Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Extension on Absentee Ballot Requests

from the inbox:

As you know, the storm Sandy had a wide impact across Pennsylvania. Our hearts go out to those across Pennsylvania and elsewhere who have suffered tragedy and loss as a result of the storm.

The storm also forced the closure of many state and county offices, making it impossible for some to return absentee ballot requests on their due date -- today, October 30th. To ensure that no one loses their ability to vote, the Commonwealth has extended the due date for absentee ballot requests by one additional day for each day your County Board of Elections was closed due to the storm.

SEPTA Instagram Contest

from our friends at SEPTA (modified press release):

Do you “SEPTA” to work? The museum? A game or concert? There are many reasons why people in the Greater Philadelphia Region use SEPTA. Now customers can tell the Authority why they ride with Instagram.

Using the Instagram photo application, riders will be encouraged to take photos of SEPTA during their daily use of the system and caption the photo with what riding SEPTA means to them, along with the hash tag #iseptaphilly. Photos will be aggregated into a photo stream, which will live on the home page.

The feed goes live on November 1. Weekly prizes, including tickets to concerts, 76ers games and Blue Mountain Ski Area and SEPTA passes and gear, will be awarded for the best pictures.  “We’re looking for more than the ‘I’m sitting on the train, heading to work’ photos,” said Elizabeth Bradford, the Authority’s Director of Marketing. “Our customers are creative — we’re looking for them to use their artistic skills and submit inspired images of why and how they SEPTA Philly. Let’s prove the old adage true – a picture really is worth a 1,000 words. ”

The photo contest is open to all members of the public. Submitted photos will be reviewed by SEPTA staff for approval before being accepted for the contest and the website. For more information on how to SEPTA Philly and to enter the contest, visit

Drucker on 422

from the inbox:

Dear Voter,

I am Paul Drucker, your candidate for State Representative.  I am writing to you to set the record straight and personally tell you that I do NOT support tolling Route 422.  My opponent is trying to mislead you in an attempt to distract from his record and the real issues facing our community. 

While I do not support tolling 422, I do support fixing it.  I support fixing all of the crumbling roads and bridges in our community, and across Pennsylvania, and I support doing so without burdening taxpayers.  Tolling 422 is not an option, and it is not what is best for our community. 

My opponent wasted our opportunity to improve 422 when he refused to make gas drillers pay their fair share.  He put the needs of his campaign contributors and special interests, especially Marcellus Shale gas drillers, ahead of the needs of our community.  Instead of standing up for us, he stood with them and voted to give away billions in taxpayer money to the gas industry.  That is money that belongs to us, and should have been used to fix our roads, not to mention fund our schools and build a brighter future. 

 Investing in transportation would create over 50,000 sustainable jobs, benefiting businesses, job creators, communities and taxpayers.  These are the jobs Pennsylvanians need and deserve.

Repairing and maintaining our roads and bridges is important for our safety and quality of life.  Nearly 40% of the bridges we use every day are becoming unsafe for us and our children. Many of us spend hours sitting in traffic when we would rather be spending time with our families.  By putting gas drillers and other special interests first, my opponent is costing us more than money. 

At the minimum, we expect our elected officials to keep us safe.  At best, we expect them to empower us to make our lives better.  My opponent has failed us on both accounts.  He has also failed to honor his commitment to fiscal responsibility. The transportation funding crisis is costing us, the taxpayers, $1 Million per day.  Sticking taxpayers with a multi-billion dollar tab while giving away billions to the gas industry is not responsible by anyone’s standard.

Don’t fall for my opponent’s tricks.  The next time you are sitting in standstill traffic when you would rather be spending time with your family, thank him.

As your State Representative, I will put us and our community ahead of the gas industry and other special interests.  I need your vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6th so I can stand-up for us.  Together we can return fairness to Harrisburg and build the brighter future we all deserve.


Paul Drucker, Candidate for State Representative, 157th District

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Delco Party Registration Gap Narrows

According to the Delaware County Times ("Democrats close gap with GOP among registered voters in Delaware County," by Danielle Lynch 10/26 ):

As of Monday, there were 397,773 registered voters in Delaware County, according to figures released by the county and Pennsylvania Department of State. Of that total, 176,252 are Republicans and 174,890 are Democrats, which leaves 46,631 registered with other parties or without affiliation.
That means there are only 1,362 more registered Republicans than Democrats in Delaware County.

Ann Romney in Good Housekeeping

Ann Romney's interview with Good Housekeeping has some interesting points in it.  Check out her comments on public education (against), regulations (against, except maybe clean air, compared to China), and who cooks dinner (apparently she does). 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Plan Philly's Future Game

DVRPC has recently launched an online visioning app, Choices & Voices, which allows you to develop your own scenario for growth and development in Greater Philadelphia.  It is a crowdsourcing application, so you can compare your scenario to the average of all the scenarios that have been submitted.   There is a companion report, called Connections 2040: Transportation Investment Scenarios.

Be forewarned:  the program will ask you to select your priorities for development, options for funding and then give you a budget and spending options based on your selections.  I didn't know this going in and found myself with too little money at the end.  Pick carefully from the start.  It's fun, though.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Request from Daily Kos and National Urban League

By request, a note from Daily Kos and the National Urban League:

On October 2, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania struck down parts of Pennsylvania's voter ID law, making photo identification unnecessary to cast a ballot in 2012. Poll workers can still ask for photo identification, but they must allow those without it to cast a regular ballot.

This is good news, but it is also confusing. This confusion could deter potential voters from casting a ballot this year, so it is imperative the public knows their legal rights. Please sign up to volunteer with Daily Kos and the National Urban League to mobilize and educate voters in Pennsylvania. You can take part, no matter where you live.

When you sign up, we will connect you to Pennsylvania organizers working with the National Urban League and Occupy the Vote. Those organizers will contact you with volunteer opportunities such as phone banking, canvassing, tabling, data entry, and providing transportation.

Obama on Women's Health

Jay Leno asked President Obama to respond to comments by Republican senate candidate Richard Mourdock.  Here is Obama's response:

Rape is rape. It is a crime. And so, these various distinctions about rape and, you know -- don't make too much sense to me. Don't make any sense to me. The second thing this underscores, though, this is exactly why you don't want a bunch of politicians -- mostly male -- making decisions about women's health care decisions. I -- women are capable of making these decisions in consultation with their partners, with their doctors. And, you know, for politicians to want to intrude in this stuff, often times without any information, is a huge problem. And this is obviously a part of what's at stake in this election. You've got a Supreme Court that -- you know, typically a president is gonna have probably another couple of appointments during the course of his term. And, you know, Roe vs. Wade is probably hanging in the balance. You've got issues like Planned Parenthood where, you know, that organization provides millions of women cervical cancer screenings, mammograms -- all kinds of basic healthcare. 

In discussions on these topics one rarely hears elected officials saying things like "women are capable of making these decisions."  Personally I find it refreshing.

Montco Voter Registration Update

Montgomery County Democrats announced new voter registration numbers today.  There are now 40,001 more registered Democrats than Republicans in the county.


NASA has selected 10 university-led proposals for study of innovative, early-stage space technologies designed to improve shielding from space radiation, spacecraft thermal management and optical systems. Early stage, or low technology readiness level concepts, could mature into tools that solve the difficult challenges facing future NASA missions.  Each of these technology areas requires dramatic improvements over existing capabilities for future science and human exploration missions. The 1-year grants are worth approximately $250,000 each, with an additional year of research possible.

There is one Pennsylvania university on the list:

Pennsylvania State University, University Park; "Integrated
control electronics for adjustable X-ray optics"

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Importance of School Libraries

from our friends at the Education Law Center:

Having access to a full-time, certified school librarian means better outcomes for Pennsylvania’s public school students, according to new research from the Colorado-based RSL Research Group.

The researchers examined the 2010-11 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) tests in Reading and Writing for students in grades three through 11, and tracked outcomes for students based on five school library factors: staffing, collections, digital resources and technology infrastructure, library access, and funding.

Overall, the greatest impact on student test scores was seen from having a full-time, certified librarian.

• Students who have access to a full-time, certified librarian scored higher on the PSSA Reading Test than those students who do not have such access. This finding is true for all students, regardless of their socio-economic, racial/ethnic, and/or disability status.
• For several student groups that tend to experience achievement gaps—economically disadvantaged, Hispanic, Black, and those with IEPs (Individualized Education Programs)—Reading and Writing results are markedly better when those students attend a school with a librarian and library support staff, according to the research. In fact, they benefit more proportionally than the general student population.
Attend the research briefing on Oct. 25:
View more information on the research project:

McCord Endorsements

Rob McCord, who is asking for a second term as Pennsylvania's Treasurer, has received a number of significant endorsements.  Links and excerpts:

Headline:  Inquirer Editorial: McCord's doing a good job

"McCord's command of the issues, experience, and creative approach to managing the office of treasurer make him the better choice for Pennsylvania voters.


"McCord's intimate knowledge of investment strategies is helping the state keep its pension funds solvent. He also has made the state's college savings program one of the best run in the nation."

Headline:  Treasurer McCord: The smart, skilled incumbent deserves a new term

"State Treasurer Rob McCord really loves his job. Mr. McCord, a Democrat, is a gregarious, talkative guy anyway, which makes him a natural in statewide politics. But when he starts explaining the big picture and all the minutiae that's involved in being the state's chief investment officer, it's obvious that he not only knows his subject but also is in his element."

Headline: Treasurer McCord deserves second term

"His first-time accomplishments include: Getting the college savings 529 plan back to being fiscally sound. Strengthening the oversight of state payments to prevent errors by using more audits and other checks. Reforming the unclaimed property bureau to generate more money. Using his veto power to deny former Gov. Ed Rendell the ability to issue a bunch of new debt at the end his term. McCord also has gone a step further than his predecessors and tried to bring business and investment savvy to policy debates.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Credit Reports

from the inbox:

Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) began accepting consumer complaints about credit reporting, giving consumers individual-level complaint assistance for the first time at the federal level.
"Credit reporting companies exert great influence over the lives of consumers. They help determine eligibility for loans, housing, and sometimes jobs,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Consumers need an avenue of recourse when they feel they have been wronged.”
Consumer reporting agencies, which include what are popularly called credit bureaus or credit reporting companies, are private businesses that track a consumer’s credit history and other consumer transactions. The credit reports they generate – and the three-digit credit scores that are based on those reports – play an increasingly important role in the lives of American consumers.
The largest credit reporting companies issue more than 3 billion consumer reports a year and maintain files on more than 200 million Americans. The consequences of errors in a consumer report can be catastrophic for a consumer, shutting him or her out of credit markets, jeopardizing employment prospects, or significantly increasing the cost of housing.
Although a small number of large businesses dominate the credit reporting market, there are many consumer reporting agencies in the United States. The market includes: the three largest credit reporting companies that sell comprehensive consumer reports; consumer report resellers that repackage information they buy from the largest companies; and specialty consumer reporting companies that primarily collect and provide specific types of information like on payday loans or checking accounts.
For consumers who believe that there is incorrect information on their credit reports or who have an issue with an investigation, before filing with the CFPB, they should first file a dispute and get a response from the consumer reporting agency itself. There are important consumer rights guaranteed by federal consumer financial law that may be best preserved by first going through the credit reporting company’s complaint process. Once that process is complete, if the consumer is dissatisfied with the resolution or if the consumer reporting agency does not respond, the CFPB is available to assist.
A consumer can come to the CFPB if he or she, for example, has issues with:
·         Incorrect information on a credit report;
·         A consumer reporting agency’s investigation;
·         The improper use of a credit report;
·         Being unable to get a copy of a credit score or file; and
·         Problems with credit monitoring or identity protection services.
Today’s announcement extends the kinds of complaints the CFPB already handles. The CFPB began taking credit card complaints when it launched on July 21, 2011. Since then, it has expanded to take complaints on mortgages, bank accounts and services, consumer loans, and private student loans.

Blogger Call on Women's Health

On Saturday bloggers around the country were invited to sit in on a call with Cecile Richards, who has taken a leave of absence to campaign full time for President Obama's re-election campaign.  Richards was in Philadelphia in  at an event sponsored by Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz.

Richards listed three reasons why women are better off with Obama in the White House:

1) Women  won't have to pay more for health care.  That's an economic issue for women, not just a health care issue.

2) Preventive care is covered.  Mammograms, pap smears, and contraception are covered with no co-pay.  This allows people to plan their families and it helps prevent unintended pregnancies.

3) You cannot be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions, such as breast cancer.  Romney said in the first debate that his plan covered pre-existing conditions but it doesn't.

Romney and Ryan say the will kill the health care bill.  Romney is running ads that muddy the waters on his abortion views.   He has said he supports the Blunt Amendment that allowed employers not to cover birth control for any reason. 

Many woman use birth control for reasons other than contraception. 

For every $1 spent on contraception we save $4 on unintended pregnancies.

Romney has also supported "personhood" legislation which would given fertilized embryos full legal rites from the moment of conception.  This would outlaw not only all abortions but also in vitro fertilization. 

Patrick Murphy on MSNBC

Required reading for those intending to watch the presidential debate Monday evening:  

Patrick Murphy, former congressman in Pennsylvania's 8th district, and the first Iraq War veteran elected to Congress, has written an essay on national security and war policy, with regard to the wars in the Middle East.

"It’s time for Romney to get serious about the fate of our troops," was posted Oct. 15th.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Between Me and My Doctor

Casa Jane has been visiting medical offices quite a bit lately.    One theme that has come across clearly is the frustration doctors feel with the intrusion of insurance companies into the exam room.   While there are some who oppose Obamacare out of fear that the government will come between them and their doctors, it is so clear to me that the insurance companies are already there.  This is not necessarily a new concept but it has been reinforced lately.

One doctor apologized repeatedly for looking at a computer screen as he talked.  He said the insurance company wanted records online and so he had to type and read as he went.  When I asked about a point of care he said it would be dependent on what the insurance company would allow.

Another medical issue required several calls to a couple of insurance companies to figure out how an exam would be covered.   When I got to the appointment both the doctor and the billing person were agitated about potential problems. 

I have good insurance (union, yes!) and even with it there are a lot of hoops I have to jump through.  The days when our medical decisions were made solely by patients and doctors were the days when patients paid for everything out of pocket.  Right now someone is going to be making or at least steering those decisions, and I have greater influence over elected officials than insurance company executives.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bob Casey Calls

Earlier this week the phone rang and when I answered a nice recorded voice invited me to join a call in progress with Sen. Bob Casey, sponsored by his campaign.  Here are my notes from that call.  I was working off the back of an envelope so my notes are sketchier than usual.  It was a campaign call so there were several reminders of how to donate to the campaign.

Larry Smar, Casey's campaign manager was talking when I joined the call.  He said Tom Smith, Casey's Republican challenger wants to join the Tea Party Caucus. 

Sen. Casey came on the phone.  He said polls showed him ahead but he is running as if it were a tight race.  In the Sept. 30th campaign finance reports he said Smith put $10 Million of his own money into the campaign and Smith may be the largest self-funder in the country.  Casey wants to protect the Medicare guarantee and he differs from Smith on Medicare, Social Security and tax policy.

Q:  high accomplishments on infrastructure
BC:  Great suggestions.  The Tea Party Caucus prevented us from doing more, the Recovery Act included infrastructure.  We also need new infrastructure -- broadband, etc.  Last year the Infrastructure Bank didn't pass although it had bipartisan support; it didn't get enough votes.

Q:  Sustainablility of social security, raising the cap from $110K or raising the age
BC:  Make sure we keep economy moving forward, adding jobs and payroll revenue.  Be affirmative but stop extreme views, remember the Republicans wanted to privatize social security in 2005.  There are many bipartisan ways we can come together.  The extremists want to take it way the guaranteed benefit and use the money for a tax cut for the wealthy.

Q:  How to refute Smith's claims that Casey raised taxes
BC:  I've got a record in the last 5 1/2 years.  It is fighting to protect tax cuts for middle in come families [Smar comes in to give examples.]

Q:  Worried about Medicare vouchers.  How could Romney do away with Planned Parenthood?
BC:  This is also on Tom Smith's agenda.  They are not kidding about this.  They want to turn Medicare into a voucher program.  Even many Republicans think this is a radical idea.

Q:  Who is telling the truth about Medicare?
BC:  On March 28th Paul Van de Water released a report from the Center for Budget Policy and Priorities.  It said vouchers would purchase less coverage with each passing year.

Q:  Why doesn't the Democratic Party take a more aggressive stance in saying there is an economic slow down all over the world.
BC:  The impediment is the Tea Party.  The block all attempts to get the economy going.

Q:  The Democrats need to stop being so gentlemanly and mention the 47%.
BC:  Good advice.

Q:  Misleading radio ads on voter id
BC:  I've seen the television version of that.  Our party made a tremendous effort to be ready for Voter ID.

[Casey leaves the call and Smar starts answering questions]

Q:  Economists should focus on the labor markets and higher education. 
LS:  Good idea, need everyone to come together to help create jobs.

Q:  How will the state combat a mixed message on Voter ID
LS:  It will take a big effort.

Q:  Distinction between Casey and Smith on women's health?
LS:  Tom Smith wants to end funding for family planning.

The call ended with another note on donating.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tom Smith, the $17 Million Dollar Man

Tom Smith, the Republican candidate for Senate, running against Sen. Bob Casey, has been willing to put a LOT of his own money into his campaign.  In this quarter alone Smith has added $10 million to his campaign; his total for the campaign is nearly $17 million in total.  Self-funding candidates are a boon to political organizations because available monies can be spent elsewhere, but they don't have a good track record of winning, look at Meg Whitman or Jon Corzine's re-election.. 

Fall White House Interns Announced

The White House Internship Program announced today the participants for the Fall 2012 session. The mission of the program is to make the White House accessible to future leaders around the nation and to prepare those devoted to public service for future leadership opportunities.
A White House Internship provides a unique opportunity to gain valuable professional experience and build leadership skills. Interns work in one of several White House departments, including the Domestic Policy Council, the National Economic Council, the Office of Cabinet Affairs, the Office of Chief of Staff, the Office of Communications, the Office of Digital Strategy, the Office of the First Lady, the Office of Legislative Affairs, the Office of Management and Administration, the Office of Presidential Correspondence, the Office of Presidential Personnel, the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, the Office of Scheduling and Advance, the Office of the Vice President, the Office of the White House Counsel, and the Office of White House Fellows.
Additional information about the White House Internship Program is available here:

Pennsylvanians on the list:

Berardi, Dana Hometown: Douglassville, PA; Cabrini College, PA
Blakemore, Emily Hometown: Charlottesville, VA; The H. John Heinz III College, Carnegie Mellon University, PA
Chojnacki, Martin Hometown: Kunkletown, PA; University of Pittsburgh, PA
Weber, Carolyn Hometown: Doylestown, PA; The Pennsylvania State University, PA
Williams, Maxwell Hometown: West Chester, PA; Temple University, PA

New Historic Landmark in Bethlehem

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the designation of 26 national historic landmarks and one national natural landmark as places that possess exceptional value and quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States. Currently there are only 2,527 designated national historic landmarks and 592 national natural landmark sites across the country that bear this national distinction.

One of these historic landmarks is in Pennsylvania:

  • Historic Moravian Bethlehem Historic District, Bethlehem, Pa. As an outstanding example of Moravian architecture and town planning, the Historic Moravian Bethlehem Historic District is the physical expression of a structured, 18th-century communal religious society.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Weekend Drucker Event

from the inbox:

On Saturday, October 13th, Paul Drucker, Democratic candidate for State Representative in the 157th District held an event at Black Rock Sanctuary in Phoenixville to address the environmental concerns facing Pennsylvania.

The event included guest speakers Josh McNeil, Executive Director for Conservation Voters of PA, Joe Nye, from Clean Water Action of PA and Peter Goodman, from Trout Unlimited.  Mr. McNeil, Mr. Nye and Mr Goodman spoke about the need to elect environmental advocates, like Paul Drucker, to the PA House of Representatives because of the need for strong environmental protection, particularly in light of the explosion of natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania.  Mr. Drucker has been endorsed by Conservation Voters of PA, Clean Water Action, Sierra Club and Penn Environment because of his strong record on environmental issues.

“I am thrilled that I am receiving such strong support from my community. The residents of the 157th value environmental protection.  I share their values, and I am proud of my record as an advocate for the environment.

The Act 13 “Impact Fee,” supported by my opponent, does not deal with the real impact of Marcellus gas drilling.  As a Representative, I supported legislation that would have made sure we protect our land, air and water while maximizing Pennsylvania’s economic benefit from this new industry.  That was the fair and responsible approach then, and it still is today.  Our environment is the legacy we will leave to our children and grandchildren. We must make sure that it is clean, safe and healthy,” said Drucker

Newsby bits

Mary Jo Daley, Democratic candidate for the 148th state house district, has been endorsed by the Women’s Campaign Fund, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to dramatically increasing the number of women in elected office who support reproductive health choices for all.

-For the first time in their histories, the Sierra Club and Clean Water Action have endorsed a candidate in the race for Pennsylvania Auditor General. Eugene DePasquale (D) received endorsements from both organizations today.

Tyson Organization Call

Earlier this evening I received a call about environmental priorities and activism.

The woman on the phone asked how important I thought industrial waste was (I don't have the exact wording on this). 

Then she asked if I approved or disapproved of the job government was doing regarding regulations.

Next she asked if in the past six months I had donated to a group fighting for clean air (might not have that exactly right).  There was a nearly identical question asking if I had volunteered for such an organization. 

She asked if I thought the government should do a lot, a little or nothing about global warming. 

Towards the end of the call she asked if I considered myself a clear air activist.

The call was from the Tyson organization (, whose political clients are Democrats and which also represents environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club, the League of Conversation Voters, and the Environmental Defense Fund.

Cillizza, the GOP, and Pennsylvanians

Chris Cillizza, blogger at the Washington Post, wrote a post today on Republicans, Pennsylvania, and Charlie Brown.  The gist:

Simple. Like Charlie Brown, Republicans convince themselves every four years that the math in Pennsylvania can add up to a majority for their candidate. And, every four years, Democrats pull the ball away at the last minute and carry the Keystone State.

The entire post is up on Cillizza's blog, The Fix.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Teplitz Fires Back

Rob Teplitz, the Democratic candidate in the 15th state senate district, is fighting back against attack ads.  His campaign sent out this statement today:

The Truth About Rob Teplitz’s Record

Fighting for Pennsylvania

State Senate candidate Rob Teplitz reveals the lies and distortions in John McNally’s false and misleading negative ads


Harrisburg, PA — Over the weekend, State Senate candidate John McNally released a false and misleading negative attack ad meant to distort Rob Teplitz’s 14-year career of fiscal responsibility fighting for Pennsylvania’s taxpayers and families.
McNally was forced to revert to these baseless attacks because he can no longer talk about the issues or his record of supporting cuts to education – cuts that are forcing property taxes to skyrocket across the 15th Senatorial District.

Below, we take a look at the claims made by McNally in his ad, and set the record straight:

McNally claims that Rob Teplitz is a political insider.
  • Fact: Rob Teplitz has never before run for political office, nor has he held any elected office or elected party position.
  • Fact: The real political insider in this race is John McNally who spent the last five years as the Chairman of the Dauphin County Republicans.

McNally distorts Rob Teplitz’s record and accuses him of taking over $90,000 in unwarranted taxpayer funded raises.
  • Fact: Rob Teplitz works for the Commonwealth in the Auditor General’s office where he has never had the ability to set his own salary, or give himself a pay raise.
  • Fact: During the time Rob has been working for the Commonwealth, he has saved Pennsylvania taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars and gotten raises and promotions fitting someone who excels at their job.
  • Fact: Rob Teplitz began his career with the Auditor General at the bottom of the ladder. Through hard work and perseverance he worked his way up to the position of Chief Counsel and Policy Director for Auditor General Jack Wagner.

McNally distorts Rob Teplitz’s record and accuses him of taking a 25% pension increase and implies that he is running for office to see his pension increase by 211% if elected.
  • Fact: As a state employee, Rob Teplitz has no control over his pension because pension rates are set by the Legislature.
  • Fact: John McNally’s distortions demonstrate that John McNally doesn’t believe that state workers – thousands of whom live in the 15th senatorial district – are entitled to a pension, and John McNally simply doesn’t understand how our state government operates.
McNally claims that Rob Teplitz has proposed over $2 Billion dollars in new government spending which will result in higher taxes.
  • Fact: Rob Teplitz is the only candidate in this race who has a record of saving taxpayer money and eliminating waste, fraud and abuse.
  • Fact: Rob Teplitz is the only candidate in this race with a plan save hundreds of millions of dollars per year while restoring programs like health insurance for families, child care programs, and services for victims of domestic violence.
  • Fact: John McNally is using this clear distortion to distract voters from his record of supporting cuts to education funding[1] that have been driving up property taxes[2].
John McNally is using these misleading smear ads to hide his own record of flip-flopping on the issues that matter to the people of the 15th district. We should be discussing ideas and ways to move the capital region forward – not engaging in attacks on state employees. The facts are pretty simple, but as we’ve seen before with issues such as his stance on cutting education funding, John McNally has no problem ignoring the facts.


More on Specter

from the inbox:

Today, Cindy Bass, Councilwoman for the 8th District, released the following statement on the passing of former US Senator Arlen Specter.
“I am saddened by the loss of Senator Arlen Specter. Senator Specter was a true champion for Philadelphia and consistently fought hard in Washington for the needs of its citizens.
“Having had the opportunity to interact with Senator Specter on many occasions, I can say that he was always kind and gracious, and was a real man of the people.
“My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”

Marcel Groen, Chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic Committee

Senator Arlen Specter was a giant in Pennsylvania politics. His intellect, character and work ethic served the people of Pennsylvania extremely well . Despite the fact that for most of his career we were on opposite sides of the political aisle, Sen. Specter was a moderate in the best sense of the word, and eschewed the ideological extremes that are so prevalent today.

Our condolences and best wishes go out to the Specter family and all his friends. Sen. Specter will be greatly missed.

The Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) will air a special LIVE PCN Call-In program in memory of the Senator on Tuesday, October 16 beginning at 8:00 p.m.

Philadelphians Plan Trade Mission to Italy

The Italy-America Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia (IACCGP) is a non-profit organization comprised of businesses and professionals from throughout the Greater Philadelphia region, whose mission is to foster trade, commerce and successful business ventures between Italy and the local Philadelphia region. In addition to trade missions, educational seminars, a dual citizenship program and periodic networking events, the IACCGP also promotes cultural awareness and social activity through its quarterly “Regional Cuisines of Italy” dinners. 

From November 26 to Dec 2 the IACCGP is going on a trade mission to Rome and Milan focusing on attracting new Italian businesses and investments to the area’s tourism, life science, energy and bio-technology sectors.    In Pennsylvania, Italy currently ranks number thirteen for the total number of firms and nine for the total number of jobs available throughout the commonwealth. Fifty-two percent of these companies are in the manufacturing industry providing 5,309 jobs to area residents. 

The trade mission, led by IACCGP President Joseph A. Auteri and IACCGP Executive Director Marco Circelli, will include a seminar for Italian companies that will promote investment opportunities in the Greater Philadelphia area with an in-depth analysis underscoring the region’s economic environment for businesses in the clean energy, life science and bio-technology fields.
Conversely, IACCGP leadership will meet with Invitalia, an economic development organization that operates under the Italian government to highlight the advantages of American-operated businesses doing business abroad. 
More information on the trip can be found on the organization's website (  There are still spots available for interested businesses.  (information taken from a press release and the organization's website).