State Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland is big on family and big on government. My friend Bill Bender explores
how the twain meet...
IT PAYS to know Thaddeus Kirkland - better yet, perhaps, to call him your father-in-law, your pastor or your dad.
Kirkland is a rainmaker in his riverfront city of Chester, and the entrenched state representative from Delaware County has helped steer hundreds of thousands of dollars in state money to organizations close to his family:
* The Baptist church where he preaches.
* The arts center where his wife is the president and his son-in-law served as the executive director.
* The annual cultural festival that boosts his political profile and has paid his daughter to sing.
About $800,000 in grants from Harrisburg have gone to those organizations since 1998 as part of a funding process that appears rife with potential conflicts.
I thought he explained all this quite well at our endorsement meeting. This is just how communities are well served by their hard-working representatives. Why should deserving family members be excluded?