What do “highly-paid lobbyists” want?

I had to share this email exchange between Simon Campbell of StopTeacherStrikes and Rep. Karen Beyer, prime sponsor of HB 446 (which, in the name of “accountability” includes reducing funding of cyber schools). I’m not entirely sure which “highly paid lobbyists” Rep Beyer is referring to, or what misinformation they have spread, but Simon’s identification of “highly paid lobbyists” who are spreading misinformation is spot on.

On Wed, 05 Dec 2007 13:21:33 -0500, Karen Beyer wrote:

All, While I appreciate all of your interest and thoughtful dialogue on the issues surrounding HB 446, I want to take this opportunity to invite any of you to meet with me so that I can explain the legislation. Please know this…there has been a great deal of misinformation regarding this important legislation circulated by highly-paid lobbyists in Harrisburg.

It is unfortunate that some lobbyists believe that they are more important than elected officials, taxpayers and residents of our great Commonwealth. Let me assure all of you that I would never do harm to folks who have chosen cyber charter education for their children. This is an accountability bill. Please understand too that I do not intend to have a constant email exchange on this issue. If you would like to meet, I welcome the opportunity.

With warm regards,
State Rep. Karen D. Beyer
131st Legislative District


Dear Rep. Beyer,

I have a question pertaining to these “highly-paid lobbyists in Harrisburg”. Do they include any of the following:

– John Baughman: $159,435
– Kathleen Caswell: $92,145
– Stephen Dunkle: $124,236
– Carol Karl: $118,763
– Laurel McLeaish: $132,748
– James Vaughan: $90,402
– Kelby Waltman: $120,455

I’m guessing that you may have run across one or more of these delightful people at some point – because when they are not playing golf at the Kimberton Golf Club, they don’t have far to walk to do their lobbying. In fact their headquarters are right across the street from the Capitol building.

However, in the event that these names are unfamiliar, you may recall that their political action committee endorsed your election campaign last year. That would be the same year they gave you $6,150. I could be mistaken but I believe the above “highly paid lobbyists” work for a little entity called … P.S.E.A.

Yep, I’m pretty sure that’s who they work for. Regarding this accountability bill …are you referring to HB 1369 that you refused to co-sponsor? This accountability bill holds public school employees accountable for teaching children instead of booting them out of the classroom. I could be mistaken but I believe the same highly paid lobbyists that oppose HB 1369 also support HB 446?

Anyway, if you do accidentally catch a glimpse of Mr. Baughman as he wanders around looking for a non-endorsed legislator to talk to, please tell him not to celebrate too hard at the Pinecrest Golf Club when HB 446 passes.

Simon Campbell
Poverty-stricken unpaid parent volunteer