Something strange in the neighborhood. Who ya gonna call? Brian Kline!
That "something strange" is Brian Kline, a Richland Democratic candidate for the 145th legislative district State House seat held for the last quarter-century by Paul Clymer. Given Kline's scary background, and the fact that Dem committee people overwhelmingly endorse teacher Tom Peterson (only seven of the 33 voted for Kline, including Brian himself), you can easily guess who doesn't frighten the Republicans.
Kline's campaign is haunted by his infamous May 22 email rant last year, in which he called students in Christian schools "socially inept" and "ignored by colleges and universities". He implied that they are backward because - he claimed - they are taught creationism instead of evolution.
You really have to question the sanity of a political candidate who would even have such intolerant views, much less make them public. And it gets even stranger. While Kline apparently holds communication with God in rather poor regard, he has no trouble seeking a dialogue with ghosts and extraterrestrials!!! Witness Hal Markovitz's September 11 (yep, 911!), 1995, column in The Morning Call:
"My column on Aug. 14 about the Stairs of Gold Research Association prompted Brian Kline of Richland Township to write that he, too, has an interest in the paranormal. You may have heard about Kline. He is the Democratic candidate for Richland Township supervisor in this fall's election. Members of the Stairs of Gold Research Association investigate haunted houses, communicate with angels and track UFO sightings."
" 'I never knew such a group existed in Bucks County,' wrote Kline. 'I have always been interested in the paranormal since I was a young boy. I am quite envious of my brother because he is a psychology major and is thinking about focusing his career on paranormal studies.' Kline's opponent is Republican Richard Orloff. Since Republicans usually win elections in Richland Township, one might suggest that Kline will need a little help from the nether world if he has any chance of beating Orloff. I sure hope he finds the help he needs."
Republicans usually win elections in Richland because the Dems have suffered from off-the-wall candidates like Kline, who actually lived in Virginia for most of the last 12 years. He now lives at his father's Richland home, so he personally avoids owing any real estate or school taxes. And, despite Markovitz's plea, he apparently never received the help he needs, since he lost elections here in 1995, and again in 1997. The third time wasn't a charm either - he withdrew from the 2007 race after his rant against Christians became public. Two fellow Dems removed him as their campaign manager. But he wasn't finished embarrassing himself. He claimed that his religious intolerance was taken out of context, and that the man who revealed the email, fellow Dem and Richlandtown councilman John Norvaisas, had a "radical political conversion".
Kline accusing someone else of being radical? Now that's spooky. Norvaisas just laughed when he heard that Kline was running again: "How can the man run for State Rep when he can't even finish a supervisor race?" But if you really want radical, try Kline's December 14, 2005, posting on Young Philly Politics.com, where he called opponents of birth control "right-wing anti-choice zealots". Or the Sunday Intelligencer from the mid-1990's that featured a front-page picture of hunting-protester Kline being hauled away from Tyler State Park by the police.
Or his June 12, 2007, Morning Call blog about Richland's new Veterans Park: "I have to question the need for such a park. Quakertown has one of the best park systems in Bucks County, complete with everything Richland plans to build at Veterans Park. Why waste tax dollars on a park just two miles away from Quakertown Memorial Park?" Right, Brian - why should Richland residents have anything of their own, when they can just sponge off the taxpayers in Qtown? No matter how overcrowded the QT playing fields already are. And maybe Richland can use Qtown's police force and road crew; hold their meetings in borough hall; put their trash pickup on borough streets. Surely QT citizens won't mind if RT just borrows everything they pay for. Why waste Richland taxpayer dollars? I'm sure every voter in Quakertown will be thrilled at the thought of you representing them!
And here's the real punch line: When Kline was on the Richland Planning Commission for a short time in 1996-97, he co-authored the township's Comprehensive Plan, which was clear about Richland not relying on Quakertown, or anyone else, for parks and recreational facilities. It stated that Richland's must be "separate and distinct" from any others, specifically Qtown's Memorial Park.
Can you say "two-faced"? First, Kline calls for more parks and recreational facilities, then, when he is running for political office and needs to concoct an issue, he criticizes those same facilities!!! Maybe he thought we would forget what he wrote. Maybe he forgot. Just like filmy ghosts, it is easy to see through Brian Kline. He is busted.
You may not agree with all of Paul Clymer's views, but no one can ever doubt his dedication to his constituents. He attends hundreds of community events every year, listening to everyone's suggestions. And as a senior member of the House, he has been responsible for bringing millions of dollars in grants and projects to this area. Perhaps that is why he gets 60-70 percent of the vote in every election.
Trumbauersville Council President Ed Child offered a very realistic evaluation: "I think you are going to hear from the Democratic candidates (like Kline) that Clymer has been in office too long and that we need to get rid of career politicians. But you won't hear Kline knocking any Democrat career politicians, of which there are many. If the electorate truly thinks that they are being represented well, then the length of time someone has been in office is irrelevant. Can Paul Clymer be defeated in the 145th? I don't think so."