ABC of Pennsylvania Honored for Grassroots Involvement

Wed June 30, 2004 - Northeast Edition

Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) presented its Grassroots Member of the Year award to ABC of Pennsylvania — a network of ABC members from ABC’s five Pennsylvania chapters and the Cumberland Valley chapter — at the association’s Legislative Conference.

“In previous years, ABC’s National Executive Committee has always bestowed this prestigious honor upon a single ABC member,” said Carole L. Bionda, ABC 2004 national chair. “However, this year, the dedication, passion and tenacity demonstrated by a group of ABC members from ABC’s five Pennsylvania chapters and Cumberland Valley chapter forced us to reconsider the way in which this award is presented.”

The award recognizes ABC of Pennsylvania’s strong grassroots support for U.S. Rep. Pat Toomey’s, R-PA, bid to unseat incumbent Sen. Arlen Spector, R-PA, in the state’s Republican Senate primary.

“These ABC members are champions of the merit shop and exemplify the spirit of grassroots involvement,” said Bionda. “They were willing to go against the tide and endorse Representative Pat Toomey in his bid to unseat an incumbent Republican senator. They decided that upholding ABC’s free enterprise values meant that we should endorse and actively support the best candidate — and that candidate was Representative Pat Toomey.”

Two months prior to the primary election, Rep. Toomey trailed Sen. Specter in the polls by 26 points. In response, ABC of Pennsylvania redoubled its grassroots efforts, helping to almost close the gap by election day.

“ABC of Pennsylvania has provided the blueprint for the rest of the nation. Representative Toomey may not have won this election, but the active involvement of the merit shop ABC members sent a message across the political landscape that ABC will be an aggressive advocate for the candidate who best exemplifies the free enterprise values that make this nation strong,” Bionda said.

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