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Chester County Commissioner and Republican Candidate for Pennsylvania's US 6th Congressional District, Ryan Costello has focused much of his public relations efforts on trying to portray himself as "moderate". But behind the "moderate" mask, and the "independent thinker" disguise, Costello seems to be a cookie-cutter GOP fiscal conservative who idolizes Wisconsin's GOP Congressman and former Vice Presidential candidate, Paul Ryan.

If you have visited Ryan Costello's campaign website and read his bio, you may recall that he unabashedly touts the fact that he was raised by two Pennsylvania school teachers. What he doesn't mention is that his father, Dr. Anthony V. Costello was the Superintendent for the Garnet Valley School District in Delaware County from approximately 1991 to January 2010, and before he retired had an annual salary of $365,655 according to Open PA Gov. Per Evan Brandt of the Pottstown Mercury, Dr. Costello is currently drawing one of the biggest PSERS pensions in Pennsylvania at approximately $222,685 per year (or $18,557 per month). So when Commissioner Costello indicates that being an observer of his parents' decades long careers in public education somehow gives him special insight into the average educator's experience, it's simply not the case. From what can be gleaned from news articles, it is unclear as to how Costello would approach improving education without increasing government spending. Perhaps maybe, individuals receiving six figure PSERS pensions could voluntarily opt to invest that money back into Pennsylvania's school children? Regardless of how hard Dr. Costello worked over the years, it boggles the mind as to how it is acceptable for one retired superintendent to receive a pension in excess of $200,000 when there are so many school districts statewide that are severely underfunded.

In a recent debate, Democratic challenger Dr. Manan Trivedi confronted Costello about his acceptance of several thousands of dollars from the National Rifle Association (NRA). Reportedly, Costello's response was "I have an independent mind, I think for myself. I don’t take orders from anybody." For people who want to see for themselves and learn more about who else Costello has accepted money from, go to  FEC Committee/Candidate Search page and look him up.

In addition to the estimated $4,950 to $10,000 Costello has received from the NRA , he has accepted $10,000 from Exxon Mobil and $5,000 from McDonald's!

Incidentally, Costello also received over $10,000 in campaign contributions from his parents, Dr. Anthony V. Costello and Sharon Costello. Of course, Costello receiving campaign contributions from his parents is no surprise, and is probably a gesture of support for their son and his career in politics. However, the NRA, Exxon Mobil and McDonalds?! It's highly doubtful that those entities would contribute money to a candidate with no strings attached.

Where does Costello's selective version of the truth intersect with the harshness of reality? Hopefully, we won't have to find out the answer to that in November!

Discuss
Frederick C. Sheeler, Berks County Recorder of Deeds & Candidate for Pennsylvania's 5th Legislative District

Top 5 Reasons to Vote for Frederick C. Sheeler for 5th State House District:

1. Fred Sheeler is a likeable guy. Just listen to the glowing endorsement from State Senator Judy Schwank:

2. Even though he is a really busy guy, he is known to take the time to personally respond to public inquiries. [2 years ago, I e-mailed him with questions about filing notary name change and address change forms when I got married and subsequently moved from Berks to Chester County. He responded quickly and answered my question thoroughly.]

3. He is endorsed by Equality Pennsylvania. As a dedicated straight ally, I highly value Equality PA's election endorsements because if a person is lucky enough to get endorsed by the top LGBT rights organization in the Commonwealth, it's a good indicator that the candidate is an advocate of equal rights and a friend to the LGBT community.

4. To quote his bio on the Berks Recorder of Deeds website, "During his first term in office Fred completely digitized all documents recorded in the office since the County's founding in 1752." The online records system is easy to use, well organized and free! This accomplishment is significant because it shows that he is not afraid to use technology to streamline the accessibility of government information.  

5. Fred's occupational and educational experience make him uniquely qualified to represent the interests of the residents of the 5th Legislative District. To quote his bio again, " Prior to being elected Recorder,  Fred was employed in the banking and mortgage industries for twenty-three years and was the owner of Hamburg Home Mortgage Service since 1993...A lifelong Berks County resident, Fred graduated from Wilson High School in 1980 and from Kutztown University in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/Management."  

For more about Frederick Sheeler, please visit the links below:

Campaign Website

Endorsements

Facebook Page

The new 5th State House District includes the townships of Alsace, Bern, Bethel, Centre, Precincts 1, 5 and 9 of Exeter, Jefferson, Maidencreek, Marion, Ontelaunee, Penn, Ruscombmanor, Tulpehocken, Upper Bern, Upper Tulpehocken, and the boroughs of Bernville, Centerport, Fleetwood, Leesport, Strausstown and Womelsdorf.

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Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:53 AM PDT

Frank Schaefer Re-Frocked!

by SpringCityPADem

In 2007, Frank Schaefer did what a loving father should do: he supported his son. But his gesture of support, officiating his son's marriage to another man in Massachusetts, cost him his position as a United Methodist pastor in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania this past December. A member of the congregation of the Zion United Methodist Church of Iona lodged a complaint with church officials who confronted Schaefer about it. Unapologetic, during the subsequent clergy court proceedings, he refused to say that he would not officiate another same sex marriage which lead to his defrocking. Schaefer filed an appeal, and as of yesterday, the panel reinstated his credentials. Rev. Schaefer will not return to his previous post but instead has been transferred to a congregation in Southern California. While his reinstatement is good news, Pennsylvania is losing out on an open-minded faith leader with compassion and integrity.

also see yesterday's spectacular interview on The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell

WGAL has a nifty timeline too

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player
WFMZ segment from November 2013

Official United Methodist Church Statement

Discuss
Julie Recher
At 27, Julie Recher has amassed an impressive list of accomplishments and life experiences. In 2009, Recher graduated from Roanoke College with a 3.9 GPA and a BA in Psychology. At Roanoke, she was a member of several academic honor societies including Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Chi and Sigma Delta Pi to name a few. She has traveled all over the world including to the United Kingdom, Mexico, Nicaragua and France. Recher attained a Master of Divinity Degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP) in 2013. While at LTSP, she earned the Karl Elser Wurster Memorial Award "for her demonstration of academic merit and promise of ministry".

This past Sunday, Julie added another entry to her incredible list of accomplishments when she was chosen as Associate Pastor by the congregation of Atonement Lutheran Church in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. Since approximately August 2009, the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) has accepted members in committed same-sex unions to serve in leadership roles. With a congregation of over 1,500 members, being chosen as a faith leader to so many people is an incredible honor for anyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. But the fact that she's married to a woman does make this decision all that much more significant considering how religion is far too often used to discriminate against members of the LGBT community.

So, when you read stories about angry homophobic morons screaming about how homosexuality is a sin and against God, think about Julie Recher and how she received over two-thirds of the required votes from the Atonement Lutheran congregation to become Associate Pastor, and smile knowing that there are faith communities in Pennsylvania that respect who a person truly is and acknowledge his/her contributions to society without prejudice and fear.

Discuss

Current Chair of the Pennsylvania Democratic Committee, Jim Burn was set to square off with Former PA Dept of Environmental Protection Secretary and most recently, former Gubernatorial Candidate, Katie McGinty this afternoon to retain his seat. Luckily for Burn, the winner of the Dem Primary Race for Governor, Tom Wolf (who enthusiastically endorsed McGinty for PA Dem Party Chair last week) decided to form his own PAC, The Campaign for a Fresh Start, with McGinty at the helm.

While the Tribune-Review's headline about the independent PAC is optimistic, (Democrats find solution to squabble over control of state committee) I personally am not so convinced of its truth. Pro-McGinty Dems cite Burn's "lackluster" fundraising skills as a key reason to support her. The formation of a second independent PAC will force some PA Dems who are loyal to the existing PAC to choose whether to show support for the new Wolf/McGinty PAC or stick with the status quo. It could be argued that Dems can support both, which is true to an extent, yet it seems counterproductive to shuffle back and forth between separate PACs who ultimately share the same goal of getting Corbett kicked out of, and Wolf into the highest elected office of the Commonwealth.

On the plus side, McGinty's decision to choose not to compete with Burn, is another shining example of her positivity and team-player attitude, reinforcing the notion that this is not a greedy power grab on her part but a chance for her to exercise her proven leadership skills. The same cannot be said about Burn, who according to the Pittsburgh-Gazette, faced a similar challenge for Chair in 2010, when Dan Onorato, the Dem Gov. Candidate was rumored to have favored York Mayor, Kim Bracey for the spot, and instead of adhering to the traditional practice of deferring to the the Gov. nominee's choice for party chair, he decided to fight the decision.  

And by skimming over a couple opinion pieces on the topic, some PA Dems want new leadership:

Wolf is right - Democrats need a new state chairperson
Nobody Knows Who Jim Burn Is. Pick Katie McGinty for PA Democratic Chair

Ultimately, avoiding a public fight for the Democratic Party Chair position is a good thing, but it remains to be seen if the PAC split was a wise strategic move for Wolf and McGinty and if Burn's obstinance will be beneficial or detrimental to the PA Dem Committee.

Discuss

Tue Jun 17, 2014 at 09:39 AM PDT

Metcalfe the Cowardly Elephant

by SpringCityPADem

Plain and  Simple: Representative Metcalfe is afraid of Equality.
Cowardice, according to Dictionary.com, is defined as "lack of courage to face danger, difficulty, opposition, pain, etc."

PA State Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R) of the 12th Legislative District, has shown a considerable amount of cowardice when faced with concepts (i.e. Equality for All) and people (anyone who disagrees with his views) he doesn't understand. Case in point, Metcalfe is the chair of the State Government Committee, where HB 300, a bill that would amend Pennsylvania's existing Non-Discrimination law to include protections based on sexual orientation and gender identification, has been languishing in legislative purgatory since August 2013 because he has simply refused to bring it up for a vote. A logical explanation for his refusal to allow a vote on HB 300 is that he is afraid that it might pass, and consequently, the LGBT community would be protected from housing and employment discrimination. Metcalfe may claim his religious beliefs have compelled him to block HB 300, but in reality, his "religious beliefs" are a smokescreen for his deep hatred for equality, fairness and diversity.

To be clear, HB 300 is not a radical bill that seeks to grant special privileges to the LGBT community, it is a bill that would make housing and employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity illegal. This is not a proposed law asking for approval of what he may call "alternative lifestyles". This bill has nothing to do with marriage equality, which ironically is now legal in Pennsylvania because a Bush-appointed Judge recently ruled that a  same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional, although of course, Metcalfe has introduced House Resolution 891 begging Gov. Corbett to appeal the decision.

HB 300 has an overwhelming number of co-sponsors and has garnered support from both sides of the aisle including historically anti-gay Governor Corbett! Yes, that's right, the man who compared same-sex relationships to incest even supports this bill!

Here is a list of co-sponsors:

FRANKEL, ROSS, SIMS, SANTARSIERO, BISHOP, BIZZARRO, B. BOYLE, K. BOYLE, BRADFORD, BRIGGS, V. BROWN, BROWNLEE, CALTAGIRONE, CARROLL, CLAY, COHEN, D. COSTA, P. COSTA, CRUZ, M. DALEY, P. DALEY, DAVIS, DEAN, DeLISSIO, DeLUCA, DERMODY, DONATUCCI, D. EVANS, FABRIZIO, FARINA, FLECK, FLYNN, FREEMAN, GAINEY, GERGELY, GOODMAN, HANNA, HARKINS, J. HARRIS, KAVULICH, W. KELLER, KIM, KINSEY, KIRKLAND, MAHONEY, MARKOSEK, McCARTER, McGEEHAN, McNEILL, MIRANDA, MOLCHANY, MULLERY, MUNDY, MURT, NEILSON, NEUMAN, O'BRIEN, PAINTER, PARKER, PASHINSKI, PEIFER, RAVENSTAHL, READSHAW, ROEBUCK, ROZZI, SABATINA, SAMUELSON, SCAVELLO, SCHLOSSBERG, SNYDER, STURLA, TAYLOR, THOMAS, VITALI, WATERS, WHEATLEY, YOUNGBLOOD, R. BROWN, PETRI, CONKLIN, WHITE, SCHREIBER, D. MILLER, KILLION, MATZIE, HAGGERTY, QUINN, HARPER, DEASY, DAVIDSON, KOTIK, STEPHENS, GALLOWAY, WATSON, KAMPF and MIRABITO
Discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity is equally as egregious and unconstitutional as discrimination based on race, sex, age etc.    

Frankly, Metcalfe is running out of excuses for his obstruction, because he must know that the majority of Pennsylvanians do not want to legally discriminate against the LGBT community---and recent court rulings on both the State and Federal levels have accumulated and continue to build a mountain of legal precedents supporting equal protection. The above list of HB 300 co-sponsors proves that its passage is of paramount concern to his colleagues in the General Assembly, and by extension the taxpaying voters of Pennsylvania who elected these Representatives to be their voice in Harrisburg.

Passage of HB 300 is beyond overdue, so Rep. Metcalfe, it's time to stop cowering in your safe haven of bigotry, retire your false sense of religious righteousness, face your fear of equality and put this bill up for a vote.

Discuss
Senator Andy Dinniman and James J. Burns
As a follow up to yesterday's post about the Republican who currently represents the 155th District  here is some information about Rep Corbin's Democratic challenger, former Spring City Borough Councilman, Jim Burns. Courtesy of the Friends of Jim Burns Facebook Page here is some biographical information about the candidate:
I am running as a Democratic candidate for the 155th state Legislative District of the General Assembly. My father was a decorated career Marine. I graduated from Rutgers University at New Brunswick NJ in 1975 with a BA in Psychology. My career has been in data processing, software design and development. I moved to Pennsylvania in the late 1980′s. In 1999 I moved to Spring City Borough. I have served as Councilor for six years from 2008 to 2014. I have been Chair of the Spring City Planning Commission for over four years and a member for six years. I have been president of the Spring City Lions Club for several years and am a volunteer with the Spring City Chapter of Meals on Wheels. I helped create the Spring City web site and served as its webmaster for over two years. I have also served on the borough Police Committee and as chair of Parks and Recreation.

Here is some information about his accomplishments as a Spring City Borough Council member:

Councilor Burns with the assistance of America Responds with Love put together a project utilizing high school volunteers to beautify the borough by planting over 1,000 spring flowering bulbs.

Councilor Burns wrote a proposal for and received a grant from the Schuylkill Heritage Foundation for the design, manufacture, casting and installation of three Spring City Keystone markers to be installed at the borough boundaries on the Schuykill River Trail and New Street.  Matching funds were in the form of donations from the Keystone Marker Trust, Penn Organic, America Responds with Love, Spring City Electrical among others.  The project cost the borough no out-of-pocket expense.

His personal interests include: collecting vintage lighting, traveling, gardening and cooking.

For more about the candidate, please visit and make sure to Like Friends of Jim Burns Page

To get involved in the campaign, please join the Friends of Jim Burns Group

Please Follow Friends of Jim Burns on Twitter!

Discuss
Rep. Becky Corbin
Here is some notable info for progressive voters in the 155th District about incumbent, Republican PA House Rep. Becky Corbin:

1.     She voted in favor of Liquor Privatization (HB 790).

2.     She voted in favor of Increasing Corporate Tax Breaks (HB 440).

3.     She voted in favor of further Restricting Access to Legal Abortions (HB 818) earning her a 0% rating by Planned Parenthood of Pennsylvania.

4.     In 2012, she received a glowing 83% rating by the National Rifle Association, which is not surprising considering that from April 1991 to December 1994 she served as an aide to Jim Gerlach before he became a United States House Representative when he was a State Rep for the 155th district.  

5.     When I wrote her a letter asking for her to support amending Pennsylvania's Non-Discrimination Legislation (HB 300) to include protections for the LGBT community, she gave me a run-around non-answer, which in GOP speak usually means he/she doesn't support the issue in question.

Effective December 2014, the 155th District will include the following municipalities:

East Pikeland
Spring City Borough
the North Ward portion of Phoenixville
East Brandywine Twp
Upper Uwchlan Twp
Uwchlan Twp
West Brandywine Twp
West Vincent Twp

Rep. Corbin's Democratic challenger is former Spring City Borough Councilor, James J. Burns who, as a result of successful primary write-in campaign will be on the ballot in November.

Discuss

When deciding between two candidates, their past actions tend to be fairly reasonable indicators of what course of action he/she may take on similar issues in the future. And while the Voter ID Law of 2012 is officially dead, if Republicans maintain their control of both the State House and Senate, who knows what next scheme may be cooked up in order to disenfranchise poor, non-white, elderly, Democrat-leaning and/or disadvantaged voters in the Commonwealth. In the race for the 14th Senatorial District, the choice is between Kathi Cozzone, a voter protector and Senator John Rafferty, a voter suppressor.

As a Chester County Commissioner, Kathi Cozzone has worked hard to protect voter's rights--just ask the Lincoln University students and residents assigned to the Lower Oxford East Precinct. Cozzone, one of three Chester County Commissioners and the lone Democrat, voted her conscience in September 2008 when the Board of Elections considered a petition signed by both local Democrats and Republicans to relocate the polling place from a smaller, inadequate facility to a previously used site in a gymnasium on the nearby Lincoln University campus. Listening to the concerns of her constituents, she voted in favor of the move because the proposed location was safer, more accessible, and overall better equipped to accommodate the 1,000+ voters who were expected to turn out in November. Cozzone explained her decision to the Daily Local:"I think that moving it to Lincoln University gives us the opportunity to provide a safe environment for the voters, to provide a timely environment for the voters and to get all the voters to vote."

However, Republican Commissioners Carol Aichele (now PA's current Secretary of the Commonwealth) and Terence Farrell both voted against the move for partisan reasons but cited flimsy excuses and exaggerated "concerns" about the relocation plan to justify denial of the petition.  There were 1,556 ballots cast at the Lower Oxford East polling place on Election Night 2008 --- over 500 more than initially projected. Wait times were from six to eight hours because there were only six voting booths, one ballot scanner and one restroom. In April 2009, there was a similar proposal and the Republican Commissioners collectively chose to ignore the legitimate concerns of the people while, once again, Commissioner Cozzone was the only dissenter. Subsequently, the County was sued (see English, et al. v. Chester County) because of the extremely long wait times and hazardous conditions at the polling place, and was settled in favor of the Plaintiffs, wasting thousands of tax dollars on a lawsuit that could have easily been prevented.

In an August 2010 Daily Local Article, Commissioner Cozzone remarked on the outcome of the case: "When all was said and done, the right resolution to the issue of Lower Oxford East's polling place was reached. The recent settlement will allow all the precinct's residents to vote in a location with good parking, plenty of space and a safe place to wait in line. While I am pleased with the settlement, I would be remiss if I did not point out that this outcome was available to the County before legal action was taken, and taxpayer money was spent."
Aside from better accessibility for voters, Commissioners Aichele and Farrell should have listened to Cozzone because moving the polling place back to Lincoln University was not only the right thing to do, it would have been more fiscally responsible to take care of the issue before a lawsuit was filed.

In complete contrast to Cozzone's history of standing up for Voting Rights,Senator John Rafferty has consistently voted to disenfranchise voters in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Senator Rafferty's Support of GOP Voter Suppression Tactics:
March 2012 - voted in favor of the Voter ID Law (which has since been stricken and a request to re-hear the case denied) See Applewhite, et al. v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, et al.
December 2011 - voted in favor of the gerrymandering of district lines politely referred to as "Congressional Redistricting", with the first iteration of the map being tossed by the PA Supreme Court
The Voter ID and Congressional Redistricting Bills were both GOP driven power plays to stifle the vote of certain cross-sections of Pennsylvanians who they perceived to be more likely to vote for Democrats. The stringent Voter ID Law was falsely presented to Pennsylvanians as a necessary safeguard to prevent in-person voting fraud, a theoretical problem that has no basis in actual, documented events. Regardless of whether it was Senator Rafferty's intent to disenfranchise voters or if he was simply voting along party lines, support of both the Voter ID law and Redistricting has negatively impacted thousands of Pennsylvanians statewide. Rafferty evidently did not see that it was not in his constituents' best interests for him to support Voter ID and Redistricting.

It is time for meaningful change in the 44th State Senatorial District, starting with a Senator who will fight to preserve his/her constituents' well-being and civil rights and not ignore glaring injustices in order to appease his/her political party. Kathi Cozzone's actions as Commissioner strongly suggest that she can and will stand up for her constituents' rights in Harrisburg as she has in Chester County.

Discuss

Dear PA Voters:

Do you support marriage equality? Do you oppose voter suppression? Do you value women's health? If your answer is "yes" to those three questions, you should care about who wins the PA State House seat in District 12 in Butler County even if you don't live there. And here's why:

Marriage Equality and LGBT Rights
The current incumbent, Representative Daryl Metcalfe vehemently opposes marriage equality----so much that he found it necessary to waste tax dollars on a kangaroo court hearing this past Tuesday about his laughable assertion that Attorney General, Kathleen Kane is guilty of an impeachable offense because she refused to defend Pennsylvania's ban on same-sex marriage in Court. AG Kane feels that the ban is unconstitutional, and there is a growing avalanche of legal precedents nationwide that continue to build which support her view. When DOMA was struck down last summer, he behaved like an angry child on the House floor, preventing openly gay Representative Brian Sims (D-182) from discussing the landmark decision at all by saying that what Sims was going to say would be in violation of "God's Law." HB/SB300, A key civil rights bill, which would expand the existing non-discrimination law in PA to include protection based on sexual orientation and gender identity, has been languishing in the State Government Committee because Metcalfe, the Committee Chair has kept it from being voted on. Through out his career as a "legislator", Metcalfe has expended far too many tax dollars trying to further his extreme homophobic agenda even going as far as suing a gay couple in 2004 for merely trying to apply for a marriage license. See Egolf v. Seneca, No. 2004-03160-28-5 (Bucks Cty. C.P. Oct. 19, 2004)

Voter ID Law
To date, there has been no documented incident in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania of in-person voter fraud and yet, in 2012, Republicans managed to pass the PA Voter ID law which if enforced would have disenfranchised over 500,000 Pennsylvanians. Rep. Metcalfe was and is a huge supporter of this law and was very displeased when Judge Bernard McGinley struck it down in January 2014. While the lawsuit Applewhite et al v. Commonwealth was still in Court, Metcalfe told the press that he didn't think the state should be responsible for people who are "too lazy"to obtain acceptable photo ID.  

Women's Health
In May 2012, Metcalfe introduced a bill designed to defund Planned Parenthood because he believed that any tax dollars given to that organization was the equivalent of the State Government bankrolling abortions. Metcalfe clearly is clueless about the various health services that are unrelated to abortions that Planned Parenthood has to offer, and is laser-focused on abortions, which are only 5% of PP's services in Pennsylvania.

Democratic Opponent
In 2012, Metcalfe ran unopposed for the District 12 seat. Thankfully, this year Democrat, Lisa Inez Zucco of Cranberry Twp., has been bold enough to throw her hat into the ring. While the information about Zucco on the internet is sparse, here is what I've been able to find:

- She was an avid canvasser for President Obama's 2012 campaign
- She has a Bachelor's Degree from Saint Vincent's College
- She is a technical writer for Whitman, Requardt & Associates, LLP
- She feels that the roads and bridges in PA have been neglected and recognizes the value and importance of maintaining our infrastructure
- She wants to restore education funding
- She's married and has 2 children, which one would hope means that she would have unique insight into challenges that working mothers in PA face

It would be interesting to learn more about her views on various issues that impact Pennsylvanians, but just the fact that she's a Democrat and doesn't appear to be on an extremist, discrimination-fueled pseudo-religious crusade to deprive people of their voting rights, eliminate women's health services and restrict the definition of marriage are very big pluses in her favor.

While he is elected by and represents the voters of District 12, as the Chair of the State Government Committee, Rep. Metcalfe's actions impact Pennsylvanians far beyond the municipalities of Adams, Clinton, Cranberry, Forward, Middlesex and Penn townships, and the Boroughs of Callery, Mars, Seven Fields and Valencia. If Metcalfe loses his House seat, the potential for progressive reform to be achieved in Harrisburg will significantly increase, the embarrassing theatrics will decrease and the General Assembly will be able to direct the focus back on more pressing issues like the economy and transportation.

Discuss

While there are countless eligible adults who apathetically decline to register to vote and/or are habitually absent from the polls, many Pennsylvanians who are registered disappear during off years and only materialize for Presidential Elections. It is simply not enough to only vote during Presidential Elections. Many PA legislators on both sides of the aisle, have started their careers in politics in elected municipal, county &/or statewide offices.

Imagine, if more progressives had voted in non-Presidential elections, these 10 GOP lawmakers may not be in the positions of power that they're in today:

•    Jim Cawley – current Lt. Gov, formerly a Bucks County Commissioner; big supporter of fracking & Chair of Governor's Marcellus Shale Advisory
•    Carol Aichele – current Secretary of the Commonwealth, formerly a Chester County Commissioner (also notably named a Defendant in voter suppression lawsuit re 2008 election)
•    Dominic Pileggi – currently a PA State Senator, formerly Mayor of Chester, "champion" of gerrymandering
•    Donna Oberlander – currently a PA House Rep., formerly Clarion County Commissioner; author of HB 818 restrictions on funding for abortions
•    Pat Toomey – current US Senator, formerly a US House Rep and prior to that held a seat on Government Study Committee in Allentown (recently voted against expansion of Unemployment Insurance)
•    Ryan P. Aument – currently a PA State Rep, formerly Clerk of Courts in Lancaster County (co-sponsor of Daryl Metcalfe’s Definition of Marriage bill & Oberlander’s HB 818)
•    Martin T. Causer – current PA State Rep, formerly  Annin Township supervisor (co-sponsor of Metcalfe’s Definition of Marriage bill and Oberlander’s HB 818)
•    Jerry Knowles – current PA State Rep, formerly Schuylkill County commissioner, before that borough councilman and mayor of Tamaqua; believes in eliminating school taxes & reportedly thinks PA schools are adequately funded
•    Charlie Dent – current US House Rep, formerly PA State Senator & House Rep (endorsed Romney in ’12 presidential election, supporter of the building of the Keystone XL pipeline)
•    Joe Pitts – current US House Rep, formerly PA State Rep (publicly defended CEO of Chick Fil A’s anti-gay comments)

What I'm getting at is, if you are in favor of a cleaner environment, equal rights for the LGBT community, access to affordable health care for women and preserving life saving financial safety nets like Unemployment Insurance, YOU NEED TO VOTE IN EVERY ELECTION!!!
So, the next time you think about skipping the whole voting thing, just remember, that Borough Council member, Mayor, Commissioner, Supervisor etc could one day be a State Rep or Senator...That State Rep/Senator could one day represent PA in the United States Congress...

Discuss

Silly idioms aside, seemingly re-energized by the announcement that Rep. Gerlach is not running for re-election, Dr. Manan Trivedi officially is pursuing the District 6 seat for a 3rd time. (Trivedi ran against Jim Gerlach in 2010 and 2012.)

In a landslide delegate vote of 120 to 42, the Chester County Democratic Committee overwhelmingly chose to endorse Dr. Manan Trivedi as the PA-6 District candidate at the CCDC Convention on Saturday.

In addition to the Chester County Democratic Committee, per PoliticsPA, the following individuals, organizations &/or committees endorse Dr. Trivedi for Congress:

Wendell Young IV, President UFCW Local 1776; Kate Michelman, President Emerita, NARAL Pro-Choice America; Jake Long, Chairman of the Committee for Political Education and Dennis Bomberger, Business Agent, BCTGM (Chocolate Workers Local 464); State Representative Mark Painter; John Hellman, Chester County Central Labor Council Delegate, IBEW Local 654; Monica Kline, PA Democratic State Committee, Lebanon County; Mayor Michael J. Speck, Phoenixville; Cornell Wilson, Vice Chair, City of Lebanon Democrats and Lebanon City School Board Member; Stephanie Markstein, Chairperson of the West Chester Borough Democratic Committee; Micah Mahjoubian, LGBT Rights Activist; Frank Burstein, Chairman of the Limerick Township Democratic Committee.Dr. Harlan Kutscher, Berks County Democrats, Committeeman, Exeter; Chris Tarsa, Lebanon County Democrats, Chairman; Lani Frank, Democratic State Committeewoman, Chester County; Brad Kirsch, Chairman of the Pennsylvania State Democratic Committee Senior Caucus; Diane O’Dwyer, Chester County Democrats, Leader Zone 25; Dave McLimans, Chester County Democrats, Leader Zone 4, Chester County Labor Council President; Stephanie Beemer McLimans, Chester County Democrats, Assistant Leader Zone 4, PA Democratic State Committeewoman; Bret Binder, Chester County Committeeman, West Chester; Bob Roggio, former Candidate PA-6; Bill Tricoski, Berks County Committeeman, Bechtelsville; Cindy Tricoski, Berks County Committeewoman, Bechtelsville; Mark Banfield, West Pikeland, Chester County Democratic Committeeperson; Diane Welsh, Chester County Democrats, Assistant Leader Zone 25; Adam Swope – Chester County Democrats, Leader Zone 11; Bernice Hines – Berks County Democratic Committeewoman, Exeter; Sue Shaak, Berks County Democratic Committeewoman, St. Lawrence; Laura Henkle-Sauer, Berks County Democratic Committeewoman, St. Lawrence

While Trivedi's official campaign website is under construction for the 2014 campaign, check out the 2010 website courtesy of the Wayback Machine.

Regardless of a person's political inclinations, Trivedi's choice to run for election in 2010, 2012 and now 2014 is incredibly admirable and shows how passionate he is about and highly dedicated to PA-06.

Discuss
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