Northeast Philly community activist Jared Solomon, who is challenging long-time incumbent Democratic state Rep. Mark Cohen in the May 20 primary, says if elected he will not accept taxpayer-funded expenses known as per diems.
This is a full-frontal attack on Cohen's long established (and reported) record for being at or near the top of expense-grabbing lawmakers for most of his tenure in Harrisburg.
As of May, Cohen will have served in the state House 40 years.
Solomon says Cohen used his (entirely legal) expenses to build a personal library, pay the mortgage on a second house and fly to and from Harrisburg -- all of which has been reported over the years, none of which has prevented Cohen's multiple reelections, often with no opposition.
Cohen held a reelect-campaign kickoff at Daly's Pub in the Northeast on Saturday.
Solomon issued a statement Sunday saying, "Serving as State Representative takes more than voting the right way. It means leading by example. In 40 years in office, Representative Cohen has only led the 253 legislators in one thing -- taxpayer funded personal expenses. When elected I'll put the brakes on the gravy tain leading to Rep. Cohen's doorstep, and start diverting it to residents of the Northeast."
Throughout the years, Cohen's response to heavy use of expense money has been that he's the hardest working lawmaker in Harrisburg.