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Bucks Commissioners Harvie and Marseglia Miss Mandatory Campaign Finance Date

Bucks County Commissioners Bob Harvie and Diane Marseglia, Democrats who are seeking re-election, failed to file their Oct. 27 campaign report on time as required by law.

The Bucks County Republican Chairwoman Pat Poprik called them out on the state election law violation and asked, “What are they hiding?”

“On Friday, October 27th, the Election Campaign Committee for Bob Harvie and Diane Marseglia violated State Election Laws when it deliberately failed to file mandatory Campaign Finance Reports due on that date.  These mandatory reports disclose both who has been contributing money to their re-election bid, as well as what they spent these funds on,” Poprik said.

“What are they hiding? Bucks County Voters are entitled to know!” she continued. “This flagrant violation of the Pennsylvania Election Code has continued now, without explanation, for more than a week.  This is not the first time that Harvie and Marseglia have been a part of efforts to hide public records from the citizens of Bucks County.

“This year, a Bucks County Judge ordered that telephone and email records belonging to Harvie and Marseglia be turned over to county citizens who lawfully requested them after Harvie and Marseglia fought in Court to keep them secret.

“Now, the Committee to Re-Elect Harvie and Marseglia, called “Bucks United,” is deliberately and flagrantly ignoring the public disclosure requirements of the Pennsylvania Election Code by failing to report and disclose where the money funding their re-election campaign is really coming from,” Poprik said.

“Democrat Party bosses in Philadelphia and Harrisburg are desperate to exert their influence over Bucks County politics. The failures of decades of Philadelphia Democrat politicians and policies are directly impacting our quality of life in Bucks County as Philadelphia crime and criminals continue to creep into our neighborhoods. For them, it’s not about the people they represent – instead, it’s all about politics.  How much of their money and their influence is contributing to the Harvie and Marseglia Campaign?  Bucks County Voters have the right to know,” she added.

The Marseglia and Harvie campaign did not return requests for comment, and the Bucks County Democratic headquarters did not respond to messages.

DVJournal located a filing for Friends of Diane Marseglia, a separate PAC, which had $14,000 in contributions between June and Oct. 23.  Contributors included the Southeast Realtors PAC, the Greater Pennsylvania Carpenters Union, Teamsters Local 0115, and Steamfitters Union Local 420. Friends of Diane Marseglia listed a $5,000 contribution to Bucks United on Oct. 18.

Gene DiGirolamo and Controller Pam Van Blunk, the Republicans running for county commissioner, said in a statement, “We are very disappointed by Commissioners Marseglia and Harvie’s violation of the campaign finance laws by failing to file the campaign finance reports for Bucks United, the committee paying for their campaign.  They have decided that Bucks County voters are not entitled to know who has funded their campaign and what they have spent their campaign money on.   Unfortunately, this is yet another example of a lack of transparency by Commissioners Marseglia and Harvie.  Contrary to Pennsylvania law, Commissioners Marseglia and Harvie appointed a Philadelphia resident (who happened to be a major Democrat donor) to a mandatory Bucks County board position on the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

“Commissioners Marseglia and Harvie have consistently demonstrated they do not follow rules,” they added.  “Whether it is failing to follow a Court Order to release public information to Right to Know Requests made by taxpayers or suing “mothers” who request transparency from our County government, both Commissioners Marseglia and Harvie have flaunted the rules for the last 4 years.  This is just the culmination of what taxpayers have been experiencing under Commissioners Marseglia and Harvie.”

“One thing is clear – in the final days leading up to the November election, the Harvie and Marseglia campaign is breaking the law by its failure, for more than a week, to file its mandatory campaign finance report and its failure to identify who is really funding their campaign,” said Poprik.

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Bucks County GOP Sued Over 2022 Party Officers’ Election, Bylaws

Just as the fall election season is about to begin, the Bucks County Republican Committee and the state GOP, along with the party officers, were hit with a lawsuit by a Hatfield man who ran for party chair last year and lost.

First filed in July in Common Pleas Court, withdrawn, then refiled last Friday, the suit by Barry Casper and some 50 other local party members allege the Bucks committee did not have proper bylaws in place for the June 2022 election, when Pat Poprik was reelected party chair.

“This is so much sour grapes,” said Poprik. “He ran for state committee. Our voters rejected him. He did not win…Then he ran against me on the day of our election. He ran for chairman. He lost 302-100. I mean, substantial…So after I beat him for chair, he turns around and runs for vice chair…And he ran, and we beat him again. So, this man has been beaten by the voters and by the committee people, but he just won’t stop.

“This is sour grapes, and he’s blaming his loss on our bylaws,” said Poprik. “He should look in the mirror.”

Andrew Teitelman, who represents Casper, said it is more complicated than that, claiming the bylaws are bogus.

As a nonprofit, the Bucks GOP cannot have proxy voting, Teitelman said. Yet he said proxy voting took place. Also, he claimed there are no “valid bylaws” on file with the Board of Elections or the state GOP.

Also, the Bucks’ bylaws date to 1972, he said. Back then, there were no word processors, only typewriters.

“We know because of the type style, (the bylaws) were not done on an IBM Selectric or other typewriter,” said Teitelman. “The style of the footer you’re looking at…on that document was something mostly found in the 1990s and is still used to this day.”

“So, there is something wrong with that,” he said. But later, he said a different copy of the bylaws, done on a typewriter, replaced the previous copy two weeks after they raised questions. Before filing the lawsuit, they had also filed an ethics complaint with the state GOP in January. But, “they brushed it under the rug, saying they did not feel it was within their purview.”

DVJournal asked Teitelman why his client was filing a lawsuit now with a county election looming.

“We’re always coming up on an election,” he said. He noted 50 committee members are a sizable portion of the 400 total.

Joel Frank, the lawyer representing the Bucks County GOP, said, “We believe the lawsuit to be baseless, and it will certainly be vigorously defended by the Bucks County Republican Committee and its officers.”

Poprik said, “This is not something we need now. Believe me; we’re going to defend this right now. I’m focused on the election, and that’s what I’m going to focus on…They don’t like our bylaws. That’s the bottom line. But that’s what they are. They’ve worked since 1967. These are the bylaws we have.”

Teitelman said, “I know what I signed isn’t frivolous.”

As a remedy, the plaintiffs are asking the court to require that Casper be installed as chair instead of Poprik or appoint interim officers and have the party form a committee to rewrite its bylaws and then hold another election.

“We probably would have been satisfied with a negotiated settlement, but they’re ignoring us,” said Teitelman, who is handling the case pro bono. “They’re giving us the middle finger. We had no choice but to proceed to court. Otherwise, there’s no remedy at all.”


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PA GOP Blasts AP Story Targeting McCormick’s Residency

Pennsylvania Republicans are rallying around potential 2024 U.S. Senate candidate Dave McCormick after an Associated Press article raised questions about the Pittsburgh native’s residency in the state.

“I’ve been to Dave McCormick’s house in Pittsburgh,” said Charlie Gerow, a Republican political consultant with Quantum Communications. “It sure looked ‘lived in’ to me.

The article, which claimed McCormick “lives in Connecticut,” echoed a political attack used by Democrats against GOP U.S. Senate candidate Mehmet Oz last year. Oz lost to John Fetterman, despite the Democrat suffering a debilitating stroke during the campaign and still struggling to communicate.

The AP report claimed that “while McCormick does own a home in Pittsburgh, a review of public records, real estate listings, and footage from recent interviews indicates he still lives on Connecticut’s ‘Gold Coast,’ one of the densest concentrations of wealth in America.”

McCormick spokeswoman Elizabeth Gregory gave DVJournal a statement explaining that “he maintains a residence in Connecticut as his daughters finish high school.”

However, “Dave’s home is in Pittsburgh, and for the last 10 years he has owned a working farm in his hometown of Bloomsburg, which has been in the family for decades.”

“Dave has called Pennsylvania home for 30 years and served our country outside of Pennsylvania for an additional 13,” Gregory said. “It’s the place he mailed letters back to when he served in Iraq and where three of his daughters were born.”

McCormick, a former hedge fund manager, served in the first Gulf War, worked in the George W. Bush administration, and authored the book “Superpower in Peril.” He is widely viewed as a likely GOP challenger to Democrat Sen. Bob Casey, who is running for a fourth term in 2024.

During the 2022 GOP primary, McCormick told DVJournal he was inspired to run because of the Biden administration’s bungled withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“Seeing Afghanistan play out just grabbed our attention and just shook us,” said McCormick, who is married to Trump administration national security advisor Dina Powell. “My wife has done a lot of public service, too. She’s an immigrant to this country. We both lived the American Dream. And when we saw that playing out — the humiliation, the embarrassment, and the lack of accountability — it just shook me.”

Pennsylvania Republicans rushed to McCormick’s defense.

Bucks County GOP Chair Pat Poprik called the premise of the AP article, that McCormick does not live in the commonwealth, “ridiculous.”

“Dave lives in Pennsylvania. Graduating from West Point, leading FreeMarkets in a key era for Pittsburgh, advising the president on key economic and national security policies — Dave’s leadership inside and outside Pennsylvania is what would make him such a great senator, and that’s not something to be belittled.”

GOP strategist Christopher Nicholas with Eagle Consulting Group took a swipe at Sen. John Fetterman, saying, “Democrats seem fascinated by geography rather than competency or qualifications.”

“McCormick grew up here, graduated from high school here, earned his West Point appointment here, was a cutting-edge job creator in Pittsburgh, and pays property taxes here,” said Nicholas.

“I think these are not real stories,” said Sam DeMarco, chairman of the Allegheny County Republican Caucus. “I think these things are just planted to try to give Casey, the Democrat, an avenue to attack somebody who’s been wildly successful at everything he’s ever done in life.”

He contrasted McCormick’s record to Casey’s.

“I don’t know where Bob Casey stays in Washington, D.C.,” DeMarco continued. Many people have more than one house, he said. Sometimes in Florida, at the shore, in the mountains. “This is just where our politics are today. (They) try to attack someone for their success.”

If you need a lawyer or a doctor, “you want the best,” said DeMarco. “So, why wouldn’t we want the very best candidate we can find?”

“Bob Casey has been in the Senate for (almost) 18 years,” DeMarco said. “And can you name a single piece of legislation with his name on it?”

Gerow said Democrats are just pulling pages out of last year’s playbook, but McCormick isn’t Dr. Oz.

“Dave McCormick has deep Pennsylvania roots and a story built on that foundation. The left may try — once again — to portray him as something else. It won’t work.”


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As She Leads in Latest Poll, Locals Ask: What Would Mayor Gym Mean for Suburbs?

A recent poll shows that Helen Gym is ahead of the field — slightly.  What would a Philadelphia mayor who is an unapologetic progressive mean to the businesses and families in the suburbs?

The Emerson College/PHL17 Poll has “Gym at 21 percent, followed by Cherelle Parker with 18 percent, Rebecca Rhynhart with 18 percent, and Allan Domb with 14 percent. Jeff Brown trails with 10 percent.” The poll showed that 15 percent were undecided less than a week from Election Day (May 16).

“When these voters are asked which candidate they lean towards, and that is added to their total support, Gym’s support increases to 23 percent, Parker to 21 percent, Rhynhart to 20 percent, and Domb to 17 percent,” the poll stated.

“This is an exciting race where there is no clear frontrunner,” said  Spencer Kimball, Executive Director of Emerson College Polling. “The top four candidates are within the poll’s margin of error and could receive the most votes depending on demographic turnout.”

Gym could win the Democratic nomination with fewer than a third of the electorate because so many candidates are running and dividing up the vote totals. And with a 7-1 Democratic voter registration, the Democratic nominee will likely be the next mayor, barring a major upset. Republican David Oh, a former city councilman, is unopposed in the GOP primary.

“Like many Chester County voters, I am concerned about the rising crime in Philadelphia and its spread to the suburbs. As I write this, Helen Gym is holding a campaign rally with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders, which tells me everything I need to know about whether she will hold criminals accountable. There’s only one candidate in the Philadelphia mayoral race that I trust to make the city and its suburbs safer, and that is City Councilman David Oh,” said Eric Roe, a former Pennsylvania state representative and candidate for Chester County Commissioner.

Guy Ciarrocchi, former president of the Chester County Chamber of Commerce, said, “I think the big unspoken and unwritten story is the number of businesses making plans to close or relocate to the suburbs. Almost no one will talk on the record, nor will the chamber or other business leaders.  How many chose to close matters, and how many relocate to the suburbs matters. And in my opinion, it’s no victory when a major employer leaves center city or Port Richmond and relocates to King of Prussia.

“But the issue is that many are preparing for the worst—higher taxes, increased crime with little or no consequences, and underperforming schools.”

Pat Poprik, chair of the Bucks County Republicans, believes a Gym mayoralty will not be good for the suburbs or the city.

“I think she’s very progressive, further left than Mayor Kenney.” Poprik said, noting that Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came to rally with Gym on Sunday.

Gym tweeted: “I am honored to stand with two of the most inspiring political leaders and fiercest fighters for working people. The eyes of the nation are on Philadelphia because we are going to make history this Tuesday.”

Sanders tweeted: LIVE from PHILADELPHIA: Join @aoc  and me as we rally to make @HelenGymPHL – a true fighter for the working class – the next mayor of Philadelphia!”

And AOC retweeted Gym: “Everything must change. On Tuesday, vote for courage and transformation. This is our moment to build a Philadelphia where public schools are strong, communities are safe, workers are protected, and young people have a future to believe in. We get the city we fight for.”

Poprik says this is the wrong message for suburbanites who are increasingly concerned about the state of the city.

“That doesn’t bode well for the city. Bucks Countians don’t want to go there. You don’t feel safe there,” Poprik said. And that will only get worse if Gym takes over and drives more left-wing policies. “Philly has so many problems that could bleed into our counties,” she said. More Philadelphia residents will move to the suburbs. “They’re fleeing California (because of progressivism),” she said.

“It’s too much,” she said. “It’s out of control. I don’t think it’s best for the city to have somebody that liberal.”


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McCormick Signs Books, Sounds Like a Senate Candidate, at Philly Event

On Wednesday, stacked copies of Dave McCormick’s new book “Superpower in Peril: A Battle Plan to Renew America” stood ready at the entrance to the 28th-floor office suite of the Philadelphia law firm Cozen O’Connor.

Nearby, friends, fans, and acquaintances vied for a chance to talk to the author and, perhaps more importantly, potential 2024 Senate candidate.

McCormick, the former Bridgewater CEO, ran for the U.S. Senate in 2022 and narrowly lost the Republican primary to Dr. Mehmet Oz. Speculation has swirled that he is considering a challenge to incumbent Sen. Bob Casey (D) next year. His appearance Wednesday did nothing to dampen that speculation.

McCormick told DVJournal he was still mulling the decision and would move forward after discussing the matter with his family. Sources close to McCormick told DVJournal he would decide by late summer.

Casey announced his re-election bid this week. McCormick said Wednesday he always expected the Democrat to run for a fourth term and that Casey’s announcement does not affect his decision-making process. He is also unconcerned about a possible bid by fellow Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin).

Bellevue Communications Vice President Jeff Jubelirer said McCormick would “be a very formidable candidate against any Republican primary challenger as well as Sen. Casey.”

“I believe Republicans will overwhelmingly support McCormick in the primary, barring any surprises,” he said. “His background and roots in Pennsylvania, in addition to his strong conservative credentials, will make him tough to beat. And frankly, I believe he would have been a stronger opponent against Sen. John Fetterman than Dr. Oz.”

A recent Franklin & Marshall poll showed although only 29 percent of registered voters think Casey is doing an excellent or good job as senator, the Democrat nonetheless leads McCormick 42 to 35 percent and Mastriano 47 to 31 percent among potential voters.

McCormick told the 100 or so well-wishers at the book signing that he and co-author James Cunningham wrote “Superpower in Peril” because they believe America is “headed in the wrong direction.”

“We’re at $31 trillion in debt,” McCormick said. “We have a 40-year high in inflation. For the first time in the post-war period, the likelihood of getting out of the fourth quartile (of income) and making your way into the third, second, or first quartile is at an all-time low.”

“We’re being challenged on the global stage by China,” continued McCormick. “China is a threat, and our ability to take on that threat is diminishing by the day. And there’s a spiritual crisis. We’re in decline spiritually.”

“Our institutions, our schools, are teaching a version of American history that doesn’t say America is an exceptional country, with all its faults, that’s constantly gotten better,” he added. “And we see it in business where a progressive ideology that’s really chipping away at the basic premises of merit. We see in the military where the Army released its climate change strategy before it released its war-fighting strategy.”

The possible Senate hopeful is optimistic, saying the country has been through similar declines in the past. “We need a leadership agenda,” he said. “We need selfless leaders, visionary leaders that are going to take the country in the right direction.”

“That’s where we’ll find our way, in people stepping up and leading,” he said, noting many of those in the room had run for office or served in government.

McCormick, a Pittsburgh resident, served as undersecretary of the Treasury for international affairs under President George W. Bush. He grew up on a family Christmas tree farm in Bloomsburg. His father was chancellor at Bloomsburg University and for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

McCormick himself graduated from West Point and spent five years in the Army, serving in the first Gulf War.

Jubelirer said a potential Casey/McCormick matchup would be a “race to watch” that could “break or come close to breaking all Pennsylvania Senate campaign spending records to date.”

Pat Poprik, chair of the Bucks County Republican Committee, attended the event and said she will support McCormick if he runs.

“He has a great resume with excellent experiences in government, military, and building and growing very successful businesses,” Poprik said.

“I believe all of those life experiences will give him a better understanding of how to fix our government and to make decisions of significant importance that affect our country.”

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