Press Release: Sue Helm walks off the job during session

In response to a recent campaign mailer from my opponent addressing my record on Borough Council:

“The political mailer attacking my integrity is off base.  If the other members of Millersburg Borough Council and I and our mayor had not voluntarily eliminated our salaries from the budget for three out of the last four years, borough tax rates would be higher than what they are now,” stated Chris Dietz, candidate for State Representative in the 104th.

Last Wednesday, my opponent, Sue Helm and House Republican leadership fled the chamber in the middle of session and cancelled Thursday’s votes in order to block discussion of HR 520, a resolution urging an investigation into Governor Corbett’s handling of the Jerry Sandusky investigation.  Other members remained on the floor in hopes of getting bipartisan support for an independent investigation into Corbett’s conduct.

“This isn’t the first time Sue Helm abandoned the young people in our district.  After slashing nearly $1 billion from Pennsylvania schools, and cutting hundreds of thousands of people from basic health services for children and middle-class families, Sue Helm has demonstrated once again that her priorities are not with the children of Pennsylvania. Her tag line is, ‘An independent leader putting people before politics.’  Is fleeing the House floor, in lock step, with her party leaders independent?  Is walking out on Sandusky’s victims, putting people first?  I think not.“

“As a Penn State Alum and President of Millersburg Borough Council, I am deeply disappointed in my opponent’s actions,” Dietz continued. “When Sue Helm walked off the house floor and away from her duty to represent us, she turned her back on our kids and put partisan politics ahead of Pennsylvania families.  We shouldn’t expect anything more from someone who voted to slash almost $7 million from our local schools in the 104th district. Our local districts have spent down their reserves and are now forced to increase property taxes to balance their budgets.  Sue Helm’s “trickle down tax increases” are the result of her failure to invest in the future success of our young people.”

“Shame on Sue Helm for attacking the goodwill of seven municipal officials that eliminated their tax payer salaries to keep taxes low, and shame on her for walking out on our children.”

Voter ID Information

In an effort to educate voters about the voter ID requirements, here are a couple links that might help. If you know anyone that is having problems navigating the process of getting an ID, which many of them may not have internet access, please print out and/or share information from the following links:

PennDOT – Step by step procedural instructions:

PennDOT – The Oath/Affirmation form required to avoid the $13.50 ID Fee: (The applicant must know to fill out this form otherwise they will get charged) – Information website from PA Department of State:
(I would like to draw attention to the link entitled “PA Care Facilities / Elderly / Disabled”. Some Care Facilities may already issue Photo ID that is acceptable under the Voter ID Law. The ID must include the person’s photo, full name, and expiration date that is current.)

And the last week of August the new Department of State ID will be available through PennDOT: (This ID will be available to those that do not have a birth certificate.);//;80/portal/

At this point we have until Nov. 6 to get this information out to those that need it. Depending on the outcome of the cases working their way through PA Courts, this may get extended, but please be on the lookout for anyone in need of this information.

Thanks for your help!

Protecting Our Right To VOTE

A senior citizen, who lives in an assisted living facility in Susquehanna Township, spoke to me about her neighbors lack of knowledge about the new Photo ID requirement for voters this fall. She explained how many of them have no idea that the law even exists, let alone how to get a photo ID if they do not currently have one. A few of them did know about the law and went to PennDot to get a “free” ID and they were required to pay $13.50 for the “free” ID they received.
To many of us getting an ID is not a problem, but there are a substantial amount of registered voters that do not have access to transportation or have very limited income or do not have an official birth certificate, all of which makes it unlikely they will have a photo ID in time for the election this fall.
Whether you support the law or not is your own decision, but we need to make sure that eligible voters retain their right to vote. I plan to help as many people as I can to get Photo ID, but it is an uphill battle. As such, I have issued the following press release and challenge to the incumbent Representative in the 104th district:

“Chris Dietz, Democratic challenger for the 104th State House District, urges current State Representative Helm to join his call to delay the implementation of the new Pennsylvania Voter ID law to give each eligible voter the opportunity to obtain a valid photo ID.  A recent Pennsylvania Department of State report has indicated as many as 758,000 or 9% of Pennsylvania’s voters could be disenfranchised from their right to vote in the upcoming November Election because they do not have a PennDot issued photo ID.  

In the 104th District, 6% or 2,300 registered voters could lose their right to vote due to the new Pennsylvania Voter ID Law which was supported by Representative Helm.   Chris Dietz challenges Representative Helm to protect the right to vote of the 1250 Republicans, 866 Democrats, and 182 other affiliated voters across our district who have been identified by the PA Department of State as not having a PennDot issued photo ID. Partisan politics, as indicated by House Majority Leader Turzai, under the guise of legislation purported to help Pennsylvania is not good or transparent government.  The right to vote is a quintessential American ideal.  Please join me in asking our Representative to represent us by not taking away our neighbors’ right to vote.”

Vote Here Sign

Last Week of June (Early Intervention Programs)

The last week of June is here and we have been hard at work. I have knocked on doors in Susquehanna Township, Millersburg, Paxtang, Swatara Township, and Elizabethville this month.
One Susquehanna Township family told me about how an early intervention program helped their autistic son to learn how to communicate in six word sentences. Before going through the program, he was unable to speak. These programs are crucial to many families across the state and funding for them is being reduced or eliminated by our state officials in Harrisburg. I am running to support education opportunities for our children. My nephews’ elementary school is eliminating music, art, and physical education departments due to the state budget cuts. In the State House, I will fight to maintain education opportunities, that are equal or better than I had growing up in public school or attending Penn State University.

Local voices for real priorities. Thanks for your input.