In the Terrace section of Hazleton Tom Leighton walked with Todd Eachus trying to persuade people to vote for them on Tuesday. It is an interesting combination given the attacks and statements made by Leighton during his campaign for Senator of the 14th district.
Here is an excerpt from Leighton's campaign announcement speech.
As many Pennsylvanians were, I was angered and frustrated by the 101 day state budget impasse last year. In these tough economic times, cities require every bit of funding available to us which often is supplied by the state government. As mayor, I personally saw how the failure to reach a compromise agreement hurt cities like Wilkes-Barre.
In this article from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Brad Bumsted quotes Grant Oliphant.
"It is unconscionable that both sides cannot seem to find middle ground in order to pass a new budget," Grant Oliphant, president and CEO of The Pittsburgh Foundation, said yesterday. "Increasing numbers of families and individuals depend on social- and human-services support for their very survival, and I am deeply worried that it is going to take a tragedy to bring our state leaders to a compromise."
State Rep. Rosemarie Swanger had this to say about Todd Eachus's sincerity on finding a solution.
“As a member of the General Assembly and elected official, I want to apologize to the people of my district and of Pennsylvania for the embarrassing events that took place yesterday at the state Capitol.
“The House was called into session this morning just after eleven o’clock. Slightly more than an hour later, Speaker of the House Keith McCall (D-Carbon) gaveled out session after a motion to adjourn offered by House Majority Leader Todd Eachus (D-Luzerne).
“What took place today was a complete waste of taxpayers’ time and money, considering there being no budget in place to start the fiscal year and no budget placed on the voting by House Democrats for our chamber to consider..
Evidently not only has Leighton lossed his hair but his memory must be running on low. Todd Eachus was squarely in the middle of those stalled negotiations he is talking about.
If Mr. Leighton wants to know why the impasse occured he only needs to look at his own party and the man he walked beside today.
Pennsylvania House Democrats voice budget complaints to leaders
By The Associated Press
September 29, 2009, 10:57P
A deal to end Pennsylvania’s state budget impasse ran into resistance from Democrats in the state House tonight, raising fresh doubts about whether it can attract enough votes to pass.
Majority Leader Todd Eachus, D-Luzerne, said after a 4-hour closed-door caucus meeting in the state Capitol that he would bring up a bill to tax the extraction of natural gas, an unusual move given that such a tax was not a part of the deal he announced more than a week ago with Gov. Ed Rendell and the state Senate.
Rank-and-file House Democrats told leaders they opposed critical pieces of that 11-day-old deal, including subjecting certain arts events to the state sales tax, expanding gas drilling on state land and taxing small games of chance.
This article in the Times Tribune highlights the per diems paid to House Members including Todd Eachus as a result of the budget impasse.
Among the Northeast delegation, House Majority Leader Todd Eachus, D-116, Hazleton, and House Speaker Keith McCall, D-122 Summit Hill, led the pack, taking $10,611 and $7,988 in per diems respectively. How can Tom Leighton attack John Yudichak on per diems but walk side by side with Todd Eachus? How can he bring up John Yudichak's partial ownership of a home in Harrisburg(that has since been divested) yet ignore Eachus's wholly owned second home in Harrisburg? If that isn't a demonstration of lack of principles nothing is.