Labor: Kane is Anti-Union

UFCW Local 1776 called Kathleen Kane on her opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act today.  John Meyerson of the UFCW and President of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Area Labor Federation released this statement following Kane’s assertion on PCN that ” I am not a supporter of Card Check.”

“For weeks, candidate Kathleen Kane has sought to distance herself from her company’s stridently anti-union practices and rhetoric, but her recent comments show that she is every bit as anti-worker as her company, Kane is Able. On Tuesday evening’s PCN Call-In, Kane echoed her company’s previous statements by voicing adamant opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act.

The Employee Free Choice Act is the best way to ensure workers are free to organize and collectively bargain, without fear of workplace intimidation or threats to their livelihood. EFCA would allow the employees of Kathleen’s company to decide for themselves if they want to join a union. It is no wonder she is opposed to the bill.

What’s worse, Kathleen insists that because she grew up in a union household, she is pro-union. It’s time to set the record straight. You can’t run an anti-union company, fund your campaign entirely with money from anti-union executives, oppose laws vital to working families, and still claim to be pro-union. Excuse the pun, but I’m tired of this anti-union trucking exec getting a free ride. It is time someone called this what it is – a deliberate attempt to deceive voters on one of the most important issues of this election.”

Kane’s most recent statement echoes the previous anti-worker statements made by her company, including those of Harry Drajpuch, Chief Operating Officer of Kane is Able, wrote in the official newsletter of Kane is Able, “The Employee Free Choice Act will make it easier for unions to ‘represent’ you, with all the corruption and associated union dues you’ll be forced to pay.” – [Kane is Able Cable, July 2009, Vol. 1]

In a related matter why is Kathleen Kane signing her emails as “Pennsylvania Attorney General?”  Linda Kelly is the Pennsylvania Attorney General.


Holden Ducks Debate…Again

For the second consecutive election campaign Tim Holden has a challenge from his left and, for the second consecutive time, he’s ducking debates.  In 2010 Sheila Dow Ford was forced to debate an empty chair:

Congressman Holden is, again, using a “busy schedule” as an excuse not to debate.  Now Congress is on a two week Easter recess and he has plenty of time.  His campaign promised to contact his opponent Matt Cartwright’s campaign to set them but but has failed to do so.  Now Cartwright is calling him out.


Prevailing Wage Opponents Fail the Laugh Test

Part One of a Three-part Series on Prevailing Wage by Mark Price and originally published at Third and State.

Prevailing wage laws have long operated nationally and in states as a check against the tendency of the construction industry to degenerate into destructive wage and price competition. Such competition can drive skilled and experienced workers from the industry, reduce productivity and quality, and lead to poverty-level jobs, all without saving construction customers any money.

In an exhaustive review of the research on the impact of prevailing wages on contracting costs, Nooshin Mahalia concluded:

At this point in the evolution of the literature on the effect of prevailing wage regulations on government contract costs, the weight of the evidence is strongly on the side that there is no adverse impact. Almost all of the studies that have found otherwise use hypothetical models that fail to empirically address the question at hand. Moreover, the studies that have incorporated the full benefits of higher wages in public construction suggest that there are, in fact, substantial, calculable, positive benefits of prevailing wage laws.

Although the weight of evidence suggests prevailing wage laws do not raise costs, advocates for repealing the law in Pennsylvania continue to repeat some version of the following:

Prevailing Wage law also harms taxpayers, as it forces them to pay higher labor costs on public construction projects. Construction companies forced to pay union-inflated wages and benefits will pay upward of 30 percent more in labor costs for identical work on private sector projects. This adds a little more than 20 percent to the cost of every taxpayer-funded construction project – resulting in an estimated $1 billion cost for state and local taxpayers each year.

– Matthew J. Brouillette
President & CEO of the Commonwealth Foundation
March 22, 2011 

What is the source of this 20% saving claim? One source is Nathan Benefield, the research director of the Commonwealth Foundation, in this 2009 blog post.  

Benefield compared wages as measured in Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) to the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry’s prevailing wage and concluded that prevailing wage rates are on average 37% higher (in a future post, I will address this issue directly). To estimate how this difference will affect total cost, Benefield assumed that labor represents 45% of total cost.

There are several problems with this analysis. 

Today I will address the first: it fails the laugh test. According to the 2007 Economic Census of Construction, labor costs represent no more than 24% of total construction costs in Pennsylvania. In road and bridge construction, much of which is funded by the state and thus impacted by prevailing wage regulations, labor costs represent no more than 21% of total cost.

If labor were 45% of total costs, and cutting wages and benefits were to have no impact on worker productivity, it would be possible to achieve a 20% reduction in total costs with a 37% reduction in labor costs. 

But only in Commonwealth Foundation World do labor costs account for 45% of construction costs. Tables 1A and 1B below show that if you use actual data on labor’s share of total cost, the wage declines necessary to achieve a 20% reduction in total construction cost are impossibly – laughably – large.  

In all construction, for example, labor costs are 24% of total costs. With labor costs at 24% of project costs, wages must fall by 70% to wring 20% out of total production cost, from $36.30 to $10.89 per hour for a carpenter in Philadelphia – that’s below even what Benefield claims Philadelphia carpenters make when not on a prevailing wage projects (see Table 1A).

With labor costs equal to 21% of project costs, as on road and bridge construction, wages would have to fall 80% to lower total costs by 20% (see Table 1B). Cement masons in Dauphin County employed on a road project would see their wages fall from $34.76 per hour to $6.95 per hour (the minimum hourly wage is currently $7.25).

Table 1. Changes in total cost as a function of the share of labor cost
A: Benefield’s calculation assuming labor represents 30% of total construction cost in PA
  With P.W. Without P.W. % Change
Labor Cost $240,000 $72,000 -70.00%
Non-Labor Cost $760,000 $760,000  
Total Cost $1,000,000 $832,000 -20.19%
B: Benefield’s calculation assuming labor represents 21% of total cost in road & bridge construction
  With P.W. Without P.W. % Change
Labor Cost $210,000 $42,000 -80.00%
Non-Labor Cost $790,000 $790,000  
Total Cost $1,000,000 $832,000 -20.19%
Note. The calculation of percent change is sensitive to the point of reference. The percent change in labor cost is calculated relative to the labor cost with a prevailing wage. The percent change in total cost is calculated in reference to total cost without a prevailing wage. To switch the point of reference is unconventional but necessary to remain consistent with the manner in which Benefield made his calculations. Calculating the percent change in total cost in the cases above where total cost with a prevailing wage is the point of reference results in a 17% decline in total costs.

Recall that Benefield’s laughable savings projections are the basis for the claim that the state can save $1 billion per year. Don’t count on it. 

On Tuesday: Prevailing Wage Oponents Fail Labor Market Stats 101

PA-15 Democratic Congressional Debate

Democratic Congressional candidates Rick Daugherty and Jackson Eaton debated last evening at Lebanon Valley College.  They are challenging incumbent Republican Charles Dent in the newly reconfigured District.  The 15th traditionally covered the Lehigh Valley and included two precincts in Berks County the last decade.  Now it reaches into Lebanon County which was in the 17th (Holden).  The CD was designed to be more Republican in order to protect Dent.

Rick Daugherty is a social worker for the Lehigh County Department of Aging and Chair of the Lehigh County Democratic Party (he has stepped down to run in this primary).  Eaton is an attorney who recently switched from being a Republican.  Neither candidate strike sme as a progressive after listening to last evening debate but I plan on interviewing each of them shortly and we’ll dig further into the issues.

One statement by Daugherty struck me when he said that 40% of federal spending is borrowed money.  That would mean that out of a trillion dollar budget we’d borrow $400 billion.  That isn’t true.  I don’t know if he misspoke or what.

Fracking Has A Friend in Pennsylvania: Tim Holden

Howie Klein’s Blue America PAC (he’s the treasurer there) is targeting Congressman Tim Holden for his votes supporting fracking.  Klein, originally from Monroe County, follows Pennsylvania politics closely and Blue America has targeted Tim Holden’s conservative, anti-progressive votes this year because of a major challenger.  Matt Cartwright, a Scranton W-B attorney, is mounting a serious race against Holden and basing some of it on Holden’s support for the Bush-Cheney Energy Task Force which gave legal protection to energy companies drilling for natural gas in Pennsylvania.

Billboards paid for by Blue America went up in northeastern PA, Holden’s new District:

Holden, in his personally acerbic manner, issued a press release calling Blue America a Super PAC.  It isn’t.  Holden’s quote:  “I’m being attacked “from the left by a Hollywood record company executive with Blue America PAC.”

Blue America has been around much longer than Citizens United allowed Super PACs and is a progressive, grassroots, netroots oriented effort.  Klein is the former president of Reprise Records.  The 19 year incumbent Congressman can’t seem to keep his facts straight but that’s nothing new.  He explained his vote against Obamacare by citing non existent cuts to Medicare.

Klein responded on his blog Down With Tyranny!

I retired from my job at Warner Bros almost a decade ago and work full time running by blog, DownWithTyranny, exposing corrupt politicians on both sides of the aisle, like Holden. But, for Holden’s sake, I’ll give a brief run-down of my experience as “a Hollywood record company executive.” I started a small, independent label called 415 in San Francisco in 1978, on of the country’s first “alternative rock” labels.

Howie cites many Pennsylvania bands and musicians he helped over the years, the many contributions of music to American culture, and how some of his friends moved tot he Poconos because they followed his love for the region.

Tim Holden has really stepped in it this time.  Howie has the ability to reach out to countless rock musicians who can contribute to Blue America and educate the new constituents there as to Holden’s real record.  That’s what Tim is really afraid of:  voters finding out he isn’t a real Democrat.

David Bullock on Voter ID, Organizing for 2012

I sat down with Rev. David Bullock, President of the Detroit Chapter of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, yesterday in Philadelphia.  He was there to speak to the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO and he electrified the audience.  Here is our interview:

Bullock spoke at length about the voter suppression efforts in  many states attributed to GOP legislation on Voter ID.  Republicans are going to great lengths to disenfranchise Democratic voters in advance of the 2012 election.  The explanation that they are preventing voter impersonation at the polls is nonsensical because it is very rare.

County election services offices in Pennsylvania are very successful at weeding out those people who, for various reasons, many of them comical, register to vote as Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse or whatever.  Every voter registration form filled out, by law, is required to be submitted to a County Elections Services Department.  There the information is vetted by employees who match either Social Security or drivers license numbers with state databases to certify a person’s identity.  At polling places voters are required to sign books next to the signature on file so precinct workers can ascertain the veracity of their identity.

Imagine trying to impersonate another voter and getting to the point of actually entering the voting precinct.  There you must then accurately duplicate the signature on record to the satisfaction of the poll workers.  This is difficult and why it is so rare for anyone to fraudulently impersonate another voter.  It is so rare Pennsylvania Secretary of State Carol Aichele testified that she could not cite a single case of it in Pennsylvania.

Meanwhile Gov. Tom Corbett told the press recently, in attempting to explain the necessity for the Voter ID law he signed, that some precincts in the state had reported 112% voter turnout.  State records show NO such instance EVER happening.  Republicans in Harrisburg are willing to lie to support their voter suppression tactics.

We know this because they’ve engaged in it before.  In the run up to his election for Governor Corbett was infamously quoted as urging his fellow Republicans to suppress voter turnout in large urban areas, traditionally Democratic.  The fact he appointed Aichele as his Secretary of State, in charge of all voting in the Commonwealth, is indicative of his intentions because of her previous experience disenfranchising voters.

Carol Aichele was Chair of the Chester County Commissioners who were sued (Englich et al v. Chester County) when they moved a polling place intentionally in order to discourage turnout from minority students enrolled at traditionally Black Lincoln University.  After moving that precinct far from campus Black students were forced to wait up to seven hours in a pouring rain to vote in 2008.  Following the election Aichele and her cohorts were successfully sued by the ACLU.  The result was the moving of the polling place even further from campus.

For this she was promoted to the post of Sec. Of State by Tom Corbett.  Even then she was unable to cite a single example of successful voter impersonation before a legislative panel discussing the Voter ID legislation.  It passed a Republican controlled House and Senate in spite of the facts.

A case involving defunct activist group ACORN is often cited by conservatives as proof of the necessity of this law.  That argument is false because of the facts.  As I noted earlier, state law requires that every voter registration application collected must be submitted.  This is to prevent partisan activists from simply discarding the forms of those they registered for a Party different from theirs.  It’s a good rule.

ACORN hired people all across Pennsylvania cities in 2008 to register minority voters.  For this James O’Keefe and Andrew Breitbart destroyed them through doctored videos.  When ACORN officials went through the forms submitted to them they found suspiciously fraudulent applications and submitted them, as required by law, but with the caveats that they thought they were suspicious.  Some of those people who submitted those forms to ACORN were prosecuted for those actions.

ACORN did nothing wrong and the system worked exactly as it was designed to work and the fraudulent voter registration applications were discovered and no one ever gained access to the polls as a result.  In other words, the old system works very effectively.  This means no new legislation was needed.

So why was Voter ID passed?  Its intention is to disenfranchise traditionally Democratic voting blocks:  the elderly, poor, urban residents, the disabled and students.  700,000 Pennsylvanians do not have a government issued ID.  Many groups, such as the Amish, culturally don’t believe in them.  Urban residents who do not own vehicles have no need of them.  Many citizens have a suspicion about being required to have and produce on demand government papers.  These requirements harken back to dark days of fascist and Communist governments.

David Bullock spoke about the danger such disenfranchisement could cause.  When potentially, millions of voters could be forced from exercising their legal franchise this fall violence could erupt.  People take their rights very seriously.  Republicans are trying to steal an election as they suspiciously attempted to do in the past.  In 2004 the exit polls statewide showed more support for John Kerry, for example, than results tabulated by electronic voting machines and other measures reported.  The DRE voting machines have been proven to be hacked easily and vote totals altered.  Allegations of such successful operations in Ohio probably swung the 2004 race for George W. Bush.

Critz Cries Foul on Altmire Ad

Mark Critz, engaged in a rabid primary race against fellow Democratic Congressman Jason Altmire in the revamped 12th CD, called his opponent out today in a press conference call.  Altmire aired an ad criticizing Critz for voting “present” on the Ryan budget last year.  The plan, up again now, destroyed Medicare as we know it, privatizing the successful government health plan for seniors.  The Democratic strategy on that vote was to have everyone vote present to force Republicans into going on the record for or against Medicare.  Altmire was one of only 16 Democrats who stranded from Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s efforts and voted No instead.  Congressman Bob Brady and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky spoke supporting Critz’s explanation of his vote.  Here’s the Altmire ad:

The Critz campaign issued this statement earlier today:

At the time of the April 2011 vote, Politico reported that “Democrats asked all their members to vote ‘present’ on the conservative Republican Study Committee’s budget – an attempt to force it through the House – but failed. And illustrating the unease with which some still view Democratic leadership’s plans, more conservative lawmakers in the minority – like Pennsylvania Rep. Jason Altmire, Georgia’s John Barrow and Oklahoma’s Dan Boren – bucked Pelosi and Hoyer.”

The Democrats planned to allow the ultra-conservative Republican Study Committee’s budget to go through in an attempt to sideline the less absurd (yet still draconian) Ryan Budget, which was more likely to pass. The thinking was that the Senate would never pass the fringe Republican Study Committee’s budget, but might pass Ryan’s, so the Democrats voted “present” to force the Republican Study Committee’s budget through the House in order to gain a tactical advantage and preserve Medicare as we know it.

The ultimate irony of Altmire’s ad is that by not playing along with Democratic leadership, Altmire actually worked to advance the Ryan Budget!

To claim that Democrats in the 12th District should vote against Critz for his procedural vote on the budget obscures the fact that Altmire was actually helping the Republicans pass the Ryan Budget by not voting with Critz and the rest of the Democratic Party.

At the time of the vote, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer said he was “disappointed” in Altmire and the small handful of others who did not vote present, saying “I was disappointed that they did not follow what I think was a strategy to highlight the position of the Republican Party.”

“I am very disappointed that Jason Altmire would distort my record on this,” said Mark Critz in a statement. “I stood with my Democratic colleagues on this vote as a way to kill Congressman Ryan’s budget that ended Medicare.”

The most remarkable part of this story, aside from the extreme distortion itself, is that the ad is narrated entirely by Congressman Altmire. I say that this is remarkable because Altmire knows the exact circumstances of the procedural vote, and surely remembers the tactical nature of the Democratic leadership’s decision. Rarely are attack ads with such flagrant falsities narrated by the candidate themselves-these types of wild assertions are usually done by a deep, scary voice from an outside organization.

Nowhere to Go, More Addicts on the Street and a Ringing Irony

Based on blog posts by Chris Lilienthal originally published here and here at Third and State.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports this morning on the impact of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett’s proposed budget cuts on the lives of people in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Who is getting hit? Adults with disabilities, the homeless, people with mental-health illnesses, HIV patients needing hospice care, children aging out of foster care, and seniors, among others.

Miriam Hill, The Philadelphia InquirerPeople who will be affected by Corbett’s cuts:

Brittany Stevens doesn’t talk a lot, but she’s a bit of a social butterfly. She was a prom queen and, after a recent performance of the musical Fela!, she spontaneously hugged the dancers, nearly tackling them in excitement.

But Brittany, 21, who is disabled and suffers from seizures, incontinence, hearing loss, and other problems, spends most of her days alone in her North Philadelphia home, while her mother, Harlena Morton, goes to work as a high-school counselor.

Morton had hoped to find Brittany a job in a workshop that employs disabled adults. Now that Gov. Corbett has proposed large cuts to social services programs, Morton fears that Brittany and thousands like her will never get off waiting lists for those spots and for other services…

In Philadelphia, the cuts total about $120 million, not including reductions in medical care, city officials say; across Pennsylvania, $317 million, according to state officials.

The Governor’s 2012-13 budget proposes to completely eliminate the General Assistance Program, which provides a time-limited, modest $205 per month benefit to people who are sick or disabled, completing addiction recovery programs or children who would otherwise be in foster care. Again, from the Inquirer:

Michael Froehlich, a lawyer for Community Legal Services, who opposes eliminating general assistance, says the programs are a lifeline for many people, including about 800 children being taken care of by people who are not family members. Many of the caretakers are “Good Samaritans,” and without them, the children likely would be in foster care, which is significantly more expensive, Froehlich said.

“General assistance is an efficient, relatively speaking, way to take care of Pennsylvania’s most vulnerable citizens,” he said.

Philadelphia City Paper delves even deeper into the likely fallout from eliminating General Assistance. The long and short of it is that fewer people living on the edge will get the help they need to get back on their feet. And that could produce some public safety concerns.

For an estimated 1,000 to 4,500 recovering addicts in the city on any given day, the only option for getting clean in Philadelphia is checking into one of more than 300 informal recovery houses scattered across Kensington, Frankford and North Philly. It’s a fragile network, administered mostly by former addicts and funded largely through residents’ welfare dollars, in particular the nine-month, one-time General Assistance (GA) payments offered by the Commonwealth.

In Gov. Tom Corbett’s proposed budget for the coming fiscal year, GA is eliminated altogether. Advocates say the impact could be devastating, affecting 34,843 Philadelphians who receive GA money (including people with disabilities and survivors of domestic violence) and pushing thousands of addicts out onto the street.

“If you cut all this, the bottom line is that the streets are going to overflow with people,” says Anthony Grasso, co-owner of the Next Step recovery house in Frankford. “Do you know how many people are going to commit more crimes to get what they need?”

Finally, as Supreme Court arguments on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act wrapped up Wednesday, I found this editorial from the Harrisburg Patriot-News particularly interesting.

The ringing irony about this week’s U.S. Supreme Court challenge to the Affordable Care Act is that the law’s core principles were all, originally, conservative. And when they were first promoted, almost no one said they were unconstitutional. …

As late as 2007, Democrats and Republicans introduced a bipartisan bill that included an individual mandate – still seen as an essentially conservative idea. [Former U.S. House Speaker Newt] Gingrich in 2007 argued that “citizens should not be able to cheat their neighbors by not buying insurance, particularly when they can afford it, and expect others to pay for their care when they need it.” 

In other words, the individual mandate is not creeping socialism. It is the opposite. It is about requiring citizens to take individual responsibility in the arena of health care, where the inaction of some costs taxpayers billions of dollars each year.

Food for thought as you listen to commentators, activists and politicians rail against a law that ends coverage bans for pre-existing conditions and other insurer abuses, provides better preventatives care to everyone, ensures children can see a doctor when they get sick, and gives families the tools they need to take responsibility for their health coverage.

The Late Great Commonwealth: Catching Up to the Republican Primary

by Walter  Brasch

It’s the beginning of April, and that means I just finished celebrating New Year’s Eve, and will soon begin shopping for Valentine’s gifts. In a month or two, I may even get around to toasting St. Patrick.

It’s not procrastination, it’s just that I’m a Pennsylvanian, and the state encourages me to be behind the times. At one time, Pennsylvania was first in just about everything–and then Ben Franklin died. Since then, we’ve been first in ridiculous license plate slogans.

When other states, including those settled by Puritans, got rid of their “blue laws,” Pennsylvania still bans the sale of cars on Sundays. By archaic practices, it still allows municipal governments and school districts to raise taxes and create more buildings without giving the people the right of a vote, common in most states. It is also the only state that still taxes people for income, property, and their occupation. Forty-nine other states have ruled pigeon shoots to be animal cruelty; we proudly proclaim our state as the last bastion of the right to “bear arms and blast birds.” And, we don’t allow Independents to vote in our primaries.

Iowa, with anomalies known as a straw poll and a caucus, is the first major battleground in presidential races, having usurped New Hampshire, which thought having the official primary was a birthright dating to when granite first showed up in the state. Nevertheless, whether Iowa or New Hampshire, Americans understand that the people need something to break them out of their Winter funk when snow covers what will eventually become cornfields in Iowa and the ski lifts of New Hampshire will no longer be inoperable because of blizzards.

With nothing else to do in January, the media schussed into the Hawkeye State-just as soon as they could find enough chauffeurs to drive them to wherever Iowa is. With megawatt lights and dimly-lit minds, they infiltrated the state so that the voters not only had their own individualized politicians, they also had their own puppy-dog reporters prancing brightly behind them to the coffee shop, factory, and bathroom.

Surrounded by the media who smugly said they were only telling the public what they needed to know to defend and preserve democracy-and millions in advertising revenue-the candidates played to the press, attacking each other rather than attacking the issues. In neatly-packaged seven-second sound bites, politicians and the media sliced, diced, and crunched the campaign to fit onto a 21-inch screen.

Because of an inner need to believe they matter, the media predict who will win the nomination, changing their predictions as quickly as a fashionista changes shoes. For what seemed to be decades, the ink-stained bandwagon has pulled voters and campaign dollars, and left Pennsylvania voters waiting at the altar for candidates who don’t care anymore, abandoned by the media who have found other “stories of the month.”

For all practical purposes, the Pennsylvania primaries, with large slates of uncontested local and state races, is about as useless as a Department of Ethnic Studies at Bob Jones University. By the time the 2000 primary rolled into Pennsylvania, Al Gore and George W. Bush each had 65 percent of the delegate vote needed for their parties’ nomination. In 2004, Bush and John Kerry had already locked up the nominations. In 2008, Pennsylvania became a pivotal state for the Democrats for the first time since 1976, with Hillary Clinton defeating Barack Obama before losing the nomination by June. For the Republicans, it was “business as usual,” with John McCain having already sewn up the nomination.

A Republican needs 1,144 delegate votes to get the nomination. Mitt Romney, America’s best runner-up, has 568; two-term senator Rick Santorum, recovering from a blistering loss to a moderate Democrat in Pennsylvania’s 2006 Senate campaign, has 273; Ron Paul, who may or may not be a Republican, has 50. Newt Gingrich has 135 delegates; however, this week he announced he downsized his staff and campaign, and is layin’ low-except, of course, for the times he can get free TV time to lambaste Romney and Santorum who are engaged in a vicious personal battle that has bubbled out of the TV ad cauldron.

The April 3 primaries will add a maximum of 98 delegates. And that brings Super Northeast Tuesday, April 24. The Republican leftovers and their never-ending TV ads will blitz Pennsylvania, which might even become relevant.

Even if Connecticut, Delaware, New York, Rhode Island-and Pennsylvania with 72 of the 231 delegate votes-go for Romney, it won’t be enough to get him the nomination. However, it will be enough to cause major financial backers to pull their support for Santorum and what’s left of the Gingrich campaign, leaving Romney to flip-flop into the Republican nomination convention, Aug. 27, in Tampa, Fla.-which seems to be the Republicans’ destiny.

[Dr. Brasch has covered political campaigns for more than three decades. His latest book is the critically-acclaimed fast-paced mystery Before the First Snow, available at and his publisher, Greeley & Stone.]Within the next week, another nine states voted.


Walter M. Brasch, Ph.D.

Latest Book: Before the First Snow: Stories from the Revolution



Kane Lies Abouts Attacks on Murphy Military Record

Kathleen Kane went on PCN last evening and spoke about the importance of upholding the public trust.  She then violated it to voters by lying to them.  When asked about a campaign staffer questioning Patrick Murphy’s military record she said her campaign had NEVER done so.  She also said she didn’t know where that report originated.  It originated here after a disturbing conversation I had with her Communications Manager Joshua Morrow.

Mr. Morrow called me on March 5 and I called him back.  I recall this clearly, I was parked outside a Wawa in North East, MD at the time.  He threatened me about a press release I had posted about Kane from the Murphy campaign, saying I had to delete it because it wasn’t true.  (I checked and it was entirely accurate.)  I then warned him about the dangerous ground they (the Kane campaign) were treading questioning Patrick’s service record.  I said they were alienating veterans and the blowback was hurting them, especially when Murphy explained he’d prosecuted terrorists.

The Kane campaign not only questioned his military service but his fitness to pass the bar.  Morrow told me the Minnesota test their opponent took to qualify for the bar was easier than Pennsylvania’s and said Murphy took it for that reason.  Morrow then attacked Murphy’s claim to have prosecuted terrorists.  He said, then repeated several times, that since he served for four years he wouldn’t have been assigned such important cases.  Josh went on to claim that Murphy was in the Airborne for two years before joining the JAG Corps and therefore, with only two years experience in JAG, wouldn’t have prosecuted terrorists.

The Murphy campaign then sent me the commendation for his service detailing those cases.

I wrote this article because the Kane campaign lied to me.  They told me the claim by Murphy that she had filed campaign contributions listing herself as an executive with Kane Is Able, their anti-union trucking company, was inaccurate.  I researched the FEC files and found ten contributions where Kathleen Kane listed herself as such.

The Kane campaign lies.  They cannot be trusted and the last thing we need is a liar as Attorney General.  I demand a full public apology from Ms. Kane for lying about me.