John “Benedict” Blake 22nd Pennsylvania Senatorial District
The date is November 23rd, 2015. It is evening and people throughout Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties are awaiting the Senate vote on SB 76, the Property Tax Independence Act in anticipation of passage where the bill would then move to the House for consideration. Anticipation was high as a sufficient number of Senators had pledged a yes vote on 76 . One such Senator was John Blake of the 22nd Senatorial district who made his promise as a member of the Senate Finance Committee in 2014 by allowing the bill to go to the Senate floor for a vote. Blake made this promise just months before his reelection. As we all know however when the time came to cast his vote that night, Benedict Blake turned on his constituents and voted no. The final tally was a 24-24 tie and the one piece of legislation that would have eliminated the school property tax for Pennsylvania homeowners and businesses failed. 76 failed passage by one vote.
The people in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties have been asking what happened that night. They deserve an answer but unfortunately Blake has not been forthcoming. One can only deduce that Blake used his public support for 76 to strengthen his chances for reelection in 2014. This coupled with the fact that the Pennsylvania State Education Association has contributed over 60,000 dollars to his reelection since 2010 as documented by followthemoney.org, one can see that Blake had no intention of voting yes on 76. He deceived his constituents for his own benefit.
When the time came for Senator Blake to do right by his constituents and eliminate the school property tax, a tax in which Lackawanna and Luzerne counties have been hit the hardest, he decided that he does not work for his constituents. No, Benedict Blake decided that he works for the PSEA and has dedicated himself to use the taxpayers’ own money against them to feed the insatiable appetite of the education lobby. This disgusting act of treachery against the people of Lackawanna and Luzerne counties has earned Blake induction into the Pennsylvania Liberty Alliance Hall of Shame.