Automotive Dealer Challenges Brown, Vulakovich as Write-in Candidate
Don Bindas considers himself the "alternative conservative" in the Aug. 7 special election.
Recently, the readers of the North Hills, Cranberry and Pine-Richland Patches were asked to submit questions to Brown and Vulakovich. The three editors of those Patch sites assembled those questions, and added a few of their own, for the candidates. Their answers were published in a series of stories earlier this month.
Below are many of those same questions and answers from Bindas.
1) Why are you running, and what makes you qualified to be state senator?
I am running for the Pa Senate because the 40th District can do a lot better when our elected officials, who seem to be more interested in the party politics of national agendas, than addressing our local issues in Harrisburg, are not ignoring us.
Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands in our 40th district are being manipulated by a handful of self appointed party elites with a history of promoting self serving agendas that can run counter to our highest and best interests.
As far as qualifications go, I am a locally known businessman in the Wexford area since 1992 and I originally moved to Franklin Park from Washington, Pa in 1986. Many know me from my car lot along Route 19 in Wexford over the last 20 years. I not only live in the middle of the district, but I have also interacted with various residents from all walks of life within the 40th Senatorial District as a business person on a daily basis for the last 20+ years. With that kind of a hands-on connection to the people within our district, I know better than many of what our real issues and concerns truly are, rather than a select minority within a professional peer group.
2) What experience/background do you have that would make you an effective state senator?
Our Pa Senate candidate choices are now between a Republican with family values without any defined game plan of action or any history of original ideas that resides just outside the City of Pittsburgh, a Democrat who believes that our government should be our partner and not our servant, and me Don Bindas, the Alternative Conservative.
My highest and best talents are best utilized as a “hands on” type of problem solver who attended Robert Morris University and is well honed from a lifetime of wide ranging experiences working as a union coal miner, a fine jewelry designer/creator, a TV camera man who started an auto parts store from scratch that now is one of the largest in the tri-state area, a commercial and residential building designer and craftsman, a Pennsylvania licensed auto inspection mechanic, a CDL licensed truck driver, an avid C-Span political and financial junkie, and is currently an auto dealer in Wexford.
So, yes I am a well rounded candidate who can see our political issues from more angles than most and I can solve these problems from a real world perspective of experience and not just hope that some theory written in a book absent of actual reality, or following my political mentor’s agenda, will suffice.
3) Do you support Gov. Corbett's budget? Why or why not?
Overall, Tom is ram-roding his way through a legislative roomful of ego-maniacs and mindless drones that are only focused upon carrying their party’s water. So, naturally it’s like watching sausage being made. There are some good things, some not-so-good things, and many unspeakable ingredients that are getting added into the mix.
If I had to address my biggest complaint, it would be that Harrisburg is operating on a failed governmental model that might have worked a hundred or so years ago, but not today.
My plan of action would be similar to cleaning the family garage where everything is removed first and anything coming back in has to justify its existence before re-entering.
4) Will funding for public schools be one of your top priorities?
Once again, we are propping up a failed system with more and more money until it will eventually collapse under its own fiscal weight. Our educational system was formatted to educate the masses for the mechanized industrial revolution and not for today’s highest and best use of our children’s instinctive abilities. It’s as if we have set up a standardized obstacle course that only a few narrowly focused mindsets can overcome?
The way I see it, we are all born with a hundred marbles to fit into a thousand slots that can hold more than one marble at a time. In other words, the more someone excels in one area, the larger the vacancies will be in relation to our other possible talents and core strengths. The more we develop our individual core strengths, the better our society will be as a whole and this standardized testing nonsense is just that; nonsensical.
We really should look into having Harrisburg down-load the best teachers teaching the best classes on line for half the class and allow the local school districts to pay their instructors in translating the new educational material to the students who didn’t get it the first time around on line.
Right now, there are schools operating with I-Pads that alert the classroom teacher of individual students that need additional coaching. There are many, many Ivy League schools offering on-line classes for free, as well. This business of hiring hit and miss teacher talents at individual school districts is a dead dinosaur that shouldn’t resurrected when there are better alternatives on line.
I say, lets rework the teaching model into a functioning 21st Century version before we throw any more money down the garbage disposal.
5) What will you do to bring jobs to the 40th District?
OK, let’s think about this? This fall, PAT will have one active worker for every two that are collecting retirement benefits! If the Northern Area of Allegheny County has more cars available to more residents than most of the other parts of the County, not to mention that we have an even larger issue dealing with residents from Cranberry Township and north to Zelienople who are in need of public transit access to the northern parts of Allegheny County south to McKnight Road in Ross Township, why should we be anchored to PAT’s “circular firing squad” style of financial management skill sets that ignore our priorities? PAT has a long history of treating the 40th Senatorial District of Pennsylvania like un-wanted stepchildren, so where do you think we are on their priority list when they do their next round of cuts in public transit service?
Plan of Action:
My thoughts are to tell PAT to travel no further north than the southern base of McKnight Road and we will take it from there as NAT (Northern Alliance Transit) being that Ross Township has more transportation issues in common with Cranberry Township, than they do with East Liberty. I am proposing that we devise a transit system that connects the base of McKnight to the outer reaches of northern Zelienople with connecting cross-links between Freedom Road to Route 8, Ingomar Road through North Park and onto Routet 8, and create a transit circle through Babcock-to-Shaler-to-McKnight/Ross and back to Babcock.
Think of the possibilities! Our local restaurants and other small businesses that have been financially hindered due to a lack of access to enthusiastic employees living in the City of Pittsburgh without transportation to travel north will be able to grow more effectively and efficiently. Or, how about all those related businesses connected to our world class Universities and Medical Research Hospitals in the City of Pittsburgh (that don’t historically rise and fall in step with the rest of Pennsylvania’s market economy) that are currently moving into (or, want to, if we only had a public transit system) Western Pennsylvania can seamlessly set up shop in the 40th district and be closer to their new neighborhoods and their kid’s school activities? Better yet, how about all those concerts, festivals, regattas, and restaurants in the city of Pittsburgh that will now be an easy light rail ride away without incurring those entire torturous city parking issues and/or snowy roads?
6) Do you have any recommendations for the PSERS situation that is causing financial hardships on school districts?
If I understand your question, you are speaking of the Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System Ponzi scheme. Well it doesn’t take a PhD or even an 8th grade education to know that there is no saving it. Period. I feel like the kid who notices that the emperor doesn’t have any clothes, but it’s so obvious, that no one is even paying attention to it. Well almost, except for the tax payers without any retirement being forced to work past 65 at Wal-Mart to pay for the 50 some year old retired teachers collecting their tribute from them.
If we promised these teachers retirement benefits, then in the future let them take them at age 65 like the rest of us. And in the short term, these retirement contracts are wide-open when it addresses their health benefits, so let’s cut them judiciously, while we plan our next financial move further down the road.
7) What do you see as the top issues/concerns facing the residents of the 40th District?
I wrote that to get your attention, because if we don’t strategically plan for our future for the next 50 years then we too will end up like Monroeville. It used to be, 30 or 40 years ago, that Monroeville was the place to move to and now it’s the place to move away from.
Speaking of the new place to be, its starting to lean towards the Robinson/Moon area, as that’s were the new business are moving to with plenty more property in Washington County to absorb any extra space needed for future growth that Robinson/Moon can’t handle.
We need to get the law of navigation out of PAT’s hands and issue 2 or 3 year contracts to private transportation companies that care to bid for the business as we do for our garbage pick up in Franklin Park.
Once we get NAT (Northern Alliance Transit) set-up, then the other pieces will follow as human nature is like water following down the easiest path of resistance when it comes to where people will want to live and work.
8) What is your position on the Governor's desire to privatizing the State Wine & Spirits system?
My friend Mike Turzai had a great idea, but too bad he didn’t think it out because he is now looking like a dead bug on the Democratic Party’s windshield in his folly. Anyone who thinks that they are going to step on their opponent’s toes and spit into their faces to convince an opposing opinion’s political agenda to go his way deserves what he gets.
I say let’s go slowly and incrementally and issue new private liquor sales licenses along side the existing State Stores, so we can modify them as we bring them up to speed to address unforeseen issues. Slowly but surely we will get the government out of the liquor business with more efficient competition from the private sector.
9) What is your position on the State's tightening restrictions on requirements to vote?
It makes sense, but it is not on our list of local political priorities, but only a wish list piece of legislation for the national GOP to get Mitt Romney elected President at the expense of our endangering our real issues in Pennsylvania that will bankrupt us financially sooner than we think!
What do you think of Don Bindas' candidacy? Do you agree with his stand on the issues? Let us know in the comments box below.