Monday, May 31, 2010

'I don't want a mosque on the grave of my son'



How quickly we forget. A mother of a 9/11 survivor puts it in perspective: "I don't want a mosque on the grave of my son"

Originally posted at
TONY PHYRILLAS

Joe Pitts: A Memorial Day Reminder

A Memorial Day Reminder

By Congressman Joe Pitts

In the past year, there have been stark reminders of why our Armed Forces are engaged in foreign battles and why many have sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

The Christmas Day bomber nearly killed hundreds in the sky over Detroit. Just a few weeks ago, a terrorist trained in Pakistan tried to detonate a car bomb in Times Square. These attempts make it clear that terrorists are still plotting to use civilians around in the world and in the U.S. as targets. They hate free societies, and especially our own, the most free and prosperous nation in the world.

Indeed, today's battlefield is even being fought on American shores. Sadly, in the past year, we lost 13 of our fighting men and women and one unborn baby in an attack by a deranged Army officer who had embraced a radical Islamic ideology.

Those who lost their lives had come together from across the country to serve in our Armed Forces and for the cause of liberty. Their hometowns ranged from Spokane to Pittsburgh and they were both officers and enlisted personnel. Some were on their way to the battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan, and others had just returned from overseas.

Unfortunately, Major Nidal Hasan chose to make Fort Hood, Texas, a battlefield. His attack was cowardly as none of his victims were armed. Despite having no weapon to defend himself, Capt. John Gaffaney charged Hasan during the shooting spree but was mortally wounded. All 13 American soldiers died as heroes, even though they certainly did not expect to fight within their own home base.

The terrorist attacks and attempts here at home reinforce the need for our military to root out our enemies overseas. It reminds us why our soldiers are fighting al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world.
From their bases in Afghanistan, with the full support of the Taliban government, al Qaeda was able to plan and execute the attacks on September 11, 2001. These attacks are not ancient history, but we must not forget what a dedicated terrorist organization can do when they have safe haven and the tacit support of a government.

In the coming weeks, our troops will undertake a campaign to root out the Taliban from Kandahar, the site of the Taliban's first successful military campaign in 1994. As their virtual capital, Kandahar serves as a major stronghold for the Taliban. This is expected to be the most difficult phase of the new strategy in Afghanistan.

Some question the need for our fight in Afghanistan and, instead, call for negotiation with the Taliban. I believe it is dangerous for us to consider withdrawal or compromise as long as the Taliban embrace international terrorism.

Our success during the surge in Iraq went hand-in-hand with the Anbar Awakening, a movement in which domestic Iraqi groups chose to disassociate from al Qaeda in Iraq. Only after their rejection of terrorism, were we able to work with the Anbar groups to work toward a more peaceful society.

I visited Afghanistan shortly after U.S. forces initially secured the country in 2002. I met with women and children who were brutally oppressed by the Taliban. I witnessed girls eagerly attending school for the first time, delighted by the opportunity to learn and flourish in a freer society. It is my firm belief that we should not abandon the people of Afghanistan to the terrorists who brutalized the country for many years.

The Taliban hope that our resistance to their rule will crumble, but I know that we have dedicated men and women who will stay until we have achieved security for the people of Afghanistan and for our families here at home. They have strong examples of American troops gone before them who fought against persistent and stubborn enemies and returned home victorious.

This Memorial Day we remember those who gave their lives so that we can enjoy freedom. We also think about those who are in harm’s way and pray for their safety and for their families here at home. For those families who lost loved ones the war never ends. We will enjoy that freedom with barbeques and swimming pools, but we must also take the time to honor those who have given the full measure so that we can enjoy the fruits of liberty.

U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts is a Republican who represents Pennsylvania’s 16th Congressional District in parts of Berks, Chester and Lancaster counties.

Originally posted at
TONY PHYRILLAS

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Newspaper: Corbett needs a 'thicker hide'

For the first and possibly only time in my life, I find myself agreeing with an editorial in ultra-liberal Philadelphia Inquirer.

Commenting on the recent move by the Republican candidate for Pennsylvania governor, the newspapers says, "Attorney General Tom Corbett needs to develop a thicker hide if he wants to be governor."

Couldn't agree more.

Corbett gave his Democratic opponent, Dan Onorato, ready-made ammunition for a negative campaign ad with his bonehead move to go after critics. Whoever is advising Corbett's campaign should be jettisoned immediately. This is Corbett's race to lose, and so far, he's fallen flat on his face.

From the editorial:
Corbett, the GOP nominee, used a grand jury subpoena in an attempt to learn the identities of two anonymous bloggers who have been among his harshest critics on the Internet. This stunt smacks of an abuse of a prosecutor's powers for political gain.

"We know people like Brett Cott are on the blogs all day, making stuff up," Corbett told the Associated Press last year.

Whether they're making up stuff or not, even people facing criminal charges have a right to air their views, about everything from perceived injustice to the quality of last night's cheesesteak. Using the machinery of the criminal-justice system to unmask blogging shows that the attorney general has a thin skin and, worse, poor judgment.

After the judge gave Cott a longer sentence than Corbett had requested, the Attorney General's Office said it will no longer pursue the subpoena because the issue is "moot."

But the episode is still highly relevant for voters, who should consider how a Gov. Corbett would tolerate criticism, and whether he knows when to back off the levers of power.
Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

60,000 Visitors

My site counter has recorded 60,000 unique visitors to THE CENTRIST since the blog was launched. Thanks for visiting and come back again.

Perennial loser Joe Hoeffel staying home

After finishing a distant fourth in a four-man race for the Democratic nomination for Pennsylvania governor, Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel says he will never run for higher office again (that's the good news) but instead will now concentrate on re-election to his county post in 2011 (that's the bad news).

Under Hoeffel's "leadership," Montgomery County has been beset by a series of ethics scandals and financial woes.

Hoeffel is 0-3 in bids for higher office (U.S. Senate, PA lt. gov, and governor) in his last three statewide elections.

"I'm back as county commissioner, and I have no intention or desire of running statewide again," Hoeffel told reporter Keith Phucas. "I told my wife, I got it out of my system."

Montco voters can finally send Hoeffel packing for good next year.

Read about Hoeffel's re-election plans in the Norristown Times Herald.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Democratic 'Lost'



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Friday, May 28, 2010

Pennsylvania Governor Rendell Announces Confirmations

Pennsylvania Governor Rendell Announces Confirmations

Rep. Vereb to host Government Reform Forum

From the office of Montgomery County state Rep. Mike Vereb:
COLLEGEVILLE — Rep. Mike Vereb (R-Montgomery) encourages residents of the 150th Legislative District to attend his Government Reform Forum on Tuesday, June 1, at Ursinus College.

"When I was first elected to the House in 2006, it was on wave of voter outrage over the way things were being done in Harrisburg," Vereb said. "As a member of the Speaker’s Reform Commission last session, I worked hard to reform government operations and make state government more transparent. However, there is still much to be done. This forum will provide constituents with a chance to have an open dialogue with our panel to discuss what's next for the reform movement in Harrisburg and throughout the state. I encourage my constituents to come to the forum and let their ideas and opinions be heard."

A panel of local and county government officials, as well as news reporters who cover the different levels of government, will be on hand to give their view on what government reforms need to be enacted and to answer questions from the audience.

The evening's panelists include: Risa Vetri Ferman, Montgomery County district attorney; Jenny Brown, Lower Merion township commissioner; Stan Huskey, Norristown Times-Herald editor; Tony Phyrillas, Pottstown Mercury city editor; Alex Roarty, PoliticsPA correspondent; and Chris Freind, an independent columnist and investigative reporter based in Philadelphia.

This is an interactive event, with residents encouraged to submit questions for the panelists throughout the evening. Residents who are unable to attend are invited to submit questions for the panelists via Rep. Vereb's Web site, www.RepVereb.com

The event will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Guest should use the Ninth Avenue entrance to enter the Ursinus College campus. Signs will be displayed throughout the campus to direct residents to Kaleidoscope Hall.
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Pennsylvania Governor Rendell, Illinois Governor Quinn Make Friendly Wager on Stanley Cup Finals

Pennsylvania Governor Rendell, Illinois Governor Quinn Make Friendly Wager on Stanley Cup Finals

Governor Rendell Issues Memorial Day Flag Order

Governor Rendell Issues Memorial Day Flag Order

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Video: Explaining Cap-and-Trade



This is very effective video produced by David Larsen, a Republican running New Jersey's 7th Congressional District against incumbent Leonard Lance, a freshman RINO who supports the Democrats' cap-and-tax bill. The primary election is June 8.

For more about Larsen, visit his campaign Web site.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

PA Ag Secretary Offers Food Safety Tips for Memorial Day Weekend Celebrations

PA Ag Secretary Offers Food Safety Tips for Memorial Day Weekend Celebrations

Help Build Flight 93 Memorial

Passengers and Crew of United Flight 93 Changed the World - Help Build Their Memorial

When the foxes guard the hen house

Denial is not just a river that runs through Egypt. It's a way of life along the banks of the Susquehanna River, where a professional class of politicians continue to burn through $300 million dollars a year in tax money.

A 34-page report by a grand jury outlining massive public corruption within the Pennsylvania Legislature has been met with predictable response from the very same Legislature: Denial.

From a story in today's Philadelphia Inquirer:
Leaders there said the report does not reflect the legislature of today - one that has made a number of changes in its rules and operations to address some of the ills that grand jurors detailed in their scathing report released Monday.

The report said the General Assembly lives in a " 'time warp' of public corruption" and needs to cut staff, institute term limits, and go part-time, among many other changes. It was written by the grand jury impaneled two years ago by Attorney General Tom Corbett's office to investigate corruption, including the so-called Bonusgate scandal.

Brett Marcy, spokesman for House Majority Leader Todd Eachus (D., Luzerne), said of the jury's findings: "It seems to be based largely on perceptions of the past and incorrect assumptions about the legislative process, rather than an accurate reflection of today's legislative operations."

Steve Miskin, spokesman for House Minority Leader Sam Smith (R., Jefferson), said there was a keen awareness among most lawmakers that the public mistrusted government. He noted that the House GOP had pushed a package of bills aimed at making the legislative process more open and accountable. "This report is a time warp," said Miskin. "It was a picture of the legislature a few years ago."

That is, said Harrisburg-based activist Tim Potts, exactly the response he expected to hear.

Potts, cofounder of the group Democracy Rising Pennsylvania, said his and other advocacy groups have pushed for years to get the legislature to reform itself, shrink its ranks, and open up its finances to public inspection. He said that after the outcry over the pay raise that legislators approved for themselves in 2005, they made changes to their operations. But Potts, a former legislative aide, called those "window-dressing."
Read the full story at the newspaper's Web site.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

PennDOT Honors Star of Excellence Recipients

PennDOT Honors Star of Excellence Recipients

63% of Likely Voters Want ObamaCare Repealed

63% of Likely Voters Want ObamaCare Repealed; Revere America's National Petition Drive at www.revereamerica.org Gives Them a Powerful Way to Make Their Voices Heard

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Reading My Teleprompter



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

The Economic Mess in Pictures



If you're still have trouble understanding the enormous damage Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats have done to the U.S. economy, check out the illustrations posted at Jake Towne for Congress.

Towne is an independent candidate for Congress in Pennsylvania's 15th Congressional District.

Sestak finds himself between Barack and a hard place

Don't look now, but The New York Times, the official state newspaper of the Obama Regime, is writing about the Joe Sestak "job offer" scandal, in which the Admiral claims the Obama White House offered him a top administration job if he would leave Arlen Specter alone.

Sestak didn't bite and ended up driving Specter into political oblivion in the May 18 Pennsylvania Democratic primary, much to the dismay of Barack Obama, who endorsed Specter.

But there is still that offer of a job in return for a political favor, which apparently is illegal.

From Peter Baker in the NYT:
WASHINGTON — For three months, the White House has refused to say whether it offered a job to Representative Joe Sestak to induce him to drop his challenge to Senator Arlen Specter in a Pennsylvania Democratic primary, as Mr. Sestak has asserted.

But the White House wants everyone who suspects that something untoward, or even illegal, might have happened to rest easy: it still will not reveal what happened, but the White House says it has examined its own actions and decided that it did nothing wrong. Whatever it was that it did.

"Lawyers in the White House and others have looked into conversations that were had with Congressman Sestak," Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, said on Sunday on the "Face the Nation" program on CBS. "And nothing inappropriate happened."

"Improper or not, did you offer him a job in the administration?" asked the host, Bob Schieffer.

"I'm not going to get further into what the conversations were," Mr. Gibbs replied. "People that have looked into them assure me that they weren’t inappropriate in any way."

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the "trust us" response from the White House has not exactly put the matter to rest. Though Mr. Sestak stayed in the race, and defeated Mr. Specter in the primary last Tuesday, the questions have returned with intensity and remain unanswered. Mr. Gibbs deflected questions about the matter 13 times at a White House news briefing last Thursday, while Mr. Sestak reaffirmed his assertion without providing any specifics about what the offer was or who made it.

"I was offered a job," he said on Sunday on the "Meet the Press" program on NBC. Asked if the post was secretary of the Navy, as many people in Washington assume since Mr. Sestak is a retired admiral, the candidate refused to say. "Anything that goes beyond that is for others to talk about," he said.

Republicans have happily pounced on the situation to undercut Mr. Sestak. "Nearly 100 days after he told voters about the alleged bribe that he received from the Obama administration, Joe Sestak owes Pennsylvanians a full explanation about this potentially illegal activity," said Amber Marchand, spokeswoman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Read the full story, "For Sestak Matter, a 'Trust Us' Response From White House," at the newspaper's Web site.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

National Debt Clock Tops $13 Trillion



Another milestone set by the Obama Administration: The Outstanding Public Debt as of May 25, 2010, has topped $13 trillion for the first time, according to the U.S National Debt Clock.

The estimated population of the United States is 308,438,503 so each citizen's share of this debt is $42,156.59, according to the Web site.

The National Debt has continued to increase an average of $4.12 billion per day since September 28, 2007.

Under Obama, the annual federal budget deficit is more than $1 Trillion a year, so that $13 Trillion will just keep growing.

Heckavu job, Barack.

Keep track of the National Debt Clock here.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

GOP launches America Speaking Out



Visit the Web site at http://www.americaspeakingout.com/

PA Joins Foursquare Mobile Social Networking Community

PA Joins Foursquare Mobile Social Networking Community

Two in Five Americans Support the Tea Party, But Just One in Ten Consider Themselves Members

Two in Five Americans Support the Tea Party, But Just One in Ten Consider Themselves Members

Name That Party

Name That Party: Kwame Kilpatrick (Dem, Former Detroit Mayor) Gets Up to 5-Year Sentence (See Updates) | NewsBusters.org

The Real Winner$ in May 18 primary

Who really won in the May 18 Pennsylvania primary? More often than not, it was the candidate with the most money. And that's usually the incumbent.

Pennsylvania has some of the worst campaign finance laws in the country and most politicians - and the people who pull their strings - are OK with that.

From an editorial in The Philadelphia Inquirer:
The primary elections in Pennsylvania demonstrated again that widespread calls for change aren't having much impact in Harrisburg.

The failed gubernatorial campaign of Democrat Anthony Hardy Williams did serve one useful purpose - it highlighted the need for campaign-finance limits in Pennsylvania.

The state has no restrictions on the amount of money that individuals or political action committees can donate to a candidate for public office. It's a perennial embarrassment.
Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

Originally posted at
TONY PHYRILLAS

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mercury staffers win press awards



Staff members of The Mercury were among newspaper employees across Pennsylvania honored recently with awards at the Pennsylvania News Conference in Harrisburg.

Award recipients from The Mercury included (pictured above): Evan Brandt, Brandie Kessler, Nancy March, Tony Phyrillas, along with Carl Hessler Jr. and John Strickler.

Read more about the awards at the newspaper's Web site.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

New PA Highway, Bridge Report Card Confirms Unmet Needs

New PA Highway, Bridge Report Card Confirms Unmet Needs; Adds Urgency for Prompt Action by General Assembly

Governor Rendell: PA Tax Amnesty is Halfway Over

Governor Rendell: PA Tax Amnesty is Halfway Over; 25 Days Left for Tax Delinquents to Save on Penalties, Interest on Back Taxes Paid by June 18

Pennsylvania DCNR Awards $530,000 to North Coventry Township to Acquire Open Space in Chester County

Pennsylvania DCNR Awards $530,000 to North Coventry Township to Acquire Open Space in Chester County

PennDOT: New Vehicle Titling System Will Protect Consumers, Curb Fraud

PennDOT: New Vehicle Titling System Will Protect Consumers, Curb Fraud

Guess which party runs this city

The Reading Eagle, one of the most liberal newspapers in Pennsylvania, has a nice editorial in its Sunday edition about an $11.5 million budget fiasco in the City of Reading that will lead to massive property tax hikes for a city already bankrupt and facing a state takeover under Act 47.

But the newspaper never bothers to mention that the people in charge of the city's finances -- the mayor, all seven members of City Council and the city auditor -- are all elected Democrats.

The newspaper says mistakes were made but there's no reason to point fingers at the culprits. Excuse me? Nobody is to blame for an $11.5 million mistake?

What if Republicans were running the town? You'd better believe there would be plenty of blame to go around.

Another classic example of liberal media bias.

Read the editorial for yourself ... but just remember that every city official involved in the scandal is a Democrat.

Fix problem, not blame, on improper city borrowing (5/23/10)

Originally posted at
TONY PHYRILLAS

Montco D.A.: Action needed by Harrisburg to save lives

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman makes the case for passage of tougher teen driving laws in Pennsylvania.

Read her op-ed in Sunday's edition of The Pottstown Mercury

Robert Gibbs: White House Fool



The Los Angeles Times has a great piece on how Gibbs managed to avoid answering 13 questions in a row during a recent press briefing. Read it here.

Originally posted at
TONY PHYRILLAS

Friday, May 21, 2010

Specter Rides Obama's Coattails



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

The Future for Sam Rohrer

Berks County state Rep. Sam Rohrer managed to win 31 percent of the Republican vote for governor in Tuesday's Pennsylvania primary despite being outspent by his better-known opponent, eventual winner Tom Corbett, the current attorney general.

Rohrer said he couldn't overcome Corbett's financial advantage and the Republican Party establishment backing Corbett.

"I didn't announce until the end of November," Rohrer told Reading Eagle reporter Mary Young. "The money was already taken. Most of my support has come from getting directly to people at town meetings and coffees and being literally in eye-to-eye meetings.

"We just couldn't get the $500,000 or the $1 million extra. We couldn't get the resources at the end. We had to use what we had."

Rohrer beat Corbett in two counties that will play a major role in determining the next governor of Pennsylvania. Rohrer routed Corbett in Berks County by an 80%-20% margin. Rohrer beat Corbett in Lancaster County by a 52%-48% margin.

Because he did not seek re-election to his 128th House District seat, Rohrer will be looking for work come January 2011.

The Reading Eagle offers a hint about Rohrer's future plans at the link below:

Rohrer wants role in continuing movement that aided campaign

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Governor Rendell Orders Flags to Fly at Half-Staff in Honor of Former Revenue Secretary Vincent X. Yakowicz

Governor Rendell Orders Flags to Fly at Half-Staff in Honor of Former Revenue Secretary Vincent X. Yakowicz

Pennsylvania DEP Reminds Pool Owners to Handle Wastewater Safely

Pennsylvania DEP Reminds Pool Owners to Handle Wastewater Safely

Video: The Clear Choice is Pat Toomey



Republican Pat Toomey kicks off the race for U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania on a positive note, telling voters there's a clear difference between himself and Democratic opponent Joe Sestak on the issues - without taking any cheap shots at Sestak.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Columnist: Is purity really what we want?

Is purity really what we want? - mcall.com

Posted using ShareThis

Gerlach slams Trivedi for 'recycled attacks'

Manan Trivedi has never held political office and it's beginning to show. Trivedi, the surprise winner in Tuesday's Democratic primary, better get up to speed if he intends to give U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach a legitimate run for Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional District seat.

Gerlach is a seasoned pro when it comes to campaigning, having fought back tough Democratic opponents in all four of his Congressional runs.

Trivedi at least has to get his facts straight before criticizing Gerlach. Claiming Gerlach supported the Iraq War when Gerlach wasn't even in Congress when the vote was taken is an amateurish mistake.

Trivedi also needs to find out more about his opponent's voting record before recycling Democratic Party talking points that previous opponents attempted to use against the moderate Republican.

For example, linking Gerlach to George W. Bush was tried unsuccessfully by losing Democratic challengers Lois Murphy in 2004 and 2006 and Bob Roggio in 2008.

It's time for Trivedi to come up with some new material.

From the Jim Gerlach for Congress campaign:
Manan Trivedi, far-left liberal for Congress, yesterday ignored the clear facts while attacking Congressman Gerlach for voting to send U.S. troops into Iraq. The problem for Trivedi is that Jim had not even been elected to Congress on October 10, 2002 when the U.S. House of Representatives voted to authorize President Bush to use military force against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. While Jim was not in Congress when an overwhelming majority of Republicans and Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and then-Senator Joe Biden authorized sending troops into Iraq, Gerlach has been a strong supporter of our military to ensure they have the resources, funding and equipment to complete their mission.

"It's a new year, a new face, but the same old recycled attacks from a liberal Democrat so out of touch with the families, small business owners and seniors in our district that he has to resort to distorting the truth," said Gerlach Spokesman Mark Campbell. "It's pretty clear that Mr. Trivedi is following exactly the same failed script, with the same failed attacks that voters in our district have turned their backs on time and time again. The only thing new about Mr. Trivedi is the record-time it took him to ignore the facts."

Additionally, as Mr. Trivedi predictably dragged out the tired attack lines against George Bush, as well as comments made in today's Daily Local News stating the "Jim Gerlach votes with blinders on and in lockstep with the Republican Party," Trivedi ignores the fact that Jim has a long documented record of being one of the most independent Republicans in Washington. As an example, National Journal identified Jim as one of the "centrists" in the US House of Representatives (2/27/10).

"What we didn't hear from Mr. Trivedi was any push-back on the far-left policies he has publicly supported which our campaign outlined yesterday. That's because he is in full agreement with the misguided, big government agenda of the far-left and MoveOn. No wonder he wants to talk about George Bush - once voters understand the far-left policies he supports, his campaign will collapse before it even gets started," added Campbell. "Again, Trivedi's belief that the government didn't go far enough in taking over our health care system, his support of amnesty for illegal immigrants, and pledging never to be a part of the moderate Blue Dog Democrat coalition in Congress means this tax-and-spend liberal is way out-of-step with this district and unelectable in November."
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Thursday, May 20, 2010

PennDOT, State Police to Conduct Seat Belt Enforcement by Air, Land

PennDOT, State Police to Conduct Seat Belt Enforcement by Air, Land

Immigration Policy Center: Anti-Immigrant Group Recommends Economic Self-Destruction for Arizona

Immigration Policy Center: Anti-Immigrant Group Recommends Economic Self-Destruction for Arizona

The More You Know About Dan Onorato ...

Bishops Urge Congress to Support Bill to Remedy Abortion, Conscience Flaws in Health Care Reform Law

Bishops Urge Congress to Support Bill to Remedy Abortion, Conscience Flaws in Health Care Reform Law

Video: PA Pension Crisis



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Democracy Rising PA: The Power of Incumbency

Some interesting observations from Tim Potts of Democracy Rising Pennsylvania about the stranglehold incumbents have on Pennsylvania politics.
The Power of Incumbency

Yesterday's election demonstrated once again the effect of incumbency on the choices voters have in elections. All results are from the state's Bureau of Commissions, Elections & Legislation with 99% of the vote counted.

PA House:
There are 203 seats up for election this year, 20 open seats and 183 seats where incumbents are seeking re-election.

Percent of open seats with primary contests in at least one party: 90% (18 of 20)
Percent of incumbents with primary opponents: 10.9% (20 of 183)
Percent of incumbents re-elected: 99.5% (182 of 183)

PA Senate:
There are 25 seats up for election this year, three open seats and 22 seats where incumbents are seeking re-election.

Percent of open seats with contests in at least one party: 67% (2 of 3)
Percent of incumbents with primary opponents: 9% (2 of 22)
Percent of incumbents re-elected: 100% (2 of 2)

Apart from the famous defeat of Democratic U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, the only other incumbent to lose was Rep. Karen Beyer, R-Northampton, who was upset by Justin Simmons. Simmons, running on an integrity agenda, signed DR's petition for a referendum on a Constitution convention.

Incumbency suppresses competition and the debate of ideas that elections are supposed to be. That's by design. Incumbents decide how the system works, and they can't resist stacking the deck in their own favor.

They use the authority of their (really our) offices to raise intimidating amounts of campaign money. When the legislature is in session, the $500-per-person breakfast fundraiser is routine. And those are the cheap ones. It's the rare challenger from back home who can hope to compete. Under PA law, there is no limit to the size of campaign contributions and few restrictions on how that money can be used. Incumbents who term-limit themselves and have huge stashes of cash can perpetuate political monopolies by funding their successors' campaigns.

Gerrymandering, legal obstacles to third-party and independent candidates, a public platform provided by taxpayers, and legal obstacles to easy and secure voter participation all favor incumbents, deprive citizens of choices and weaken representative democracy.
For more about the work Democracy Rising Pennsylvania does to reform state government, visit the group's Web site, http://www.democracyrisingpa.com/

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

FRC Action: Elena Kagan's Pro-Abortion Record Is Far Outside the Mainstream

FRC Action: Elena Kagan's Pro-Abortion Record Is Far Outside the Mainstream

Pennsylvania Agriculture Department Warns Restaurants of Potential Scam

Pennsylvania Agriculture Department Warns Restaurants of Potential Scam

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mortgage delinquencies, foreclosures break records under Obama

Another sure sign the Obama Recession continues.

From Alan Zibel of The Associated Press:
The number of homeowners who missed at least one mortgage payment surged to a record in the first quarter of the year, a sign that the foreclosure crisis is far from over.

More than 10 percent of homeowners had missed at least one mortgage payment in the January-March period, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday. That number was up from 9.5 percent in the fourth quarter of last year and 9.1 percent a year earlier.

Those figures are adjusted for seasonal factors. For example, heating bills and holiday expenses tend to push up mortgage delinquencies near the end of the year. Many of those borrowers become current on their loans again by spring.
Read the full story here.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Rendell blames Specter loss on 'rain'



Ed Rendell actually blamed Arlen Specter's defeat in Tuesday's Democratic Primary on bad weather that kept Philadelphia voters from going to the polls.

From The New York Times:
"The rain killed Arlen," Mr. Rendell said dejectedly. "Whatever chance he had went down with the rain."
It's a shame Rendell isn't on the ballot this year. Voters would like to send a message to this clueless career politician.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Joe Sestak: True Blue Liberalism



The clear choice for Pennsylvania's next U.S. Senator is Pat Toomey. Find out more at Toomey's campaign Web site.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

The American Legion to Congress: Don't Repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

The American Legion to Congress: Don't Repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

Obama Losing Streak Continues

The Associated Press has called the Democratic Party primary in Pennsylvania for U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak over incumbent Sen. Arlen Specter.

This was the most watched race in the country on Tuesday as voters continued to punish incumbents for the many failures of Washington.

It also marks another humiliating defeat for President Obama, who endorsed Specter.

Obama-supported candidates in Virginia, New Jersey, Massachusetts and now Pennsylvania have been rejected by voters.

From the wire service:
U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter has been defeated in a Pennsylvania primary in his bid for a sixth term after taking the risky step of switching to the Democratic Party.

Voters Tuesday picked U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak as the party's nominee and rejected the 80-year-old Specter in his first Democratic campaign.

With 65 percent of precincts reporting, Sestak received 339,402 votes, nearly 53 percent. Specter received 304,179 votes, about 47 percent.

The vote also was a defeat for President Barack Obama, who supported Specter when he abandoned the Republican Party last year.

The moderate Specter cast his switch as a decision of principle after inflaming the GOP by voting for Obama's economic stimulus bill. But many Democratic voters questioned his motives.

Sestak faces Republican Pat Toomey in the fall election.
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Rand Paul tapped into 'anger'

Rand Paul tapped into 'anger' - Manu Raju - POLITICO.com

PennDOT News Readily Available Through Online Twitter Feed

PennDOT News Readily Available Through Online Twitter Feed

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Richard Viguerie: Kentucky Elections Results are a Vote of No Confidence in Senator McConnell

Richard Viguerie: Kentucky Elections Results are a Vote of No Confidence in Senator McConnell

PA GOP accuses Critz of illegally campaigning inside polling sites

The heated race to replace the late John Murtha continues to draw controversy even on Primary Election Day.

Pennsylvania Republican officials say that the Democratic candidate, former Murtha aide Mark Critz, broke state election laws by campaigning inside a polling location.

The Republican Party of Pennsylvania even submitted the photo of Critz inside a polling location in the 12th Congressional District.

From a PA GOP press release:
HARRISBURG – Republican Party of Pennsylvania Spokesman Mike Barley released the following statement regarding Democratic Congressional candidate Mark Critz campaigning inside polling places in Cambria County.

"I guess Mark Critz has picked up some pointers from President Barack Obama, namely Chicago-style politics," Barley said. "Reports have come in from voters who have seen Mark Critz showing up and campaigning inside a number of polling locations all over Cambria County."

"Get out of the polls Mark! Your presence breaks the law, intimidates voters and election workers and could influence the outcome of this election.

"If Mark Critz refuses to follow the law as a candidate, how can we trust him to represent the people of the 12th Congressional District in Pennsylvania? There is no room for these types of Chicago-style politics in southwestern Pennsylvania."

Democratic Congressional candidate Mark Critz was spotted campaigning inside a number of Westmont polling locations in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

According to the Pennsylvania Election Code, 25 P.S. Section 3060, campaigning inside the polling place is illegal.

(C) No person, when within the polling place, shall electioneer or solicit votes for any political party, political body or candidate, nor shall any written or printed matter be posted up within the said room, except as required by this act.
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

The L-Word



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Pennsylvania State Police: Operation SAFE Places 101 Trucks Out of Service

Pennsylvania State Police: Operation SAFE Places 101 Trucks Out of Service

Tough New Standards to Protect PA Waterways from Drilling Wastewater Take Major Step Forward

Tough New Standards to Protect PA Waterways from Drilling Wastewater Take Major Step Forward

Richard A. Viguerie Announces Formation of the Stalwarts Club

Richard A. Viguerie Announces Formation of the Stalwarts Club

PennDOT Reminds Drivers to Share Road with Motorcycles

PennDOT Reminds Drivers to Share Road with Motorcycles

Lowman Henry: Rendell has bankrupted PA

A guest column by Lowman S. Henry about the mess Gov. Ed Rendell has left behind after eight years of fiscal mismanagement.

Round II: A budget battle likely to be worse than last year

By Lowman S. Henry

Be prepared for another long, hot summer in Harrisburg as Gov. Ed Rendell and lawmakers fight over a new state budget amid a fiscal situation that has gone from bad to worse.

Rendell has made it clear that he isn't going to change his drive for spending every dollar he can before leaving office. Despite the growing gap between revenue projections and actual tax collections, the governor continues to press for higher spending. And, to get what he wants, he is willing to again use the divisive tactics that last year created a 101-day budget crisis.

Already having to deal with a structural $3 billion deficit that was papered over last year by raiding one-time funds and using federal stimulus money, the state's budget picture has darkened considerably in recent weeks. First, the courts ruled the state could not use $800 million in money from the MCare fund to help balance the current fiscal year's budget. On top of that problem, April's revenue collections were off pace putting the state more than $1 billion behind projections. So, the state essentially faces a $5 billion short-fall.

And, once again, the federal government has denied the commonwealth permission to place tolls on Interstate 80. That leaves the governor without funds he had budgeted to pay for road and bridge improvement. So, convening a special session of the General Assembly to deal with the highway funding crisis, Gov. Rendell placed before legislators a menu of tax hikes and fee increases from which they could choose. He did this knowing they aren’t likely to choose any.

And, as the red ink spreads, the governor continues to propose more spending. Declaring himself to be the "lobbyist" for the state's public school children, he proposed hefty increases in education spending. In a public rebuke, Senate Republicans sent letters to the superintendents of the state's 501 school districts telling them not to expect additional funding this year.

But if Rendell doesn't get his way, well, others will suffer. He is already warning of massive lay-offs. This in an effort to scare state employees into lobbying their legislators for higher taxes, and to instill fear that essential state services will be cut.

The fact is the state is going to have to trim its workforce. Since the recession began nearly two years ago the private sector has shed jobs and become more efficient. That is why unemployment remains stubbornly high while improved earnings have lead to a run up in the stock markets. The state is going to have to do the same thing — judiciously trim jobs to improve productivity.

Rather than seeing this as an opportunity make state government more efficient, Rendell is using the need to cut the workforce as a political club. He won’t cut the unproductive jobs; rather he will cut jobs where the elimination of positions will create the greatest public outcry. Then he can fan the outcry into support for higher taxes, which is his ultimate goal.

When former Gov. Dick Thornburgh took office the state faced difficult financial times. He cut over 15,000 jobs from the state government's employment rolls. Not only did the commonwealth continue to operate, but it did so more efficiently and got more done with fewer people.

The fact is the state budget cannot be brought into balance without eliminating jobs; and changing compensation packages to reflect trends in the private sector, such as co-pays or higher co-pays for health insurance coverage. Changes will also need to be made to the state pension system.

Rather than approach this in a business-like manner, the governor is once again holding all state employees hostage to the budget crisis with his blanket predictions of massive layoffs. It is a strategy that is designed to apply maximum political pressure, not address the problem.

And so, with the General Assembly unlikely to pass any broad-based tax hikes in a highly volatile election year, another budget stand-off appears inevitable.
But Rendell doesn’t care. He hasn't passed a budget on time during his seven years in office, failing in his core constitutional duty. So what is one more delayed budget if it can add to his legacy of overspending and massive debt? When Ed Rendell leaves office next January, Pennsylvania will essentially be bankrupt. Pity the guy who gets the job next.

Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal. His email address is lhenry@lincolninstitute.org

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Monday, May 17, 2010

New Poll: Majority in PA favor Arizona-style immigration law

This could be good news for state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, the arch-conservative from western Pennsylvania seeking the Republican Party nomination for Lt. Governor in Tuesday's Primary Election.

A new poll released by Scott Rasmussen says nearly 6 in 10 Pennsylvania voters support tougher immigration laws patterned after Arizona. Metcalfe has proposed enacting similar immigration legislation in Pennsylvania.

From Rasmussen Reports:
Fifty-eight percent (58%) of Likely Pennsylvania Voters favor a law like the one recently adopted in Arizona that authorizes local police to check the immigration status of individuals they stop, according to a recent Rasmussen Reports telephone survey. Thirty-two percent (32%) oppose such a law.

These numbers are roughly in line with the national average.

But 54% of Pennsylvania voters are at least somewhat concerned that a law like Arizona's, which critics view as racial profiling, will violate the civil rights of some U.S. citizens. Forty-three percent (43%) don't share that concern.

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters in Pennsylvania was conducted on May 6, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports.

In Pennsylvania, 68% of likely voters believe in a welcoming immigration policy that keeps out only “national security threats, criminals and those who would come here to live off our welfare system.” Just 20% disagree with a policy like this, while 12% are undecided.

Republicans support the tougher policy against illegal immigrants more than Democrats and voters not affiliated with either party.
Read more poll results at Rasmussen Reports.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Video: Elect Tim Burns to Congress

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Toomey predicts Sestak win in May 18 primary

The man who drove Arlen Specter from the Republican Party last year predicts his one-time foe will go down in defeat in Tuesday's Pennsylvania Democratic primary.

Republican Pat Toomey, who nearly beat Specter in the 2004 Republican primary, told Chester County Republican officials last weekt that he expects U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak to emerge victorious in Tuesday's election.

From a story in Sunday's edition of The Mercury:
Speaking to an audience of more than 200 party officials at the Desmond Hotel in East Whiteland, Toomey predicted that U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, D-7th, of Edgmont, Delaware County, would win Tuesday's Democratic primary and be his opponent in November.

"Joe Sestak is a card-carrying liberal's liberal … he is totally signed up to turn America into a European-style socialist state, because I guess he thinks Greece is a good example," Toomey told the audience.

Toomey directed most of his criticism at Sestak, making only brief mention of incumbent U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, the Republican-turned-Democrat who is battling Sestak for his political life.

The most recent polls show Sestak with a slight lead over Specter in the primary. Polls also show Toomey beating both Sestak and Specter in a November matchup.

Toomey warned Republicans, however, that Sestak could see a media-fueled jump in the polls if he beats Specter on Tuesday.
Read the full story at the newspaper's Web site.

Originally posted at
TONY PHYRILLAS

Video: The Authentic Conservative Republican for Pennsylvania Governor



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Pennsylvania's pension crisis: Taxpayers to face painful reality

Before you cast a vote Tuesday for any incumbent Pennsylvania legislator, read this article about the pension crisis lawmakers created but you will end up paying for.

Pennsylvania's pension crisis: Taxpayers to face painful reality

Dragging That Old Thing Out Again



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Friday, May 14, 2010

Stand for PA Rally Set For May 15

Newspaper: Rohrer 'as conservative as they come'

If you're looking for the conservative candidate in Pennsylvania's race for governor, look no further than Berks County state Rep. Sam Rohrer.

From a profile published this week in The Philadelphia Inquirer, the state's most- read liberal newspaper:
State Rep. Sam Rohrer is as conservative as they come.

The Republican candidate for governor believes in unalloyed gun rights. He sees zoning laws as an infringement on private property. He calls himself a strict defender of the 10th Amendment, which he says makes it unconstitutional for the federal government to get involved in schools or health care.

But Rohrer is not Glenn Beck; he is not angry.

He is not Rush Limbaugh; he does not mock opponents.

If you ask him for his views on a hot-button issue, he'll tell you. But he'd prefer to talk about the boring-but-important stuff - what the state must do to avoid a budget crisis year after year (cut expenses) and what it must do to address its collapsing employee pension systems (cut benefits).
Read the full story at the newspaper's Web site.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Help put Uncle Sam on a diet



Help put Uncle Sam on a diet. Vote on spending cuts you want Congress to enact. For more information, click here.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Pennsylvania Freedom Foundation endorses Rohrer, Diamond

The Pennsylvania Freedom Foundation today announced its unanimous support for two candidates in the May 18 Republican Primary: Sam Rohrer for Governor and Russ Diamond for Lt. Governor.

"These two candidates represent the true spirit of reform desperately needed here in Pennsylvania," said Foundation spokesperson Tom Lingenfelter. "We believe Rohrer and Diamond best represent the unique and historic mandate of our Constitutional government to defend, preserve, and promote personal freedom and responsibility. Anything less, or anything else is bad government."

Read the full release at the link below:

Pennsylvania Freedom Foundation Endorses Rohrer and Diamond

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Pence: No European bailouts

Pence: No European bailouts - Jonathan Martin - POLITICO.com

Close Megan's Law Loopholes, Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Urges Legislators

Close Megan's Law Loopholes, Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Urges Legislators

Taxpayer groups back Rohrer, Wagner for PA governor

From the Pennsylvania Taxpayers Cyber Coalition, which represents 36 grassroots taxpayer groups working for the elimination of school property taxes in the Keystone State:
The time for choosing has arrived! This Tuesday, May 18, is the date for the Pennsylvania primary election.

As you know, the Pennsylvania Taxpayers Cyber Coalition (PTCC) and The Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Associations (PCTA) have endorsed Sam Rohrer for Governor because of his unwavering efforts for property tax elimination and his promise to accomplish this if elected. PLEASE be sure to vote for Sam on May 18 if you’re a registered Republican. I know that many of you have changed your party affiliation so you can vote for Sam and your help is greatly appreciated.

If you're a Democrat, please consider voting for Jack Wagner for Governor. His stance on property tax elimination is not nearly as definitive as Sam's but at a gubernatorial forum in Hershey a few weeks ago he said about property taxes, "Sam Rohrer has some great ideas and it's really time to listen to him." This is more than any of the other Democratic candidates have offered and it's great to hear a possible Democratic opponent considering Sam's plan.

All 203 seats in the PA House of Representatives are up for grabs as well, although there are not very many primary election contests. If you live in a district where there is a primary opponent, please do some research before you vote to determine who supports property tax elimination. Remember, "relief" and "reform" are not what you want to hear. ELIMINATION is the only acceptable word!

One last note on the election: This Saturday, May 15, at 10:00 AM, Sam Rohrer will be having a rally on the Capitol steps in Harrisburg with country music star Aaron Tippin. It's going to be a great event, the weather forecast is for a beautiful day and a huge showing should get lots of media attention, so please attend, bring some friends, and help to swell the crowd! There will be buses available from some areas to make transportation simple. Details of the rally are here: http://www.samrohrer.org/stand-for-pennsylvania.html. It's free!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tea Party PAC Endorses Jim Gerlach for Congress

Four-term U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach is considered a moderate Republican, but he has the right stuff, according to the Independence Hall Tea Party PAC, which has endorsed Gerlach in Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional District.

The PAC is supporting Gerlach because it says he shares the group's goals of fighting against big government, new spending and higher taxes.

From a press released issued today:
(Philadelphia, PA) -- The Independence Hall Tea Party PAC has voted unanimously to endorse Republican Congressman Jim Gerlach in the Republican Primary for Pennsylvania's 6th Congressional District, a seat he has held since 2002.

Don Adams, President of the Independence Hall Tea Party PAC said, "We appreciate Congressman Gerlach's commitment to limited government and fiscal responsibility, as evidenced by his votes against ObamaCare, Cap and Trade, and the so-called "Stimulus Bills."

The PAC's Board of Directors weighed the platform, credibility, and viability of the primary candidates and voted, without dissent, to endorse Congressman Gerlach.

The Independence Hall Tea Party PAC, formed in February, 2009, is one of only seven federally registered Tea Party PACs in the nation.

The PAC's Board is comprised of representatives from 15 Congressional Districts in the tri-state (PA, NJ, DE) region.

Newspaper: Constituent anger fails to bring about legislative change

What's wrong with Pennsylvania voters? Despite having the most expensive, least productive and arguably the most corrupt state legislatures in the country, only 1 in 4 incumbents will face a challenger in the May 16 primary election.

From an editorial in today's edition of The Pottstown Mercury:
Every school district in the commonwealth is crunching numbers to achieve cuts that would balance their budgets. Music programs are being eliminated in the face of passionate pleas to keep them; positions in the classroom are being reduced from full- to half-time; programs are being cut back, including some schools that instituted full-day kindergarten only to be forced now to take it away.

The school boards are painfully aware of the pain property owners will endure in higher tax bills unless they balance school budgets with cuts.

Legislators, however, who can reform the funding mechanism for public schools, fail to take action that would alleviate some of the pressure.

Even the looming teachers' pension crisis which will increase pension costs to local schools by as much as 700 percent over the next few years is not being addressed by legislators.

A state budget crisis in existence for much of the past two years goes on unaddressed. And, even the seemingly simple tasks of outlawing the use of cell phones for talking and texting while driving require heavy lifting in Harrisburg.

No wonder people are angry.

But, at the end of the day, the anger doesn't translate to action. The number of uncontested races in Pennsylvania assures that little if anything will change.
Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Democrats' Energy Bill Adds Gasoline Tax

Democrats’ Energy Bill Adds Gasoline Tax - HUMAN EVENTS

Arlen Specter softens on Elena Kagan

Arlen Specter softens on Elena Kagan - Manu Raju - POLITICO.com

SCORE Hosts 'Social Goes Local' on May 18th at www.score.org

SCORE Hosts 'Social Goes Local' on May 18th at www.score.org

FRC: New York AG's Cross-Dressing Lawsuit Violates the Rights of Employers and Employees

FRC: New York AG's Cross-Dressing Lawsuit Violates the Rights of Employers and Employees

Changes to Pennsylvania's Weatherization Plan Open for Comment

Changes to Pennsylvania's Weatherization Plan Open for Comment

Obama's Underappreciated 'Historic' Greatness

Under Painting of Lincoln Peering Down at Obama, USA Today Explores Obama's Underappreciated 'Historic' Greatness | NewsBusters.org

New Pat Toomey Ad Hits Airwaves

Toomey Generations from Pat Toomey on Vimeo.



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Obama deficit sets all-time record

The federal budget deficit hit an all-time high for the month of April, reports Martin Crutsinger of The Associated Press.

The Treasury Department said Wednesday the April deficit soared to $82.7 billion, the largest imbalance for that month on record, according to the wire service.

That was significantly higher than last year's April deficit of $20 billion and above the $30 billion deficit private economists had anticipated, Crutsinger notes.

More from The Associated Press:
The government normally runs surpluses in April as millions of taxpayers file their income tax returns. However, income tax payments were down this April, reflecting the impact of a severe recession which has pushed millions of people out of work.

Revenues for April were down 7.9 percent from a year ago, dipping to $245.3 billion.

That decline included a fall in individual income tax payments. That reflected not only the impact of millions of people out of work but also tax relief provided through the economic stimulus program that Congress passed in February 2009.

The back-to-back deficits in April marked a first, according to monthly budget records that go back to 1954. During that period, the government has run April surpluses in 43 of 56 years.

Through the first seven months of the current budget year, which began on Oct. 1, the deficit totals $799.7 billion, down only slightly from last year's deficit during the same period of $802.3 billion.

The Obama administration is forecasting that the deficit for this year will hit an all-time high of $1.56 trillion, surpassing the current record of $1.4 trillion set last year. However, many private economists believe this year's imbalance will be closer to the $1.4 trillion set last year.


Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Governor Rendell Signs Bills into Law

Governor Rendell Signs Bills into Law

Inouye's sway may cost Dems a seat

Inouye's sway may cost Dems a seat - Alex Isenstadt and Jonathan Martin - POLITICO.com

Blank Slate



Not much is known about Elena Kagan's judicial philosophy — because she's not a judge.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

The Top 50 Most Competitive U.S. House Districts

From a recent study by the University of Minnesota:
Jim Gerlach's PA-06 seat is the only U.S. House district in the nation decided by less than 10 points in each of the last four election cycles; Democrats currently hold 35 of the Top 50 most competitive seats.

Out of the 435 U.S. House elections held every other November across the United States, only one congressional district has provided a nail-biting finish without fail since new district lines went into effect in 2002.

A new Smart Politics analysis of 1,740 general election U.S. House contests since 2002 finds that the 6th Congressional District of Pennsylvania is the only district to have been decided by less than 10 points in each election cycle.

In fact, PA-06 has been decided by less than five points in each of these elections - and Republican Jim Gerlach, who has represented the district since 2003, is still standing.

Gerlach, a former Pennsylvania State Senator, first won the 6th CD in 2002, when a newly drawn Congressional map forced then 5-term Democrat Tim Holden to run in the 17th CD instead of the 6th. Gerlach won his 2002 contest by 2.8 points over Democrat Dan Wofford.

Gerlach subsequently won his 2004 race against Lois Murphy by 2.0 points, his 2006 rematch against Murphy by 1.4 points, and his 2008 race against Bob Roggio by 4.2 points - while many of Gerlach's Northeastern GOP colleagues fell to defeat during the last two election cycles.

With an average victory margin of a scant 2.6 points across four elections, no other congressional district, let alone no other member of Congress, has endured four highly competitive elections in a row since 2002 as has Representative Gerlach.

In fact, only eight other congressional districts have been decided by less than 10 points in three of the last four election cycles: CT-02, CT-04, IN-02, IN-09, MN-06, TX-17, WA-08, and the now vacant 29th District of New York, formerly held by Eric Massa.
Read the full study, The Top 50 Most Competitive U.S. House Districts in the Nation (2002-2008)," at the University of Minnesota's Smart Politics Web site.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Double Standard Anyone?

Double Standard Anyone? Ten Times More 'Conservative' Labels for Alito than 'Liberal' Tags for Kagan | NewsBusters.org

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Video: The Truth About Dan Onorato



Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Elena Kagan's friends: She's not gay

Elena Kagan's friends: She's not gay - Ben Smith - POLITICO.com

PA Department of State: Absentee Ballots for Primary Election Due Friday

PA Department of State: Absentee Ballots for Primary Election Due Friday

American Legion Says Vets' Job Preference 'Ignored By Numerous Agencies'

American Legion Says Vets' Job Preference 'Ignored By Numerous Agencies'

The Amazing Onorato



Also check out Dan's Land Of Make Believe, an anti-Onorato blog that launched in March.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Record number of DUI arrests in PA

How's this for a good news-bad news scenario: Pennsylvania State Police made a record number of DUI arrests in 2009 but the number of alcohol-related deaths on Pennsylvania roads was down by 14 percent last year.

From a State Police press release:
HARRISBURG, Pa. - Pennsylvania State Police made a record number of arrests for driving under the influence last year, while alcohol-related fatalities in crashes investigated by troopers dropped by 14 percent from 2008, Commissioner Frank E. Pawlowski announced today.

"It's clear that our efforts to keep impaired drivers off our roads in Pennsylvania are having a positive impact," Pawlowski said. "Our troopers are helping to save lives by cracking down hard on those who drink and drive."

Pawlowski said troopers made 16,900 DUI arrests in 2009, an increase of 4 percent over the 16,156 DUI arrests reported the previous year. He said the number of alcohol-related fatalities decreased from 161 in 2008 to 141 in 2009, while the number of alcohol-related crashes investigated by troopers declined slightly under 1 percent from 4,664 in 2008 to 4,625 last year.

Pawlowski said expansion of the department's drug recognition expert program and continuation of its Operation Nighthawk program have played a role in the department's DUI-enforcement success.

The drug recognition expert program trains troopers and municipal police officers to identify drivers operating under the influence of illegal or prescription drugs and other substances.

"Although alcohol is the intoxicant most often responsible for impaired driving, it's not the only one that renders individuals incapable of safely operating a vehicle," Pawlowski said.

Drug recognition experts last year conducted 1,118 drug influence evaluations, an increase of 61 percent over the 693 evaluations conducted in 2008.

Pawlowski said 63 troopers and 18 municipal police officers in Pennsylvania have been certified as drug recognition experts since 2004.

The department's Operation Nighthawk program provides troopers and municipal police officers with classroom training regarding DUI-related issues on two consecutive evenings. The officers then immediately take part in roving patrols to identify and arrest operators who are under the influence.

Pawlowski noted that troopers and municipal officers made 61 DUI arrests, 10 underage drinking arrests and seven drug law arrests during an Operation Nighthawk program held in April in Berks County. One or two more programs will be conducted this year, he said.

Pawlowski said that while state police and municipal police have ramped up their anti-DUI efforts in recent years, the responsibility to end all DUI-related crashes and fatalities rests with individual drivers.

"Every person has the responsibility to stay out of the driver's seat if they are impaired by alcohol or other drugs," Pawlowski said. "Our enforcement efforts help to save lives, but we need the cooperation and help of every motorist in ending impaired driving."
For more information, visit www.psp.state.pa.us

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Chris Matthews: Greece's Woes the Fault of Right-wing Governance; But Socialists Actually Control the Govt.

Chris Matthews: Greece's Woes the Fault of Right-wing Governance; But Socialists Actually Control the Govt. | NewsBusters.org

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Kiss of death for Arlen Specter?



Is this the kiss of death for Arlen Specter?

Based on Barack Obama's track record of campaigning for Democrats in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts, his endorsement of Republican-turned-Democrat Arlen Specter probably means Specter goes down in the May 18 Pennsylvania primary.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS