Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Blunt: President Right to Call for Congressional Action to Address Economic Uncertainty

Blunt: President Right to Call for Congressional Action to Address Economic Uncertainty

Help a local family in need

The Berks County Grange will host a Longaberger Basket Bingo on Friday, May 9, 2008, at the Fleetwood Grange Hall.

The bingo will start at 6:30 PM. (Doors open at 5:15 PM.)

All proceeds will go to Joe Santos and family (Joe, an active Scout leader in Berks County, is battling cancer and the family has been overwhelmed with medical bills).

Tickets are $20 if purchased in advance, or $25 at the door. Each ticket will include a hot dog, soda, and a chance at a door prize.

For those who have not been to a Basket Bingo before, you get to play about 15 games of bingo, with Longaberger baskets as the prizes.

The Fleetwood Grange Hall is located off Route 662 in Fleetwood. (http://www.fleetwoodgrange.org)

Food and baked goods will be available for purchase at the event.

For tickets (or questions), contact Tom or Laura Wike at 610-404-7367.

Pennsylvania needs a Voter ID law

Pennsylvania Republican Party Chairman Robert A. Gleason Jr. supports the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling Monday that upheld the Constitutional right of states to require voters to produce photo identification before casting their ballot to combat voter fraud and uphold the integrity of our elections.

"The Republican Party of Pennsylvania was ecstatic to learn of the Supreme Court's ruling that allows states to run fair and honest elections by using photo identification," Gleason said in a written statement. "Ensuring the integrity of our elections is paramount, and I believe requiring voters to show a form of identification is an important tool in combating voter fraud. Many Americans are made to show photo identification before they board a plane, drive a car, cash a check, or even rent a movie, so we agree with the Supreme Court that it is acceptable to check identification before they cast their vote."

In 2006, Gov. Ed Rendell vetoed House bill 1318 that would have required voters to produce photo identification here in the Commonwealth. Under this bill, voters would have had to produce either a driver's license, passport or other photo ID or even something with the person's name on it, such as a utility bill.

"If Pennsylvania is serious about conducting fair elections, our legislature should pass a bill requiring voters to show photo identification and Gov. Rendell should sign it immediately," Gleason said.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Statement: BCBSA Commends Sen. McCain's Focus on Healthcare Affordability and Quality

Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association Statement: BCBSA Commends Sen. McCain's Focus on Healthcare Affordability and Quality

Monday, April 28, 2008

2,000 visitors to Mount Penn GOP

It's been exactly one year since I launched MOUNT PENN GOP to help spread the word about Republican candidates and issues in Berks County. I'm pleased to report that this site has registered its 2,000th unique visitor in just 12 months. (I know a lot of other blogs that take years to reach that kind of audience.)

Thanks for visiting and tell your friends and neighbors about MOUNT PENN GOP.

Also check out my political site, TONY PHYRILLAS, which I update several times a day. That site has received more than 84,000 visitors in the past 15 months and is ranked among the most influential political blogs in Pennsylvania.

Steve Fuhs launches campaign Web site

Republican Steve Fuhs, who is challenging incumbent Democrat Mike O'Pake for the 11th state Senate District, has launched a Web site.

Fuhs, a city council member in mostly-Democratic Reading, is hoping to end the 36-year reign of O'Pake as a state senator from Berks County.

"Career politicans are failing us in Harrisburg," Fuhs proclaims boldly on his new site. "Now, it's time for real change."

Fuhs may be right about O'Pake, who got half the votes of the presidential candidates on top of the Democratic ticket in the April 22 primary.

Fuhs wants to eliminate property taxes, end the tax-and-spend culture in state government and restore integrity to Harrisburg.

Check out where Fuhs stands on the issues at http://fuhsforpa.homestead.com/

CQ's Race Ratings Shows How Democratic Presidential Fight May Aid Republican Congressional Campaigns

CQ's Race Ratings Shows How Democratic Presidential Fight May Aid Republican Congressional Campaigns

CQ's Race Ratings Shows How Democratic Presidential Fight May Aid Republican Congressional Campaigns

CQ's Race Ratings Shows How Democratic Presidential Fight May Aid Republican Congressional Campaigns

RNC: They Said It! Barack Obama's Memory Loss on Meeting Convicted Controversial Billionaire Nadhmi Auchi

RNC: They Said It! Barack Obama's Memory Loss on Meeting Convicted Controversial Billionaire Nadhmi Auchi

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fueling the Pain with Barack Obama

Amid Reports That Gas Prices Have Hit An All-Time High Across America, How Can Barack Obama Oppose Providing Much Needed Gas Tax Relief Hard-Working Families?

CA… "The state of California broke another record this week: the price of gas, even when adjusted for inflation, hit an all-time high, according to the federal government… Some analysts are predicting $5 for a gallon of gas by the end of the year in California." (KCRA 3 News, 04/22/08)

FL… "For the first time, gas prices averaged over $3.50 per gallon across America Tuesday. Across Central Florida, drivers have been cutting back on drive time in order to save money. People began carpooling, even switching schedules at work in order to save money." (Central Florida News 13, 04/23/08)

IA… "Gasoline prices are climbing to new record highs -- daily -- in Iowa, now averaging $3.46 a gallon statewide. As the warmer weather is setting in, the experts say those high prices likely won't come down -- but will continue to rise. Rose White, spokeswoman for Triple-A-Iowa, says increased demand for gas worldwide is to blame." (Kelley, Radio Iowa, 04/23/08)

MI… "Gasoline prices hit a record high yesterday, with stations' signs advertising regular unleaded fuel for $3.69 per gallon. Retailers supplying mid-Michigan with its gasoline are feeling the brunt of the hike as much as anyone… Chappell said customers are telling him prices are affecting their travel plans, with some going on trips less often but staying away longer." (Waterman, Saginaw News, 04/22/08)

PA… "The price of a gallon of unleaded gasoline rose to $3.59 at Centre County Sheetz stores this morning, up $3.55 yesterday, which was an increase from $3.49 last week… The average price of a gallon of gas in Pennsylvania rose to $3.52 Tuesday according to AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report. Nationally, the average price was $$3.53, up from $2.85 at this time in 2007." (Centre Daily Times, 04/22/08)

VA… "At 3 a.m. today, the average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Richmond passed the $3.50 mark, making it the 24th time this year gas prices have set a record high in the city… Meade said in the release that the average price in the U.S. could increase another 25 cents a gallon before Memorial Day. The U.S. average is $3.53 a gallon, up 2 cents from Tuesday." (Hylton, Richmond.com, 04/23/08)

WI… "With diesel fuel well over $4 a gallon, Wisconsin’s smaller trucking companies wonder how much longer they can keep going. Harold Grimes of Green Bay says it’s costing $1,250 to keep each of his 20 rigs on the road for a day and a-half. At that price, he just can’t make it. Grimes gives his business about three months to live, and he says others like him are in the same boat." (Murray, New Richmond News, 04/23/08)

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) Has Proposed Immediate Gas Tax Relief For American Families, Saving Over $6 Billion:

Under Sen. John McCain's Plan, Families Would Save 18.4 Cents On Every Gallon Of Gas. "Hard-working American families are suffering from higher gasoline prices. John McCain calls on Congress to suspend the 18.4 cent federal gas tax and 24.4 cent diesel tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day." (John McCain For President Website, www.johnmccain.com, Accessed 4/22/08)

"A USA TODAY Analysis Showed That McCain's Gas-Tax Proposal Could Save Motorists $6.8 Billion In Taxes During The Summer." (Kathy Kiely, "Gas-Tax Holiday Among McCain's Plans For Economy," USA Today, 4/16/08)

But Obama Has Rejected Gas Tax Relief, Calling It A "Bad Idea":

Obama Opposes Gas Tax Relief. "Earlier Monday at a community college in the Philadelphia suburbs, Obama rejected a tax holiday as bad economic policy. 'I've said I think John McCain's proposal for a three-month tax holiday is a bad idea,' Obama said, warning consumers that any price cut would be short lived before costs spike back." (Nick Timiraos, "Clinton Joins McCain On Gas-Tax Holiday," The Wall Street Journal's "Washington Wire" Blog, blogs.wsj.com, 4/21/08)

To Learn More About Barack Obama’s Opposition To Gas Tax Relief For Hard-Working American Families, Click Here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Support House Bill 2005

Interesting letter in The Mercury from a veteran insurance agent seeking support for House Bill 2005.

Ron Black of the Ron Black Agency in Royersford, Pa., thanks the Pennsylvania House for passing HB 2005 and urges the Senate to do likewise.

The bill levels the playing field in Pennsylvania by regulating "for-profit" insurance companies. If the bill passes the General Assembly and is signed by Gov. Rendell, it should help check skyrocketing health insurance premiums for Pennsylvania workers.

Read the full letter and contact your Senator and the governor to support HB 2005.

'Why Can't I Just Eat My Waffle?'

'Why Can't I Just Eat My Waffle?'

Monday, April 21, 2008

Casino revenues fail to deliver property tax relief

Did anyone believe Gov. Ed Rendell and Pennsylvania lawmakers when they promised substantial property tax relief in 2004 if the state allowed 51,000 slot machines to come in?

If you did, wipe that egg off your face.

Four years after Gov. Ed Rendell and the Legislature promised a pot at the end of the slot machine rainbow, the average Pennsylvania homeowner can expect to see a $169 reduction in property taxes.

Since 2004, that very same Pennsylvania homeowner has been paying hundreds more in school property taxes. In other words, the promised tax relief from casino revenues will never materialize.

Read more about the state's tax relief hoax in this editorial in today's edition of The Mercury.

The only answer to the property tax crisis is the elimination of property taxes under House Bill 1275, sponsored by Rep. Sam Rohrer, R-Berks.

If your local lawmaker doesn't support HB 1275, it's time to elect a new one.

RNC: The Best Policy

RNC: The Best Policy

RNC Chairman Responds to Democrat Radio Address

RNC Chairman Responds to Democrat Radio Address

RNC: Why Not Blame Obama?

RNC: Why Not Blame Obama?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Real stories from the property tax front

The Rendell Administration announced last week that Pennsylvania taxpayers would see an average of $169 in property tax relief from the casino gambling law passed in 2004.

It took four years and the best the state can do is $169? Never mind that most Pennsylvania property owners are being forced to pay hundreds of dollars more in school taxes in the past four years.

The 10-percent reduction in property taxes is a cruel hoax on the state's beleaguered taxpayers, who were promised "substantial" property tax relief by Gov. Rendell.

The Pennsylvania Taxpayers Cyber Coalition has compiled real-life stories of Pennsylvania residents struggling to pay their property taxes.

While Harrisburg politicians refuse to act on property taxes, check out "The real faces of the school property tax issue" at the PTCC Web site.

"I think that you'll agree that the stories clearly demonstrate the need for school property tax elimination and no more Band-Aids," says David Baldinger, PTCC coordinator.

Every member of the Pennsylvania Legislature should be forced to read these letters from constituents about how difficult it is to keep their homes under Pennsylvania's antiquated system of paying for public education on the backs of homeowners, many of them senior citizens on fixed income.

The only way to achieve elimination of property taxes in Pennsylvania is to vote out the members of the Legislature who failed to support The School Property Tax Elimination Act of 2007.

April 22 is your chance to send a message to the political aristocracy in Harrisburg that you won't settle for anything less.

Secretary of the Commonwealth Reminds Voters of Closed Primary and First-Time Voter Identification Requirements

Secretary of the Commonwealth Reminds Voters of Closed Primary and First-Time Voter Identification Requirements

RNC Chairman Responds to Democrat Ad

RNC Chairman Responds to Democrat Ad

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

RNC: Obama and Clinton to Debate in Philadelphia Over Who Can Take More of Americans' Hard-Earned Money to Fund Their Big Government Spending

RNC: Obama and Clinton to Debate in Philadelphia Over Who Can Take More of Americans' Hard-Earned Money to Fund Their Big Government Spending

Pennsylvania in Focus: Census Bureau Pre-Primary Snapshot

Pennsylvania in Focus: Census Bureau Pre-Primary Snapshot

Updated list of reform candidates for Pennsylvania Legislature

There's an updated list of reform candidates for the Pennsylvania Legislature at TONY PHYRILLAS, which again is ranked the No. 1 most influential political blog in Pennsylvania.

The list includes the candidates below. You can find links to each site at TONY PHYRILLAS

* Aaron Durso for 130th House District
* Allen R. Cerullo for 187th House District
* Anne Dicker for 1st Senate District
* Byron Davis for 198th House District
* Chris Voccio for 72nd House District
* Dennis Baylor for 29th Senate District
* Doug McLinko for 23rd Senate District
* Doyle Heffley for 122nd House District
* Gary Hornberger for 125th House District
* Greg Hopkins for 50th House District
* James E. May for 117th House District
* Jason Owen for 3rd House District
* Jim Christiana for 15th House District
* John Schickram for 124th House District
* Lance Rogers for 17th Senate District
* Lisa Paolino for 17th Senate District
* Lon Emenheiser for 95th House District
* Lowell Gates for 88th House District
* Mike Welsh for 132nd House District
* Richard A. Stine for 187th House District
* Richard Gokey for 130th House District
* Ron Shegda for 136th House District
* Ron Shegda for 136th House District
* Russ Diamond for 101st House District
* Shannon Royer for 156th House District
* Steve Kantrowitz for 19th Senate District
* Steve McDonald for 13th Senate District
* Wally Zimolong for 182nd House District

RNC: AFL-CIO's Old School Attacks

RNC: AFL-CIO's Old School Attacks

RNC: They Said It! The New York Times on Obama's Elitism

RNC: They Said It! The New York Times on Obama's Elitism

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Garipoli new chief of Central Berks Regional Police

The Central Berks Regional Police Department has a new chief.

Anthony C. Garipoli Sr., a 22-year veteran of the force, was named police chief as of April 10.

With support from both the Mount Penn Borough Council and Lower Alsace Board of Commissioners, the Central Berks Regional Police Commission voted 6-0 to appoint Garipoli as the new chief.

Read more in the Reading Eagle.

Former U.S. Navy secretary stumps for McCain in Berks County

It's taken awhile, but GOP surrogates are starting to stump for John McCain.

Former U.S. Navy Secretary John F. Lehman Jr. was in Berks County Monday to campaign for McCain.

Lehman spoke at Berks County Republican Committee dinner and touted McCain's experience in foreign policy and security issues, according to the Reading Eagle.

RNC: Today Is Tax Day, And A Year From Now Clinton And Obama Hope To Be Taking More Of Americans' Hard-Earned Money To Fund Their Big Government Spend

RNC: Today Is Tax Day, And A Year From Now Clinton And Obama Hope To Be Taking More Of Americans' Hard-Earned Money To Fund Their Big Government Spending

Use of Online Resources Grow as Election Nears

Use of Online Resources Grow as Election Nears

'The Audacity of Barack Obama'

For some perspective on Barack Obama and his latest verbal trashing of middle class, working people, check out my latest column, "The Audacity of Barack Obama" at The Mercury.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Pennsylvania GOP chairman calls for condemnation of Obama comments

How do Congressional Democrats feel about Obama's recent remarks insulting Pennsylvania voters?

Pennsylvania Republican Party Chairman Robert A. Gleason wants to know.

Gleason is calling on Pennsylvania's Democrat Congressional delegation to denounce Obama's "elitist and insulting remarks."

"Maybe I am just a small town guy, but considering the elitist nature of Barack Obama's comments, it's not surprising to see that these remarks have drawn the ire of so many Pennsylvanians," Gleason said in a prepared statement. "Having strong religious beliefs and a commitment to our Constitutional rights hardly makes Pennsylvanians bitter or frustrated. In the wake of these remarks, I feel many are going to view Barack Obama as an elitist who goes around diagnosing what he believes to be wrong with Pennsylvanians simply because he is not doing well here in the polls. Americans have already had serious questions about his candidacy, and these comments will do little to ease those concerns."

Gleason continued: "Our Commonwealth should stand together and reject these dispicable comments. I call on U.S. Senator Bob Casey Jr. and Congressman Patrick Murphy, who have endorsed Obama and marched in lockstop with him, to stand up for the people they represent over their political friends. Hopefully, Congressmen Jason Altmire, Chris Carney, Paul Kanjorski, Joe Sestak, Allyson Schwartz, Bob Brady, John Murtha, and Mike Doyle will show some political courage and publicly denounce these offensive remarks as well."

According to a transcript of Obama's statements at a fundraiser in San Francisco, he described Pennsylvanians as bitter gun-toting, racist, religious fanatics:
"You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them...And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." (Politico.com, April 11, 2008)

RNC: The Mask Slips, From The New York Times

RNC: The Mask Slips, From The New York Times

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Blunt: Dem Caucus Resorts to 'Patent Falsehoods' in Mischaracterizing McCain's Position on Iraq

Blunt: Dem Caucus Resorts to 'Patent Falsehoods' in Mischaracterizing McCain's Position on Iraq

'What Does the American Flag Mean to You?'; GOP Convention, Partners Launch Youth Essay Contest

'What Does the American Flag Mean to You?'; GOP Convention, Partners Launch Youth Essay Contest

Democrats fail Pennsylvania taxpayers again

Every incumbent Congressional Democrat from Pennsylvania received a "F" grade from The National Taxpayers Union for their 2007 voting records on fiscal and tax issues.

If you want the economy to get worse and want to pay more taxes, keep voting Democrats into office. A lot of people voted for Democrats in 2006 thinking they were going to change the culture in Washington, D.C. It didn't happen. The Democrats turned out to be worse than Republicans when it comes to wasteful spending.

Read more about the failing grades at TONY PHYRILLAS

Join Your Neighbors, Community Groups in the 2008 Great PA Cleanup!

Join Your Neighbors, Community Groups in the 2008 Great PA Cleanup!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Secretary Cortes Reminds Pennsylvanians About Absentee Ballot Deadlines

Secretary Cortes Reminds Pennsylvanians About Absentee Ballot Deadlines

Blunt: Dem Caucus Resorts to 'Patent Falsehoods' in Mischaracterizing McCain's Position on Iraq

Blunt: Dem Caucus Resorts to 'Patent Falsehoods' in Mischaracterizing McCain's Position on Iraq

RNC - The Audacity of Hypocrisy Part II: Another Week, Another Old School Political Attack From an Obama Campaign Supporter

RNC - The Audacity of Hypocrisy Part II: Another Week, Another Old School Political Attack From an Obama Campaign Supporter

Berks Commissioner Christian Leinbach backs Hornberger in 125th House race

One of the most watched Legislative races in 2008 will be the 125th state House seat in Berks and Schuylkill counties.

Two Republicans are running in the April 22 primary, with the winner challenging freshman state Rep. Tim Seip, a Democrat.

The two GOP candidates, Gary Hornberger and James P. McGovern, met at a candidates' forum, where Berks County Commissioner Christian Leinbach announced support for Hornberger.

Seip was a surprise winner in 2006 over Hornberger, who defeated longtime state Rep. Bob Allen, who supported the 2005 pay raise. A lot of political heavyweights failed to support Hornberger, a reformer, because he knocked off one of the political dinosaurs in Harrisburg.

If Republicans want to win back the 125th District seat, they need to unite behind one candidate.

Read more in The Pottsville Republican.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Conservative group endorses Legislative candidates

A leading Conservative Political Action Committee has released its list of endorsements of candidates seeking Pennsylvania legislative seats in the April 22 primary election.

"Pennsylvania voters spoke loud and clear during the 2006 election demanding change in Harrisburg," says Kathryn English, president of the Pennsylvania Club for Growth, adding that her group's endorsed candidates "have the principles needed to make sure the voters voices are carried through this years election."

"Pennsylvania Club for Growth is confident their endorsed candidates, when elected will cast votes based on what is best for the Commonwealth and not on what is best for their incumbency" English said.

Here is a list of endorsed candidates:

Aaron Durso for the 130th House District - "Count on Aaron to be a strong voice against higher taxes" stated English. If elected, Durso said his main goals in Harrisburg would be to eliminate school property taxes and bring fiscal discipline to state government. "Pennsylvania is taxing its best resources, its hardworking residents out of the state," Durso said.

Dave Huffman in the 83rd House District - After announcing his candidacy, true to his philosophical roots, Dave immediately stated he will always say NO to higher taxes and has pledged to support the passage of the "Taxpayer Protection Act" which seeks to hold the line against runaway government spending. As a school board member Huffman has a proven track record of voting against all tax increases.

Lowell Gates in the 88th House District - "A business man in Pennsylvania, Lowell has first hand knowledge of the need to reduce taxes and cumbersome regulations that prohibit businesses from locating in Pennsylvania" said English. "We need more legislators who realize the need to grow the economy and not the government."

Jim Taylor in the 33rd state Senate District - "Jim is the kind of legislator we need in Harrisburg" stated English. Taylor has committed to vote against all tax increases, reform state government and stop expensive benefits that legislators vote themselves. Through out the campaign trail Taylor has stated, "I will never forget that I work for the people; the people don't work for me".

Doug McLinko in the 23rd state Senate District - Doug McLinko calls his brand of politics, "Blue Collar Conservatism" - a phrase that defines a lean, low-spending government that stays out of the way of hardworking families and entrepreneurs. English stated "McLinko believes like PACFG, government can't grow any faster than the growth of our economy in general."

Pennsylvania Club for Growth for the first time is also endorsing three incumbents: Daryl Metcalfe in the 12th House District; Kathy Rapp in the 65th House District and Brad Roae in the 6th House District.

"These three incumbents have continually voted for a pro economic growth agenda for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania," English said. "PACFG feels it is important for Pennsylvania to have these house representatives continue to have a strong voice for the taxpayers of this Commonwealth. It is crucial we help keep these elected officials in office as they continue to serve the people and not the special interest groups."

Pennsylvania Club for Growth previously endorsed James May in the 117th House District. "Mays opponent has a history of voting for bigger government and most recently voted with the Democrats for Ed Rendell's $1.2 billion health care plan ... called by GOP leaders 'a tax increase waiting to happen.' If we are to see less government growth and more economic growth in Pennsylvania, we need leaders like James May who will vote against Governor Rendell's big government agenda," stated English.

For more on the Pennsylvania Club for Growth, visit its Web site, http://www.paclubforgrowth.com/

RNC: They Said It! Obama Adviser Vs. Obama On '100-Year War' Distortion

RNC: They Said It! Obama Adviser Vs. Obama On '100-Year War' Distortion

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Democrats lead the way in pork spending

Citizens Against Government Waste has released its 2008 Congressional Pig Book detailing more than $17 billion in pork spending by members of Congress.

Yes, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are on the list, but not Sen. John McCain, who introduced zero earmarks for his home state of Arizona.

Sen. Clinton Secured 281 Pork Projects, For A Total Of $296.2 Million.

Sen. Obama Secured 53 Pork Projects, For A Total Of $97.4 Million.

Democrats talk the talk, but they obviously don't walk the walk.

One of the worst offenders is Rep. John Murtha, a Democrat from western Pennsylvania.

Read the full report and see where your member of Congress came in at this Web site.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Republican National Committee: Obama's Economic Ineptitude

Republican National Committee: Obama's Economic Ineptitude

High taxes are killing Pennsylvania communities

High taxes under a Democratic governor and a Democratic-controlled state House of Representatives are killing Pennsylvania communities.

Read this interesting column in The Mercury about how one community is struggling with high municipal and school property taxes.

Gov. Ed Rendell promised to cut everyone's property taxes "standing on my head" when he ran for governor. Empty promises. He promises substantial property tax reduction if casino gambling was approved in the state. Empty promises. He promised property tax relief under Act 72 and Act 1. More empty promises.

The Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives has prevented property tax reform sponsored by Rep. Sam Rohrer from passing.

If you're tired of paying high property taxes, it's time to end the Democratic majority in the Pennsylvania House.