Monday, November 30, 2015

Waxman in the 182nd

Okay, let's try to follow the bouncing ball.

Congressman Chaka Fattah, facing charges, is still running for re-election for Pennsylvania's 2nd congressional district.

A handful of Democrats have announced campaigns to challenge Fattah.  Among them is State Rep. Brian Sims (D-182; state house campaign site, congressional campaign site, legislative site).  PoliticsPA is reporting that he will run for re-election in the state house while he runs for Congress.

To fill that void, Ben Waxman is running for Sims's state house.  Waxman is the spokesman for State Sen. Vincent Hughes.  The Penn Dems (University of Pennsylvania student Democratic organization) is listed him as a candidate in the announcement for their Dec. 2nd meeting.  Prior to that the Citified blog at listed him as a potential candidate and the site is live.

Get your scorecards ready!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Stollsteimer's Drug Market Intervention Initiative

Jack Stollsteimer, an announced candidate for Pennsylvania Attorney General, has released a drug market intervention initiative.  It is a four page document available on his website.  He has a three-pronged approach and spells out specific actions he would have the department and community partners take.  It's a pdf and doesn't allow me to cut and paste.

This initiative is related to the increase in misuse of prescription pain killers and the increased use of heroin.

data related to the dispensing
of Schedule II controlled substances by pharmacies
and doctors in Pennsylvania.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Dwight Evans Wants You to Wear Pants

from the inbox, a note from Dwight Evans:

Every day, it seems like the Republicans in Washington, D.C. are making it harder for folks to get by -- and now they seem to think people don't even have a right to the dignity of wearing pants:

"You don't have a right to pants, you don't have a right to health care, you don't have a right to water." -- Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)
Well, I have a message for Senator Paul:

People do have the right to health care. They do have the right to clean drinking water. And people do have the right to get up in the morning, put on a pair of pants, and feel the pride and security that comes from a good job.

I'm running for Congress to help end this nonsense so we can get to work on a new national plan for America's cities, building up every neighborhood. And that starts with investing in people -- raising the minimum wage, paid family leave, and jobs that can support a family.

I put on my pants just like everyone else: one leg at a time, and I'm going to get up every day and fight for Philadelphia, block by block, just like I've always done.

Faleschini on Restrepo

Jake Faleschini has a good article in yesterday's Huffington Post, "Senate Obstruction of Restrepo Nomination is Simply Inexcusable."  Luis Restrepo has been a U.S. District Court judge for two years.  His nomination to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals (both in PA) has been on hold for a year.  

Local Blogger Has a New Podcast

Marisa McClellan, who blogs at Apartment 2024 and Food in Jars, is part of a new podcast:

Food mavens Joy Manning and Marisa McClellan have created Local Mouthful, a podcast focusing on all things local and tasty.

Check it out.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Mary Ellen Balchunis Campaign Update

Mary Ellen Balchunis, Democratic candidate for the 7th congressional district, has announced some changes to her campaign.  For one, her campaign website has a new address, still works, but you can also go to -- both will take you to the same site.  Her twitter handle is the catchy @me4congress .

Secondly, she announces a new campaign manager, Brad Koplinski, who has a lengthy political biography himself.

Lastly, she has added some names to her finance committee, including John Kane, business manager of Plumbers Local 690, and the wonderful Bev Hahn of the Montgomery County DFA

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Patrick Murphy Hosts Veterans Day Program

from the inbox:

Fox Rothschild partner Patrick Murphy, the first Iraq War veteran elected to Congress where he served two terms, will cohost a one-hour primetime TV special on Veterans Day about the 2015 Triumph Games in which 12 spectacular veteran-athletes vie in adaptive sports for $240,000 in prize money.

Jody Simon (Los Angeles), who chairs the Production Practice in Fox Rothschild’s Entertainment Department, served as general counsel for the show, which was produced by Our Vets Success.
The program will air on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, at 7 p.m. ET and again at 10 p.m. ET on the CBS Sports Network.

Monday, November 09, 2015

Fact Sheet on Health Communities Challenge for Philadelphia

from the inbox:

FACT SHEET: Healthy Communities Challenge for Philadelphia

As the Affordable Care Act’s coverage provisions have taken effect, 17.6 million Americans have gained coverage, and, since 2010, we’ve reduced the uninsured rate in this country by 45 percent.  The nation’s uninsured rate now stands at its lowest level ever. But still, in communities across the country, 10.5 million people eligible for Marketplace coverage remain uninsured.

Today, we are launching the White House “Healthy Communities Challenge” to engage key communities with large numbers or high percentages of uninsured in states across the country where strong federal, state and community collaboration can have a meaningful impact on reaching the uninsured. Through this challenge, we are calling on community leadership to build outreach efforts to reach these remaining uninsured and help them gain coverage. 

At the end of this third open enrollment period, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), along with State-based Marketplaces, will publish tallies of new Marketplace signups in participating communities. These tallies will be compared to HHS estimates of the number of eligible uninsured people at the start of open enrollment to see which communities made the most progress during the challenge. 

The victorious community gets bragging rights, a healthier community, and a visit from President Obama to celebrate their success in helping ensure every American has health coverage.

Based on particularly high opportunity for impact, the White House reached out to local officials in each of these 20 communities, including Mayor Michael Nutter, who embraced the “Healthy Communities Challenge” to get their uninsured constituents covered.

Philadelphia Health Insurance Marketplace for 2016

  • Health insurance coverage is affordable.  On June 30, 2015, 397,967 people in Pennsylvania were covered through its Health Insurance Exchange, or Marketplace. 

    • In Pennsylvania, 69 percent of people can find a plan for $100 or less, 63 percent for $75 or less, and 55 percent for $50 or less for 2016. 
    • The average monthly premium in Philadelphia for the second-lowest cost silver plans will increase by 3 percent from 2015 to 2016 before tax credits.

    • Tax credits matter.  In 2015, 80 percent of Marketplace enrollees – 320,162 people – in Pennsylvania received a tax credit, and consumers saved an average of $220 per month.

  • Consumers have a choice

    • In Pennsylvania, 12 issuers are offering individual health plans in the Marketplace in 2016.

    • Issuers are offering an average of 31 plans per county in Pennsylvania in 2016.

    • In Philadelphia, 4 issuers are offering individual health plans in the Marketplace in 2016.
  • It pays to shop

    • In Pennsylvania, 92 percent of Marketplace consumers who switch to the lowest-cost plan within a coverage level could save on average $38 per month, or $450 per year, on their premium costs in 2016.

    • About 21 percent of 2014 enrollees in Pennsylvania switched to a new plan in 2015, saving $603 per year – and $17,578,294 in total statewide – on premium costs.

  • While progress has been made, more work is needed to cover the uninsured.

    • In Pennsylvania, the adult uninsured rate dropped from 11 percent in 2013 to 7.7 percent in the first half of 2015. 

    • In Philadelphia and the surrounding region, there are 178,000 uninsured who are eligible for the Marketplace.
      (The number of the uninsured is for the Designated Market Area that includes Philadelphia.)

Sekela Coles Announces Candidacy in PA House 164th

This weekend Sekela Coles announced her candidacy for the PA House of Representatives, in the 164th district.  The district contains Millbourne, East Lansdowne, and parts of Upper Darby, and is currently represented by Democrat Margo L. Davidson.

In 2013, Coles was the first African American woman elected to the 7th district of the Upper Darby Township Council.  She was part of Gov. Tom Wolf's transition committee.  She graduated from Central High School and has a bachelor's degree in Finance and Banking from Lincoln University, an MBA from Penn State, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University.

The Delaware County Times has a lengthy article by Linda Reilly on Coles's campaign announcement.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Dan Clifford's Video

Dan Clifford, candidate for the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, is a former head of the Family Law section of Pennsylvania Bar Association.  During his term he led a project to create a video to help judges learn or improve their skills in interviewing children. A short trailer is available on youtube.  The actual video, also on youtube is over an hour long.  Clifford's law firm posted a note about the video.  Here is an excerpt:

The video was produced and edited by Clifford who saw the need to create a film that could help new judges, divorcing parents and professionals working with children in custody disputes learn how to interview children in a sensitive way.    

A Quick Look at Sean Kilkenny

SeanP. Kilkenny, Democratic candidate for sheriff in Montgomery County, grew up in New York.  His father served in the Army and in the Suffolk County Police Department. As an undergraduate at Villanova in 1994 he ran for studentoffice and listed, among his campus involvement being a resident assistant, an ROTC commander, volunteering with Catholic Worker Program in the Campus Ministry, and being an athlete escort for the Special Olympics.  For law school he attended Temple, and then earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of South Carolina.

Kilkenny is or has been the solicitor for several municipalities or townships in Montgomery and Bucks County, including for the Montgomery County Controller’s office.  He has also been a member of the Judge Advocate General Corp.  This has included time in SouthKorea in 2002 where he prosecuted an American serviceman in the death of two teenage Korean girls killed when his vehicle hit them.  He also served in Kosovo and Iraq; the last was part of a yearlong active duty tour.   In his six weeks in Baghdad he successfully  prosecuted a sexual assault case, in the same courtroom in which Saddam Hussein was tried. 

He is the former president of the Jenkintown Borough Council, and is or has been on the boards of the Hiway Theater and the Montgomery County Community College

Sunday, November 01, 2015

PA in the WSJ

A few Pennsylvania-related notes in this week's Wall Street Journal:

“Valeant flap puts focus on sales pacts,” by Jeanne Whalen (10/31), notes that the Philidor company was based in Pennsylvania.

“At this luxury cabin, it’s game on,” by Don Steinberg (10/30), highlights a 7,000 foot cabin in Huntingdon County, owned by Brian Crowe, owner of Crowe Transportation.  It’s beautiful.

Marybeth Gasman, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, is quoted in “Grads rate Black colleges higher,” by Douglas Belkin (10/28)

Yes, it’s here too, “Runaway military blimp soars over Pennsylvania, lands in rural county,” captions a photo of the blimp with an Amish horse and buggy in the foreground. (10/29)

Andrea Halpern of Bucknell University is quoted in “The science of why a song sticks in your head,” by Melinda Beck (10/27)