Bret Binder (D) Outperforms His Opponent in First Debate.

In their first duel, Bret Binder defeats Dan Truitt. Truitt reveals true colors claiming to be a "libertarian."

West Chester, PA – Democratic Party Candidate Bret Binder outperformed his Republican opponent, Dan Truitt, in their first debate, on Monday evening. The debate was hosted by the West Chester Southwest Association of Neighbors (SWAN) at the Reformed Presbyterian Church in downtown West Chester in front of a crowd of about sixty people.   

During the debate, Binder said that it is imperative that we restore funding for public education. Binder said that, “over 860 million dollars was cut from k-12 funding in the last two years under Governor Corbett and my opponent Dan Truitt.” Binder, who supports strong traditional public schools and tighter regulations for charter schools, stated, “Our tax dollars are going to charter schools, but we have no way of tracking where and how these dollars are spent.”   Binder pointed out that the company which manages Chester Upland’s charter school made fifteen million dollars of taxpayer money in one year, and that the CEO of a local charter school made more than five million dollars in one year. Truitt said he favors higher payments to charter schools, including for-profit charter schools and cyber-charter schools even though they have lower operating costs. Truitt argued that he doesn’t care where these dollars go or how they are spent as long as the children are being educated. Binder said that providing every child with a great education is a moral issue and an economic imperative because poorly educated children cost taxpayers more in social services, particularly prison costs, and results in higher unemployment. Binder argued that a well-trained workforce is important to create and attract jobs for Pennsylvania.

The candidates also clashed on environmental issues, particularly on how, and how much, to tax and regulate Pennsylvania’s shale gas. Binder pointed out that under Truitt and Corbett, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Affairs has lost one-third of its funding. As a result, there are fewer gas well inspectors in the state now than there were four years ago, despite the growth of the gas industry. Truitt said that he voted for a 1% impact fee instead of the 6%-9% tax rate that Texas, West Virginia, and Oklahoma charge because that was the most the legislature was willing to pass. Truitt claimed that the 1%  rate was high enough and he was willing to settle for a quarter-loaf or half-loaf. Binder said that he’s a “full loaf kind of guy” and said that he’s against giving away money to special interest groups and that the too-low impact fee means that Pennsylvania loses approximately 400 million dollars per year.   

Binder and Truitt disagreed on several other issues. Binder is pro-choice. Truitt is pro-life. Truitt applauded Chester County’s inclusion in a pilot block-grant program which cut welfare payments for Chester County, and blamed the administration of Governor Ed Rendell for many of Pennsylvania’s economic woes. In contrast, Binder said that he would create good jobs for Pennsylvanians through investment in infrastructure, improved vocational training, changes to the tax code, and expansion of the Keystone Opportunity Zone program.

The most surprising statement of the evening came from Truitt, who said that he would be a Libertarian if the Libertarian Party were more organized. Coming from an elected Republican official, this was indeed surprising.

Binder is an attorney and is the founder and managing partner of Binder & Canno, LLC. His practice focuses on small businesses, real estate, and commercial litigation. Binder earned his law degree at Villanova University School of Law. He has a B.A. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania where he also minored in mathematics and engineering. The 156th District includes West Chester Borough, East Goshen Township, West Goshen Township, and portions of East Bradford Township in central Chester County.  

For Additional information, please contact:

Mike Leibowitz, Campaign Press Assistant

803 West Market Street

West Chester, PA 19382




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Bored in WC October 17, 2012 at 08:08 PM
"Misinterpretation is easy when Truitt portrays an out-of-town citizen's voting [record]" There is no misinterpretation here. Binder didn't do his civic duty, he did not vote 52% of the time. And here is another problem, folks. Binder is an out-of-town citizen. One who wants to run for a political office wherever he happens to hang his hat-this year he resides in East Bradford, but with so many "business interests" that he dabbles in, I wonder where he'll be next year. Why didn't Binder vote absentee? Because it is so difficult or inconvenient? Or did he just plain forget?I can see him forgetting-you only see candidate signs, get junk mail, & suffer political commercials in April & October every year, so I can see how one may forget. The bigger issue is that he is a LAWYER & supposedly knows the law & other various little documents we have here, ones that give people the right to vote & such. Maybe it's because those pesky elections occur on different days/months every time... It was so easy for me to vote absentee this year! You get the request form, send it in, & the ballot shows up just like it's supposed to! Vote Republican, apply one stamp, sign the envelope, & off it goes! Mr. Romney & Mr. Truitt, you got my vote!
AmyL October 19, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Anna, I am so sorry to hear you were a victim of sexual violence. I can understand your concern re HB1077, but there is more to the story. Changes were made to HB1077 when it went to Committee, including the potential internal vs. standard ultrasound for women seeking an abortion. In fact, so many changes were made that Rep. Truitt was unable to support it since it no longer represented the original intent of the bill. Keep in mind, however, women who do opt for an abortion are usually subject to an ultrasound as part of the procedure so the doctor can locate where the baby is. More instruments are then inserted into a woman's vagina in order to suction out the child. If someone is against an internal ultrasound because it's invasive, then she should take the time to consider just how traumatic an abortion may be for her.
AmyL October 19, 2012 at 01:42 PM
The commercial reflected Binder's personal voting record, and how his lack of voting may translate in Harrisburg. Even if he was still registered in his parents' district, he could have voted via absentee ballot. Every year is an important year to vote.
William Teller October 30, 2012 at 03:20 AM
It's too funny reading these comments. I don't know why you all try to convince the other to vote "your" way. I have just one question... How can anyone say Dan, "doesn't accept per diems or the pension"? I think you better go check the books and truly see how much he has spent (of PA tax dollars) on "Free" events. As for Bret not voting, may he has a good excuse for not voting, I don't know, but everyone should vote. Whenever possible ...and often ;-) (Oh wait, they only do that in Philly PRIOR to the ID law.) Oh and one last point, does anyone remember Carol Aichele, now Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, she was from around here... she was a transplant from New York. And yet, people voted for her, correct?
AmyL October 31, 2012 at 12:59 AM
I did "check the books." There is a difference between per diems and legislative events. It would make more sense to compare per diems with submitting actual expenses as it relates to travel expenses for legislators. The per diem for State Legislators is typically $163 per day - even if actual expenses are less than that. So, in Rep. Truitt's case he tends to spend about $33 and only submits for that amount vs receiving a per diem of $163 and pocketing the rest, as other legislators do. As for legislative events, that is a separate account. There is a set allowance for district offices for events, office rental space, etc. Rep. Truitt's office tends to come under budget thus returning unused money to the state. Rep. Truitt deciding not to take a state pension is an even bigger savings for taxpayers! The burden on our state budget for these pensions is going to be staggering in the next few years.


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