Turns out, there was a fire just before the event planned without LP PA chairman Dr. Tom Stevens’ approval.
LOWER PROVIDENCE — As crews worked to drain the flooded basement of Valley Forge Beef and Ale, the cause the fire that damaged the restaurant over the weekend was still under investigation, Fire Marshal Charles DeFrangesco said Monday.
Firefighters spent four hours Saturday afternoon battling the blaze, which investigators believe started in the basement of the restaurant. The fire drew more than 100 firefighters from around the area to the scene. No one was injured in the fire.
When police and fire officials converged on the South Trooper Road restaurant at 12:27 p.m., they were met with heavy smoke and flames in the first floor of the building.
According to police reports, the basement was filled with heavy smoke when firefighters got to the scene.
For background on the event that had been planned, please see here .
It appears that Dr. Tom Stevens had his own problems that day.
Posted to the LPPa Facebook page, February 18th:
“As was widely announced in social media, I was attending the Farpoint Convention in Timonium, Maryland this past weekend and staying at the Hunt Valley Hotel. I was the lead organizer of two panels. Marakay Rogers, our candidate for Attorney General last year, was also in attendance.
I left the convention hotel on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at around 2:40 p.m. and proceeded onto Route 83 North for the 4 mile trip to Hunt Valley. I was in the right lane of the 3 lane interstate. After travelling a mile, I became consciously aware of a large blue van coming up alongside me in the middle lane (no there were no markings on the van; I could not see the driver nor could I get a license plate number). That van stayed directly next to me, which seemed odd since most vehicles travel at a slower or faster pace than cars in other lanes. This blue van stayed right beside me and eventually started slowly moving into my lane at about a foot every few car lengths. I continued to beep my horn and the blue van continued to attempt to force me off the road into the right shoulder of the highway. I tried slowing down but the blue van matched my speed and continued to crowd me off the road until I was completely on the right shoulder of the highway.
I cannot recall whether my car was tapped or whether I bounced off the right guard rail but I was soon careening across three lanes of oncoming traffic travelling an average speed of 70 mph (had any one vehicle hit my driver’s side door while I was not in motion on the highway, I would be dead). I ended up not being hit by oncoming traffic and was wedged in the left shoulder of the highway facing 180 degrees from the direction I was travelling.
While this could be all coincidence, I know what it looks like when someone swerves into a lane of traffic by accident. This blue van stayed directly to my left, did not respond to beeps of my horn, moved a foot at a time into my lane forcing me off the highway and then after completely crowding me off, I was either tapped by the van or bounced off the guardrail so I ended up entering the oncoming lanes of traffic. The blue van then quickly left the scene.
There was a high probability of my being dead if any one of the vehicles hit me head on but somehow I survived with no broken bones and no head injury. However, I am in extreme pain.
A state police report was taken but they said they could do nothing. I have been referred to individuals from the FBI Organized Crime Task Force and an individual who previously worked for Army Intelligence by LPPA members and others who say this incident is extremely similar to prior ones that have happened to others. I have also been contacted by people who have immediately identified possible perpetrators with differing motives.
There is a 10% chance this was all coincidence and there is some rational explanation for what happened not involving foul play. There are three other possibilities being investigated, each with a 30% chance of being the cause. The first involves operatives from the GOP with possible Mafia connections based in Bucks County. The second involves individuals in the LPPA, with former GOP connections. The third involves individuals attending Farpoint who have a real problem with the topics of the panels I have been running there for several years. In all cases, the motives are crystal clear and many involve, as reported earlier, attempts to degrade the LPPA’s ability to field a gubernatorial candidate in 2014; an effort which has succeeded to an amazing degree (and simply labeled “infighting” by those who leave or resign).
I have left my home in Philadelphia and I am now living at an undisclosed location. While this was the first recommendation of those with intelligence contacts, I have no confidence that I am safe. I am sure I can be easily tracked down by those with appropriate connections.
Thank you all for your kind words and good wishes. I would like to believe that the LPPA is too small and insignificant to be the subject of such shenanigans but given the bribery and threats received by our petitioners in 2012 that were delivered by a former FBI agent and current Private Investigator with ties to the GOP, and other similar attacks on other political enemies, I am not so certain and others are convinced this is just another example of foul play.
Ask yourself how much money the GOP spent trying to get Gary Johnson and our Statewide Candidates off the ballot in 2012. That amount comes to nearly a half million dollars. If the GOP could degrade the LPPA and prevent us from having a successful petition drive in 2014, how much would that be worth to them?
Dr. Tom Stevens
LPPA State Chair”