Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cardinal Rigali Protests Move to Fund Abortion in District of Columbia

Cardinal Rigali Protests Move to Fund Abortion in District of Columbia

Toomey applauds 4 Democrats for rejecting energy tax

U.S. Senate candidate Pat Toomey is reaching across the aisle to extend a pat on the back to four Democratic members of the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation for their recent vote against the cap and trade bill.

The climate change tax bill passed the House by a 219-212 margin, with 44 Democrats voting against it.

Toomey commended Democratic Reps. Jason Altmire (PA-04); Chris Carney (PA-10); Tim Holden (PA-17); and Kathy Dahlkemper (PA-03) for "joining the bipartisan opposition to the cap-and-trade bill that promises to raise taxes and destroy American jobs."

More from a Toomey press release:
"Along with 40 other Democrats, these Pennsylvania Democrats had the courage to stand up to one-party rule in Washington," Toomey said. "They understand that protecting the environment is an important goal, but they are not willing to sacrifice American prosperity and hardworking taxpayers in the process. It is a shame Rep. Joe Sestak (PA-07) couldn't muster up the same courage. Instead, he voted to support Nancy Pelosi's extreme agenda. The question is, will Senator Specter choose the same path?"

"Only a couple of weeks ago, Senator Specter argued in support of maintaining balance in Washington in order to protect the country from extremism," said Toomey Communications Director Nachama Soloveichik. "He told The Hill newspaper that 'The United States desperately needs a two-party system.' But now that he has joined the Democratic Party, he seems intent on marching in lockstep with his new party in order to avoid a Democratic primary, even if it means throwing hardworking Americans under the bus. Senator Specter has the chance to prove he is serious about bringing balance to Washington — will he have the courage to do it?"
For more on Toomey's bid for a U.S. Senate seat from Pennsylvania, visit his campaign Web site, www.toomeyforsenate.com

Sign the Please, No More Taxes! Petition

The Commonwealth Foundation is gathering signatures at its
PleaseNoMoreTaxes.org asking Gov. Ed Rendell and the Pennsylvania Legislature to give Pennsylvania families and businesses a break by not raising the state income tax.

Hyperinflation Nation Surpasses 25,000 Views in 36 Hours

Hyperinflation Nation Surpasses 25,000 Views in 36 Hours

Monday, June 29, 2009

Why should you sacrifice so Rendell can spend more?

State Rep. Sam Rohrer, R-Berks, made the following comments at a PACT with PA Press Conference in Harrisburg regarding the move by Gov. Rendell and House Democrats to raise taxes for Pennsylvania families and business owners:
No Tax Increases: In simple terms, this is the most basic and distinctive Sound Budget principle. Ultimately, the adherence to this principle will define the difference between living within our means and respecting those who pay the taxes by spending only what we have OR laying down an additional burden on our already taxpayers and business because we are afraid to bring spending into line.
States all across this nation are grappling with this very principle. Which is better they are asking – reducing spending even though it is difficult OR raise taxes regardless of the burden it places on our people and our economy.

Another question is this: Can we really afford to raise taxes? What will be the impact on our taxpayers – our small businesses- our struggling economy – on jobs? If taxes are raised, can the honestly be called "temporary?" What is the likelihood of any tax being sunsetted? Is an increase in the PIT that would "only" add $15 or$20/ month really that much as the Governor has said? Should we be concerned? These are all great questions and they must be openly discussed, not twisted and spun to try and convince the public that what they know to be poison is really medicine.

Well if we look at history, this legislature hasn't done so well in regard to this principle. In 1991 we were faced with a $1 billion deficit—but instead of cutting back on spending, taxes were raised $3 billion - $ 1 Billion in needed revenue, $2 Billion to “buy” the votes. That $2Billion/yr has resulted in taxpayers losing over $35 Billion dollars. You see raising taxes is VERY expensive.

In fact, this legislature has resorted to raising taxes in every previous recession (1983, 1991, and 2003). Today, we’re facing a $3 billion+ deficit from just this current year with the need to address in this budget an equivalent of around $7Billion. Does anyone think we can afford to raise taxes without absolutely destroying our economy and breaking the backs of our taxpayers? So history doesn't look to good. Now is the time to learn from history, consider the negative impact of the previous tax increases and live within available revenues.

As to negative impact of a broad based PIT or SUT tax - Raising taxes will take more money out of our economy at a time when we can least afford it. A couple of reasons why an increase in either of these taxes is deplorable: The revenue is not predictable since revenues are falling and increase of 1% point for PIT for example really means a 30% increase in PIT. But since people are losing their jobs, being forced to accept 10%-20% reductions in pay, working 4 days instead of 5, etc. no one really knows what an increase of 1% point will generate; Secondly, people are already tapped out. With people’s pensions reduced or wiped out, property taxes climbing and incomes dropping, thousands of families are seeing their savings destroyed and foreclosures staring them in the face. They can NOT afford any more taxes particularly when all other living expenses are increasing. Raising taxes not is not only economically destructive it is the height of insensitivity and simple in my opinion, immoral.

Just a couple of facts: Fact 1: Tax Freedom Day, or the day where Americans stop working to pay taxes and start working for themselves, fell on April 13th. Pennsylvanians work a full 103 days, or three and a half months, to pay federal, state and income taxes. During 2009, you and I will pay more in taxes than we spend on food, clothing, and housing combined.

Fact 2: Pennsylvanians in particular shoulder a heavy burden: with the 11th high state and local tax burden in the country, Pennsylvanians pay on average $13,000 PER PERSON (not wage-earner) in taxes. In 2008-2009, our Pennsylvania state and local governments spent $10,000 for every man, woman, and child.

Fact 3: Raising the PIT as the Governor wants to do will destroy jobs: According to the PA State Tax Analysis Modeling Program, or PA-STAMP, a 1% increase in personal income tax would result in a net loss of 47,633 jobs next year.

Can we in good conscience ask our citizens to sacrifice more and more to satisfy the state's growing appetite. Let's take a page from their book, acknowledge the difficulties that our citizens are facing even today, and resolve to live within our means.

Bauer Commends Supreme Court Ruling in the Ricci Case: Applauds the Use of 'Martin Luther King Test'

Bauer Commends Supreme Court Ruling in the Ricci Case: Applauds the Use of 'Martin Luther King Test'

Help stop the Rendell tax hike

Can your family afford a state income tax increase right now? If not, you must make your voice heard in Harrisburg, where Gov. Ed Rendell and his doormat Democrats in the House are planning to raise the state income by 16 percent to cover the $3.2 billion budget deficit they ran up in the past year.

If you're tired of sending your paycheck to Harrisburg, if you're tired of uncontrolled spending by professional politicians, you need to send a message to your state House member that you will vote them out in 2010 if they vote to raise your taxes in 2009.

Find out more at StopPATaxHike.com

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Obama can be stopped

All the propaganda. All the back room deals. All the pork amendments to buy votes.

And all Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi could get was a 219-212 margin to pass the cap and trade energy tax in the House?

Don't be surprised if the $1.9 trillion global warming tax fails in the Senate.

A 7-vote margin in the overwhelmingly Democratic House? That's pathetic. A total of 44 Demcorats voted against cap and trade! It took 8 GOP House members to pass it.

It's not looking good for Obamacare or other future Obama spending sprees.

House Democrats are beginning to worry about their re-election chances in 2010 as the Obama recession continues, unemployment is reaching record levels and the unprecedented debt Obama has piled on the U.S. takes its toll.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

8 Republicans betray taxpayers

Democrats control the House of Representatives by a 255-178 majority, but Nancy Pelosi could barely muster enough votes to pass the $1.9 trillion cap and trade energy tax.

In fact, the Democrats didn't have enough votes until 8 Republicans crossed over to support the largest tax increase in U.S. history.

Michelle Malkin has the names and photos of the 8 turncoat Republicans who sold out the U.S. taxpayer to appease the global warming fanatics. Here are the names:

Mary Bono Mack (R-CA)
Mike Castle (R-DE)
Mark Kirk (R-IL)
Leonard Lance (R-NJ)
Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ)
John McHugh (R-NY)
Dave Reichert (R-WA)
Chris Smith (R-NJ)

Electricity rates (and all energy costs) will skyrocket for American families and businesses if the cap and trade bill passes the Senate. Barack Obama has already vowed to sign the tax increase into law.

Read Malkin's full post, "The 8 cap-and-tax Republicans…and the 44 Democrats who voted no" at her blog.

And be sure to remember their names when they're up for re-election in 2010.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Saturday, June 27, 2009

FAIR's Response to Sen. Charles Schumer's Seven Point Plan for So-Called 'Comprehensive Immigration Reform'

FAIR's Response to Sen. Charles Schumer's Seven Point Plan for So-Called 'Comprehensive Immigration Reform'

GOP: Where are the jobs Obama promised?

Oxymoron: Temporary Tax

This letter from a Chester County resident originally published in The Mercury gets right to the point about the tax hike proposals being pushed by Gov. Ed Rendell and House Democrats. You should send something similar to your state representative, especialy if he's a Democrat.
No tax is ever 'temporary'

An open letter to state Rep. Paul Drucker, 157th District:

Consider yourself lucky. You have a job. Unlike many citizens of Pennsylvania who are unemployed and senior citizens who have seen their life's savings disappear in the last two years, you don't have to curtail your spending.

Now Gov. Rendell wants another temporary tax on the books, like other temporary taxes to never go away.

Remember, your job is only temporary too. It'll be easier for voters to vote you out of office than it will be for elected officials to remove a temporary tax. Keep that in mind when you cast your vote.

Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

GOP: Energy tax will cost millions of jobs

Friday, June 26, 2009


Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason released the following statement regarding the Congressional Democrats' "cap and trade" energy tax:
"I am deeply concerned by President Obama and the Democrat's support for the national energy tax known as 'cap and trade'," Gleason said. "'Cap and trade' is an impractical approach to energy independence and will kill jobs and tax millions of hardworking families. In these difficult economic times, it is wrong to force the average American family to pay an extra $1200 in energy costs when many are struggling just to make ends' meet.

"'Cap and trade' will have a devastating effect on Pennsylvanians who work in the energy industry, particularly in the coal and natural gas sectors. Our Commonwealth deserves a comprehensive energy plan. Instead of a massive tax increase that will force millions of jobs overseas, we need to pursue 'all of the above' energy strategies that will decrease our dependence on foreign sources of energy while keeping jobs here at home.

"I urge all members of the Pennsylvania Congressional Delegation to stand up for common sense and stand against this destructive tax increase."

According to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, implementing 'cap and trade' would cost this country $144.8 billion, or $1,218 per household. (Andrew Chamberlain, "Who Pays for Climate Policy? New Estimates of the Household Burden and Economic Impact Of A U.S. Cap-And-Trade System," Tax Foundation Working Paper #6, 3/16/09)

In order to demonstrate high costs of 'cap and trade' legislation on hardworking families, the Republican Party of Pennsylvania will be hand-delivering candles to our Democrat colleagues today. If a national energy tax is implemented in this country, candles will be the only way many Americans will be able to afford to light their homes.

Consumer Watchdog to Obama: No 'Cash for Clunkers' Without Compensation for GM Victims

Consumer Watchdog to Obama: No 'Cash for Clunkers' Without Compensation for GM Victims

PA Accepting Applications For Additional Neighborhood Stabilization Funds

PA Accepting Applications For Additional Neighborhood Stabilization Funds

Groups to Congress: Don't Sacrifice Patient Safety to Lower Health Costs

Groups to Congress: Don't Sacrifice Patient Safety to Lower Health Costs

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Volunteers Needed

The United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania has launched a new Web site that connects volunteers to projects in the Greater Philadelphia area. So there's no excuse for getting involved in your community.

United Way Launches New Website to Boost Area Volunteerism

'Talking Politics' on the radio

The skyrocketing cost of Obamacare, estimated at $3.5 trillion, and the push by Gov. Ed Rendell and Democrats to raise the Pennsylvania income tax will be among the topics discussed today at 5 p.m. on "Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas & Mike Pincus" on WPAZ 1370 AM

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

If you can't receive the radio signal, you can listen to the broadcast online at www.pottsmerc.com or www.1370wpaz.com

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Rep. Pitts: 'Cap-and-Trade' Will Hurt Pennsylvania

Rep. Joe Pitts, a Republican who represents Pennsylvania's 16th Congressional District, is a straight shooter, especially when it comes to looking out for the taxpayer.

Pitts is warning that Nancy Pelosi and Democrats are rushing the Waxman-Markey energy tax bill through the House before taxpayers can figure out how much it's going to cost them.

From a statement issued by Pitts:
"Every American should be gravely concerned about this legislation. Protecting the environment is extremely important, but we should do so wisely and carefully. This is reckless and extreme legislation that will hurt people who are already suffering and do significant damage to the American economy. It will drive manufacturing jobs out of the country to places like China. It will hurt American competitiveness in the world economy. Pennsylvania will be among the hardest hit states.

"The economics of this are simple: affordable energy is critical to prosperity. This legislation will make energy much more expensive. That translates to a less prosperous America with higher poverty rates, higher taxes, and a much bigger national debt. The right way to protect the environment is to make clean energy cheaper by encouraging proven sources of clean energy like wind, solar, and nuclear along with the development of cutting-edge technologies like plug-in hybrid cars and hydrogen fuel cells.

"I will be offering amendments to this bill in an attempt to limit its damage to the economy. However, I expect Democratic leaders to block votes on those amendments."
Pitts is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has primary jurisdiction over the legislation. He is also a member of the committee's Energy and Environment Subcommittee.

Turning Japanese

United Way Launches New Website to Boost Area Volunteerism

United Way Launches New Website to Boost Area Volunteerism

White House Meeting on Immigration 'Reform' Likely to Leave Out Interests of the American Public, Cautions FAIR

White House Meeting on Immigration 'Reform' Likely to Leave Out Interests of the American Public, Cautions FAIR

Internet Radio Talk Show Host Hal Turner Arrested for Threatening Three Federal Appeals Court Judges in Chicago Over Recent Decision Upholding Handgun Bans

Internet Radio Talk Show Host Hal Turner Arrested for Threatening Three Federal Appeals Court Judges in Chicago Over Recent Decision Upholding Handgun Bans

Barack Obama ... Come to Save the Day

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hey, Ed Rendell: No Whining

The Breaking Point

"With 9.4 percent unemployment and the price of gasoline climbing to $2.69, it defies common sense why any politician could support legislation like Waxman-Markey that would kill more jobs and drive the price of a gas even higher," said Dan Varroney, senior vice president of American Solutions for Winning the Future.

American Solutions Launches New Television Ad To Stop Waxman-Markey National Energy Tax

Not too late to stop Rendell tax hike

Can your family afford a state income tax increase right now? If not, you must make your voice heard in Harrisburg, where Gov. Ed Rendell and his doormat Democrats in the House are planning to raise the state income by 16 percent to cover the $3.2 billion budget deficit they ran up in the past year.

If you're tired of sending your paycheck to Harrisburg, if you're tired of uncontrolled spending by professional politicians, you need to send a message to your state House member that you will vote them out in 2010 if they vote to raise your taxes in 2009.

Find out more at StopPATaxHike.com

Monday, June 22, 2009

Rep. Joe Pitts: Standing with the people of Iran

A timely op-ed by U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts as events unfold in Iran.

Standing with the people of Iran

By Congressman Joe Pitts

The events unfolding right now in Iran are extraordinary. In the face of a repressive regime, and even violent crackdowns, the Iranian people have gathered in the hundreds of thousands to let their will be known and demand a right to a voice in their government.

Like all people, they desire freedom.

From news reports in the first days of the peaceful protests, we know that several people were killed either by Iranian security forces, or their shadowy surrogate, the Basij militia. Additional reports of violence against students and other civilians are difficult to confirm. Iranian authorities have shut down foreign media outlets and prevented them from covering the events as they unfold. Fortunately, the power of technology has allowed images and video of the marches to get through to the outside world.

These images and videos have depicted a people who yearn for freedom from a stifling and increasingly belligerent regime.

The U.S. government must stand up against the sham elections, the vote rigging, and violence against civilians taking place in Iran. We cannot sit back and watch as their people are beaten and killed by militia thugs.

The greatest moments in United States history have not come from standing idly by as tyrants and thugs oppress their own people. The greatest moments have come when our leaders have stood in steadfast support of those who seek freedom.

When John F. Kennedy spoke in Berlin in 1963 and said "All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words Ich bin ein Berliner!" (I am a Berliner) and when President Ronald Reagan stood in front of the Brandenburg Gate and said "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" it gave hope to the people living in the Soviet Union who desired freedom. And it made it known worldwide that the United States everywhere and always stands with those people who seek freedom.

The silence from the White House on this issue has been deafening. The President's measured and cautious words have done little to reassure the Iranian people that the United States stands behind their cause. He has indicated he does not want to alienate the Ayatollah by appearing to meddle in internal Iranian affairs.

A statement in support of the peaceful protesters who are risking their lives on the streets of Tehran is no more meddling in the affairs of Iran than President Reagan's demand at the Berlin Wall meddled in the affairs of the Soviet Union. This is an extraordinary moment in Iranian history, and the lack of support from the leadership of the United States has been embarrassing.

This is the same Iran that continues in open defiance of the international community in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. This is the same Iran, and the same President, that has spoken of wiping Israel off the map and denied the existence of the Holocaust. Indeed, one can imagine why fair-minded Iranians may have tired of this kind of behavior by their President.

Fortunately, a bipartisan group in the House has chosen to speak out and fill the void.

On Friday, the House passed H.Res. 560, a resolution sponsored by Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence, and House Foreign Affairs Chairman Howard Berman.

The resolution states that the House of Representatives: "expresses its support for all Iranian citizens who embrace the values of freedom, human rights, civil liberties, and rule of law; condemns the ongoing violence against demonstrators by the Government of Iran and pro-government militias, as well as the ongoing government suppression of independent electronic communication through interference with the Internet and cellphones; and affirms the universality of individual rights and the importance of democratic and fair elections."

By a vote of 405 to 1, the House voted to support the Iranian people. I still hope the President chooses to do so as well.

At stake is not only the freedom and basic rights of the Iranian people, but the position of the United States in the world as a defender and supporter of freedom and human rights.

Rep. Joe Pitts is a Republican who represents Pennsylvania's 16th Congressional District in parts of Berks, Chester and Lancaster counties. For more on Pitts, visit his Congressional Web site at www.house.gov/pitts

AJC: Iran Repression Exposes Ahmadinejad's False Claims of Liberty

AJC: Iran Repression Exposes Ahmadinejad's False Claims of Liberty

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Addicted to taxes

Gov. Ed Rendell just can't help himself. He's a spendoholic. He's addicted to spending other people's money. And he gets that money through taxes.

A day after warning that Rendell's proposed income tax hike would cut at least 24,000 jobs in the state, a coalition of business leaders is sounding the alarm about Rendell's retroactive $2 billion tax increase that would further damage Pennsylvania's economic recovery.

The National Federation of Independent Business/Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Business Council, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, and the Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association joined together to issue a statement criticizing Rendell's plan to retroactively increase the Capital Stock and Franchise Tax (CSFT) to 2.89 mills and lock that higher rate in place.

That move would inflict at least $2 billion in additional taxes on the productive sector over the next three years, the business group says.

From a release issued by the coalition:
"Pennsylvania is one of the only states in the nation to tax both business income and business assets," said David N. Taylor, executive director of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association. "Because the CSFT is essentially a property tax, employers are forced to pay it even in times like these when they're losing money. With all of the challenges facing employers in this recession, the CSFT phase-out is the last pro-growth element in the state budget and sacrificing it now will only delay Pennsylvania's economic recovery."

PA Chamber Vice President Gene Barr noted that the CSFT phase-out was enacted due to widespread bipartisan acknowledgment that the tax is unfair because it has no relation to a company's profitability.

"The last thing we should be doing is delaying again the elimination of this major deterrent to business livelihood and growth. We have to make sure job creators come out of the economic downturn positioned for recovery," Barr said.
The business groups noted that Rendell himself opposed delaying these tax cuts earlier this year.

From the group's release:
In his remarks, Gov. Rendell claimed: "I am not – I repeat - I am not raising taxes on businesses. I am proposing that – in this recession – we delay further business tax cuts." But by raising the CSFT from 1.89 mills – the rate the Department of Revenue has collected from employers since January 1, 2009 – to 2.89 mills, Rendell is indisputably raising taxes on businesses.

As Rendell might recall from his February 4, 2009 budget address, delaying the CSFT phase-out is a bad idea because "rais[ing] these taxes at this time could cause a reduction in much-needed spending and business investment."

"The global recession is painful for everyone," said Pennsylvania Business Council President & CEO David W. Patti, "but it will end and when it does, Pennsylvania cannot be less competitive than it was before. In a global economy, employers 'shop price' and Pennsylvania is an expensive place to do business. Failing to end this tax now will make Pennsylvania even less attractive."

In its 2009 "Rich States, Poor States" report, the American Legislative Exchange Council ranked Pennsylvania’s economic performance as 46th in the nation and Pennsylvania's economic outlook as 42nd. From 2005 through 2008, Pennsylvania's Gross Domestic Product grew at less than 3/4th of the national average.

"The sooner we eliminate the Capitol Stock and Franchise tax, the sooner we can eliminate other costly corporate welfare programs that Pennsylvania now needs to lure business to the Commonwealth," said NFIB State Director Kevin Shivers.

'Talking Politics' on the radio today

Pottstown School Board members Nat White and Dennis Wausnock will the guests on "Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas & Mike Pincus" Thursday at 5 p.m. on WPAZ 1370 AM

They will be discussing the the vote by the school board Thursday night on the $54 million budget, and the recommendation by the personnel committee to extend by three years the contracts of the district's four top administrators.

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

If you can't receive the radio signal, you can listen to the broadcast online at www.pottsmerc.com or www.1370wpaz.com

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Please No More Taxes! video contest winners

The Commonwealth Foundation has announced the winners of the Please, No More Taxes! video contest:

First Prize ($2,500): Colin Jones of Bethel Park
Second Prize ($1,000): Robert Madeley of Mohnton
Third Prize ($500): Spencer Folmar of Morrisdale

From a press release:
The Commonwealth Foundation sponsored the contest as a component of a campaign to raise awareness of Pennsylvania's punishing tax burden and the need for Gov. Rendell and the legislature to make it tolerable. Fourteen videos were submitted, each focusing on how Pennsylvania's heavy tax burden negatively impacts economic competitiveness with other states, wages, or the standard of living. A panel of judges rated how well each entrant's video incorporate humor, creativity, persuasiveness, and accuracy.

All three winners are students. Matt Brouillette, president on the Commonwealth Foundation, said, "It's encouraging to see students who understand what some politicians in Harrisburg do not, that raising taxes in a recession will hurt businesses and people."

Jones and Madeley will be freshmen this fall at Pitt and Temple, respectively. Folmar will be a sophomore at Grove City College.
The winning videos can be viewed at PleaseNoMoreTaxes.org/contest

Businesses On Pennsylvania's Tax Delinquent List Now Owe $6.6 Million In State Levies

Businesses On Pennsylvania's Tax Delinquent List Now Owe $6.6 Million In State Levies

Obamacare may just kill you

Top Conservative Leaders Speak on Reviving GOP

Top Conservative Leaders Speak on Reviving GOP

New PennDOT Web Site Designed to Enhance Highway Safety

New PennDOT Web Site Designed to Enhance Highway Safety

National Safety Council Launches 'Death by Cell Phone' Billboards

National Safety Council Launches 'Death by Cell Phone' Billboards

Rep. Mensch: 'We need to cut costs – not balance the budget on the backs of working families'

State Rep. Bob Mensch (R-Montgomery), a member of the House Republican Policy Committee Task Force on Budget and Economic Policy, issued the following statement as Gov. Ed Rendell traveled to Montgomery County Tuesday to promote a 16 percent state income tax to address projected state budget shortfalls:
"Raising taxes on Pennsylvania workers who are already hard hit by the economic crisis is not the answer," said Mensch. "We have thousands of residents who are losing jobs, working reduced hours, and settling for lower paying employment. Raising income taxes now will only slow the economic recovery and further demoralize workers."

"The Governor's claims that the increase would be temporary, but he proposes to repeal the increase in three years -- at the same time the state will experience a cut off of federal stimulus dollars. That only sets the stage for these increases to be extended by policymakers. We need to make the difficult budget decisions now, not pass them off on taxpayers and then face similar budget shortfalls in another three years."

"Instead, Governor Rendell has proposed a $29 billion budget that increases spending by 4.3 percent over this year. He just signed a $201 million contract with a Minnesota firm to develop controversial standardized graduation exams for high schools students, a move that was never approved by the legislature. And the Administration failed to close on bids for Marcellus shale drilling that could have resulted in $31 million in revenues for the state budget. We need to cut costs – not balance the budget on the backs of working families."
State Rep. Bob Mensch represents the 147th Legislative District in Montgomery County. The district consist of the townships of Douglass, Lower Frederick, Marlborough, and parts of New Hanover, Perkiomen, Salford, Skippack, Upper Frederick, Upper Hanover, and Upper Salford. The district also includes the boroughs of East Greenville, Green Lane, Pennsburg, Red Hill and Schwenksville.

Rep. Mensch is seeking consideration for the Republican nomination to run for the 24th District State Senate seat, which is being vacated by state Sen. Rob Wonderling. Wonderling is retiring in August to assume the role of president and chief executive of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fire David Letterman campaign

Check out www.firedavidletterman.com

D.C. Board of Elections won't allow marriage referendum

FRC's Tony Perkins' Statement on D.C. Board of Elections Decision

Toomey raises $1M in 60 days

Democrat Arlen Specter still holds an overwhelming fundraising advantage (Arlen has been running for Senate for at least 50 years, right?), but Republican Pat Toomey is holding his own.

The Toomey for Senate campaign has announced it has raised $1 million over a 60-day perior and has hired a former Specter fundraiser as its Finance Director.

From a press released issued today:
The U.S. Senate candidate Pat Toomey announced a number of exciting fundraising developments. The campaign has raised over $1 million in less than 60 days since Toomey declared his candidacy. Over 11,000 individuals have contributed to the campaign already. Toomey also is pleased to announce the hiring of Arlen Specter’s former long-time Finance Director, Louisa Boyd, to fill its top fundraising position.

In addition, long-time Pennsylvania Republican fundraisers Amy Petraglia and Carey Dunn have signed on with the Toomey campaign. Petraglia and Dunn have helped raised money for a number of statewide Pennsylvania candidates, including Rick Santorum, Lynn Swann, and Arlen Specter.

"I am honored by out the outpouring of support for my campaign," said Toomey. "Thousands of people all across Pennsylvania and the country are rallying to our message of fiscal responsibility and bringing much-needed balance in Washington . I am also very excited to add new members to our team and look forward to working with Louisa, Amy, and Carey over the next year and a half."

GOP to unveil 'Pact with PA'

While Gov. Ed Rendell and House Democratic leaders are pushing for more spending and higher taxes, a group of Pennsylvania lawmakers will unveil an alternative plan called 'Pact with PA' on Tuesday. Th Pact is an "agreement with taxpayers offers principles for a sound state budget."

Here's some more information about the plan from state Rep. Sam Rohrer, R-Berks:
WHAT: A news conference to unveil the "Pact with Pennsylvania," a proposed agreement between fiscally responsible lawmakers and the taxpayers they represent in the state Legislature that offers commonsense principles to deal with Pennsylvania's looming budget deficit and bring spending into balance with revenues.

WHO: Rep. Sam Rohrer (R-128), Republican chairman of the House Finance Committee; Sen. Pat Browne (R-16), Republican chairman of the Senate Finance Committee; Rep. Gordon Denlinger (R-99), Republican chairman of the House Policy Committee Task Force on Budget and Economic Issues; Rep. Mike Turzai (R-28), House Republican whip; and Sen. John H. Eichelberger Jr. (R-30), member of the Senate Finance Committee and chairman of the Senate Local Government Committee.

DATE: Tuesday, June 16.

TIME: 9:30 a.m.

WHERE: Capitol Media Center, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A better energy plan

Thank Obama for rising gas prices

Be sure to thank Obama next time you fill up your tank.

From The Associated Press:

Prices at the pump rise for the 45th consecutive day
NEW YORK - Gas prices rose Friday for the 45th consecutive day as summer travelers hit the highways and refineries hold back on fuel production.

Pump prices added less than a penny overnight to a new national average of $2.639 a gallon, according to auto club AAA, Wright Express and Oil Price Information Service.

Crude prices are surging as well, but not as consistently as gasoline.
We are in the middle of the worst economic slowdown in more than 50 years. There are 14.5 million Americans out of work. Who is driving? There are no jobs to drive to. Demand for gas is down. So why is the price heading to $3 a gallon?

We do know Obama broke a campaign promise to allow offshore drilling.

Do you think Obama is manipulating the price of gas so he can push his global warming agenda? He's already taken over the auto industry. What makes you think he's no driving up the price of gas?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tell Rep. Kessler not to raise your taxes

Rep. David R. Kessler is in his second term representing the 130th House District in Berks County. Kessler, a Democrat, was elected to the House in 2006.

His first major vote of 2009 will be on Gov. Ed Rendell's $29 billion budget for the 2009-10 fiscal year. The only way to balance Rendell's budget is through major tax increases. Rendell's current budget is expected to finish $3.2 billion in the red but he still wants to spend more of your money next year.

Kessler campaigned on the promise of reducing property taxes but he is being pressured by Rendell and the Harrisburg party bosses to raise taxes on his constituents to continue the out-of-control spending in the State Capitol.

If you live in the 130th House District -- the townships of Amity, Colebrookdale, Douglass, Earl, Exeter (PART, Districts 01, 03, 06 and 07), Oley, Pike, Rockland, Ruscombmanor and Union and the boroughs of Birdsboro, Boyertown and Fleetwood -- you need to remind Rep. Kessler that if he votes to raise your taxes in 2009, he will not receive your vote in 2010 when he seeks re-election.

You can send an e-mail through his Web site http://www.pahouse.com/kessler or use the following contact information:

Hon. David R. Kessler
2 Scholl Drive
Oley, PA 19547
(610) 987-0980
Fax: (610) 987-0798

Hon. David R. Kessler
53 Warwick Street
Boyertown, PA 19512
(610) 369-3010
Fax: (610) 369-3011

Hon. David R. Kessler
115A East Wing
PO Box 202130
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2130
(717) 787-2769
Fax: (717) 780-4768

PA GOP launches www.GiveItBackArlen.com

The Republican Party of Pennsylvania has launched a new Web site, www.GiveItBackArlen.com, to allow Republican donors to more easily request a refund of their contribution from Senator Arlen Specter's campaign.

Specter announced last month he was switching to the Democratic Party in a last-ditch attempt to save his floundering political career.

"We have heard from a number of individuals who donated to Senator Specter's campaign because they wanted to support a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in 2010," Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason said in a press relase. "Many of these individuals have been actively contributing to Senator Specter for years; however they feel betrayed due to Specter's support of President Barack Obama's irresponsible stimulus package and his subsequent decision to switch his political affiliation. We are encouraging these donors to contribute these funds to our Party as we work to win back this important seat in 2010.

More from Gleason:
"It seems appropriate that we are launching this site today as Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Specter hold an 'official' event touting the stimulus package in Cumberland County. Today's event highlights the further attempts of the Democrat establishment, including Vice President Joe Biden, to pull out all the stops to hand the Democrat Party's nomination for the U.S. Senate to Arlen Specter. The President, Vice President, Governor Ed Rendell, U.S. Senator Bobby Casey and other Party leaders need to realize that Pennsylvanians don't like their candidates to be chosen in back rooms in Washington or Harrisburg and that Senator Arlen Specter can’t hide from the voters who will ultimately judge his record."

Our Party's newest Web site, www.GiveItBackArlen.com, will allow individuals who contributed to the Specter campaign to easily fill out their information and apply for a refund. Once you submit your information, the site will automatically generate an e-mail that will be sent directly to the Specter campaign requesting a refund on your behalf. Our goal is to ensure that donors who thought they were giving to a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate have the opportunity to get back their donations. We will then encourage these donors to make a contribution to our Party’s efforts to win back this important seat next year.

Catch Rep. Bob Mensch on 'Talking Politics'

State Rep. Bob Mensch, R-147th District, a candidate for the 24th state Senate District seat being vacated by Sen. Rob Wonderling, is the guest today on "Talking Politics with Tony Phyrillas & Mike Pincus."

Mensch will discuss his qualifications for the Senate and also update listeners on the state budget debate in Harrisburg.

The one-hour program airs Thursdays from 5-6 p.m. on WPAZ 1370 AM.

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

"Talking Politics" can also be heard online at www.pottsmerc.com and www.1370WPAZ.com


No Jobs, No Accountability and Business As Usual is the way the Republican National Committee sums up the Obama "stimulus" package for Pennsylvania residents.

From its latest Stimulus Watch recap:
"Vice President Joseph Biden Will Kick Off What The White House Is Billing As His 'Road To Recovery' Tour On Thursday, Traveling To Communities Across The Country To Highlight Stimulus Bill Projects." (Keith Koffler, "Biden Hits Road to Highlight Stimulus," Roll Call, 6/9/09)


Since Obama Has Taken Office, 48,000 Pennsylvanians Became Unemployed And Pennsylvania Unemployment Rate Rose From 7.0 Percent To 7.8 Percent. (Bureau of Labor Statistics Website, http://data.bls.gov/, Accessed 6/10/09).

Some Pennsylvania Counties Have Seen Highest Unemployment Rate In Over Twenty Years. "The net result is 7,000 people counted themselves unemployed a year ago in Erie County. That number stands today at 11,400 … A routine double-checking of Crawford County's unemployment rate showed that the county's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 10 percent for March … It was the first time it has hit 10 percent since September of 1986." (Jim Martin, "Jobless Rate Up, But Not by Much: Erie County Sees Smaller-than-Usual Increase in April," Erie Times News, 6/2/09).

Less Than 13% Of Stimulus Funds Going To Job-Creating Projects. "The state reported $770 million in stimulus receipts as of May 8. About $672 million went toward Medicaid and $98 million to unemployment compensation. An additional $97.7 million has been committed to road and bridge projects that the stimulus program will reimburse." (Debra Erdley, "Pennsylvania Has No Way to Report Abuse of Federal Stimulus Funds," Pittsburgh Tribune Review, (3/21/09).

Vice President Biden On Losing 345,000 Jobs In May: "It's An Encouraging Sign." Vice President Biden: "And I'm pleased that today's report shows some signs -- some signs that all this activity is having this desired impact. … And, yes, it's an encouraging sign." (Remarks By The Vice President On The Economy, Washington, D.C., 6/5/09)


Government Has Spent Only About $7.42 Per Person In States With High Unemployment; North Dakota, With Lowest Unemployment Rate, Has Received About $26 Per Person. "Even so, the first contracts have amounted to only about $7.42 per person on average in the eight states with unemployment rates higher than 10% last month. By comparison, government records show it has awarded about $26 worth of contracts per person in North Dakota, whose unemployment rate is the nation's lowest … [Of the $4 billion worth of government contracts awarded, Pennsylvania has only seen $0.21 per person.]" (Brad Heath, "Stimulus Projects Bypass Hard-Hit States," USA Today, 5/28/09)

Jon Voight on 'Obama The False Prophet'

PA preserves farmland in 19 counties, including Berks

Pennsylvania officials announced the preservation of an additional 4,225 acres on 47 farms in 19 counties.

In the past two decades, Pennsylvania's nationally recognized farmland preservation program has safeguarded 418,880 acres on 3,828 farms from development, officials said.

The latest preserved farms are in Adams, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Columbia, Crawford, Lancaster, Lehigh, Mercer, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Perry, Schuylkill, Susquehanna, Union, Washington, Westmoreland and York counties.

Read more about the state's farmland preservation efforts at the link below:

Pennsylvania Preservation Board Safeguards Additional Farmland for Future Agriculture Production

Auditor General Jack Wagner Faults Board of Probation and Parole for Lapses in Oversight of Parolees

Auditor General Jack Wagner Faults Board of Probation and Parole for Lapses in Oversight of Parolees

Tony Phyrillas on radio today

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

"Talking Politics" can be heard every Thursday from 5 to 6 p.m. You can call the station at 610-326-4000 with questions or comments.

If you can't pick up the station's signal, you can listen to the program on your computer. The show is simulcast at www.pottsmerc.com and www.1370wpaz.com

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Rep. Schroder: Democrats want massive tax hike

A guest column by Chester County state Rep. Curt Scroder on the games Gov. Ed Rendell and House Democrats are playing with the state's fiscal crisis:
State spending threatens huge tax increase

The state Senate is under attack for passing a budget that lives within existing revenues and raises no taxes. In fact, Senate Bill 850 accurately reflects the state's economic realities and the kinds of sacrifices that will be necessary to arrive at a constitutionally mandated balanced budget.

The taxpayers of this commonwealth need to know what is at stake.

We are facing an unprecedented $3 billion budget deficit. In order to restore all of the cuts that have been proposed in the Senate plan, a broad-based tax increase of record proportions would be necessary.

Neither Gov. Ed Rendell nor House Democratic leaders are sharing this fact with the public. Day after day, the governor and his supporters attack specific cuts in the Senate's budget plan, while setting the table for a huge tax increase.

Interestingly, many of the reductions included in the Senate plan were proposed in the governor's budget bill. Unfortunately, the governor's proposed cuts were offset by spending increases in other areas, resulting in a proposed budget that spends $705 million more than the year before. Sharply declining revenue has made even the governor's original budget out of balance and unsustainable.

Last year, before passage of the current budget, we were warned by Senate budget analysts that the proposed spending plan would result in a $1 billion deficit this year. They warned that revenue estimates were too high and unrealistic, and one-time revenue sources were being used. I rejected that budget, as did 31 of my House colleagues.

Our current economic crisis could have been avoided if Pennsylvania's spending increases had stayed within the rate of inflation during the Rendell years.

Under Rendell, the state budget has increased nearly 40 percent — double the rate of inflation. Had we held spending to a modest 3 percent in each of the past six years, our spending would be in line with the revenues coming in today. Our budget would be balanced, important programs would be retained and there would be no danger of a tax increase.

Instead, we are in a budget crisis. We are left with no easy choices, but the choices are clear. We must live within our means or prepare for a major tax increase. I will not vote for a tax increase, and I challenge those members of the General Assembly who are critical of efforts to budget responsibly to come clean with taxpayers and let them know which taxes they will raise in order to pass a budget that restores spending to the levels proposed by the governor.

R-155th Legislative District

Rep. Rohrer: No New Taxes!

Help carry a wounded soldier

Pennsylvania's 2nd Annual Walk For The Wounded will be held Sunday, June 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Rose Tree Park in Media, Delaware County.

Operation First Response is a national organization that cares for wounded soldiers and their families. The group invites all veterans and residents in Southeastern Pennsylvania to support the fundraiser with their "heart and dollars."

In addition to the walk, there will be free concerts, a visit by the Philadelphia Eagles cheerleaders, the Sixers Dancers and St. Joe's basketball coach Phil Martelli.

Operation First Response says 90 percent of funds raised will go directly to soldiers in need.

You can register for the walk or make a donation online at www.operationfirstresponse.org

ATA Tells Congress Cap-and-Trade Will Harm Trucking Industry

ATA Tells Congress Cap-and-Trade Will Harm Trucking Industry

One in Seven Seniors Faces Social Security Check Cuts in 2010

One in Seven Seniors Faces Social Security Check Cuts in 2010

DEP Asks Pennsylvanians to Help Battle West Nile Virus

DEP Asks Pennsylvanians to Help Battle West Nile Virus

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Obama Energy Tax

2009-10 Hunting/Furtaker Licenses to Go on Sale June 15

2009-10 Hunting/Furtaker Licenses to Go on Sale June 15

Attorney General Reminds Home Improvement Contractors to Register; Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act Goes Into Effect July 1

Attorney General Reminds Home Improvement Contractors to Register; Home Improvement Consumer Protection Act Goes Into Effect July 1

House Dems reject balanced budget

The House Appropriations Committee, voting along party lines Monday, rejected the Senate's $27.3 billion no tax increase budget.

That leaves Gov. Ed Rendell's $29 billion deficit budget (with a variety of tax increases) on the table. And Rendell's budget does not address that $3.2 billion deficit in the current fiscal year.

Rep. Doug Reichley (R-Berks/Lehigh), Republican vice chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement:
"Today we saw firsthand the commitment of House Democrats to avoid passing a budget bill that reins in state spending and averts a state personal income tax increase. Senate Bill 850 spends significantly less than Governor Ed Rendell's budget proposal. The budget supported by Democrats has not been introduced yet, but will likely spend more money than Pennsylvania is capable of taking in without a tax increase amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars. They have not offered their own budget, or legislation detailing which taxes they would increase and by how much.

"None of the taxes the governor relies on for his budget have been detailed in bill form. No new proposal has been put forth by the governor now that his proposed budget from February is seriously out of balance.

"There are 22 days until the end of the fiscal year. Republicans will not be voting for tax increases to pay for more spending during this recession no matter how often Democrats tell us that we need to be taxed more.

"I put forth the idea that we can advance the budget process by reporting Senate Bill 850 from committee with a negative recommendation, which is permitted according to House rules, but this attempt to move forward was blocked with a partisan vote to defeat the bill. Now, we're back at square one, no closer to having a budget bill to debate on the House floor and with the governor touring the state to promote higher taxes."
Originally posted at TONY PHYRILLAS

Monday, June 8, 2009

Knowles sworn in to PA House seat

Jerry Knowles was sworn-in today as the newest member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Knowles won a special election last month to fill the remainder of Rep. David Argall's term in the 124th House District after Argall was elected to the state Senate.

The 124th District covers parts of Schuylkill and Berks counties.

Knowles is a former police officer. He served on the Tamaqua Borough Council and eventually as mayor of Tamaqua. He also served six years as a Schuylkill County commissioner and worked for 10 years on the House staff and as director of special projects for Rep. Argall.

With that kind of background, expect Knowles to hit the ground running.

The addition of Knowles gives Republicans 99 seats in the 203-member House.

Learn more about Knowles at his legislative Web site, http://www.repknowles.com/

2009 Pennsylvania Fair Guide Now Available

2009 Pennsylvania Fair Guide Now Available

Rendell Mourns Death of State Trooper Joshua D. Miller

Pennsylvania Governor Rendell Mourns Death of State Trooper Joshua D. Miller

PennDOT Offers Tire Safety Tips As Part of National Tire Safety Week

PennDOT Offers Tire Safety Tips As Part of National Tire Safety Week

U.S. Journalists' Conviction Highlights Unfair System in North Korea, Says Amnesty International

U.S. Journalists' Conviction Highlights Unfair System in North Korea, Says Amnesty International

'The people of Pennsylvania deserve the truth about taxes and spending'

A news release from The Commonwealth Foundation:

Brouillette to Counter Rendell's 'Tax You More' Bus Tour
Present the truth about taxes and spending in our public schools

Harrisburg, PA — Gov. Rendell's week-long, state-wide bus tour to scare and mislead Pennsylvanians into thinking they pay too little in taxes and don't spend enough on public education will be met head on by Commonwealth Foundation president and CEO Matthew Brouillette.

As Rendell burns tax dollars in the gas tank of a giant campaign bus to lobby for higher taxes for public education, Brouillette — a former teacher, football/baseball coach, and school board member — will be at each stop along the way to present the truth about education funding under the proposed Senate budget.

"The governor's education half-truths, misleading rhetoric, and inaccurate characterizations will be met with the reality about Pennsylvania's public school funding and performance," said Brouillette. "Contrary to what will be stated in the governor's campaign to raise taxes on working Pennsylvanians, public education spending would still be the highest it has ever been under the Senate's proposed spending plans—despite a severe recession and a $3 billion deficit."

"The people of Pennsylvania deserve the truth about taxes and spending in their public schools," Brouillette noted, "so we'll be following the governor's 'Tax You More Bus Tour' to provide the facts to local communities and media in the wake of the governor's fallacies."

Brouillette will hold informal news conferences immediately following each of Rendell's bus stops across Pennsylvania. Monday's tour stops include:
EVENT #1: U.S. Sen. Casey, Secretary Zahorchak to discuss education funding
TIME: Noon
LOCATION: East Pennsboro Area High School, 425 Shady Lane, Enola, Cumberland County

EVENT #2: Secretary Zahorchak to discuss education funding
TIME: 3 p.m.
LOCATION: Hollidaysburg Area Junior High School, 1000 Hewit St., Hollidaysburg, Blair County

EVENT #3: Secretary Zahorchak to discuss education funding
TIME: 6 p.m.
LOCATION: Baldwin High School, 4653 Clairton Blvd., Pittsburgh
Check CommonwealthFoundation.org for event updates throughout the week, as well as specific information on public education funding.

Friday, June 5, 2009

VA Secretary Shinseki Marks D-Day Anniversary in France

VA Secretary Shinseki Marks D-Day Anniversary in France

Obama Administration Abandons American Workers

Obama Administration Abandons American Workers, Refuses to Implement E-Verify Requirement

Something's Gotta Give

State Capitol Taxpayers' Protest

With Gov. Ed Rendell and House Democrats pushing for higher taxes to dig themselves out of the fiscal hole they created, it's time for Pennsylvania taxpayers to be heard.

Join the State Capitol Taxpayers' Protest on Tuesday, June 9

Here is some basic information courtesy of The Commonwealth Foundation:
WHAT: Concerned citizens who will descend on Harrisburg for the all-day Pennsylvania State Capitol Taxpayers' Protest, will be welcomed by a united coalition led by State Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) and more than 30 fiscally conservative state lawmakers, state and national watchdog groups and radio talk shows hosts.

WHO: Some of the outstanding confirmed speakers and organizations participating will include: Jim Broussard, Citizens Against Higher Taxes; Josh Culling, National Taxpayers' Union; Bob Durgin and R.J. Harris, WHP 580; Patrick Gleason, Americans For Tax Reform; Kevin Shivers, NFIB; David Taylor, Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association; Susan Staub, Right to Work; Matt Brouillette, Commonwealth Foundation; Jeffrey Trimbath, The Heritage Foundation; Colin Hanna, Let Freedom Ring and many others. State Senator John Eichelberger and Representatives Kerry Benninghoff, Karen Boback, Paul Clymer, Jim Cox, Tom Creighton, Scott Hutchinson, Rob Kauffman, Tim Krieger, Bob Mensch, Donna Oberlander, Tom Quigley, Kathy Rapp, Mike Reese, Brad Roae, Todd Rock, Sam Rohrer, Curt Schroder, Jerry Stern, Rosemarie Swanger, Will Tallman, Katie True, Mike Turzai, Matt Gabler, Stan Saylor, Sheryl Delozier, Carl Metzgar, Seth Grove, John Payne, Gordon Denlinger and Keith Gillespie are also scheduled to participate.

WHEN: Tuesday, June 9, 2009 at 10 a.m.

WHERE: State Capitol Rotunda, Harrisburg
For more information, visit www.statecapitolprotest.com

Unemployment rate reaches 9.4%

The Obama Recession continues.

Five months into his failed presidency, the U.S. has registered the worst unemployment numbers in more than 25 years. And we're not even counting the tens of thousands of jobs that will be lost after Obama restructures the auto industry.

Statement of U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis on May 2009 employment numbers

The Danger of One-Party Rule

A timely guest column by former Republican Congressman Pat Toomey, who is running for a U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania:

The Danger of One-Party Rule in Washington

By Pat Toomey

It is natural for political parties to seek power. As a Republican, I root for Republicans to win as many elections as possible. But I hope I am objective enough to recognize that our country is often ill-served by the concentration of political power in one party's hands, regardless of which party holds it.

Our nation's founders clearly saw this danger. In Federalist 51, James Madison defended the virtue of divided government: "If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself."

Madison and his brethren brilliantly sought to limit the danger of one-party factionalism by establishing a political system with numerous checks and balances. But even with obstacles in place, political leaders frequently run amok when power is concentrated in the hands of one party.

American history is replete with examples. The complete Republican federal dominance after the Civil War led to an overzealous Congress in the Reconstruction Period and massive corruption in President Grant's administration. Democratic one-party rule from the early 1930s until the mid '40s culminated in sclerotic post-World War II policies that failed to account for the vast changes in our country, and once more, to massive cronyism and corruption.

In the present age, we have experienced again the consequences of unchecked, one-party dominance. From 2001-2007, Republicans controlled both Houses of Congress and the White House. At the height of its power, following the 2004 elections, Republicans had a 55-seat Senate majority and a 232-seat House majority. Some party leaders got carried away and pursued policies that grew their own power at the expense of American taxpayers. Their unlimited power led to runaway spending, an explosion in obscenely wasteful and parochial earmarks, a lack of transparency, and once again corruption that sent several members of Congress to court and some to prison.

To most taxpayers, this was a sad turn of events. For years, Republicans sought political power so they could implement the kind of limited-government reforms they claimed to stand for. But when they finally got their hands on the Senate, House, and White House, some in the GOP abused that power.

The beauty of our democratic system is that it is self-correcting. The problem is that the corrections meted out by an understandably outraged electorate often push the pendulum too far in the opposite direction. Last November, voters understandably upset with Republican excesses, gave the Democratic Party the presidency along with complete and expanded control of Congress. Predictably, one-party Democratic rule is proving susceptible to the same dangers that befell Republicans, and have befallen so many predecessors throughout our history.

Over the past five months, the Democratic monopoly has expanded the federal government by historic proportions. It began with further taxpayer-funded bailouts of Wall Street and the auto companies, then extended the bailout fever to the housing industry. After campaigning on a promise to end the Republicans' tenure of irresponsibility, full Democratic control in Washington has produced policies that reward rampant irresponsible behavior and penalize innocent and responsible taxpayers who are forced to foot the bill.

Still, there's more. A unified Democratic government passed a partisan $787 billion stimulus bill and another $410 billion spending bill. After promising to end the Republican tenure of pork-barrel spending, these massive bills included titanic lists of pork projects. The projected budget deficit for the fiscal year 2009 grew to $1.8 trillion, or a shocking and nearly unprecedented 12.3 percent of our gross domestic product. They then proceeded to pass a new record-breaking $3.6 trillion budget for the upcoming year.

Unchecked power pushes parties to excess regardless of which party is in power. It is an inherent part of both human nature and the nature of government.

The danger for our country is that with complete one-party dominance, much damage will be done before the next electoral self-correction. As Democrats near 60 votes in the Senate, their majority will have a blank check to pass any legislation they want. Historically, the final check against one-party control has been the Senate minority party's ability to mount a filibuster. With only 40 Senate Republicans that tool is lost, leaving Democrats with no need to check their extremes — anything goes.

Most Americans prefer balance in Washington. Like our Founders, they understand that too much concentration of power is a dangerous and frequently corrupting thing. It's easy for us Republicans to recognize this when we're in the political wilderness. Here's hoping that we remember it next time we're in power. And here's hoping that in the meantime, sober-thinking Democrats learn the lesson of history and act humbly with the powers they've been given.

Pat Toomey is a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1999-2005, representing Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional District. For more information on his campaign, visit www.toomeyforsenate.com

Thursday, June 4, 2009

PA GOP Chairman on Specter: Buyer Beware!

Pennsylvania Republican Party Chairman Rob Gleason released the following commentary in advance of U.S. Senator Arlen Specter's official debut before his new party this weekend at the Democrat State Committee meeting in Pittsburgh:
Buyer Beware!
Dems Should Be Aware That Above All, Specter Belongs To The Party Of ME

Two months ago, Senator Arlen Specter made the decision to change parties and turn his back on the Republican Party and the thousands of Republicans who have worked to help him get re-elected for years. His decision to leave our Party was based solely on his desire to further his own political career, and his attempt to lash out at us for standing up for our values, and succeeded only in exposing his own insecurities about the future of his Party.

I was extremely disappointed by Senator Specter's defection and he can rest assured that we will be working hard to win back that Senate seat next year.

I am excited about our Party's chances to take back this seat. Our Party will benefit from having the opportunity to field a new, fresh candidate, while leaders in the Democrat Party in Pennsylvania, like Gov. Ed Rendell and Senator Bobby Casey, are busy bullying Arlen Specter’s new colleagues to clear the way for his coronation as the Democrat nominee.

Our Party is comprised of millions of people from all walks of life and backgrounds. However, while our members may not agree on every issue, we share a common belief and philosophy that smaller government, lower taxes and more personal responsibility are the values that make our country great.

No matter who wins the Republican nomination for Senate in 2010, we are confident that our Party will have a nominee whose goal is serving the people of Pennsylvania, and not their own political ambitions. I have learned a very valuable lesson after dealing with Specter's betrayal: Our Party must not tolerate or promote candidates who put their career above principle like Arlen Specter did.

If Senator Specter floats on his political lifeboat to the Democrat nomination with no opposition, we will know that the Democrat Party’s smoke-filled rooms in Harrisburg, Washington and even Pittsburgh are alive and well.

Rob Gleason,
Chairman of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania

Catch Tony Phyrillas on radio

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

One of the topics will be the 24th Senate District race now that Sen. Rob Wonderling has stepped down.

"Talking Politics" can be heard every Thursday from 5 to 6 p.m. You can call the station at 610-326-4000 with questions or comments.

If you can't pick up the station's signal, you can listen to the program on your computer. The show is simulcast at www.pottsmerc.com and www.1370wpaz.com

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Taxpayer protest on Tuesday

Pennsylvania taxpayers are encouraged to visit Harrisburg on Tuesday, June 9, to send a message to their legislators that they can't afford to pay any higher taxes.

For more information on the day-long event, visit www.statecapitolprotest.com

See the USA

E-Verify Requirement for Federal Contractors Abandoned by Obama Administration

U.S. Workers and Taxpayers Pay the Price, Charges the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

E-Verify Requirement for Federal Contractors Abandoned by Obama Administration

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bruce Castor may seek state Senate seat

Opportunities to run for a state Senate seat don't come around very often in Pennsylvania. Monday's announcement by state Sen. Rob Wonderling that he is resigning his 24th Senatorial District seat to take a job as president and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce will prompt a lot of jockeying to replace Wonderling.

The 24th District covers parts of Bucks, Lehigh, Montgomery and Northampton counties. A prominent political figure from Montgomery County just happens to live in one of the communities within the 24th Senate District.

Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce L. Castor, a former county District Attorney, is considering making a run for the Republican nomination for Wonderling's seat.

"I am weighing all of these factors and considering whether my experience in government and in the judicial system would offer the best representation to residents of the 24th Senate District," Castor said in a prepared statement released today. "I am continuing to discuss this decision with citizens, Republican Party leaders and my family. The most important factor in my decision is whether I think I can do more good in Harrisburg then I can in Norristown."

That's is a no-brainer. Under the secret power-sharing pact made last year by Republican Commissioner Jim Matthews and Democratic Commissioner Joe Hoeffel, Castor is the odd-man out on the three-member commissioners' board.

Hoeffel makes all the decisions and Matthews rubber-stamps them, often keeping Castor out of the loop. As long as Matthews bows to Hoeffel's wishes, Castor might as well give up the commissioners' seat since he doesn't have a role in determining county policy.

The only other rub is that Castor has been considering a run for lieutenant governor in 2010. If he runs for state Senate, it's doubtful he'll make another run for higher office next year. Would he want to be labeled a perpetual candidate like Bob Casey Jr., who is planning his next political campaign as soon as he wins an election?

Chester County official may run for lieutenant governor

Republican Chester County Commissioner Carol Aichele has announced she plans to run for Pennsylvania lieutenant governor in 2010.

"I've spoken with people statewide, grassroots folks, and the response has been really very positive," Aichele told reporter Michael P. Rellahan. "People said they found that I'd be a very positive balance to the ticket."

Aichele, who is serving in her second term as a county commissioner, formed the Friends of Carole Aichele, certifying the finance committee with the state Board of Elections as required by law, according to Rellahan.

She will make a formal announcement later this month and hold a fundraiser June 23, hosted by retired state Supreme Court Judge Sandra Schulze Newman.

From Rellahan's story:
Aichele declined to discuss specifics of her run for the post, but she said she believed her experience as a county executive — especially one with a proven financial track record as Chester County — was a positive for voters.

"The kind of experience that I have is something that will bring a positive dimension to a new Republican leadership," she said. "That is what is needed to fix what is broken in our state."
While it's always nice to see a woman seek higher office, there is a glaring problem with Aichele. She isn't exactly a top draw among voters in her own backyard.

Aichele was a favorite to win the vacated 19th state Senate seat in Chester County in 2006, but lost to Democratic county commissioner Andy Dinniman in what remains one of the few SE Pennsylvania counties where Republicans have a voter registration edge.

Political insiders criticized Aichele for a lackluster campaign.

Not exactly the kind of runningmate Tom Corbett is looking for as he prepares to seek the Republican nomination for governor in 2010, although a Corbett-Aichele ticket would have geographic balance.

An Aichele candidacy also poses a problem for Congressman Jim Gerlach, who is also interested in running for governor. Since Gerlach and Aichele both live in Chester County, there's no balance in a potential ticket.

Read the full story about Aichele's potential bid for statewide office in The Pottstown Mercury Web site.

Rep. Bob Mensch will seek Wonderling Senate seat

A two-term state representative from Montgomery County is the first candidate to officially throw his hat in the ring for the soon-to-be-vacated state Senate seat held by Sen. Rob Wonderling.

State Rep. Bob Mensch, R-147th Dist., announced his candidacy via e-mail today, less than 24-hours after Wonderling said he would be stepping down.

"I wish to bring my experiences in industry and government to this opportunity," Mensch said. "I am proud that I am not a career politician, but instead am someone who truly enjoys the challenges and the satisfactions of public life."

Wonderling, a Republican serving his second, four-year term, is leaving to take the helm of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

His resignation should set off a scramble for the 24th state Senate seat, which spans parts of Bucks, Lehigh, Montgomery and Northampton counties.

Mensch was elected to the state House in 2006 and currently serves on the House Consumer Affairs, Subcommittee on Telecommunications Committee (minority chairman); Insurance Committee; and Local Government Committee (minority secretary).

For more on Mensch, visit his campaign Web site, www.electmensch.com

Monday, June 1, 2009

Democrat America: Bailout Nation

PA Budget Deficit Tops $2.8 Billion

With one month to go in the current fiscal year, Pennsylvania's General Fund budget is $2.8 billion in the red.

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue released the May tax revenue numbers today and the state's bottom line is not looking so good.

Pennsylvania collected $1.6 billion in General Fund revenue in May, which was $287.5 million, or 15.1 percent, less than anticipated, according to Revenue Secretary Stephen H. Stetler. Fiscal year-to-date General Fund collections total $23.3 billion, which is $2.8 billion, or 10.9 percent, below estimate, Stetler reported.

Gov. Ed Rendell, who signed the deficit budget last July knowing it would never come close to balancing, now projects a deficit of $3.2 billion by the end of the current fiscal year on June 30.

Here's the blow-by-blow breakdown from the Revenue Department:
Sales tax receipts totaled $607.4 million for May, $106.4 million below estimate. Sales tax collections, year-to-date, total $7.5 billion, which is $527.7 million, or 6.6 percent, less than anticipated.

Personal income tax (PIT) revenue in May was $721.4 million, $55.7 million below estimate. This brings year-to-date PIT collections to $9.4 billion, which is $1.1 billion, or 10.4 percent, below estimate.

May corporation tax revenue of $81.6 million was $38.8 million below estimate. Year-to-date corporation tax collections total $4.4 billion, which is $531.4 million, or 10.7 percent, below estimate.

Other General Fund revenue figures for the month included $65.3 million in inheritance tax, $10.8 million below estimate, bringing the year-to-date total to $704.5 million, which is $94.4 million below estimate.

Realty transfer tax was $18.6 million for May, $12.2 million below estimate, bringing the total to $267.3 million for the year, which is $105.2 million less than anticipated.

Other General Fund tax revenue including cigarette, malt beverage and liquor taxes totaled $83.3 million for the month, $10.4 million below estimate, bringing the year-to-date total to $958.2 million, which is $21.2 million below estimate.

Non-tax revenue totaled $35.7 million for the month, $53.1 million below estimate, bringing the year-to-date total to $79.1 million, which is $475.7 million below estimate.

In addition to the General Fund collections, the Motor License Fund received $186.3 million for the month, $31.7 million below estimate. Fiscal year-to-date collections for the fund total $2.4 billion, which is $137.2 million, or 5.4 percent, below estimate.

The Gaming Fund received $55 million in unrestricted revenues for May. Fiscal year-to-date collections for the fund total $539.6 million. Gaming Fund receipts include taxes, fees and interest. Of the total for the month, $54.9 million was collected in state taxes for property tax relief, bringing the year-to-date total to $540 million.

Other gaming-related revenues collected for May included $6.5 million for the Local Share Assessment, for a net total of $59.3 million for the year; $8.1 million for the Economic Development and Tourism Fund, for a year-to-date total of $79.4 million; and $19.4 million for the Race Horse Development Fund, bringing the total for the year to $190.6 million.

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