Via the comment section, lieutenant governor candidate Mike Stack’s campaign manager Marty Marks has taken issue with two Keystone Politics articles—one on Stack’s statement last week that he would publicly disagree with our gubernatorial candidate, and the other on Stack’s casino land deals.
I like Marty a great deal, but he’s just wrong when he asserts that Stack’s record is “damn good, nearly flawless,” and that “he has built that record of achievement representing a blue collar Senate District.”
Philadelphia Daily News columnist John Baer has lambasted Stack for his excessive perks, saying that “[i]f these washes are for Stack’s state-leased car – a 2009 Dodge Charger; $440 per month, according to Senate records – he could be driving the cleanest Chrysler product in Pennsylvania.”
Blue collar values surely include an unyielding love of fine American automobiles, but not on their dime for their public servants.
And after calculating that the average no-frills car wash was roughly $14 in Philly, Baer estimated that Stack could have had the Charger cleaned once a month, every month for two years, for $336, so “either he’s found a higher-priced car wash or gets extras such as sealer wax or undercarriage flush, rust inhibitor or wheel shampoos, no doubt to better protect state property.”
And on top of that, Senator Stack makes his blue collar constituents foot the bill for his per diem expenses. During the 2008-2009 session alone, Stack racked up $25,537 dollars in per diems.
For most blue collar folks, $25K is closer to the value of a full year’s pay check, not a full year’s incidental expenses.
It’s Marty’s job to defend his candidate as vigorously as possible, and I respect that. But it’s just ludicrous to say that Mike Stack has a near-flawless record of representing the values of his working class neighborhood.