Not the same

By on April 16, 2014

Editor, Record Express,

As a former legislator from Lancaster serving the people of the 43rd legislative district for 10 years from 2003-12, I am very interested in the upcoming primary election between my two former colleagues, Ryan Aument and Gordon Denlinger.

In speaking with some of my former constituents from the district, I was intrigued by the comment, “They are both great guys, and it doesn’t really matter who wins.” That statement compelled me to share my personal experience in working with both men vying to be the next Senator for the 36th Senatorial District.

I know both individuals personally and I know them well. There are distinct differences between these two individuals.

Ryan Aument is truly a “citizen legislator” who followed in the tradition of Representatives Katie True and others, myself included, and NEVER chose to receive the tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayer-funded perks that supplement the rather generous salary of a Pennsylvania legislator. He has posted his personal and office expenses online for the public to review from the first day he entered the General Assembly.

Gordon Denlinger has received tens of thousands…perhaps over $100,000 in taxpayer funded per diems and mileage reimbursements during his career representing the 99th Legislative District.

A second distinct difference is a bit more intangible, but very important. The key to representing Lancaster well in Harrisburg is effectiveness. How do you get things accomplished in a very complicated universe? Candidly I would admit I personally found Harrisburg frustrating at times, which makes my affirmation of Ryan Aument all the more poignant.

In a very short time and in a very difficult environment, Representative Aument has managed to take on some of the most powerful lobbying unions to get legislation passed to better evaluate and reward effective teachers.

Additionally he was one of the key members of the House Labor Committee taking on the powerful Philadelphia and Allegheny County building trades. Ryan Aument has proven himself capable of “getting things done” in Harrisburg…something which I admire greatly.

On the other hand, Representative Denlinger is a legislator who is “against” most proposals, but seldom offers solutions to the often complicated issues facing Pennsylvania citizens. Even the Lancaster paper rated Gordon one of the “least effective” legislators in Lancaster County.

There is much more I could share, but suffice it to say from a former colleague’s perspective there are not two equally qualified, equally effective individuals seeking votes of Republicans in the 36th. In my opinion, Ryan Aument is clearly the better candidate for this office.

Scott Boyd

Representative PA House 43, ‘03-’12, retired

About ephratareview

13 Comments

  1. Robert Landis

    April 16, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    I am wondering if many of these perks were available to Ryan Aument ( as he lived too close to Harrisburg to claim them). It is a political move by the supporters of Aument and one which is really not an apples to apples comparison. By making these statements , Scott Boyd has lost some of his integrity with me. His ” holier than thou” attitude suggests that Auments opponent was collecting something that he, by law , did not deserve . If Scott Boyd did not want to receive some of the benefits his job provided, that is his prerogative but don’t force your ideas to produce illegitimate guilt on others,Scott.

  2. Ryan S. Martin

    April 16, 2014 at 8:16 pm

    This is how the establishment talks…trying to make everyone else feel stupid for not supporting ‘their’ candidate and driving a wedge between themselves and independents. I suppose Aument is the perfect choice because he lets the Republican party elites do his talking for him. It’s a clear political move to make a big deal about the legal per diems and mileage reimbursement to get the sympathy vote. I get mileage reimbursement at my job, and I guess I’d feel pretty good about myself if I made a public spectacle about refusing to get reimbursed even though it’s part of my job description. It’s time to go against the establishment politicians both locally and nationally. Vote Denlinger if you want to prove that we can think for ourselves.

  3. Glen Beiler

    April 16, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    Sorry folks but $6000. a year just to go back and forth to work? Not too many companies I know of pay employees mileage just to come to work.

  4. Geraldine

    April 16, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    There are not any minimums to accept mileage and/or perks. Any legislator is able to accept them. Gordon Denlinger has accepted approximately $200,000 in per diems and mileage in going on 12 years. This includes driving to his offices in Harrisburg and Ephrata. Many of us have to commute to work, but the taxpayers don’t pay for us to do so. I am dissapointed that a man that claims to be a “true conservative” and a “voice of the people” would take so much extra from the people. We already pay our legislator’s salary and generous benefits. In Gordon’s case, we have payed him per diems and mileage to be an “ineffective legislator.”

    • Ryan S. Martin

      April 17, 2014 at 7:30 am

      http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDocs/Legis/CSM/DisplayMemos.cfm?SPick=20130&Chamber=H&MemberID=1009. It looks like Gordon has been busy getting things done even working with some democrats. Also, I would like to see the newspaper’s quote about Denlinger not being a good legislator.

    • Thomas

      April 20, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      Actually, that’s incorrect. There are mileage restrictions for accepting certain reimbursements. Mr. Aument isn’t even eligible for so some of the things that he is saying he is refusing.

  5. RealConservative

    April 17, 2014 at 3:01 pm

    Mr. Martin,

    http://lancasteronline.com/news/lancaster-county-lawmakers-make-few-pa-laws/article_de7fc88a-8a7e-5d05-8bae-4a19a1fc69b8.html

    Look at the chart…Denlinger passed just 3% of his proposals into law. The only one in Lancaster County less effective was Democrat Sturla.

    As for the perks and per diems, there is no excuse. The fact is that both Aument and Denlinger are eligible to take something. Denlinger takes tons. Aument doesn’t take any for going back and forth to work.

    • Thomas

      April 20, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      Again, that’s technically not correct. There are mileage restrictions to what benefits you are eligible for. Since both legislators posted their expenses online, I would encourage you to take a look at the actual numbers. It appears that both of them cost the taxpayers approximately the same amount same each year.

      I’m not sure the percentage of bills passed into law is the best measure of effectiveness. Mr. Denlinger now has four bills that have been passed into law. Regardless, if “number of bills passed” is the measure of success, it would appear that Mr. Boyd was an absolute failure during his 10 years in the legislature.

  6. Ryan Martin

    April 18, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    interesting…

    “It may be better for someone else to sponsor the bill if they have expertise on the issue or sit on the committee that the bill will get sent to,” said Rep. Gordon Denlinger.

    “The Narvon Republican, who has had two bills passed during his decade in office, said it’s not uncommon to see one person take the lead on a certain issue.”

    I see why people would make this an issue (and also the perks), but it really doesn’t matter how many trophies are on the mantle (proposals being passed into law). It’s about working together whether you have your name on the bill/law or not. I hope that Denlinger can better answer some of these questions about this article and also the perks in a debate both he and Aument agreed to next month. Anyone have any details of the debate yet?

    • Thomas

      April 20, 2014 at 12:48 pm

      Since both legislators post their expenses online, it help to look at the actual numbers. It appears that both of them cost the taxpayers approximately the same each year.

      While I’m not sure the percentage of bills passed into law is the best measure of effectiveness, Mr. Denlinger now has four bills that have been passed into law. Regardless, if “number of bills passed” is the measure of success, it would appear that Mr. Boyd, who authored this letter, was an absolute failure during his 10 years in the legislature.

  7. Maj. Gary Schreckengost (USA, ret.)

    April 18, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    Would one being having this conversation if we lived in Erie County?

  8. Justin Sauder

    April 20, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    It is important to tell the whole story when discussing expenses. Sadly Mr. Boyd and several other here fail to point out. It is very easy to look up both Reps expense reports however many people sadly do not let the facts get in the way of a good story. In January of 2014 Rep Auments expenses were $3526.48 compared to Rep Denlingers $3042.90. In February Rep Aument spent $2157.93 compared to Rep Denlingers $2531.81. And the reported totals for each Aument $5684.41 Denlinger $5574.71! According to their expense reports it would appear Rep Aument has cost us more money than Rep Denlinger! But again don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story!!!

  9. Ryan S. Martin

    April 20, 2014 at 9:48 pm

    Let’s move to Erie and find out, Gary. I bet they have a similar playbook for party politics.

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