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Lentz Proves Weak on Reform Again

Lentz Proves Weak on Reform Again

Following flip-flop on cars and per diem, Lentz votes to water down reform provisions he previously supported

DREXEL HILL, PA – Following reports last week of Bryan Lentz’s hypocrisy on a pledge to not take a taxpayer-funded car and not take per diem reimbursements, Lentz broke yet another campaign promise.  This time, Lentz voted against reform provisions two years after he supported them. 
 
“Bryan Lentz is becoming quite adept at following the Democrat’s playbook: supporting reform when it was politically advantageous and then voting against it when no one is paying attention,” said Bryan Kendro, campaign manager for Pat Meehan’s congressional campaign.  “With the list of broken campaign promises growing by the day, we have to ask how can Bryan Lentz be expected to reform Washington, when he refused to do it in Harrisburg?”
 
In a letter to the editor in the Delaware County Daily Times on November 7, 2007, Bryan Lentz wrote:
 
“We who advocate reform in Harrisburg have a long way to go, but we have made some progress already…The rules committee and appropriations committee can no longer substantively change legislation. All amendments to laws must be considered for 24 hours.  There are no votes after 11 p.m. so bad legislation like the 2005 pay raise cannot be rifled through in the middle of the night…Reform is happening, and Pennsylvanians will be better off for it.” (Bryan Lentz, “Letter to the Editor: To cut costs, legislators must start with selves, Delaware County Daily Times, November 7, 2007)

But then in 2009, Lentz voted for legislation (HR 39) that watered down the very reforms that he advocated just two years before. 
 
According to an article in the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal from February 6, 2009, “House Democrats rolled back a few reforms that grew out of the 2005 pay-raise controversy Wednesday night, an action that drew little notice as Gov. Ed Rendell’s proposed budget dominated media discussions…”
 
The legislation will make “it easier to extend debates and votes past the 11 p.m. deadline. The previous 11 p.m. rule was put in place two years ago to prevent middle-of-the-night votes while most residents are sleeping.”  The legislation also changed the requirement of “what’s known as a ‘constitutional majority’ to challenge a ruling by the Speaker of the House to allow bills to be voted on less than 24 hours after the Senate has approved them. During the previous legislative session, challenging a ruling took only a majority of House members present on the floor. Motions to suspend the rules, however, required a two-thirds majority.”
 
“…Many of the old House rules like the 11 p.m. deadline were implemented during the 2007-08 session, which saw more than 50 new members enter the Legislature, many on a government reform platform.  The reform movement had its roots in the controversial 2005 pay raise that would have increased legislator salaries by at least 16 percent until the Legislature overturned it in response to widespread voter outrage.  But a resolution put forward by the Democratic leadership Wednesday night overturned some of those reform rules. A spirited debate broke out for several hours as the GOP attempted to stop the resolution, but it passed 104-94 along party lines.” (Dave Pidgeon, “State Dems Roll Back Reform Rules,” Lancaster Intelligencer Journal, February 6, 2009)
 
“When Bryan Lentz had the chance to stand up to his party leadership, he failed.  When Bryan Lentz had an opportunity to reform Harrisburg, he chose to fall in line with his party leadership instead of standing up to them,” Kendro concluded.

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