Wednesday, December 31, 2008

RNC Statement on Minnesota Senate Recount

RNC Statement on Minnesota Senate Recount

Resolve to be Ready with www.ReadyPA.org

Pennsylvanians Urged to Include Emergency Preparedness in New Year's Resolutions

ATF Publishes List of 238 Explosive Materials Subject to Law

ATF Publishes List of 238 Explosive Materials Subject to Law

MADD Reminds America to Start 2009 Safely

Ring in the New Year With a Sober Designated Driver

Expert sees flaws in PA open-records law

Not everyone is overjoyed with Pennsylvania's new open-records law, which kicks in Jan. 1, 2009.

While many within the state have praised the new Right-To-Know Law, an expert in open government from a neighboring state isn't ready to pop the champagne.

"I don't think that this is a panacea," Robert Freeman, executive director of the New York Committee on Open Government, told the Elmira Star Gazette. "It may be an improvement, but there are in my opinion lots of areas in which the law could have been drafted more effectively."

Freeman told the newspaper that Pennsylvania's new law leaves too many exceptions.

Freeman compared the Pennsylvania law with an existing one in New York and found several exemptions in the Keystone State law that N.Y. doesn't have:

* Complaints submitted to an agency, work papers underlying an audit, draft minutes and other records. In disclosing complaints, New York agencies can withhold the name.

* Pennsylvania exempts performance evaluations and the employment application of someone not hired by an agency. In New York, some information on a performance evaluation and an employment application can be withheld, Freeman said.

* The Pennsylvania law states that it does not supersede or modify the public or nonpublic nature of a record established in federal or state law, by regulation or judicial order or decree. New York law covers exemptions under statutes but not agency regulations.
Read the full story at the newspaper's Web site.

The newspaper editorialized about the new Pennsylvania law, saying it's a step in the right direction:
But considering that Pennsylvania has had some of the weakest Freedom of Information laws in the land for more than 50 years, this seems like a good start.

It's now up to the public agencies to abide by the new law and the Office of Open Records to truly advocate for the public's right to know.
Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Our Space Program: Time to Raise a Warning Flag

Our Space Program: Time to Raise a Warning Flag

Sarah Palin vs. The Princess

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin wasn't "experienced" enough to suit the far left when she was picked as John McCain's VP running mate.

But New York socialite Caroline Kennedy is "experienced" enough to hold a U.S. Senate seat.

Gabriel Garnica examines the latest example of liberal hypocrisy in an excellent post at Family Security Matters Web site.

Garnica writes:
To listen to the likes of New York City's Mayor Bloomberg or School Chancellor Joel Klein, Caroline Kennedy is qualified to be New York Senator because she has raised her kids well, is bright, worked for Obama, cares about issues, is Ted Kennedy's niece, has new ideas and wants to get things done in Washington. I am disappointed that none of Caroline's supporters have mentioned her good dental habits. The bottom line, to no surprise, is that if you are conservative you are either a warmongering lunatic, an arrogant rich person, or a religious fanatic hick whose experience will be questioned at some level and in some way at every turn. If you are a favored liberal, of course, you are a noble saint out to right the wrongs, save the world and free the poor and voiceless from their bondage.

There are those who argue that there is a much lower standard of experience for Congress as compared to the Vice-Presidency and that fact is certainly reasonable. However, when any degree of experience is selectively bashed or praised depending on the candidate's political affiliation, the entire experience argument falls flat on its face and is revealed as simply so much political compost concealing the lowest disgust for the target’s political and social positions.
Read "Liberals, With Your Hypocrisy so Bright, Won’t You Prove My Point Tonight?" at Family Security Matters.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Auditor General Jack Wagner Faults Department of Education for Administrative Deficiencies in Classrooms for the Future

Auditor General Jack Wagner Faults Department of Education for Administrative Deficiencies in Classrooms for the Future

No. 1 in teacher strikes

Pennsylvania continues to lead the nation in teacher strikes despite having some of the highest paid teachers in the country, according to The Wall Street Journal.

"No less than 42% of all teacher walkouts nationwide occur in the Keystone State, leaving kids sidelined and parents scrambling to juggle work and family, potentially on as little as 48 hours notice required by state law," the newspaper notes in an editorial published today.

A measure to restrict teacher strikes already passed in 37 states has been blocked repeatedly by Gov. Ed Rendell and Democratic state legislators.

The newspaper wonders if the $500,000 in campaign contributions Rendell received from the state's largest teachers' union has something to do with Rendell's reluctance to curb strikes.

From the WSJ editorial:
For too many teachers, the motto seems to be: When in doubt, walk out. The burden of enduring a strike then falls on families in which both parents need to work. The disruption is used as negotiating leverage by the unions, which know that parents will besiege school districts with calls begging them to settle. This amounts to a form of legal extortion. If Pennsylvania's teachers want to educate kids about justice and equity, they can start by ending a strategy that uses students as pawns to extract more taxpayer dollars.
Read the full editorial at the newspaper's Web site.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Argall vs. Lukach for 29th Senate seat

As expected, state Rep. David Argall, the former No. 2 man in the House Republican Caucus, is the GOP nominee to run for the vacant 29th District Senate seat.

His Democratic opponent is Schuylkill County Clerk of Courts Steven Lukach. (The 29h Senatorial District includes parts of Berks, Carbon, Lehigh, Monroe, Northampton, and Schuylkill counties.)

The special election to fill the vacant seat will be held on March 3. The 29th Senate District seat opened up when incumbent Sen. James Rhoades died in a car crash just weeks before the Nov. 4 election.

There was no surprise that Argall won the GOP nomination. He's a career politician who has collected favors through the years from Republican leaders. What may come as a shock is how close the race for the GOP nod ended up.

Argall defeated Christopher Hobbs, a Pottsville attorney and son-in-law of the late Sen. Jim Rhoades, by 30-27 on the final ballot to clinch the victory, reports Hank Clarke of The Clarke Report blog.

Argall is loathed by conservatives because of his voting record. He supported the July 2005 pay raise and has backed Gov. Ed Rendell's massive spending plans throughout the years.

If Argall wins the special election, as he is favored to do, Republicans will hold a 30-20 majority in the state Senate. Argall has the advantage of name recognition throughout the 29th District while Lukach is an unknown outside Schuylkill County.

If Argall manages to blow it, the GOP margin will be the same as it was over the past two years, 29-21.

"I am confident that Dave will be a great candidate and when elected he will fight hard for the people of the 29th State Senatorial District," said Pennsylvania Republican Party Chairman Robert Gleason Jr. "The late Senator Jim Rhoades was a leader who was well-respected as a man who knew how to get things done for the constituents he was elected to represent, and I am confident that Dave will carry on that tradition when he is elected on March 3rd."

Clarke said in a recent blog post that Lukach matches up well against Argall, but my money is on Argall. He'll get plenty of support from the state Republican Party and the Senate GOP Caucus.

The state Senate is the last stronghold for the GOP in Pennsylvania. I don't see see the Republicans allowing the 29th Senate seat to get away.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Governor Rendell Ceremonially Signs Bill to Improve Patient Safety

Governor Rendell Ceremonially Signs Bill to Improve Patient Safety

Worker Advocate: Solis Nomination Slap in the Face to America's Independent Minded Workers

Worker Advocate: Solis Nomination Slap in the Face to America's Independent Minded Workers

Statement by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) on the Selection of Hilda Solis for Secretary of Labor

Statement by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) on the Selection of Hilda Solis for Secretary of Labor

Unions expect payback from Obama

They Said It!, Says Republican National Committee

Never a good sign

FRC Mourns the Passing of Paul Weyrich

FRC Mourns the Passing of Paul Weyrich

RNC Chairman Duncan Statement on Passing of Paul Weyrich

RNC Chairman Duncan Statement on Passing of Paul Weyrich

Obama Economic Policy Snubs Small Business

Obama Economic Policy Snubs Small Business

FRC Praises Issuance of Conscience Protections

FRC Praises Issuance of Conscience Protections

Gary Bauer Applauds the Legacy, Mourns the Passing of Paul Weyrich

Gary Bauer Applauds the Legacy, Mourns the Passing of Paul Weyrich

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

'Talking Politics' on WPAZ 1370 AM

"Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas & Mike Pincus" returns to WPAZ 1370 AM Thursday from 5-6 p.m.

You can join the conversation by calling the station at 610-326-4000.

If you can't pick up the radio signal, the one-hour program is simulcast at www.1370wpaz.com and www.pottsmerc.com

Auditor General Jack Wagner Praises Pennsylvania Firefighters Who Attended Fall Workshops for VFRA Training

Auditor General Jack Wagner Praises Pennsylvania Firefighters Who Attended Fall Workshops for VFRA Training

Violent Crime Rate in 2007 at About the Same Level in 2005

Violent Crime Rate in 2007 at About the Same Level in 2005

There's Nothing Like Fraud for the Holidays

There's Nothing Like Fraud for the Holidays

Fed Action Creates Best Interest Rates in 50 Years, Realtors(R) Report

Fed Action Creates Best Interest Rates in 50 Years, Realtors(R) Report

Members of Congress Due to Award Themselves $4,700 Raise in 2009

Members of Congress Due to Award Themselves $4,700 Raise in 2009

Lose 41 Pounds in 5 Minutes - Stop Your Junk Mail With 41pounds.org!

Lose 41 Pounds in 5 Minutes - Stop Your Junk Mail With 41pounds.org!

Commerce's NTIA Urges Pennsylvania Consumers to Apply for TV Converter Box Coupons by December 31

Commerce's NTIA Urges Pennsylvania Consumers to Apply for TV Converter Box Coupons by December 31

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

RNC Chairman Statement on Need for Illinois Special Election

RNC Chairman Statement on Need for Illinois Special Election

Richard Viguerie: In Dangerous Times, New York Needs a Real U.S. Senator

Richard Viguerie: In Dangerous Times, New York Needs a Real U.S. Senator

Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner, Troubled at PSERS' Bonuses, Renews Call for Elimination of Bonuses in State Government

Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner, Troubled at PSERS' Bonuses, Renews Call for Elimination of Bonuses in State Government

New Survey Shows Children Have Fewer Problems When They Live in Intact Married Families That Worship Weekly

New Survey Shows Children Have Fewer Problems When They Live in Intact Married Families That Worship Weekly

Nearly $1 Million to Raise in Just 8 Days; Western Pennsylvania Salvation Army Issues Red Kettle Report

Nearly One Million Dollars to Raise in Just Eight Days; Western Pennsylvania Salvation Army Issues Red Kettle Report

Gingrich Calls on RNC to Pull 'Destructive' Ad

Gingrich Calls on RNC to Pull 'Destructive' Ad

Donating Blood Can Help Fill Your Holiday Stockings

Donating Blood Can Help Fill Your Holiday Stockings

Friday, December 12, 2008

Rep. Joe Pitts: Union shortsightedness killed auto bailout

By Congressman Joe Pitts

Congress was just brought back to Washington for a second lame duck session to address the dire situation of the Big Three domestic auto manufacturers. The executives from the Big Three were back on Capitol Hill, explaining what the collapse of their businesses would mean for the American economy.

This is no doubt a serious situation. There are many American jobs tied to the domestic auto manufacturing industry. The collapse of the Big Three would have grave consequences for the health of the economy at large, especially at a time of rising unemployment.

The American auto manufacturers have a fundamentally flawed business plan, conceived during a different time, when both their customers and competitors behaved differently than they do today. They have too many product lines that dilute research and development, and perhaps most importantly, they have staggering labor and legacy costs. They need total reorganization, but they don’t want that in the form of Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The Big Three executives believe that no one wants to buy a car from a company that has declared bankruptcy. We wouldn’t be able to test this theory unless the companies were in bankruptcy, but this notion puts everyone in a very difficult situation. Chapter 11 is a well constructed process that allows companies to escape pressure from creditors and restructure their business models in a way that provides for future competitiveness, without completely shutting down and laying off their entire workforce.

The House of Representatives passed a version of an auto bailout on Wednesday night on a mostly party-line vote, with Republicans opposing a plan that would hand over $14 billion in taxpayer money without forcing the kind of difficult reform that has the chance to make the manufacturers competitive again.

In the Senate, where the minority has more power, negotiations continued as reluctant Republicans Senators attempted to hammer out a deal that would make domestic auto manufacturers viable. Senator Bob Corker, from Tennessee, had created an alternate plan to the House passed version. The plan would have required concessions from all parties involved, including a huge reduction of debt owed to creditors, and a concession by the United Auto Workers (UAW) to bring their pay in line with the pay of other employees of other companies that build cars here in the United States.

This last provision became the sticking point that broke down negotiations. Senator Corker wanted the union to agree to concessions that would take effect by March 31. The UAW wanted to push that date back until 2011. I find it ironic that the same union officials that share a great deal of responsibility for creating a situation in which the Big Three cannot compete were willing to torpedo a possible deal in order to eke out two more years of artificially high wages.

Any objective observer would agree that what the Big Three need is the very process laid out by Chapter 11: time to keep creditors at bay while they restructure their businesses in a manner that will make them competitive. A large part of this restructuring will involve bringing the presently inflated salary of UAW employees into line with what their competitors are paying. The UAW were offered a chance to save union jobs by allowing the big three to reorganize and reduce debt, without the stigma of a Chapter 11 filing. Yet they walked away from the table in order to preserve two years of unsustainable salary levels. This seems incredibly short sighted to me.

I drive an American car because I believe in American built products. I want to see these businesses succeed. But without a plan that demands serious, structural changes I cannot support handing out billions of dollars of taxpayer money to simply sustain a business plan that is not viable.

Congressman Joe Pitts is a Republican who represents Pennsylvania's 16th Congressional District in Berks, Chester and Lancaster counties.

5,000 visitors to Mount Penn GOP

My site counter has recorded 5,000 visitors to MOUNT PENN GOP in the past two years. Thanks for visiting ... and come back again.

Guest column: Trouble with a Capital 'D'

By Tony Perkins
Family Research Council


It's been two years since Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) pronouncement that Democrats would make this "the most honest, ethical, and open Congress in history."

So far, she and her colleagues have yet to make good on that promise, and there is absolutely no indication that liberals will lead a revival of integrity anytime soon. Corruption has spun its web in America's highest halls of power, entangling both parties and bringing unprecedented disgrace to the nation's elect.

The parade of allegations has wound its way through the offices of Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.), Rep. John Murtha (D-Penn.), and, more recently, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who received a $40,000 campaign contribution from Fannie Mae during an alleged relationship with one of its executives.

This week, the attention turned to Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) for potentially inventing tax loopholes for wealthy oil companies.

The Democrats' trouble is even trickling down to eye-popping state scandals.

Following former Gov. Eliot Spitzer (N.Y.) down the path to public humiliation is current Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D), the object of outrage after allegations that he tried to "sell" Sen. Barack Obama's vacant senate seat.

Although Obama's transition leader John Podesta insisted weeks ago that Obama was launching a new "Transparency Policy" for his administration, we have yet to see evidence of it.

While investigators say Obama hasn't been implicated in the criminal probe, the next President has been surprisingly mum on questions about Blagojevich and their relationship.

As Americans cast a weary eye toward their leaders, Obama's party owes the American people the candor they promised-if, for no other reason, than to make good on his guarantee of "change."

If Democrats seek to expand government, perhaps they should first earn our trust with the authority they have. With more power comes more corruption. Considering the latest public betrayals, the argument for limited government has never been stronger.

For more about Family Research Council, visit the group's Web site, http://www.frc.org/

RNC: What We Don't Know

RNC: What We Don't Know

Obama Mad-Lib

Businesses on Pennsylvania's Tax Delinquent List Now Owe $6.5 Million in State Levies

Businesses on Pennsylvania's Tax Delinquent List Now Owe $6.5 Million in State Levies

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The GOP Has Some Fight Left

The GOP Has Some Fight Left

Leading State Officials Urge Reforms to Voting System

Leading State Officials Urge Reforms to Voting System

Strategic Plan for the Future of the Pennsylvania Treasury Department

Treasurer Wiessmann Releases Strategic Plan for the Future of the Pennsylvania Treasury Department

Door Open for Communities to Improve Water Infrastructure, Rendell Says

Door Open for Communities to Improve Water Infrastructure, Governor Rendell Says

Recycle those old political signs

If you're like me and have a stack of old political lawn signs sitting in a corner of the basement, somebody can take them off your hands and put them to good use.

A group called Walk and Bike Berks County is collecting used lawn signs and plans to recycle them.

From a post at the group's Web site:
Do you have used yard signs and posts sitting in your garage or basement? Are they in fair to good condition? Then we would love to have them.

Donate them to WalkBikeBerks today! Call 610-779-9702 to speak to our President, Michele Barrett.

Rather than filling our landfill with used yard signs, allow us to recycle them.

We need whatever you have -- political campaigns, yard sale, real estate, or advertisements -- no matter the message or design, we can use your yard signs now. We will spray paint the signs and use them to promote our own campaigns* -- BIKE TO WORK (May) and INTERNATIONAL WALK TO SCHOOL DAY (October).

Thank you for your generosity.

More good reasons to eliminate property taxes

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article on how high property taxes have turned the Buffalo, N.Y., region into "property-tax hell."

Pennsylvania should learn a lesson from its neighbors to the north.

From the article by Steve H. Hanke and Stephen J.K. Walters:
When every U.S. county is ranked according to its average property-tax bill as a percent of home values, nine of the worst 10 are in upstate New York.

All housing markets are local and local government policies can have an enormous impact on property values. Higher property tax rates, for example, inevitably send home values downward. Why? A $6,000 tax bill adds $500 to a monthly mortgage, and simultaneously reduces the amount a buyer would be willing or able to pay for a home. Cut the tax bill and you help struggling homeowners hold onto their houses. And lower taxes allow would-be buyers to spend more for homes.

High property taxes also discourage investment in new homes. Builders won't build where property taxes drive buyers away.

The problem of heavy property taxes crushing fragile upstate economies has not gone unnoticed, just unsolved. A special Commission on Property Tax Relief, supported by Democrat Gov. David Paterson, recommended in August that local property tax increases be capped at 4% annually or 1.2 times the inflation rate -- whichever is less.

That wouldn't have cut taxes, but it would have moved New York toward a less oppressive tax system. And for a moment, it seemed that the idea might even take off when the state Senate passed a tax-cap bill earlier this year. But the state Assembly voted instead to raise marginal tax rates on incomes above $1 million and use the proceeds to pay for property tax relief for low-income homeowners. That standoff all but killed tax reform.
Read the full article at the newspaper's Web site.

Did you catch the part about how property taxes can add up to $500 on monthly mortgage payments? Looking for a way to stimulate the housing market and rebuild the economy? Eliminate property taxes!!!

To learn more about efforts to eliminate property taxes in Pennsylvania, check out the Web site of the Pennsylvania Taxpayers Cyber Coalition.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

RNC Chairman Calls on President-Elect Obama to Disclose Communication Concerning Governor Blagojevich

RNC Chairman Calls on President-Elect Obama to Disclose Communication Concerning Governor Blagojevich

Ramos and Compean Day of Support Has Record Number of Grassroots Americans Calling for a Commutation

Ramos and Compean Day of Support Has Record Number of Grassroots Americans Calling for a Commutation

Obama Breaks Another Promise

Obama Will Allow Fortune 500 Firms to Receive Federal Small Business Contracts

Pennsylvania Accomplishes Largest Competitive Bond Sale Since National Credit Troubles Began

Pennsylvania Accomplishes Largest Competitive Bond Sale Since National Credit Troubles Began

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Ethics Group Says Obama Cannot Distance Himself From Blagojevich

Ethics Group Says Obama Cannot Distance Himself From Blagojevich

RNC Chairman: Why won't Obama condemn Chicago-style corruption?

RNC Chairman Responds to President-Elect Obama Concerning Governor Blagojevich

Richard Viguerie on Rod Blagojevich: 'There's Still Time to Save America From Becoming One Big Chicago'

Richard Viguerie on Rod Blagojevich: 'There's Still Time to Save America From Becoming One Big Chicago'

'Talking Politics' with state Sen. John Rafferty

State Sen. John C. Rafferty Jr., R-44th Dist., will be the guest on “Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas & Mike Pincus” Thursday at 5 p.m. on WPAZ 1370 AM

Rafferty, who represents portions of Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties, will discuss the state’s fiscal woes, the recent controversy of the Legislative pay raise and his goals for the coming legislative session.

Listeners can call the program at 610-326-4000.

The program is simulcast at www.1370wpaz.com and www.pottsmerc.com

Fick to lead Berks County GOP

The revolving door keeps spinning at the Berks County Republican Committee.

For the third time in as many years, a new chairman will lead the Berks County GOP faithful.

Reading lawyer Andrew F. Fick is the new party chairman, replacing Mark Gillen, who held the post for a little more than a year.

The 41-year-old Spring Township resident told the Reading Eagle he will emphasize party unity and rebuilding the party's grassroots network.

Larry Medaglia Jr., a former GOP chairman, told the newspaper that Fick will re-energize the party:
"He is able to recognize that problems are not solved from the top to the bottom but are solved from the bottom up," Medaglia said.

Fick said his goals include to help fill 228 committee vacancies in Berks and to review and update the party's Web site, berks.mygopsite.com.
The Berks County Republican Committee is actually in better shape than its counterparts in neighboring counties like Chester and Montgomery.

While the Berks GOP hasn't been able to score many significant victories against entrenched Democrats, it has held its own while neighboring counties have lost the registration race to Democrats.

Poor showings by Republican candidates in Chester and Montgomery counties also led to the Democrats taking back the majority in the state House after 12 years of GOP control.

Fick's biggest challenge will be to attract younger people to get involved in the party. Typical party gatherings are a sea of gray with most members in attendance in their 60s and 70s.

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

Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Honors Military Families for Their Sacrifices

Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Honors Military Families for Their Sacrifices

Average Americans Without Health Insurance Are Young and Healthy With Above Average Incomes

Average Americans Without Health Insurance Are Young and Healthy With Above Average Incomes

Obama Clashes with Santa on Gun Rights Christmas Card

Obama Clashes with Santa on Gun Rights Christmas Card

Agriculture Secretary Reminds Pennsylvanians to Apply for 2009 Dog License

Agriculture Secretary Reminds Pennsylvanians to Apply for 2009 Dog License

Friday, December 5, 2008

Is Obama's Eligible To Serve As President?

Mr. Obama's Eligibility to be Aired Monday at the National Press Club

When You Have School Choice ...

Charter High Schools are 5% of High Schools Nationwide, But 18% of the Top 100 High Schools, According to U.S. News and World Report Survey

Defend your right to celebrate Christmas



The American Center for Law and Justice, the sane alternative to the far-left ACLU, has updated its Christmas Resource Center with the latest legal updates on your rights to celebrate Christmas.

The center was created in response to militant atheists who have attempted in recent years to ban public celebrations or even acknowledgement of Christmas.

The Web site includes sample letters to send to school districts, local and county governments and public venues on the legality of Christmas displays and your rights to express your religious beliefs.

PennDOT Invites Comment on Public Participation Plan

PennDOT Invites Comment on Public Participation Plan

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Enhanced Traveler Information Services Coming to Pennsylvania

Enhanced Traveler Information Services Coming to Pennsylvania

Rendell Signs 4 Bills

From the Pennsylvania Office of the Governor:
HARRISBURG — Gov. Edward G. Rendell signed four bills into law Wednesday, including a change to the state's vehicle code that will save the Department of Transportation approximately $59 million.

House Bill 347 removes the requirement that PennDOT must replace a license plate every 10 years. Instead, replacement is mandatory when the plate cannot be read anymore. Only those plates that have been lost, stolen or have become illegible from a reasonable distance will be replaced. The change is expected to save Pennsylvania's Motor License Fund about $59 million.
The new law also further defines speed-timing devices, waivers to members of the armed forces, and other things.

House Bill 1543 says criminal history record information may be expunged from a person's record when that person petitions for expungement of a summary offense and he or she has been free of arrest or prosecution for five years following the conviction for which expungement is requested.

House Bill 2188 establishes the Abandoned and Blighted Property Conservatorship Act. With the new law, a party in interest, which includes the owner, a lien holder or secured creditor, a resident or business owner within 500 feet of a building, a nonprofit corporation or a municipality or school district where a building is located, may petition the Court of Common Pleas requesting that a conservator take possession of a building if it is in violation of any municipal code requirements, or if it has been declared a public nuisance.

Senate Bill 1114 designates the scenic view adjacent to State Route 40 in Wharton Township, Fayette County, as Blue Star Point Lookout; names a section of West 26th Street in Millcreek Township, Erie County, as the John W. Groters Memorial Highway; designates a portion of Cottman Avenue (Route 73) in the Burholme section of Philadelphia as the Police Sergeant Stephen Liczbinski Memorial Highway; and designates a bridge on Route 259 in Fairfield Township as the Glenn McMaster Memorial Bridge.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Reform group: No pay raise for state officials

A citizens' group that led the fight to repeal the 2005 legislative pay raise is demanding Pennsylvania officials suspend their annual COLA increase.

RockTheCapital.org says the 2.8% cost-of-living adjustment for legislators, members of the Rendell administration and judges is a "stealth" pay raise.

From Eric Epstein, coordinator of RockTheCapital.org:
"At a time when working class families are getting clobbered, the political class is making plans to jet to New York City and whine and dine in the lap of luxury. Those in the 'no whine zone' are prospering. Speaker McCall will be making $122,000, and Supreme Court Chief Justice Ron Castille will be hauling in $192,000. Rank-and-file lawmakers will have to get by on $78,300 with per diems, a state car, and full benefits."
Epstein said the Dec. 1 pay raise is particularly galling because Pennsylvania elected officials have done such a poor job of managing state revenues.

"No one should be rewarded for creating a $500 million deficit," Epstein said. "Taking a COLA this year is like stealing your children's savings' bonds."

RockTheCapital.org, one of several citizen reform groups that fought to repeal the 2005 middle-of-the-night pay raise, believes that a nonpartisan and independent compensation commission should determine future pay adjustments for elected and appointed officials.

"State government is a publicly held corporation with by-laws that specifically exclude COLAS (Article III, Section VIII)," Epstein said. "If lawmakers want a bonus plan then they need to submit a proposal to taxpayers for ratification."

For more on the group's reform agenda, visit RockTheCapital.org

PA Open Records Office sets copying fees

Below is the first press release from the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records. I hope it will be the first of many to come as Pennsylvania ushers in a new era of openness and accountability in government.
OPEN RECORDS OFFICE SETS RIGHT-TO-KNOW FEE STRUCTURE

HARRISBURG -- Citizens will pay between 10 cents and 25 cents per page for public records under a fee structure established by the new Office of Open Records, Executive Director Terry Mutchler announced Monday.

"The fee structure established by our office is a reasonable way to ensure citizens have meaningful access to the records of their government and that public bodies are able to recoup the actual cost of the copies," Mutchler said.

The Right-To-Know law, signed by Gov. Edward G. Rendell on February 14, 2008, established the Office of Open Records to implement and enforce the Act. The law, which fully becomes effective January 1, 2009, charged the Office of Open Records with establishing fees pursuant to a right-to-know request.

Under the fee structure, a Commonwealth or Local Agency will be permitted to charge only the actual cost of reproduction for blue-prints, color copies, odd-sized materials and downloading records to computerized discs.

An agency may not charge citizens for the time it takes to determine whether the record is a public record. An agency may not charge for searching or retrieving the documents. An agency also may not charge staff time or salary for complying with a right-to-know request, and an agency is precluded from charging fees to redact, or black out, information that is exempt under the law.

"Nationally, duplication fees are one of the most abused areas of any government access law and, quite often, high fees are just another way to deny citizens access to their government," Mutchler said. "This fee structure guards against that."

Citizens also can choose to inspect records rather than obtain copies, under the law.

The Office of Open Records encouraged Judicial and Legislative agencies, which can set their own fees, to adopt the fee structure set by the Office of Open Records to promote uniformity throughout the Commonwealth.

The complete fee structure and information related to the Office of Open Records and the new law can be found at http://openrecords.state.pa.us

Thanksgiving Day Proclamation by President Bush

Thanksgiving Day Proclamation by President Bush

RNC: They Said It Flashback! Sen. Robert Byrd on Potential Commerce Secretary Nominee Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM)

RNC: They Said It Flashback! Sen. Robert Byrd on Potential Commerce Secretary Nominee Gov. Bill Richardson (D-NM)

Economic Crisis Makes 'Rubinomics' Irrelevant

Economic Crisis Makes 'Rubinomics' Irrelevant

RNC: [Summers] Obama's Economic Change?

RNC: [Summers] Obama's Economic Change?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Newspaper: Officials should give up pay raise

The Pottstown Mercury is urging Pennsylvania legislators and judges to give up their annual cost-of-living increase in light of the suffering so many fellow Pennsylvanians are facing during the economic slowdown. Pennsylvania legislators are among the highest paid in the country.

From The Mercury's editorial page:
THORNS for a system that continues to reward Pennsylvania lawmakers and state judges while nearly every other sector — public and private — is facing cutbacks. State lawmakers and judges are in line for 2.8 percent cost-of-living raises that will raise the pay for rank and file members of the state House and Senate to just over $78,000 starting next month. Members of leadership will get even more. Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald Castille's salary is going up to nearly $192,000. The pay for county judges will be about $162,000. The same increases are due for Gov. Ed Rendell and his cabinet secretaries. The governor says he might suspend them as part of budgetary belt-tightening. At a time when the mayor of Philadelphia is writing himself a pay cut and other municipal managers are seeing salaries frozen in tight 2009 budgets, the lawmakers in Pennsylvania could make a sacrifice, too. Perhaps they should read the headlines in the state instead of the fine print in their salary package and live in the real world.

Coalition for a Democratic Workplace Calls on Congress to Oppose Anti-Worker Employee Free Choice Act

Coalition for a Democratic Workplace Calls on Congress to Oppose Anti-Worker Employee Free Choice Act

Richard Viguerie: Three Changes in House GOP Leadership Only the Beginning of What Is Needed

Richard Viguerie: Three Changes in House GOP Leadership Only the Beginning of What Is Needed

'Has President Elect Obama's Concept of Change Regressed to Returning Ethically Compromised Players to The White House from Clinton-Gore Administration?'

'Has President Elect Obama's Concept of Change Regressed to Returning Ethically Compromised Players to The White House from Clinton-Gore Administration?'

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Do PA legislators deserve a pay raise?

Gov. Ed Rendell and the Pennsylvania Legislature, the same people who have saddled the state with a potential $2 billion budget deficit, are giving themselves a pay raise.

These are the same people who have failed to take action on the state's transportation and health care needs. The same people who have done nothing to prevent skyrocketing electricity rates once caps expire. The same people who have failed to do anything about property taxes for the past 30 years.

But they will be getting an annual cost-of-living raise, effective Dec. 1.

House and Senate members will receive a 2.8 percent raise, setting lawmakers' base pay at $78,315, according to The Harrisburg Patriot-News.

Pay for the 30 legislative leaders will range from $89,300 to $122,254 after Dec. 1, when the annual COLA raise kicks in, the newspaper says.

The Legislature passed a bill in 1995 that automatically gives its members a pay raise unless a majority votes against the annual COLA. To date, lawmakers have never rejected the money.

Gov. Rendell, his cabinet and state judges will get the same 2.8-percent increase, effective Jan. 1. The governor's salary will rise to $174,956.

From The Patriot-News article:
For lawmakers, who according to their attorneys have no right to forgo the raise, it will keep their fourth-place national ranking in legislative salaries. California at $116,208, Michigan at $79,650, and New York at $79,500 pay more.

Pennsylvania is one of four states that grant lawmakers automatic cost-of-living raises, according to Morgan Cullen of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Read the full story at the newspaper's Web site.

Obama's Change.gov Website Drops Promise to End Small Business Contracting Abuses

Obama's Change.gov Website Drops Promise to End Small Business Contracting Abuses

RNC: DASCH'ING THROUGH A LOOPHOLE - Obama Exploits Loophole In Own Lobbyist Restrictions to Tap a Lobbying Firm's 'Consultant' as Cabinet Secretary

RNC: DASCH'ING THROUGH A LOOPHOLE - Obama Exploits Loophole In Own Lobbyist Restrictions to Tap a Lobbying Firm's 'Consultant' as Cabinet Secretary

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Economy May Be Down, But the Lawsuit Industry Is Up

The Economy May Be Down, But the Lawsuit Industry Is Up

A third Clinton Administration?

Remember all the hogwash from Barack Obama that electing John McCain would be a third Bush Administration?

So what exactly did voters get when they elected Obama instead? It's beginning to look more and more like a third Clinton Administration.

More than two-thirds of the people named to Obama's transition team are former members of the Clinton Administration. Many are in line to get key posts in an Obama White House.

Obama has already tapped Rahm Emanuel, who worked for Bill Clinton, to be his chief of staff. John Podesta, who is heading the Obama transition, was Clinton's chief of staff.

Obama's choice for attorney general appears to be Eric Holder, a former No. 2 Justice Department official in the Clinton administration.

And now Hillary Clinton is the front-runner to be named Secretary of State?

Didn't voters reject a third Clinton Administration when they passed on Hillary as the Democratic Party nominee?

If Clinton doesn't want the job, it appears that another Clinton retread, Bill Richardson, is in line.

Why is Obama recycling the Clinton White House? You could make the argument that Hillary Clinton is more experienced with foreign affairs than Obama, but I thought the whole point of having Joe Biden on the ticket is because of his foreign policy experience?

Is this change or more of the same?

Consumer Watchdog Comments on Health Insurer's Self-Serving Support of 'Individual Mandate'

Consumer Watchdog Comments on Health Insurer's Self-Serving Support of 'Individual Mandate'

Holder Nomination Signals Obama's True Anti-Gun Rights Agenda

Holder Nomination Signals Obama's True Anti-Gun Rights Agenda

AAA Anticipates Five Million Stranded Motorists During Holiday Season

AAA Anticipates Five Million Stranded Motorists During Holiday Season

Auditor General Jack Wagner's Audit Finds Serious Weaknesses in State Civil Service Commission's Veterans' Preference Program

This is a Democratic official criticizing the Rendell Administration?

Auditor General Jack Wagner's Audit Finds Serious Weaknesses in State Civil Service Commission's Veterans' Preference Program

Hunters Can Donate Deer to Local Food Banks, Pantries, Soup Kitchens

AG Secretary, Game Commission Director Urge Hunters to Help Feed the Hungry, Share Their Harvest

RNC: Obama's Pardon-Me AG

RNC: Obama's Pardon-Me AG

Federal Register Announces Launch of New Electronic Public Inspection Desk

Federal Register Announces Launch of New Electronic Public Inspection Desk

Pennsylvania Education Officials Announce Efforts to Further Improve School Safety

Pennsylvania Education Officials Announce Efforts to Further Improve School Safety

A reminder to elected officials

A reminder to everyone who holds public office or is paid by taxpayers:

"The First Amendment doesn't exist so we can freely praise our public officials. It exists so we can freely criticize our public officials."

-- Chris Lamb,
Educator, College of Charleston, S.C.

A column Ed Rendell should read

The Wall Street Journal has published an excellent op-ed column by Steve Malanga, a senior editor at the Manhattan Institute's City Journal, about how states got themselves into a fiscal mess.

Are you listening, Ed Rendell?

Pennsylvania has run up a budget deficit of $565 million just four months into the current fiscal year. State lawmakers predict a deficit of $2.5 billion by the end of the fiscal year.

How did we get into this mess? When times were good, Gov. Rendell proposed budgets that increased spending at twice the rate of inflation. Since Rendell took office in 2003, state spending has risen by more than $7 billion. Rendell also borrowed another $3 billion.

Now that times are tough, tax revenues are shrinking dramatically. Rendell has proposed $300 million in cuts from administrative spending, but that won't put much of a dent in a $2.5 billion deficit.

Rendell isn't alone in screwing up his state's bottom line.

From Malanga's column:
From the end of the last recession in 2003 until this year, states collectively boosted general-fund budgets by an annual average of some 6.4%. In just 2006 and 2007 alone they added about $100 billion. During the period from 2003-2008, states also took on 38% more debt, increasing their collective indebtedness to $2.19 trillion.

Now it's cold-shower time. Earlier this year, in the spring, more than half of the states grappled with budget deficits amounting collectively to nearly $50 billion. Since then tax collections have fallen short of projections, producing further midyear budget holes in nearly two dozen states.
To read the full article, visit the newspaper's Web site.

Phyrillas on 'Journalists Roundtable'

I'll be making a return appearance this week to "Journalists Roundtable" on the Pennsylvania Cable Network.

Among the topics of discussion will be the new leadership in the Pennsylvania Legislature.

The program airs Thursday at 8 p.m. and again on Sunday at 5 p.m. and 11 p.m.

PCN is Comcast Channel 98 in Berks County, Service Electric Channel 23 in Berks and Lehigh Counties and Comcast Channel 186 in the Pottstown area. Consult your cable guide for the PCN channel in your area.

And don't forget to tune in to "Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas and Mike Pincus" Thursday at 5 p.m. on WPAZ 1370 AM. The one-hour show is simulcast at www.1370wpaz.com and www.pottsmerc.com

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Montco GOP censures Turncoat Jim Matthews

The Montgomery County Republican Committee has adopted a unanimous resolution censuring renegade county Commissioner Jim Matthews.

"Since I was elected chairman and even while I was campaigning, everywhere I went, I was asked 'What are we going to do about Jim Matthews'?," county GOP Chairman Bob Kerns said in a press release announcing the censure.

"The voters I talk to feel betrayed and the Republican committee members are just devastated by Jim's actions. The voters placed their trust in Jim Matthews and Bruce Castor and the committee members put their hearts into the campaign to elect the Matthews-Castor team last year. This has been a difficult year for everyone," Kerns said.

Matthews rode Bruce Castor's coattails to re-election last November, but on Dec. 18, he announced that he had negotiated a power-sharing agreement with the lone Democrat on the three-member commissioners board. The deal made Democrat Joe Hoeffel vice chairman of the commissioners. Hoeffel then proceeded to hire all sorts of political cronies to lucrative county jobs.

Most votes taken by the board have been 2-1, with Matthews and Hoeffel getting their way over the objections of Castor.

More from Kerns' release:
"Montgomery County's voters pick the person, not the party. It's been that way for two decades and Jim Matthews and Bruce Castor campaigned on a set of priorities that are not being implemented. Instead, we're implementing the major priorities outlined by Joe Hoeffel and Ruth Damsker, but that agenda was rejected by voters in favor of a Matthews-Castor agenda. The voters have to know we don’t condone what’s happening in Norristown."

As an example Kerns cited the Hoeffel promises of hiring a Chief Financial Officer, enacting a $50 million economic development plan, and Hoeffel's record in the 1990s of running up debt and paying for budget items with bond issues.

"When Hoeffel left the Board of Commissioners in 1998 he left us with hundreds of millions in debt and just $12 million in the bank. Our AAA bond rating was threatened. It was a disaster. Hoeffel and Matthews are pursuing policies that will put us right back in the same hole. This year alone they are looking to raid the county’s dwindling savings to pay for their programs. It's not the way Republicans would run this government. Jim Matthews got elected in 1999 and again in 2007 by pointing out what a disaster Hoeffel was as a commissioner in the 1990's. Now he's forming a government with him and implementing Hoeffel's agenda? It makes no sense and our committee and the voters are confused and hurt,” Kerns said.
Since taking over control of the county party in the spring, Kerns said he attempted to "bring Matthews back to the table."

"I did meet with him in early summer in the hopes of bridging the divide between he and his Republican colleagues in county government. He made it clear that he was not interested in any kind of reconciliation. I continued to pursue the matter through intermediaries throughout the fall," Kerns said in the release.

“At some point, we have to decide to move on and accept that, based on his actions, he is not a Republican anymore. No matter how often Jim insists he is a Republican, you are ultimately judged by how you govern and your record, not your words," Kerns said.

Kerns said on Election Day many committee members reported incidents where voters stopped to express their disgust with Matthews on their way into the polls.

"In the end, Jim's actions are the actions of an individual, not the Party. That is the message I hope people take away from this resolution. The party is standing up and making its position clear. We don't agree with Jim, we don't condone what he's doing as a Commissioner and he's not representative of our Party as long as he's engaging in this behavior. Don't blame the Party for the actions of one man," Kerns concluded.

A total of 56 Republican municipal leaders, area leaders and executive committee members attended Monday's Leadership Conference, where the censure vote against Matthews was taken.

National Report Ranks Pennsylvania 26th in Protecting Kids From Tobacco

National Report Ranks Pennsylvania 26th in Protecting Kids From Tobacco

Transparent Campaigns

Republican National Committee: Transparent Campaigns

Monday, November 17, 2008

We want our money back!

Norquist Sends Letter to Treasury Applying for $700 Billion in TARP Funds

Guest column: Blame deficit on Rendell overspending

By Rep. Curt Schroder

It is interesting to see that Pennsylvania's budget deficit is being blamed on "the global economic meltdown." If only it were that simple. I respectfully disagree with this premise.

Pennsylvania's budget deficit, which analysts predict could reach as high as $2.5 billion by the end of the current fiscal year, was not created solely by the economic downturn as some would have you believe. Instead, it is the result of years of overspending in Harrisburg.

Gov. Ed Rendell's budgets have routinely increased spending beyond the rate of inflation. Now, to quote one controversial clergyman, "The chickens are coming home to roost!"

From 2002 to the current 2008-09 budget, spending increased by 38.6 percent while the rate of inflation only rose by 19.5 percent.

Long before indicted Sen. Vince Fumo issued his warnings of budget chaos, this shortfall was becoming obvious to anyone not in a state of denial. Even as the current budget was passed in early July, Senate budget analysts were warning of billion-dollar deficits.

To the 31 House Republican members who voted against the budget in July, the economic downturn was evident. The state was already producing revenues below monthly projections and the pattern continues now in its sixth straight month.

In fact, the revenue projections upon which the 2007-08 budget was premised were inflated and unrealistic. The greatest problem with the current budget is that it depends on millions of dollars in one-time revenues. This is money drained from different pots in state government for one-time use. It will not be available for future budgets, even though future spending is predicated on its existence.

Inflated revenue projections and the use of one-time revenue sources are a prescription for fiscal disaster. Those of us who raised such concerns were blithely told "you can't predict the future" even though the entire budget relies on predictions of monthly revenue.

It is not enough for the governor and legislative caucus leaders to sit down behind closed doors to discuss ideas for saving and economizing. This entire budget, and the house of cards on which it is based, must be reopened. It needs to be re-examined from top to bottom by the General Assembly - the elected body of the taxpaying citizens of Pennsylvania.

There is no shortage of ideas worth exploring. We should use this opportunity to force some tough decisions and finally come to grips with unnecessary spending on programs that either don't work or only serve a narrow special interest. If we do not act now, Pennsylvania will face its own fiscal crisis of Wall Street proportions.

State Rep. Curt Schroder is a Republican who represents the 155th House District in Chester County.

No State Bailouts!

59 Groups Representing Millions of Taxpayers Tell Congress: No State Bailouts!

Pennsylvania's Brain-Dead Voters

Countdown to PA Deer Season Has Begun

Countdown to Deer Season Has Begun; Local White-Tailed Deer Information Available On-Line; Don't Forget to Submit A Harvest Report Card

RNC: Obama's Good Counsel?

RNC: Obama's Good Counsel?

Six-Point Plan to Restore Respect to Congress From Dismal 12-23% Approval, Lower Than Bush

Six-Point Plan to Restore Respect to Congress From Dismal 12-23% Approval, Lower Than Bush

Friday, November 14, 2008

Abbott and Costello (I mean Pelosi and Reid) are on the case

The comedy team of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are on the case.

The very same people who pushed through the bailout package through Congress have now appointed a three-member Congressional Oversight Panel to let them know what the hell is going on with the U.S. economy.

I feel better already. How about you?

Wait a minute. Wasn't is Congress that basically sank the U.S. economy in the first place? Maybe we should panic.

Pelosi and Reid Announce Three Members of Congressional Oversight Panel

Obama's Job Application Includes Questions on Gun Ownership

Obama's Job Application Includes Questions on Gun Ownership

Will Obama push compulsary unionism?

By Jessica Runk

Along with the rest of the nation, Pennsylvania is struggling to rebound from the recent economic turmoil. Unfortunately, being a compulsory union state puts the Commonwealth at a marked disadvantage.

Twenty-two states have a right-to-work law, protecting their workers from being coerced to join a union as a condition of employment. But Pennsylvania denies the right to reject union membership and dues payments, marginalizing workers and businesses across the state.

The benefits of living in a right-to-work state are manifold: these states typically have higher rates of growth in employment, personal income, and population.
Compared to right-to-work states, Pennsylvania and other compulsory union states rank consistently lower across several economic indicators (the Commonwealth ranks lower than even other non-right-to-work states).

The job markets in right-to-work states demonstrate remarkable growth relative to Pennsylvania, as shown by the graph above. Pennsylvania has also experienced a rise in personal income growth drastically slower than that of right-to-work states.

Contrary to myths promulgated by advocates of compulsory unionism, residents of right-to-work states have higher average incomes (adjusting for cost of living) than those in forced unionism states.

Right-to-work states have also seen higher rates of growth in per-capita income from 2002-2007.

With compulsory unionism and a state and local tax burden in Pennsylvania well above the national average, it is no wonder people are moving out of the state to more promising and prosperous ones.

According to the U.S. Census, Pennsylvania lost 28,000 net residents to other states from 2000-2006. United Van Lines classifies Pennsylvania as a high "outbound" state, meaning more moves out of the state than into it.

In 2007, 57 percent of shipments were moves out of Pennsylvania. In contrast, right-to-work states are experiencing a population influx as residents find their stronger economies appealing.

Pennsylvania can become prosperous again, but a few changes must be made to the way the state treats businesses, employers, and workers.

First, Pennsylvania needs to enact a right-to-work law, which would free all employees from union intimidation. It would also allow workers to keep more of their hard-earned money, rather than being subject to forced, automatic dues deductions.

Second, the growth of government spending, regulation, and taxation must be lowered. These steps will help make Pennsylvania an attractive place to live and work once more.

Jessica Runk is a research associate with the Commonwealth Foundation (www.CommonwealthFoundation.org), an independent, nonprofit public policy research and educational institute based in Harrisburg.

Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner Finds Deficiencies Still Exist in Department of Public Welfare's Administration of LIHEAP

Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner Finds Deficiencies Still Exist in Department of Public Welfare's Administration of LIHEAP

Gun Owners not Welcome on Obama's White House Team

Gun Owners not Welcome on Obama's White House Team

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

More of the same in Harrisburg

Little is likely to change in Harrisburg based on last week's election results in the state Legislature, says The Pottstown Mercury.

With Democrats adding to their one-vote majority in the House, expect the same moribund leadership that has led the Legislature in the past two years.

From an editorial in today's edition of the newspaper:
The election is over, but now begins the power play to determine leadership posts in the next legislative term -- and it's business as usual with lawmakers jockeying for the pay and prestige that come with top leadership positions in the General Assembly.

The power play for leadership posts on the state level comes at a time when borough and city leaders are grappling with massive revenue shortfalls as ripple effects of the nation's economic crisis. Pottstown Borough Council last night heard a presentation for a budget that would eliminate 13 positions and drastically slash funding for fire companies, parks and other borough services.

But, in Harrisburg, it's business as usual. The 315 million-dollar monster that is the state Legislature just keeps rolling along. Little changed in the election on the state legislative front. And, little is changing now as the play for power positions goes into full swing.

Another day, a lot of dollars: Business as usual.
Read the full editorial, "Power Play Is On For Leadership Posts," at the newspaper's Web site.

Richard Viguerie on the road back for conservatives

Richard Viguerie, in Conservatives Betrayed, Foresaw Collapse of GOP and Describes the Road Back for Conservatives

RNC: Transitioning on Lobbyists

RNC: Transitioning on Lobbyists

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Grateful Nation Pauses to Remember



"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few." — Winston Churchill, August 20th, 1940

Read the full message that accompanies this cartoon at GetLiberty.org

Help sponsor 'Talking Politics' on radio

"Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas & Mike Pincus" has been on the air since mid-July. The audience has been growing each week and we're receiving a steady stream of callers each week.

The initial 13-week commitment from our sponsors has expires and there are openings for new sponsors.

If you're interested in having your business promoted in Montgomery, Chester and Berks counties, the contact information for WPAZ 1370 AM is below. "Talking Politics" can be heard every Thursday from 5-6 p.m. on WPAZ and is simulcast at www.1370wpaz.com and www.pottsmerc.com

In the meantime, Mike and I would like to thank our initial sponsors for making the show possible:

The Basile Corporation, Douglassville

Garner & Bauer Attorneys At Law, Pottstown

Nutritional Foods Inc., Pottstown

Ron Black Agency, Royersford

If you're interested in advertising on "Talking Politics," contact:

WPAZ 1370 AM
224 Maugers Mill Road
Pottstown, PA 19464
Phone: 610-326-4000
Fax: 610-326-7984

Email: Jay Warren - jay.warren@1370wpaz.com

Governor Praises Veterans for Their Service, Sacrifice

Governor Rendell Praises Veterans for Their Service, Sacrifice

Such As The Mammoth

RNC Launches New Web Site: 'RepublicanForAReason.com'

RNC Launches New Web Site: 'RepublicanForAReason.com'

Veteran's Day Tips for Military Packages, Cards and Letters

Veteran's Day Tips for Military Packages, Cards and Letters

Monday, November 10, 2008

Firearms Industry Addresses Rising Gun Sales; Obama Administration Showing Anti-Gun Cards Early

Firearms Industry Addresses Rising Gun Sales; Obama Administration Showing Anti-Gun Cards Early

Richard Viguerie: Conservatives Deserve Credit for Resignations of Blunt, Putnam

Richard Viguerie: Conservatives Deserve Credit for Resignations of Blunt, Putnam

Rendell Calls on Senate to Return to Harrisburg

Governor Rendell Calls on Senate to Return to Harrisburg, Work with House to Address Critical, Unresolved Health Care Issues

Election Season Provided 'Wake-up Call' for Traditional Media, Panel of Journalists Says

Election Season Provided 'Wake-up Call' for Traditional Media, Panel of Journalists Says

Say 'Thank you' to American troops

An appeal from Berks Enduring Freedom to send a "thank you" to American troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan:
Have you ever wanted to say "Thank you" in a tangible way to those men and women who serve our country? If so, here is a great opportunity.

Berks Enduring Freedom, a local organization, needs our help. They are sending about 1,100 boxes of donated items to about 550 troops from Berks County who are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have received tens of thousands of new items (food, hygiene supplies, books, CDs, etc. – it is an amazing assortment) from local businesses and individuals, but now everything needs to be packaged for shipping.

It is easy work, and quite unglamorous. Zara and I went on Saturday and Sunday afternoons for a total of about 3 hours, and we spent our time putting small food packages (instant oatmeal, Cheese-It and Goldfish crackers, etc.) and hygiene supplies (tissues, cotton balls, Q-tips, etc.) into zip-lock baggies. They also have a craft room where Zara made cards and wrote a letter to be included in the boxes. Volunteers are needed Monday through Thursday this week to help prepare the boxes, and especially at night on Wednesday and Thursday. The hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

On Friday from 8 a.m. to noon all the boxes must be loaded onto trucks for shipping. Currently they have only a few people lined up to carry boxes.

The warehouse (heated, lighted, wheelchair accessible, with bathrooms) is very easy to get to; it is located in the same building as Grainger, 4201 Pottstown Pike (Route 61) next to Bob Fisher Chevrolet. If you are coming south from Leesport it is on the left after the Tuckerton traffic light; coming north from Reading it is on the right. Everyone (about 8 to 10 people) was very friendly and down to earth. One of the aspects that I really liked was that they put us to work immediately – no wasted time. They also have good food donated by local eateries if you want a snack or meal while you are there.

Additional information can be found at http://www.berksenduringfreedom.com/ or by calling Simone Sauers at 610-682-0428 or Dory at 610-683-8197, or Steve Johnson, Home 610.779.0289 or Cell 610.207.6250

Zara and I had a great time doing this together, and you will too. Please help if you can, even for one hour. Thank you.

Steve Johnson

'The American Veterans and Servicemembers Survival Guide'

'The American Veterans and Servicemembers Survival Guide'

CCRKBA Asks Democrats: 'Has Party's Anti-Gun Mask Come Off?'

CCRKBA Asks Democrats: 'Has Party's Anti-Gun Mask Come Off?'

Deadline Approaching for Grants to Preserve PA's History, Heritage

Deadline Approaching for Grants to Preserve PA's History, Heritage

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My sentiments exactly

PA GOP on the rocks

How low can the Pennsylvania Republican Party go?

That's the question conservative commentator Lowman Henry asks in a terrific op-ed published by The Pottstown Mercury.

Check out "Pa. GOP hits rock bottom" at the newspaper's Web site.

Radio Address by President Bush to The Nation

Radio Address by President Bush to The Nation

Friday, November 7, 2008

Berks County GOP chairman steps down

The revolving door at the Berks County Republican Committee is turning again.

Mark Gillen, who has served as party chairman since June 2007, is leaving his post, according to the Reading Eagle. A new chairman will be selected next month.

Gillen is stepping down because he and his family are planning a long-term mission trip to Mexico, says reporter Mary Young.

There was high hopes for Gillen when he accepted the top party nod last year, but his extensive travel schedule kept him out of Berks County for long periods of time.

The Republican Party has made strides during Gillen's tenure, taking back majority control of the Berks County Board of Commissioners in November 2007 and holding on to all of its legislative seats in 2008. Gillen also revived the Berks GOP Web site, which was dormant for several years.

But the party has been unable to unseat any incumbent Democratic state legislators from Berks County and for the first time since 1964, a Democrat won Berks in the presidential race when Barack Obama beat John McCain in the county on Tuesday.

Gillen told Young he is not backing a successor.

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

Service Employees Outraged Over Rendell Spending

Service Employees Outraged Over Rendell Spending

Despite Opting for 'Change,' Voters Proved Cautious on Fiscal Issues, Taxpayer Group's Analysis Finds

Despite Opting for 'Change,' Voters Proved Cautious on Fiscal Issues, Taxpayer Group's Analysis Finds

Latino Vote a New Force in Shaping the Election 2008 Political Map

Latino Vote a New Force in Shaping the Election 2008 Political Map

Poll: 89 Percent of Muslim Voters Picked Obama

Poll: 89 Percent of Muslim Voters Picked Obama

RNC: More Partisan Players

RNC: More Partisan Players

Women's Vote Clinches Election Victory: 8 Million More Women Than Men Voted for Obama

Women's Vote Clinches Election Victory: 8 Million More Women Than Men Voted for Obama

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Republican National Committee: Obama's Broken Promise

Republican National Committee: Obama's Broken Promise

Blunt Announces He Will Not Run for Whip in 111th Congress

Blunt Announces He Will Not Run for Whip in 111th Congress

Liberal media has Obama's back

Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's "Hardball," has decided to play softball with President-elect Barack Obama.

This is what Matthews said this morning on his own network: "I'm going to do everything I can to make this presidency work."

Sounds like Matthews understands the role of TV journalists perfectly, doesn't it?

Let's give Matthews a pat on the back for honesty. MSNBC (and all the NBC networks) have been part of the Obama Campaign for nearly two years. At least Matthews is willing to admit it publicly.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election recap on 'Talking Politics'

Tune in to this week's "Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas & Mike Pincus" to hear analysis on the 2008 election, including how Tony and Mike did predicting the outcome of 26 races.

The show can be heard Thursdays at 5 p.m. o WPAZ 1370 AM, simulcast at www.1370wpaz.com and www.pottsmerc.com

You can call in with questions or comments during the live broadcast at 610-326-4000.

The Chosen One must choose

Richard Viguerie: All Republican congressional leaders should resign... or grassroots conservatives will withhold support from the GOP

Richard Viguerie: All Republican congressional leaders should resign... or grassroots conservatives will withhold support from the GOP

The SNL Effect: 'Saturday Night Live' Political Skits Make Real Impact on Voters

The SNL Effect: 'Saturday Night Live' Political Skits Make Real Impact on Voters

Voters' Resounding Call for 'Change' Did Not Include Wanting More Lawsuits

Voters' Resounding Call for 'Change' Did Not Include Wanting More Lawsuits

Don't Blame Me!

The Morning After

Some good posts from conservative Pennsylvania bloggers on the morning after Democratic sweeps in national and state offices.

POWERBLOG! says it's time for Republicans to ponder the future of their party.

Page13News says this was the "It's All About Me" election.

That's Rich says there's no crying in politics.

WRITEMARSH! says Obama's victory is all about selling hope and packaging.

The Clarke Report says nothing much changed in Schuylkill County politics.

Ohligarchy says abandon hope.

Penn Patriot Online says Obama's win is the official end of the Reagan Revolution.

and TONY PHYRILLAS on Tom Corbett surviving the Democratic tide and positioning himself for a run at governor in 2010.