanted to hire her. It took the threat of a lawsuit to reverse his vote at the next meeting. I'll be posting a recording I made at the meeting later this week to corroborate the quote above.

Oh, and finally, the county hiring freeze? I guess it only pertains to those not recommended by Hoeffel or Matthews...figures.


Read Full Text/Comments

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Matthews Finally at a Crossroads

"Down to the crossroads, fell down on my knees.
Asked the Lord above for mercy, "Save me if you please."
("Crossroads", 1936-Robert Johnson)
For the past 14 months, I have continuously picked on one person, in particular, more than others...Jim Matthews.

I've been hard on Jim for many reasons, and justifiably so. I worked hard to get Jim elected. What I lacked in financial contributions, I more than made up for in sweat-equity, going door to door, asking people to elect Jim and Bruce as Commissioners, even as I, myself was running for supervisor in Whitemarsh Township.

Right after the election, I was more than pleased to see that Jim and Bruce had been elected commissioners (and, even while suffering defeat in my own race) was overjoyed that we still held on to Republican control at the courthouse.

All of that ended at the first meeting of the commissioners, when Jim Matthews turned his back on myself and every other Republican in Montgomery County, when he formed a power-sharing alliance with lifelong democratic operative Joe Hoefel.

Hoffel, with the blessing of Matthews has all but given control of the courthouse and One Montgomery over to the democrats, after 140+ years of good, solid, Republican control.

On that day, Jim showed me that my "proverbial" blood, sweat and tears were shed in vain.

Fast-forward to this week...
"If I was perfect
Then this would be easy
Either road's plausible
On both I could drown"
("Crossroads", 2008-Avenged Sevenfold)
Thursday, March 19, 2009 has Jim Matthews standing at a crossroads of sorts.

First of all, Controller Dianne Morgen is proposing to hire a well-known partisan democrat hatchet-man as her deputy controller. Jim's vote could shoot down another partisan hire by the democrat controller...but, will he?

Also, and even more egregious, commissioner Hoeffle will propose a set of "ethics reforms" that will be a set of partisan landmines for Republicans in county government, seeking elected office. These proposals would ban any employee who makes a predetermined salary to be barred from seeking political office as innocuous as dog catcher.

For the past 9 years, Jim Matthews has been against this type of proposals while a commissioner, proposals which would, essentially, bar the first deputy of any of the row offices from seeking that position, unless he or she first quit their job. The big question is, has the past 9 years been for naught?

Jim Matthews is at a crossroads...doing the right thing, and the Republican thing, mind you, are synonymous. Will Jim do the right thing, or will he finally cast his final lot with Huffel and the Dems?

It's time for Jim to do the right thing.
'What is at your back? Which way do you turn?
Who will come to find you first?
Your devils or your gods?
("Crossroads" 1989-Tracy Chapman)

Read Full Text/Comments

Friday, March 13, 2009

Last Evenings Endorsement

Although I don't have the final tally numbers, (I'll update the post later to let you know what order they came in) the 7 candidates recommended by the MCRC Area Leaders and Executive Committee were endorsed by the Republican Committeepeople on the very first ballot.


H/T to one of the poll watchers last know who you are! Here's the numbers:

Garrett Page 542

Patricia Coonahan 510

Carolyn Tornetta Carluccio 481

Gary Silow 459

Wendy Demchick-Alloy 455

Kelly Wall 393

Joanna Cruz 349

Dan Clifford 331

Brain Rosenthal 139

Barbara May 65

Harvey Freedland 9

Maureen Coggins 1

The bright spot of the evening? Garrett Page received the highest number of votes, which in my humble opinion, was very well-deserved. Garrett, Congratulations!

The low part of the evening? A vicious attack on Joanna Cruz left by one of the candidates on chairs last evening. That candidate's chief strategist was overheard to say, "See this? This is my manifesto!".

I was going to post excerpts from the letter, but though it to be too egregious to repeat. At some future time, I may make the text available, but I'd like to, at this point, to concentrate on the positive aspects of the evening.

MCRC passed it's first set of new, updated bylaws in many years. Thanks to all of those who had a hand in drafting the new bylaws.

Marie Cavanaugh was unanimously endorsed as Jury Commissioner candidate. Congrats to Marie!

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the grace of Maureen Coggins, who, when it came time for her to give her one minute speech, withdrew from the race and asked the room to support the 7 recommended candidates. Mucho respect Maureen...Writemarsh Loves Ya!

I'd also be remiss not to mention the fact that Writemarsh's own, Kelly C. Wall, was one of those endorsed last evening. I have worked with Kelly on both her campaign four years ago for her run for Whitemarsh supervisor (I gimped door to door on crutches) and now with her run for the bench. She's a classy lady and has worked hard to earn her place on this slate of 7. Great work, Kelly!

To "The Magnificent 7"...Looking forward to working with you all towards victory in November!

Great night last night...time to veg out and give myself a well-deserved relaxation day.

To all who put their time and effort into this campaign before the campaign, I say, "Job well done!"

Finally, I posted last week about a certain two-faced muni chair...I'll not name him, but give you a hint instead:

Fish have them, Fish don't have them (first name, last name)

Have a wonderful weekend!


Read Full Text/Comments

Another Matthews Lie Refuted

And a Non-Sighting...

A while ago, I posted the following about "the Turd" a
nd his endless lies aimed at his former "brothers in arms" in the Republican Party: Tell me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies (the Bulletin has since changed format and the links on the page no longer work. ed)

Well, I can feel good that we can refute but another of King James' one of his many interviews bashing the party and the leadership, Matthews had this to say:

"Kerns doesn't have the support of the committee. We let him win
the chairmanship"
Last evenings endorsement of the recommended slate of candidates throws that lie out the window, Jimbo!

By the way, none of "his" candidates won endorsement last night. Jimbo was nowhere to be found. I heard later that he was tied up for the evening...


Read Full Text/Comments

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Judicial Endorsements

Tonight, Republican committee-people in Montgomery County will gather together to endorse their candidates for election to the Court of Common Pleas. This awesome responsibility is why your constituents vote for us as committee endorse those candidates who they will see on the ballot in the fall.


Most people are busy. They rely on other people to research and fact find, to make their lives easier. This goes on throughout or lives.

As committee members, we are elected to suggest to our voters who to vote for. To help us along, we trust our municipal chairs and area leaders to guide us.

Which brings me to a point...a few weeks ago, our area leaders and executive committee met to recommend seven candidates for the Montgomery County bench. Those candidates went through an endorsement of sorts, so that our area leaders could recommend the best possible slate to us.

Some of my friends did not get recommended. I was hopeful, but it wasn't to be. Others, whom I was either not supporting or didn't know well were not chosen. Of the slate recommended, only one was someone I wasn't formerly acquainted with. Since then, I have met and spoken with this person and find them more than qualified to sit on the bench of the court of common pleas.

There will be a few candidates tonight who want you to disregard the recommended slate and pick them as candidates for the bench. Some of them are claiming that because the Bar Association gave them a certain rating and others a lesser (but equally impressive) one, they should be picked over the Executive Committee slate.

The Bar Association is made up of lawyers who may or may not be politically active. They couldn't give a fig if the recommended candidates were democrat or Republicans or martians.

We want good, solid Republican candidates on the bench just as the Democrats want good, solid Democrats on the bench. They aren't endorsing any Republicans and we're not endorsing any Democrats. That's not our job.

Let's face facts...the Bar Association wants judges on the bench who they think will look out for their interests, as attorneys. They don't care about what we think. They want the deck stacked in their favor. As do we.

Every one of the attorneys recommended by our exec committee have been recommended by the bar, and some highly recommended. They all deserve to be judges, but unfortunately, that honor can only fall to but 7 candidates this year.

Seventeen good people started this quest last year. Seven were recommended by our exec committee. Of the ten who were not, five have dropped out to unify our ticket. Of those left, (in my opinion) a couple have no chance of surviving the first round.

One of the candidates still running (not recommended) wants you to consider two, that the Bar Association thinks so highly of him, three other Republicans and two democrats (all who were "Highly Recommended") that they are more qualified than the slate to be judges. He also wants you to know that one vote separated him from the person chosen over him. (Actually, there were two votes separating him from the candidate ultimately chosen.)

Also, he states that in order to have a "Highly Recommended" rating from the bar association, you must have 80% of those making the decision to have voted for that rating...not 79%, not 78%, but 80%. One or two of the candidates who did not receive "Highly Recommended" status may just have gotten 79% of the votes. One vote.

Does one vote matter? Sure it does. Receive one less vote than your opponent and you lose. Receive one more vote and you win. One would expect an unsuccessful (but graceful) candidate to rally behind the ticket and support the slate. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

In the past couple of years, people have been complaining to me that we need to unify as a party if we want to win elections. I agree. Unity makes for good has only to look back on the previous MCRC leadership to prove that point. Chairman Kerns has been working hard to unify our county Republican Committee. I admire him greatly for that.

Which is why, for unity's sake, I choose to support the recommended slate, and ask those of you who will be voting tonight to do the same. It's time to show our opposition that great people get behind great leaders and choose great candidates. We must, in order to put up a strong fight in November.

For those of you to whom this awesome responsibility falls, I'll see you tonight.


Read Full Text/Comments

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Weight Loss, Week Whatever...

I had a mediocre week last week, and gained a half pound.

Half a pound? I'm not even worried. We had snow, which impeded my ability to take my long walk every day, not because of road conditions, mind you, but because my bum hip always screams when we get severely inclement weather.

I've given up "seconds" for Lent, and have been watching portions during mealtimes, except when I'm out. I'm not going to apologize for eating, we all have to eat to survive.

Which is one of the "lightbulb moments" I have discovered as this process goes on...that I need to quit apologizing to myself and quit justifying myself to others when I'm hungry. The larger than normal meal my BFF's see me eating may very well be the result of a missed lunch or a way too early breakfast manifesting itself into an extraordinary hunger.

Which brings me to another point...I'm a big boy. I always have been. The same 1200 calories that fuel a "normal" sized person is not "normal" for someone my takes more fuel to push a 2 ton pick-up truck than it does to push a Prius, so when I see people looking at me sideways and backwards when they see me eating more than they eat doesn't necessarily help me as much as it makes them feel better about themselves...

Again, just another "lightbulb" revelation.

I feel confident that if I make incremental changes over a longer period of time, I'll get my weight under control. Being constantly reminded "what about your diet" is foolish, because I'm not on a diet, I'm making a change to my entire lifestyle. I therefore feel no need to justify my meals to anybody, 'cause you don't know what I ate for breakfast (or if I even did), now, do you?

Besides, I promised myself I wouldn't drive myself nuts over this. I'm not about to end up like this:

Here's to the upcoming weeks and successful changes.



Read Full Text/Comments

King James/Hoeffel Stomp on County Employee's Constitutional Rights

In the race to install a new ethics policy in the Montco courthouse, methinks the two democrat county commissioners may be cruisin' for a the very employees they wish to control

According to an article in The Evening Bulletin, Brad Vasoli reports that "county employees (with some exceptions) would be forbidden to either seek elected governmental office or fundraise for those seeking such offices"

What boggles my mind is this...some people who run for office, especially in the courthouse, have at one time or another worked in the courthouse. For what it's worth, I'd be more apt to vote for a prothonotary who was first deputy prothonotary than some schlub who was running for shiggles.

Now, I'm not for politicking on company time, mind you, but what a person does after they lock the doors of the courthouse, on his or her own time, is protected by the first amendment of the Constitution as free speech. To bar anybody from their right to exercise free speech is in itself egregious and more than likely, a violation of their civil liberties.

Look for the lawsuits, folks...there's a lot of talent in the wings waiting for their turn to run for office, whether it be a local political office like township supervisor, council, or commissioners. To say that a person can't run simply because there is a chance...a chance of inpropriety puts a bad taste in this humble blogger's mouth.

My prediction? They pass this 2-1 with Castor voting "nay". What's next? Simple. A class action lawsuit (bi-partisan, mind you) gets filed and this goes away before anybody (meaning the county) has to pay.

And, c' this era of Obamanomics, where our own democrat commissioners are doing the ol' "spend money to create stimulus and the debt will go away", why not take a page out of Mr. Baracky's playbook...I'm not hiring (or electing) anybody with political ties...unless it's in my best interests to change the rules to do so.

Brad Vasoli has written a great piece on here to read the entire article.


And here is the rest of it. Read Full Text/Comments

Friday, March 6, 2009

ATRO, 2009

ATRO fundraiser was tonight. Sorry, but no sighting this year.

Runner-up to a sighting...

A certain Muni-Chair tells a certain Judicial candidate that he's supporting her, then turns around and tells that candidates campaign chair's husband that she is not getting his support. What a douchebag asshat thing to do, huh?

This was done by none other than...nah, I'll wait until after the convention to out the bastard. Here's a hint...he's graced the pages of writemarsh before.Y'all can wait a few days, can't ya?


Read Full Text/Comments

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Snarlin' like Jimbo

Tonight is Lower Merion's Lincoln Day Dinner. It could be a nice event, save for two things.

Jimturd will undoubtedly be there and they will (once again) laud Snarlin' Arlen for the great job (?) he's doing in Washington D.C.

If voting for the largest indebtedness ever laid on the shoulders of the American taxpayer is worth lauding by the Republican (?) party of Lower Merion and Narberth, then I will be staying away this year. I went for the first time last year and rather enjoyed myself. But this year? Feh! (I'll throw in a "Meh!" for good measure.

Just to show how far to the left El Rey Jaime la Mierda de Tercera has gone, one just has to look at his ad for LMNRC Lincoln Day Dinner to see where his head is:

Respect to Specter for voting to raise your grandchildren and great grandchildren's taxes? (as long as it means stimulus money for Jimbo's BFF, Joe Hoeffel to divvy up under the DVRPC!)

Oy, Vey!

And here is the rest of it. Read Full Text/Comments

Obama Countdown