As I continue work on some long-running investigations, here are the latest entries from my reporter’s notebook:

Swihart Faces A Challenger

It looks like Magisterial District Judge Janet Swihart will have at least one opponent in the judicial elections this year. According to records maintained by the Beaver County Bureau of Elections, attorney Rebecca Puhac has opened up a campaign committee in support of her candidacy for District Judge of areas including the City of Aliquippa, Independence Township, Hanover Township, Frankfort Springs, Hopewell Township, and South Heights.

Attorney Puhac is a registered Republican who will be cross-filing as a Democrat, as is standard practice in judicial races.

Election To Take Place For Late Magisterial District Judge William Livingston’s Seat

County officials were just notified by the state yesterday that an election will be held for a Magisterial District Judge seat (36-1-02) vacated by the death of William Livingston last year. The state has decided that the election will be for a new 6-year term, rather than appointing an interim District Judge to fill the seat or holding an election for just the remainder of Livingston’s term.

The district covers areas including the City of Beaver Falls, Fallston, Patterson Heights, Patterson Township, Eastvale, West Mayfield, and White Township.

Ron

Already announcing their candidacy for Livingston’s seat is Beaver Falls resident Ronald Miller. Miller retired as Chief of Police of the Beaver Falls Police Department in 2001 and is currently on the Big Beaver Falls School Board.

Although Miller is not an attorney, he completed an instructional course and passed a state examination by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts that would allow him to serve as Magistrate if elected.

Commissioner Sandie Egley’s Bipartisanship Raising More Republican Ire

The local Republican “in crowd” is once again lashing out about Republican Commissioner Sandie Egley, this time for her open support of a Democratic candidate for the Superior Court.

Egley posted an image to her Facebook page this week promoting local Common Pleas Judge Deborah Kunselman (who happens to be a Democrat) for the Superior Court, much to the dismay of the hierarchy of the local Republican Committee. Kunselman is one of only two candidates from Western Pennsylvania running for the Superior Court (both are Democrats), and the only candidate from Western PA who comes “highly recommended” by the Pennsylvania State Bar Association.

Unlike local races for Magisterial and Common Pleas Courts, judicial candidates for the Superior Court can not cross-file in both parties.

The Republican “in crowd” apparently had conniption fits after they saw Egley’s latest post, and sources tell me they’re planning another intervention in hopes of having her stick to toeing the party line. The cool kids at the Republican table last held an intervention for Egley back in January, after she nominated former Democratic sheriff candidate Wayne Kress to a Drug and Alcohol Advisory Board (sources in the Republican party tell me Sheriff Tony Guy is still fuming over that one, bringing the issue up yet again at the last Committee meeting).

Post in support of Judge Debbie Kunselman made by Commissioner Sandie Egley

Don’t Tell The “In Crowd” But Camp Did It Too

Don’t tell the Republican “in crowd” but it looks like Commissioner Sandie Egley isn’t the only Republican Commissioner in Beaver County to tip a hat to Democratic Superior Court Candidate Deborah Kunselman.

It appears Camp had the nerve of retweeting a post made by attorney Michael Nalli congratulating Kunselman for garnering the “highly recommended” rating by the PA State Bar.

Commissioner Dan Camp retweets a post in support of Judge Deborah Kunselman

Beaver County Times’ Extreme Vetting Of Commissioner Dan Camp’s Tweets

Speaking of Commissioner Dan Camp’s Twitter account, the Beaver County Times once again bolstered their reputation for hard-hitting investigative journalism — this time by calling out Commissioner Dan Camp about a Twitter discrepancy.

Commissioner Camp happened to mention during last week’s “State of the County Address” that he’s taken to using Twitter and that his first Tweet was directed toward President Donald Trump and Shell Chemical. Camp was attempting to encourage Shell to use local steel in the production of their highly anticipated Ethane Cracker Plant.

The Beaver County Times actually took the time to investigate Commissioner Camp’s Twitter claim, discovering that Camp’s tweet involving Trump and Shell was actually his SEVENTH and not his FIRST! *gasp*

Times reporter fact-checks Commissioner Camp
Commissioner Camp responds to Times reporter about his Tweet

41 COMMENTS

  1. Mr. Camp was also quoted in the BCT as saying that Governor Wolf should have insisted on using US made steel before issuing huge tax breaks for the construction of the plant…..Mr. Camp, those tax breaks were issued by Republican Tom Corbett AKA One-term Tom, with no input from local municipalities or School Districts.

     
  2. REALLY JP?? “The Republican “in crowd” apparently had conniption fits after they saw Egley’s latest post, and sources tell me they’re planning another intervention in hopes of having her stick with towing the party line.” TOWING the line refers to pulling the line — TOEING the line means that she has to align herself at the party line and be ready to follow the rules! I might be old and not a “journalist” but when I’m right….I’m right. You are always ragging on someone else….this time it’s you.

     
    • We may as well correct the grammar of Commissioner Camp, too. “Must OF missed the talk…” should be ” must HAVE missed the talk…”, or “must’ve missed…”.

       
    • @ Silver Eagle; How do you align “at” the party line? Shouldn’t it read align “with” the party line? It’s a good thing you are not a journalist. You are not as “right” as you think you are.

       
    • Well, well, well…… Welcome Georgie! We always knew you were a long time reader; glad to see that you’re now participating in the discussion. There’s one little thing you missed in your introduction speech. You’re old, check. You’re not a journalist, check. You neglected to mention that you’re still an asshole.

      I’m glad that I could be of assistance to help you with the missing element.

       
  3. Certified Candidate: Ron obtained his initial certification to serve as a Magisterial District Judge in 2005. Ron recertified in December 2015 and attended his required continuing education in December 2016. Ron maintained his certification with the Minor Judiciary Education Board in Harrisburg.

    Ron is a life long resident of the Beaver Falls Community. Ron Grew up in the College Hill section of Beaver Falls, Attended and graduates from the Beaver Falls Senior High School in 1976.

    Ron served in the United States Army and after his tour of duty, returned to his roots in 1979.
    Ron was hired in 1980 with the City of Beaver Falls Police Department obtaining the rank of Chief of Police and retiring in 2001. Ron serves his community in many capacities.

    Ron serves as a School Director with the Big Beaver Falls Area School District, Chairperson of the City Civil Service Commission, Past member of the Planning Commission and Council of Governments. Other service include: Past Board Member Beaver Valley Intermediate Unit#27, Alternate Member of the Beaver County Career and Technology Center.

    Ron also worked with the youth of the community serving 18 years as a coach and League Director of the Upper Beaver Valley Youth Softball League and the Beaver Falls High School Lady Tigers Softball Team.

    Ron earned his Associates Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from the Community College of Beaver County. Additional training from the Allegheny County Police Training Academy and Sheriff’s Certification from Penn State.

    Ron is married to the former Becky Davis, Freedom Pa and has two daughters and five grandchildren. Ron has been a resident of Beaver Falls for 59 years.

     
    • Hey Ron. You’re on the BF School Board? The same school board that cried to BF library that they have no money and swiftly pulled funding from them without warning. Only to see the football team with new shiny equipment this past season. If you want to show you’re about taking care of BF, why don’t you start with making sure the board has a slight understanding of how to operate. Or, maybe tell Ole’ Gary Chick to stop worrying about attending photo op’s with state officials when they come to town and make him do his job.

       
      • I have known Ron for many years and take his responsibility very seriously. First nothing is cut from any school budget “without warning” The school budget process is a months long process that includes a 30 day public review process by which the board takes comment from the public.

        In fact the budget that contained the cuts you describe, was voted on at the June 16, 2016 meeting and Ron Miller voted against that budget plan. I hope you remember that Ron Miller represents 1/9 of the board. I just wonder How much does the City of Beaver Falls contribute to operate the Library.

        ADOPTION OF FINAL BUDGET
        The Administration recommends adoption of the 2016/2017 Final Budget in the amount of $26,901,749.00. The Real Estate Tax will increase to 66 mills.
        MOTION
        Motion was made by Clifford Alford and seconded by Tom Karczewski that the Board approve adoption of the 2016/2017 Final Budget in the amount of $26,901,749.00; the Real Estate Tax will increase to 66 mills.
        ROLL CALL VOTE ON MOTION:
        Ayes – Alford, Attisano, Cook, Ellinwood, Karczewski, Smith
        Nays – Miller
        Motion was passed by a vote of 6-1.

         
      • I’m a AVID supporter as opposed to ADVID

        Sorry for the wondering fingers………..

         
  4. I commend Sandie for being intelligent and using her office for good instead of the usual back biting shit. Obviously Judge Kunselman must be qualified per her peer review.. it’s time we stop worrying about the letter R or D when voting. Get the most qualified and respected people for the jobs. The Times is a joke, that is about as investigative as they’ll ever get. Puff pieces, feel good pabulum for mindless people in search of entertainment or sports comas and reprints of the usual liberals bullshit from Bloomberg, Huffington and the other REAL news media.

     
    • Has to be one of the greatest comments I have ever seen on here, and I agree with you 100%. It’s time to drop the R and D! And for those that don’t support our current president, if Congress believes he will be one of the worse presidents, they need to approve his cabinet picks, let him do his job, then if he fails, he will be to blame. But there is people on both sides, that are not happy right now, they are sick of all this. I hate to say it, but soon we won’t have to be worried about the D, cause it will not even existed!

       
      • Just curious, where did you go to school? Based on your grammar, I want to make sure to keep my kids out of that district.

        There ARE people on both sides…… sentences don’t start with “and”…… if Congress thinks he will be the WORST President….. and it goes on and on and on. Then there are the run on sentences; and I have absolutely no idea what the last sentence is “it will not have even existed.”

        I’m going to go out on a limb here and just guess that you missed out on the Rhodes scholarships.

         
      • Is Rhodes Transportation giving out scholarships now? His grammar would confirm that he qualifies to drive a school bus.

         
    • I have to concur with you on voting for the best candidates and skipping their party affiliations. I would however suggest you look for better qualifications for candidates other than their “peer reviews” given the level of cronyism we see going on politically especially in our state and county.

       
  5. Stonewall, what’s up with the Friendship Ridge and the Queens failure to follow PA Code regarding transferring cash, etc? Cue the crickets. Do your job and stop covering for her. PS< I hated that afghan. it clashes with your pacifier Connie gave you.

     
  6. I wish to save Tom Davidson some work investigating Twitter numbers. So, here are Donald Trump’s latest Twitter statistics:

    Donald J. Trump, also known as @realDonaldTrump has a pretty strong presence on Twitter and is ranked by us in the 70% percentile for account strength. Active on Twitter since March 2009, Donald J. Trump made it to having a whopping 24,984,288 Twitter followers and to being ranked 47 for number of followers among all Twitter users.

    Donald J. Trump’s follower-to-following ratio, which is 581029.95. As you can probably gather, this metric places this account comfortably within celebrity status.

    From a tweeting perspective, @realDonaldTrump is a casual user, with an average of 6 tweet(s) per day in the past 30 days. However this seems to be a big change from a total of 34,506 since @realDonaldTrump joined Twitter.

    It seems like Donald J. Trump is commanding an enormous amount of attention on Twitter, with an audience attentiveness score of 78%, which stems from being tracked on 64,267 Twitter lists and normalized to their 24,984,288 followers.

    This is a few more than Dan Camp’s meager performance. But keep counting, Tom. Maybe he’ll pass Trump someday.

     
    • Someone ought to shove Trump’s cellphone up his ass where his head is…. I’ll make it easier for him to see how ridiculous his tweets are in the first place. I’ve seen more mature tweets coming from 12 year olds.

       
  7. Tom Davidson, I will never understand why 60 Minutes isn’t offering you a prime slot on Sunday Evening. Great News -In depth, hard hitting, thought provoking … Oh sorry …just answered my own question, never mind. BTW-The facebook profile picture/Shepard Fairey, in your case… pretty asinine.

     
  8. It’s Amateur Hour once again in Beaver County. Who cares about party lines. Isn’t it about who is the best candidate to do well by the people??!! People need to relax and remember what is important.

     
    • If it truly were about the best candidates to do well by the people then ninety percent of the elected officials in the courthouse would have already resigned.

       
    • Bingo, and while I’m at it, Ms. Egley should tell you Republican elites to take your intervention and shove it up your collective asses. Of course she seems to be too much of a lady to do that, so I will.SHOVE YOUR INTERVENTION UP YOUR ASSSES. She will do as she pleases anyhow. Quit the shit JC and all your vermin pals, and stop making fools of yourselves. Sorry about thee language. Jay birds right. These aren’t the good old days when we grew up and were oblivious to the fact that we did steal the Indians land and shoved the Mexicans off theirs. Didn’t we buy the Mexicans and French out?

       
  9. Looks like at least one commissioner, Egley, is attempting to support worthy candidates such as Kunselman, regardless of party affiliation. There will always be critics and people with opinions so I applaud her for doing what she thinks is right. Kunselman is fair and from what I have seen of her on the bench, drills down to the underlying issues in a case. This is what you want in a judge. And as for Egley, she will do well in her current position if she continues to make decisions that are not governed by party affiliation. The people of Beaver County will recognize that she is working for them and that’s all that matters.

     
  10. Silver Eagle: Aside from horrendously egregious and unforgivable error of mixing up two homophones to represent being pressured by the Republican elite, John Paul mentions a very real problem. Wait, and you will see Christiana, Tony Guy, and other Republicans of the inner circle, undermining Egley’s efforts, perhaps even calling her on the carpet again, telling her that she is the cause of all their problems. No one does anything without their blessings. Surprised? Don’t be. Wait for the next article that descrbes such an action. Or, go back to the former article and read about the dressing down. Toeing or Towing is irrelevant. Twisting arms is not.

     
  11. The part of this whole D vs. R issue that has me most concerned is that the Republican ‘in crowd’ failed to support Tom Leydig when he ran for Treasurer against Connie in the last election. They aren’t consistent at all, which calls their motives into question. I would love to ask Jim Christiana why he didn’t support Leydig in any meaningful way.

     
  12. Beaver County Government infested with putrid corruption at every level, intertwining every department and agency like a vine weed growing and consuming an old chain link fence in an abandoned cemetery isn’t enough to start a Federal Investigation. Nobody cares. Here’s a fun fact: Any regular citizen walks into a Post Office can buy a postal money order for up to $1000. If you buy three of those in one day, guess what happens? That’s right, you are the target of a Federal Investigation.

     
  13. So what’s the takeaway? For all the talk over the years about the Dems who walked into the booth like mindless zombies to vote straight ticket, now the GOP are scraping their pants again because Egley supports a Democrat for a position? Seriously, how philosophically different are the D’s from the R’ here in our little corner of Urban Appalachia that this tips the balance of our lives?

    How about we just look to get a good, qualified person into a position here, regardless of party?

     
    • “…how philosophically different are the D’s from the R’ here…”

      A very important point. Absolutely no difference. Want proof? Ask one. They cannot even name a platform plank. And, they switch sides faster than a horny swinger on Viagra.

       
      • Remember when Rip van Marshall was elected? Elder Vogel? Citizen representatives. They weren’t looking to make politics a career.

        Well…. They still are there. Marshall has been in office half the tenure of Mike Veon now and boy, MV was a gem to the community, eh? And what has RvM achieved? NOW, we hear hints he’s looking into manipulating local politics with Christiana, another newly minted career politican.

        We made that seismic shift from D to R in Beaver County! Meh. Same shit, different asses.

         
  14. Let’s compare the court house to a colony of bees. First and foremost is to protect the queen at all costs to ensure survivability of the colony. (Connie?) The hardest work is done by the worker bees. The drones (Sheriff/Deputies) just take care of the queen. Soldier bees, (Christiana, Vogel, Marshall, Guy, Stonewall and the Midget) must cover up for the queen and protect her from any and all investigations or audits. Then they are rewarded by the queen. Egley and Camp are starting to impinge on the Queen’s operation and must be silenced. It’s not about D or R again, it’s about the power and corruption doled out by the corrupt machine (RICO) operating inside the court house and throughout the county.

     
  15. First, I am a life-long conservative Republican. Second, I want to tell the Republican “in crowd” to shut the hell up. The people of this county elected Ms Egly and Mr. Camp to run this county in the manner, in which we, the people, voted. Lay off!!!

     

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