I wasn’t going to write about current Township Supervisor Candidate Jim White.
I personally have quite an unpleasant history with White and it is my firm opinion that he should never be entrusted with any level of political power. The outsized animosity White bears for me is solely the result of my not supporting his bid for Township Supervisor in 2016. That’s it.
Admittedly, in the intervening years there’s been numerous punches and counter punches thrown, but his initial hatred towards me was because, as an elected official, I wanted to remain neutral during the 2016 municipal election.
Prior to meeting White, I had never been the target of such undeserved and intense hatred in my life, and I actually loathe admitting that it’s a bit unnerving, because it kills me to give White and his pals that satisfaction. So, my plan was to say nothing and let his own mouth get him in trouble rather than stir up this angry hornets’ nest again. Because honestly, I don’t need that aggravation in my life.
But then we had a Remember Parkhouse sign giveaway a few weeks ago, and not only did he try to hijack the event on social media, he tried to hijack it using my name to add legitimacy to his hijack. He could have just shared the event from the Remember Parkhouse Facebook page. He could have shared it from anyone’s page. But that’s not what he did. He made a specific effort—and I say “specific” because he has blocked me for years (and vice versa) and has no access to my Facebook page—to get a screen capture of MY post and put it on his campaign page in an attempt to make it seem like he was working with me to support the cause, when nothing could be further from the truth.
For the record, Jim White has never been involved even peripherally with the Remember Parkhouse grassroots effort and it’s offensive to me that he is trying to co-opt it in a cynical attempt to win votes. And still more offensive is that I’ve recently seen evidence that where he stands on this issue depends on who he is talking to at the time. Some of his supporters have been opining on line that the Rifkin plan looks like a fine idea.
In any event, it was this incident that made me realize that he’s still carrying that white-hot grudge against me and if he actually got elected, the aggravation could escalate.
I’ve been down this road with him before, where he has tried to co-opt my name or image in service to his political ambitions, and I refuse to go down it again. It’s a really weird dichotomy in which he operates; on the one hand, he’s done everything in his power to trash my reputation, on the other, he uses my name and reputation to bolster his own when it suits him.
Regular readers of this blog may be familiar with White from various past blog posts (here, here, here, and here, among others) . White, along with sitting supervisor, Democrat John Pearson, Tax Collector Julie Mullin, former Township Supervisor Candidate, and recently appointed Municipal Board member, Bill Kasper, along with his lovely wife Lori, made up the core of the clique known as Upper Providence
First Worst. The Upper Providence First Worst group was created in 2016 for sole the purpose of growing government by expanding Upper Providence’s Board of Supervisors from three to five members. That effort was characterized by vicious lies levelled against the sitting Board of Supervisors, including your Humble Blogress.
Oddly, all of his work and success in expanding the size of our government as the President of Upper Providence
First Worst is not mentioned as any part of his current campaign for Township Supervisor. Why wouldn’t he highlight the success of a cause he actually led, the five-member board effort, instead of trying to co-opt Remember Parkhouse, a group with which he’s never been affiliated?
Could it be that perhaps mentioning Upper Providence
First Worst would reveal the entire effort as a bit too obviously self-serving? Because now, after all of his work to expand the Board of Supervisors, Jim White is finally on the ballot for his “first step” on the political ladder: Upper Providence Township Supervisor. And more importantly, at long last, all of the cronies involved with Upper Providence First Worst could finally be holding the various reigns of power to run our township.
When one decides to run for office, one should anticipate the public’s scrutiny into their character and their background. The information that is contained in this post is easily available on the internet, or was emailed directly to my inbox, or shared with permission of the recipient.
Gentle Readers, I’ve included White’s own words at numerous points in this post, and I encourage you to read it all. You can decide for yourself whether this man should ever hold the reigns of power.
All emails and items referenced in the section below were either sent to me directly by Jim White, or were forwarded to me by the recipients, John Leonard and/or Carolyn Bertino. The emails from Leonard and Bertino are used by permission.
WARNING: Some of these emails are NSFW and not family friendly.
First, a little context.
I was first introduced to White’s neighbor, John Leonard, by Jim White himself at Upper Providence Community Day in 2014 while White was ramping up his first unsuccessful bid to run for Township Supervisor. I did not see Leonard again until late 2015, when he started to become a regular fixture during public comment at the Board of Supervisors meetings. He was known primarily for throwing verbal bombs at the Board, me in particular.
On December 9, 2015, White wrote a check from his company, Validity LLC, to Leonard in the amount of $1,680.00. White’s own version of this series of events was later related by White himself in a belligerently verbose email screed dated June 16, 2018 and linked HERE that White blasted out to numerous folks, including myself and Liz Havey, the Chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Committee, among others, in response to Leonard winning White’s old Republican Committee seat.
This email was billed as a “warning” about John Leonard, but as you can see if you are able to stick with it, it quickly devolved into an attempt at character assassination on your Humble Blogress (including a picture of me taken without my knowledge–but much more on that below).
By offering a smear on John Leonard and then proving that I knew him with attached photographic evidence, White lamely tried to call my character in question simply for knowing Leonard. It’s a tenuous connection at best, and guilt by association is a dangerous road to travel when one keeps the company that White keeps. But we’ll get to that later as well.
According to White, he was just being altruistic when he wrote that check from his company’s bank account (BTW, is this embezzlement? Is there a lawyer in the house?), helping out his neighbor who was having a hard time. His story goes that beginning on January 2, 2016, he started asking for the money back and was getting excuses from Leonard as to why he couldn’t pay.
According to Leonard, that $1,680.00 check was payment was for past and future services rendered for his work during public comment at the Upper Providence Board of Supervisors meetings.
Apparently, Leonard’s lack of repayment didn’t stop White from emailing Leonard on January 29, 2016, to not only request that Leonard ask the Board of Supervisors to expand the Board from 3 members to 5 members during public comment at the Board meeting on February 1, 2016, but he included instruction on exactly HOW Leonard should ask the question.
On February 1, 2016, John Leonard came before the Board of Supervisors and read his emailed script during public comment. The Board took no action.
Sometime between February 2, 2016, and March 5, 2016, White and Leonard apparently had a major falling out and White filed a police report of theft against Leonard referencing the $1,680 check from White’s company, Validity, LLC. The case was closed almost immediately and no charges were ever filed.
But before that, in his email accusing me of the great crime of knowing John Leonard (which I never denied since we were all there when White introduced me to Leonard), White describes attending a bizarre “intervention” targeting Leonard and his girlfriend, Carolyn Bertoli. Now, I’ve never been invited to an intervention, and I was not invited to this one, but I’ve seen a couple on TV. Most attendees are close relatives and friends of the target of the intervention.
According to White’s email, White claims he taped this “intervention” with everyone’s permission and then immediately left the “intervention” and took said tape recording to the Upper Providence Police Department where he filed a theft complaint against Leonard and Bertino. As I said, I’m unfamiliar with the intervention process, but my understanding is that an intervention is an event that is supposed to be an exercise in “tough love,” to ultimately help the person targeted. I’m pretty sure that taping an intervention so that you can immediately use that tape to file a criminal complaint against the targeted person is probably not in keeping with the “spirit” of a true intervention. But what do I know?
Before we go any further, I want to call your attention to the many attachments that were included in White’s email screed that was ultimately written to explain his behavior and the emails below. I don’t care about the John Leonard public records, which are easily searchable on the internet, and I certainly don’t care about the laughable “evidence” of the bad Yelp review. I want to just focus for a second on the bizarre “victim statements” which White attached to this email and which all appear to have been written by the same person, in the same format, on the same date almost a year later. But most bizarrely, these letters are all addressed to the Upper Providence Republican Committee, not Law Enforcement.
On April 2, 2016, Jim White sent the following email to John Leonard and Carolyn Bertino:
On April 28, 2016, Jim White sent the following email to John Leonard and Carolyn Bertino:
On April 29, 2016, John Leonard called me out of the blue and apologized to me. He told me he finally realized he was on the “wrong side” and that I was “actually one of the good guys,” and that he had been “fed all sorts of lies” about me. This was also when he told me that he was specifically asked by White to come in to Township meetings and stir things up.
On May 4, 2016, a Township employee took a picture of my home while on Township time. Maybe this is related, maybe it’s not. You decide for yourself. More on this below.
On October 23, 2016, his rage unabated, White sent the following email to just Bertoli:
The ability to hold a grudge is not unique. But I believe that the ability to maintain this level of rage for months is truly disturbing.
Leonard and Bertino aren’t the only folks besides me who have had unpleasant run-ins with White. In 2017, long time Upper Providence resident Albert Wolfram dared to run a write-in campaign for the position of Upper Providence Tax Collector against the only person apparently entitled to occupy that office: Julie Mullin. Most people don’t appreciate the political nature of a position that currently warrants an office in the heart of Township operations and comes with lots of opportunities for agenda spreading with Township employees and residents who come in to the office to pay their taxes in person. Rest assured, the Upper providence
First Worst folks appreciate it so much, that even a genteel write-in campaign run by an affable guy like Al Wolfram was the height of vein-popping outrage.
Wolfram’s teenage daughter was running his campaign page for him and had to remove comments like these:
And maybe this is too much inside baseball, but at the time White was attacking Wolfram for “not going through the endorsement process” as some sort of political cowardice, White himself was supporting my primary opponent, Bill Kasper, who did not go through the endorsement process either. Do as I say, not as I do.
I assume by now you’ve all figured out that Your Humble Blogress is the shadowy “Mrs. M.”–the puppet master controlling everything. Projection is a marvelous psychological phenomenon, isn’t it? Of course, I supported Mr. Wolfram, since, in my opinion, he was a far better choice for the position than the office’s current occupant (and he always will be a better choice). But Wolfram’s decision to run was his own.
No worries this year, folks. Princess Mullin’s Township perch is not being challenged at all. She is running for re-election unopposed.
For what it’s worth, it’s not too late to run a write in campaign for tax collector. Just sayin’.
White Collar Crime
Ironically, while White had attempted to use my acquaintance with Leonard as proof of my poor character, White himself was associating with a much better class of criminal.
In addition to his close friendship with Chris Czop, (documented previously in this blog HERE) who plead guilty to defrauding PennDOT of approximately a million dollars, White also had more than a passing acquaintance with another one of his neighbors, Tim Burns.
Burns, who lives a few doors away from White, was convicted of a multi-million dollar Facebook stock fraud scheme in 2013 and sentenced to five years in prison.
White and his wife Tracey were named as defendants in a lawsuit related to that fraud on December 16, 2015, essentially for cutting a side deal with Burns on the Facebook stock (linked below).
That is very troubling in and of itself.
But additionally, when Burns needed a job when he got out on parole in 2018, White hired him to work for his software security firm Validity, LLC.
Please read that last sentence again.
White hired a felon, convicted of fraud, to work for his software security firm.
A quick perusal of White’s background on his campaign site will reveal that his bio speaks more to the odd jobs he held in high school than his actual adult professional resume. In fact, his bio talks more about the accomplishments of his family members than any of his own accomplishments, other than generalizations like “successful businessman.”
Even his claim of working in the “private sector” for 25 years is problematic.
This campaign mailer was sent to most of Upper Providence’s registered voters in January 2015. As you can see, White claims “15 years” experience in the private sector. Since it is now 2021, by my calculation, White’s private sector experience should be 21 years, not 25 years. Was he lying then, or is he lying now? Or is he just really bad at math?
My vote is for “really bad at math,” since just below that extensive experience, White offers evidence of his dedication to the community as having attended “nearly half a dozen meetings last year.”
“Nearly half a dozen?” “Nearly?” It was less than six. Could he not keep track? Or did saying “nearly half a dozen” sound more dedicated than “Attended four or five township meetings?”
White does not list Validity LLC on his resume, however, as mentioned previously, he clearly had access to the checkbook since he was able to write that $1,680.00 check to John Leonard. One can also find numerous Validity LLC checks written to various Republican organizations and candidates, especially back between 2015 and 2016 if one bothers to look.
If he has all of these years of experience in the “private sector,” why is the only company listed in his LinkedIn profile his own company, the unfortunately named “CannaBe Secure” where he says he has been “employed” for three years?
And what does CannaBe Secure actually do? Well, it’s actually another software security firm, but this one specializes in catering to the marijuana industry. I know some of you may be thinking, “Wait a moment. Isn’t marijuana still illegal in Pennsylvania? How much business can he be doing?” And of course, I agree with you. It is a very niche industry right now, but Pennsylvania has been flirting with legalizing recreational marijuana for years. Working even peripherally in the marijuana industry has the potential to be very lucrative in the near future, especially if the right legislators are lobbied by the right people with right amount of juice to mandate that Pennsylvania’s frontline marijuana distributors are required by state law to use vendors who “specialize” in the marijuana industry.
Your Humble Blogress takes no official position on the pending legalization of recreational marijuana. But I do well remember the lofty altruistic talking points that surrounded the legalization of gambling several years ago. Somehow the benefits promised to the general public never materialized, but the political players who were in on the ground floor have been making bank for years.
One of the other positions White lists on his website bio is something called “Vacancy Board Chairman” for Upper Providence Township. You may be wondering what that position does. Vacancy board in Upper Providence is a “board” of one person: the “Chairman.” That person is only called into service under a very particular set of circumstances.
If there is a resignation, or other unexpected departure from the governing Board of Supervisors and a portion of the departing Supervisor’s term remains, the rest of the Board members will appoint someone to serve out the term of the departed member. Obviously, if a majority of the Board agrees on who that replacement should be, the person wins that appointment by simple majority vote.
But because a vacancy on the Board could potentially result in a two/two tie on whom to appoint, the position of Vacancy Board Chairman was created solely to break that tie.
When I first ran for Supervisor, I was told that the most important appointment you could make was Vacancy Board Chairman; that it should be someone you trust implicitly, because that appointment could potentially change the power structure of the Board with one vote.
Jim White was appointed Vacancy Board Chairman in 2018, when Democrats John Pearson, Helene Calci, and Laurie Higgins were elected and changed the majority of the Board in Upper Providence from Republican to Democrat for the first time ever. I would bet dollars to donuts that no one (especially not John Pearson) explained the significance of the Vacancy Board Chairman to political newbies Laurie Higgins or Helene Calci in 2018.
So the vacancy board appointment in 2018 was John Pearson’s.
That can only mean one thing: that the guy boasting on his campaign home page about “Standing up for Republican values,” is in the back pocket of Democrat, and fellow Upper Providence
First Worst member, John Pearson.
I guess because his actual resume is so thin, White’s handlers have decided not to make the same mistakes on the mailers that he sent out six years ago, and instead, have decided to go with generic retread Joe Gale/Donald Trump populist slogans.
Which is certainly an odd choice for someone who has been operating hand-in-glove with Democrat John Pearson for the last five years.
Besides, Jim White is no political maverick. The credentials he lists on this “political resume” scream “Establishment.” (Or “Establishment Wanna Be”).
The banner on the mailer attacking his opponent, Al Vagnozzi as “voting with the Democrats 96% of the time” is actually a little insulting, and it’s messaging is indicative of someone who’s only attended “nearly half a dozen Township meetings” more than a half a dozen years ago and doesn’t actually have a grasp on how local government works. Most of the votes that the Board takes are procedural. And if regular readers of this blog know nothing else, most times, the action on the Board is in the negotiations and deliberations; the vote is only called when some sort of majority consensus has been reached. This is not congress; it’s local government, and party affiliation is not as important as alliances, which often cross party boundaries. Case in point: Upper Providence
Just remember, every single one of these mailers costs a few thousand dollars. I will be curious to see how many of them he sends out, because it’s a little early in the game to begin sending mailers. Since my name has obviously been culled from his mailing list, this mailer was retrieved from a resident’s trashcan and the ketchup had to be wiped off of it in order to get a clear photograph. Someone who is willing to dump that kind of money into multiple mailers that usually end up in the garbage, someone who has spent tens of thousands of dollars attempting to buy influence in the Republican party, is not someone I associate with “tough fiscal discipline.”
This section has been updated
Somehow I missed the free endorsement of his candidacy the faux community Facebook page, Upper Providence
First Worst, that he and Julie Mullin run.
Because nothing says “community leader” like anonymously endorsing yourself.
I also find it ironic that many of White’s talking points are focused on attacking the current Democrat board, the makeup for which Jim White bears a lot of responsibility. After all, it was only after White and his Upper Providence
First Worst cronies spent a year attacking the Republican majority Board in service to their vanity project of expanding the size of our government, and then spent the next year running a primary against the incumbent (yours truly), that the Upper Providence Board flipped from Republican to Democrat.
If you are unhappy with Democrat rule in Upper Providence, look no further than Jim White and Upper Providence
Anyone who is politically savvy can see that with a 4 to 1 Democrat majority currently on the Board, the only incumbent Republican, Al Vagnozzi, is running for re-election this year. If White really cared about getting Republicans in office, why wouldn’t he either approach Vagnozzi to be his running mate, or better yet, run in two years when the field is wide open and Republicans could pick off a few seats?
Could it be that all of White’s campaign slogans are just empty words, and running for Supervisor now is really just another White vanity project for which Upper Providence will have to pay the price?
The White Stalker
Take a trip with me down memory lane as we revisit this post from October 2018 when I caught a member of the Upper Providence
First Worst clique, Lori Kasper, video-taping me coming out of the ladies’ room at a Board of Supervisors meeting. White had spent the previous year supporting Mrs. Kasper’s husband, Bill, in his primary challenge to me in 2017 (As mentioned above, Bill Kasper was recently appointed to a political resume-building position of his own on the Upper Providence Municipal Authority). I knew the little clique White ran with had been taking surreptitious pictures of me for some time. Catching Lori Kasper in the act, on Township cameras, no less, was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
The members of Upper Providence
First Worst L to R: Upper Providence Tax Collector, Julie Mullin (currently running for re-election UNOPPOSED), Lori Kasper, Upper Providence Supervisor John Pearson, Recently appointed Municipal Board Member, Bill Kasper, Current candidate for Township Supervisor, Jim White.
Picture 1 at left was taken at The Perky. It was taken at the initial campaign meeting of me and my running mates, Paul Newlin and Kevin Holohan, in February of 2017. It wasn’t a secret meeting, but our picture was secretly taken. White sent this picture to my running mate Kevin Holohan with the accompanying text, calling Holohan, one of the guys sharing a ticket with me, a “traitor” for talking with me and discussing strategy to beat our opponents, John Pearson et al (ironically, he wasn’t wrong about Holohan, who was a full on double agent during that campaign).
Picture 2 was taken when I was collecting signatures to run for Pennsylvania State Committee and I stopped at White’s neighbor, John Leonard’s, house for a couple of signatures. This picture was also taken without my knowledge sometime in February 2018. White held on to this picture for four months when he attached to the aforementioned email screed (HERE) he sent to an entire host of people as “evidence” that I knew Leonard.
I’m not totally sure when Picture 3 was taken, but I’m pretty confident it was taken at a Christmas party in 2017. I strongly suspect that the person who took it is employed by the State of Pennsylvania and derives a taxpayer funded salary. As you can see, White posted this on his own Facebook page in direct response to my blog post about having surreptitious pictures take on me. Because I was pretty heavy in this picture, it was being used to try to embarrass me. At that point, he had been holding on to this picture for nearly a year, just waiting for an opportunity to use it.
Oh, and the comments are fun too.
The beauty of this post is that he proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, every single thing I wrote in my blog post.
What do all three of these pictures have in common? Well, first of all, they were all taken of me without my knowledge, which is disturbing enough. But even more troubling is that they were not all taken by White; other people had actually been enlisted to take pictures of me and send them to White. White held on to these pictures for days, weeks and sometimes months, waiting for an opportunity to “spring them” against me, even though at least two of these pictures were taken after I left office and was no longer a public figure.
I think White thinks others would believe he was using these mundane pictures to prove his lies about me.
But the real message of these pictures was the one he was sending to me: That he had “power” over me. That I should always be looking over my shoulder because he had eyes everywhere, watching me. And that he would be waiting with more “incriminating” pictures any time I tried to oppose him.
Gentle Readers, I don’t have to tell you that this is not normal behavior.
It’s dark and disturbing. And as the previous Facebook post demonstrates, White clearly doesn’t think that there is anything wrong with doing this (and incidentally, apparently neither do his wife or Mrs. Kasper). In fact, he’s bragging on social media about how long his reach is. Letting me know that I can be “gotten to.”
As you may recall, I first became aware of this little trend of surreptitious picture taking when in May 2016, my husband caught a Township employee, in a Township vehicle, on Township time, taking a picture of my house. Why take a picture of my house? Because it was run down, dilapidated and downright embarrassing. And because the five member board campaign was ramping up at the time and the bulk of that campaign focused on lies and negative messaging about the sitting board members. I was an elected official at the time and there is no doubt in my mind I that’s exactly why that Township Employee was asked to swing by my house while on duty in a Township vehicle and take a picture of it: To send it to these yahoos so they could store it away for use in some future smear attack.
I don’t know how many more pictures White has of me. This could be it. Or maybe he has a serial killer obsession wall of me in his basement. Who knows? Though I’d bet dollars to donuts that picture of my house and that video of me coming out of the ladies’ room are on his phone.
Gentle Readers, this is why I installed security cameras at my house. This is why I blog.
The point is this: imagine a bully like White with oversight and hiring and firing authority over the Upper Providence Police Department. And the Public Works Department. And the Fire Department. And Township records. Someone who is political cronies with our tax collector, Julie Mullin, and sitting Supervisor John Pearson, and Municipal Authority member Bill Kasper.
Now imagine that you end up on the wrong side of him—something that’s very easy to do with someone as thin-skinned and insecure as he is—and imagine that he feels he needs to pay you back for some perceived slight.
Would you worry that your tax or sewer payments would be misapplied? Would you wonder if your streets would be plowed or your potholes would be the last fixed?
Would you wonder if anyone would show up if your house was burning down?
Would you wonder if a police matter would be treated fairly? For that matter, would you wonder if the police would be used against you or your family?
And would you need to wonder all of this simply because one of the Supervisors harbored an unreasonable level of hate directed at you?
Or would you simply wonder if anyone was still watching you, following you around and taking pictures of you?
Because I wonder about all of these things.
As I stated at the outset of this blog post, the majority of the information included in here is pretty much easily accessible on the internet. As part of this post, I’ve generously included a link to White’s own unedited explanation for much of his behavior, so you don’t have to take my word for any of this; you can simply follow the links and/or read White’s own words. In fact, I encourage you to read all of his words. They reveal more about him than I ever could.
And if he comes knocking on your door asking for your vote, you can and should ask him about any of this stuff in person.
If you meet his running mate, Tom Yeager, you can and should ask him how much of this was he aware of before he decided to tie his political future and reputation to Jim White.
As I said, I didn’t want to write this post. I’m happily out of elected politics forever and one of the main reasons I’m out is because of people like Jim White: people who do not understand boundaries, but their egos make them useful tools for political power brokers. They are naïve and easily led, like a whole host of people associated with his current campaign.
As a private citizen and a resident of this great community, I can’t think of anyone worse for the Township.
And if you’ve ever read any bit of this blog in the past, you know that’s a big statement.
3 thoughts on “White Elephant”
Wow … Are there any plans for a made-for-TV movie or series on Upper Providence politics? I am thinking a municipal/political power/corruption version of “Ozarks”. Hard to understand people from the same political party working so hard to damage their own, even if at a maximum you might only get non-confrontation or the absence of local, vocal opposition!
Good for you having the voice and the outlet for setting your record straight and facing down the political bullies!
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