OpEd by Senator Marty Flynn
I must address the call for an investigation into the results of the 2020 Election made by Pennsylvania Senate Republicans. To be honest, folks, I had a hard time deciding if I should even write this. It’s frustrating to have to respond to claims so absurd. The Republicans are living in a fantasy world, and they want us to pay for their room and board. This is beneath us. It should be beneath them, too.
They claim that they are calling for this audit to “restore trust in our system,” while they are the ones actively trying to sow distrust. It’s like burning a house to the ground to restore trust in the fire department. They’re the ones destroying it! The amount of evidence the Republicans are clinging to is precisely zero – it simply does not exist. All of the facts clearly show that the election results were fair and valid. Over 50 courts across the country, independently of one another, have examined these claims and found them to be completely baseless. You may remember Rudy Giuliani leading the charge against the election results. You may also remember that, as a result, his legal license was suspended in his home state of New York. His claims were found to be so patently untrue that he is no longer allowed to practice law. Over a dozen Republican state senators won re-election in 2020, and not one of them questioned the integrity of those results. The exact same people who had no issue accepting the results of races they won are disingenuously crying foul at the outcomes of the races they lost. They are claiming that when they win, it’s fair, and when they lose, it’s rigged, ignoring the fact it’s all the same election, the same ballots, the same machines.
In my time as a boxer, there were fights I was certain I’d won only to be dealt a crushing and surprising decision. To accept a loss after preparing yourself for victory is no easy task, but it’s an essential lesson in humility and maturity. I believe that you learn more about yourself in defeat than in victory. We’re certainly learning a lot about the senators right now. Instead of focusing on moving forward, helping their constituents bounce back and even thrive as our nation recovers from this pandemic, their attention is on some delusional version of the past. Our job as senators, fundamentally, is to help those we were elected to represent. The Republicans are clearly not concerned with actually helping anyone.
Let’s be blunt about their motives here. First, they’re trying to indulge our previous president in his attempt to undermine President Biden. This is unseemly, sure, but sadly it’s what we’ve come to expect. It’s the second motive, though, that could have real consequences should this audit proceed. Suddenly, there will be a precedent set where the results of every single election could be disputed or outright ignored by anybody who doesn’t like how the vote turned out. This, it should not need to be said, runs completely counter to the foundations and ideals upon which this country was founded.
So please, senators, come to your senses, accept reality, move on, and put an end to this farce. The rest of us are trying to have a democracy here.
Luzerne County – July 20, 2021– State Senator Marty Flynn today announced Luzerne County will receive $2,673,188 in state grants to support community projects and equipment purchases across the region. The grants were awarded through the Commonwealth Financing Authority’s (CFA) Local Share Account (LSA) program.
“These grants are a great example of what we can achieve at a state and local level. Almost three million dollars for projects and equipment across Luzerne will go a long way to improve local infrastructure, making our county safer, more efficient, and overall a better place to live,” said Sen. Flynn.
The following projects have been approved to receive LSA program funds:
- Luzerne County 911 Tower Construction – $246,300 for the construction of a radio tower to be located at 283 Campbell’s Ledge Road in Duryea Borough to increase the county’s communications infrastructure.
- North East Pennsylvania Land Bank – $250,000 to assist with the Land Bank’s operational costs and the acquisition, demolition, and rehabilitation of blighted properties within the Land Bank’s participating municipalities.
- Avoca Fire and Ambulance Renovations – $336,160 for site improvements and renovations to expand the current Avoca Hose Company No.1 building. Building renovations will include new overhead doors, entry doors, windows, and metal sliding; electrical upgrades; and site improvements.
- Dupont DPW Equipment – $317,058 to purchase a CNG refuse packer, a 6500 dump truck and an asphalt roller.
- Duryea Police Vehicle – $55,768 to purchase a new police vehicle.
- Pittston Police and Road Equipment – $166,700 to purchase equipment and vehicles for township police and public works departments.
- Germania SCUBA Team Equipment – $90,195 for the purchase of a truck and double stack boat trailer.
- Compost Equipment Repair – $50,258 to rehabilitate the Bandit Beast 2460 Grinder being operated at the Greater Pittston Regional Compost Facility.
- New Compost Equipment – $128,050 to purchase a Caterpillar 914 14A Wheel Loader for the Greater Pittston Regional Compost Facility.
- Duryea Main Street Sidewalk Project – $314,375 to assist with infrastructure improvements to Main Street’s streetscape.
- 630 Main Street Parking Lot Improvements Project – $14,355 for parking lot improvements at 630 Main Street.
- Public Works Equipment – $347,558 for the purchase of a CNG refuse packer, a 6500 dump truck, an asphalt roller and 3-ton hot box.
- Pittston Township Equipment – $230,200 to purchase vehicles and equipment for use by the township’s road, public works, and emergency management departments.
- West Side Social Club Parking Lot – $79,970 for parking lot improvements at the West Side Social Club.
- West Side Social Club Roof Replacement – $46,241 for a roof replacement at the West Side Social Club.
Under Act 71 (the Gaming Act), Luzerne County is eligible for LSA grant funding for projects that improve the quality of life of citizens in the community. Funding is supported by 2% of gross terminal revenues of certain licensed gaming facilities and administered by the CFA to support and enhance community and economic well-being and mitigate the impact of gaming and related activities.
Lackawanna County – July 7, 2021 – State Senator Marty Flynn announced today the city of Scranton will receive $488,000 in state grant funds to improve traffic signals along Cedar Avenue at East Elm Street and Maple Street. The grant will support the modernization of traffic equipment, and will fund the installation of new mast arms, controller cabinets, signal heads and pavement markings.
“Investing in local infrastructure is key to making sure our communities can thrive. This grant allows Scranton to upgrade elements of our traffic infrastructure, making the road safer and more efficient for everyone who uses it.” Flynn said.
The funding is being awarded from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s (PennDOT’s) “Green Light-Go” program. Grant funding through the Green Light-Go program may be utilized for a range of operational improvements including, but not limited to light-emitting diode (LED) technology installation, traffic signal retiming, developing special event plans and monitoring traffic signals, as well as upgrading traffic signals to the latest technologies.
Harrisburg, Pa. – June 25, 2021 – State Senator Marty Flynn (D-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Monroe) has voted in support of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s budget for fiscal year 2021-2022 that was approved today.
“The approved budget represents a compromise between our five parties of government in Harrisburg – each partisan caucus and the Governor’s office- and gets money out as quickly as possible to programs statewide. This budget puts $200 million in nursing homes, $280 million into highway and bridge projects, and an additional $360 million into other needs moving forward,” said Flynn.
Other highlights of the 2021-2022 budget include:
- $300 million for basic education, including $200 million to be funded through the Fair Funding Formula and $100 million for Level Up to provide funding for schools that have been historically inadequately funded, including the school districts of Scranton, Reading, Northampton, and Philadelphia
- $30 million for gun violence prevention through community programs, managed by PCCD
- $3 million for food purchase program within Department of Agriculture
“Pennsylvania had a budget surplus of $3 billion budget surplus and $7 billion from the American Rescue Plan. I would have liked to see more of those funds put toward economic development and programs that can get people on their feet after the pandemic, but at the end of day my constituents care about action,” said Flynn. “Our communities are sick of stalemates and drawn out negotiations that delay action. This 2021-2022 budget doesn’t deliver on everything our Democratic Caucus fought for, but it raises no taxes and makes new and important investments in education. It’s a comprise and I think that’s a good start.”