Sam Rohrer is a Viable Candidate

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Congressman Jim Gerlach announced last week his withdrawal for the Republican nomination for Pennsylvania governor.

In newspaper accounts of his announcement, there was a quote that really made my blood boil. Obviously gratified by Gerlach’s decision, Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Robert Gleason said about gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett: Now "he doesn’t need a primary" to establish himself. He said he was pleased that Corbett would now be able to "husband his resources."

Gleason’s arrogance, and that of the entire Republican State Committee, absolutely infuriates me. The Republican power brokers have already written off Berks County state Rep. Sam Rohrer, the remaining opposition candidate, without giving him the opportunity to make his views known or gauging the support of the electorate.

Worse, the Republican leaders are willing to endorse Corbett even though he has yet to make a statement of principles or announce his plan to lead Pennsylvania if he is elected. Corbett’s Web site contains only a biography, endorsements by other politicians that reek of cronyism, and bragging about his accomplishments as Pennsylvania Attorney General, but not one word about his vision for Pennsylvania.

On what rational basis are the party bosses supporting him? It is obvious that Gleason and the Republican establishment in Pennsylvania are attempting to marginalize Rep. Rohrer by ignoring him. This is machine politics at its worst.

I, for one, am sick and tired of the party bosses telling me for whom I can vote. In the past, the state committee has backed empty suits like Lynn Swann and alleged criminals like John Perzel and the people of Pennsylvania have paid the price for the power brokers’ hubris. It is time to teach them a harsh lesson.

Florida activists emphatically taught that lesson last week. The chairman of the Florida State Republican Committee, Jim Greer, resigned after extreme pressure from Tea Party groups who were angered by Greer’s support for Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s Senate candidacy over their more conservative preferred candidate, Marc Rubio. Observers are predicting that Crist may also be brought down by the activists. The power of the people defeated the party bosses. An identical uprising is needed in Pennsylvania.

Rep. Rohrer absolutely needs to win the nomination in May if we are to have any hope for school property tax elimination, smaller state government, and a repudiation of the power of the special interests. But this election now has a more profound goal: To send an unequivocal message to the party powers that ordinary folks like us are fed up with their arrogance and will reclaim control of the democratic process. We can, and will, restore the right to choose who we prefer to lead our government.

The Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Associations believes that the citizens of Pennsylvania must do everything possible to ensure that Rep.
Rohrer is nominated regardless of what the Republican State Committee tells them to do. His common-sense message resonates with all who hear it — what we need to do is make sure that message is heard by as many folks as possible.

Please involve as many people as you can in this effort. Partner with Tea Party, 9/12, and other activist and grassroots groups to spread the word. We all must work as hard as possible to take back our government and restore liberty. It is time to fully exercise the power that has been guaranteed to us by the Constitution.

David Baldinger is the administrator for the Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Associations, which represents more than two dozen citizen taxpayer groups across the state. (