Corbett A Real “Space Cadet” On Vote Suppression

October 30, 2010

And as you watch this, particularly at the very end, keep in mind that Corbett is the chief law enforcement officer in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

To respond, click here (and here).

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Going After Meg Whitman With An Attitude

October 21, 2010

Hey, Dan Onorato for PA Governor Campaign – watch and learn (almost too late, but not quite).


On Dem “Misdeeds,” Ferris Brews “Weak Tea”

August 30, 2010

Philadelphia Inquirer Op-Ed writer and conservative shill Kevin Ferris concocted the following yesterday (here)…

…The Inquirer, Politico, and others have reported on several instances of Democrats helping so-called tea-party candidates – nationwide and close to home.

Florida: Republicans and tea-party activists are accusing Democratic U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson and a Republican consultant of forming a front group, the Florida Tea Party, to help Democratic candidates in state and congressional races, including Grayson.

Michigan: A Democratic official was forced to resign his party position last week after being accused of fraudulently notarizing campaign filings for a dozen so-called tea-party candidates. The 23 candidates statewide who were supposedly representing tea parties have been denied ballot positions.

New Jersey: In the Third Congressional District, where Republican Jon Runyan is challenging Democratic freshman U.S. Rep. John Adler, the GOP says the incumbent is boosting the third-party bid of Peter DeStefano. There are reports of longtime Adler and Democratic Party supporters signing nominating petitions, and Adler’s campaign suspiciously released an early internal poll that included DeStefano. Adler denies any connection between his campaign and DeStefano.

Pennsylvania: In the governor’s race, a review of state records led the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review to report on Aug. 10: “Members of unions that endorsed Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato, as well as one of his campaign workers, helped get Tea Party candidate John Krupa onto Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial ballot.” Krupa dropped out of the race a week later when challenged by tea-party activists.

In the Seventh District race to replace U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, third-party candidate Jim Schneller wouldn’t be on the ballot with Republican Pat Meehan and Democrat Bryan Lentz if not for Democrats circulating petitions for him. Swarthmore Democrat Colleen Guiney, one of the “Lentz or Schneller for Congress” devotees, was referred to by Lentz earlier this year as “the hardest worker on my campaign.” A hearing on Meehan’s challenge to Schneller’s candidacy is scheduled for this week.

“It’s almost an admission that the party’s candidates need something other than merit to win this fall,” a recent Detroit Free Press editorial said of the Michigan case.

Wow, what a festival of generalizations, innuendo, and strawman arguments! It must’ve taken Ferris more than a week to come up with this dookey (I’m sure that’s why his column didn’t appear last week).

And of course, it’s only an issue if those teabaggers are helped by Dems and not Repugs as far as Ferris is concerned (can you say “double standard”?).

Concerning FLA, the following should be noted (here)…

In Florida, the evidence of a Democratic conspiracy is circumstantial at best. But Republicans gained new traction this week with a Roll Call article outlining connections between Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson, the famed firebrand who accused Republicans of telling patients to “die quickly,” and the upstart Tea Party. As reported in the piece, one of the Tea Party candidates for the state House, Victoria Torres, took $11,000 from the Grayson campaign for polling work. And one of the Florida Tea Party’s most prominent backers is longtime political consultant Doug Guetzloe, who serves as a Grayson appointee on a business advisory board and whose teenage son has worked as an intern for Grayson

A spokesman for Grayson, Todd Jurkowski, denied the charges to The Daily Beast and produced a copy of the poll he said the party commissioned from Torres, which was publicly released at the time it was conducted. It was a publicity stunt: Grayson polled himself as a candidate in the Republican primary and found himself in the lead. Jurkowski said the party sought a Republican pollster to better capture that side of the electorate, and that the firm that conducted the poll, Middleton Market Research, was subcontracted by Torres. (Torres did not return requests for comment.) As for Guetzloe, Jurkowski noted that Grayson has plausible appeal to some Tea Party members given his close association with Ron Paul on legislation like an amendment to audit the Fed.

So what of Michigan, then? As noted here…

According to a report from the Detroit Free Press Jason Bauer, former director of operations for the Oakland County Democratic Party, notarized a dozen affidavits for Tea Party candidates including one for a candidate who had no idea he was on the ballot. Two of the candidates were also later found to be under-aged and one was a resident of Phoenix, Arizona.

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Department has been investigating the matter and on Friday Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson filed a petition in court asking for a one-person grand jury to investigate possible election fraud.

Bauer resigned Sunday night and was condemned by the Oakland County Democratic Party as reports of his actions surfaced. He faces potential criminal charges over misusing his notary license. The head of the Oakland County Democrats resigned on Sunday as well.

So basically, Bauer acted like a total idiot and notarized the affidavits when he shouldn’t have, but my question is who prepared the affidavits to begin with? Until we know the answer to that question, I’m reserving judgment on the question of whether or not this is some kind of Dem “dirty tricks” operation or just a case of Bauer getting duped (he’d have to be pretty dumb to orchestrate something like this just to help his party knowing the risk).

And in New Jersey, Ferris is alleging a Dem/Tea Party conspiracy because incumbent Rep John Adler “suspiciously released an early internal poll” that included third-party candidate Pete DeStefano? Shocking!

Try reading this post where DeStefano says the Dems and Repugs “are both full of crap” and the Tea Partiers “are shills for the Republicans.” With that in mind, you would truly have to have a vivid imagination to think DeStefano is in collusion with anyone.

And concerning John Krupa, the alleged tea party candidate in the PA gubernatorial race, if the state GOP thought he was a “plant,” then why didn’t they challenge his petition? Why did they leave it up to the teabaggers to do that (here)?

The charge about Jim Schneller in the PA-07 U.S. House contest (pitting Dem Bryan Lentz against Repug Pat Meehan for Joe Sestak’s seat) is the one from Ferris that looks the most legitimate, though Schneller doesn’t consider himself to be a “tea party” candidate (walks like one and talks like one, though, based on this – the story notes, though, that Schneller has been percieved as a threat by both Democrats and Republicans).

However, considering that the Repugs did the same thing with Jay Russell in the Bucks County Commissioners election (here, with convenience store owner Russell siphoning just enough votes to prevent Dem Steve Santarsiero from winning and re-electing Repug Charley “I Have A Semi-Open Mind” Martin instead), I have no sympathy for the teabaggers on this or any other issue.


Lending A Lifeline To The “Funemployed”

July 19, 2010


Did you know that, according to J.D. Mullane in yesterday’s Bucks County Courier Times here, that “unemployment compensation discourages a substantial number” of people from finding work,” and that a cause of that could be that our beloved commonwealth doesn’t require proof that the unemployed have actively sought work?

Or that two economists produced a report in the ‘80s “show(ing) that a week before unemployment checks lapsed, about 4 percent sought work. A week later, job seeking spiked to 30 percent…it’s elementary economics. If you pay someone not to work, they won’t”?

And it gets even better – the “funemployed” can attend an “Erotic Writing Workshop” in their spare time (based in San Francisco, of course).

All of this was published in what purports to be a daily newspaper read, ostensibly, by adults (with Mullane also supporting Repug PA gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett’s assertion that the unemployed simply aren’t looking for work hard enough, featured in an ad by Corbett’s challenger, Dem Dan Onorato, here; Mullane dutifully ignores the part of the ad telling us that 800 people recently showed up at a Bucks County job fair that advertised 100 positions).

Meanwhile, for the reality point of view, I give you this from Jane M. Von Bergen of the Philadelphia Inquirer (there aren’t many reasons to read that paper any more, but she is one of them)…

Longtime software developer Malinda Ward has a Drexel degree in computer science. But after 17 months without a job, the programs she looks at today have more to do with feeding her family than with managing a company’s network capabilities.

She now knows, for example, that on Thursdays a homeless shelter in Coatesville distributes “extra vegetables, or they’ll hand out some food that has expired that day.” Free bread and cakes are available another day.

“Oh, I’m definitely scared,” said Ward, 48, who lives in West Brandywine Township with her four children and her husband, William, who also doesn’t have a job right now. Her unemployment benefits, $566 a week, ran out July 3.

Sue Kaiden, a professional career counselor and longtime volunteer with Joseph’s People, a support group for the unemployed, worries about their job prospects.

“Employers are saying, ‘We don’t want to hire you because you’ve been out of work so long,’ ” she said.

Her comments were buttressed by Peter Gioacchini, a senior director of talent acquisition at Cigna Corp., who said his company always looked for the best talent – and often those people are employed, not unemployed.

That’s the kind of thing that bothers Paul Beckmann, 63, of East Rockhill Township, a designer and draftsman who has been out of work since April 2009.

According to the Rutgers study, and another one by the Pew Economic Policy Group, people in his age bracket tend to have the hardest time finding another job. Nearly 30 percent of those who lose their jobs are out of work for more than a year, Pew found.

“I think the supervisor stuff is hurting me more than anything,” said Beckmann, who once earned $80,000 a year but now would accept much less.

And I don’t suppose it should be necessary to point out what is contained in this excerpt, but I will anyway…

Since December 2007, Congress has passed a series of extensions, known as tiers, to stretch the typical 26-week unemployment benefit an additional 53 weeks, with the proviso that funding would begin to peter out at the end of May. Twenty more weeks had been added in many high-unemployment states, including Pennsylvania.

Those opposed to another extension say the country simply can’t afford it. And some assert, as did Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett, the GOP gubernatorial candidate, that the benefits encourage people to stay at home instead of looking for work.

Public-policy professor Carl Van Horn, Zukin’s coauthor, disagrees.

“In a strong labor market, when unemployment is low, having an unemployment benefit does contribute slightly to the unemployment rate,” said Van Horn, who directs the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers.

But that’s absolutely not the case in this prolonged recession, he said, with nearly one in 10 workers out of a job and many more underemployed or discouraged.

Gosh, you mean none of them are “funemployed”? Why, whatever will J.D. say in response?

Also on the subject of unemployment, Mikey Fitzpatrick, running for the U.S. House seat he once held in PA-08 against Patrick Murphy, sent one of his foot soldiers to a recent job fair hosted by our congressman (here)…

Of 26 (hiring) participants, six were schools or job search entities more interested in selling services than offering jobs (Delaware Valley College provided a listing of primarily part-time openings from its website). Five more were insurers or pyramid operations looking for commissioned sales people.

A “pyramid operation,” huh? Want to try naming the ones you’re talking about to warn people?

Of course not, because if you did, you’d probably get sued.

Continuing…

These employers showed up to help Murphy even though they didn’t have many jobs to offer. When one was asked why he was at the job fair, he replied, “Because my congressman asked me to come.”

And of course, that’s proof of a patronage operation by a Dem, as every good Repug knows.

The author then goes on to blame Murphy because there weren’t as many jobs there as the author (and probably everyone else) would have preferred, though the companies did collect resumes in the event that funding became available for more positions. Which to me begs the question, how the #@!$ is Murphy supposed to be responsible for the hiring decisions of these employers?

(As an aside, I should tell you that I have attended job fairs that were little more than exercises in resume collection to obtain attendee demographic information for marketing purposes. I’m not sure how any politician can be blamed for that either, as opposed to the participating companies themselves.)

Fortunately, Murphy himself responded to this individual yesterday here, saying (in part) the following…

…in a stunning display of cynicism and arrogance, the accompanying guest opinion on this page, written by a campaign worker for Mike Fitzpatrick, mocks the job fair as a “stunt” and a waste of time. It belittles the job offerings as mostly “entry-level” positions. Jobs like security guards. Or health caregivers. Apparently, these careers aren’t good enough for Fitzpatrick. No doubt job seekers will be hurt and insulted by the characterization. My father still works as a security guard, as he has for over a decade. It’s an honest job that he’s proud to have, one that puts food on the table and pays the bills.

Maybe those in the Fitzpatrick camp have been living under a rock for the past couple of years. Otherwise, it’s hard to understand how they could be so incredibly out of touch. Eight years of failed Bush economic policies put American families through the wringer. Those economic policies, which Congressman Fitzpatrick supported, cost our country 8.2 million jobs. Families have seen their 401(k)s devastated and college savings accounts depleted.

Fitzpatrick talks a lot about creating jobs, but he’s stood against the very investments that are necessary to grow our economy. He opposed tax credits that helped green energy companies like Gamesa expand – the same company with a table at my Saturday event announcing 10 open positions.

He opposed tax incentives that helped Y-Carbon expand and move to Bucks County, another company with a table at the job fair looking for engineers and managers for its spin-off companies.

The truth is, Fitzpatrick isn’t just out of touch with what folks are facing today. He simply never has and never will make it a priority to fight for middle-class families.

Also, here is more information on Murphy and jobs (and to reward good behavior, click here).


You Want “Christie In PA”? Vote For Corbett.

July 7, 2010

The latest from Keystone Progress…

As out-of-state drilling companies plan thousands of new natural gas sites in Pennsylvania, the tragic spill in the Gulf has shown us just how dangerous drilling can be. In the next few years, it will be up to our state’s elected officials to make sure that all of the new drilling is done as safely and as responsibly as possible. Attorney General Tom Corbett is asking us to elect him as our next governor – to give him the power to regulate this industry and to protect our health and safety.

That’s why it’s so frightening that he’s accepted $360,000 from the natural gas interests he hopes to regulate. Perhaps more frightening, he’s accepted $3,000 in contributions from one of the worst polluters in the history of the world – Anadarko Petroleum, which co-owns the BP Deepwater Horizon well and holds the drilling rights to 33,000 acres of Pennsylvania’s public lands.

Click here to tell Mr. Corbett to give that money back!

On May 13, 2010, three weeks after the oil spill began, Corbett accepted a $3,000 contribution from the Texas based Anadarko Petroleum PAC. Anadarko owns 25% of the well that is destroying the Gulf of Mexico and has thus far refused to help pay to stop the leak, to clean up the mess, or to compensate victims.

Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania and Keystone Progress called on Mr. Corbett to return those funds and to refuse any further contribution from Anadarko until that company had fulfilled its responsibility to those affected by the tragedy in the Gulf.

Mr. Corbett refused.

As the Philadelphia Inquirer reported:

“Mr. Corbett said that, as the GOP nominee for governor, he was interested in how the company operated its Pennsylvania gas fields. ‘Anadarko is here in Pennsylvania,” he said in an interview. “We’re looking at their conduct in Pennsylvania.'”

If this company refuses to take responsibility for the incredibly public disaster in the Gulf, what makes him think that they’ll behave more responsibly in Pennsylvania? If he’s wants to be in charge of the state regulators who will ensure that drilling here is done safely, shouldn’t he refuse contributions from a company that has already proven itself a tremendous risk?

In 2006, Mr. Corbett told the graduates of Waynesburg College that: “responsibility means having the inner moral strength to always do what is right, even when those around you make other choices.”

So if Anadarko won’t take responsibility, it’s up to Mr. Corbett to publicly rebuke that company for its failings – just as we’d want him to hold them accountable if their drilling polluted Pennsylvania – and to give back their money. So far, he has refused. It’s up to us to remind him that protecting the health and safety of Pennsylvanians is the right choice to make:

Click here to demand that Corbett return Anadarko’s contributions.

Drilling for natural gas in Pennsylvania has already caused explosions, poisoned drinking water and damaged food supplies. Nationwide, over 1000 instances of hazardous pollution from natural gas drilling sites have been reported. We don’t know how many have gone unreported. As more and more companies start to drill in Pennsylvania, our leaders and our regulators must be strong, independent and determined to put our safety first. Only engaged citizens like you can make that happen. Thank you.

For a clean, safe and healthy Pennsylvania,

Josh McNeil, Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania

Michael Morrill, Keystone Progress

And by the way, I recently watched the superb documentary “Gasland” by PA’s Josh Fox, and if anyone out there thinks that Corbett wouldn’t open up the Marcellus Shale for natural gas development and endanger the drinking water of millions in the process (from PA to NYC)…well, you must also believe in the Easter Bunny and sugar plum fairies.

Fortunately, we have a proven alternative (below).

Update: You know what? Commenter Dr. Jeff Gordon is absolutely right, and I was wrong to imply that Corbett and Onorato have differences on drilling in the Marcellus Shale. I was so preoccupied with Corbett that I didn’t realize how bad Onorato is as well on this matter. I have other differences with Corbett, such as closing the Florida gun loophole, which Onorato supports but Corbett considers a non-issue.

Being “green” is smart, but I don’t know how drilling for natural gas can fall under that category.

Update 7/13/10: I would say that this tells us about another important difference between Corbett and Onorato.

Update 7/15/10: And this is a pretty damn pathetic joke signed onto by Corbett also.


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