Internet Archieves: Ellison Letter
Harrisburg, PA – Mayoral candidate Gloria Martin-Roberts has a lengthy list of supporters who are very influential in Harrisburg politics.
Dan Miller, Frank Karnouskous, owner of the Third Street Cafe, Howard Hoffman, Civil rights leader Homer Floyd, and Deborah Robinson.
“Marilyn Levin, former county chair of the Democratic Party; Evelyn Zigerelli-Henderson, who ran for county clerk in 2011; the Rev. A.J. Briley Sr., of Christian Love Ministries; Phyllis Bennett, a Swatara Township Democrat who twice ran unsuccessfully for the 106th House seat.”
“Other names on her host team are: the Rev. Brenda Alton, Anna Bianco, John Coleman, Nate Curtis, Ernie Davis, Myrna Delgado, Brian Hudson, Jose Manjon, Tina Nixon, Leah Payne, James Roberts, Virginia A. Roth, and Shyanne Singletary.” – Pennlive
But one name stands out as having a different type of influence in Harrisburg.
Mr. James Ellison.
Culture of Corruption
Unfortunately, being endorsed by James Ellison in any nearly any other Pennsylvanian municipality would be compared with political suicide. However, he is conveniently operating in Harrisburg, where the conventional rules don’t apply. Ellison has been tied to a problematic school district in Chester County as part of a ‘Culture of Corruption,’ due to his fruadulent legal-fee billing practices.
This was part of an investigation into the Coatesville Area School District, where Mr. Ellison was ‘voluntarily‘ relieved from his high-paid position after 17 years with Rhoads & Sinon, the law firm in Downtown Harrisburg.
Ellison, along with his former employer settled a lawsuit for $420,000 in November 2016 for grossly overcharging the broken inner city school district in Pennsylvania.
Including his dealings with the Harrisburg Authority, the timeline of his career was well documented in this article “The Rise and Fall of James Ellison.”
In support of Gloria Martin-Roberts, Mr. Ellison is now blasting a smear campaign against the good intentions of Jennie Jenkins’ bid for Harrisburg Mayor. Directly on his public fb profile you will find the narrative that he posted to discredit Jenkins. As a result of this attack, Jenkins broad base of supporters has been riled up and her latest reported poll numbers are soaring.
On the behalf of Harrisburg100, and speaking up for the concerns of the local community, I did intend to probe into this apparent smear campaign of Jenkins, and aggressive endorsement of Martin-Roberts. My attempts at private messenging with Mr Ellison went unanswered and when I pressed Mr. Ellison on his intentions, via his original fb posting, my comment was deleted from his post and he eventually blocked me from his page. He could not answer the simple questions that were asked about his interests with Martin-Roberts as they related to Jenkins.
It has been reported by Jenkins that there are some bully tactics and even blunt stalking is taking place while canvasing the neighborhoods. Indications are that these type of maneuvers are being initiated by motives within the Martin-Roberts camp. While, it is not believed that Martin-Roberts herself is involved with these aggressive tactics, it has been rumored that she may have lost control of her team, as confidential sources report that the campaign leaders are in panic mode while her poll numbers reportedly dive lower, soon approaching the upcoming primary election on May 16.
Linda Thompson Part II
It’s not been a pretty sight in Harrisburg after digging out of messes, floods, blizzards, sink holes and financial debt. The brunt of the more recent post-Reed trouble seems to fall on Thompson’s shoulders, and it is openly visible that Thompson and Martin-Roberts are thick as thieves. Sentiments in the community are that the environment in Harrisburg after electing Martin-Roberts would take a similar tone to what we had under the Thompson administration.
It’s been suggested that Harrisburg was a failed experiment under Thompson, and local leaders allegedly attribute some of those failures to Ellison. Not only was that administration a total disaster for the city, but many believe some of those failures where intentionally created for various reasons. Perhaps for the financial gain of some lawyer friends, some problems were due to incompetence, and other issues related to doing favors for close friends.
The growing consensus is that Martin-Roberts represent an extension of the Linda Thompson administration. It is commonly believed that Thompson will secure a top post in Martin-Roberts Mayoral cabinet.
Mr. James Ellison is considered “a powerful political force in Harrisburg politics. [He] played a major role in the successful political campaigns of Gloria Martin-Roberts, Susan Brown-Wilson and Kelly Summerford for the City Council and Tiffany Penn and Patricia Whitehead-Myers for Harrisburg’s school board.”
In 2009, “Mr. Ellison ran Linda Thompson’s successful bid for Mayor of Harrisburg and served as the campaign’s treasurer. Rhoads & Sinon contributed $25,000 to the Thompson campaign.”
According to her flyer for an initial fundraiser, James Ellison, Esquire is listed as a member of Martin-Roberts host team. Word on the street is that he is at the forefront of the effort to have Gloria Martin-Roberts elected as the 2nd Female Mayor in Harrisburg. Of course, it was the infamous Linda Thompson who was our first, and she was put on by Ellison. He hopes to recreate the magic of 2009 this year with the next candidate in line. Perhaps as a last ditch effort with the original Queen of City Council, he intends bill the city for new legal fees, and to assert influence through the proxy of Martin-Roberts.
Unfortunately for Gloria Martin-Roberts, this association with James Ellison has directly hurt her campaign’s credibility, because Ellison is perceived in the community as somebody with a most questionable past, who is ineligible to be associated with influencing public finances, due to his past history of dishonest practices. He is tied to high priced lawsuit settlements for highly questionable practices, namely a $420,000 settlement by Rhodes & Sinon just a few months ago in November 2016.
This is why Martin-Roberts is not gaining any support outside our her traditional base of very close buddy-buddy friends of the old guard city politics.