Jan 30, 2010

State Of Narcissism, President Obama's State Of The Union Address

According to Wikipedia, the definition of narcissism is defined as having or exhibiting the personality trait of egotism, specifically in reference to a set of character traits associated with self-image ego. The terms narcissism, narcissistic, and narcissist are often used as pejoratives, denoting vanity, conceit, egotism or simple selfishness. Sometimes it can be applied to a group in the terms of elitism. I just think it is kind of funny how the simple definition of the word narcissism pretty much sums up President Obama's entire State Of The Union Address to Congress Wednesday night.

As I watched the entire State of the Union speech, I couldn't help but feel like I was listening to my high school principal telling me just how bad of a person I was and how listening to him would make my life better.

In fact, the speech wasn't really a speech. It was more like a lecture on how things ought to be according to President Obama's world view. The speech did not clearly lay out the challenges we face as a nation and what the Obama administration plans to do about them. Then to say in the speech that the American people need to muster up the courage to follow him was just a slap in the face.

It baffles me how someone who campaigned on changing the tone in Washington continues to snub his nose at opposing views. It is because of Obama's leadership not former President Bush's, Washington is now more partisan than ever. In his speech President Obama was lecturing everyone. Congressional republicans, the American people, and even the Supreme Court Justices were the victims of President Obama's furry. That kind of tone really isn't stirring up bipartisanship in Washington.

President Obama also made it clear in the speech that he and the liberal left wing of the Democratic Party will continue to shove their liberal agenda down people's throats. Word to the President and democrats controlling Congress, this is the real reason the American people are frustrated and angry. It is a failure to listen not communicate that is the real problem.

What the speech did do is demonstrate just how out of touch the President and the Democratic Party is with the challenges that everyday Americans face each day. They believe the answer to our problems is more President Obama and more government control of our industry and our lives. What the American people need right now is not a helping hand but a strong plan to move our country forward. That just wasn't evident in the State of the Union Address.

Jan 29, 2010

Toomey way ahead of Specter in latest poll

It looks like no matter how Democratic Party pundits try to spin things, PA voters sure are in an anti establishment, anti incumbent mood these days.

This bodes well for the PA GOP candidates who seem destined to win the Governor's race, the U.S Senate race, and a pick up of two or even three Congressional seats in the November election.

However the mood doesn't bode well for everyone's favorite Senator, Arlen Specter. So just how bad are Specter's prospects of re-election right now? The Politico is reporting Specter trails GOP front runner Pat Toomey by 14 points in a latest Franklin and Marshall College poll.
A new poll from Franklin and Marshall College confirms Specter’s precarious situation. He trails Republican Pat Toomey by 14 points, 45 percent to 31 percent. Only 34 percent of Pennsylvanians gave Specter favorable job marks, with 58 percent saying he was doing a “fair” or “poor” job as senator. Click Here To Read More
These poll numbers shouldn't surprise anyone. To many voters around the state Specter has become a symbol for what is wrong in Washington and has become a poster boy for the need for term limits. Specter's move to switch parties to save his political life has not worked out as originally planned.

Specter now finds himself in the middle of a political buzz saw. First, Democratic Party voters are not energized by his campaign. Second, conservative voters and Tea Party activist are fired up to take him out. Then add to all of this independent voters who are disgruntled with the Obama Administration's policies. Double Ouch!!!

Probably, President Obama's State Of The Union address may have put the final nail in Specter's coffin. Obama's push to continue the Democratic Party's left wing agenda while snubbing the American people's pressure to move to the center will hurt Specter tremendously.

The bottom line in the PA Senate race is simple. Voting for Arlen Specter is not "Change that we can believe in".

The Franklin & Marshall Poll

New poll shows Toomey leading Sestak, Specter (Delaware County Times)

More: Toomey Surges Over Specter in Poll as Fundraising Shows Strong Fourth Quarter Draw (Fox News)

Jan 27, 2010

Rats in the PA Capitol Cafeteria causing a media frenzy in Harrisburg

KWY Newsradio 1060 is reporting that the Capitol Cafeteria in Harrisburg operated by Philadelphia-based Aramark and overseen by the Rendell administration has failed another cleanliness inspection. The Capitol Cafeteria had to be shut down in December when an inspector found numerous violations and even rodent droppings all over the place. Click Here To Read More

All Of This Has The Patron's Of The Capitol Cafeteria Mainly The Harrisburg Media In An UpRoar!!! The following is an interview with Rep. Bill DeWeese:

Media: Representative DeWeese!!!! Representative DeWeese!!!!! Can you give us a statement on the rats that were found in the Capitol Cafeteria area?

Rep. DeWeese: "Rats are various medium-sized, long-tailed rodents of the superfamily Muroidea. "True rats" are members of the genus Rattus, the most important of which to humans are the black rat, Rattus rattus, and the brown rat, Rattus norvegicus."

But what about the rats? What is the Democratic leadership in the House planning to do about all these rats running around the Capitol especially in the cafeteria.

Rep. DeWeese:
Well guys I've heard of rats in the Capital before, but I don't know of any rats that particularly like to hang out in the Capitol Cafeteria.

Media: Is there an ongoing investigation of the rats in the Capital building and can you share any details?

Rep. DeWeese: Lets see. MMM! I always thought that former Speaker of the House John Perzel was a rat, but i do not know of any initiative that is moving forward emphasizing the extermination of the rats in the Capitol.

Media: What about the rumors going around that the leadership in each caucus planted the rats in the Capitol to deflect public attention away from the bonusgate trial?

Rep. DeWeese: "Any speculation that I knew about this unsanitary act is absolutely false and there is no evidence to support this opinion"
Let me tell you folks. It is Ratgate not bonusgate that is the real reason nothing is getting done done in Harrisburg. The rat infestation has severely impacted the legislative process. Everywhere you go lawmakers think they are seeing rats.



Now everyone knows that the company overseeing the Capitol Cafeteria has connections to Governor Rendell. The company is from Philadelphia so it is not a far stretch to assume that the rats have somehow migrated from that area of the state!!!

But I have to Give Rendell credit. He has been calm throughout the crisis. I love that Rendell finds the humor in it all.

Here is Rendell's answer to a reporters question about ratgate:
(Romeo:) “Any witticisms about rats and mice in the capitol?”

(Rendell:) “(laughs) Just put it this way: assuming there were rats and mice there, they’re not the first rats and mice to be in the capitol.”

Just think of all the gambling lobby lunches and dinners Rendell must have participated in. I'm sure he is used to all the rat droppings by now!

Jan 26, 2010

GOP candidate for Governor, Sam Rohrer, answers criticisms of his support for the pay raise and pension increase

Brad Bumsted of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has a great article on the criticisms of Sam Rohrer's voting for the 2005 pay raise and the 2001 state pension increase. As a Sam Roher supporter I am not going to defend his votes. They were horrible misjudgments and political mistakes. But the thing I like about Sam is he is honest about them.
Rohrer, who bills himself in campaign literature as an "authentic conservative," told a Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon Monday that the pay raise is "a vote I wish I'd never made." He said he voted for it because he made a commitment to do so and wanted to keep his word. The pension vote four years earlier was a mistake, based on inaccurate information legislative leaders provided, he said. Click Here To Read More
However, I also have to say to Pennsylvania voters that no candidate is perfect especially when you were under the tremendous pressure from the House caucus leadership to vote for them. If you didn't leaders like former Speaker John Perzel were threatening to pull committee chairmanships and so on.

The bottom line in this race is that I am voting for Pennsylvania's future not its past. I am focusing on in here and now. You have to vote for the candidate that best represents your principles. I am concerned about state budget increases and cutting spending. Sam has a record of voting against Rendell's bloated state budgets. That is something Tom Corbett can't say. How has Tom Corbett help control state spending as Attorney General?

Jan 25, 2010

Rohrer's message to state committee members. Let's have a debate

At today's Pennsylvania Press Club's luncheon, Republican gubernatorial candidate Sam Rohrer urged party leaders to hold off on endorsing a candidate until the candidates have a debate in front of the full committee.
Rohrer said he is counting on support from conservative Pennsylvanians who are disenchanted with the political system. Without an open exchange of ideas, he said the Republican Party risks becoming more of “a social club” than a vehicle to advance different points of view. Click Here To Read More
The state committee is schedule to endorse candidates at their meeting February 13th. I for one think a debate would be a great idea. Anything to make this more of an open process.

Specter apologizes to Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann for his 'Now Act like a lady' comment

It has taken Senator Arlen Specter almost a week to apologize to Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann. Last Wednesday Specter blew up at Bachmann on a Philadelphia radio talk show and started yelling, "Now act like a lady, I'll treat you like One". Today he called to say I am sorry.
Sen. Arlen Specter called Rep. Michele Bachmann (R., Minn.) yesterday to apologize for his comments during a radio interview last week, the senator's office said, and she called back and "accepted the apology."

Specter's office gave no further details, saying the conversation between the two had been private.
Specter's remarks were clearly sexist and he once again made himself look like a buffoon. I don't know how Pennsylvania Democratic Party voters can even stand themselves for thinking about voting for Specter. Yuck. My advice just make sure you go home an take a shower after the voting booth!!!!

Read Article: Specter: Sorry for 'act like a lady' remark (Philadelphia Inquirer)
More:Specter Apologizes to Bachmann for 'Act Like a Lady' Remark (Fox News)

Jan 24, 2010

Sam Rohrer's Message Resonating With Republican Voters

Last night I attended the Sam Rohrer for Governor campaign event held at the Greenwood Fire Hall here in Altoona. I figured that I would cover the campaign event on my blog since the event was being held right in my backyard.

For a Saturday night, I was surprised by the amount of people that attended the event. I was running late and couldn't find a parking space. Then I helped Mr. & Mrs. Rohrer find a parking space as they got to the even about the same time I did.

While walking in the fire hall with Sam and his family, I was struck by the excitement in the room. I have to give Sam's campaign team a lot of credit for establishing this much energy this early in the race. Jeff Coleman and State Senator John Eichelberger highlighted Sam's conservative record in the State House Of Representatives prior to introducing Sam to the crowd.

Then Sam fired up the crowd and talked about his calling to be the next Governor of Pennsylvania. Sam feels that his campaign is about once again establishing trust with the people of Pennsylvania and restoring their faith in state government. He talked about what it means to take the oath of office and how our elected leaders in Harrisburg are responsible for following the state constitution. Something that many of his supports feel isn't happening in Harrisburg right now. Sam himself describes himself as a constitutional conservative.

Sam laid out his positions on a various of topics. He discussed his plan to eliminate smothering regulations and reduce business taxes that he feels limits Pennsylvania's ability to create jobs and grow industry. He discussed his plan to eliminate school property taxes and how it will make Pennsylvania more appealing for economic development. He discussed how he wants to cut state government waste by holding each department or program to their original mission or purpose.

Conservative supporters of Sam's grassroots campaign are very engaged and energized. One supporter even baked homemade chocolate chip cookies and brought them to the campaign event. Now you know that you are supporting the right candidate and that you are at the right campaign event when there is a bowl full of homemade chocolate chip cookies.

I don't think Tom Corbett's campaign events will have
homemade chocolate chip cookies!!!!!!

After attending the campaign event and meeting Sam and his wife in person, I have to say that there is no doubt that Sam's candidacy for Governor has created a lot of buzz and excitement in this area. Now from the outside looking in, political pundits and party establishment folks could say that this is just Sam energizing his base and that last night he was just speaking to the conservative choir. I say to the state political establishment that you can say or believe what you want but Sam's campaign message is energizing conservative voters like I have never seen before.

I personally feel that Sam Rohrer is the right man at the right time to lead Pennsylvania through the difficult times ahead. Only he can restore the people's faith and establish trust in our state government once again.

Sam's Our Man!!!! Sam's Our Man!!!

Does Senator Arlen Specter Have A Clue What He Is Talking About?

Here is the clip of the talk radio interview where our US Senator Arlen Specter made a fool out of himself and the Democratic Party. He basically Scolds Republican Representative, Michele Bachmann. This guy has lost it folks.

It seems that Specter has flipped his positions so many times on the issues, not to mention political parties, that he doesn't even know what he is talking about anymore. He was an embarrassment to the Republican Party and now he is even more of embarrassment for the Democratic Party.

Just listen to the arrogance and the frustration in Specter's voice. He sounds like Mr. Potter the "warped, frustrated old man" in It's A Wonderful Life. It is time for the voters of Pennsylvania to put Specter out of his misery. This is not the kind of arrogant leadership we need in Washington D.C.

More: Flap over Specter's 'act like a lady' comment spreads (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Specter may be haunted by exchange with Bachmann (Los Angeles Times)

Jan 23, 2010

Pennsylvanians want true GOP gubernatorial primary

Guest Column By David Baldinger

The grassroots have awakened.

Scott Brown carries the day in Massachusetts by a solid margin. Chris Christie prevails in New Jersey’s governor race. Bob McDonnell wins in Virginia’s governor race. Florida Republican Chairman Jim Greer is ousted by activists infuriated by his endorsement of an insider candidate for the state’s Senate seat.

These were not necessarily victories for any political party as pundits are eager to claim but, rather, for ordinary citizens who are frustrated and angry with machine politics and the political elite who anoint candidates for their party loyalty rather than for their principles.

The caring, decent people of our country have only just begun to demonstrate their displeasure with the pompous party bosses who control the electoral process.

Now the activists have established a new beachhead in Pennsylvania in their fight for electoral freedom, with the Pennsylvania Republican Party Chairman as the target of their resentment.

In a newspaper account of Congressman Jim Gerlach’s withdrawal from the Governor’s race, an obviously gratified Republican Chairman Rob Gleason said that now candidate Tom Corbett “doesn't need a primary" to establish himself and that he is pleased that Corbett would be able to "husband his resources."

With this pronouncement Gleason effectively dismissed the candidacy of State Representative Sam Rohrer and crowned Corbett as the party’s gubernatorial candidate. Six weeks before party delegates meet to vote, Gleason had already written off Representative Rohrer without giving him adequate opportunity to make his views known or gauging the support of the electorate.

The protesters regard Rohrer as an honest, common-sense candidate whose message and principles resonate with a grassroots movement hungry for a rejection of the status quo. Gleason’s unbridled arrogance and his blatant attempt to marginalize Rohrer by ignoring him has provoked the ire of activists and Rohrer proponents from across the state who are now demanding an open primary election that is free of bias and unfettered by political favoritism.

And well they should. Republican Party endorsements have included Lynn Swann, Mike Fisher, Rick Santorum, and others who were chosen for their purported name recognition and “electability” but were decisively rejected at the polls. The party and the people would undoubtedly be better served by allowing the voters to select their candidate rather than forcing upon them someone chosen by power-hungry party bosses who crown their royalty in furtive backroom deals.

Those chosen by the party elite prior to the primary election have a decided advantage over rival candidates by allowing them the use of party resources such as databases, research, and funding. This practice immediately tilts the playing field in favor of the endorsed candidate and will go far toward assuring their success. This must end if we are to restore the open electoral process that has been taken from us by those who have no desire to risk placing candidate selection in the hands of the people.

The coronation of candidates taints the integrity of those contenders by making them beholden to the powers that choose them and the special interests that finance their campaigns. It is sordid politics like this that ultimately leads to the pervasive corruption that is so prevalent in Pennsylvania government today.

Gleason and the Pennsylvania Republican leaders have completely lost touch with their base and are misreading the mood of the Pennsylvania electorate and, indeed, that of the nation. At the party meeting in February they will again order their delegates to march in lockstep with the party powers to endorse their hand-picked candidate. But this time that edict will become a liability for those who are chosen.

Patriot organizations, taxpayer advocates, tea party, 9/12, and similar grassroots groups have come together and will speak with one voice to repudiate the power of the political elite who would strip us of our liberty. We have had enough of the party powers dictating candidates and policy to us and we will regain control of the process that is guaranteed to us by the Constitution. The Governor’s seat belongs to the people, not the party; it is time for all citizens to demand of the Republican bosses an open, transparent primary election so that we, the people of Pennsylvania, may choose who will lead us.

David Baldinger is a taxpayer advocate and a spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Associations, an organization of thirty-six taxpayer groups that is working for school property tax elimination and education finance reform.

Jan 22, 2010

Democratic Candidate, Tom Knox, Ends Campaign For Governor

WHYY news is reporting that Philadelphia business man, Tom Knox, has decided to end his candidacy for Governor. Knox was one of five candidates seeking the Democratic Party nomination.
Knox: I was going to spend ten million dollars, Dan was probably going to spend ten million dollars. We were going to beat each other up. And that's not appropriate to do in a Democratic primary, and then after all that, allow a Republican to become the next governor.
Allegheny County Executive, Dan Onorato, has raised over eight million dollars thus far for his campaign and is now sitting in the driver's seat. With both party's elites clearly pushing out the competition, a showdown between Corbett and Onorato two of Pennsylvania's biggest heavyweights seems to be inevitable. Unless the Bonusgate scandal blows up in Corbett's face then it will be a victory for Onorato.

Also: Knox quits Democratic race governor, supports Onorato (AP Peter Jackson)
Good Read: Tom Knox bailing on race for governor? (Philadelphia Daily News)

Jan 20, 2010

Pennsylvania Republicans Rush to Miss the Moment

by John D McGinnis

Across America, freedom is breaking out, yet the Pennsylvania Republican party is committed to more of the same old socialism and same old party-above-freedom mentality. The latest example of this is the endorsement of Tom Corbett for governor of the central Pennsylvania republican caucus. Here's what Tom Corbett's website reports:

"The Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania's Central Caucus met today and voted to support Attorney General Tom Corbett for Governor. The vote occurred after Corbett addressed the Central Caucus members and reiterated his commitment to reduce state spending and cut government waste, improve the economic climate to create jobs and bring openness and accountability to state government."

So let me get this straight. The caucus supports Corbett because he is for reducing government spending, cutting (not eliminating) waste, improving the economic climate to create jobs, and bringing openness and accountability to state government. Corbett is laughably and demonstrably incompetent on all of those items. And I guess the sanctity of human life is not worth a mention.

Reducing spending and cutting waste: What part of his budget as state attorney general has been reduced and what waste has he cut there?

Creating jobs: What does a lifelong lawyer who has spent a majority of his career in the public sector know about creating jobs? The single most powerful action our commonwealth's government could take to improve Pennsylvania's economy is to make this a right-to-work state. No mention at all of that on Corbett's website.

Accountability to state government: Bonus gate is entering its 3rd year with the one case that went to court resulting in a not guilty verdict and the meat of the scandal (Senate Republican misbehavior) is still on the bone.

So he's silent on life, mum on economic freedom, and dragging his feet on bringing government officials to justice. Should it surprise that the Republican party, which is rushing to endorse this guy, is the minority party in the Commonwealth whose motto is "Virtue, Liberty, and Independence"?

Incidentally, Tom Corbett's website has nearly everything you would think would be there including opportunities to endorse him, solicitations for donations to his campaign, press releases, and even a blog. However, there is no statement of his principles nor a program for governing Pennsylvania. Guess that's just a little oversight.

Jan 19, 2010

Scott Brown Wins!!! Scott Brown Wins!!! Massachusetts Voters Say No To Obama Agenda

Oh My God!!! The Associated Press just projected Scott Brown as the winner of the Massachusetts special Senatorial election for the seat held by Ted Kennedy for over 30 years.

Perhaps the worst political blunder in history, today's election results will send shock waves throughout country.

The Tea Baggers of Massachusetts managed to start yet another historic revolution by turning their backs on a big government, establishment liberal candidate like Martha Coakley.

It doesn't look pretty folks for the Democrats. The Brown potential victory has turned into the second Boston Massacre. I'm surprised Obama doesn't send warships into Boston harbor to squelch the revolt.

In the end the energy and excitement for Scott Brown the Republican candidate was just too much to overcome. Martha Coakley may have been a bad candidate but Brown nationalized the election. He made the race a referendum on health care. It was a winner for Brown and a loser for the Democratic Party.

It will be interesting to see how the Democratic Party elites and pundits spin this one.

Full AP Article: GOP's Brown wins Mass. Senate seat in epic upset
(Contra Costa Times)

Black Robed Bad Boys

Legislature doesn't have a corner on corruption

Guest Column By Lowman S. Henry

As a result of the Bonusgate and capitol corruption scandals a harsh spotlight has been shone on the criminal misdeeds and alleged criminal actions of formerly powerful members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly and their staffs. Less noticed, but equally troubling, is a growing list of illegal, unethical and unbecoming actions by members of the commonwealth's judicial branch.

Unlike the executive and legislative branches, the judicial branch of government operates largely out of sight only invading the public consciousness in times of sensational trials or when corruption is uncovered. Even when corruption is alleged, it is handled behind closed doors and more often than not simply swept under the rug because public attention is focused elsewhere.

That may be about to change. A series of high profile judicial corruption scandals have pierced what Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie-Melvin called the "cloak of public trust" that many Americans place in the judicial system. During remarks following her installation earlier this month as a justice of the high court; Judge Orie-Melvin focused on corruption plaguing the judiciary saying Pennsylvanians are demanding, transparency, accountability and reform.

None of those are things the judicial system does well. The judiciary is covered more by a cloak of secrecy than by a cloak of public trust. The most glaring recent example involves a scheme by two Judges of the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas who accepted $2.6 million in kick-backs to sentence juveniles to unwarranted confinement in detention facilities. Complaints were made to the Judicial Conduct Board which was, to put it mildly, slow and unresponsive. Ultimately the media picked up on the issue and that lead to the resignation and conviction of the two wayward jurists.

In recent days Luzerne County's bench has again been in the headlines as Judge Michael Toole has been forced to resign for "honest services fraud," which is legalese for having an improper financial relationship to essentially receive kick-backs for legal referrals. He has also been charged with income tax evasion. It is also apparently hazardous to be married to a judge. The former president judge of Perry and Juniata counties, Judge Joseph Rehkamp was arrested several days ago and charged with assaulting his wife. Ironically, Judge Rehkamp now lives in Luzerne County.

Unfortunately, the wave of judicial misconduct crashing across Penn's Woods is not limited to the Common Pleas level. There is also the matter of Judge Michael Joyce who served on the statewide Superior Court. Judge Joyce, of Erie County, is serving time in prison after having been convicted on federal insurance fraud charges.

The statewide judiciary also suffered a black eye during the infamous pay raise uproar several years ago. The legislature bore the brunt of public anger for having raised its own salaries, but it was behind-the-scenes lobbying by certain members of the appellate courts that brought the issue to the table in the first place. There has since been allegations that judicial involvement in the pay raise process was excessive and untoward, but by and large the black robes escaped any serious consequences as a result of their actions.

During last year's campaign for a seat on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, both the Democratic nominee Jack Panella and the winning Republican nominee Joan Orie-Melvin made corruption an issue. It was obviously not a winning issue for Panella who was successfully attacked by the Orie-Melvin campaign for his role as a member of the Judicial Conduct Board which is widely viewed has having dropped the ball on the Luzerne County matter. Nevertheless, the fact candidates for both parties made judicial conduct a campaign issue speaks to the degree to which corruption in the courts has become a major problem.

It remains to be seen whether or not any serious reform will be forthcoming. Like their counterparts in the legislature there has been a lot of talk by judges and judicial candidates about reform, but little action. They could start by understanding the courts are a co-equal branch of government and thus properly subject to the same scrutiny as the other two branches. For way too long the judicial system has operated behind closed doors setting it above and apart from everyone else. And while the overwhelming majority of judges and justices are good, honorable and hard working jurists, there have been enough bad apples that the time has come for the judiciary to move into the 20th century by making itself more open, transparent, and accountable.

(Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal. His e-mail address is lhenry@lincolninstitute.org.)

Jan 18, 2010

Democratic Party Candidates For Pennsylvania Governor Are Sounding Like Republicans

John Micek of the Allentown Morning Call has a great article on how the state's economy will play a major role in this year's race for Governor. One thing that I couldn't help but notice after reading the article is just how much the Democratic Party candidates are starting to sound like Republicans. This is what Micek writes in the article:
Though they differ on the exact route, there's a common topography to the candidates' plans.

All agree that Pennsylvania has to shed its reputation as a tax-heavy state that's unwelcoming to business. They also agree that the state has to do more to keep businesses from leaving.
Whatever happened to health care for all, more government accountability and more government control? Well at least they are smart enough to realize that the national Democratic Party message isn't working.

Furthermore, can we really trust that they want to cut taxes and make our state more business friendly. I remember when Fast Eddy also promised the people of Pennsylvania the same thing in his 2002 campaign. Then we got a 15% income tax increase.

The Democratic Party's message is a joke. Now candidates like Allegheny County Executive, Dan Onorato, think they are going to jump on the economy issue after a year of Democratic Party big government spending and bailouts. I hope Pennsylvania voters don't fall for it again.

Oh by the way here is another proposal by Onorato to jump start our state economy according to Micek's article.
If he's elected to the state's top spot, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato wants to spend $25 million to turn Pennsylvania's colleges and universities into incubators for research and development for private industry.
Just what the average joe worker needs here in Pennsylvania. More tax money going to academic elites and institutions so they can train and educate students who are going to leave our state. It's a joke folks and this is the year to call out candidates like Onorato.

Full Article: Economy, jobs keys in race for governor. Five Democrats vying to succeed Rendell agree the state must be more business-friendly

Jan 15, 2010

Peg Luksik: The Best Candidate Running for the U.S. Senate!

Peg Luksik showed why she is the best candidate running for the U.S. Senate when she gave an impressive speech before the Blair County Republican Women and guests Thursday, January 14th at the Duncansville Hoss's.

She is running a campaign in the Republican primary against Pat Toomey. It is clear why Peg far exceeds the low expectations of her critics when you hear her speak. She is a dynamic speaker, very knowledgeable about the current issues at hand. Peg speaks with a clear and passionate social and fiscal conservative viewpoint that is extremely refreshing particularly because she speaks with a candor that is not very common among politicians these days.

Peg is prolife and "believes in the sanctity of every human life from conception until natural death" (source:www.pegluksik.com/issues). She also "opposes any health care "reform" that results in rationed care for seniors, the disabled and any other group of citizens" (Source:www.pegluksik.com/issues). For more info about Peg Luksik and her views please check her website at http://www.pegluksik.com/.

When you vote in this primary, don't count Peg Luksik out just because people think she can't win. Peg has an uncanny way of proving the critics and pundits wrong by making impressive showings just as she did when in the 1990 governor's race she won 46% of the vote in the Republican Primary spending $45,000 on her campaign. Peg can win this primary and also the general election if everybody votes for who is the best candidate and not the one predicted to be the winner.

Jan 14, 2010

Conservatives Supporting State Representive Sam Rohrer Over Frontrunner Attorney General Tom Corbett In Primary Race

It seems like the Republican State Committee has already decided which candidate they want to run for Governor. Last week US Rep. Jim Gerlach announced that he was no longer running do to a lack of support from committee members.

Also last week various news sources reported that both the State Committee's Central and the Southeast Caucus's straw poll results overwhelmingly favored Corbett over Rohrer.

Now we all know just how much members of the state committee hate heated primary battles. That is why they spend so much time holding fraternity like, internal mini elections to determine which candidate will get the party's endorsement.

As a conservative, I am glad that State Representative Sam Rohrer is sticking it to the party establishment. Rohrer is fired up and is in this primary race for the long hall. He is an outstanding candidate and has a great campaign team. Rohrer has demonstrated throughout his years of service in the state House that he is a principled conservative. Add to this Rohrer's crusade to eliminate school property taxes and you have a candidate that many conservatives are taking a good look at around the state.

Just recently at a Blair County Republican Women Meeting State Senator, John Eichelberger discussed how important this upcoming Governor's race is to the future of Pennsylvania. During the meeting Eichelberger said a lot of favorable things about Rohrer. Eichelberger also raised a lot of questions about Corbett's record. Eichelberger did not endorse Rohrer yet. But today Rohrer's campaign announced that Eichelberger will be hosting a town hall meeting with Rohrer on Janruary 23rd in Altoona. Click here for more information on the event.

I've said before that I am going to support Rohrer. I just like him as a person. He is a great family man. He loves this state. He is passionate about the things he believes in. He seems grounded by his conservative principles.

I truly believe that Sam knows what it will take to turn things around in Harrisburg. People are tired of all the scandals and budget debacles. Rohrer will provide this state with sound, principled leadership. Something that the Rendell administration has never given us.

The last thing our state needs is another Harrisburg/GOP party establishment insider like Tom Corbett as Governor. Come to think about it what do we really know about Corbett's vision for Pennsylvania? When I think of Corbett I have more questions than answers. Pennsylvanians know Sam Rohrer and they know he will fight for our values.

How to restore faith in Pa. government


It's pretty grim. The successive crises of the past several years have produced the greatest erosion of public confidence in the Pennsylvania legislature in modern history. The low confidence levels have been repeatedly demonstrated in recent polls. Last month's Quinnipiac University Poll reported only one in four voters approve of the job the state legislature is doing.

There isn't much mystery why confidence is so low. Three political debacles spread over a span of four years are to blame. The first was the now infamous 16 percent to 54 percent legislative pay increase in 2005. Though later repealed, it enraged the electorate and resulted in the largest turnover of state legislators in a quarter century.

The second occurred in July 2008 when the first in a series of charges against 25 lawmakers and staffers were announced in what has now become known as "bonus gate." Additional charges are likely to be lodged against others, keeping the issue squarely before the public.

The third was the shamelessly late adoption of the current state fiscal budget — a budget not finalized until some six months into the new fiscal year. Before it was over Pennsylvania would become the last state in the union to adopt a budget. In the process, state employees, state-funded programs, and thousands of state citizens were reduced to little more than political bargaining chips in the high-stakes poker game played by state elected officials.

These political outrages would have shaken confidence in any state legislature, but taken together they have precipitated a crisis of confidence not seen before by any living Pennsylvanian. Whether the legislature can recover remains to be seen. Yet there are some immediate steps that can be taken to begin the process of restoring public confidence. Here are four of them:

1. Time to Stop the Bleeding — British Field Marshall Bill Slim once made the wry observation, "Nothing is so good for the morale of the troops as occasionally to see a dead general." Even the Field Marshall, however, might agree that too much of a good thing is no longer a good thing. Indeed the state legislature has now mustered more than enough dead generals. The list of fallen leaders — either defeated at the ballot box or criminally charged — defies almost any historical precedent: two former house speakers, a house majority whip, a senate president pro tempore, a senate majority leader, and a senate appropriations chair. Certainly some of this bloodletting was necessary. But it has left a dangerous power vacuum in the capital where sometimes no one seems in charge and no one is accountable. It is time for strong, focused, and responsible leadership to step up to the plate, to bring together the divergent forces now fracturing policy consensus, and to restore the badly shaken public confidence in state leaders.

2. The Budget: Time to Get It Right — The constitutionally mandated June 30 deadline has been ignored by both the governor and the legislature for seven straight years, blatantly violating the constitution each time. Equally horrendous has been the practice of treating budget adoption as a political chessboard, producing endless policy gridlock, ideological infighting, and political posturing. To restore confidence, budget reform is critical as Pennsylvania enters another budget season with yet another looming deficit. And reform must be accompanied by appropriate penalties for failure to adopt a timely, balanced budget.

3. Open Up Ethics Reform — The Pennsylvania Legislature may not be the most unethical in the country, but it is one of the most secretive and least welcoming to public participation. One major improvement would be to adjudicate ethics complaints by including representatives of the public in those proceedings. A related ethics issue is gifts to public officials. Gifts must be reported, but there is no limit on the type of gift or the value of the gift. Why not place a limit or even an outright ban or major limits on gifts to legislators and their staffs?

4. Take First Steps to Constitutional Reform — Finally and probably most important, Pennsylvania in 2010 is running a 21st century government with 19th century processes and structures. There is really only one way to fix things. Pennsylvania needs a constitutional convention. The last one took place in the late 19th century, although a limited convention was held in 1968. Planning and holding a convention is a massive undertaking that will take years to carry out, but the legislature can get it started in 2010 by passing enabling legislation that places the question of a convention before the voters in 2011. Probably nothing would go further toward truly restoring confidence in state government than a clear indication of support for constitutional reform from the legislature.

One or even all of these actions together will not restore citizens' confidence in their legislature overnight. The damage is deep and widespread. But they do comprise a good start toward persuading Pennsylvanians that the worst may be over.

Dr. G. Terry Madonna is Professor of Public Affairs at Franklin & Marshall College, and Dr. Michael Young is Managing Partner of Michael Young Strategic Research.

Real Hope and Change Coming in 2010

Pollster Scott Rasmussen asks Americans each month to give their opinion on whether the United States is headed in the right direction or the wrong track. His polls were widely reported by the mainstream news media during George W. Bush's last year in office, but the right direction/wrong track numbers get little coverage now that the media's hand-picked candidate occupies the White House.

Nearly 80 percent of Americans told Rasmussen just before the November 2008 election that the country was on the wrong track. That explains why Barack Obama was elected president and Democrats picked up seats in Congress.

Bush has been out of office for 11 months as promises of "hope" and "change" swept the land, but most Americans now believe Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats are taking the country in the wrong direction.

A majority of voters — 62 percent — believe the nation is heading down the wrong track, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

Just 32 percent of U.S. voters say the country is heading in the right direction. That's a small gain after two months of decline that culminated in a finding of 29 percent, the lowest number Rasmussen reported since February 2009.

The percentage of voters who feel the country is heading in the right direction remained in the range of 31 percent to 35 percent from July to early November. From late November until the end of 2009, confidence in the country's current course steadily declined, Rasmussen says.

It's no surprise that Democrats suffered embarassing defeats in the New Jersey and Virginia governor races last November. Obama campaigned heavily for the Democrats in both states, but Republicans won decisive victories in what many saw as an early referendum on Obama's agenda of record deficit spending, higher taxes and a government takeover of health care.

Only the most partisan of Democrats can feel good about the midterm Congressional elections. Most pollsters and pundits predict heavy losses for Democrats in both the House and Senate.

You not only have the normal disappointment with a presidential administration, but the Democrats' heavy-handed tactics in ramming through the unpopular health care reform bills will cost Democrats seats in Congress.

There have already been two attacks on U.S. soil by Islamic terrorists during Obama's first year in office — the shootings at Fort Hood in early November and the attempted downing of a Detroit-bound passenger airliner on Christmas Day.

Concerns that Obama is soft on terrorism are starting to resonate with many Americans, even ones who voted for Obama.

With Obama's job approval numbers below 50 percent and poll numbers for Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid consistently below 30 percent, it's no longer a question of whether Democrats will lose seats, it's now a matter of whether Democrats will lose control of Congress.

Most political observers predict Republican gains of 20 to 30 seats in the House, where Democrats have a 262-178 majority and a handful of seats in the Senate, where Democrats have a 60-40 majority.

Some pundits are predicting a historic comeback for the Republican Party. The astute Dick Morris, who helped Bill Clinton win two terms as president, believes Republicans will take back the majority in both the House and Senate.

While publicly downplaying potential losses in Congress, the Obama administration has seen the writing on the wall. Pushing a far-left agenda and breaking numerous campaign promises has alienated independent voters and some Democrats. That's why Obama's job approval numbers have declined rapidly since he took office. Obama's personal popularity remains high, but most Americans do not support his radical policies.

The reason Obama is rushing legislation through Congress and making back-room deals that will cost taxpayers billions of dollars is because he knows his time is running out.

The health care reform bills, negotiated in secret without any Republican input, barely passed the House and only won Senate approval after key Senators were bribed by Majority Leader Reid at the prompting of the Obama White House.

And don't forget that the defection of Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter to the Democratic Party is the only reason health care passed in the Senate. Specter is probably in his last year in the Senate, facing a tough primary challenger (Democratic Rep. Joe Sestak) in May and an even tougher Republican opponent (former Congressman Pat Toomey) in November.

Without the 60-vote majority in the Senate, Democrats are done and Obama will end up a lame duck in his last two years in office.

Tony Phyrillas is an award-winning political columnist and blogger for The Mercury, a daily newspaper in Pottstown, Pa.

Jan 13, 2010

Even Democrats Are Now Admitting That They Are Going To Lose In 2010

Republicans everywhere got to love this one. Representative, Dan Boren, (D Oklahoma) states in the Tulsa World that he thinks the Democrats are going to have a difficult time in November. He thinks that Democrats could lose both chambers of Congress.

Describing a Republican takeover of the House as a "tall order'' for the GOP, Boren said his party, even if it retains the majority in a new Congress that convenes in 2011, will be forced back toward the center politically.

He pointed to new figures on job losses and described his party's legislative agenda last year as one of missed opportunities on the economic front. "I think the House Democratic leadership along with the administration made a very large mistake by focusing on a lot of different pieces of legislation that would not do a lot to help the economy,'' Boren said. (Source: Tulsa World)

Democrats would be wise to start listening to their more conservative members and stop their liberal agenda. Maybe they can save the sinking ship if they stopped the Health Care Reform Bill. Boren sums up the Democratic Party's record for this Congress. "Full Of Missed Opportunities"!

'Take This Job And Shove It': State House Speaker McCall Resigns

I have to say I had an OMG moment yesterday when I hurd that Pennsylvania House Speaker Keith McCall (D-Carbon County) resigned yesterday. I am sure it came as a surprise to everyone. McCall calls it quits after 28 years of service. In a statement McCall said that his decision will allow him to spend more time with his family.

"As much as I care for the institution of the House, I love my family, and it’s long overdue that I put them first. After 2010 is over I know I will miss the House and the wonderful members and staff with whom I’ve been blessed to serve, but, I know in my heart that I am doing the right thing for myself and my family." (Source: AP PennLive.Com)

McCall's tenure as Speaker has been filled with controversy to say the least. The 'Bonusgate' investigation has plagued the House Democratic Caucus making it very difficult to get much of anything done legislatively speaking. Just look at last's years budget and how the House has struggled to pass table games legislation.

McCall plans to remain Speaker while he serves out the remainder of his term which ends on December 31st of this year. I have to give credit to McCall for saying enough is enough. This is not the same good ol' boys club anymore is it Mr. McCall.

Articles: Pennsylvania House Speaker Keith McCall plans to retire at end of this term (PennLive.com)

Pa. House Speaker Keith McCall won't run again (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Constituents shocked by McCall's announcement (Morning Call)

Jan 11, 2010

Casey Backs Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid After Racial Comments

Brab Bumsted from the Tribune-Review gives us Senator Casey's take on the now infamous Harry Reid racial analysis of the historic campaign of Barack Obama. According to reports, Reid basically said in a book interview that the Obama presidential campaign was successful because of Obama's "light-skinned" appearance and Obama's eloquent speaking patterns "with no Negro dialect". Here is the situation and the exact quote as reported by CNN.

Journalists Mark Halperin and John Heilemann reported the remarks in their new book “Game Change,” which was purchased by CNN Saturday at a Washington-area bookstore. The book is slated for official release next Tuesday.

“He (Reid) was wowed by Obama's oratorical gifts and believed that the country was ready to embrace a black presidential candidate, especially one such as Obama - a ‘light-skinned’ African American ‘with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one,’ as he said privately. Reid was convinced, in fact, that Obama's race would help him more than hurt him in a bid for the Democratic nomination," they write. (Source: CNN)

Reid is a total idiot. But I guess we can't expect Casey to say that. Casey does feels that Reid's racial comments were taken out of context and that he should not resign his post as Senate Majority Leader. He also feels that Reid's comments are very different that the comments that led to the resignation of then Senate Majority Leader, Trent Lott, in 2002.

Full Article: Sen. Casey: Reid shouldn't lose his job over racial comments (Tribune-Review)

Jan 10, 2010

Gerlach's Decision More About The GOP Party Establishment Than Money

I wasn't too surprised when I read the news that US Rep, Jim Gerlach, R 6th District announced that he was no longer running for Governor in 2010. Come to think of it, was Gerlach ever really running for Governor in the first place? For someone who announced their candidacy relatively early, we never seen much of Gerlach out campaigning or even trying to make an effort to increase those low name recognition numbers.

I don't think that Gerlach ever really had the support of the GOP party establishment. These are the same party insiders who have been drooling all over State Attorney General, Tom Corbett, for two years now. Plus the State Committee doesn't like open debate in a primary election. So they choose to decide the nomination behind closed doors in meetings like the one that occurred over the weekend.

Republican State Committee members from Central Pennsylvania met behind closed doors at a Harrisburg hotel Saturday and took a straw vote that was overwhelmingly in Corbett's favor. Party spokesman Mike Barley said Corbett won 88 votes and his only competitor, state Rep. Sam Rohrer of Berks County, won 16.

I think Gerlach waited it out until right before Central Pennsylvania members of the State Committee met this passed weekend. The party establishment probably told Gerlach that he wasn't even close and it was Corbett's nomination.

Party big wigs probably took Gerlach aside and told him to "focus on the fights he can win." Once Gerlach got his marching orders he decided to stop his candidacy for Governor and then announce his re-election bid for the 6th Congressional District.

Like I said, Gerlach's decision was more about party politics than it was the money issue which he cited as the reason he dropped out.

For me personally, I am not sold on Tom Corbett. But member of the State Committee have a lot of faith in him. Sounds like what happened two years ago when they supported Lynn Swann. What a colossal failure that was.

I for one am going to take a hard look at State Representative, Sam Rohrer's candidacy. He is a great guy. If you ever seen him on TV you know right away that he is very passionate about Pennsylvania. I like his values and his solutions regarding property taxes and getting the economy of this state out of the backroom deal era of Rendell.

Also: Gerlach's decisions renew GOP hopes for Pa. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Backroom Deals Cast A Dark Shadow Over Democrat Health Care Reform Efforts

Like many Americans I have grown tired of all the Health Care Reform talk in Washington D.C. these days. I just feel like the debate has been reduced to the background noise on a TV or radio. Yes, I am already preparing for the passage of some kind of reform. I know that my own health care premium will go up and that my income taxes will increase soon after.

This entire Congressional debate over Health Care Reform simply shows the American people how out of touch the Democratic Leadership in Washington D.C. really is. While we are worrying about whether or not we have a job and how to pay the next bill, they are focusing on how to gain more control over our lives by taking over the Health Care industry in this country.

Although I think there is nothing we can do at this point to stop things, I have to say that the following backroom deals giving handouts to states whose Democratic Senators were hesitant to vote for the the Reid bill really must piss people off.

The Following Are The Deals Given Out By The Democratic Leadership in the Senate:

Sen. Nelson wasn't the only senator to be bought off by Majority Leader Reid. More than a dozen other states received special goodies, including:

* Louisiana-$300 million in additional Medicaid funding

* Vermont-2.2% FMAP increase for 6 years for Vermont Medicaid program
-$600 million in additional Medicaid funding (CBO)

* Massachusetts-0.5% FMAP increase for 3 years for their entire program
-$500 million in additional Medicaid funding (CBO)

* Hawaii-Restores DSH funding eliminated in the past to expand Medicaid eligibility

* Michigan-Adjusts payments to hospitals according to local wage levels, which when adjusted aids Michigan Exemption for non-profit insurers in the state from large excise tax

* Connecticut-$100 million earmark for construction of a University of Connecticut hospital

* Montana-Medicare coverage for individuals exposed to environmental health hazards in or around the geographic area of Libby, Mont., subject to an emergency declaration as of 6/17/09

* South Dakota , North Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana
Adds 1% hospital wage index
Adds 1% practice index for physicians to cover geographic cost differences

All of this backroom dealing has shifted a greater % of the tax burden to people from other states. This is just shameful in my mind. We can no longer put up with this anymore. I say vote them all out in 2010. Just walk in the booth and pull the anti-incumbent lever.

Second Fiddle: It does matter who is Pennsylvania's next lieutenant governor

Guest Column By Lowman S. Henry

Dramatic developments in races for the United States Senate and Pennsylvania Governor have dominated coverage of the 2010 elections in Penn's Woods. But, a third statewide office will be on the ballot this year and it has drawn an unusually large field of contenders.

The job is that of Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor. And it is apparently a plum assignment. The lieutenant governor is paid $161,000 per year and full state benefits. He or she gets a mansion with a pool at Ft. Indiantown Gap in Lebanon County, full state police protection, an ornate office in the center of the capitol and all the trappings of a top statewide official.

In exchange the lieutenant governor does, well, actually very little. The state constitution (a seldom read document) provides that the lieutenant governor serves as president of the state senate. That basically means standing at the podium and looking good while senators go about the real business of governing.

Aside from that, the lieutenant governor basically sits around and waits for the governor to die, to become incapacitated, or to leave office prematurely. That has actually happened quite a bit in recent years. Lieutenant Governor Mark Singel became acting governor when then Governor Robert P. Casey, Sr. had a multiple organ transplant. Then, in 2001, when Governor Tom Ridge was summoned to Washington to help secure the homeland, Lt. Governor Mark Schweiker became governor.

For his part, Schweiker actually made something of the lieutenant governor's office. He was delegated the responsibility of overseeing emergency preparedness and became the official face of state government often wearing plaid shirts during major snowstorms. His successor, the late Catherine Baker Knoll, did not look good in plaid, so she discontinued the practice.

The current lieutenant governor, State Senator Joseph Scarnati, is something of an anomaly. He is the President Pro Tempore, the guy who actually presides over the state senate when the lieutenant governor is otherwise occupied. When Mrs. Knoll, a Democrat, passed away Senator Scarnati, a Republican ascended to the office.

Having a governor and a lieutenant governor of differing political parties is virtually unheard of in Pennsylvania. That is because while nominees for the two offices are selected separately in the primary, voters cast but one vote in the general election for governor and the lieutenant governor comes along as sort of a package deal. Thus, it is not possible for a governor and lieutenant governor of differing parties to be elected.

That state of normalcy will be restored this year when voters elect a new governor. But, before that happens voters of each party will get to determine in the May primary who will be their candidates for lieutenant governor. For Republicans the field is large and diverse, but few contenders have emerged on the Democratic side.

Depending on the day, there are over a dozen Republicans seeking the GOP nod for lieutenant governor. Campaigning with various degrees of seriousness are several state representatives, a couple of county commissioners and a former county executive, businessmen, reform activists, a city councilman, and even a minister.

At this point the Republican nomination appears to be wide open. Typically, the party's endorsed candidate for governor picks a running mate. But sheer numbers make that hazardous this year as one happy camper would be overwhelmed by disappointed also-rans. The number of candidates virtually ensures a contested primary, so a pick from the top could ultimately be rejected by voters.

Meanwhile, far fewer Democrats have shown an interest in the office. Perhaps that is because the race for governor on the Democratic side of the ledger is less settled than it is for Republicans. The only serious candidate to emerge to date is former Philadelphia Controller Jonathan Saidel. Several others have floated trial balloons, but at this point the nomination appears Saidel's to lose.

A flood of Republican candidates and a dearth of Democratic candidates only tend to make an obscure race even more so. Republican voters will have difficulty sorting through the field, while there is little interest on the Democratic side. With more fireworks expected in hotly contested U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races, the party nomination battles for lieutenant governor will be largely overlooked.

But they shouldn't be. While the office in and of itself has no power and virtually no influence, lieutenant governors have been called upon to step into the top spot. And when they are, the circumstances are almost always bad. And the only real chance for voters to weigh in comes during the primary process. So, while it may be second fiddle, it is important to pay attention to who is standing next to Pennsylvania's new governor on inauguration day.

Lowman S. Henry is chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the Lincoln Radio Journal. His e-mail address is lhenry@lincolninstitute.org

Jan 7, 2010

Guilty Pleas In Harrisburg 'Bonusgate' Probe

Just what we thought. We have a bunch of crooks running Harrisburg. Yesterday seven former House staffers pleaded guilty to corruption charges in Attorney General Corbett's ongoing "bonusgate" probe. This means seven of the original 12 original House Democratic Caucus staff members that were charged in the probe have admitted that they were guilty of using taxpayer dollars to fund political campaigns.

"All seven are former legislative staffers, including Michael Manzo (above), the former chief-of-staff to former House Democratic Leader William DeWeese, who was also charged in the probe last month (see related story).

Manzo’s attorney is Jim Eisenhower:

“He’s accepted responsibility for the bad decisions and the actions that he’s taken in this case, and he’s made every attempt to turn his life around.” (KYW Radio)"

You got to love that their boss Representative Bill DeWeese, then Minority Leader of the House Democratic Caucus, still claims he is innocent and he knew nothing about using taxpayer paid staff for campaign purposes. I am still waiting for that memo from Santa. "Here is your bonus and don't tell anyone you got a bonus". DeWeese is an idiot and I hope the voters in his district send him packing this fall.

Also: Guilty pleas in 'bonusgate' crystalize need for major reform (The Daily Review)