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Q&A With PA Legislative District 25 Candidate Mike Doyle

Doyle, a Plum Councilman, is seeking the Republican nomination.

Three people will run in the for two places on the November ballot for the Pennsylvania Legislative District 25 seat.

Republicans Mike Doyle of Plum and John Yakim of Monroeville will face off for the party nomination in the primary. The winner will run against Democrat Joe Markosek, a 30-year incumbent from Monroeville, in November.

Legislative District 25 covers , Monroeville, Pitcairn, Murrysville, North Versailles, Trafford and Wall. For a full map of the areas in the 25th District, click here.

Below is a Q&A with candidate Mike Doyle, a Plum Councilman. This is his second time running for state rep—he lost to Markosek in the 2010 general election. For an article about .

Patch: Take us up to speed on your background.
 
I am the Vice President at Excalibur Insurance Management Services in Pittsburgh. I have been there for 21 years. I have been a Plum Borough Councilman since 2005, and have been president for the last three years. I am a member of Church in Plum and various other professional organizations.

I have been married to my wife, Susan, for 16 years. We have two children, Alyssa, 14, and Aidan, 9.

Patch: Why are you interested in running?
 
For me, its about serving your community and giving something back.  Further, I do not like what has been coming out of Harrisburg.  We can—and must—do better. It's time Harrisburg politicians start running the government like you and I run our households. In Plum, we've actually shrunk the size of our budget. It's time for Harrisburg to do the same.
 
Patch: There are many people who are comfortable with Rep. Joe Markosek having been in office for almost 30 years. What do you want to tell those people?
 
I've knocked on thousand of doors over the last few years.  When I tell people that Joe has been in office now for 30 years, the overwhelming majority, Republican and Democrat, agree with me—it's time for new blood, it's time for a change and it's time for new ideas.
 
Patch: What makes you a qualified candidate?
 
I have more than 23 years of work experience in the real world—balancing budgets, managing staffs and running an insurance company branch office.  Also, my experience as a Plum Borough Councilman has been an invaluable resource. Since 2007, Plum's budget has only increased by 4.8 percent. When you factor in Union CBA's with their annual increases and capital purchases (such as plow trucks, police cars, etc.) this is unheard of, and I will challenge anyone to find a community of our size that can make the same claim. By the way, we also hired more police officers in that same time period.  That is the kind of fiscal discipline we need in Harrisburg.  It can be done!
 
Patch: What are some of the issues affecting this congressional district that you'd like to address?
 
The single largest issue not only affects PA-25, but also our entire state, is jobs. PA has one of the highest corporate taxes in the United States. This must be addressed. Waste and fraud are high on my list as well. Not to mention the need the to look into serious solutions to our state's crumbling infrastructure and the easing of strangling regulations. It's time to open our State up for business.
 
Patch: What changes would you like to see if you take office? How would you take steps to implement those changes?

I will work with legislators to eliminate per diems and to move from state pension to 401K plans.  It's time for our elected officials to lead by example and actually do the right thing for a change. Joe [Markosek] accepted almost $27,000 in per diems last year alone on top of his $100,000 salary. I will not take per diems!
 
Patch: Have you received any big endorsements? If so, who?
 
The Plum Borough Republican Committee and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette have endorsed me.

For more information about Doyle's campaign, see www.pa4mikedoyle.com, his Twitter page or Facebook.

_______________________

Plum-Oakmont Patch is on Facebook and on Twitter. Don't forget to sign up for our daily email newsletter by clicking here.

Pitcairn Crime Watch April 18, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Mr Doyle, Back in February, you commented in one of the other local papers that you were going to withdraw from the race it the district lines changed. Well they changed. You also made a comments about having to run in low income communities, now you have to run in low income neighborhoods. What are you going to do? Are you going to abandon us after you beat Joe? Joe has been good to Pitcairn for years. We have a baseball field with his name on it. Please don't come down here asking us to support you after you slam those of us in the lower tax brackets. Pitcairn has lots of problems. Have you ever been to a crime watch meeting down here in Pitcairn. I know Mr Yakim has attended our meetings. We have lots of problems. We cannot expect Harrisburg to fix them but we sure can make sure we don't send politicians there who are only interested in serving the rich. Even if you beat Joe this time, you will walk away cause it got hard again.
Raymond T. Jozwiak April 18, 2012 at 08:53 PM
"Pitcairn Crime Watch": I have known Councilman Doyle for the past four years, I even helped him to become reelected to Plum Council, his capacity for State Representative in 2010, and now again in 2012; Mike Doyle is one of the most inspirational people I know. Your source for railing against Mr. Doyle for saying he will not run for state office in low-income areas has been retracted by the paper. Mr. Doyle never said such a thing to the reporter, it was retracted the next week, and the online version was changed to reflect what he really said. So--please don't rail against someone who truly cares about all parts of the 25th District; he has a shared fixation on the figures of all the people in SWPA. With Mike Doyle in the State Legislature, PA as a whole can once again be presented as an emblem, not an aberration, of the U.S.A. If you have any additional comments for Mr. Doyle, I would recommend contacting him directly through his website, visit: http://pa4mikedoyle.com/contact/contact.html Raymond Jozwiak
Heidi Dezayas April 18, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Editor's Note: This comment was submitted by Raymond Jozwiak. We currently are having trouble getting comments to post, so I am posting it for the time being. Here is the comment: "Pitcairn Crime Watch": I have known Councilman Doyle for the past four years, I even helped him to become reelected to Plum Council, his capacity for State Representative in 2010, and now again in 2012; Mike Doyle is one of the most inspirational people I know. Your source for railing against Mr. Doyle for saying he will not run for state office in low-income areas has been retracted by the paper. Mr. Doyle never said such a thing to the reporter, it was retracted the next week, and the online version was changed to reflect what he really said. So--please don't rail against someone who truly cares about all parts of the 25th District; he has a shared fixation on the figures of all the people in SWPA. With Mike Doyle in the State Legislature, PA as a whole can once again be presented as an emblem, not an aberration, of the U.S.A. If you have any additional comments for Mr. Doyle, I would recommend contacting him directly through his website: http://pa4mikedoyle.com/contact/contact.html Raymond Jozwiak
PBAA Fan April 19, 2012 at 01:07 PM
I have several concerns about Mr Doyle. First, he has repeatedly referered to himself as a small business man. Even in his mail piece, he calls himself a small business man. He isn't a small businesssman. He works for an insurance company. And, it isn't even his firm. He works for a big firm. My second concern is do we really want someone with such close ties to the insurance industry as a state representative. Seriosusly, he would be the insurance industries own inside lobbyist right on the floor of the house. IS taht really what Plum wants. Next, look what he did at Plum. He brags about cutting Plums budget but all he did was detroy public safety by cutting our dispatch center. He created havoc over a decades old baseball program. Our library is only open a very short time each week and that is mostly because of the funding we get from Joe Markosek. Does Plum really want to give Doyle that much more power...an insurance industry insider with an ego. And to Raymond, "inspirational", really? You need to find new heros. Doyle decided to run at the last possible moment. Do we really want someonte that cannt make a decision. We need tokeep Joe. He has been great for Plum.
Heidi Dezayas April 19, 2012 at 01:43 PM
We've been experiencing some technical difficulties with new comments posting on this article. If anyone is having trouble posting, send it to heidi.dezayas@patch.com, and I'll post it for you in the meantime.
Heidi Dezayas April 19, 2012 at 01:57 PM
This comment is from Mike Miller: I have several concerns about Mr Doyle. He has repeatedly refereed to himself as a small business man. Even in his mail piece, he calls himself a small business man. He isn't a small businessman. He works for an insurance company. And, it isn't even his firm. He works for a big firm. My next concern is do we really want someone with such close ties to the insurance industry as a state representative. Seriously, he would be the insurance industries own inside lobbyist right on the floor of the house. IS that really what Plum wants. Next, look what he did at Plum. He brags about cutting Plums budget but all he did was destroy public safety by cutting our dispatch center He brags about cutting the insurance costs for Plum, but get this, he is an insurance agent. He created havoc over a decades old baseball program. Our library is only open a very short time each week and that is mostly because of the funding we get from Joe Markosek. Joe Markosek funds our baseball program and our senior citizens program. Does Plum really want to give Doyle that much more power...an insurance industry insider with an ego.
Heidi Dezayas April 19, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Miller's comment continued: And to Raymond, "inspirational", really? You need to find new heroes. Doyle decided to run at the last possible moment. Do we really want someone that cannot make a decision. Doyle makes a big deal about driving his own car to work. Wow, big deal. Now we can open a new school with all the money the state will save. Give me a break. Get a new hero. We need to keep Joe. He has been great for Plum. In his literature piece, he also brags about being endorsed by the Post-Gazette. That is funny because the Post-Gazette endorsed Joe the last time. We need to keep Joe. I am supporting Joe this time. Plum has had enough of Doyle.
Raymond Jozwiak April 19, 2012 at 06:42 PM
It's Miller Time! Mr. Miller--I have a question for you since you seem to have a yen for Representative Markosek. What did Rep. Markosek do in 2005 that he felt compelled to vote himself a pay raise? Rep. Markosek took over $36,000--the per capita income of Monroeville residents-- worth in per diems in a single year in addition to his six figure salary; does it concern Rep. Markosek that the people of SWPA live paycheck to paycheck in order to pay for his per diems? In order to pay for the pay raise and pension increases he voted himself? Rep. Markosek has become the poster child of arrogance in state politics. You are getting pretty close to home in attacking Mr. Doyle. You could always contact him directly at his website (http://pa4mikedoyle.com/contact/contact.html) to ask how he is a business man. I can tell you that he is the VP of Excalibur and Branch Manager of the downtown office. He additionally has a B.S. in Business Administration. And the dispatch center was a duplication. I currently study at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA. There was a gunman at large yesterday and the police could not catch him! The suspect, Keith Green, was directly outside of my room and we called the Meadville dispatch center and the police failed to get there in time to catch him. Other students I spoke with shared similar stories--clearly having a dispatch center does nothing to protect people http://meadvilletribune.com/local/x733694685/Manhunt-suspect-remains-at-large
Casey Rankin April 19, 2012 at 06:53 PM
"PBAA Fan"/Mike Miller I don't know where to start with these posts. Calling them pieces of dishonest, demagogic filth would be an act of generosity to both of you (if you are even in fact different people). First of all, attacking Mr. Doyle's professional experience in the insurance industry is an act of outright ignorance. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania negotiates millions of dollars worth of insurance contracts each year. Wouldn't it be helpful to have someone in the General Assembly who understands this issue, and who could possibly save the taxpayers money? Oh, that's right Mr. Miller, you did acknowledge he cut insurance costs for Plum, but who cares because, "he's an insurance agent". Wouldn't it seem that his experience helped him do this? When has Representative Markosek ever saved us money? I see a lot of gushing in both of your posts about him spending money. You conveniently forget to mention his votes to increase both his pay and his pension, as well as his $28,000 in yearly per diems. I have news for you gentleman: Pennsylvania is in a fiscal hole. Having someone in the General Assembly who has experience cutting waste and fighting corruption is the answer, and Mr. Doyle has done both in Plum. As it says in the interview, he has held Plum spending down by eliminating duplicated services and has fought corruption.
Casey Rankin April 19, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Also, your remark that Mr. Doyle, "created havoc over a decades old baseball program", shows either ignorance or willful dishonesty. Individuals involved with the PBAA were improperly using funds from their members. The issue was turned over to the District Attorney (a Democrat), and the individual in charge of the organization has been charged with a felony. This was a matter of corruption, pure and simple. To say otherwise is to lie. And "PBAA Fan", he "destroyed public safety"? Mr.Doyle consolidated a service already provided by the County, and paid for by Plum taxpayers. This resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings. Can you back up that ridiculous and slanderous assertion? Can you show proof that more crime has gone unresponded to, or that fire damage is increasing? If you can't (which you won't be able to, because it is simply not true), then I suggest you refrain from hiding behind an internet screen name and making irresponsible and demagogic accusations. Finally, "Joe Markosek funds our baseball program and our senior citizens program." Is that so? Because I was under the impression that the taxpayers funded those things, not Rep. Markosek. Its attitudes like this that allows big spending, pay raising politicians to stay in office thirty years, and is a major contributing factor to the fiscal shape we are in today. If you wish to support Rep. Markosek, fine. Just don't lie and slander Mike Doyle's character and record along the way. Casey Rankin
Andrew Patterson April 19, 2012 at 11:39 PM
One of the things that frustrates me the most in political campaigns is when voters express uninformed opinions about candidates. If you attack or defend someone, please give rational reasons why you are doing so! Mr. Miller/PBAA Fan made vague and meaningless allegations against Mr. Doyle. So what if Mr. Doyle works for an insurance company? Do you mean to imply that everyone's occupation invalidates their ability to serve because they might become a "special interest" for that occupation? Under your logic, I could only vote for someone who is unemployed. It is a good thing to have members of the General Assembly who have backgrounds in all walks of life. Mr. Doyle's knowledge of the insurance industry would be an asset, not a hindrance to his ability to help PA taxpayers with health care costs. As for Joe Markosek, I agree with what has already been stated above by Mr. Jozwiak and Mr. Rankin. The man has no interest in keeping our state fiscally solvent. If you're worried about your state representative being influenced by special interests, Mr. Miller/PBAA Fan, know that 28 years in office provides plenty of time to collect crony friends.
PBAA Fan April 20, 2012 at 12:38 PM
I am one person, but if you read the comments above, you will notice that Patch was having technical difficulties. You three really are a fun bunch. Quite the quick response for Doyle and his team. I don't have a ton of time to refute all of your comments. I guess I am not a big enough Joe Crony because I have work to do. Two Raymond, you sound like you are in a cult...I found the word inspirational to be quite humorous. He is the President of Plum Council, not Speaker of the House. The paper may have retracted part of his comments but it is still clear that he was going to pull back out had the courts reversed. His campaign literature refers to him as a "Successful small businessman". Please explain to me how graduating from business school and being a VP of a company is a small businessman. He also brags in the literature about how much experience he has in politics and Yakin has none. At least Yakin really is a small businessman. And, Casey, on your Pitt Facebook page, you guys are supporting a guy for US Senate, a position with considerably more power with NO government experience. Explain that to me. And Mr Patterson, yes, insurance agenst are held in exceptionally high regard in our country. They are not small businessmen. They are front men for one of the largest industries in this country. They are also front men for controling a huge part of our healthcare dollars. It is a legitimate concern.
PBAA Fan April 20, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Finally, the Post-Gazette uses the word naive. I think that is a great word to use for the candidate and his young staff. Joe Markosek will continue to be our State Rep. Mike Miller
Raymond Jozwiak April 20, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Mr. Miller: Remedial English classes start soon. And it seems as if you undoubtedly share the same Facebook creeping as those found on http://www.pameganslaw.state.pa.us/ Thanks for not explaining how Rep. Markosek does not pander to the special interests while taking absurd per diems and voting himself pay raises and pension hikes. I assume no one has these answers. If you do not think that being the VP of a company and being a branch manager does not qualify as a businessman you are certainly ignorant. So--please, continue to creep on Facebook while Mike Doyle and his "young staff" work to defeat Rep. Markosek. Enjoy! Raymond Jozwiak
PBAA Fan April 20, 2012 at 03:52 PM
Mr Jozwiak, I was simply pointing out that the information is easily found with a simple google search. I was not questioning whether Doyle's credentials qualified him as a businessman, I was questioning the credibility of his campaign literature that refered to him as a "small business man". It is the first bullet point on the address side of his mailer..."Successful small businessman". Mr Doyle does not claim he will not take per diems, instead he uses the phrase, "only submitting legitimate work expenses". I would assume that paying for a hotel room while on official business is a legittmate work expense, I would assume lunch and dinner, while doing official travel is a legitmate work expense. So instead of just collecting the per diem, Doyle is going to collect receipts and turn them in. I assume he will not be living in his car when he is in Harrisburg, so my guess is he will still be submitting receipts for these expenses. He is going to drive his own car...wow, thanks. he is going to pay "Part of his healthcare" but he doesn't say what part. Who wrote this? Do you really think the people of Plum are that stupid to not see through these rediculous promises. This is not saving the tax payers. It is pandering. The Post Gazette wass right, naive.
Casey Rankin April 20, 2012 at 09:18 PM
Mr. Miller- Nowhere in my post did I say that government experience was a prerequisite for holding public office. In my view, well as that of the other members of the Pitt College Republicans, Steve Welch is by far the best candidate for the U.S Senate, based on his success in the private sector and his ability to articulate his ideas for turning around our nation's economy. However, a positive record of public service, such as Mike Doyle's, is undoubtedly an asset when running for office. To say his record as President of Plum Council is not successful is to ignore the facts. Finally, I am not on Mike Doyle's "staff". I have known him for about three years, and he is a friend. I support his candidacy. I speak for myself, not for him. When I saw this interview posted on his Facebook page, I noticed your incoherent rant below the story. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, however no one is entitled to their own facts. Each one of your attacks against Mr. Doyle is an outright lie, and I felt that they needed to be addressed. Please do yourself, and everyone else a favor, and try to understand the facts before you go around firing off personal attacks. Thanks and good day.
Pitcairn Crime Watch April 22, 2012 at 01:14 PM
I have a question, since you guys seem to know Doyle. When we were coming out of church today, we were talking about Joe Markosek and how Pro-Life he is. Do you know if Plum provides for abortion coverage in its insurance benefits?

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