Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Eachus's Community Conversations- Soft Dollars?

Amanda Christman of the Standard Speaker reported on Todd Eachus's announcement of "Community Conversations" he is going to hold in his legislative district.

If you have a concern or question you've been wanting to ask a state legislator in person, now is your chance.

State Rep. Todd A. Eachus, D-116, will host three "community conversations" this month in different locations.

The first event will be held Wednesday at the Conyngham Borough Municipal Building, 215 Main St., from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Eachus said in a prepared statement the events will allow constituents to ask questions, express concerns and provide input regarding state and local issues. Eachus will also provide information on the state budget.

Community conversations will also be held Aug. 17, 6 to 7:30 p.m., at the Freeland Northside Community Ambulance Association, 417 Johnson St.; and Aug. 25, 6 to 7:30 p.m., at the Church Street Station Intermodal Facility, 126 Mine St., Hazleton.

Choosing the Intermodal Facility sight is laughable. Eachus refused to help Mayor Barletta secure funding for the building. But it gets better.

Tara Toohil, Republican candidate for the 116th district running against Eachus said Eachus' taxpayer-funded mailings that gauged residents' concerns for the "community conversations" were not necessary. People's concerns, she said, remain with government corruption, job availability and property taxes. Toohil said Eachus could have knocked on doors to find that out instead of sending out the mailing to announce the meetings. Toohil also wanted to know how much was spent on the mailings.

Thomas said the mailings are directly related to constituent service and came from that fund. He said the mailings have no relationship to the upcoming election. Citing a series of meetings held last year, Thomas said, the mailings and meetings are "purely legislative" and meant to inform people.

He said state legislature has rules to prevent taxpayer money fueled campaigning.

Evidently Bill Thomas missed this Grand Jury Testimony about Mr. Eachus.
Brad Bumsted reported on the testimony January 3, 2010.

In grand jury testimony, former aides identify him as aggressive and portray a politically ambitious lawmaker climbing the ladder in the House. He previously served as policy committee chairman and also chaired the House Democratic Campaign Committee.

Former staffer John Paul Jones said he was brought onto Eachus' staff "solely" to do political work. He said he had a "beard assignment" that he was supposed to be working on "alternative energy" issues.

"But you didn't study alternative energy?" a prosecutor asked him. "No," Jones told the grand jury.

Jones testified that Eachus wanted to spend "soft dollars" through state-paid public service announcements so the campaigns would spend less of their resources.

There were occasions, Jones testified, where he and another aide were called in to provide staff support so Eachus could make fundraising calls in his office.

Hmmmm..Mr. Thomas would you like to revisit your quote?

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