Saturday, May 30, 2015

Analysis of the 2015 Pennsylvania Primary Election for Reading School Director

           On the Republican ballot, I placed first out of five candidates for the GOP nomination for five four-year term seats on the Reading School District Board of Directors, with over 500 votes.  On the Democratic ballot, however, as School Board candidates in Pennsylvania are permitted to cross-file, I received nearly 1,400 votes and was short of  being nominated by America’s oldest political party by only 64 votes, finishing seventh out of ten candidates. 

            I am honored to have received over 1,900 votes overall, which was the fifth-highest overall total among candidates for four-year terms.  I was among the top five in votes on the Democratic ballot in 16 precincts out of 44.  I appreciated the strong bipartisan support I earned. 

            The results, although unsuccessful on the Democratic ballot, in a district in which Democrats heavily outnumber Republicans, are striking, considering that my Democratic running mates and I were heavily outspent by money from outside the District for this non-paying job.  Our opponent’s spending, the final total of which will be reported next month, allowed the campaign committee for the winning slate of candidates to spread misleading information without a sufficient ability for our campaign to refute it.  In addition to our opponent’s alleged campaign finance violations, for which my running mates and I have filed a complaint with the Berks County Board of Elections, we proved in Common Pleas Court that the other campaign had relied upon various illegal or unethical methods to get on the ballots in the first place.  In fact, two of our opponents withdrew from the Republican ballot in the face of ballot petition challenges. 

            Nevertheless, the results suggest that many Republicans and Democrats, especially those who were familiar with me, appreciated my record as a School Director as an experienced reformer, for which I am grateful. 

            My campaign message of fiscal responsibility paid off for the taxpayers of Reading the day after the Primary when the Reading School Board voted not to raise taxes for the 2015-2016 fiscal year, after I had criticized as unnecessary its increase of taxes for this year to the highest legal limit.  I intend to continue to promote fiscal responsibility, openness and transparency and holding the School District Administration accountable through proper oversight.    

           I thank all those who voted for me or supported my campaign in any way!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Remembering the True Purpose of Memorial Day

           The 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War makes this Memorial Day especially poignant, as it is the day Americans pause to commemorate the supreme sacrifice of those soldiers who gave their lives in wartime service to the United States.  Earlier this year was also the bicentennial of the end of the War of 1812, when Americans defended their independence. 

            It is not objectionable to commemorate on this day also those civilian federal public servants who also died in service to the U.S. in wartime. 

            Amidst the popular perception of Memorial Day as the “unofficial start of Summer,” given the federal and state holiday’s placement in late Spring and on a Monday to create a three-day weekend, it is easy for Americans to treat the day intended as a day of mourning as a day of celebration.  As I noted in a post in May of 2009, Memorial Day Is Not Meant to Be a Happy Holiday,, the focus should be on remembering our American war dead and appreciating their sacrifice for our liberty and that of the world.

           May God bless America!

Monday, May 18, 2015

The 2015 Pennsylvania Primary Elections

           Tuesday, May 19 is Primary Election Day in Pennsylvania.  There are statewide, as well as county, municipal and school board offices on the ballot across the Commonwealth of interest to conservatives, as well as to all citizens.

            Statewide, there are contests for the major parties’ nominations for state Supreme, Superior and Commonwealth Courts.  There are county offices on the ballot in each county.  In Berks County, there is a race for the nomination for three seats on the bench of the Court of Common Pleas, in which candidates are permitted to cross-file to have their names on the ballot of both the Democratic and Republican Parties, as well as for county commissioner and several county row offices.  Locally, there are contests across the Keystone State for a third of the districts for magisterial district judge and for all constable districts. 

            A major focus on the “municipal” primary elections is, of course, municipal elections, such as for mayor of numerous Pennsylvania cities, including Reading, and boroughs, city and borough councils and other municipal offices, as well as township commissioners or supervisors and other township offices.  Some municipalities have referenda on the ballot. 

There are also nomination contests for the boards of directors in each of the Commonwealth’s 501 school districts, including in the Reading School District, where I am cross-filed on both major ballots.  In Reading, there are five seats on the School Board for four-year terms, as well as a special primary election for a two-year seat to fill a vacancy. 

These county and other local offices affect citizens most directly in numerous ways.  As one’s vote counts more proportionately in local than in statewide elections, especially considering that far fewer voters vote in primary elections.

            Only registered members of the parties conducting primary elections, the Democratic and Republican Parties, are permitted to cast ballots in primaries in Pennsylvania.   

           Be sure to vote in the Pennsylvania Primary Elections on Tuesday!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Webpage Links Re: the Reading School Board Primary Election

           Here is a link to a Berks Community Television (BCTV) Voters Guide about the Reading School Board Primary Election on Tuesday, May 19:

           A link to a BCTV article about the significance of school board elections in Pennsylvania may be found here:  The story also contains a link to a video of the League of Women Voters' candidates forum on BCTV last week that I posted about:

           The link to the Reading Eagle Voters Guide is here:

Friday, May 8, 2015

Cinfici Wins the Reading School Directors Candidates Forum

           I won the forum for candidates for the Reading School Board yesterday hosted by the League of Women Voters and broadcast by Berks Community Television.  Rebroadcasts of the forum may be viewed on BCTV’s website: (  Seven candidates participated out of ten seeking five seats for four-year terms and one candidate seeking the two-year term.

            In addition to the points I made in my address last month to the Reading School Board of Directors,, in which I praised the current Board for continuing some of the initiatives of the prior Board, onto which I was appointed to serve for its last seven months, and criticized the majority of the new Board for failing to consider numerous proposals to improve fiscal controls, reduce wasteful spending and increase the collection of revenue and even for regressing in terms of openness and transparency and for failing its fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers by not conducting proper oversight of the School District Administration, I offered my record as an experienced reformer who knew what progress the District needs to make and how to accomplish it. 

Specifically, I cited my efforts to enhance the District’s fiscal controls, reduce wasteful spending and increase the collection of revenue, while increasing openness and transparency, all of which helped the District to balance the budget for five years, with millions of dollars of surplus—without raising taxes, while also making significant improvements to safety and security.  I noted that unless the voters return some of us former School Directors to the Board, there will be no one with more than two years of experience serving on it.     

I also criticized the majority of the Board for raising real estate taxes—to the maximum extent allowed by law—and for not following the Board’s own hiring policies to prevent not only the Board, but the Administration, from engaging in nepotism or cronyism.

A few other accomplishments during my service on the Board from 2005-2009 and 2013 that I mentioned during the form were the conflict of interest policy I crafted that the Board adopted, the Reading-Muhlenberg Career and Technology Center (CTC) adult school program, my use of the bully pulpit and direct lobbying of state legislators of both parties and chambers for real estate tax reform, and my efforts at increasing public awareness of the various programs and extracurricular opportunities for students, such as the CTC and the District’s Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program, which is the largest in the United States. 

In addition to the two candidates running with me, even several of my opponents agreed with a number of my points.  I thanked the League and BCTV for the forum and asked the voters to return me to the Reading School Board to avail it of my experience as a reformer and my ability to help the Board conduct adequate oversight of the Administration to fulfill its fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers of Reading.

Conservatives Win a Majority in the British Parliamentary Elections

           Conservative Party candidates won a majority of the seats in the parliamentary elections in the United Kingdom, their first majority in over two decades.  David Cameron becomes the first re-elected Tory premier since Margaret Thatcher. 

The Conservatives will no longer have to govern in coalition with a leftist junior partner, as the leftist party suffered heavy losses.  The main center-left opposition party lost ground not only to the Tories, including even in Wales, but especially to the Scottish nationalist party.  Indeed, the center-left was nearly completely swept out of Parliament in Scotland.  The victory for the Conservatives was an upset, as the public opinion polls had suggested a tight race between the Conservatives and the center-left opposition without any party gaining a majority and the necessity of negotiations to form another coalition government.  

The Conservatives benefited politically by economic recovery and the rejection of the referendum of Scottish independence that kept the United Kingdom united, as well as their promises of more devolution of power to Scotland and Wales.  The incoming Tory Government will implement sound fiscal policy and keep the U.K. in the European Union, while pushing to regain some sovereign powers from the E.U., while also retaining the pound sterling, instead of joining the European Monetary Union and adopting the Euro as a monetary unit. 

The incoming Conservative British Government will also continue their strong allegiance with the United States and participation in the War on Terrorism, especially the current campaign against the “Islamic State.”

Happy VE-Day, Personal and Blog Notes

           Today marks the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, the day the Allies defeated the Axis powers to end the Second World War in the European theater and liberate the Continent from Fascism (National Socialism). 

           I have not posted to my blog as frequently as usual over the last two months because I have been campaigning as a candidate on both the Democratic and Republican ballots for Reading School Director in the May 19 Primary Election.  I plan posts soon on American foreign policy, major developments in Italy and on the British parliamentary elections.  Please continue to visit my blog periodically as I shall try to post occasionally in the meantime.  Thank you.