Trivedi Announces Third Run For PA-06

Manan Trivedi, the last two times the Democratic nominee for Congress in Pennsylvania’s Sixth District, announced this morning he will seek the seat for the third time.  Normally candidates for major office only get two tries at the apple before voters tag them as perennial losers.  Manan will attempt to negate that stereotype.  Since no other actual Democrat is running he has a great shot of winning the primary against an elephant in a donkey suit.

His statement this morning:

Manan Trivedi Launches Bid for Open Pennsylvania 6th  Congressional District

Committed to Pennsylvania’s Working Families – Building a Stronger Middle-Class

BIRDSBORO Pa – Launching a new campaign for the now open 6th congressional seat in Pennsylvania, Manan Trivedi spoke of his commitment and career to public service. As an a Iraq War veteran, primary care physician and father, Trivedi presented an agenda designed to create economic opportunity in Pennsylvania.

“This election is an opportunity for the people of the 6th District to say no to political gridlock, and yes to ideas that strengthen and grow the middle-class. As a father, doctor in the community and Iraq War veteran, I’m tired of politicians who help themselves instead of the people they’re paid to represent. As Congressman, I’ll only answer to Pennsylvanians, not political insiders — and work with local businesses to create jobs; provide strong support for public education so we prepare students to compete in a global economy; make sure we keep our commitment to our veterans and protect Medicare and Social Security for senior citizens.”

In addition to launching his new campaign, Trivedi also rolled out a list of supporters from across the region:

Wendell Young IV, President UFCW Local 1776 – “I was very pleased to hear that Dr. Manan Trivedi has decided to run for Congress representing the 6th Congressional District. Manan, a Primary Care doctor and Iraq War Veteran understands what it takes to put our nation on a path that provides jobs and other opportunities to our members and their children. Over the last eight years, Manan has been there for the people of the Sixth Congressional District and our members have returned that dedication by overwhelmingly supporting him in his last two campaigns.”

Kate Michelman, President Emerita, NARAL Pro-Choice America – “Today in Congress, women’s health and economic security are at risk because of those whose anti-choice ideology threaten a woman’s wellbeing. I know and support Manan because he is committed to defending and protecting the right of every woman to reproductive freedom and choice.  He understands that by ensuring the rights and health of women, you strengthen families and enable better control of their economic security.”

State Senator Andy Dinniman – “I’m supporting Manan Trivedi for Congress. His work ethic and experience in healthcare and the military will serve as strong assets for the people of the 6th District.”

Jake Long, Chairman of the Committee for Political Education and

Dennis Bomberger, Business Agent, BCTGM (Chocolate Workers Local 464) – “Manan grew up the son of two factory workers so he has a deep understanding and connection to the everyday lives of the working women and men of the BCTGM. We know we can always count on Manan to stand-up for our workers and their families. He will be an unwavering ally to them in Congress.”

State Representative Mark Painter – “I’ve known Manan Trivedi for years, and I’ve seen that he not only speaks the truth, but sticks to his beliefs and is willing to fight for what’s right. He has already served his country with honor, and is ready to serve us again in Washington. I am looking forward to working with him when he becomes our Congressman.”

Kathi Cozzone, Chester County Commissioner – “Chester County would benefit greatly from having Manan Trivedi in Congress. I have a great deal of respect for Manan and his service in the Navy, as a doctor in our community and as a wonderful father and husband. His well-rounded experience will suit him well as a public servant.”

John Hellman, Chester County Central Labor Council Delegate, IBEW Local 654 – “Our Pennsylvania working families work hard each and every day to make our commonwealth economically fair and strong. They deserve to have a congressman who will put forth the same amount of effort and in Manan Trivedi, we can be reassured they will.”

Monica Kline, PA Democratic State Committee, Lebanon County – “When Lebanon County was included in the new 6th district, I quickly got to know Manan Trivedi. His character and experience immediately stood out as a qualities that everyone from Lebanon County can respect: Hard work, Iraq War veteran, physician and caring for his young family. Just as I endorse Manan I encourage others to get behind him so that we can all work together to make a positive change in our county.”

Mayor Michael J. Speck, Phoenixville – “My endorsement for Congress is going to Manan Trivedi because I know he will be a strong partner for our borough. Manan understands how to bring people together to get things done and that’s precisely what Phoenixville needs to move forward.”

Cornell Wilson, Vice Chair, City of Lebanon Democrats and Lebanon City School Board Member – “I’m endorsing Manan Trivedi to be our next congressman because his unselfish service to our community and country is exactly what we need more of from our public officials.”

Stephanie Markstein, Chairperson of the West Chester Borough Democratic Committee – “West Chester needs Manan Trivedi in Congress. I fully support him because I know he will stand up for the entire community and will work to create an even stronger place to raise our families.”

Micah Mahjoubian, LGBT Rights Activist – “I support for Manan Trivedi because he believes in basic fairness and opportunity for all Americans.  He is outraged that in much of our country it is perfectly legal to fire someone or deny them housing just because they’re gay.  We need Manan in Washington to finally pass anti-discrimination legislation that protects members of the LGBT community.”

Frank Burstein, Chairman of the Limerick Township Democratic Committee – “Manan Trivedi represents what is best about Pennsylvania and our Democratic Party values. Our working families will be well served in Congress having Manan there advocating on behalf of their best interests and it’s why I am placing my support behind him.”

Manan Trivedi also received support from the following:

Dr. Harlan Kutscher, Berks County Democrats, Committeeman, Exeter

Chris Tarsa, Lebanon County Democrats, Chairman

Lani Frank, Democratic State Committeewoman, Chester County

Brad Kirsch, Chairman of the Pennsylvania State Democratic Committee Senior Caucus

Diane O’Dwyer,  Chester County Democrats, Leader Zone 25

Dave McLimans, Chester County Democrats, Leader Zone 4, Chester County Labor Council President

Stephanie Beemer McLimans, Chester County Democrats, Assistant Leader Zone 4, PA Democratic State Committeewoman

Bret Binder, Chester County Committeeman, West Chester

Bob Roggio, former Candidate PA-6

Bill Tricoski, Berks County Committeeman, Bechtelsville

Cindy Tricoski, Berks County Committeewoman, Bechtelsville

Mark Banfield, West Pikeland, Chester County Democratic Committeeperson

Diane Welsh,  Chester County Democrats, Assistant Leader Zone 25

Adam Swope –  Chester County Democrats, Leader Zone 11

Bernice Hines Corbit- Berks County Democratic Committeewoman, Exeter

Sue Shaak, Berks County Democratic Committeewoman, St. Lawrence

Laura Henkle-Sauer, Berks County Democratic Committeewoman, St. Lawrence


Gerlach Anounces Retirement From Congress

Congressman Jim Gerlach announced he will not seek re-election to Congress this year.  The former State Senator and Congressman cited time away from his family, the grind of running every two years and Washington gridlock (for which he is largely responsible) for his decision.  The open seat is garnering national attention as a possible pick-up for Democrats.

I expect State Sen. Rafferty to make  amove on the GOP side.  Rumors also are speculating about Sam Rohrer, Curt Schroder and others.  On the Democratic side I’ve seen names such as Sen. Judy Schwank and Doug Pike.  I spoke briefly with Schwank about the seat two months ago on behalf of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee which approached her about running.  At that time she declined to run.

Pike ran in the Democratic primary four years ago and is a fixture at Democratic Party functions.  He padded his resume back then claiming health care management experience he really didn’t have and lost a close race to Manan Trivedi.  I’m not sure he’s currently living in the 6th District as borders changed with redistricting.  One possible entrant I would get excited about is State Rep. Mark Rozzi of Berks County.

Toeing The Cliff

The House will adjourn tonight with no vote on the fiscal cliff crisis.  The President said this afternoon that an agreement is near.  Word is Democrats have compromised on tax cuts by agreeing not to raise taxes for anyone earning $450,000/year or less.  This cuts potential revenues by 40% making it harder to balance the budget.

No House votes means the country will go over the fiscal cliff at midnight.  Because January 1st is a federal holiday nothing will happen tomorrow either.

Keystone Progress had a bit of fun this morning holding its “Fiscal Cliff Bowl” on a field in the 16th Congressional District in Reading.  Mike Morrill did the announcing while Dan Sauder played the part of Jim Gerlach who rigged the game for the millionaires.

Remember Government By Extortion?

America was on the verge of default.  The safest investment in the world:  United States Treasury Bonds, were about to fail because the Tea Party led Republican House of Representatives decided to play government by extortion.  The resulting crisis over raising the debt ceiling (which will play out again in January depending on the outcome of the election) resulted in a loss of consumer confidence which hurt the economy and the downgrading of the country’s credit rating.

This wasn’t the first instance of House extremists using extortion to hurt the economy.  Repeatedly since 2010 they held a gun to the President’s head (figuratively) and demanded deep cuts in government spending which wound up slowing down the recovery.  While 5.2 million private sector jobs have been created public sector employment has plummeted.

Guess who participated fully in that extortion?  Pennsylvania’s GOP Congressional delegation:

Jim Gerlach

Joe Pitts

Mike Fitzpatrick

Pat Meehan

Charlie Dent

Lou Barletta

Tom Marino

Tim Murphy

Mike Kelly

Todd Platts

Part of that agreement was the sequestration crisis scheduled to hit the economy early in 2012.  It would slash government spending, including defense, by large amounts.  Most agencies will see a 20% across the board cut meaning essential services will be lost.  Do you enjoy safe food, research into cancer and other life threatening diseases, breathable air, safe ground, pharmaceuticals which are safe to take etc?  Forget it.  These Tea bagger conservatives have put all of it at risk along with the safety net for the poor.  Their failed economic policies crashed the economy and drove many middle class Americans into poverty.  Now they want to take away your food stamps, housing assistance, heating assistance and Medicaid.

Are you really going to vote them back in? Protests Ryan organized a protest outside the Paul Ryan event in West Chester this afternoon.  Quite a few women showed up protesting Congressman Todd Akin, a close ally of Ryan, and New Jersey Senator Frank Lautenberg told the crowd he disagrees with “Lyin’ Ryan.”  Congressional candidates Manan Trivedi and George Badey also appeared.  A plane paid for by Move.On flew overhead:

This sign sums up the Ryan Plan for Medicare:

Sen. Lautenberg:

A number of Republicans engaged the speakers rather rudely.  You can hear them in the video.  A tracker for Congressman Meehan asked Badey about ObamaCare.  The video:

Who Is Paul Ryan?

Who is Congressman Paul Ryan whom Mitt Romney has selected to be his Vice Presidential running mate?  A lot is on the line this year as it is in every presidential election and voters need to know who Ryan is, what he believes, and what he would do if he became President.

He is the architect of the Republican budget plan which bears his name, the Ryan Budget.  How someone determines how revenues are raised and how they are expended tells us their beliefs and priorities.  Paul Ryan would slash tax rates for the wealthiest Americans while cutting vital services for everyone else.  That’s it in a nutshell.  We’ll delve into that deeper as we proceed.  He is a Tea Party leader and represents the high water mark for the Tea Party thus far.  Electing their own to Congress paralyzed Congress for two years.  Tea Party Senators are on the very fringes of the ideological spectrum, far out to the right.  Ryan as Vice President would put them a heartbeat away from the Oval Office.  Thus the consequences of his possible election are major and Americans, and Pennsylvanians who might swing this election, need to be introduced to the man.

A Congressman from Wisconsin he is a favorite of former VP Dick Cheney.  If that doesn’t scare you this will:  his hero is radical novelist Ayn Rand.

You cannot be an acolyte of Rand and be a Christian.

 He believes rights come from god instead of those actual men who fought and died for them.  History does matter and the men who forced the King of England to sign the Magna Carta establishing rights of man weren’t god.  They were men just like our Founding Fathers who put their lives, fortunes and liberty at risk signing first The Declaration of Independence and then the Constitution.  Rights were hard fought and hard won by MEN and stealing those accomplishments from them and rewarding them to some fictional being in the sky tells us much about Mr. Ryan.  He dwells in a land of fantasy.

In twelve years as a Congressman he has passed two bills.  More of a legislator than a lawmaker he is the conservative point person on budgetary issues.  One of his bills was to rename a post office.  He thinks trickle down economics works in spite of all evidence to the contrary.  More fantasy.  The only thing Reaganomics trickled down was misery.  He espouses the same hands off regulatory and economic policies which caused the Great Recession and would return us to those failings.  He would cut taxes for the richest people and raise them on most of the rest of us.  Meanwhile he’d kill Medicare, gut Social Security and Medicaid along with veterans benefits, Pell Grants, food stamps and programs comprising our social safety net.  He would end the New Deal.

Imagine an America with no security for the old, the young, the disabled, orphans, veterans, the hungry, the disadvantaged?  An America where the rich continue getting richer while the middle class disappears into the dregs of poverty.  We don’t need to imagine this because it is what has happened since the advent of the Reagan Revolution in 1981.  This is the goal of that Revolution and if we continue down that road it will lead to a violent revolution of the 99% against the rich.  Elections do have consequences.

He isn’t just anti-choice he supports a personhood amendment which would give full legal rights to a fertilized egg.  Any woman having a miscarriage could be arrested for murder.  That egg would have more rights than me under Ryan because he opposes equal rights for LGBT citizens.  

Ignoring the devastating effects of climate change because of myths perpetrated and financed by fossil fuel corporations and they’re paid for politicians has obstructed any progress on the issue.  Paul Ryan would burn up our planet for private profit until our very species became extinct.  What good will all that money be then?

We also know his ethics are bad.  He used his inside knowledge as a Member of Congress to profit personally.  He dumped bank stocks after learning they were in trouble.  Anywhere else that’s called insider trading.  He’s running for re-election to Congress while also running for Vice President.  He also used his influence to help a businessman convicted of campaign finance law.

The keystone of the Ryan Budget is the ending of Medicare as a government program.  Conservatives hate Medicare because it works.  It detracts from their lie that government is bad and that government programs don’t work, therefore they feel a compulsion to destroy it.  Medicare has an overhead of 3% compared with private industry’s bloated 25-30% overhead.  Seniors love the program and it doesn’t discriminate based on health or pre-existing conditions.  Ryan would replace it with vouchers used to buy insurance on the private market.  The biggest issue with this is the detail that the vouchers will only cover about half the cost of that insurance.

Romney and Ryan are countering that President Obama cut Medicare by $700 billion.  Of course cutting a program is quite different from destroying it but this claim is spurious.  The Obama cuts are the result of the enactment of ObamaCare which are expected to cut medical costs and a reduction in Medicare Advantage, not a government program.  Medicare Advantage is private health insurance masquerading as Medicare.  It isn’t Medicare and saying it is is a lie.  That, again, tells us much about Paul Ryan.

Every Republican Member of Congress voted for the Ryan Budget twice.  Jim Gerlach is one of his staunchest allies.

Paul Ryan’s budget cuts spending by $5.3 billion while giving massive new, additional tax cuts to the rich.  Senior citizens in assisted living and nursing homes would lose Medicaid coverage along with the poor.  College students lose Pell Grants and veterans see benefits cut after putting their lives on the line for the wars Paul Ryan supported.  

Ryan voted for the Bush budgets and policies which caused the deficit.  Now he wants to fix it by doing more of what failed.  He would cut food stamps, housing assistance and the earned income tax credit.  These all hurt the poor who are already in dire straights.  The conservative war on poor people is anti-christian but don’t remind them of that little fact.  The Ryan Budget cuts 25% on transportation when we must increase that spending to repair and rebuild our infrastructure and create jobs.  

Mitt Romney embraced the Ryan Budget while running for President.  Now he’s trying to distance himself from this awful plan.  His words all during the GOP debates will haunt him now that he’s picked Ryan as his running mate.  It puts Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security in the spotlight.  It means he loses Florida making Ohio and Pennsylvania crucial swing states.  Here’s what Mitt said about the Ryan Budget:

I’m very supportive of the Ryan budget plan. It’s a bold and exciting effort on his part and on the part of the Republicans and it’s very much consistent with what I put out earlier. I think it’s amazing that we have a president who three and a half years in still hasn’t put a proposal out that deals with entitlements. This president’s dealing with entitlement reform — excuse me — this budget deals with entitlement reform, tax policy, which as you know is very similar to the one that I put out and efforts to reign in excessive spending. I applaud it. It’s an excellent piece of work and very much needed.

Failed conservative policies caused two unpaid for wars, massive revenue cuts to enrich the rich and greatly reduced revenues from the recession.  He refuses to raise new revenues however to offset the deficit and turns around and blows it up with new tax cuts for them.  As the Center For American Progress puts it ” It’s a budget designed to benefit the top 1 percent at everyone else’s expense.”

Ironically he benefited from Social Security when his father died and he collected survivor benefits.  He used that money to pay for college but now tells college students to work three jobs to pay for theirs.

This is what you’d be supporting if voting for Romney/Ryan 2012.  Can you sleep at night knowing this?  Will you have a roof over your head if you vote for this?  

News & Notes April 23, 2012

Tomorrow is election day, don’t let bad weather keep you from exercising your right to vote.  People in Syria are dying in the streets fighting for this right.   On the other hand don’t allow Tom Corbett to rob you of your right to vote.  They’ll be rolling out the Voter ID program though the law says you don’t have to produce an ID until the November election.

Matt Cartwright got the endorsements of three Northeastern PA papers.  Marybeth Kuznick is also racking up endorsements for her House race.

The Reading Eagle isn’t running the news that Frank Denbowski broke state election law.

Denbowski isn’t alone.  Marty Schmotzer didn’t even file a report.  The difference is we already knew Marty was a crook.

The DCCC points out how Jim Gerlach voted to give the Dallas Cowboys a tax break.  Their vote would provide all major sports teams owners another cut.  Have those crumbs trickled down to you yet?  Ronald Reagan promised they would.

NARAL’s pro-choice voters guide is available here.

This week there will be a major women’s rally in Harrisburg.  Join us on April 28th at 10AM on the Capitol steps.

Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer is already tangled up in a web of cronyism and corruption.  That didn’t take long.

It appears fracking is already destroying fish in the Susquehanna River.  Will Corbett’s DEP do anything?

Two notable trials are going on this week:  Roger Clemens and John Edwards.

Wal-Mart spent millions bribing Mexican officials so they could build stores.  How much did they spend here?

The Catholic League got all in a lather over a skit Jon Stewart did.  They responded by showing him amidst fire on the day Jews use to remember victims of the Holocaust.  Very bad idea…

New Mexico Senate candidate Heather Wilson says bullying of gay teens is simply teasing.  Sure, hundreds of kids commit suicide every year over “teasing.”  She lost her Congressional seat over ties to George W. Bush’s GonzalesGate.  Should we tease her about that?

Education Voters PA has endorsed several candidates:  Erin Molchany, Shauna D’Alessandro, Duane Milne, Babette Josephs, James Roebuck and Sen. Patricia Vance.  Milne and Vance are moderate Republicans being challenged from their right (Tea Party).

Mitt Romney stepped in it when he dissed a famous Pittsburgh bakery.  Just when he was making progress trying to win the battleground state this fall he stepped in a pile of sh*t.  Maybe he still has time to come to Philadelphia and say how bad Tastykakes are…  Then he can throw up outside Pat’s Steaks.  Go to Lancaster and say something bad about scrapple?  He may as well try for the whole enchilada!

We’re finally getting some rain.  The last six months have been very dry, months we normally see considerable precipitation.  Climate change is affecting us and rivers are so low we can’t go kayaking.  I drove up along the Delaware Saturday, a stretch I’ve paddled many times, and was shocked at the low levels.  How will climate change affect our state in the future?  Here’s how.

Trivedi Will Continue Challenging Jim Gerlach

Manan Trivedi, who now resides in the 7th Congressional District, says he will continue running for the 6th CD seat held by Jim Gerlach.  Union Township, Berks County, was put into Pat Meehan’s gerrymandered 7th CD in redistrcting.  Trivedi is on eof several previously declared challengers who were purposefully drawn out of the districts in which they were challenging incumbents.  It’s bad enough that officials are choosing their voters but this year, both on the state and federal levels, they are choosing their opponents.  Trivedi’s announcement:

BIRDSBORO, Pa – Upon passage by both the Pennsylvania state Senate and House, Manan Trivedi released the following statement on the congressional redistricting legislation:

“The only thing that can compare to the ongoing assault on fairness by Republicans in Washington is what Republicans in Harrisburg did with the Pennsylvania redistricting process. Partisan politics won out in the end. Even my home county of Berks with a population of just over 400,00 got split into four congressional districts. Republican politicians are breaking the public’s trust by breaking apart our community.

“Regardless of where the overreach in protecting political power originates, I am not deterred. As I continue to run for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 6th congressional district, I will fight to bring about the common sense values that my friends and neighbors deserve. I am especially looking forward to speaking with the new voters of the district, including in the town of Fleetwood where I grew up and went to school. I’m eager to compare my career of serving our nation to that of career politician Jim Gerlach who falls in lock-step with Republicans in Washington who have just voted to raise taxes on the  middle class and  support the elimination of Medicare as we know it.”

GOP Can’t Agree on Redistricting

Republicans in Harrisburg are so busy blocking women’s abortion rights, denying the poor, disabled and elderly the right to vote and allowing energy companies to rape our land without consequence they can’t get redistricting done.  None of them can seem to agree on a plan and time is quickly running out.  Candidates cannot announce, organize and fundraise until they know in which district they reside.  This, of course, provides a significant edge to the GOP Congressional majority.  How convenient.

The Party in complete control of the process is fighting over how to redraw the boundaries while eliminating the one seat Pennsylvania lost due to the 2010 census.  While trying, all at once, to force a runoff between Dems Jason Altmire and Mark Critz Rep. Mike Turzai wants to be in that district so he can run for the seat.  That also means making it more conservative.  Guys like Jim Gerlach want more GOP voters but the likes of Joe Pitts, Pat Meehan and Mike Fitzpatrick say “not at my expense.”  

It’s become quite a conundrum for Republicans and if that means screwing the voters, the people and their potential opponents all at the same time it appears they’re prepared to do so.  This is why we need an independent, non partisan organization doing Congressional reapportionment.  If there was ever a better argument for taking the politics out of the process this is it.