An indidual who resides in his House district might be hard-pressed to name John Maher as their State Representative as he does not ever make his presence known to the public, at least not until there is an impending election. Rep. Maher does not utilize state newspapers to publish essays or letters which would illuminate his positions and actions nor does he provide an email constituent newsletter that would keep residents of his community informed as to what is taking place in the General Assembly. (Maher touts himself a fiscal conservative; I would note in that spirit that the means of communication I suggest can be engaged in free of charge.)
Rep. Maher has made his presence known to me as we approach the November election, in which he is the leading candidate for State Auditor General, and he has demonstrated that he has knowledge of how to utilize email! I received an email invitation to a Oct. 10 fundraiser at the posh Duquesne Club for which the "suggested donation" is a "mere" $250.
I wonder if Rep. Maher will remind his prosperous supporters and admirers at the Club of his votes on critical issues in recent years, that he was: FOR the 50 percent legislative pension enhancement of 2001 (state pension funds now sport a deficit of a whopping $37 billion, according to Gov. Tom Corbett), FOR the infamous 2005 midnight legislative pay grab (and then, during this year's primary campaign, disingenuously boasted that he voted for its repeal without noting his initial AYE), AGAINST the Clean Indoor Air Act, which has eliminated smoking in most public places, and has not lifted a finger to support legislation to reduce or eliminate the property tax burden, which even many General Assembly Republicans acknowledge is a vexing dilemma which has caused Pennsylvanians to lose their homes. If these votes and positions are reflective of a conservative, what would a liberal representative do?
I trust that the Maher record will not be raised by the candidate or his forces at the fundraiser or at any other time, rather the focus will be on the fact that he is the only Certified Public Accountant in the General Assembly, an auditor by profession, and a highly educated, intelligent, articulate individual (all of which I readily acknowledge). Qualifications and intellect are not necessarily indicative of one's fitness to serve when one has voted against the public interest.