VA Gov: Candidate’s Views on Women Medieval

The Republican candidate for Governor of Virginia is caught in the Dark Ages according to a graduate thesis he wrote.  Being he was 34 at the time and consequently tried to legislate 10 of the 14 key points while in the state legislature this exposure of his extreme, fringe views on sexuality and women’s rights is exploding this race open.  Bob McDonnell says contraception should not be permitted for unmarried women (he says nothing about unmarried men) because he thinks working Moms are a detriment to society.

McDonnell wishes to legislate people’s sex lives and wishes to impose a theocratic imposition of Biblical laws on Virginia.  This means he does not believe in democracy and wishes to have a theocracy.  This is a huge issue.  Rick Santorum holds the same beliefs for example.  McDonnell thinks women should NOT get equal pay for equal work, women’s reproductive rights would be criminalized, victims of rape and incest would have no right to abortions and favors covenant marriages.  McDonnell went to evangelical Regent College, Pat Robertson’s school for extremists.  Though trying to dismiss the thesis as ancient history this man needs to wake up from the Dark Ages himself.  He was 34 years old and used his time in the House of Delegates trying to turn these beliefs into law.

“Leaders must correct the conventional folklore about the separation of church and state,” he wrote. “Historically, the religious liberty guarantees of the First Amendment were intended to prevent government encroachment upon the free church, not eliminate the impact of religion on society.”

He argued for covenant marriage, a legally distinct type of marriage intended to make it more difficult to obtain a divorce. He advocated character education programs in public schools to teach “traditional Judeo-Christian values” and other principles that he thought many youths were not learning in their homes. He called for less government encroachment on parental authority, for example, redefining child abuse to “exclude parental spanking.” He lamented the “purging of religious influence” from public schools. And he criticized federal tax credits for child care expenditures because they encouraged women to enter the workforce.

“Further expenditures would be used to subsidize a dynamic new trend of working women and feminists that is ultimately detrimental to the family by entrenching status-quo of nonparental primary nurture of children,” he wrote.

It is time Virginians rejected as history these Medieval beliefs and delegate McDonnell to the Dark Ages cave in which he should reside.

NJ Gov: Christy’s Ethics Being Questioned

The Democratic Governor’s Association conducted a blogger conference call this afternoon where they itemized Republican Chris Christy’s numerous ethical lapses.  This is topical because the former U.S. Attorney called himself the ethics candidate when he announced his candidacy.  He forgot to mention he’d probably already violated the Hatch Act by discussing his possible run for the office with Karl Rove while in his prosecutor’s office.  Remember that the “loyal Bushie” U.S. Attorneys were run from the White House by Rove, Bush’s political director.

Chris Christy pretending to be ethical is laughable.  Just last week he used his name and position to escape getting a traffic ticket.  His successor as USA in New Jersey is also under investigation for violating the Hatch Act by seeking to assist Christy’s candidacy through the office.

Maybe most interestingly the GOP nominee gave a personal loan to the top assistant in his office.  The $36,000 makes her, literally, indebted to him.  Since Christy prosecuted others for the same ethics violation he needs to come clean on this issue.

News & Notes

Vince Fumo reports to prison today to serve his light sentence for ripping off taxpayers and two non profits.  It also turns out the guy is a junkie.

Apparently Britain has adopted a new program where they swap terrorists for oil.  Isn’t it time we seriously eliminated our dependence on these repressive, rogue regimes which control us through petroleum?  Green energy is the answer.

Larry Frankel, ACLU lobbyist and long time proponent of civil rights for the LGBT community here in Pennsylvania, was found dead in Rock Creek park in Washington, DC Saturday.  Now I understand why Mark Cohen was so upset.  Frankel will be sorely missed.

So Afghanistan had widespread fraud and most women didn’t vote.  Is this what we’ve been fighting for for almost eight years?  If so it may time to seriously reconsider our mission there.

The people of Japan overwhelmingly rejected their conservative government and elected liberals.  I suppose now the nutjobs on the right wing fringe have to stop buying Japanese cars.  We cannot support socialism can we?

Speaking of socialism I haven’t seen the tea baggers protesting at any of these dozens of job sites being funded by the stimulus plan they hate.  Maybe those construction workers could pound some sense into their empty brains if they did.  The stimulus bill is working for Pennsylvania.  Every week I publish more information about funds being released for projects throughout the state.

Government officials seem quite worried about this winter’s flu outbreaks.  Several White House conference calls have centered around swine flu preparations.  Let’s hope all the planning and work results in the prevention of deaths.  Schools seem to be one of the areas of focus since children are vulnerable to this virus.  There’s a lot of good work being done.

Wednesday evening Pat Toomey and Joe Sestak square off in a health care town hall in Allentown.  I’ll be there to cover the event.

On other health care issues my ear infection is healing well.  I missed Friday’s state committee meetings due to the illness.  On the other hand the torn muscle in my right arm is not healing.  I keep reinjuring it and so I’m taking another week off from kayaking for rest.

Dick Cheney continues spreading misinformation about TortureGate.  After claiming for months that a secret CIA report would validate the usefulness of torture (it didn’t) now he’s claiming the AG’s investigation is political.  Someone needs to tell Dick the Attorney General in this Administration is NOT Alberto Gonzales and is NOT beholden to the White House political affairs desk (Karl Rove).  This about the rule of law a concept completely alien to Cheney.

Tomorrow is September 1st and Pennsylvania will be two months without a state budget.

Study Shows Health Care Costs Fueling Bankruptcies

A new study shows medical costs continue bankrupting Americans at alarming levels.  Contrary to myths and smears being propagated by right wing fear mongers the government does NOT bail people out when they cannot afford medical care.  Hospitals do NOT have to give treatment to sick people.  They are turned away every day because they cannot pay for chemotherapy.  This new study says 62.1% of bankruptcies in 2007 were medical.  92% of them had medical debts over $5,000.  More alarming:  “Most medical debtors were well educated, owned homes, and had middle class occupations.  Three quarters had health insurance.”

Let those statements sink in…  Middle class suburbanites with good jobs, their own homes AND health insurance.  But they went bankrupt anyway because our system is irretrievably broken.  I wonder how health savings accounts or coops would have saved these people.  I know of no one with the capability to save enough money for a million dollar medical bill.

To illustrate the imminent danger of doing nothing consider this statistic from the study:  from 2001 to 2007 the share of bankruptcies due to medical problems rose by 49.6%  The problem is out of control.  Doing nothing may bankrupt the nation and ruin our economy further.  I’ve been hearing from numerous people that this year alone they were subjected to premium increases of 18-20% for their insurance.  How does continuing with private insurance where 30% of all dollars go to executive salaries, marketing and bureaucrats whose sole jobs are to kill people by denying coverage sensible?  Why are we rewarding these companies by mandating that everyone buy coverage through them?  That’s what eliminating the public option means.  The public option simply provides a separate, alternative choice for people in a market where single corporations control the vast majority of the insurance market.  Why are private insurers afraid of competition?  Because their reputations for denying coverage, reneging on contractual obligations and using their own death panels to kill people have Americans fed up.  It is time for accountability, time people had a real choice.

I’m taking names…

…of state senators starting right now.  Specifically, those state senators in Pennsylvania, who do NOT go on record henceforth supporting an end to this ridiculous budgetary nightmare and fiasco that needs to end right now or else we’re all pretty much boned.  

So, I put a call out to everyone, in the news business and blogs, to see if you can find me the names of those state senators who will not go on record as supporting an immediate end to this budgetary nonsense.  I wanna know who the real bumps on the road are.  

For those who continue to be bumps on the road, if I end up jobless on account of your indifference, then I will use whatever financial or physical resources I have to campaign against each and every one of you, to the fullest extent I can and I don’t care if that means walking all 67 counties, pulling in every media outlet I can to put pressure on you clowns, or whatever other legal means I can employ to make you realize, if you can’t muster the character to do the right thing, then you don’t belong running this state’s affairs or directing its future.  It is that simple!  

What is more, I call on all people to boycott the businesses and groups that have sent or continue to send money to politically finance those state senators or representatives who are standing in the way of progress and our collective future in this state.  Let us examine those campaign finance reports and see who still has the nuts to bankroll these people, who don’t care about whether we can even continue to earn a living to bother to support their sorry behinds, if we’d still want to.  

If they have no problem cutting off needed funding, then I don’t think they’d mind a lack of funds for their needs either, right?  While I’d truly rather not have to resort to ratcheting up the whole situation, I wouldn’t have to, if people who ought to damn well know better, did the right thing already and made this whole thing a moot point.  

So, the members of the Pennsylvania State Senate better start speaking up and getting on record as being in support of an immediate solution to this budget crisis, or I will by default put those who do not into the “named list” of those who would rather put their own penchant for ideology and pettiness ahead of all of Pennsylvania’s future.  For in fact, it doesn’t matter what your political, religious, or cultural trappings and values are, right now, this log jam in the toilet is affecting all of us and will continue to do so, as long as they want it to do so.  

So, this is not so much about the party, as it is very much about the factual impending degradation and calamity that is about to befall most every Pennsylvanian, if we don’t get a budget soon.  However, it must not be a budget simply to shut up the controversy or to save political hides, in the name of solving the crisis.  No, deep cuts to vital programs, right now, when we are in the midst of economic decline is NOT prudent.  Planning for cuts and redistribution of spending priorities for future fiscal years is in order, but to try and do that now, with this year’s budget, has long since passed and you all in Harrisburg need to realize that fact.  The problem is, the way the General Assembly runs, you all are so worried about being reelected every 2 years that it only gives you folks 1 year to really try and get any real work done before it is time to make a good showing to the voters again and keep it nice and milquetoast.  

Oh, and unlike some of you who have no sense of urgency about this problem in the state house and senate, I have a definite sense of urgency about how long I am willing to wait and hear back about those who will and those who do NOT support an immediate and appropriate solution to the budget crisis.  You’ve got 2 weeks, tops!  I figure that’s what most people give as their notice to resign, so it ought to be good enough for you all.  

I’ll be like the political Santa Claus, if I have to and make the list and check it twice and go buy me some low grade anthracite to put in a lot of stockings, and I won’t wait until Xmas eve either.  Here’s hoping that most of you have more brains than the coal slag in the stripping holes around here.

Judicial Candidates Speak For the Voters

I did short interviews today with candidates for the appellate court positions.  Most voters know little about judicial candidates so I want to give you a good sense of who they are, their backgrounds, why they are running and the important issues.  Videos provide a sense of who each person is and, I hope, provide you with reasons to support them and elect them on November 3rd.

The state courts are a co-equal branch of government to the legislature and the Governor.  They are critically important to our lives and it is critically important we elect good, strong, honest people.  I have published previous interviews with Jack Panella and Anne Lazarus so today I focused on Robert Colville, Barbara Behrens Ernsberger and Kevin McCarthy.

Joe Sestak Meets State Committee

Now that Joe Sestak is an officially announced candidate for the U.S. Senate he worked state committee all weekend.  He did not address the entire group however as his opponent was allowed in June.  Bill Kortz, the other declared candidate was also, again, snubbed.  Sestak did work the caucuses and was able to make his spiel in short clips to each group.  This is far different from being able to make a speech to the entire committee.

I caught his appearance at the South West Caucus and missed just his first sentence where he referred to his Navy background.    

Jonathon Saidel for Lt. Governor

Jonathon Saidel took a few moments to speak with me today about his run for Lt. Governor.  He also appeared on Democratic Talk Radio a few weeks ago (when I was up in Maine) and we’ll have him back.  The former Philadelphia City Controller established an impressive record in that office and is now in private legal practice.  

Catherine Baker Knoll’s death left a huge void.  I still miss her black Town Car parked in front at State Committee meetings.  Her loss is still felt at these meetings.  Saidel wants to fill that void and be an active Lt. Governor for Pennsylvanians.  I’ll link to his website soon.


A Legend Is Laid to Rest

Senator Edward Moore Kennedy was laid to rest today following glowing tributes and a eulogy from the President of the United States.  Kennedy changed the world for the good in his 77 years on earth and 47 in the Senate.  He spoke forcefully and eloquently for those with no voice, for the old, the young, the disable, all minorities and for women.  He stood up for those who could not stand, he spoke for those with no voice, he campaigned constantly for progress, for the oppressed, for the downtrodden.

Few people have the capability of changing the world for the better.  Ted Kennedy was one of those who did.  His loss, especially during the effort to obtain his lifelong dream of serious health care reform, is a tragedy.  However we must not look at our loss, we should look at our gain for having him represent all of us for 47 years.  His accomplishments are legendary, his soaring rhetoric inspiring.  Though his voice may be silenced by the ravages of cancer his dream will live on as long as those of us remaining keep that dream alive.

This is the legacy he leaves to all of us:  keep his dream alive.

Democratic State Committee Meeting

Pennsylvania Democrats today nominated Teresa Sarmini for the November ballot for Superior Court.  Due to the retirement of Judge Maureen Lally-Green a fourth spot on the Court is open and voters will elect four Superior Court Judges.  Sarmina won the nomination on the first ballot.

Congressman Joe Sestak was there all day with a large contingent of campaign staff and seemed to make considerable progress towards gaining key support in the final state committee meeting before January’s endorsement vote.

Senator Specter promised the county Chairs free tickets to his upcoming $1000/person event in Philadelphia with President Obama.  TJ Rooney then announced the Senator will pay for every state committee person to attend.  This makes me thing the Senator is having trouble selling tickets if he has to begin tickets away at $1000 apiece.  It’ll remain to be seen if he can buy off committee people for a thousand bucks a pop.  This hits me as trying to buy votes.

I got video interviews with many candidates though I did miss out interviewing Commonwealth Court Judge candidate Linda Judson.  I will have to try to get that done sometime when she’s in my area, if possible.  Instead of doing her interview I had to redo a taping of the new candidate Teresa Sarmina and, consequently, missed Judson.  I’ll be processing these video segments for the log asap.  I also spoke with all the candidates we have yet to interview on Democratic Talk Radio and we’ll be setting them up in the near future.

State Committee also passed a resolution calling on the Congressional delegation to support a new federal law requiring verified paper ballots in all new voting machines.  Kudos go to Marybeth Kuznick for her tireless work on our behalf on this important issue.  There was also a tribute to the late Sen. Kennedy.  The best speaker was Paul McNulty who recalled being a Kennedy delegate in 1980 and loquaciously reminded everyone of “The Dream Must Never Die” speech and said we must insure it never dies.  That mantle is now passed to all of us.

After the bump listen to the entire historic speech.

Here is Marybeth Kuznik’s talk to the Labor Caucus about supporting the verified paper ballot resolution: