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Conservative Reform Network

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The Conservative Reform Network

The Newsletter for Independent, Conservative Political Activists

In This Issue

Conservative Reform Network
Criticsm is Lots of Smoke, Little Fire
DRPA Eliminates Freebies
Who is Getting Rich?


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Dear Lowman,

The Delaware River Port Authority of Pennsylvania and New Jersey (DRPA) has a budget
of $300,000 and 900 government employees, all receiving platinum defined benefit
pensions and top of the line health insurance.DRPA is a government owned and
monopoly operating the Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Commodore Barry, and Betsy
Ross bridges. All four bridges are part of the E-ZPass
Electronic Toll Collection network. Through a subsidiary, the Port Authority Transit
Corp., DRPA runs PATCO
and also owns the RiverLink Ferry
and the Philadelphia Cruise Terminal

You can view more posts on my blog

Bob Guzzardi, independent of any candidate, campaign or organization. This message
has not been approved by anyone but me.

DRPA Board Chairman Calls Criticisms Lots of Smoke, Little Fire


John Estey is a partner at BallardSpahr which has greatly benefitted from the
Incumbency Network. Other than Chris Freind
and here
the media has not reported who John Estey and his tentacles, all of which benefit
the lawyers at BallardSpahr. John Estey
downplays the criticisms
which means: a) he is feeling the heat; b) John Estey knows they are true; because
he does not deny the accuracy; and c) John Estey is not likely to make any changes.

Pennsylvania's next governor appoints the DRPA Chair. If it is Dan Onorato, then
we can expect "business as usual". The NJGovernor has veto power over the board
decision and it appears that NJ Gov. Chris Christie is paying attention.

DRPA Eliminates Perks and Free Rides

John Estey,
Rendell Chief of Staff and now partner at nonunion BallardSpahr
which is paid 100s of 1000s in legal fees from Unionized Delaware River Port Authority
where John Estey is Chair, the Unionized US Constitution Center where John Estey
is Chair, and the Unionized Philadelphia Regional Port Authority where John Estey
is, also, Chair. As well as Board member of the Gettysburg Foundation and Philadelphia
Tourism Marketing Center. Ken Jarin
is his law partner
BallardSpahr's John Estey votes on his own law firm's legal fees from DRPA! and
maybe at other organizations.

Eliminating Perks, free rides and other petty theft is only part of the problem.
It is the legal diversion of toll dollars and tax dollars to a few connected to
the elected and BallardSpahr is at the center, a bipartisan law firm, paid by
and Republican Business as Usual Establishment Insider Network.

A 214-page management audit that was released Tuesday concedes the authority is
strongly influenced by politics.
To offset that, it encourages tighter management controls, especially with regard
to raises and promotions. It also suggested that personal aides to the chairman
and vice chairman be fired.

The $500,000 report, prepared by TransTech Management of Greensboro, N.C.
did not reference conflicts of interest by the Chair, Board Members, or Senior
and no mention of BallardSpahr's legal fees. 1 The study did recommend that DRPA
spend more money to augment its engineering department to handle an estimated $1
billion in capital
Improvements that are in the pipeline. With regard to technology, the study found
DRPA to be "significantly behind best-practices standards in nearly every area."
There did not seem to be any specific recommendations for cutting any particular
expenditure. The $500,000 did recommend, among other things, to "Exercise Fiscal
Responsibility" (page 37).

For more on BallardSpahr legal fees, John Estey and Democratic Establishment Insiders
getting rich from bad government, see Chris Freind and his series on DRPA and
"Top Five Reasons To Dump Port Authority Chairman"

And the one that got it all started 2 years ago...Rendell and Ballard:
Attached At The Wallet

Chris Friend on Fox 29 about DRPA
and one of my favorites, Piggy Bank for Politicos
- bipartisan getting rich from bad government, connected to elected. Governor Christie
is the model.

Toll Payers Want to Know Who is Getting Rich

People who are spending our money and interfering with our lives and we don't even
know who they are. The Forgotten Taxpayer and Toll Payers are interested in knowing
who Getting Rich from Bad Government by spending his and her money. Part of an
ongoing and very longand depressing series. The Media (mostly Democrats) have done
little to tell us who are the players playing with our money and our lives. See
Chris Freind's solid investigative exposes below.

John Estey's BallardSpahr
is not returning any of the money that was paid to BallardSpahr or to top management
at DRPA. John Estey is Dan Onorato's #1 political ally and key fundraiser. John
Estey was Gov. Rendell's former chief of staff who was appointed by Gov. Rendell
by Governor Rendell as Chairman of DRPA. Originally, Gov. Rendell appointed himself
and then deferred to John Estey. Gov. Rendell accepts 'lion's share of blame' for
DRPA failures
Ed Rendell and John Estey are not the Toll Payers best friends, are they? How friendly
will a John Estey's Governor Onorato be?

Chris Freind of FriendlyFireZone
has a solid piece on what went wrong
with very specific policy and personnel changes that are needed. Chris was two years
ahead of the curve with Ballard ~Rendell:
At The Wallet
John Estey's role is highlighted and with good reason. More from Chris on Fox TV
and here.

Montgomery County Republican Mike Vereb
has taken the lead on reforming DRPA.

Gov. Rendell deserves a "lion's share of the blame"; this rhetoric costs him nothing.
A Defining Difference: Tom Corbett or Dan Onorato, the next Governor of Pennsylvania,
will appoint the next chair of DRPA.

1 Some of John Estey's other Board Memberships ( would you guess who is legal counsel
to these entities?) Delaware River Port Authority, Chair, Board of Commissioners

Philadelphia Regional Port Authority, Chair, Board of Directors

Independence Visitor Center Corporation, Chair

Gettysburg Foundation

Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation

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