The race between Republicans for the Sixth District state representative seat is already heating up.

Incumbent Rep. Teresa Forcier recently mailed out a newsletter that has drawn criticism from challenger Brad Roae of East Mead Township. The two will square off for the GOP nomination May 16.

The newsletter points out that Forcier received an “A” grade on the Commonwealth Foundation’s 2006 Liberty Award, and that’s got Roae talking.

“It’s kind of ironic that she used tax money to make a claim she is careful with tax money,” he said. “The Liberty Award claims to rank lawmakers on how their votes affect spending tax money, but that is a joke,” he said, citing the following examples.

The first is that both Forcier and incumbent Republican state Rep. Rod Wilt voted against the 16 percent pay raise. Forcier took the money, but Wilt did not. “They both received the highest possible grade on that money for the Liberty Index because they voted ‘against’ the pay raise,” Roae pointed out.

In addition, he said Forcier charged taxpayers $4,836 in the last fiscal year for lease payments on her sport-utility vehicle, as well as gas, tolls and other expenses. Wilt only charged for mileage. “Because they did not vote on any laws pertaining to taxpayer-funded vehicles for lawmakers in 2005, it was not part of the Liberty Index ratings,” Roae said.

In addition, he said payments for daily expenses weren’t part of the Liberty Award rankings because lawmakers didn’t vote on procedures for them this year. He claimed Forcier charged taxpayers a daily $139 payment for each day she was in Harrisburg and took $10,478. Meanwhile, he claimed Republican state Sen. Jane Earll from Erie kept an expense log and only charged taxpayers $3,860.

In response, Forcier said: “The survey ranking is what it is. It is based on my voting record for the first half of the 2005-06 legislative session.” She agreed with Roae that the survey included no other issues.

“It is for my voting record, which has nothing to do with my expenses,” she said, noting those are determined by the state.

Forcier, first elected in 1990, is seeking her ninth two-year term as state legislator. Roae is a commercial underwriter for Erie Insurance.



Jane Smith can be reached at 724-6370 or by e-mail at jsmith@meadvilletribune.com

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