Keystone Progress To Challenge Pennsylvania Conservatives

A new organization has been formed to challenge the conservative mindset in Pennsylvania and educate voters about the real issues, the effect of conservative economic policies on their lives and defeat conservatives for destroying good government.  My good friend Mike Morrill is the Executive Director and I look forward to discussing this in depth with him when I return from vacation next week.  Who knows maybe he’ll consent to an interview?

From their press release:

Keystone Progress to Challenge Conservative Propaganda in Pennsylvania

Initial Campaigns Include the Stopping the Privatization of the PA Turnpike, Exposing the Bush War Tax, fighting for Universal Healthcare and Making the Case for Paper Ballots

Harrisburg, PA – Meet Keystone Progress, a new, multi-issue, progressive advocacy organization that combines cutting edge online organizing and communications with rapid and hard-hitting on-the-ground strategies. Year round, Keystone Progress will work to engage citizens from across the state around issues of immediate state or local concern.

“Our goal is to make Pennsylvania more progressive and our government more responsive to the real challenges facing communities today,” said Michael Morrill, Executive Director. “We aim to dramatically expand public action for progressive ideas. Whether it is fighting for a clean energy future, standing up to special interests like powerful drug companies, or holding public officials accountable, we will be there.”

A key component of Keystone Progress’ work is providing communications support for the entire progressive community. Local advocacy groups often have few staff and fewer resources to challenge conservative propaganda in the media and assure that progressive perspectives are heard.

This week, the Keystone Progress website (www.keystoneprogress.org) features a variety of actions including the privatization of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the Bush War Tax, universal healthcare and ensuring accurate elections with paper trails for ballots.

“Keystone Progress has the potential to be an incredible tool for issue advocacy organizations,” said Eileen Connolly of the SEIU Pennsylvania State Council. “Already, Keystone Progress is connecting us and providing a strong, credible voice in advancing progressive solutions to critical community problems.”

Keystone Progress’s goal is to make Pennsylvania more progressive and our government more responsive to the real challenges facing communities today.  By working with other organizations, we aim to dramatically expand active public support for progressive causes and ideas. Whether it is fighting for a clean energy future, standing up to special interests like the powerful drug companies, or holding public officials accountable, Keystone Progress will be there.

A key component of Keystone Progress’ work is providing communications support for the entire progressive community. Local advocacy groups often have few staff and fewer resources to challenge conservative propaganda in the media and assure that progressive perspectives are heard. Some of the ways we will network include:

·         Creating PA’s largest online activist network.

·         Holding news conferences, writing news releases and developing PR plans for progressive partners.

·         Developing a progressive news service to bring our message to new media and the mainstream.

·         An online Progressive PA Job Bank.

·        

For further questions or inquiries, go to the Keystone Progress website (www.keystoneprogress.org) or contact Michael Morrill at 610-568-0937.

Lieberman’s DC Outpost Closing

Brett Lieberman, Washington reporter for the Harrisburg Patriot News and author of Pennsyltucky Politics is losing his job in DC as the bureau there is the latest victim in the decline of newspapers.  Brett will remain with the Patriot News in Harrisburg. Brett is a great guy and someone almost everyone likes.  I think he has an inside joke with everyone in politics and covers Washington extremely well for the people in Pennsylvania.  

Newspapers, of course, seem to be a dying breed.  Unfortunately there’s no way bloggers and other internet media can afford to replicate their reporting staffs.  It appears they cannot either any longer.  Direct political reporting by traditional media is going the way of the dinosaurs.

I’m not calling Brett a dinosaur, he’s one of the best.  I’ve gotten to know him on the political beat and I hope his relocation to Harrisburg doesn’t hurt coverage of what’s going on in DC too terribly.   But who am I kidding?  There’s no way we can really understand and know what our Members of Congress and Senators are doing there without boots on the ground.  Now we are going to fewer of them.  

Has CNN’s Black In America documentary help teach the public about the black experience?

CNN recently aired a documentary as a 2-day program, called Black In America, that talked about modern-day, everyday racial struggles, sacrifices and successes of African Americans. CNN anchorwoman Soledad O’Brien, whose biracial, did seem to have tried to best to make it resourceful. However, there is controversy about whether cable news channels are more focused on ratings than social cures. There is general consensus that this channel did not have the best intentions when it created the program. In the political blogosphere and in the African American community, there were low expectations about whether CNN’s documentary would contribute positive publicity of the black community; when the media has provided historically negative publicity. There are some that believe that the program not only provided negative publicity to the African American community, but that it also aired its “dirty laundry” to the entertainment of a majority group. There is also a belief that  the program was made and produced by mostly people from a majority group for entertainment-based ratings sake, specifically to compete against FOX News.

Black In America seemed like it tried to at least start public discussion, good or bad. Now whether it could be considered exploitation of one group of people for the possible amusement of another is questionable. However, after the documentary, Black In America had an on-air, post-program meeting of the minds with a few acclaimed black leaders, Maya Angelou, Whoopi Goldberg, etc. to talk in incremental detail about what needs to be done to fix the long-standing problems. And there are a lot of problems: how to get America’s off its denial of the continuing dilemmas that African American still faces regarding modern-day racial inequity. How communities and institutions can participate in helping and leading black youth towards social mobility, equal education and black progress– and away from the statistical trends towards prison and HIV. In some ways, it’s good to have a program that makes an attempt at airing racial issues (except when it has stupid corporate fast food advertising peddling garbage to the viewers at the same time)during a time in American’s history when many people in the majority group think saying they’ll vote for an African American for president will abstain them from having to participate in acknowledgment of the real issues that affect race- diversity, tolerance, integration, supporting racial equalization to provide education opportunity for minorities in our schools, standing against “white privilege” and majority-oriented preferential hiring practices, not teaching American youth how to hate, etc. Anyways, what this should have done was to get black people, white people, Hispanic people, all people, etc. to start caring about our communities and treating the problems of our brother as our own.

——————

For each of the videos, click on them and scroll through the right side of the Youtube bar to pick the segments of Cnn’s Black In America clips that you want to view.

Black in America: Women and Children (Part 1 of 9)

Black in America: The Black Man (Part 1 of 9)

Now here’s the hard to swallow story: Progressives need to head the John Edwards rumors at the past

Okay, I know what you guys are thinking: this is tabloid news; what is it doing here? Well, there is a reason and it is because it is becoming news right now. I’ve come across this story online and this one looks like it’s going to become a tawdry, messly scandal that is going to be all over cable news soon enough– and progressives need to be at the front of it before it explodes to do damage control.

The blog Huffingpost is already talking about it right here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/… and I have decided that it would be in the progressive interest to not stick their ‘heads in the sand’ about this, to accept this is coming out, and to try to control the story. According to Huffingtonpost blogger Sam Stein, the National Enquirer have reported that Edwards was caught leaving the Beverley Hills Hotel at 2:45am and Ms. Rielle Hunter, a filmmaker, was reported to be in there with him. Also, there was another story that came up that you can read right here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/… that previously available webisodes about him made by Ms. Hunter for his campaign were pull off the internet. When there were attempts to access the webisodes via contact with the Edwards campaign and the production company they went nowhere. According to the stories, Edwards has been rumored to be acting in a suspicious manner for over a year, and this story is eventually going to be tomorrow’s tabloid. Shouldn’t you be talking about how to counteract it once it is brought up?

Personally, I am a fan of John Edwards, and a strong advocate for his populist cause against poverty/racism. He was my 2nd choice for the presidency next to Barack Obama, but can you imagine if this story broke if he won the nomination? This would have handed the presidency to McBush. ::shudders:: Very few in the progressive blogosphere is talking about this and that’s a bit dangerous. Problem now is that progressives are going to HAVE to take up this story and define it before the corporate cable news media gives it to the Right wing media to define and turn into the sideshow/distraction from Obama’s message on solving the economy. That is if they can stop mimicking ostriches.

Now here’s the hard to swallow story: Progressives need to head the John Edwards rumors at the past

Okay, I know what you guys are thinking: this is tabloid news what is doing here? Well, there is a reason and it is news right now. I’ve come across this story and this one looks like it’s going to become a tawdry mess scandal that is going to be all over cable news soon enough– and progressive should be at the front of it to do damage control.

The blog Huffingpost is already talking about it right here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/… and I have decided that progressive should not stick their ‘heads in the sand’ about this, accept this is coming out, and try to control the story. According to Huffington blogger Sam Stein, the National Enquirer have reported that Edwards was caught leaving the Beverley Hills Hotel at 2:45am and Ms. Rielle Hunter, a filmmaker, was reported to be in there with him. Also, there was another story that came up that you can read right here http://www.huffingtonpost.com/… that previous available webisodes about him made by Ms. Hunter for his campaign were pull off the internet. When there were attempts to access the webisodes via contact with the Edwards campaign and the production company they went nowhere. According to the story, Edwards has been acting in suspicious manner for over a year, and this story is eventually going to be tomorrow’s tabloid. Shouldn’t you be talking about how to counteract it once it is brought up?

Personally, I am a fan of John Edwards, and a strong advocate for his populist cause against poverty/racism. He was my 2nd choice for the presidency next to Barack Obama, but can you imagine if this story broke if he won the nomination? This would have handled the presidency to McBush. shudders Problem now is that progressive HAVE to take this story and define it before the corporate cable news media gives it to the Right wing media to define and turn into the sideshow/distraction from Obama.

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Obama and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine as VP?

There is buzz around the political blogosphere that Gov. Tim Kane, Virginia Democratic governor, may be on the short-list as a possible VP choice. There is good reasoning behind it. His background is similar to Obama. He’s an ex-civil rights lawyer, a former Spanish-speaking missionary and is a governor in a state that Obama wants to turn blue.  

The governor has been seen being courted by the Obama campaign by many sources and is being very seriously considered for the VP slot.

Tim Kaine’s staff are already preparing for the possible situation if he is picked.

There are questions that come up on the ramifications for if he really is picked:

(1)How are the Clinton supporters going to react? Could there be a voter backlash? Will this put off the Clinton people and risk a further a split in the party come Convention Day? There are still 17% of Democrats that either may stay home or may even ridiculously throw their future away and vote McBush right now, like angry Clintonites in the group PUMass. Would this make that situation worse?

(2)How does Tim Kaine, a governor of 2 years, cover Obama’s criteria of experience?

(3)Why Kaine over Jim Webb? Jim Webb has the military experience that Obama needs to counteract McBush in the foreign policy dept. If you’re going to pick someone from Virginia to attract white voters into the blue column, why not try the strong hand from the state? I don’t personally like Jim Webb, because of his egregious stance against civil rights and his flagrant misogyny, but he has the potential to bring blue-collar whites into the populist and the anti-war realm.

Obama’s Pennsylvania Strategy

The Obama campaign held a media conference call today to discuss their strategy for Pennsylvania.  On the call were Steve Hildebrand, Deputy Campaign Manager (in Chicago HQ), Governor Ed Rendell, Pennsylvania Campaign Manager Craig Schirmer, and volunteer Colleen Burkett.

The call was accompanied by a Powerpoint slide presentation (I’ll pour through that later since I’m on vacation) and the nexus of the call is their emphasis on grassroots volunteers doing much of the work in a ground game supplemented by media.

This is a change from the typical media focused efforts we’re used to seeing (and watching fail).  The danger is the negative crap we saw in the primary when untrained and uncontrolled volunteers were allowed and permitted to engage in very negative and horrible efforts on behalf of Sen.  Obama.

The Obama campaign did nothing last spring to rein in these vandals, intellectual property thieves and fraudulent blog attackers so I’ll be watching closely to observe if their fall efforts learned anything from their calamitous primary campaign.  I’ve asked them what they plan on doing differently but am waiting on a reply.

You might recall last spring my tires were slashed, my blog was shut down by an Obama blogger claiming she was anonymous when she had her blooger ID and real name plastered on her own blog and DNC profile (among other sites), someone plagiarized my work on My.BarackObama.com and several of my copyrighted articles were stolen and republished without permission on My.BO.  I got no cooperation or responses to these problems from the Obama campaign and am now supporting Cynthia McKinney as a result.

The gist of today’s call was how the Obama campaign sees Pennsylvania as a strategic battleground state.  With the second largest (after Florida) battleground state for electoral votes and a state which went for Gore in 2000 and Kerry in 2004 the campaign is opening 24 offices throughout the Commonwealth.  They will be within a 30 minute drive of 93% of their volunteers.  The rest will likely engage in vandalizing undecided voters cars to convince them to vote for change.

The campaign has 247 neighborhood teams already organized from the spring and expects to have 700.  They will be the heart of their effort and will conduct voter registration, phone banking, canvassing and other activities after an extensive training program (I’ll believe that when I see it since the one last spring was so ineffective).

Each team will work their neighborhoods and comprise 5-15 precincts.  Team Captains will be required to devote 10-20 hours per week.

Colleen Burkett, a former Hillary supporter from York County mentioned how they are convincing former Clinton volunteers and supporters to move over to Obama.  She mentioned the Governor’s speech at the June State Committee meeting as one which inspired her to “get over it in ten days” then begin supporting the nominee.

Rendell mentioned how Obama is opening 18 offices (he isn’t really good with figures, its 24) and he is confident, though not overconfident, that Obama will carry the state.  He said John McCain would have Pennsylvanians believe the Bush economy has worked and vote for four more years.  He also said Barack Obama’s health care program would help Pennsylvania.  No, it won’t because its as bad a plan  as Rendell’s.  What will help Pennsylvanians is if the Governor ensures his legacy by getting behind HB 1660 and SB 300.  As it is his legacy is that of being a corporatist Democrat indebted to big business.  I was shocked he used health care as a way to support Obama.  Has he actually looked at that mess of a policy?

The Obama people emphasized their goal of doing serious outreach to rural voters in the “T.”  They will also engage in faith outreach:  “we will campaign vigorously for rural voters.”  Good luck in that folks but I suspect that’ll be a waste of time in rural Pennsylvania.  Too many of those crackers will vote against their economic interests because they’re too stupid to get past their racism and bigotry.  

I’ll look over the Powerpoint presentation when I get home, Maryland is wonderful this time of year and I’m doing a good bit of paddling and boating down here.

Ron Shegda Event

Citizens for Ron Shegda

invite you to join them after

Eagles’ practice

July 31st

Talk Sports with Ron!

Thursday July 31st

5 to 7 PM

Starters Riverport Restaurant

17 W 2nd St

Bethlehem, PA 18015

(610) 625-2300

 Fantasy Football Advice from our Panel

featuring

WIP Host and former Eagle, Cowboy and Lion

G Cobb,

PSU & Eagles’ Tackle Scott Lefko

Eagles Hall of Famer Concrete Charlie (Chuck Bednarik)

 Discuss all Our Teams (Will the Phils

get back into 1st?)

 Sports Trivia Contests w/Great Prizes!

 Bird Watching!!! (Fly Eagles Fly)

 Free Food and Drink!

Cover only $20 *

For more info or to reserve your ticket contact:

Judy Davidson   484.237.8200

Or visit www.RonShegda2008.com

Pay now using PayPal for your convenience

Make Checks Payable to:

Citizens for Ron Shegda

The Rose House

1328 Easton Road

Hellertown, PA   18055

* Donation to Citizens for Ron Shegda ? Paid by Citizens for Ron Shegda

Franklin County Dems Picnic

Franklin County Democrats to Hold Annual Picnic August 2

Saturday August 2, noon – 4 pm

AmVets Pavilion, 750 Fifth Avenue, Chambersburg

Admission $20 (under 12 Free) – Includes all-you-can-eat lunch, catered by the Savoy

Dessert sold by Women’s Democratic Club of Franklin County; Cash Bar operated by AmVets

Speakers, Music, Bingo, Political Trivia Competition

Speakers Confirmed to date include

Chris Doherty, Mayor of Scranton, PA

Tony Barr, Candidate for Congress, 9th District

Bruce Tushingham, Candidate for State Senate, 33rd District

Bob Ziobrowski, Franklin County Commissioner

Pete Lagiovana, Mayor of Chambersburg, PA

To learn more about the Franklin County Democratic Party, please visit www.franklincountydems.org.