Not many people take on a powerful politician like State GOP Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi. And of those who do, not many are fellow Republicans.

That makes Buck Riley a standout.

Riley, a Chester County Republican, is chairman of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority board. And he was displeased, it seems, with a Feb. 24 letter from the senator, a Delaware County Republican, in which Pileggi said, "No taxpayer funds should be spent on a self-congratulatory party or celebration" of the nearly $800 million Convention Center expansion.

At issue is a $1.75 million state grant the authority received, and how those taxpayer dollars should be spent in these tough economic times.

Pileggi has his view. Riley, in a letter he sent Pileggi, on his law firm letterhead the very next day, has his.

"We are always pleased to receive your thoughts," Riley wrote. And then he shared some of his own.

"...the suggestion that this group of dedicated and accomplished Board members (many of them elected officials) need be reminded to act in the taxpayers' best interest trivializes and demeans not only the grueling work which has been put into the success of this building (sometimes under seemingly insurmountable odds) but also demeans the members who have virtually anonymously put their very valuable and skilled time into making this massive building project a success."

Riley continued: "We appreciate your brief commending remark to our Board - 'for bringing this project in on time and on budget.' However, it's clear from that single passing recognition that your understanding of what has been (and continues to be) truly accomplished here misses the mark by a wide margin."

Riley still continued (it was a four-page letter): "Although our intent is not to have a 'party' at this opening, some people may actually have fun there which could lead a reporter looking for a story to write that we had a 'party.' Not sure there's much we can do about that."


To read the full letter, go here.

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