Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Rendell job approval sinks as budget deal unravels

It's deja vu all over again as the latest Quinnipiac University poll reveals that Pennsylvania residents still have a low regard for both Gov. Ed Rendell and the Pennsylvania Legislature.

I'm going to go out on a limb and speculate that the three-month-old budget stalemate has something do with it.

Rendell's job approval rating remains negative, 42% approve - 51% disapprove, a slight improvement from his record low of 39% - 53% recorded July 21, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday.

Only 26 percent of voters approve of his handling of the state budget, while 53 percent say he has been too inflexible and 30 percent call him courageous, the poll says. (The Sept. 18 budget deal reached by Rendell and leaders of three of the four legislative caucuses appears to be dead as rank-and-file lawmakers balk at the new taxes and spending cuts contained in the agreement.)

More from the Quinnipiac Poll:
Only 31 percent of voters approve of the budget agreement, while 37 percent disapprove and 31 percent aren't sure, the poll finds. Rendell is most responsible for the impasse, 27 percent say, as 21 percent blame legislative Republicans; 9 percent legislative Democrats and 30 percent say they are equally to blame.

"Gov. Ed Rendell remains at the low ebb of his governorship when it comes to public opinion, perhaps not surprising given the lengthy budget stalemate. He does better with women, who disapprove 49 - 44 percent, than with men, who disapprove 54 - 41 percent. The legislature's rating, where 27 percent approve and 64 percent disapprove, is even worse," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
For more poll analysis and to review the numbers (including who has the edge to replace Rendell next year), go to the Quinnipiac University Web site.

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GOP is 3-for-3 in PA special elections

There have been three special elections so far this year to fill vacant seats in the Pennsylvania Legislature.

Republicans have won all three seats, two in the Senate and one in the House, by safe margins.

The success the Republican Party has had bodes well for 2010 when all 203 seats in the state House and 25 of the 50 seats in the state Senate are up for re-election.

(The GOP lost its majority in the House in 2006 thanks largely to the backlash over the legislative pay raise and was unable to recapture the majority in 2008 primarily because of the Barack Obama landslide in Pennsylvania. With no major Democratic names on the ticket in 2010, the GOP has a chance to retake control of the House.)

The most recent contest, Tuesday's victory by state Rep. Bob Mensch in the 24th Senatorial District, was by far the GOP's biggest win of the year. Mensch defeated his well-financed Democratic opponent by a 2-1 margin.

Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason took note of the GOP's undefeated streak in releasing the following statement congratulating Mensch:
"It is clear that Bob Mensch's message of reform and fiscal responsibility resonated with the voters," Gleason said. "We are confident that Bob Mensch will be a great leader for Pennsylvanians living in the 24th Senatorial District and a welcome addition to the state Senate."

"The Republican Party of Pennsylvania was proud to support the Mensch Campaign in this important race. This year, our Party has gone undefeated, enjoying three dominating victories in special elections around the Commonwealth. Our Party feels confident that these victories will provide our candidates with momentum heading into the upcoming statewide judicial elections where we will elect Judge Joan Orie Melvin to serve as our next Supreme Court Justice."
The 24th state Senatorial District consists of portions of Bucks, Lehigh, Montgomery and Northampton counties. Mensch was elected to fill the term of former state Sen. Rob Wonderling, who resigned earlier this summer.

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The Circus Is In Town

PA will ration swine flu vaccine

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mensch wins PA Senate seat in landslide

Voter turnout was small but the victory was decisive.

State Rep. Bob Mensch won a landslide victory over Democrat Anne Scheuring to fill the vacant 24th Senatorial District seat.

Mensch defeated Scheuring by a 2-1 margin. In his home county of Montgomery, Mensch defeated Scheuring by a remarkable 72% to 26% margin. In Lehigh County, Mensch won by a 64% to 30% margin. In Bucks County, Mensch won by a 68% to 29% margin. The tightest race was in Northampton county, where Mensch beat Scheuring by a 53% to 42% margin.

With all 123 precincts reporting results, Mensch finished with 12,496 votes. Scheuring had 5,730 votes. Libertarian candidate Barbara Steever had 660 votes.

After three years in the state House representing the 147th District, Mensch moves to the state Senate, giving Republicans a 30-20 majority.

The 24th Senate District has been vacant since July when former state Rep. Rob Wonderling resigned to become president and chief executive of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

There's no indication when Mensch's seat in the state House will be filled. While Senate Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, a Republican, got to decide when to hold a special election for Wonderlng's seat, the task of filling Mensch's seat falls to Speaker of the House Keith R. McCall, a Democrat.

With Democrats holding a slim 104-99 majority in the House, don't look for McCall to move quickly on replacing Mensch in one of the safest Republican districts in the state. Don't be surprised if McCall puts off a special election until next year.

One other interesting note. There have been three special elections this year to fill vacancies in the state Legislature and Republicans have won all three races by wide margins. That does not bode well for Democrats heading into the 2010 election cycle when all 203 House seats and 25 Senates seats are up for grabs.

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Mensch wins Montgomery, Bucks counties

State Rep. Bob Mensch has won the special election to fill the vacant seat in the 24th Senatorial District, winning all four counties that make up the district by comfortable (and in some cases 2-1) margins.

Here are the final unofficial vote totals from Montgomery County: Republican Bob Mensch received 5,704 votes or 72% of the ballots cast. Democrat Anne Henning Scheuring finished with 2,056 votes or 26% of the ballots cast. Libertarian Barbara Steever received 162 votes or 2% of the ballots.

In Bucks County, Mensch received 2,597 votes or 68% with Scheuring receiving 1,105 votes or 29% and Steever trailing with 112 votes or 3 percent of the ballots cast.

Mensch did just as well in Lehigh and Northampton counties.

Mensch wins Lehigh, Northampton counties

Here are the final unofficial results from the Northampton County portion of the 24th state Senatorial Distric.

State Rep. Bob Mensch, a Republican, finished on top with 1,855 votes or 53% of the ballots cast. Democrat Anne Scheuring received 1,464 votes or 42% of the ballots. Libertarian Barbara Steever tailed with 153 votes or 4% of the ballots cast.

Mensch also won Lehigh County and is ahead in Bucks and Montgomery counties.

The special election was held Tuesday to pick a replacement for former state Sen. Rob Wonderling.

Mensch projected winner for state Senate seat

Final vote tallies are still coming in, but it appears that state Rep. Bob Mensch will win the special election to fill the vacant state Senate seat for the 24th Senatorial District.

Mensch, the Republican candidate, is ahead in all four counties that make up the district: Montgomery, Bucks, Lehigh and Northampton.

The Lehigh Valley numbers are complete. Mensch finished with 2,340 votes or 64% of the vote. Democrat Anne Scheuring is a distant second with $1,105 votes or 30% and Libertarian Party candidate Barbara Steever brings up the rear with 233 votes or 6% of the vote.

If Mensch wins the seat formerly held by state Sen. Rob Wonderling, it will be the third special election for an open state Legislature seat won by Republicans in 2009.

Bipartisan Rejection of Public Option

Voter Registration Deadline Is Oct. 5

Time is running out to register to vote in the Nov. 3 General Election.

There's no national contests, but voters can pick the next Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice.

Also on the ballot are local candidates, school board candidates and some county offices, including Common Pleas Court judges.

Voter Registration Deadline Is Oct. 5 for November Election


October is Crime Prevention Month in Pennsylvania

Hands in the 'Kookie Jar'

Rendell doesn't have the votes for budget deal

At the 90-day mark in the new fiscal year, Gov. Ed Rendell announced he is setting an Oct. 4 deadline ... or maybe Oct. 6 ... for the Legislature to have an approved budget on his desk.

We know how well the Legislature meets deadlines. It took the leaders of three of the four caucuses 80 days into the fiscal year to reach a budget agreement acceptable to Rendell. (House Republicans still don't want any part of the deal.)

So why the new-found sense of urgency on the part of the governor? Because people are beginning to figure out that the "deal" reached on Sept. 18 was just another red herring to distract Pennsylvanians from the ineptness of the governor and Legislature.

"We've had time," Rendell said Monday. "We should be able to get this done, no ifs, ands or buts about it. And there are a lot of people out there who are depending on us to get this done."

The reality is there is no deal. Rendell and the legislative leaders don't have the votes to get the so-called compromise agreement passed in the state House. They've been trying for 10 days to gather enough votes, but they keep coming up short. And every day that goes by, the "deal" loses more support.

Some house members won't vote for the "deal" because of the controversial tax on admission to arts venues, museums and zoos. Others object to the plan on environmental grounds. Some are upset with the proposal to tax games of chance and bingo operations at fire halls.

It's clear that Rendell and the legislative leadership jumped the gun on Sept. 18. While the Senate could probably come up with 25 or 26 votes to pass the budget deal, the votes are not there in the House, where up to 30 Democrats could bolt.

Democrats hold a slim 104-99 majority. Even if 10 Republicans can be bribed into voting for the deal, that's still not enough votes to make up for the Democratic defectors.

Forget about Rendell's latest deadline. It will come and go. I'm thinking Halloween before a real budget agreement is reached.

Check out more on the unraveling of the "budget deal" at POLICY BLOG

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Ron Paul on 'The Daily Show'

U.S. Rep. Ron Paul will be making a return appearance on The Daily Show Tuesday, Sept. 29 to talk about his latest book, "End The Fed," which challenges the constitutionality of the Federal Reserve.

The Congressman's latest release recently entered the New York Times' bestseller list at number six, mirroring the success of his previous book, "The Revolution: A Manifesto."

"End The Fed," has served as a rallying point for supporters of Paul's bill, H.R. 1207 The Federal Reserve Transparency Act, meant to shed light on the practices of the nation's central bank. Last week, the House Financial Services Committee held hearings on bringing more transparency to the Fed, this development came after increased support and a super-majority sponsorship of the bill in Congress.

The success of Congressman Paul's book and the "Audit The Fed" movement has given him a greater platform to spread his message of sound money and economic stability to the public, which seems to be growing ever more receptive since the economic crisis of last year.

The episode will air on Tuesday at 11:00 pm EDT, and again Wednesday at 7:00 pm EDT.
For more information on monetary policy go to

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Obama Apology Tour Continues

U.S. Transfers 3 Guantanamo Bay Detainees to Foreign Nations

The revolving door continues to swing at Gitmo. Here's something you probably didn't know: Since 2002, more than 550 detainees have departed Guantanamo for other countries including Albania, Algeria, Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Belgium, Bermuda, Chad, Denmark, Egypt, France, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Maldives, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom and Yemen.

The government won't say how many of the released "terror suspects" have taken up arms again against the U.S. and its allies.

United States Transfers Three Guantanamo Bay Detainees to Foreign Nations

Can't Afford to be Generous? Blame the Economy

Video: All the Tax Hikes Considered for Obamacare

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Reporter jumps out of airplane

Here's proof that reporters at The Mercury will go to any length (or height) to get the story. Staff writer Brandie Kessler jumped out of an airplane from 10,000 feet Saturday as part of the Community Day festivities at the Pottstown Municipal Airport. And she lived to talk about it ... and write a first-hand account of the experience. Pick up a copy of Sunday's edition of The Mercury for stories and some incredible photos from the ground and from the air. Also check out The Mercury's Web site,, for video of the event. That's Brandie above with tandem instructor Chuck McElwee of Keystone Skydiving Center. The top photo was taken by videographer Ali Abdullatif. The bottom photo was taken by Kevin Hoffman of The Mercury.


State Capitol Roundup

Here's this week's State Capitol Roundup courtesy of state Rep. Bob Mensch, R-147:

Republicans Call for Reform While Awaiting Budget Details

House Republicans are calling for reform in the budget process as House Democrat and Senate staff finalize details for the three-caucus budget agreement recently announced. Republican Leader Sam Smith (R-Jefferson) maintains that the $27.945 billion, three-caucus plan needlessly raises taxes, contains more spending than the Commonwealth can afford and also completely drains the emergency Rainy Day Fund and the MCare Fund, leaving Pennsylvania ill-equipped to face future challenges. With these concerns in mind, Rep. Glen Grell (R-Cumberland) has requested that House Speaker Keith McCall (D-Carbon) take immediate action to appoint a bipartisan Speaker's Commission on Budgetary Reform. Grell has outlined some of the duties of the commission, including establishing fixed time lines and milestones in the budget process and affording greater involvement in the process by every member of the House. For the latest budget-related news, visit

House Republican Initiatives Included in Proposed Budget Agreement

A revenue-generating tax amnesty proposal developed by Rep. John Bear (R-Lancaster), calling for a 90-day tax amnesty period to be declared by the governor during the 2009-10 fiscal year, is a key component of the three-caucus budget agreement. The proposal would generate an estimated $190 million for the Commonwealth. In addition, a plan introduced by Rep. Dave Reed (R-Indiana) that would expand environmentally safe natural gas harvesting on state forest lands is also being considered. The Commonwealth would receive up-front payments to lease the land and royalty payments based on the amount of natural gas harvested from the property, and the plan would help create 7,000 new private-sector jobs. In Reed's bill, the state would share some of the new dollars with local governments and conservation districts. However, initial reports suggest budget negotiators are planning to use all of the new revenue to fill the state budget. Although these proposals are being considered, House Republicans remain concerned that the three-caucus budget plan raises taxes unnecessarily and spends too much. For the latest budget news, visit

Overwhelming Bipartisan Support for Effort to Halt Adoption of Graduation Exams

As public opposition to adopting high school Graduation Competency Assessments (GCAs) or the Keystone Exams grows, bipartisan legislative opposition has also increased. There are currently 161 House members that are co-sponsors of House Resolution 456, which would halt the implementation of the exams until official policies are enacted legislatively. While the administration continues to press forward with the exams, House Republicans maintain the need to focus on enhancing the overall quality of K-12 education - not overly burdening high school seniors. Another concern is the estimated $200 million it would cost to institute the exams, when the state faces a $3.2 billion budget deficit. The Independent Regulatory Review Commission is set to decide whether or not to move forward with the plan after the state Board of Education last month approved the tests. The future of the exams faces an uphill battle, as the tentative three-caucus budget agreement does not contain funding for the exams, but the issue remains a priority for the governor. For the latest legislative news, visit

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS


AAA Campaign Aims to Pass Texting While Driving Bans in All 50 States

PJTV Debuts 'Medically Incorrect' Show

H1N1 Flu: Are Parents Underestimating Risk to Kids?

Inflation Could Spell End of U.S. Financial System

This is scary stuff. If the policies of Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats are not stopped, we will see the collapse of the United States.

From the National Inflation Association:
It took 25 years for our national debt to double from $257 billion in 1950 to over $533 billion in 1975. Most recently, our national debt has more than doubled from $5.8 trillion in 2001 to its current level of $11.8 trillion in just eight years. Our national debt is now growing three times faster that it did decades ago, which means we should expect a very minimum of three times faster inflation.
Inflation Could Spell End of U.S. Financial System

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Indoctrination 101

This is indoctrination at its worst. And this is a public school, supported by tax collars. Does the separation of church and state apply when your church is Government and your deity is Barack Obama?

If you can't make out the sound, here is a transcript of the lyrics (2nd song sung to "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" -

Song 1:
Mm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He said that all must lend a hand
To make this country strong again
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He said we must be fair today
Equal work means equal pay
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He said that we must take a stand
To make sure everyone gets a chance
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He said red, yellow, black or white
All are equal in his sight
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

Mmm, mmm, mm
Barack Hussein Obama

Song 2: (sing to the Battle Hymn of the Republic - everyone!)
Hello, Mr. President we honor you today!
For all your great accomplishments, we all doth say "hooray!"

Hooray, Mr. President! You're number one!
The first black American to lead this great nation!

Hooray, Mr. President we honor your great plans
To make this country's economy number one again!

Hooray Mr. President, we're really proud of you!
And we stand for all Americans under the great Red, White, and Blue!

So continue ---- Mr. President we know you'll do the trick
So here's a hearty hip-hooray ----

Hip, hip hooray!
Hip, hip hooray!
Hip, hip hooray!


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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Compliments of U.S. taxpayers

NEWS from the PA Family Support Alliance

Spotting child abuse and neglect often falls to teachers as students return to school.

NEWS from the PA Family Support Alliance

Fair Elections Now Act

Hoeffel quits elections board

Now that he is a candidate for Pennsylvania governor, Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel has resigned from the county's Board of Elections, according to Keith Phucas of The Norristown Times Herald.

Hoeffel, who has served as chairman of the elections board since 2008, was asked to stop down by the county solicitor, Phucas reports.

Hoeffel, a Democrat, notified fellow commissioners James R. Matthews and Bruce L. Castor Jr. on Wednesday about his resignation.

Although Montgomery County Republican Chairman Bob Kerns issued a press release Wednesday calling for Hoeffel to step down fro the elections board, Hoeffel told Phucas that he made the decision on Tuesday.

Read the full story at the newspaper's Web site.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Check out BankruptingPA

The Commonwealth Foundation has launched a new Web site and public service campaign called BankruptingPA to educate taxpayers about "wild and unaccountable government spending."

The Foundation is looking for feedback to help it choose the most effective message and imagery to make this effort as successful as possible, says Commonwealth Foundation CEO Matthew J. Brouillette.

Visit the new Web site at, click on the "VOTE" buttons n the right side of the page and leave comments or criticisms.

"Time is of the essence. Please help us ensure BankruptingPA is successful," Brouillette adds.

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RetireSafe to Senate: Stop Proposed Rationing of High-Quality Hospital Care - Medicare Needs More Physician Hospitals

In case of failing presidency ...

Mensch earns support of state, regional business groups

The business community is lining up behind state Rep. Bob Mensch for the special election on Sept. 29 to fill the 24th Senatorial District seat vacated by former state Sen. Rob Wonderling.

Groups backing Mensch include ChamberPAC, the political arm of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry; the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB); the Southeastern Pennsylvania Area Chambers of Commerce (SEPAC); the Tri-County Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Pennsylvania Business Council

"With an economy in crisis, it is essential to have someone in office who understands what it will take to move Pennsylvania forward," said Gene Barr, PA Chamber vice president of government and public affairs.

Barr said Mensch understands the concerns of job creators and has voted consistently for policies that promote economic growth and job creation.

"Bob Mensch has been a strong supporter of legislation to improve Pennsylvania's small business climate by voting to lower taxes, eliminate needless government regulation, and make health care affordable for small business," said Lucien Calhoun, Chairman of the NFIB's Pennsylvania (SAFE) Save America's Free Enterprise Trust, citing some of the reasons for his organization’s support.

Those sentiments were echoed by Ken Russell, the Board Chairman of SEPAC. "Bob Mensch understands what is required to improve the business climate in the state, including addressing increasing health care costs and promoting sound energy policies," said Russell.

Tim Phelps, President of the Tri-County Area Chamber of Commerce, stated that in addition to his legislative record, Mensch also brings real-world knowledge to the legislature. "He brings a valuable insight to the legislature with his experience as a business professional," said Phelps, who noted Mensch worked at AT&T for 28 years.

"We need more lawmakers in Harrisburg with business backgrounds, who have seen first-hand the effects government policies have on businesses and their ability to create jobs and prosper," said David W. Patti, President & CEO of the Pennsylvania Business Council. "He will be a welcome addition to the Pennsylvania Senate."

"One of my top priorities in the Pennsylvania Senate will be to rebuild our state's economy and create new jobs by addressing burdensome taxes and regulations," said Mensch. "We need to fight the brain-drain and the out of state loss of college-educated workers critical to the new economy. We also must invest in our transportation infrastructure for the movement of people and goods, encourage private sector investment in alternative energies, and revitalize main street business districts. Working together, we can help jumpstart the state and regional economy and put more Pennsylvanians back to work."

Mensch is running on a platform of returning fiscal responsibility to Harrisburg, opposing tax increases on working families and seniors, improving the state's economic environment and job creation, and enhancing local open space preservation efforts.

In addition to the endorsements from the business community, Mensch has also picked up key endorsements from law enforcement and the Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Associations.

Visit Mensch's campaign Web site at

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Pennsylvania Seeks Nominations for Businesses That Are 'Champions of Older Workers'

Did Obama read the bill?

From Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council:
Tax: A Required Contribution or Fee Levied by a Government

George Stephanopoulos, former senior advisor to Bill Clinton, on ABC's "This Week" grilled the President on how his health care overhaul would raise taxes on the middle class.

The President tried to dance around the issue -- just as he has done on numerous occasions regarding abortion funding in the health care bill. However, he can't dance away from this fact, either.

Politico reports today that page 29 of the bill introduced Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont), says: "The consequence for not maintaining insurance would be an excise tax."

President Obama has developed a serious credibility problem as,, and now Politico have reported on the President's misleading statements on his health care bill.

However, the American people can't be misled so easily. They instinctively know that imposing new taxes or involuntary payments (mandates) combined with massive spending will only further burden families and the next generation of Americans.

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Montco GOP calls for Hoeffel to step down from Elections Board

Montgomery County Republican Chairman Bob Kerns has asked Democratic County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel to step down from the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

Hoeffel announced this week that he will seek the Democratic nomination for Pennsylvania governor in the May 2010 primary election.

"Joe Hoeffel chairs the Montgomery County Board of Elections and can act in that capacity to advantage his candidacy for governor, Kerns said in a written statement. "He needs to step down immediately and allow for an alternate to be appointed in his place."

County commissioners who have run for office have traditionally resigned from the Elections Board "and I think Hoeffel needs to step down now," Kerns said.

"Elections should be free and fair. Hoeffel needs to step aside immediately to ensure he’s not setting the table for himself," Kerns said, noting that Hoeffel remained on the Board of Elections when he was a candidate in a contested election to be a Hillary Clinton delegate to the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

The President Judge of the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas has the legal authority to appoint a replacement to the Board of Elections once Hoeffel steps aside.

Hoeffel has been criticized frequently over the past two years for politicizing Montgomery County government. Under Hoeffel's tenure, several losing Democratic candidates have been hired to well-paying county jobs, prompting charges of cronyism.

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Poll: 60% view Obama's handling of economy as negative

A new Harris Poll released shows growing discontentment over Barack Obama's handling of the economy.

Three in five Americans (60%) rate the job the president is doing on the economy as negative while two in five (40%) rate his job as positive, according to The Harris Poll.

The numbers are virtually unchanged from last month when 39% rated President Obama's economic job performance as positive and 61% rated it as negative, according to The Harris Poll.

More from The Harris Poll of 2,334 adults surveyed online between Sept. 8-15, 2009, by Harris Interactive:
Confidence in the White House

Confidence in the White House and the Administration to produce policies to help fix the economic crisis has dropped in the past month. In August, over half of Americans (53%) had confidence while 47% did not have confidence. One month later, over half of Americans (52%) now are not confident that the Obama Administration can produce policies to help fix the economic crisis while 48% are confident they will.

Financial conditions ahead

Overall, two in five Americans (40%) expect the economy to improve in the coming year while just over one-third (36%) say they expect it to stay the same and one-quarter (24%) believe it will get worse. In August, almost half (46%) of Americans believed the economy would improve in the coming year.

When it comes to household's financial situation, about half of Americans (48%) believe it will remain the same in the next six months while one-quarter (23%) say it will get better and three in ten (29%) believe it will get worse. This is almost unchanged from last month when 48% said it would remain the same, 24% said it would get better and 28% of Americans believed their household's financial situation would get worse.

The job market

When it comes to the job market, attitudes are mostly negative. Two-thirds of Americans (68%) say the current job market in their region of the country is bad while just one in ten (10%) say it is good and 22% believe it is neither good nor bad. Last month, 71% of Americans said the job market in their region was bad and 8% said it was good. Those in the West and Midwest are most negative about the job markets in their region (77% and 70% saying it is bad respectively) while 15% of Southerners say it is good.
Full data tables and methodology are available at

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Ronald Reagan on socialized medicine

CEA: More Than 325,000 Americans Tell Secretary Salazar to 'Show Us the Energy'

Barack Obama is backing away from a campaign promise to explore offshore drilling to increase America's energy reserves.

CEA: More Than 325,000 Americans Tell Secretary Salazar to 'Show Us the Energy'

New AJC Film Highlights Iranian Nuclear Threat

Cap and Trade Legislation Would Increase Uninsured by Millions

Irony or hypocrisy? Democrats say they want to insure all Americans, but if Barack Obama signs the Cap and Trade bill backed by Democrats, it would eliminate health coverage for millions of Americans.

Cap and Trade Legislation Would Increase Uninsured by Millions

Internet gambling tax to pay for health care?

Democrats are pulling out all the stops to push for government-run health care. A Democratic senator thinks government regulation and taxing of Internet gambling could help pay for part of the massive cost of Obamacare.

An amendment offered by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) would dedicate Internet gambling tax revenue generated through implementation of the currently pending Internet Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act (H.R. 2267) to increase low-income subsidies provided through the America's Healthy Future Act of 2009, according to a group called the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative.

I wonder if Obamacare will cover addiction to Internet gambling?

A PricewaterhouseCoopers analysis shows that collecting taxes on regulated Internet gambling would allow the U.S. to capture up to $62.7 billion over the next decade, says the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative.

"We applaud Senator Wyden's proposal to collect and put to good use tens of billions in Internet gambling revenue that would otherwise be lost in the underground marketplace," said Michael Waxman, spokesperson for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative. "The Senate Finance Committee should approve the resolution, finally putting to an end a failed prohibition on Internet gambling that leaves Americans unprotected and unlicensed offshore operators as the only beneficiary in a thriving marketplace."

The Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act of 2009 (H.R. 2267), introduced in May by House Committee on Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-MA), would establish a framework to permit licensed gambling operators to accept wagers from individuals in the U.S., says the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative.

Is this the same Barney Frank who presided over the financial collapse of the past year? And just one more question: If Obamcare will cost at least $1 trillion, how is $62 billion going to cover the cost? I'm sure Barack Obama and Barney Frank have it all figured out.

Senator Proposes Use of Internet Gambling Revenue to Help Fund Health Care Reform

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Gerlach seeks audit of ACORN

U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach is one of 28 members of Congress who signed a letter sent to the Inspector General of the Housing and Urban Development asking for a review of how the liberal activist group ACORN used taxpayer funds.

Gerlach (PA-6th District) wants HUD officials to make sure ACORN is held accountable for every dollar of taxpayer funding it has received, according to a press release issued Monday.

From Gerlach's press release:
In a letter to HUD Inspector General Kenneth M. Donohue, Gerlach requested a comprehensive audit of ACORN's finances to give the public some peace of mind that their hard-earned tax dollars have not subsidized corrupt or illegal activity.

"In the wake of new, but not unfamiliar, reports of criminal and illicit activity involving ACORN, I believe it is imperative that this organization’s finances be reviewed and investigated by your Department to determine whether improper and illegal use of federal dollars has occurred since ACORN first began receiving federal funds in 1994," Gerlach wrote.

The letter signed by 26 Republican members of the House Financial Services Committee and GOP Congressmen Mike Pence of Indiana and Pete Sessions of Texas.

Video of ACORN employees in New York and Maryland giving illegal advice to two filmmakers posing as a prostitute and a pimp prompted the U.S. Census Bureau to end its partnership with ACORN on Friday. The Senate voted 83-7 on Monday to cut off Housing and Urban Development funding slated for ACORN.

ACORN – which stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now -- has been the focus of voter-registration fraud investigations in recent years.

Locally, two ACORN workers in March 2008 pleaded guilty in Berks County Court and were sentenced to jail for creating phony voter-registration forms in order to collect cash from the organization, according to the Reading Eagle.

In July, Dauphin County election officials have investigated over 100 suspicious voter-registration applications submitted by ACORN

And In September 2006, nearly 100 fraudulent voter registration applications were filed in Delaware County, prompting the District Attorney’s Office to issue an identity theft alert. All 100 applications were filled out by four individuals working for ACORN.

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Rep. Doug Reichley: Budget deal 'not in the best interest' of many PA residents

Rep. Doug Reichley (R-Berks/Lehigh), Republican vice chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement Monday following the announcement Friday of a tentative budget agreement between Gov. Ed Rendell and three of the four legislative caucuses:
"I think all Pennsylvanians welcome the end of the embarrassing spectacle of our budget impasse over these last three months. Not only are we the last state in the nation to reach a budget agreement, we were also the only state in the country where the governor was proposing to increase spending in the midst of the worst economy in 70 years. Regrettably, the agreement reached by the governor and Senate Republicans, House Democrats, and Senate Democrats is not in the best interest of the many residents of our state who are struggling with job losses and lower household incomes.

"The governor and these three caucuses have brokered a deal where many businesses will look at a retroactive increase in the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax. This 53 percent increase will then be continued over the next three years, instead of permanently phasing out the tax as was currently stated in law.

"Individual consumers will see a 25 cent increase per pack in the cigarette tax, a new tax on small cigars, a new 20 percent tax on the proceeds from small games of chance, such as raffles and punchcards, and a new sales tax on the ticket price for admission to concerts, museums, and zoos.

"In addition to these new taxes, the concocted plan calls for taking every last cent out of the $750 million Rainy Day Fund, and raiding the state medical insurance fund which is meant to protect health care providers from disastrous litigation awards. This is not a prescription for fiscal stability either this year or next year when we may be faced with similar budget shortfalls.

"What is even more troubling than the tax hike binge is the absolute lack of detail being provided to the general public. We still do not know how libraries, hospitals, service providers, and school districts will be impacted. The governor was pleased that an additional $300-plus million of state tax dollars will be invested in education as well as his other pet programs, but the question remains whether those funds will be distributed equitably or primarily used to benefit Philadelphia, as has happened in the past.

"For five months, House Republicans have proposed budget plans calling for greater reductions in spending than agreed to last week. Our plan balanced the budget without raising a single tax on businesses or individuals. Unfortunately, the governor has convinced the other caucuses to increase taxes and maintain spending at last year's $28 billion budget level.

The governor and the other three caucuses have made their deal. Now let them put up the votes to raise taxes and spending."

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Jimmy Carter Meltdown

Law enforcement backs Mensch for state Senate

Republican state Senate candidate Bob Mensch has picked up the endorsement of the Pennsylvania State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police, as well as the Fraternal Order of Police Lodges in Bucks, Lehigh, Northampton and Montgomery Counties.

Mensch, a two-term member of the state House is seeking the vacant state Senate seat in the 24th Senate District held by former state Sen. Rob Wonderling. A special election is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 29, to fill the remainder of Wonderling's term, which runs through the end of 2010.

"It is our privilege to stand with Fraternal Order of Police Lodges in Bucks, Lehigh, Montgomery, and Northampton Counties to present you our highest endorsement for your special election campaign to the Pennsylvania State Senate," said Les Neri, President of the Fraternal Order of Police, Pennsylvania State Lodge, representing more than 41,000 law enforcement officers across Pennsylvania. Neri noted that Mensch has "always been an active supporter of the law enforcement community, the officers, and their families."

"I have the utmost respect for the men and women who serve in law enforcement and put their lives on the line to keep our communities safe," said Mensch. "The members of the Fraternal Order of Police are on the front lines in the fight against crime and it is an honor to have their endorsement and support."

Mensch has supported legislation that would add 10,000 police officers to the streets in local communities and cities throughout Pennsylvania. The bill would provide funding to local counties, in the form of block grants, and empower local municipalities to decide how best to spend the money and select how many additional officers are needed.

"Putting more police officers on the streets allows law enforcement to be more proactive in preventing crime in our communities," said Mensch. "Numerous studies have shown that the more police officers we have on the street, the more crime rates go down. We need to provide local municipalities with the support they need to keep our neighborhoods safe."

Mensch has taken a leadership role on a number of other legislative initiatives that help keep our communities safe or are priorities of the Fraternal Order of Police, including:

· House Bill 1144, legislation to combat the growing problem of prescription drug abuse. The bill targets some of the main methods in which prescription drugs are diverted to street and motorcycle gangs and other drug dealers, groups that are increasingly trafficking and selling controlled prescription drugs.

· Mensch is an original co-sponsor of House Bill 1926, legislation that will strengthen Megan’s Law registration and restrictions for sex offenders.

· He is a co-sponsor of House Bill 1758, legislation that would increase the amount of state death benefits to the survivors of firefighters and police officers who die in performance of their duties.

Mensch has also received major endorsements from business organizations and citizen taxpayer groups across Pennsylvania.

For more information on Mensch visit his campaign Web site at

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Reaction to state budget deal

Gov. Ed Rendell said Friday night that there are no winners or losers in the compromise that ended Pennsylvania's 80-day-old budget impasse.

Don't believe him. There are always winners and losers in every budget agreement and this one is no exception.

If you smoke, you're going to pay more. If you support the arts in Pennsylvania, you are going to pay more. (The deal expands the state sales tax to cover tickets for concerts, museums, theaters, etc.)

If your church or nonprofit group uses bingo or other small games of chance as fundraisers, you're going to have to pay the state under a new tax inlcuded in the deal.

If you're a business owner, you're going to continue paying some of the highest business taxes in the country. And so on.

Although details are sketchy, (Rendell purposely declined to reveal many details until the rank-and-file state lawmakers are briefed next week), The Commonwealth Foundation offers some instant analysis based on what we do know.

The budget deal includes $821 million in tax increases and fails to address at least $1.7 billion in deficit spending from last years' budget, according to the Foundation.

The state's "Rainy Day Fund" will be exhausted with legislative leaders agreeing to spend the entire $775 million to balance the budget, according to the Foundation.

That's a risky move because the economy isn't getting any better and we could sitting on another huge budget deficit next summer.

Read more at the Foundation's POLICY BLOG

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Friday, September 18, 2009

On Day 80, Pennsylvania has a budget deal!

The Associated Press is reporting that a deal has been reached between legislative leaders and Gov. Ed Rendell to end the state's 80-day-old budget stalemate.

Pennsylvania had been the only state without a budget for the fiscal year that began on July 1, 2009. The last budget ended up $3.25 billion in the red.

Gov. Ed Rendell is scheduled to announce the agreement at an 8 p.m. news conference from the Governor's Reception Room in the State Capitol.

From the wire service:
Negotiators struggled all summer to resolve a partisan dispute over whether to fill the state's multibillion-dollar budget hole with new or higher taxes, cuts in state programs or a combination of the two.

A week ago, Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature announced a $27.95 billion budget deal that included $1.2 billion in recurring revenues — mostly new taxes — but Rendell threatened to veto it unless significant changes were made.

Rendell, leaving the Capitol earlier Friday, told The Patriot-News of Harrisburg that he had "good news. It's not the budget I would have chosen, but it fits my two markers."

The plan still requires approval from the Legislature, where minority House Republicans are adamantly against new taxes, but Republicans who control the Senate and House Democratic leaders confirmed they would join Rendell at the announcement.

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New Poll: Americans Still Confused by Obama's Health Care Plan

Jay Leno: 'Thank you, ACORN'

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Columnist: ACORN making it tough for satirists

Columnist Gil Spencer is trying to make sense of the ACORN scandal, but is having a difficult time. Click on the link below to read his column.

SPENCER: ACORN making it tough for satirists - The Delaware County Daily Times : Serving Delaware County, PA(

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Are you happy?

A new Web site launching Sept. 23 is designed to help people not just be happier but "do happier."

Read more about the program at the link below: Launches a Personal Trainer for Your Happiness

Revenue Watch Welcomes End to Scandal-Plagued U.S. Program for Oil and Gas Payments

Keep telling yourself the recession is over

Barack Obama and his media allies are jumping on the slightest bit of positive economic news to tell the American people that the recession is over.

Just tell that to the 15 million Americans who are out of work. Millions of those jobs have been lost during the Obama administration and most of them will never come back.

Today's headline: 42 states lose jobs in August, up from 29 in July

From The Associated Press:
WASHINGTON — Forty-two states lost jobs last month, up from 29 in July, with the biggest net payroll cuts coming in Texas, Michigan, Georgia and Ohio.

The Labor Department also reported Friday that 27 states saw their unemployment rates increase in August, and 14 states and Washington D.C., reported unemployment rates of 10 percent or above.

The report shows jobs remain scarce even as most analysts believe the economy is pulling out of the worst recession since the 1930s. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said earlier this week that the recovery isn't likely to be rapid enough to reduce unemployment for some time.

The jobless rate nationwide is expected to peak above 10 percent next year, from its current 9.7 percent.

Employers have eliminated 6.9 million jobs since the recession began in December 2007.

Texas lost 62,200 jobs as its unemployment rate rose to 8 percent in August for the first time in 22 years. The state's leisure, construction and manufacturing industries were hardest hit, losing 35,500 jobs.

Michigan saw 42,900 jobs disappear, including 15,000 in manufacturing, as the state continued to suffer along with its struggling auto industry.

Michigan's unemployment rate rose to 15.2 percent, the highest in the nation. When its jobless rate topped 15 percent in June it was the first time any state surpassed that mark since 1984.

Nevada has the second-highest rate at 13.2 percent, followed by Rhode Island at 12.8 percent and California and Oregon at 12.2 percent each.

The jobless rates in California, Nevada and Rhode Island were the highest on records dating to 1976. California and Nevada have been slammed by the housing bust, while Rhode Island has lost thousands of manufacturing and government jobs in the past year.

Georgia and Ohio reported the third and fourth-highest job losses, respectively, but their unemployment rates both fell as many of the unemployed dropped out of the work force.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Joker Card

Law professor criticizes far left's use of race card

"The increasingly hysterical use of the the race card by liberal columnists, bloggers and politicians reflects the last gasps of people who, being unable to win an argument on the merits, seek to end the argument," writes William Jacobson, associate clinical professor of Law at Cornell Law School.

From a recent op-ed by Jacobson:
While the false accusation of racism is not a new tactic, it has been refined by Obama supporters into a toxic powder which is causing damage to the social fabric of the country by artificially injecting race into every political issue.

The American people, while they still mostly like Obama on a personal level, increasingly oppose his policies and plans. Democrats know that the debate on the merits of initiatives such as health care and cap-and-trade has been won on the merits by the opposition.

Not surprisingly, the pace of racial accusations has picked up as opposition has grown. Just in the past few days the usual and not-so-usual suspects have been seeking to out-do each other in making accusations of racism including Eugene Robinson, Maureen Dowd, Jimmy Carter, Rep. Hank Johnson, Chris Matthews, a wide range of Democratic politicians, and of course, almost all of the mainstream media.

The effect of these accusations is poisonous. Race is the most sensitive and inflammatory subject in this country. By turning every issue, even a discussion of health care policy, into an argument about race, liberals have created a politically explosive mixture in which the harder they seek to suppress opposing voices, the harder those voices seek to be heard.
Read the full column at

Also check out Williamson's excellent blog, Legal Insurrection

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PA unemployment rate hits 8.6%

Pennsylvania lost another 8,800 jobs in August, according to new numbers released today by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry.

State officials tried to put the best possible spin on the bad news by pointing out that Pennsylvania's 8.6% unemployment rate "remained below the United States' unemployment rate, which rose three-tenths of a point to 9.7 percent in August."

Doesn't that make you feel better?

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate was up 3.1 percentage points from August 2008, compared to an increase of 3.5 percentage points since August 2008 for the nation.

Since August 2008, Pennsylvania has shed 191,500 jobs!

Just a reminder that the governor of Pennsylvania is Ed Rendell, a Democrat, who has increased spending by $8 billion since 2003. Much of that spending went for various economic revitalization projects that Rendell claimed would bring more jobs to the state.

And in case you forgot, the Democrats also control both houses of Congress and the White House. If you're one of the 15 million Americans out of work, be sure to thank a Democrat in Harrisburg or Washington, D.C.

For a detailed breakdown of the employment numbers, follow the link below:

Pennsylvania's Employment Situation: August 2009

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Family Research Council: Baucus Undermines Obama's Abortion Funding Claim

Where is Obama's Health Care 'Plan'?

Americans for Tax Reform points out that Barack Obama doesn't really have a plan to reform health care, instead allowing Congress to float several different plans with few public details being released.

"Obama swears that his proposal will not raise taxes on the middle class or drive Americans out of their current insurance arrangement," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. "Yet every one of the Democrats' actual plans contain precisely those things Obama says he would never allow. He has not said he would veto those bills."

Where is President Obama's Health Care 'Plan'?

Wrong Direction

Toomey to vist Berks on Saturday

U.S. Senate candidate Pat Toomey and Pennsylvania Supreme Court candidate Joan Orie Melvin will the guests of honor at the annual picnic hosted by the Berks County Republican Party.

The event will be held from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19, at Cacoosing Meadows Park, Reedy and State Hill roads, Spring Township.

In addition to meeting the candidates, there will be food, entertainment and refreshments. (Committeepeople, YR's, McCain/Palin Volunteers and candidates are asked to bring a covered dish.)

For more information, visit or call the party headquarters at 610-374-1100.

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'Talking Politics' on the radio today

Tune in to "Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas & Mike Pincus" today at 5 p.m. on WPAZ 1370 AM

Topics of discussion will be Pennsylvania's ongoing budget stalemate, the 2010 races for governor and Congress and the growing ACORN scandal.

You can call the station with questions or comments at 610-326-4000.

If you can't receive the radio signal, you can listen to the broadcast online at or


'Race Card: Sign of Desperation'

A guest column from Tony Perkins of the Family Research Center on the hysterical left's use of race to shut down all criticism of the Obama administration.

Race Card: Sign of Desperation

By Tony Perkins

Yesterday, the House voted 240 to 179 to censure Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) for saying the President was lying about aspects of his health care reform plan. What was more telling than the vote was the rhetoric that surrounded it. Those pushing to publicly flog Wilson avoided the subject at hand, the health care reform plan and whether or not the President's statements were false.

Rather, House members like Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) used the opportunity to say Wilson 's actions were motivated by racial animus. In an interview with CNN, Johnson said "I guess we'll probably have folks putting on white hoods and white uniforms again and riding through the countryside, intimidating people. That's the logical conclusion if this kind of attitude is not rebuked." On ABC's World News, referring to Wilson's comments, Lee said "Hate speech can turn into hate crimes."

Working out of the Left's classic playbook, former President Jimmy Carter, interviewed on NBC Nightly News, chimed in not only on Wilson's comments but on the public opposition to the President's liberal plans saying, "I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he's African-American."

This is a classic move by the Left when they can't win the policy debate; they try to marginalize their opponents by calling them racist.

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Mensch picks up key endorsement in bid for state Senate

The TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce, which represents 700 businesses in Montgomery, Chester and Berks counties, has endorsed state Rep. Bob Mensch for the 24th Senatorial District seat in a special election on Sept. 29.

The election will fill the vacant Senate seat previously held by Sen. Robert Wonderling, who recently resigned to serve as the president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

Mensch, serving his second term in the state House, has been an ally of the business community and a strong advocate for policies that will foster job creation and economic growth, according to the Chamber.

"He brings a valuable insight to the legislature with his experience as a business professional," said TriCounty Area Chamber President P. Timothy Phelps.

Mensch was named the TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce's Legislator of the Year in 2008 for his impact on the region as well as his 100 percent voting record on business issues supported by the Chamber.

More from the Chamber's endorsement:
Mensch continues to support key chamber initiatives, and he is an advocate for tri-county's regionalization efforts. His pro-business stances include investment in improved transportation infrastructure, business tax structure reform, health care reform, and tort reform. Also, as a member of the House Republican Policy Committee Task Force on Budget and Economic Policy, Mensch has remained strongly opposed to Governor Ed Rendell's proposal to increase taxes to offset proposed state spending increases.

Having worked his way through the ranks at AT&T for 28 years, he truly understands the needs of the business community. The Chamber believes that Representative Bob Mensch's dedicated leadership, combined with his community, charity, corporate, and political experiences, provides the mix needed for the success of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
This is the second major endorsement Mensch has picked up from the business community. Mensch is also supported by ChamberPAC, the political arm of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry.

Mensch is also endorsed by the Pennsylvania Coalition of Taxpayer Associations for his support of the elimination of property taxes.

For more about the TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce, visit

For more about Mensch, visit his campaign Web site.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Curt Schroder hires campaign manager for Congressional run

State Rep. Curt Schroder has added Kyle Whatley as campaign manager in his bid to win the Republican nomination in the 6th Congressional District.

Whatley has held leadership positions in or managed four congressional campaigns, a mayor's race and two city council offices. He led a statewide non-profit organization and has consulted Fortune 500 companies.

Originally from Texas, Mr. Whatley came to Pennsylvania specifically to work on
Curt Schroder's campaign.

"My wife and I would not have moved almost 2,000 miles if I was not absolutely certain Curt Schroder was going to win this race," Whatley said. "He is in an exceptional position to not only prevail in the primary but to win the election next
November. I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of this campaign and look forward to playing my role in Curt Schroder being the next Congressman representing the 6th District of Pennsylvania."

Schroder added, "I am pleased to announce the hiring of Mr. Whatley. This team is fast becoming one of the most skilled in the country."

Schroder previously announced that addition of two consulting firms, Strategy Group for Media and Hallowell & Branstetter as part of his campaign team.

"The Strategy Group for Media has consistently won awards for excellence, Hallowell & Branstetter has a combined 50 years in Pennsylvania politics and we have now added an experienced campaign manager," Schroder said. "I am extremely confident in the professional team we have assembled and am excited about the race to come."

Schroder was first elected to represent the 155th District of Pennsylvania in the State Assembly in 1994.

He and his wife reside in Downingtown with their two children.

The 6th District Congressional seat will be open in 2010 because incumbent U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach is not seeking re-election to Congress, opting instead to run for Pennsylvania governor.

For more on Schroder, visit his campaign Web site,

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Your tax dollars at work

Nothing new on the budget front as the stalemate enters Day 78, but the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed the following resolutions today:
House Resolution 404 designating the week of September 20 - 26 2009 as Lower Back Pain Awareness Week in Pennsylvania

House Resolution 453 recognizing September 23, 2009 as National Hunting and Fishing Day in Pennsylvania.
Keep up the good work, guys and gals.


PA GOP blasts Sen. Casey for 'blind support' of ACORN

Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason is pleased that the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly to deny federal housing funds to the controversial left-wing advocacy group ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now).

However, Gleason questioned U.S. Senator Bob Casey Jr.'s decision to join six of his colleagues in support of ACORN funding.

"Sen. Bob Casey's blind support of this corrupt organization is questionable at best," Gleason said. "ACORN continues to be exposed as a corrupt organization that should not be receiving federal funds under any circumstance. The recent videos depicting ACORN on a number of occasions giving out advice on how to cheat and lie on your taxes were appalling and further confirmed my suspicions about this questionable organization.

"With all things we have learned about ACORN, I cannot understand how Senator Casey could support ACORN. Sen. Casey owes it to our Commonwealth and his constituents to explain his vote."

On Monday, the U.S. Senate voted 83-7 vote in favor of an amendment that stripped out funding to ACORN in a housing and transportation bill. ("Senate Denies ACORN Funding," Politico, 9/14/09,

Casey, a freshman Democrat, was one of the seven votes against the amendment. ACORN is under investigation in nine states for allegations of voter registration fraud.

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Columnist: 10 More 'You Lie' Moments On Health Care

South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson was taken to the woodshed by Congressional Democrats for his "You Lie!" outburst during Barack Obama's recent speech on health care, but what the liberal media is failing to focus on is the fact that Wilson was telling the truth. Obama is lying about his government-run plan.

In fact, Obama told at least 10 lies during his speech, according to columnist John Hawkins.

From his column:
Unfortunately, this sort of deception has been the rule, not the exception in the Democrats' health care push. In fact, Barack Obama has sold health care by saying, in effect, "Anybody who has anything negative to say about health care reform is just spreading myths."

It's a shame that Barack Obama has chosen to go this way, because our health care system does desperately need to be reformed and conservatives would be very willing to work with the Democrats to do it. In fact, in a recent poll of 74 conservative bloggers, every single one of them said that they'd be "willing to support health care reform that primarily emphasized market based reforms." If Obama were to take that approach or even if he were to simply focus on helping the 8-10 million Americans who want health insurance but can't afford it, I suspect he'd have no trouble at all getting strong bipartisan support for a bill.
Here is the list compiled by Hawkins:
1. The President is working with Republicans.
2. Republicans haven't suggested a plan for health care.
3. The public option won't put the insurance industry out of business and lead to a government takeover of health care.
4. Medicare won't be cut to fund this health care bill.
5. The health care plan won't add "one dime to our deficits either now or in the future."
6. Preventative care will be required in these bills and it'll save money.
7. Health care reform will help create more jobs.
8. Abortion won't be covered under the bill.
9. This bill won't lead to rationing of health care and people being denied life saving operations.
10. Obama's "Plan" doesn't have these problems you're talking about.
Read "10 More 'You Lie' Moments On Health Care" at


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The Most Corrupt Members of Congress

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) has released its fifth annual report on the most corrupt members of Congress.

CREW's Most Corrupt Members of Congress provides a detailed analysis of the unethical and sometimes illegal activities of 15 congressmen and women who have most egregiously betrayed the public's trust.

"With the economy in a free-fall, unemployment rates at record highs and health care solutions still nowhere in sight, members should be spending their time looking for answers to the nation's problems, not finding new ways to enrich themselves." said Melanie Sloan, executive director of CREW. "The members of Congress profiled in CREW'sMost Corrupt report have betrayed those who voted them into office. This report holds them accountable for their bad choices."

CREW also has launched the report's tandem Web site,, which offers short summaries of each member's transgressions as well as the full-length profiles and all accompanying exhibits.

The 15 most corrupt members of Congress (listed alphabetically) are:

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL)
Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL)
Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA)
Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA)
Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL)
Rep. Jerry Lewis (R-CA)
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Rep. Alan Mollohan (D-WV)
Rep. John Murtha (D-PA)
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY)
Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA)
Rep. Pete Visclosky (D-IN)
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA)
Rep. Don Young (R-AK)

From a CREW press release:
New to this year's list are Sens. Roland Burris and John Ensign, and Reps. Nathan Deal, Jesse Jackson Jr. and Pete Visclosky.

After a two-year absence, Rep. Maxine Waters has reappeared in the study for unethical activities unrelated to the conduct that landed her on the list in the past. A detailed list of those who have previously graced the report can be found on the Web site.

Of this year's list of 15, at least 12 are under investigation: Reps. Ken Calvert, Jerry Lewis, Alan Mollohan, John Murtha, Pete Visclosky and Don Young are under Department of Justice (DOJ) investigations, while Sens. Roland Burris and John Ensign and Reps. Charles Rangel and Laura Richardson are under congressional ethics committee investigations. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. is under investigation by both the DOJ and the Office of Congressional Ethics and Rep. Vern Buchanan is being investigated by the Federal Election Commission.
Visit or click here to read the full report.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a non-profit legal watchdog group dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions.

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Tune in to 'Political Talk' on WCHE 1520 AM

"Political Talk," a new weekly program offering an inside view of politics and the political process, with an emphasis on and how politics impacts your daily life, airs every Wednesday from 3-4 PM on WCHE 1520 AM and

"Political Talk" is hosted by Mike Pincus, a Chester County-based political consultant and strategist who has advised candidates and managed campaigns on all levels of government for the past 30-plus years.

In addition to his campaign work, Mike co-hosts "Talking Politics" with Tony Phyrillas, an award-winning political columnist for The Pottstown Mercury. "Talking Politics" airs every Thursday, from 5-6 PM, on WPAZ 1370 AM, and It can also be heard at

Listeners may call 610-701-WCHE (9243) with comments or questions during the live show.


Far left plays the race card

"The public is outraged about the president's policies -- the spending, the budget, the deficit -- not his skin color," says Deneen Borelli of the national black leadership network Project 21.

The far left increasingly labels any critic of the Obama Administration as racist in a concerted effort to silence free speech.

Statement of Deneen Borelli on Allegations of Racism Against Critics of Obama Policies

Obama breaks tax pledge, again

Video: Rep. Blackburn at 9/12 Rally

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mensch challenges opponent to debate in 24th Senate race

State Rep. Bob Mensch, the Republican candidate in the special election to fill the vacant seat in the 24th state Senate District, has been trying to get his Democratic opponent to agree to debates for several weeks without success.

With just two weeks left until the Sept. 29 special election, Mensch issued an open invitation to Democrat Anne Scheuring to debate him pretty much any time, any place.

"Voters have a right to hear directly from the candidates in a civil and open debate on the issues," said Pete Peterson, spokesperson for the Mensch campaign. "The region and state face a number of critical challenges, including the need to create jobs, open space preservation, and the need to hold the line on any tax increases on working families. Voters deserve to know which candidate has a strong command of the issues and best represents their views."

(The fact that Scheuring's entire political experience consists of nine months on the Lansdale Borough Council may have something to do with her reluctance to face Mensch in a public forum. Scheuring was a last-minute candidate after several prominent Democrats declined to run in the special election.)

Ideally, the Mensch campaign would like to see three separate debates in various regions of the district "to offer voters the best opportunity to hear from the candidates and reduce long travel times," Peterson said.

Unfortunately, Scheuring has even refused to be a guest on local radio and television programs if Mensch will be on at the same time to discuss the issues, Peterson said.

"Rather than engage in an open and honest debate on the issues, Anne Scheuring has resorted to mudslinging and false attacks on Rep. Mensch," said Peterson. "Voters deserve better. Scheuring made the ridiculous claim that Rep. Mensch voted for the controversial pay raise, but he hadn't even been elected to office yet. He even donates his annual cost-of-living adjustment to charities that provide assistance to disabled individuals and victims of domestic violence."

(The pay raise accusation is a common false charge made by Democratic strategists who run campaigns from Harrisburg. It's been used before in the 2008 election cycle against Republican candidates who were not serving in the Legislature when the pay raise vote was taken in July 2005.)

Scheuring has rejected or refused to respond to numerous debates, forums and radio and television appearances with Mensch. The list includes forums with Upper Perkiomen Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, PBS 39, WFMS Channel 69, and WNPV 1440 AM, according to Peterson.

Scheuring's refusal to debate may be related to her lack of willingness to address the false attacks she has made on Mensch, Peterson said.

The 24th Senatorial District seat opened up when former Sen. Rob Wonderling resigned in August to accept the position as CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

Mensch is in his third year in the state House and previously served six years as a township supervisor in Marlborough. For more on Mensch, visit his campaign Web site.

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Text of Rep. Joe Wilson 'resolution of disapproval'

The House of Representatives released the text of the resolution of disapproval at the outburst ("You lie!") by Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., during President Barack Obama's speech:
Whereas on September 9, 2009, during the joint session of Congress convened pursuant to House Concurrent Resolution 179, the President of the United States, speaking at the invitation of the House and Senate, had his remarks interrupted by the Representative from South Carolina, Mr. Wilson; and whereas the conduct of the Representative from South Carolina was a breach of decorum and degraded the proceedings of the joint session, to the discredit of the House:

Now, therefore, be it resolved, that the House of Representatives disapproves of the behavior of the Representative from South Carolina, Mr. Wilson, during the joint session of Congress held on September 9, 2009.
I like the part about discrediting of the House as if the American public can have a lower opinion of Congress than they already do.

Update: The final tally late Tuesday was 240-179, mostly along party lines: 233 Democrats and seven Republicans voting for the resolution, and 167 Republicans and 12 Democrats opposing the measure. Five Democrats voted "present."

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Columnist: Double dippin' in H'burg

No wonder they're in no hurry to pass a budget. The living is easy in Harrisburg ... as long as other people are paying the bills.

From a recent column by Brad Bumsted about how lawmakers are spending your hard-earned tax dollars:
During the 2007-08 session, the House chief clerk's office spent almost $250,000 on catered dinners for lawmakers, most of whom were collecting $146 per day for food and lodging costs.

It's one of those many expenditures you rarely hear about. It's yet another example of how your tax money gets frittered away at the Capitol.

Sometimes it was "just" pizza. But pizza for a 203-member legislative body doesn't come cheap.

Try $680 at Papa John's on March 10, 2008.

That same day, the House spent $4,612 on food from Zia's catering.
Double dippin' in H'burg - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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Senators Express Concern With Obama 'Czars'

Six Republican Senators have written a letter to President Obama questioning the president's continued reliance on "czars" to run key parts of the government.

"These positions raise serious issues of accountability, transparency, and oversight," the letter states. "The creation of "czars," particularly within the Executive Office of the President, circumvents the constitutionally established process of "advise and consent," greatly diminishes the ability of Congress to conduct oversight and hold officials accountable, and creates confusion about which officials are responsible for policy decisions."

The letters was signed by Sens. Susan M. Collins, Lamar Alexander, Christopher S. Bond, Mike Crapo, Pat Roberts and Robert F. Bennett.

Read the full text of the letter at the link below:

Senators Express Concern With Number of Czars in Administration

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Newspaper: Liberal media downplays 9/12 rally

At least 75,000 (or upwards of 1.5 million Americans by some accounts) marched in Washington, D.C., on Saturday, Sept. 12, against the Obama Administration, the Democratic-led Congress and out-of-control big government in general.

It was one of the largest citizen-demonstrations in the nation's history.

But the liberal media largely ignored the protest or worked overtime to spin the story as some fringe-element demonstrating against a black president.

Some of the best (and unbiased coverage) of the event could be found in European newspapers, argues Investor's Business Daily.

"When Americans have to turn to the foreign press for truthful reports of the size of popular protests in Washington, it's time to wonder: Are we dominated by "state-run media"? the newspaper asks.

From the editorial:
When a million people travel to our nation's capital to object to excessive government spending, and the taxes they have to pay to sustain it, it constitutes a grass-roots force to be reckoned with.

But underestimates of the crowds by the so-called "mainstream media," along with their focus on the most extremist signs and slogans they could find (gun rights, for instance, or the president sporting a Hitler mustache), gave administration officials an opportunity to downplay the march's significance.
Read the full editorial, "Taking It To The Streets," at the newspaper's Web site.

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PA GOP: Sen. Bob Casey has some explaining to do over support of ACORN

In light of continuing scandals involving the far-left advocacy group ACORN, the U.S. Senate voted 83-7 to deny federal funding to the troubled organization.

Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania inexplicably was one of the seven Senators to vote against the Senate resolution, cementing his reputation as a puppet of liberal extremists.

Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason issued a statement saying he was pleased that the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly to deny federal housing funds to The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, ACORN. However, Gleason questioned U.S. Sen. Bob Casey's decision to join six of his colleagues in support of ACORN funding.

Gleason's statement:
"Sen. Bob Casey's blind support of this corrupt organization is questionable at best. ACORN continues to be exposed as a corrupt organization that should not be receiving federal funds under any circumstance. The recent videos depicting ACORN on a number of occasions giving out advice on how to cheat and lie on your taxes were appalling and further confirmed my suspicions about this questionable organization.

"With all things we have learned about ACORN, I cannot understand how Senator Casey could support ACORN. Sen. Casey owes it to our Commonwealth and his constituents to explain his vote."
On Monday, the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly by an 83-7 vote in favor of an amendment that stripped out funding to ACORN in a housing and transportation bill. ("Senate Denies ACORN Funding," Politico, 9/14/09, U.S. Senator Bob Casey was one of the seven votes against the amendment.

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