Saturday, December 30, 2006

Text of Rep. Thomas Caltagirone's letter:

December 30, 2006

To the Members of the Democratic Caucus:

I am writing to inform you that, after extended and careful deliberation, I have determined that I cannot support Rep. William DeWeese for election as speaker of the House of Representatives.
I have served as a member of the House of Representatives for thirty years. During that time, I have been a steadfast member of the Democratic Caucus, supporting our positions and candidates. In the past legislative session, my campaign committee contributed $30,000 to the House Democratic Campaign Committee, and $23,500 to individual Democratic House candidates. I also helped raise additional thousands in support of our Democratic candidates. I have been a loyal Democrat since I entered politics, and will remain a member of the Democratic Party.
However, I have become increasingly distressed over the years with the manner in which our Democratic leaders have conducted the business of the Caucus. The leaders of our Caucus have shown little regard for many members of the Caucus, the constituents they represent, and the legislative initiatives we should be supporting. Instead, they have operated the Caucus as a personal fiefdom, promoting their own personal and political ambitions behind a wall of secrecy and petty personal vindictiveness.
As you are aware, at the request of Rep. DeWeese, I recently provided him with a list of reforms which, I believed, would enable our Caucus to embark on a new era of transparency and fairness. I had hoped that with the election of Rep. McCall and other new members to leadership positions in the Caucus, these proposed changes would be seriously considered, and adopted. Instead, all that I have received from Rep. DeWeese in response is his usual outpouring of obfuscation. Unfortunately, I no longer have any confidence in his ability to lead the Democratic Caucus, and do not believe him and his associates to be capable of fulfilling the responsibilities necessary to lead the House of Representatives.
I am under no delusions as to the nature of partisan politics in the House of Representatives. However, Rep. Perzel has pledged to implement House rules which reflect the current split in the membership of the House, and to conduct the affairs of the House in an open, inclusive and fair manner. I have always found Rep. Perzel to be a man of his word, and serious about issues of public policy. I believe the people of Pennsylvania will be best served if he is elected as speaker on January 2, and he will have my support.
I look forward to working with each of you in the upcoming legislative session. I believe that all of us, Democrat and Republican, can work together for the people of Pennsylvania.




PA Voter said...

I guess Rep. Caltagirone likes what Rep Perzel has done in blocking legislation which would protect our children from abusers and agrees that they should not be protected.

Last legislative session Rep Perzel successfully blocked child abuse legislation from coming to the floor and being voted on. This legislation would have provided protection for our children aginst sexual preditors.

I feel sorry that Rep. Caltagirone doesn't feel that our children need protection from sexual preditors.

quadmom7 said...

Such a sorry state of affairs. The voters of PA seek change - and a sitting legislator who ran unpposed decides to subvert their wishes. I understand that the last Dem who made a similar move decades ago has been ostracized by his friends, and leads a very lonely retirement.
Rep Caltagirone, I feel sorry for you - that your legacy of petty vindictiveness will outlast any good you have done in the legislature. I only hope that others can outmaneuver you for the good of the people of PA.

David said...

Representative DeWeese was a prime architect of the pay raise and vengefully removed fellow Democrats from valuable committee posts when they voted against the raise. DeWeese is self-serving and vindictive and does not deserve to be in a position of leadership in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

If the Democratic Caucus had nominated a true reformer for the speaker's position instead of DeWeese, they would not be facing the possible loss of the House.

Representative Caltagirone is not turning his back on the Democratic party but, rather, on its failed leadership. He deserves our support for his courage.

The shame in all of this is that the only alternative to DeWeese was Perzel, who is no better.

Spread Head Don said...

Maybe Rep. Caltagirone can find a retirement home with Thomas Stish in Antenora?

Dante knew where political treachery would get you!