Friday, November 21, 2014

Another pay raise for the Pa. House of Lords

The median household income in Pennsylvania is $52,000, but thanks to
automatic pay raises they gave themselves since 1995, Pennsylvania
state legislators now get a base salary $85,356, plus  unlimited expense
vouchers, plus Cadillac health plan, plus free car and gas, plus
lifetime pensions.

The House of Lords is actually located in Harrisburg, not London.

Cost-of-living raises boost salaries of top Pa. officials

Tom Wolf bought and paid for by Big Labor

If there was any doubt in your mind that Pennsylvania Democratic Gov.-Elect Tom Wolf is a puppet of Big Labor, consider this:


Government unions pumped more than $7 million directly to political candidates across Pennsylvania—including $2.7 million given to Gov.-Elect Tom Wolf — and at least $1.6 million in election-related TV ads.

The most recent campaign finance reports show seven Pennsylvania government unions gave $7.2 million in campaign contributions in 2013-2014. That’s up from the $4.7 million during the last election cycle.

Topping the list were PSEA: $3,037,756; SEIU: $2,119,312; AFSCME: $1,178,197; and UFCW: $385,179.

Government unions funneled an additional $1.6 million to Pennsylvania “SuperPACs” like PA Families First, which ran several TV ads in support of Wolf.
POLS ON THE STREET: Fattah’s Fate Is Key To Other Seats

An Imperial Presidency

#UNCONSTITUTIONAL: Barack Obama on executive orders

Newspaper: Pa. Attorney General Kathleen Kane's credibility is gone

The Kathleen Kane chronicles: The Pa. attorney general's credibility is gone

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

GOP Coup Ousts Pileggi as PA Senate Majority Leader

Dominic Pileggi, arguably the most powerful political figure in Pennsylvania in recent years, has been ousted by fellow Republicans as Senate Majority Leader. Pileggi was widely criticized for bottling up Gov. Tom Corbett's reform agenda in the GOP-controlled Senate, which in turn may have contributed to Corbett's defeat on Nov. 4 to liberal Democrat Tom Wolf.

A conservative team of state Senators publicly denounced Pileggi, a moderate Philadelphia-area state lawmaker and sought his ouster. With the addition of three more seats, the Republican majority in the 50-member PA Senate is now 30-20. The new Senate Majority Leader is Sen. Jake Corman of Centre County.

Corbett sought to privatize the state's liquor monopoly and revamp public pensions, but both measures died in the Senate because Pileggi refused to bring them up for a vote. Pileggi also would not allow a vote on SB 76, which would have eliminated Pennsylvania school property taxes.

Pileggi was often referred to as a RINO (Republican In Name Only) by Harrisburg observers. The Wall Street Journal today called Pileggi's ouster as a "setback for Pennsylvania Democrats" because of Pileggi's willingness to work with Democrats and incoming Gov. Tom Wolf.

From the Journal's Political Diary:
Notwithstanding the Republican governor's 10-point defeat to Democrat Tom Wolf, Republicans picked up eight seats in the state House and three in the Senate. The gains bolster the GOP majority in the Senate to 30-20 and 119-84 in the House. That's not strong enough to override a veto, but Democrats will now have a hard time passing legislation merely by picking off some moderate Republicans.

Many of Mr. Corbett's governing priorities, such as pension reform and liquor-store privatization, foundered in the statehouse because of intraparty squabbles between his caucus's moderate and conservative wings. Public unions were able to block reforms by bribing or browbeating a couple of Republican senators or a dozen or so House members. Democrats often used Mr. Pileggi as their liaison.

The Senate Majority leader was known to act as a double agent, publicly backing legislation while working behind the scenes to kill it. Former Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell has described Mr. Pileggi as "the most powerful person in Harrisburg." Conservative state Sen. Scott Wagner described him earlier this year as "the number one obstacle in the Senate."
The only holdover in leadership positions is Senate President Joe Scaranti, who holds a largely ceremonial position. Because of the defeat of Republican Tom Corbett and Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley, a Democrat, newly-elected Lt. Gov. Mike Stack, who is also a state senator, will now preside over the Senate. Stack has said he plans to keep both his senate seat and his new post as Lt. Gov., but there are questions about the constitutionality of holding two elected offices at once.

Over in the House, where Republicans also bolstered their majority, ultra-conservative state Rep. Mike Turzai was elected Speaker of the House, another blow to liberal Tom Wolf's chances of getting any of his tax-and-spend agenda through the Legislature.

The bloodless coup staged by Senate conservatives effectively makes Gov.-elect Tom Wolf a lame duck even before taking office. Republicans will now set the agenda for the next four years.

Here's a release from the Republican Party of Pennsylvania congratulating the new Senate leadership:
PA GOP Chairman Gleason Congratulates New State Senate GOP Leadership Team

HARRISBURG – Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason released the following statement regarding the reorganization session of the State Senate Republican Caucus.
"Congratulations to President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, Majority Leader Jake Corman and our entire State Senate Republican leadership team on their elections," Gleason said. "At such an important time in the history of our Commonwealth, it's important to continue the tradition of strong Republican leadership that will stand up for the Republican principles of individual freedom and economic opportunity in our state Senate.
"I congratulate the new state Senate Republican leadership team, and look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead."
Today, State Senate Republicans chose the following officials to serve as members of their leadership team:
President Pro Tempore – 25th District Senator Joe Scarnati
Senate Majority Leader – 34th District Senator Jake Corman
Senate Appropriations Chairman – 16th District Senator Pat Browne
Senate Majority Whip – 27th District Senator John Gordner
Senate Majority Caucus Chairman – 24th District Senator Bob Mensch
Senate Caucus Secretary –  33rd District Senator Rich Alloway
The following State Senate Republicans were appointed to serve in leadership positions by Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati:
Senate Caucus Administrator – 10th District Senator Chuck McIlhinney
Senate Majority Policy Committee Chairman – 29th District Senator David Argall

Gallup: By 17-point margin, public wants GOP Congress, not Obama, to lead nation

By 17-point margin, public wants GOP Congress, not Obama, to lead nation |

'Democrats need new ideas, new leadership and new ideas' but cling to Reid, Pelosi despite midterms drubbing

Reid, Pelosi hang on to power after Dems' drubbing |

Under Obama, illegals get driver's license, credit cards, Obamacare

Under Obama program, illegals get driver's license, credit cards, Obamacare |

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Every Newly Elected GOP Senators Campaigned on Repealing Obamacare

100% of Newly Elected GOP Senators Campaigned on Repealing Obamacare | CNS News

Conservatives Want To Oust Pileggi as PA Senate Majority Leader

With Republicans holding commanding majorities in both chambers of the Pennsylvania Legislature, the real power-brokers in Harrisburg over the next two years will be legislative leaders and not newly-elected Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf. With that in mind, conservatives are mounting a challenge to Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, who is blamed for scuttling much of Gov. Tom Corbett's first-term agenda and leading to Corbett's defeat on Election Day. At least two state Senators - Scott Wagner of York County and Sen. Donald White of Armstrong County - have  publicly called for replacement of Pileggi, who represents parts of Delaware and Chester counties. And now Sen. Jake Corman of Centre County, the current Senate Appropriations Committee chairman, has announced he will challenge Pileggi for the top leadership post.

The conservative American Future Fund Political Action issued the following statement on the pending leadership fight within the GOP caucus:
"This past Tuesday, while Republicans across the nation were celebrating landmark victories, Pennsylvania Republicans were facing the first defeat of an incumbent Governor in the Commonwealth's history," said Nick Ryan, Chairman of American Future Fund Action. "One of the main causes of the defeat of Governor Corbett was the inaction, ineptitude, and impotence of the Republican leadership in the Pennsylvania State Senate."

"For four years, Governor Corbett was unable to pass virtually any legislation that would have moved Pennsylvania in the right direction. The cause was simple, members of the Republican State Senate cared more about union bosses in Philadelphia than their constituents or the good of the Commonwealth as a whole. The blame for all of these problems lies at the feet of Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi. Pileggi's Philadelphia Boss-Style politics has no place in the leadership of the Republican Party should we hope to govern based on principles rather than our campaign coffers," concluded Ryan.
With Republicans controlling 30 of the 50 seats in the Pennsylvania Senate, a majority vote of 16 is needed to win the post of Majority Leader, which Pileggi has held for the past eight years.

Expressing Condolences to Democrats

Economist: 75% of Obamacare Costs Will Fall on Backs of Middle Class

WSJ Chief Economist: 75% of Obamacare Costs Will Fall on Backs of Those Making Less Than $120K a Year | Human Events