Op-Ed: Kevin Deely 'I'm Responding to Simmons' Lies'

In an op-ed, Kevin Deely, challenger for the 131 district seat responds to a recent round of advertisements released by incumbent Rep. Justin Simmons campaign.

Justin Simmons cannot hide from his extreme, Tea-Party agenda. His record of cutting funding from our schools and giving huge tax breaks to special interests, like big corporations and his own campaign donors, demonstrates that Simmons' priorities are not in-line with our community, and it is time he be held accountable. 

In 2011, Justin Simmons voted for a State Budget, which cut over $16.7 million from Lehigh County schools, and cut over $1 billion in health care services for middle class families and children. Additionally, in 2012 Simmons supported a budget that gives giant corporations $2.4 billion in tax breaks.

Justin Simmons' numbers don't add up and Lehigh families know the truth - our schools are suffering from massive cuts; our property taxes are on the rise; foreign corporations are winning and middle-class families are losing. Justin Simmons cannot hide from those facts.

Attached below are the facts. 

 Simmons’ Lies vs. Reality

LIE:[Simmons’ commercial: Voice Over] “We are putting families back to work by helping our job creators. Here at home unemployment is beginning to drop and local companies are turning the corner”

TRUTH: A6530 Santarsiero Amendment: This amendment gives “substantial weight and priority” to proposals if the companies involved commits to using American made construction materials, Pennsylvania made steel, if the business is located in the United States, if the business is located in Pennsylvania, and if the business has or will create a physical presence in Pennsylvania – Simmons voted nay[2/15/2012]

A6705 Santarsiero Amendment: This amendment requires the business entering into the private partnership to be majority-owned by an American person, entity, group or organizations – Simmons voted nay [2/15/2012] 

The Lehigh Valley

LIE: [Simmons’ commercial: On Screen Text] Helping Working Families

TRUTH: 2011/12 State Budget (HB 1485/Act 1A of 2011) $1.03 billion in cuts to the Department of Public Welfare budget, which affects middle-class families and children [SOURCE: Democratic House Appropriations Committee Budget Briefing,  Department of Public Welfare, (July 28 2011) 

41,467 Pennsylvanians affected after adult Basic was shut down[SOURCE: New York Times, Feeling Budget Pinch, States Cut Insurance, (March 1 2011) 


LIE: [Simmons’ commercial: Voice Over] “I opposed the Harrisburg politicians when they proposed education cuts that went too deep”

TRUTH: 2011/12 State Budget (HB 1485/Act 1A of 2011): Nearly $1 billion cut from basic education – Simmons voted yea [6/29/2011]

2012/13 State Budget (SB 1466/Act 9A of 2012): Locks-in the education cuts from the 2011/12 budget – Simmons voted yea[6/28/2012]


LIE: [Simmons’ commercial: On Screen Text] Independent

TRUTH: Justin Simmons has voted with majority leader Mike Turzai 95% of the time.


LIE: [Simmons’ commercial: Voice Over] “Today, we commit more state tax dollars to our school than ever before”

TRUTH: Lehigh County School Districts  have experienced $12,733,635 in cuts, since 2010/11 – [SOURCE: Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA), How state budget cuts will affect your district

Average education cuts in Lehigh County of $315.21 per student, since 2010/11 – [SOURCE: Pennsylvania House Democratic Appropriation Committee, K-12 School Budget Cuts Per Student, 6/29/12


LIE: [Simmons’ commercial: On Screen Text] More for Schools

TRUTH: Increased funding for Charter Schools (SB 761/Act 85 of 2012): Expanded the Educational Improvement Tax Credit Program (EITC) by $25 million and created a $50 million Education Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit Program (EISC) to help their political donors from the charter school lobby – Simmons voted yea [6/30/2012]


LIE: [Simmons’ commercial: Voice Over] “And I controlled spending, to focus on our priorities. So that we don’t spend more, we spend wisely.”

TRUTH: Tax Credits for Foreign Corporations: A $1.76 billion tax credit was given to Shell, the 3rd largest corporation in the world, in order to lure them to the Beaver County site of their cracker plant (SB761/ Act 85 of 2012) – Simmons voted yea[6/30/2012]

Corporate Loopholes help Big Business – HB 2150 does NOT close the Delaware Loophole OR deliver real tax fairness to Pennsylvania


LIE: [Simmons’ commercial: On Screen Text] Focus on Priorities

TRUTH: Simmons was a co-sponsor of the invasive ultrasound procedure bill (HB 1077) – The bill forces women to get an ultrasound before an abortion, even if this is deemed medically unnecessary by a doctor. For most women, this would require an invasive transvaginal ultrasound. After the ultrasound, the woman would then be forced to view an image of the ultrasound, as the doctor records whether the woman viewed it, closed her eyes, or looked the other direction. The women would then be required to take the image with her and return with a signed copy in order to obtain the abortion [SOURCE: HB 1077 (from 2011 but voted on in February 2012)



Crestor Januvia October 05, 2012 at 06:14 PM
Now let's be accurate.. you can't call somebody a drug addict if they are a DEMOCRAT. If they are a republican, far less zeal will be used in editing comments. The Huffington Patch is clearly a branch of the Democratic Party.
Rosita October 05, 2012 at 06:19 PM
And Justin Simmons is no Arlen Specter! He's a total right wing tea partier who wouldn't reach across the aisle to help ANYBODY!
Rosita October 05, 2012 at 06:26 PM
What would you have anybody do about the unfunded pensions? Oh, I know, same thing that happened to Bethlehem Steel workers? Well, that's not good either, is it? Rules are rules. Work within the current structure or come up with a better plan. What's your plan to fix education? Cut funds like Justin Simmons has?
Bob Thomas October 05, 2012 at 06:29 PM
I would like to question Mr. Deely's Moral Character and Judgement as a person and Public School teacher that he would put himself in this kind of situation while working. Please read these articles if you want to know why I do because I can't tell you here on patch. http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/easton/index.ssf/2009/08/three_easton_area_school_distr.html http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/tony-rhodin/index.ssf/2009/08/what_if_it_were_students_in_a.html
Robert Sentner October 05, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Only thing Stoner Deely is going to do is lobby for more stimulus for his teacher union pension's. Someone asked what would I do with the teacher unions, or better yet any tax payer funded pension. I would stop ALL new hires from entering the program immediately and anyone hired from today on would be in some type of 401K style program. I really don't know why it is so hard to fix it. I least there would be light at the end of the tuunnel however dim it might be. Beings this is an op ed I would expect Mr. Deely to respond, or now that it isn't going exactly like he thought it would be is he wondering where the hell is the delete button.
Gramma24 October 05, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Margie, Margie, Margie....you should know by now, in this lovely little corner of the Lehigh Valley, IF you are a Democrat you are automatically a drug addled, pedophilic, mental incompetent....just ask any of the brain trust that posts here......they should ask Simmons when he is either gonna part the Lehigh or walk on it? I mean really, the far, far right relgious fanatics have him in pocket.
Rosita October 05, 2012 at 10:50 PM
I'm really not sure why everybody thinks it's okay to single out teachers. They make a living wage, but no one is ever going to get rich being a teacher. And if you believe that teachers work only 7 hour days, 9 months a year, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.
optimist October 06, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Justin Simmons is a Corbett yes man and deserves to be tossed out.
Bob Thomas October 06, 2012 at 02:31 AM
And Deely is a Union Thug that knew he couldn't run anywhere in Easton school district because of the mess he created there. Sending him to Harrisburg will condemn our children to substandard schools and us to higher taxes.
optimist October 06, 2012 at 02:53 AM
The mess in Easton and everywhere else came as a result of people like Simmons and Corbett making absurd cuts. Be anti-union all you want. That doesn't change the facts. Please spare me the crap about it was all federal stimulus money. It was a hell of a lot of state money as well.
careless fills October 06, 2012 at 01:15 PM
seems similar to this: http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/allen-west-attacks-dem-opponent-for-2003-bar
Bob Thomas October 06, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Seems funny here is an article from 2010 talking about layoffs and budget problems in Easton. Neither Corbett or Simmons was in office then. Nice try http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/easton/index.ssf/2010/04/budget_teacher_cuts_expected_t.html
Bob Thomas October 07, 2012 at 04:04 AM
Maybe time to change your name. not much of an optimist are you?
Phillyboy October 07, 2012 at 01:10 PM
Kevin Deely will lose this election plain and simple. Taxpayers are tired of hearing all the union rhetoric about their pensions. Its time for the teachers to realize we are in bad global economy that has affected all except public sector unions.Its time for teachers to feel the pinch as well. Teachers can contribute to thier own 401 k programs. Our local school districts ( except Allentown) have million in their coffers. Who cares if there funding was cut !!! Fast Eddie and the democrats balloned the state deficit .Thats why this GOP led house reduced the OVERALL budget and on time. Deelys claims our local school taxes will go up as a result of the budget cuts. My school taxes didnt go up . I checked. I talk to alot of folks in this district and can tell you they are firmly behind Justin Simmons . Deely will get the far left votes. Still...I predict a lopsided win for Rep Simmons on November 6th. He has done a fine job.
truth seeker October 07, 2012 at 02:06 PM
Yes and a lot of those cuts were restored although teachers were laid off http://articles.mcall.com/2010-05-27/news/all-mc-easton-budget.7286433may27_1_middle-school-sports-custodial-positions-extracurricular-cuts Facing mounting pressure from the public, the Easton Area School District administration backtracked on its proposal to cut nearly five dozen extracurricular clubs and activities next school year. Officials also restored two Advanced Placement teaching positions at the high school and cut three additional custodial positions. They also reiterated plans to restore most middle school sports Now compare that to what happened under Corbett/Simmons. And keep in mind this was after a salary freeeze: In all, the district will cut 49 teachers, a security guard, 31 full-time support positions and 21 part-time support positions. http://articles.mcall.com/2012-05-22/news/mc-easton-school-teacher-cuts-20120522_1_teachers-union-special-education-teachers-middle-school-teachers. The $133.4 million budget uses $1.5 million from the district's assigned reserves and raises taxes 2.2 percent. The average taxpayer with a home assessed at $75,000 will pay $88 more.
truth seeker October 07, 2012 at 02:11 PM
And at the beginning of this year 17 more teachers had to go http://easton.patch.com/articles/easton-area-school-board-cuts-17-middle-school-teachers-assistant-principal-c2f2969d So that is an additional 66 teachers axed, local property taxes raised, other postions let go following a pay freeze and especially following the election of Simmons/Corbett.
Phillyboy October 07, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Deely...There is alot more to being a state rep than lobbying for eductaion and teachers pensions. Hence why Rep Simmons will win this election going away Our district has been blessed to have such an outstanding individual represent us in Pennsylvania. Your not in his league. .You blame Simmons/Corbett for Eastons problems ??? YOUR NUTS ! Thats on you pal !!!!
truth seeker October 07, 2012 at 03:00 PM
Thanks for calling me Deely. I have no wish to run for any office with Grover Norquist backside kissers like yourself controlling the GOP. Show me 1 time where I mentioned pensions in this conversation and then tell me what Simmons/Corbett has done or proposed to solve that issue. Looks like a lot of talk to me.
careless fills October 07, 2012 at 03:01 PM
The problem at EASD has a lot more to do with expenses associated with the exceptionally generous contract that went into effect during the 2008-2009 school year than it has to do with revenue. They were able to hide the deficit for a year or two by spending the reserve , but that was unsustainable, since that was one time money and not recurring money. The deficit for 2009-10 alone was more than $6.5 million.
Phillyboy October 07, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Truth Seeker... I dont kiss anybody's ass . Eastons tax issues do fall squarely on Deely's shoulders.Its well documented . Dont care how you spin it. I cant speak for the GOP and their solutions to the pension issue but make no mistake....TAXPAYERS HAVE HAD IT . Look no further than what happened in Wisconsin. Public sector unions are on their way out.Same sentiment exists here in Pa. and not just from the GOP. Moderate Dems are tired of paying higher taxes to support public sector union contracts.
truth seeker October 07, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Thanks for clarifying the plan. Also, take a look at what your GOP did to public pensions in 2001 if you think anybody else is to blame.
Phillyboy October 07, 2012 at 03:31 PM
part of that plan /solution is not voting for union hack Deely. I would bet the house that Rep Simmons pummels Deely On Nov, 6th.
Robert Sentner October 07, 2012 at 04:31 PM
a little exaggeration.....Carl W
Robert Sentner October 07, 2012 at 04:38 PM
only people that want to hear about unions any more are union workers. we DO NOT need collective bargaining anymore not in the 21st century. If things don't change soon the pensions will be just like bethlehem steels. I do not in any way shape or form want to have my tax payer dollars going to new hires for either the teachers or state workers. switch the new hires to a 401k style and honor the crappy deal we have with the teacher unions. I agree we do have to honor what ever deal we made with the devil no matter how unfair it is to the tax payers.
Phillyboy October 08, 2012 at 01:10 AM
Hate to disappoint you Geri but your in a VERY small minority on your opinion of Rep Simmons.He has my vote and so will 57-58 % of the district.If this was not a presidential election year Rep Simmons could easily take 65% of the vote....maybe more.Rep Simmons has a long career ahead of him in the political arena. He is a great Bi-Partisan voice for our area. Deely is a sacrificial lamb served up by the democrats and anyone whom follows Lehigh Valley politics knows it.
Phillyboy October 08, 2012 at 01:25 AM
Optimist..you are grossly misinformed ....Easton's troublesome teachers contracts happened under Deely's watch. and Corbett/Simmons werent even elected yet. ...THOSE ARE THE FACTS, Regarding Unions....Tax Payers nationally have become opposed to the PUBLIC Sector Unions that teachers are part of.. Can't refute that.I pay my 38-40 % of taxes to Uncle Sam. I dont need union hacks like Deely lobbying for higher teacher salaries and benefits as my state rep.My vote is with Simmons.
Peter October 08, 2012 at 07:04 PM
...you mean to tell me that Arlen Specter is what you want your politicians to be? look, simmons isn't a perfect candidate...my problem with him is he went straight from school to politics. i think that politicians should have some real world experience. however, voting is usually choosing the lesser of two evils, and there is no way i could ever support a union person - let alone a public employee union person.
Peter October 08, 2012 at 07:06 PM
amen. schools would be better places if teachers were retained based on their performance, not how long they've been a member of the union.
Crestor Januvia October 10, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Good luck selling your bridge... they work 7.5 hours a day, and work 9.5 months. And they DO get rich. To have a $75,000 annual income, most of us WITHOUT pensions would have to save like $1.5 million dollars. It's a cushy high paying job with no accountability. Just what you get with unions... only difference is unions have put most of their employers out of business.... only public unions keep screwing the public that pays their salaries, healthcare and pensions.
Crestor Januvia October 10, 2012 at 03:16 PM
It's going to be funny as heck to watch the pension system collapse. No way any politicians will raise taxes enough to cover the short fall.... the current pension systems days are numbered.... it's going down in flames when Pa. and most other states default on their obligations. The teachers will get hammered, and I will be laughing.


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