Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Haggerty criticizes Baker's campaign head’s insider ties

The Times Leader reports that Jim Haggerty blasted the Lisa Baker camp for using a campaign manager who also works as a $4,000-per-month consultant of a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing parks in the Back Mountain. Brian Grove stepped down as executive director of Back Mountain Recreation Inc. when he took over as Baker’s campaign manager, but remains on as a consultant.

“It’s just another indication that the Baker campaign is a web of insiders all with Harrisburg connections,” said Haggerty, an attorney who is paid $8,000 a year as mayor of Kingston.
“About a year ago, the mayor asked me to run his campaign,” said Grove, bristling. “He is only upset because I told him I wouldn’t. It’s an unconscionable act of desperation from a desperate candidate. I volunteered to work for my friend (Baker). His questioning my way of living is just desperation.”

Haggerty says he never asked Grove to "run his campaign," but instead jokingly asked Grove if he wanted to be part of the "winning" team. Haggerty said he knew Grove had already committed to Baker.

In April 2003, Grove became executive director of Back Mountain Recreation, a nonprofit organization set up to conserve open space and develop recreation facilities in the 10 municipalities of the Back Mountain region. Grove said he was the organization’s lone full-time employee and was paid about $6,000 a month, adding he has never received health care benefits as either executive director or a consultant. He said his hours vary as a consultant and sometimes exceed 30 hours a week.

Haggerty questions the position’s legitimacy. “I am involved in large government projects, and it’s difficult to imagine that the mission of Back Mountain Recreation requires a 40-hour workweek for a highly paid executive, or a highly paid consultant,” Haggerty said.
Haggerty said taxpayer dollars “are funding the operation of the Baker campaign.” He suggested Grove is overpaid by an organization that receives taxpayer funding, allowing him to volunteer to head Baker’s campaign.

Said Baker, “Brian Grove is a volunteer campaign manager for me, and his involvement in the Back Mountain recreation complex is something I have nothing to do with.”

Grove said he took a five-week unpaid leave from his job as Back Mountain Recreation executive director to work on the Bush campaign in 2004. Back Mountain Recreation paid Grove $53,016 from July 1, 2004, to June 30, 2005, and $69,204 from July 1, 2003, to June 30, 2004, according to the 990 tax form.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?