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A Conservative Without a Party?: Perhaps I’m Not Alone After All

Written by Roberta Biros

On Thursday, January 22, 2008, I published a blog post titled What is a Conservative to Do When They Find Themselves Without a Party?. If you have not read it, I would suggest that you do so when time permits.

The crux of my story is that I am an energetic, opinionated, and conservative woman that has made countless attempts to become involved with the Republican Party in Mercer County Pennsylvania. Every attempt has failed. My most recent attempt left me beaten and battered, but NOT down for the count (I’m far too bull-headed for that). Instead of “licking my wounds”, I openly expressed my opinions about “my situation” to all of you. I didn’t think much of it, I just figured that it would make me feel better, but in the process I hoped that my message would be noticed by other locals who have experienced similar problems. Perhaps we could all get together to form a “support group” of sorts.

Well, to my surprise, the topic (and the candid way that I described my situation) seems to have caught the attention of many across Mercer County and the State of Pennsylvania.

Upon publishing my post, comments began to pour in almost immediately. Some of the comments were public using the comment feature of my Blog Post [you can read those comments HERE]. Other comments were posted as new blog posts on other conservative news forums. And, many comments were received to my personal email account through the invitation that I added at the end of my original story.

What was the message that was conveyed in EVERY SINGLE ONE of the comments that I’ve received? You Are Not Alone.

It seems that the problem that I’ve experienced is a common one. Many of you have been following my post watching as my soap opera unfolded before your eyes. You were waiting to see how things “panned out” for this particular conservative. When you saw the final result of my “efforts to conform”, your hearts sunk in knowing that the same problems continue to plague the Grand Old Party for all of “us”.

I received many comments from folks right here in Mercer County. The comments and concerns all lead back to the GOP Leadership in Mercer (or lack thereof). Many of you stated concerns for your anonymity as a fear of backlash and retribution looms over your head. Good Lord! . . . the problems that we have with our Party are even worse than I had imagined!

I then received comments from people throughout the State of Pennsylvania. It seems that the problems that we are experiencing are not limited to our fine, rural County. No, the problems of the GOP seem to be more far reaching than that.

So what are we to do? Well, it has already begun. Concerned conservatives that have found themselves disenfranchised from the Party have already begun to organize. “Super Secret” meetings with “Super Secret Handshakes” have been happening in back rooms across the State for months (or longer). It is a concentrated underground movement of conservatives who want to take the Republican Party back. They are talking (on the “down low”, of course), they are plotting and scheming and planning. They are uniting for the good of the Party. They all have one goal in mind . . . take the Party away from the self-serving and self-centered bullies who have outstayed their welcome.

The message? “Re-build, Re-unite, and Re-juvenate the Re-publican Party!”

What is the plan . . . exactly? Hmmmm. Only time will tell. Besides, to tell would take all of the fun out of it.

What I CAN tell you is this . . . I’m still fielding comments and conversations from like-thinking conservatives. I’m gathering names and contact information as well as various opinions. So . . .

If you are a “Mercer County Conservative” who has found themselves shunned by the Mercer County Republican Party, email me to open a dialog.

If you are a “Mercer County Conservative” who is currently involved with the Mercer GOP but has concerns about its future, email me to open a dialog.

If you are a “Mercer County Conservative” who is interested in running for an elected office, but the Mercer GOP is not embracing you, email me. I can provide you with contact information for responsible party members that can help.

If you are a Pennsylvania Conservative who is experiencing similar problems in your County, email me. Perhaps by working together we can affect change state-wide.

I realize the sensitive nature of this topic, so all communications will be held in the strictest of confidence.

As always, just my opinion.

~Roberta Biros, Mercer County Conservatives

January 31, 2009 at 4:31 pm Comments (0)

COLAs: What’s Good for the Goose Sure As Heck Should be Good for the Gander

Written by Roberta Biros

On the issue of Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) for PA State Legislators, the Governor, and Judges, my opinion has been clear (and I’ve shared those opinions with you all repeatedly). I appreciate all State Legislators who have vowed to “give back” their 2.8% pay raise, but I think it is more important to REPEAL the ACT 51 Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAs) that generated the raise in the first place. Some of you agree, and some of you disagree.

I read an article from the Patriot-News this week [READ HERE] that states that Gov. Ed Rendell would like to take it a step further. According to the Patriot-News article:

The Rendell administration has told state workers’ unions it wants them to agree to cancel a 2.25 percent raise that went into their paychecks earlier this month and to forgo a 3 percent pay increase scheduled for July 1. It also wants to reduce the Pennsylvania Employees Benefit Trust Fund’s reserve from $244 million to $50 million.

First, I support the idea of eliminating raises for all State Workers . . . whole heartedly, in fact. Do I feel their pain? Of course I do. I understand that it is painful when you don’t get a raise . . . as a small business owner, I haven’t gotten one for at least five years (although I admit that I lost count a long time ago). However, with the fiscal woes that are facing the State of Pennsylvania, there should be NO cost cutting measure that is NOT ON THE TABLE. It is clear that we are in drastic times which require drastic measures. I ask, however, would the Governor expect the State Workers to also send a check back to the State Treasury each month for their raise “give back” (as in the way that the State Legislators, Judges, and Governor have been asked to “give back” their raise)?

I would guess that the answer is a definitive “No”, and for good reason. Can you imagine asking the 78,000 state workers to be responsible for sending their pay raises back to the Treasury every month? Well, then, why the heck should we accept the idea of the State Legislators, Judges, and Governor doing it that way? After all, “what’s good for the goose should also be good for the gander” . . . right?

This goes back to the point of why I support a complete REPEAL of the ACT 51 COLAs which would eliminate the pay raises for State Legislators, the Governor, and Judges entirely. I support it as an important cost-saving measure, and I support it because it would eliminate the stupid babysitting that has started regarding keeping track of who did and who did not send their raise back yet. [ See my post titled PA Lawmakers Chime in on COLAS: It Seems That I Wasn’t So Far Off-Target After All for details]

Times are tough, and the State is going to have to make up for their $2 billion budget shortfall from last year’s budget somewhere [See my comments regarding the 2008-2009 Budget HERE]. If the Legislature would REPEAL their COLAs, they would be “Leading by Example” (a strange concept, I understand). By making that BOLD MOVE, perhaps it would also help the State Employee Union to understand the seriousness of the situation. Someone needs to take the first step towards officially cutting costs, and the Repeal of the COLAs by the Legislature would be both symbolic and stimulating. “Symbolic” in that the Legislators would be showing that they are serious about fixing our problems . . . “Stimulating” as it might encourage other State Workers (as well as the Taxpayers) to try to do their part. It would serve as proof that our elected officials are serious about putting Pennsylvania back on the right path of financial stability.

The economy has managed to tighten some of our belts without warning. I, for one, did not have the option to accept or reject my recent “pay cut”. Perhaps it is time for government employees (at all levels) to understand what that pinch feels like. What’s good for the goose . . .

As always, just my opinion.
~Roberta Biros, Mercer County Conservatives

January 31, 2009 at 4:29 pm Comments (0)

Change!

Elections have consequences #1343566

US President Barack Obama’s offer to talk to Iran shows that America’s policy of “domination” has failed, the government spokesman said on Saturday.

“This request means Western ideology has become passive, that capitalist thought and the system of domination have failed,” Gholam Hossein Elham was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency.

“Negotiation is secondary, the main issue is that there is no way but for (the United States) to change,” he added.

That’s what “we” voted for. That’s what we’re gonna get.

January 31, 2009 at 1:52 pm Comments (0)

Coconut-Gate Update #2: Words Worth Repeating Regarding Sen. Bob Robbins

Written by Roberta Biros

I’ve posted at length regarding Senator Bob Robbins recent comments regarding his Virgin Islands “networking trip”. If you haven’t been following the story, you can read all of the past posts HERE (listed in reverse chronological order, of course).

My posts have been one part of the discussion. Stories and editorials in the Sharon Herald have been a second part of the discussion. The third part of the discussion have been the numerous public postings to the Herald Forum (you can READ those conversations HERE).

I posted a response in that Forum today, and I thought that my comments were worth repeating here for all of you . . . my loyal readers.

The comment was in response to quote made by a Forum contributor that goes by the name of “Lifetime”. It also includes a reference to a comment made by contributor “wilma4bng”. Here is my post . . . just for the record:

Originally posted by Lifetime:
Just admit…. you don’t like the GOP
You just don’t like PA Sen. Bob Robbins

Response by Roberta in Mercer:
Like “wilma4bng”, I, too, am a Republican (17 years for me). The term “Republican” does not define me, though. There are many flavors of Republicans. I, therefore, define myself as a Conservative. I specifically support Conservative values, and my record shows it. Whether you agree with me or not on “conservatism” is not the issue.

Unlike some “Mercer County Republicans”, I’m honest in my opinions. If I see a Republican (or Democrat for that matter) doing something commendable, I make a point to commend them. If, however, I witness a Republican (or Democrat) demonstrate not-so-commendable actions, I point it out too. I call a “spade a spade”, so to speak.

To say “you don’t like the GOP” is interesting. It is true that I don’t like some things that the GOP does . . . especially locally. I find that I disagree with their actions often, so perhaps it is fair to say that “I don’t like them” if you are talking in broad terms.

To say that “you just don’t like PA Sen. Bob Robbins”, is simply unfair. I don’t even know PA Sen. Bob Robbins. I could not, therefore, have a reason to like to dislike him . . . personally. I do, however, disagree with things that he has done politically. When he presents himself proudly as a “so-called” Republican, he makes all of US (“Republicans”) look bad when he does stupid things, and WE (“Republicans”) get blamed for his stupidity.

In my personal opinion, I do not consider Senator Robbins a “Conservative” . . . he is far from it, actually. If you look at the Senator’s voting record, you will find that he does not vote in a Conservative manner often (I could say “rarely”). When asked questions (like this issue about the Virgin Islands), he does not present himself as though he is concerned with voter opinion or public image. He presents himself as though he is simply concerned with “Bob Robbins”. I find that troubling. I find it terribly troubling in a Senator that is supposed to be representing the welfare and well-being of the people of the 50th District. Does that mean that “I don’t like him”? No . . . it simply means that I don’t like him as our State Senator. I don’t like the way that he represents US (the people of Mercer County) . . . all of US (from Mercer County). If we remind him that we “don’t like his behavior”, perhaps he could change or attempt to improve. If he cannot change (or simply refuses to change), then perhaps he should step aside and allow someone else to take over his position as “public servant”.

This is NOT personal. This is an issue of an individual’s ability to LEAD and SERVE. I simply think that Senator Bob Robbins is doing both poorly.

Just my opinion.

IN CLOSING:

Do I have some personal dislike (or should I say it . . . “hate”) for the Senator? Absolutely not.
I am simply providing comments and commentary that the Senator (and the people of Mercer County and the State of Pennsylvania) can read at their leisure. Everyone who reads my comments has the FREEDOM to make up their own minds on this issue.

If you think I’m being unfair . . . so be it.

If you think that I’m simply speaking the truth . . . thank you.

If you just hate me no matter what I say . . . please don’t bother reading my opinions any more (you have the FREEDOM to NOT read my comments).

If you’d care to comment, I welcome your thoughts through my moderated “comment” feature HERE. I will publish your comments . . . even if they disagree with my own. I will not, however, publish your comments if you are rude or improper in any way, shape, or form.

As always, just my opinion.
~Roberta Biros, Mercer County Conservatives
January 31, 2009 at 12:08 pm Comments (0)

Some Non-Pennsylvania Pictures

The weather has been horrible up on the mountain so my wife and I retreated down to Baltimore where the Winter Restaurant Week is in full swing. It’s a pretty good marketing device. Top restaurants throughout Charm City are offering limited menus for reasonable prices. It’s a good opportunity to visit places you wouldn’t normally go and to sample their offerings and not spend too much. We did this a few months ago and enjoyed it, so once again we have been restaurant hopping.

So far we have sampled the Brewers Art [good food but loud and crowded]; the Rusty Scupper [not bad, but not particularly good — standard tourist fare]; the Capital Grille [good steak and seafood, a business crowd] Bistro 300 at the Hyatt [not good at all]; Meli’s in Fells Point [superb, everything was perfect, great pastries]; the Lebanese Taverna in Harbor East [good khofti and the best pita bread anywhere]; and the Black Olive, also in Fells Point [great ambience, excellent seafood, especially the crabcakes]. Tonight we are going out again but I don’t know where. My wife will let me know when and where to go. And then back to Pennsylvania where we will be starving ourselves for at least a week.

What all this means is that I don’t have much in the way of new Pennsylvania pictures to post, but here are some I took in on the road and in Baltimore instead. Think of it as an advertisement for a nice little trip those of you still stuck up in the frozen tundra might consder taking.


The frozen Susquehanna. Brrrrrr.


The Inner Harbor — a view from the Rusty Scupper.

Snowcapped sentinels outside the Capital Grille.


Inside the National Aquarium — Whale Bones

Also inside the Aquarium — “You Lookin’ At Me?”


Finally, over at Harbor East, a memorial to the fallen — Polish officers exterminated by Stalin at the outset of World War II. A reminder that there are far more important things in this world than restaurant week.

January 31, 2009 at 8:59 am Comments (0)

Steele Stuff

Kudos to Alexander Burns at Politico. He reported on the Steele nomination without playing the race card. At least a few people in the media have some shreds of integrity. Read his account here.

Regarding the oreo cookie incident. Liberals say it didn’t happen and that Steele made it up in a clumsy attempt to play the race card. Steele and his supporters say it did. I wasn’t there and can’t say, but I know who I believe. More disturbing is the fact that during Steele’s unsuccessful race for the Senate against Ben Cardin Democrat operatives stole his Social Security number and used it to access private credit information in an attempt to smear him.

If anything Steele’s career shows that Democrats will lie, cheat and steal, in fact will do anything to win.

January 31, 2009 at 7:23 am Comments (0)

Boscov’s Bailout

Hmm.

Boscov’s Department Stores reported the largest December profit ever made by the company. Between Dec. 4 and 31, the chain made $26 million, company officials said. Boscov’s is still awaiting $35 million in loans the state is trying to arrange to help the 39-store chain regain solid footing.

Well, it’s almost like they only need to borrow $9 million from the state.

Tip to Skye @ MidnightBlue who adds…

I don’t want to accuse Boscov’s owners of fanning economic fears to foist an unnecessary Boscov Bailout on unsuspecting Pennsylvania taxpayers…or do I?

January 31, 2009 at 12:42 am Comments (0)

Re: Steele’s Race?

Oddly enough, none of those “media outlets” ever bring up the NAACP throwing Oreo cookies at him when he campaigned!

Hmmmm,….

January 30, 2009 at 11:08 pm Comments (0)

Steele!

Alright! The Republican Party has replied to eight years Democrat insanity and hate with an intelligent, thoughtful, charitable, conservative man who is exactly what we need right now. Now that’s change I can believe in!

January 30, 2009 at 11:06 pm Comments (0)

Re: GOP Gets it Right!

No truer words could be said these days:

“It’s time for something completely different, and we’re gonna bring it to them,” he said. “Get ready, baby. It’s time to turn it on.”

Steele said he would work to build the party to an unprecedented level and warned: “For those of you who wish to obstruct, get ready to get knocked down.”

A foot to the floor and another up Obama’s a**!!

January 30, 2009 at 11:05 pm Comments (0)

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