Friday, September 09, 2005

Challenges Abound

Local GOP Representatives who voted in favor of last month's quick and dirty legislative pay raise (well-covered by Grassroots PA) will face challenges in next year's primary election.

Rep. Tom Stevenson, R-Mt. Lebanon, will be opposed in the GOP primary by Mark Harris of Mt. Lebanon, who will graduate soon from George Washington University with a political science degree.

"We need a representative in Harrisburg who will stand for the hard-working citizens of Pennsylvania and not fatten his own pocketbook at the expense of ours," Harris said in a statement.

Harris is a member of Young Conservatives of Pennsylvania, a group that is airing radio ads and erecting billboards criticizing legislators who voted for the raise.

In case you were wondering just how sinister the pay raise truly is:

Stevenson voted for the legislative pay raise on July 7, which would have increased his salary from $69,647 to $81,050.

The raise doesn't actually kick in until after the November 2006 elections, but some legislators have opted to get the higher pay immediately through a technique called unvouchered expenses.

Stevenson initially was going to take the higher expenses, but changed his mind in August, and won't get the new, higher salary unless he is re-elected in November 2006.

The likelihood of that is diminishing with the entry of Mr. Harris into the race. Here's an interesting fact about this twenty-first century candidate: Not only is Mark Harris a fresh young face in the political arena, but he is also a blogger.


Honnistaibe said...

My guy..John Maher,(R)Upper St, Clair has refused to accept his new pay raise, won't submit expense account, refuses complimentary calling for a limited State Contitutional Convention to address issues of legislative pay and taxation...a little bit of grandstanding if you ask me..but let's see if he can follow through.

Nicko McDave said...

You may be right, but I would rather have a representative who does a little grandstanding than one who just takes the money and runs, then tries to pretend that it never happened or that he didn't mean to do it.

We'll see how alert the voters are come next year's election cycle.