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WALKER: Constituents Trapped in Bucks County Commissioners’ Fantasy World

Prior to 2021, I had never heard of a county commissioner. Unfortunately, due to Commissioner Diane Marseglia’s unnecessary interference with our Health Department during COVID-19, I learned what role a county commissioner plays in county government.

Bucks County has three county commissioners. Currently, we have two Democrats (Diane Marseglia and Bob Harvie) and one Republican (Gene DiGirolamo) in charge of county government. A commissioner is the highest elected official in the county. Commissioners develop and adopt county laws on a wide variety of topics, such as public health, parks, solid waste management, roads and highways, zoning, and land use. One of the central roles commissioners perform in county management is overseeing the personnel system.

Our current commissioners were reelected in November. Since 2021, they have constantly used their positions to create political virtue-signaling headlines, and they like to pretend they have control of things they have no say over, which is embarrassing to their constituents and our county.

Their latest nonsense is suing oil companies for storms. Whatever your view on climate change, one thing we should all be able to agree on is county commissioners have no control over oil companies. Why would commissioners file a lawsuit suing an oil company in local Common Pleas Court? It makes no sense. This newly announced lawsuit was created in darkness, hidden from their constituents.

There was never a public meeting about it. There was never a public vote.  It was all done in darkness.  That’s their typical MO. Keep in mind all three commissioners drive cars that need gas. The three of them should lead by example and buy electric vehicles. Perhaps the oil companies should stop delivering gas to Bucks County in protest?

Another recent lawsuit filed in March 2023 for political purposes was when the commissioners decided to sue social media such as TikTok and YouTube. Their claim is social media and screen time are hurting children, which it may be, but a commissioner has zero control over social media. It’s just silly. If any Bucks County resident thinks the three commissioners did this to protect children, they are mistaken.

The three commissioners also decided to file an amicus brief in another lawsuit. This one is over the abortion pill. Once again, commissioners literally have no say in an abortion pill. All of these lawsuits are for headlines to help themselves. They couldn’t care less what the lawsuits cost because it’s not their money. It’s yours!

Our commissioners did sue two mothers, including me, to hide emails that they were awarded by the Office of Open Records in Pennsylvania. Those lawsuits are still in court. The commissioners illegally changed COVID-19 health guidance for schools on Aug. 23, 2021.  That hurt not only children in Bucks but all over the state.

The entire state was paying attention to our health director, Dr. David Damsker, because our schools were on a path to open normally for children during the 2021-2022 school year. The three commissioners stopped that, and if they have a conscience, I hope this decision will stay with them for the rest of their lives. That decision, made for politics, hurt children immensely, as shown by post-epidemic test scores and learning loss.

Unfortunately, voters were unaware of this and made a horrible choice in November 2023. Now, Bucks County residents are stuck funding the legal bill for three out-of-control politicians who only care about themselves.

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Former Employee Appeals Ruling in Employment Discrimination Case Against Krasner

Even though the COVID-19 pandemic is over, a case stemming from it is pending in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

At issue is how far the government can go in restricting employees’ First Amendment exercise of their rights to practice their religion. Previously, a federal judge sided in favor of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner and the city in a religious discrimination case brought by Rachel Spivack.

In April 2022, Spivack, now an assistant district attorney in Luzerne County, was fired from her job as a Philadelphia assistant district attorney after she requested a religious exemption from getting the COVID vaccination. While Spivack asked for an exemption because of her Orthodox Jewish faith, others who were union members were not required to get vaccinated because their contract precluded the mandate, a court brief stated.

“Union membership does not guarantee COVID-19 immunity,” the brief noted.

“Religious liberty should not depend on union membership,” said Lea Patterson, senior counsel for First Liberty Institute, who argued the case. “The District Attorney disregarded the law by treating those like Rachel who requested religious accommodation less favorably than those who requested accommodation for other reasons. As the Supreme Court has already made clear, the government is not free to disregard the First Amendment’s protection of religious liberty in times of crisis.”

After waiting nearly seven months for a response to her request, it was denied, and she was fired. At the same time, 10 unionized employees and one medically exempt non-unionized employee were permitted to continue working without being vaccinated.

“Spivack’s request was denied when Krasner decided to summarily deny all religious exemption or accommodation requests,” the brief said. “Krasner terminated Spivack’s employment as a result, violating the Free Exercise Clause.”

“Krasner denied all religious exemption or accommodation requests because he believed he was not legally required to grant them,” the brief said.

Despite documentation from her rabbi, Krasner found her request to be “not credible,” the brief said.

“The (District Attorney’s Office) DAO Mandate is neither neutral nor generally applicable for four independent reasons: 1) Krasner possessed absolute discretion in granting exemptions to the Mandate; 2) the Mandate did not apply to unionized DAO employees; 3) Krasner granted a medical exemption to the Mandate; 4) Krasner’s decision to deny all religious exemption or accommodation requests derives from religious hostility. Any one of these is sufficient to trigger strict scrutiny.”

Krasner did not respond to a request for comment. However, in his response to Spivack’s appeal, his lawyers said Krasner changed his vaccine policy as medical advice changed and relied on legal counsel and the 1905 case Jacobson v. Massachusetts, which required smallpox vaccinations.

Krasner argued, “The Court should affirm the District Court’s decision granting summary judgment for District Attorney Krasner on Ms. Spivack’s First Amendment claim because there is no genuine issue of material fact that the DAO vaccine mandate is a neutral and generally applicable policy that satisfies rational basis review.”

And “it is also undisputed that the DAO experienced multiple, disruptive COVID-19 outbreaks throughout the pandemic..(describing COVID-19 outbreaks in the municipal court and trial units). In these circumstances, District Attorney Krasner reasonably concluded, based on recommendations of the CDC and the City Health Commissioner, that vaccination is the most effective and least restrictive measure available in light of the medical data and the DAO’s limited resources,” Krasner argued.

Spivack is seeking damages including back pay and attorneys fees in an amount that would be determined by the court, Patterson said.

First Liberty Institute is a non-profit public interest law firm and the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.

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Months After ‘Emergency,’ West Chester Borough Votes to End COVID Vax Mandate

Years after the impact of COVID waned and the vast majority of Pennsylvanians have moved past the pandemic, one of the Delaware Valley’s most liberal communities just voted to end its attempt to impose a COVID vaccine mandate for its employees.

The West Chester Borough Council okayed the reversal at its Wednesday meeting, revoking the mandate rule as part of the council’s “consent agenda,” which allows several items to be voted through at once.

The vote came roughly two months after the White House ended the COVID-19 national emergency in April.

Last September, President Joe Biden said the pandemic was “over” in the United States.

“We still have a problem with COVID,” he said at that time. “We’re still doing a lotta work on it.”

But “the pandemic is over,” he said.

Still, it took another six months or so until Biden finally lifted the formal federal emergency declaration. And yet West Chester continued its fight to force employees to get the jab.

The borough had already sunk more than $100,000 in court fees and proceedings in an attempt to force its employees to abide by its vaccine mandate. The policy had originally passed in the fall of 2021, with employees expected to comply by Dec. 31 of that year.

Polling has long shown the coronavirus declining in importance for most people.

An Ipsos poll in October 2021 showed the virus falling from the top spot of global worry to be replaced by concerns such as poverty and unemployment.

By December 2022, most Americans had ceased considering COVID a major concern.

MILLER: Dogs to Sniff Out COVID Infections? Hey, I’ll Bite!

Dogs can sniff out all sorts of things, as every dog owner knows. Cracker, my Bedlington terrier, unfailingly finds all the dog owners who have treats in their pockets at the dog park. I was privy to a more, uh, interesting illustration of canine olfactory skill some years ago.

When I fly back to the U.S. after a trip abroad, I’m always so eager to get back to Cracker that I can’t resist scratching and petting the USDA beagles at U.S. Customs, despite the “DO NOT PET” message on their vest. The handler is invariably annoyed and admonishes me. Well, once, the dog got her scratch, then moved to my backpack and sat down – the signal for contraband detection. There was a long-forgotten banana at the bottom. That earned an intensive inspection of all my luggage. (I do not recommend this.)

The ability of dogs to sniff out explosives, illicit drugs, and forbidden produce is well known, but there have also been some successes in getting them to detect various disease states. For example, diabetic-alert dogs are trained to sense certain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that indicate high or low blood sugar in a diabetic’s breath or sweat. When the dog detects the characteristic odor emitted by the person, he (or she) alerts with a specifically trained behavior such as pawing, sitting, or barking.

There are numerous case reports of dogs spontaneously detecting and calling attention to human cancers, including skin and breast, and in various lab (no pun intended) experiments with human tissues and fluids, dogs have been trained to detect a wide array of cancers.

A fascinating ongoing project is a California-based pilot program to train dogs to detect COVID-19 infections in humans. After two months of training on COVID-19 scent samples in the laboratory, the dogs achieved greater than 95 percent sensitivity (the test’s ability to correctly designate a positive) and specificity (its ability to correctly call a negative) for the detection of the virus. The dogs’ performance in real-world conditions was then tested in the field: 50 visits were conducted at 27 schools from April 1 to May 25, 2022, on 1,558 participants.

The screenings were performed on days when antigen testing was scheduled. The children were lined up standing six feet apart with their backs to two yellow Labradors – Rizzo and Scarlet — led by handlers. One by one, the dogs sniffed each student’s ankles and feet. To indicate a “COVID-positive,” a dog would sit down before moving on to the next person, similar to how the USDA dog signaled having found my illicit banana.

The investigators assessed the dogs’ sensitivity and specificity for COVID-19 infection, using antigen test results as the comparator. If a dog signaled positive and the antigen testing results were negative, the signal was considered a false positive; conversely, if a dog did not signal and the antigen testing results were positive, that was counted as a false negative.

The dogs did very well. In the field studies, their detection sensitivity was 83 percent, with specificity of 90 percent.

The ultimate goal is to have dogs able to perform large-scale, non-invasive COVID screening, with antigen testing necessary only for verification on persons with positive dog screening results. That would significantly reduce the number of antigen tests performed.

Sounds good to me. I’ll bite.

A postscript: With COVID testing in schools now infrequent, Rizzo and Scarlet have turned their noses to detect COVID in California nursing homes.

Is There Still a COVID Emergency? Local Members of Congress Vote ‘Yes’

Most Delaware Valley residents have long ago moved passed the “emergency” phase of COVID-19, returning to work and school, rarely wearing masks, and regularly gathering in groups.

But when a bill came before the U.S. House of Representatives last week declaring an end to the pandemic emergency that has been renewed a dozen times since March 2020, the Democrats representing the Delaware Valley all voted “no.” Only Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks/Montgomery) voted against it.

The data don’t appear to support the idea that a pandemic emergency still exists. On February 2 of this year, the seven-day average of daily COVID deaths was 22. One year earlier it was 157. According to available data, January 2021 was the month with the highest average deaths in Pennsylvania, a number that has plunged in the two years since.

So, why did local members of Congress vote against a resolution passed in a bipartisan vote declaring “the national emergency declared by the finding of the President on March 13, 2020, in Proclamation 9994 (85 Fed. Reg. 15337) is hereby terminated”?

All three congressional Democrats — Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery), Mary Gay Scanlon (D-Delaware/Philadelphia), and Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester/Berks) — declined to answer questions about their votes.

Republican consultant Charlie O’Neill said he believes he has the answer.

“The Democrats in Washington, D.C. want the COVID crisis to continue forever. Why? The answer is it gives the government unchecked power in broad areas of American life,” O’Neill said. “However, even President Biden is noticing the continued use of ‘emergency powers’ is losing its popularity with the American public. The more they cling to COVID, the further from the voters they move.”

Richard Booker, a lawyer and former Radnor commissioner, said he was surprised by the vote.

“That’s crazy,” said Booker. “Why would we need to continue that? It’s only a way to continue to minimize accountability and maximize government power. They take no responsibility for the consequences of emergency actions. We’re not in a pandemic anymore.”

Dave Sommers, a Republican candidate for county commissioner in Chester County said, “They love government overreach.”

Soon after taking office last month, Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro ordered 2,300 state workers who had been working from home to go back to the office. Republicans had urged his predecessor, fellow Democrat Tom Wolf, to make that move.

“It’s time,” said state Rep. Seth Grove (R-York), according to PennLive. “People need to get back to work. COVID is over. To an extent, telework policies are helpful like when you got a sick kid. There are a lot of positives to it. But generally, you should be at work working, especially when you are in positions that answer the phone and are accountable to residents. You need the workforce back.”

President Joe Biden has said he plans to end the pandemic emergency in May. That might affect federal money states receive and also test kits and vaccines that are paid for by the federal government.

Most of the measures put imposed at the height of the pandemic, such as quarantine rules, closing schools and businesses, and mandating masks, were put into place by state governors.

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LEBIEDZINSKI: Court Missed Mark in Dismissing Parents’ Case

America’s Founding Fathers wisely embedded checks and balances into our constitutional republic’s governing structure. They encouraged the courts, for example, to check the abuses and overreach of the legislative and executive branches.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we witnessed government and teachers union overreach normalized, particularly in education – with the over-sexualization of curriculum, placement of pornographic books in middle school libraries, drag shows at elementary schools, mask mandates, free water ice and cash payments for vaccination, puberty blockers, boys competing in women’s sports, and DEI/CRT. The importance of checks and balances by the legal system and by parents has become acutely clear.

Parents instinctively know the importance of addressing discipline issues with their children, even after the fact, and even when the person who raised the issue may only be indirectly involved. Why? Because it does not matter who raised the issue, wrong is wrong. Nor does it matter if the wrongdoing is no longer occurring, wrong is wrong. Addressing the bad behavior is not moot, and if not dealt with it will occur again. Ignorance is implicit enablement.

Given this backdrop, it is particularly frustrating that the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has, for the second time this year, dismissed complaints brought by parents, failing to rule on the substance of each lawsuit.

Will this failure have an impact on children? Parents and educators have spent the last three years predicting the harmful effects of the delusional fear mongering that caused useless masking, school closures, and the particularly destructive “virtual learning.” Validation of those predictions has come in the form of decreasing academic achievement scores.

“This is the fifth consecutive year of declines in average scores, a worrisome trend that began long before the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, and has persisted,” said Janet Godwin, the CEO of the ACT.

Earlier this year, the court dismissed a case brought by parents demanding compliance with Pennsylvania’s requirement for 180 days of in-school instructional learning. At the time, school districts knew using virtual learning was illegal, but they did it anyway.

How do we know it was illegal? Mark Hoffman, executive director of Bucks County’s Intermediate Unit stated in a July 6 email to all 13 Bucks County superintendents, “No authority yet granted to PDE [PA Dept of Edu] to issue waiver for 180 day school year,” and “Hybrid options and staggered schedule options are NOT legal as of today,” and “Research provided by PDE that offers suggestions for hybrid options are NOT currently legal options as school code currently stands.”

The court did not rule on the substance of the complaint, but rather tossed it – twice – ruling that parents do not have standing to bring such a complaint. Perhaps they overlooked that parents, via school real estate taxes, fund nearly 100 percent of the costs that provide those 180 days of education.

Then on December 1, the Commonwealth Court tossed another parent-led lawsuit which asked the court to declare Pennsylvania’s secretary of education was wrong to advise school districts that they had the authority to mandate masks. Yes, you read that correctly, the secretary of EDUCATION, not the Secretary of HEALTH. Oddly enough, this time last year, the same Commonwealth Court declared then-Sec. of Health Alison Beam’s statewide masking order void ab initio (void from the beginning). Beam was fired after the ruling and – shocker – was hired by UPMC as a government liaison.

The court held the “guidance” issued to school superintendents by the secretary of education “was not an order, directive requirement, or mandate requiring” Pennsylvania school districts “to implement masking mandates within their schools.” Accordingly, the court found that any order it would issue would amount to an “advisory opinion.” Oddly enough, that advisory opinion is exactly what the Complaint demanded, and is exactly the job of the court – to interpret the law.

The court also ruled the complaint was moot because the school districts had already made masks optional. The court ignored the argument that districts’ Health and Safety Plans continue to this day to have language enabling mask mandates to be reinstated at any time in the future.

The complaint cited the expressio unius est exclusio alterius doctrine – a Latin phrase meaning the inclusion of specific powers to one government agency implies the exclusion of such powers to other agencies. Because the legislature delegated disease control to the Department of Health, the Department of Education has no power to govern disease control.

Abdicating its responsibility to determine constitutionality, the court did not rule on the substantive issues brought by the parents in either complaint. That is literally their job. Parents and students deserve better.

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Sen. Katie Muth Called Rachel Levine the ‘Mess in a Dress,’ According to Retired Air Force Major General

State Sen. Katie Muth once called then-Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine “the mess in a dress,” according to the transcript of unsworn testimony a former Air Force major general gave during a 2021 state administrative hearing.

Levine, a transgender woman appointed Pennsylvania’s health secretary by Gov. Tom Wolf in 2017, has since gone on to be the highest-ranking transgender person in federal service after accepting a position in President Biden’s administration.

Although the testimony of Major General Eric Weller came in 2021, he was recalling a conversation from the earliest weeks of the pandemic when Levine had become the face of Pennsylvania state government because of her daily COVID press conferences.

Weller retired from a highly decorated career in the Air Force and then served as the deputy adjutant general for veteran’s affairs for the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) from November 2016 to February 2021.

Weller was giving his recollections to a “name-clearing hearing” held by the Pennsylvania Office of Administration while testifying in support of two people who had been fired from their management positions from the Southeastern Veterans’ Center (SEVC) — two firings Muth had called for when the long-term care facility came under intense political and media scrutiny in the first weeks of the pandemic.

Sen. Katie Muth

While Muth was claiming poor leadership at the facility in her senate district in Spring City, the ousted leaders and their backers like Weller say the SEVC leaders were scapegoated so as to deflect attention from the Department of Health’s lackluster start to its handling of the pandemic.

“By mid-April, State Senator Muth took it upon herself to start attacking the SEVC and the DMVA regarding the outbreak at SEVC,” Weller said, according to the transcript. “It is interesting to note that never once did Senator Muth offer any assistance to DMVA, let alone SEVC.”

Moments later in the testimony, he recalled a direct conversation between him and the senator, while describing her language as “filthy.”

“And actually, if — I’m just going to go ahead and say it: her closing comment to me that day was, ‘I am considered to be a renegade Democrat. I am here to make a name for myself. Let me be clear about that. I am here to make a name for myself. And in doing such, I don’t care if I have to take down the Governor and any member of his staff, including — including the ‘mess in the dress.”

“I didn’t know who the ‘mess in the dress’ was, later realizing that she was referring directly to Secretary Levine,” Weller continued. “That came from Senator Muth. And I have detailed notes about that conversation.”

(Broad + Liberty has lightly edited the quote with punctuation for clarity.)

When reached about the story, Weller declined to comment on the record further, saying the transcript would speak for itself. He did add, however, that he remembers telling the same anecdote under oath, and that he would not hesitate to retell the same story in the same manner if he were under oath.

Muth did not confirm or refute Weller’s claim about the Levine comment.

“I am extremely proud of the work our office has done to fight for the rights of veterans who bravely served our country and to hold those accountable who hurt them – particularly as they were vulnerable during the early months of the Covid-19 outbreak,” Muth said. “We championed THEIR needs in that uniquely challenging time; we didn’t defend the status quo or administration of failing facilities, and I will remain steadfast in support of our veterans in my role as a state senator and in my chairmanship of the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee,” (emphasis original).

Although the number of fatalities at the SEVC was high, it was impossible to compare it contemporaneously to any other nursing homes or other long-term care facilities because the Wolf administration had not yet released statewide data — something it did not relent to until mid-May of 2020 amid constant public and media pressure.

When facility-by-facility data was eventually released it showed that another long-term care facility (LTCF) in Muth’s district, the Parkhouse Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Royersford, fared worse. Parkhouse not only had more resident deaths (48 compared to 35), but also a higher fatality rate (35 percent to 33 percent). Parkhouse, however, was never the subject of Muth’s ire or of any Inquirer exposés.

Yet, an Inquirer report in May of 2020 charged that the SEVC’s top administrator, Commandant Rohan Blackwood, was abusive, citing a single but anonymous source as claiming he altered medical records.

Meanwhile, Muth has faced her own accusations of abusive misconduct.

As Broad + Liberty reported last month, Muth has seen nearly 200 percent turnover in her staff in roughly three-and-a-half years in the Senate, and a former staff member accused her in 2021 of bullying and fostering a hostile work environment.

The idea that Muth might have been willing to take on fights as high as the governor’s office seems to be supported by a quote she provided to an Inquirer article about the SEVC in July 2020.

Muth “had begun drafting a letter to the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee to [formally request] a hearing on the nursing home,” the Inquirer reported.

“The silence of the DMVA leadership and the governor’s office is damning,” she told the paper.

Both Weller and Blackwood testified that the governor’s office prohibited anyone from the facility from answering reporters’ questions.

Washington Post article, aslo in July,  took aim at the SEVC for giving drug combinations in the earliest days of the pandemic that included hydroxychloroquine. While the drug has been largely discredited in the last year and a half as a COVID-19 remedy, it’s easy to forget that the government was gently giving permission for its use at the earliest stages of the pandemic.

The FDA’s guidance early in the pandemic sayid hydroxychloroquine “may benefit certain patients hospitalized with COVID-19 for whom a clinical trial is not available[.]” The guidance also said the drug was intended for hospitalized patients. The agency later revoked the guidance in June.

In that Washington Post article, Muth blasted the SEVC.

“Funny how they didn’t have PPE stockpiled but they made it a priority of their treatment protocol to include a drug that wasn’t proven to work and shouldn’t be used in non-hospital settings,” she said.

However, government documents obtained by Broad + Liberty show the facility was not as lax about PPE as she represented, at least where PPE is concerned.

On March 18, 2020, two days after Gov. Wolf ordered a statewide shutdown, SEVC requested, “N95 Masks and Face Shields (250 Each). Tent and Warming equipment for screening of COVID 19 prior to entry into the long term care facility,” according to a document from Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, which tracked all requests for PPE help submitted to the state.

On March 20, it upped its original request for surgical masks from 250 to 2000.

spreadsheet showing all PPE distributed under the control of the Pennsylvania Department of Health indicates that the SEVC didn’t receive its first shipment of PPE from the state until April 14, 2020 — 27 days after its original request.

In the hearing, Weller told the state that the very first delivery of face masks from the state was useless because the masks were expired by fifteen years.

For a point of contrast, the state PPE delivery spreadsheet shows that the Fair Acres Geriatric Center run by Delaware County received more than 5,000 N-95 masks along with hundreds of gowns, gloves, and face shields on March 28 and April 1, 2020. The delivery came just days after it requested face masks from PEMA. SEVC would continue to wait.

PPE shortages at nursing homes were a national problem, and not isolated to one state or one facility.

Months later, when Commandant Blackwood and the SEVC nursing director had already been suspended, Muth hinted that any attempts to get to a factual accounting of what happened would need to reach far beyond the facility’s leadership. She implied some kind of coverup had happened at a much higher level of state government, perhaps unwittingly aiding the thesis of Weller and Blackwood that top state officials trampled the SEVC.

“I’m fearful that because this is a state-run facility, a true assessment of what’s happened already and what’s continuing to happen won’t take place,” she told the Inquirer.

The article first appeared in Broad + Liberty.

Bucks County Mom Beat Shapiro in Court. Now She’s Fighting to Elect Mastriano.

Jamie Cohen Walker is the Bucks County mom who beat Attorney General Josh Shapiro in the state Supreme Court.

The Chalfont resident, a former certified reading specialist, is now a stay-at-home mom to her 16, 14, and 11-year-old children. During the COVID-19 classroom lockdowns, she was active in the Reopen Bucks movement to get kids back in school.

She says she is a politically moderate former Democrat, but she may be a model of the “mama bear” voter Republicans need to win in this year’s midterms.

“I’m Jewish. I was a Democrat. I would not be a Democrat now. I don’t think I could do it after seeing what they’ve done to our kids,” said Walker, a guest speaker at a recent rally for GOP gubernatorial candidate state Sen. Doug Mastriano.

Political consultant Albert Eisenberg of RedStateBlue, said, “Suburban, college-educated women have been up for grabs since the GOP transitioned from the party of Romney to the party of Trump. But now the Republican Party is in its post-Trump era and many of these moms are returning to the fold.

“They are seeing de facto Democratic policies of absolute radicalism — people who genuinely believe parents should have no say in their child’s education, people who are still forcing toddlers to wear masks, which is completely inhumane,” said Eisenberg. “Adding to this sharp left turn of the Democrats is the skyrocketing cost of living and eroding value of a dollar due to the Democrats’ insane economic policies — and the suburbs are certainly coming back, in places, to the GOP this cycle.”

Since the 2021 school board elections brought a conservative majority to the Central Bucks School Board, Walker said she is not concerned that the board would agree to shut down the schools again in case another epidemic happens.

But if Shapiro is elected governor, that’s another story.

“If Josh Shapiro wins, could he shut down schools? Absolutely. The only thing that would shut down schools is a governor’s emergency. Our (school) board is really good now, so they would not shut down schools. And our health director would not shut down schools.

“But Josh Shapiro could shut down schools. Absolutely. He fought to keep them closed,” said Walker.

Walker is one of the right-to-know warriors battling the school district for information about how it made decisions about COVID-related closings and mask mandates and finding out through a trove of emails that the district had kowtowed to teachers’ union demands.

“I won my first right-to-know appeal in January 2021. The district said it would give me all the records except three emails and took me to court,” Walker said. “That was when (attorney) Chad Schmee reached out to me and said, ‘I can win these records for you.’”

After Walker won, Supt. Dr. John Kopicki “just up and disappeared,” said Walker.  “The superintendent of the largest district in Pennsylvania decided to leave in March 2021. As soon as he left, I received my emails.”

“We have a local health department,” said Walker. “Dr. David Damsker is our health director.  When you have a local health department, they determine the mitigation for something. Also, a mask is actually a modified quarantine.

She points to an “email that Dr. Damsker wrote to all (Bucks) superintendents telling them you don’t have to be hybrid,” said Walker. “Every child can be in school. You don’t have the authority to do this. They broke the law. They did not have the authority.

“And Dr. Damsker said if you’re wearing a mask (when exposed to someone with COVID), you don’t have to stay home and quarantine,” said Walker. “But our school district wasn’t doing that. Our school district was sending healthy kids home. That was against the law, too.

“No one ever wrote about it. No one ever questioned it. They kept 1,100 kids home that were considered contacts, and no one was getting sick. They weren’t consulting the health department. They were just doing it on their own,” she said. “I don’t think people understand what they did to children. They missed so much school,” she said.

“In June 2021, Dr. Damsker came to our school district and said the kids don’t have to wear masks anymore, and we’re going to treat COVID like the flu and move on from COVID. Well, a lot went down in August.”

On Aug. 31, 2021, former state Health Director Alison Beam required school students and staff to wear masks again.

“So Central Bucks already started, and everybody was normal, all the kids were back to school normal,” said Walker. “So they said on Sept. 7, all the kids had to start wearing masks again.”

Beam put the “illegal mask mandate in, and I joined a few other parents to sue Allison Beam. It was Josh Shapiro who defended it, his office. We won in Commonwealth Court,” she said, but then Shapiro appealed to the state Supreme Court. “And we won. We beat him in the Supreme Court.”

Then in December, Beam resigned.

“Our health director (Damsker) put out health guidance on Aug. 15, then Alison Beam and the teachers’ union pressured our county commissioners to change the health guidance, then nobody ever heard from our health director again.”

“It’s really bad what went on here,” she said. “Some of the Democratic people hated Dr. Damsker. There were Facebook groups about him, ‘Ditch Dr. Damsker.’ They did such horrible things to him.”

At the Mastriano rally, Walker said, “Here in Bucks County, we saw first-hand how Democrats were willing to use COVID-19 as a political tool to strip away our personal freedom and exert their will over us. We watched our health director was silenced by Democrat bosses when the Wolf administration did not agree with his health guidance. They interfered with our health director’s legal authority to set health guidance during a pandemic. We lived with the effect of that illegal interference for two painful years. A group of us parents stood in their way. We acted as the opposition to the Wolf administration’s mandates.

“We knew that keeping kids out of school would harm them, so we fought, and we fought extremely hard because the Democratic politicians and their allies, the teachers union, made us their enemy,” she said. The parents were called “domestic terrorists” and “jerks.”

“They weaponized the government against us,” Walker said.

Walker and another parent, Megan Brock, are in a legal battle with Bucks County over their right-to-know request about how the county issued its health directives, bypassing Damsker. The county sued the two moms to keep some of the commissioners’ emails private after Walker and Brock won an appeal to the state Office of Open Records.

“After decades of Republican control of Bucks County, these Democrat commissioners are the first Bucks County administration ever to sue a private citizen to hide their emails, their own words,” said Walker. “Those emails they’re trying to hide from us are about how Democrat politicians interfered with our children’s education.”

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WALKER: Emails Show Central Bucks COVID Closures Work of Teachers’ Union

During the summer of 2020, I was told by numerous people that the PSEA had absolutely no influence over the decision on whether to open schools in Bucks County for the start of the 2020/2021 school year. Two years later and several thousand emails obtained via the Right-to-Know requests, I have learned that was a lie. I have also realized that the people who kept schools closed were either scared of COVID or scared of the PSEA.

That is just the beginning of the story I will tell about why it was so hard to get children back into school in our area. Keep in mind Bucks County had more kids attend in-person education than surrounding counties, thanks to our health director and the parents and board directors who fought to make it happen.

Central Bucks School District is the largest suburban school district in Pennsylvania. Up until July 17, 2020, former Supt. Dr. John Kopicki had been telling parents that school would open for a full five days per week. On July 17 he tried to change the law regarding how children are educated in Pennsylvania. Without board approval, he made the unilateral decision to switch the entire district of 18,000 students to “hybrid” education.

In announcing his decision, Kopicki lied to parents about what the state guidelines actually were.  Then he had district employees incorrectly measure desks from edge to edge rather than from center to center, which is what county health director Dr. David Damsker advocated that would have allowed schools to open normally.

Because of Kopicki, kids could only attend school two days per week. Secondary students weren’t even allowed to eat lunch in school.

Now we know that he kept kids out of school because of pressure from PSEA Mideastern Regional President Bill Senavaitis. Instead of preparing his classrooms for the upcoming school year, Senavaitis went on an unprecedented assault against Damsker, who was giving parents hope that children could have a relatively normal school year.

Senavaitis spent his time writing op-eds bashing our health department and asking Bucks County citizens to tell a board-certified public health doctor to change his health guidance in order to align with what the PSEA wanted–not what was best for children.

From emails, we learned he attacked Bucks County Health Director Damsker with a flurry of personal attacks so repulsive that Bucks County Commissioner Bob Harvie chided him for it. Later, he went as far as calling parents “jerks” in his PSEA newsletter. On August 6, 2020, he got the PSEA state president to send a letter to Bucks County commissioners pressuring them to force Damsker to change his guidance so that kids could be kept out of school. But Damsker never changed his guidance.

Bill Senavaitis left his position as president of the PSEA Mideastern Region when the truth came out. But now that time has passed the PSEA feels it’s safe to promote him again so that he can be in the same position when the next crisis occurs. Is this the type of leadership the PSEA wants to represent its organization? Is this the type of organization politicians want endorsing them?

Now, two years later, we know Damsker was correct about learning loss, distancing, and treating COVID like the flu. Senavaitis was wrong about everything concerning COVID. His op-ed titled “David Damsker’s remarks about 3-foot social distancing in schools are harmful,” is a personal and professional humiliation for him. We need to ask why he is back in the leadership role in the PSEA.

The PSEA under Senavaitis’ leadership advocated for thousands of children to be kept from school—catering to the unions’ agenda, not the children’s. That speaks volumes about the PSEA and should make every citizen and especially parents wonder what type of organization is influencing our district administrators, our school board, and our kids. All the emails and documents backing up my opinions can be found  here.

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Report: Bucks County Dem Operative Overrode Top Doc’s COVID Guidance

When Bucks County schools ignored its top doctor and imposed strict COVID-19 rules on students last year, parents wanted to know why. What they found, according to a new report, was a trail that leads back to a longtime Democratic operative currently embedded in county government.

Bucks County Republicans now want him gone.

National Review first reported the story of parents trying to find out why the county’s school districts fell in line with state Department of Health guidance and rejected the independent opinion of Dr. David Damsker, the county’s health department director. Damsker proposed more parent-friendly, less-restrictive guidelines for the county’s schools. But his recommendations were overridden, replaced with stricter state guidelines for masking, quarantines, and vaccinations.

Parents who opposed the more restrictive approach, including Megan Brock, Jamie Walker, and Josh Hogan, wanted to find out how the August 23, 2021 decision was made. So they filed right-to-know requests. Bucks County responded by filing two lawsuits against each woman in Common Pleas Court to avoid turning over the materials.

But the parents discovered using computer metadata that the August 23 guidance did not, as county official claimed, come from Damsker, “but was instead written on the computer of Eric Nagy, the county’s director of policy and communications,” Ryan Mills of National Review reports.

Nagy is a longtime party functionary who has served as a Democratic committeeman and has a long history of working on Democratic campaigns, including those of Bucks County Commissioners Diane Ellis-Marseglia and Chair Bob Havie. According to his LinkedIn page, Nagy’s specialties are political organization and campaign management.

He is now on the county payroll in the communications department, according to James T. O’Malley, a spokesman for Bucks County.

“In his role with the county, Mr. Nagy is responsible for, and routinely involved with, reviewing and disseminating information to the public,” O’Malley said. Placing campaign aides in government communication departments is common practice in politics.

According to National Review’s reporting, the Wolf administration pressured local counties and school districts to comply with its COVID rules, instead of those recommended by local authorities, such as Damsker.

Neither Nagy nor Damsker responded to requests for comment from DVJournal.

Bucks County GOP Chair Pat Poprik called the new revelations “troubling, but not surprising.” She says Republicans warned against hiring Nagy and, in the wake of these revelations, he needs to resign.

“In February 2020, we raised serious concerns about the hiring of a purely partisan political operative to serve as a ‘special projects coordinator,’ earning an $83,000 annual taxpayer-funded salary,” Poprik said.

“We believed then, as we do now, that the Democrat majority on the Board of Commissioners would use this newly-created position to advance their political agenda rather than serve the people of Bucks County. It was even more troubling when Mr. Nagy received a promotion and pay bump, putting him in charge of all County communications.”

Poprik said the available evidence “represents a significant overreach by a political operative, and a violation of the trust voters have in our county government.”

“Mr. Nagy should resign, and the Democrat commissioners should drop their lawsuits against Megan Brock and Jamie Walker and release the documents requested by their Right to Know Requests.  To do any less would be a disservice to Bucks County families,” Poprik added.


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