Who Is Elder Vogel?
Elder Vogel is a farmer on the plateau above the valley of the Beaver and Ohio Rivers . He is also the freshman Republican State Senator representing the 47th Senatorial district encompassing much of Beaver and Lawrence Counties, including the cities of Ambridge, Aliquippa, Beaver Falls, and New Castle.
As his website says: “A citizen-legislator, Senator Vogel is a fourth-generation dairy farmer, operating the family farm in New Sewickley Township which was established in the late 1800s. For many years, Senator Vogel served as president of the Beaver-Lawrence Farm Bureau, and until his election served as a New Sewickley Township Supervisor.”
Vogel defeated Jason Petrella, a Democratic Party newcomer with no political experience. Petrella was also running with the overhang of scandal. Local Democratic leader Mike Veon and other Democrats were previously ousted for stubbornly supporting a midnight pay raise despite widespread protest and criticism.
What Has Elder Vogel Done?
Elder Vogel, without considering the needs of the people of his district and the state, has blindly followed the far-right leadership of the Pennsylvania Republican Party. This Party is tightly controlled by the far-right financiers led by Richard Scaife. It is best described as the “Party of No.”
Elder Vogel voted for a budget, SB 850, that harshly and inhumanely cut every social program supported by the state. He also voted against every suggestion proposed by the Democrats to raise revenues to maintain Pennsylvania’s standard of support for children, the elderly, veterans, the disabled, and job seekers.
He voted against taxing smokeless tobacco – as other states do – and for cutting daycare subsidies for poor mothers working to feed their children.
He voted against a severance tax on gas drillers – as other states have – and for cutting Head Start, veterans programs, disabled support systems, and environmental protection.
He has voted to cut every aspect of public education, from early childhood initiatives to our public community school districts to college grants.
Elder Vogel voted to cut funding for programs whose level of federal funding is tied to the level of state funding, denying the return of our federal tax dollars back to our state and communities. He voted to cut state funds to local municipalities for mandates that will force our local governments to raise property taxes.
Democratic Governor Rendell vetoed this hateful budget. Now there is no budget, and all of these programs remain unfunded while the Republicans sit in Harrisburg with their arms crossed and their chins in the air. They refuse to raise any new revenues and are willing to starve the people out. We must know Elder Vogel by his misdeeds, not by his quiet retiring style.
What Elder Vogel Must Do
Why did Elder Vogel support such a people-hating budget? The Republican Party puts the interests of the wealthy elite above the interests of the working people. Perhaps Elder Vogel thought he could serve the people of the Beaver Valley in the Senate. But if he trusts his political handlers to tell him how to vote, Vogel is getting very bad advice.
Elder Vogel needs to take into account the welfare of all the people in the 47th Senatorial district. He needs to stop supporting the Republican Party’s efforts to punish poor and working people for the economic downturn. Elder Vogel needs to sit down and talk to his Democratic Party friends and neighbors so he can figure out how to best raise revenues for the budget. This needs to happen right away.
Elder Vogel is very misinformed. The people of the 47th District need to inform him of what is going on here. He needs to know that we expect everyone to pitch in so that the least of us, our children, are not made to suffer. He must stop supporting the Republican Party efforts to block a consensus budget for Pennsylvania. He needs to know that parents, teachers, and providers of services will not tolerate weeks of being unpaid for our work.
Elder Vogel needs to know that not funding a budget that meets the needs of the people is a personal issue for thousands of his constituents.
His office is at 488 Adams St., Rochester. Phone 724 774-0444.
His office is at 101 Mercer St., New Castle. Phone 724 654-1444.