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Borowski Dinged for Support From Progressive ‘Defund the Police’ Group

Lisa Borowski may want to look for some different political friends.

The Radnor Township Commissioner, a Democrat who is challenging incumbent GOP Rep. Chris Quinn (R-168th District), has been endorsed by The States Project, which is a joint partner with a progressive group that has advocated defunding the police.

The States Project, which is listed as an endorser on Borowski’s website, is part of a $60 million national Democratic effort to flip state legislatures in swing states like Pennsylvania. It is a joint project of Future Now Action and The PAC For America’s Future. Future Now Action has previously lobbied for legislation to defund the police.

“As Democrats continue to ignore the crime crisis in cities like Philadelphia, Democrats in Harrisburg seem to have no problem accepting money from a group that has been known to have previously (called for) defunding law enforcement,” said Republican State Leadership Committee Deputy Communications Director Mason Di Palma. “If Democrats do not return this money, they will show Pennsylvanians that their allegiance is not to law enforcement and protecting our communities but rather to violent criminals for the sake of politics.”

Rising crime is a major issue in the Delaware Valley. Philadelphia is on track for another record-high murder tally with 393 deaths as of Sept. 22. Some of that crime has spilled into the suburbs. And there is a bipartisan investigation in the state House that may lead to the impeachment of progressive Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, largely due to his lax approach to prosecuting crime.

Borowski said she had not seen that legislation and is a “huge supporter” of the police. She said she had been previously employed as a fundraiser for the Philadelphia Police Foundation and raised millions to provide bulletproof vests, restore the mounted police unit, provide Segways for patrol officers, and new bikes for bicycle officers.

“In fact, I’m getting criticized for raising taxes to support our (Radnor) police,” she said. “I voted to raise taxes to support our police pension program. I’m willing to take the criticism because that is more than worth it.”

Currently, the Pennsylvania legislature is controlled by Republicans.

House Leader Rep. Joanna McClinton (D-Philadelphia) is quoted in The New York Times as saying The States Project had helped many of the party’s candidates in the state with training on messaging and with an incentive program that unlocks more funding per candidate based on doors knocked on. But the biggest accomplishment, McClinton told the Times, was simply pulling even with Republicans who have controlled the state’s legislature for over a decade.

“Because they have been in power for so long, they’re able to outpace us in so many ways, particularly around fund-raising,” she said.

Quinn has the endorsements of several key law enforcement organizations.

Rep. Chris Quinn

“Chris Quinn is proud to be endorsed by Fraternal Order of Police, Pioneer Lodge #37, which includes all PA State Troopers currently assigned to Troop K, Philadelphia; Troop K, Skippack; Troop K, Media; and Troop T, King of Prussia barracks. Retired State Police Troopers from these barracks are also included in their membership,” said Pete Peterson, a spokesman.  “He is now being considered for endorsement by the statewide Pennsylvania State Troopers Association, an endorsement he has earned in each of his prior elections.

“Also, in each of his past elections, Chris Quinn has been endorsed by the Delaware County Fraternal Order of Police (Lodge 27).  While Lodge 27 has not yet issued formal candidate endorsements, he is hopeful to once again earn their support this election cycle.”



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GOP Rep. Chris Quinn Seeks Re-Election In More Dem-Friendly District

Incumbent state Rep. Chris Quinn (R) faces a tougher race this year after redistricting cut out a swath of the 168th District and made it bluer, a win for Democrats in the legislature.

Thornbury, Upper Providence, Marple, Media, and Chester Heights were eliminated from the lawmaker’s district, which now includes Radnor, Newtown, Edgmont, and parts of Middletown Township. Quinn, a former Middletown councilman, is seeking his fourth term.

Quinn told DVJ in a recent interview that former constituents were outraged when they learned he will no longer be their representative.

“How can we fight this?” they asked Quinn said. “What can we do? It made me feel good. It’s a tougher district for me, but I believe the voters if they’re paying attention, they know I’ve done a lot.”

The Republican lawmaker’s opponents in this year’s race are Radnor Township’s 4th Ward Commissioner Lisa Borowski (D) and little-known Libertarian candidate Jimmy Mitchell.

Borowski declined to respond to DVJ’s multiple requests for an interview. Her campaign website is here.

Regardless of the new lines, inflation remains a huge issue among Quinn’s constituents.

“I think, truthfully, when your gas prices have gone up significantly and you’re looking at empty shelves, those are big issues,” Quinn said.

Quinn, who worked in global electronics manufacturing before starting his own insurance agency in 2002, touts himself as an “old-style compassionate conservative” who has authored legislation since first being elected in 2016.

He supports a recent proposal to eliminate Pennsylvania’s closed primary elections that would open up voting for 1.3 million voters who are not registered with either of the main two parties.

The Keystone State is one of nine states with completely closed primaries, which Quinn called “fundamentally undemocratic.”

Quinn also touted the signing of Deana’s Law, which cracks down on the state’s worst drunken-driving offenders.

It was named in honor of Deana Eckman, who was killed in a head-on crash with a repeat DUI offender in February 2019. The law requires consecutive sentences for those convicted of third and subsequent DUIs.

“[The driver] should have been in jail, but because of a broken system, he was out on the road,” Quinn said.

Quinn believes those bills are just a start for him. If re-elected, he said he would be in a prime position, on all the right committees – appropriations, commerce, consumer affairs and insurance – to get even more bills through the legislature.

“I have always tried to rise above partisan politics,” he said. “It’s our job to figure out how to work in the middle. If you look at me as an individual, I’ve been a problem-solver. It’s really been about, ‘How do I get legislation done?’ I’ve figured out how to work across the aisle, how to work with the right and with the left and move bills.”

On issues important to Republicans, like an assault-weapon ban, Quinn is more moderate and supports universal background checks for all firearm purchases.

The father of three daughters said the constant threat of deadly school shootings has exacerbated mental health issues for students who were already traumatized by losing out on time with peers during the COVID-19 shutdowns.

“I don’t understand why someone needs to have an assault rifle,” Quinn said about the preferred weapon of choice for many school shooters while also cautioning that Democrats “want to say that any gun that’s black is bad and evil.”

When it comes to crime, Quinn is on the fence about the attempted impeachment of Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, who was elected to a second term in 2021.

The lawmaker did not initially support the impeachment effort but was struck by Krasner’s refusal to comply with a subpoena issued by a state legislative committee seeking his ouster.

He claimed the district attorney’s policies have found support among jailbirds who allegedly tattooed Krasner’s name on their arms.

“When I look at Larry Krasner, I think he’s doing a horrific job. I think he’s doing a huge disservice to the residents of Philadelphia,” Quinn said. “The fact that he wants to disobey the law of the land, I went from, ‘Guys, do we really want to do this?’ to ‘Is there something there?’ Larry Krasner has a revolving door. I’m not a Larry Krasner fan.”


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Parents of DUI Victim Hope Deana’s Law Will Protect Others

Deana Eckman, 45, was a wife, a daughter, and an animal lover when a man driving while under the influence crashed into her car on February 16, 2019. The impact killed her.

The head-on crash that claimed Eckman’s life was also David Strowhouer’s sixth drunk driving arrest. Previously, a judge had permitted his sentences to run concurrently for his prior convictions. That was why he was not in jail that night but traveling on a Delaware County road, careening across the yellow line in a borrowed pickup truck.

Now Deana’s name is on a Pennsylvania law requiring drunk drivers to serve consecutive sentences after their third conviction.

Her parents, Roseann and Richard DeRosa, joined Rep. Chris Quinn, (R-Media) at a press conference Friday to announce Gov. Tom Wolf had signed the bill into law. It takes effect in 120 days.

Deana DeRosa Eckman

Quinn’s legislation, Act 59 of 2022, also increases prison sentences for offenders. Companion legislation was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Bob Mensch (R-Bucks/MontgomeryBerks).

“She was a vibrant young woman and beloved by a wide circle of family and friends,” said Quinn. “Her killer had a blood alcohol level of twice the legal limit and he robbed Deana of decades of life.”

The legislation previously failed to pass, but Quinn shepherded it again through the legislative process and it was overwhelmingly approved by large bipartisan margins in both the House and Senate.

Quinn credited Sen. John Kane (D-Delaware/Chester) who, along with former Sen. Tom Killian, teamed up with Mensch to help guide the bill through the Senate. Quinn also thanked Rep. Craig Williams (R-Chadds Ford) for his work on the bill. Williams is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney.

“Seeing your daughter’s name on a piece of legislation is never a good sign,” said Richard DeRosa. “It means that something terrible has happened and, in our case, that’s certainly true. Deana’s Law will go a long way to correct some of the judicial errors that permitted David Strowhouer to be on the street to kill after five previous DUIs. We anticipate and sincerely hope that this law will save lives and prevent multitudes of injuries.”

“There are no words strong enough to describe the pain of outliving your child,” said Roseann DeRosa. “It’s an out-of-order process.  Deana’s death left a wound in our lives that will never fully heal. Deana’s tragic and senseless death was a result of a failure of our criminal justice system.

“Our passion for Deana’s Law is to prevent this from happening to other families,” she said. “And bring awareness to the many people who drive impaired. Every DUI is a potential homicide,” she added.

District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer, who also supported the push for Deanna’s Law, praised the DeRosas for trying “to turn their personal tragedy, that as a parent I can’t imagine what it feels like. They’re trying to turn that personal tragedy into something positive for other families. And they’ve done it by passing this law, thanks to Chris Quinn’s help and my good friend Sen. John Kane, who gave a really amazing speech on the Senate floor.

Stollsteimer noted that, in the era of ride-share services like Uber and Lyft, there is no excuse for driving while impaired. And certainly not multiple times.

“Mothers Against Drunk Driving estimate that 40 percent of DUI fatalities on our roads in America are caused by people with multiple DUI convictions,” said Stollsteimer. “They should never be allowed back on the road, and thanks for this legislation some of them will not be.”

Quinn also thanked the many stakeholders who participated in crafting Deana’s Law, including the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, the Pennsylvania State Police, PennDOT, the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole, the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts, MADD, the Pennsylvania DUI Association, Pennsylvania Parents Against Impaired Driving, and Pennsylvania State Troopers Association.

Strawhouer, 33, was convicted last year and sentenced to 24 to 51 years in prison for killing Eckman in the DUI homicide.

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DelVal Lawmakers Weigh In on 2022-23 State Budget

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf introduced his final state budget plan in February.

He proposed $45.7 billion to increase general fund spending by $4.5 billion—a nearly 11 percent hike. Wolf made the argument that the state should increase spending on education by $1.55 billion, especially in poorer school districts.

His plan includes increasing the minimum wage, workforce development, veterans’ services and suicide prevention, and funding for environmental programs.

Wolf, a Democrat, recently asked the legislature to give Pennsylvanians $2,000 per household.

“The cost of everything from gas to groceries is a little higher right now than it was just a few weeks ago and for Pennsylvanians living paycheck to paycheck even a small increase in expenses can mean painful decisions like paying for food or rent,” said Wolf. “I see that pain in communities across Pennsylvania and I want to talk about solutions. I want to put $2,000 checks into the hands of Pennsylvanians and families that need it.”

However, Independent Fiscal Office (IFO), the nonpartisan financial watchdog, warned Pennsylvania could face as much as a $1.8 billion deficit by June 2024.  And now the U.S. economy may be on the brink of a recession.

The deadline to adopt the budget is midnight June 30. But the issue of whether or how much of the $6 billion surplus and $1.7 billion pandemic relief funds to spend is a sticking point. Negotiations between Wolf and the Republican-led legislature are continuing.

“During the last three weeks of June we hope to finalize the 2022-2023 budget,” said Sen. Bob Mensch (R-Berks/Bucks/Montgomery). “While the governor seems intent to spend the state into debt, I and my Senate Republican caucus are determined to be fiscally responsible and we will fund our next budget without creating future debt, and thus avoid the future tax increases the governor’s proposal definitely create.

“In a time of hyperinflation and a pending recession, it would be irresponsible to create future economic chaos with a spendthrift budget.”

Rep. Chris Quinn (R-Media) agrees with the governor that more needs to be spent on public education.

“We must make another record-setting investment in public education, as we have in each of the last several years,” said Quinn. “There are learning deficits due to the COVID-related school closures that must be addressed if our kids are going to be prepared for success. With families challenged by runaway inflation, increased energy costs, and skyrocketing gas prices, we must craft a budget that does not further burden hardworking taxpayers.

“Finally, I’d like to see Growing Greener III be considered. Sponsored by Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver (R-Northumberland/Snyder) and myself. The legislation would invest federal stimulus funds in projects to restore and protect our waterways, preserve open space, and upgrade drinking and wastewater facilities. That targeted investment promotes job growth and activity in tourism and agriculture, our top two industries which are vital to Pennsylvania’s economic well-being.”

Rep. Todd Stephens (R-Montgomeryville) said, “I’m focused on helping restore communities devastated by last year’s tornado, continuing our record-setting investments in our schools and protecting families from the long-term impact of the out-of-control price increases we’re experiencing every day.”

“As always, my top priorities for this budget season are families, education, and economic development,” Rep. Melissa Shusterman (D-Paoli). “Our state is currently sitting on an $8.5 billion dollar surplus. It’s time to start investing that money in hard-working Pennsylvanians, and Gov. Wolf has proposed a budget that will do just that. It includes a Child and Dependent Care tax credit, to reduce the financial burden of childcare on working families and would enable parents to rejoin the workforce without worrying about how to pay for expensive care.

“Additionally, the proposed budget includes increased investment in education, which will provide much-needed property tax relief for homeowners, as well as continuing to ensure our graduates are prepared for the jobs of tomorrow. Both priorities will holistically improve our state’s economic climate which will spur more business investment and create better-paying jobs,” said Shusterman.

But Rep. Tracy Pennycuick  (R-Gilbertsville) urges caution on spending and recommends adding to the state’s savings account. Pennycuick is running for the Senate to replace Mensch, who is retiring.

“For the 2022-23 state budget, I would like to see priorities placed on additional funding for education and school security. I think we also need to dedicate more dollars to address our mental health crisis. Given the economic climate, it is vitally important we continue to put additional dollars in the state’s Rainy Day Fund to help offset any future economic downturns, as well as support our business community to bring down the cost of doing business and address inflation,” said Pennycuick.

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