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The Jewish Vote in Montco Commissioner Race

By Ali Carey, Contributing WriterTake a look at this interesting story about Montco’s sizable Jewish population and where those voters are leaning in this year’s election and next.

The Montgomery County Commissioner race has the attention of political junkies across the state. Democrats Josh Shapiro and Leslie Richards, a Pa. Rep. and Whitemarsh Township Supervisor, respectively, are Jewish.

Their opponents are Republican incumbent Commissioner Bruce Castor and Lower Merion Township Commissioner Jenny Brown.From Bryan Schwartzman of the Jewish Exponent:

Schwartzmann interviewed Liz Rogan and Beth Ladenheim, two suburban moms from Wynnewood and members of Temple Beth Hillel/Beth El to talk about this next week’s election, as well as the 2012 presidential contest:

The stakes of their race — to become one of 14 commissioners representing a total of 60,000 people — might not seem high beyond their township. But the two do agree on one thing: The outcome may serve as a barometer for how suburban voters feel about national politics.

“I’m the least political person on the board,” Rogan said, adding that she thinks more about pragmatic solutions than any particular national partisan battle. Still, she asserted that township and countywide races do “have an implication” for 2012.”

After all, a year from now the country will decide whether President Barack Obama wins a second term. Montgomery County — where Lower Merion is the most populous township — is sure to be one of the primary theaters of battle in a state that is considered up for grabs — even though Pennsylvania hasn’t gone with a GOP presidential candidate since 1988.

Click here for the full article.

4 Responses

  1. The “Guzzardi Divergence” is just playing with numbers, sort of like that flashlight under one’s chin in the dark to scare the kids. Taxes are up 60% since 1998, not since 2002. But the sound bite isn’t as catchy with those additional 5 years added in. Fact is: from 1998 thru 2002 the Board’s Republican majority chose to deficit spend, using the “rainy day fund” rather than raise taxes. Finally, in 2003, when the reserve fund was in jeopardy the then 7-7 split board had to approve a big catch-up increase in 2003.

    The capital projects for the 6 libraries (not 5)are the final element of the same infrastructure investment policies implemented by Republican led boards for decades. Sadly though that kind of Republican no longer appears welcome in today’s GOP.

    As for Liz Rogan being political, that is rich. Political as in Lance Rogers running as an Independent for Township Commissioner and then running as the Republican State Senate candidate (and lose badly to our Jewish State Senator Daylin Leach)?

    The current Democratic majority has led in the same tradition as past past leaders from Republicans like Charlie Ward to Democrats like Joe Manko. These leaders are committed to public service and maintaining the highest standards of Township management and, just as did their predecessors, they have succeeded, and done so during the worst economic times in 80 years.

    The RJC broken record of Republican gains among Jewish voters has been debunked time and time again by the NJDC as well as reputable polling after each and every election.

    Anyone who wants to review accurate financial facts about Lower Merion’s finances can find them at

  2. Guzzardi’s comments are predicated on his ability to invoke “The Guzzardi Divergence.” This is a uniquely-designed graph, depicting a horizontal line representing constant services … and a rising line representing increased taxation … as time elapses.

    Basically, he is concerned that the policies promulgated by the D-majority on the Board in Lower Merion are misdirected; for example, he notes extravagant expenditures for the five libraries [$24M] plus lights under Ardmore RR-station [upwards of $1M] and the [in]famous bubbling-fountain along Lancaster Ave. [~$300K, if memory serves] which is slanted and sometimes stops bubbling.

    Granted, the “Exponent” article touted “Jewishness,” but it conveyed neither the strong Jewish component to the Lower Merion slate of REPUBLICANS nor the fundamental policy concerns that are being hotly debated…particularly on the “Save Ardmore Coalition” website.

    It would have been desirable, for example, for some recognition to have been published of the “Jewishness” of a number of commissioner-candidates [as he has discussed on his personal website, “”], such as that of AJ Kait [career Army officer. two decades as management consultant improving business organizations and developing long term strategies and short term tactics necessary and proper to achieve strategic goals, 22 year resident of Lower Merion, the last 14 in Gladwyne].

    Guzzardi has quipped that, to some liberal-Democrats, the existence of a Jewish Republican is perceived as an evolutionary regression. But now, particularly noting how the ADL/AJCommittee are trying to suppress anti-Obama sentiment in the Jewish Community [see today’s Wall St. Journal essay by Doug Feith, a native of Elkins Park], it is increasingly necessary to tout the leadership of Jews within the Conservative movement [Kristol, Podhoretz, Wolfowitz, etc.]. Ignoring the impact of the Republican Jewish Coalition [locally and nationally] can only lead to greater surprises @ next year’s Presidential election.

  3. 8 November Jewish Exponent Obscures the Clear Choice between Candidates and their contrasting positions on the issues. This is not a service to their readers or to the community. We hope to improve that coverage by our critique.

    Philadelphia Jewish Cultural Examiner, edited by Adam Taxin, present three articles by me exposing the Liberal Jewish Exponent’s slanted and superficial political coverage of Montgomery County and Lower Merion;

    1) Exponent pushes leftist MontCo candidates with (get this!) a doting deli photo

    2) Guzzardi highlights the Lower Merion Twp. fiscal issues the Exponent obfuscates

    3) Jewish Exponent election coverage ignores GOP Jews running for L. Merion office

    Did I mistake any facts or omit a relevant fact?

  4. Liz Rogan is very political and the Jewish Exponent’s story was disgracefully superficial.

    Liz Rogan has been incumbent since 2004 and has voted for every spending increase, borrowing increase and tax increase.

    There has been no increase in the quality or quantity of municipal services or the standard of living in that time.

  • Reader Poll: Should President Joe Biden Step Aside?

    • Yes. He should step aside because of his age, declining ability to do the job. (45%)
    • No. He should not step aside. (39%)
    • Yes. He should step aside because he can't beat Donald Trump. (15%)

    Total Voters: 231

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