News & Notes January 24, 2012

I live in the 126th House District where Dante Santoni Jr. recently announced he won’t run for re-election.  I’ve been involved in discussions with some folks considering runs but no one is yet ready to announce.  As soon as I do have news I will Tweet it.

Today begins the official period for gathering signatures on nominating petitions.  It is the first opportunity for candidates to canvass and listen to voters and their concerns.

I watched the long Supreme Court session yesterday where appeals of reapportionment were heard.  Spending five hours listening to lawyers should be grounds for cruel and unusual punishment.

President Obama makes his State of the Union address tonight at 9 PM.  It is the unofficial kickoff of his campaign.  Parkside, PA teacher Sara Ferguson will be in the First Lady’s box this evening.

The President spoke with Sue and Jay Paterno yesterday offering his condolences on the loss of Joseph Vincent Paterno Sunday.  Writing the article about Joe was one of the most difficult I’ve ever done.  This man touched everyone who ever attended Penn State, whether we met him or not.  Because he insisted the university be as great as its football team we all benefited from his high standards.  There will be a memorial service at the Bryce Jordan Center Thursday.

The Republican presidential field is down to Romney and Gingrich (for all practical purposes).  Either one will be dead meat coming out of their convention.  They have so much baggage they’ll need additional planes to carry it around the campaign trail.  Both believe corporations have more rights than real people.  They have supported the erosion of our rights while expanding those of business entities.  Think Progress released this video of Mitt yesterday:

Bill Bispels of Kutztown announced his candidacy for the 187th House District.  There is at least one other Democrat circulating petitions for this seat.

Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer has tripped badly coming out of the gate.  He released a policy over the weekend insisting that all city employees refrain from speaking to the press.  He is saying that all press contacts go through his Communications Director.  One problem is that City Council hasn’t authorized such a position and, after this, likely won’t.  It is still possible for city employees to communicate with me via personal cell phones, iPads or computers (their own) while at lunch or after regular hours.

I just listened to Rep. Thomas Caltagirone (D-Allentown Diocese) lament the fate of children suffering at the hands of adults.  It’s a shame he doesn’t feel the same way about children abused by Catholic priests.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona announced her resignation from Congress so she can focus on her rehabilitation.  This is a wise decision as she needs to concentrate on her own recovery and her constituents deserve full time representation.

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