Debunking UM Fox News (AKA “UM Revealed”) – 3.21.15

So it’s been a while, but the secret motivation behind Upper Merion Fox News (AKA “Upper Merion Revealed”) is back, anonymously attacking the Democratic Upper Merion Supervisors. Now the fig leaf for the local Republican Party is claiming that an organization which was created when the Board of Supervisors was majority Republican is ruining Upper Merion.

The UM Republican Party (aka “UM Fox News” aka “Upper Merion Revealed”) claims that a copy of the King of Prussia Business Improvement District Report was “sent in from a resident” claiming that the “KOP District has influence over the leadership of the township.“  The KOP District was created to re-position King of Prussia as a premiere location for business in the Philadelphia region. Given that over 55% of the tax base is commercial, the future of Upper Merion is dependent on remaining a commercial hub. The work done in the district’s first five years has included creating the successful Beerfest Royale, the beautification of the 202 median, and advocating for mass transit alternatives such as theConnector and promoting the long desired extension of rail service to King of Prussia. (Rail service has been proposed to serve King of Prussia as far back as the township’s 1985 comprehensive plan).

Many of the projects that have been promoted by the KOP District were championed by Upper Merion Republicans for years, until they lost power and became desperate to regain it.  Now the KOP BID is being used by them as a wedge issue in a desperate attempt to become relevant to voters. They did this in the 2013 election campaign as well, though ironically it never prevents them from attending KOP District events and eating their food. Just THIS WEEK, the chairman of the Upper Merion Republicans (and filled candidate for supervisor) was at the KOP District’s event where the KOP District released its report to the community. We wonder if that’s where UM Fox News obtained a copy of the report that was posted on the “UM Revealed” Facebook page 12 hours later.

Upper Merion Fox News also claims that because of the supposed “influence of the KoP Business District on township leadership” that residents don’t have an equal say. This is just a flat out lie. All residents are encouraged to attend Supervisor meetings and voice their concerns. Or call their Supervisors. Or email them. Or send them a tweet. Or talk to them at the supermarket.  Or reach out to them on Facebook – in fact one Democratic Supervisor has communicated with our residents over 500 consecutive days on Facebook.  Those who are anonymously baiting residents into opposing a group that they helped create is at best disingenuous and at worst outright sleazy. To claim that the employees who only work here have more of a say in the future of Upper Merion then its residents is ludicrous.

After five decades of allowing development to go unchecked, refusing to update the zoning code, screwing up litigation, ignoring residents demands for a community center, treating residents disrespectfully at township meetings, being investigated by the state ethics commission, decreasing the amount of green space and allowing virtually every developer to pay “a fee in lieu”, recommending higher taxes and accepting campaign donations from controversial developers, Upper Merion Fox News is trying to blame their inability to govern on those who have set the standard for leadership in Upper Merion.

The Upper Merion Area Democratic Committee will continue to call out the anonymous Republican posters on “UM Revealed”. We will debunk their claims and post the real truth on our page and our website, because when we say something, we put our name on it.