Pawlowski, Fleck Shut Down As Feds Close In

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski has suspended his U.S. Senate campaign following a raid on City offices last week by the FBI.  Thursday his political consultant Mike Fleck also shut down his firm H Street Consulting.  Democrats had recruited Pawlowski to run against Joe Sestak in the Senate primary.  Now they, again, have egg on their faces as it appears he’s headed for an indictment.

Allentown just completed the PPL Center, a local convention hall and hotel which hosted the Pennsylvania Democratic Party meeting last month.  It was a horrible venue for such an event and I left early Friday evening and didn’t return because the venue was so bad.  The entire thing was designed to be a launching pad for Pawlowski’s campaign.  Oops.

Fleck has run the Mayor’s political operations for some time and expanded south to Reading where his tendency to ignore election laws and regulations got that Mayor in some hot water recently.  Fleck has never seen an election law he respected.  I always advised candidates going against his clients to expect some last minute illegal shenanigans.  I was never disappointed.

This is yet another black eye for PA Dems who seem to be lost in the woods under Chair Jim Burn.  The decision six years ago to back party switcheroo Arlen Specter blew up in their faces when Sestak beat him in the primary.  In a big GOP sweep year Pat Toomey narrowly beat Sestak for the Senate seat when other Democrats lost in landslides across the Commonwealth.  Then last year they lost Tom Wolf so badly he created a shadow Party apparatus and simply ignored them.  So, in the space of six years the Pennsylvania Democratic Party has completely alienated their two top candidates:  the sitting Governor and their U.S. Senate candidate.  After disrespecting Sestak six years ago they dug their hole deeper by recruiting Pawlowski to challenge him this time.  Oops.  The only seat Ed is going to get next year is likely in a ten by ten cell shared with Fleck.

Transportation Bill Goes Back to Senate

The state House finally passed a transportation bill yesterday after failing to do so Monday.  On a re-vote a bipartisan group of lawmakers narrowly passed a bill which isn’t perfect but which is critically needed.   The legislation now returns to the Senate which already passed a similar bill earlier in the year.

This bill raises the gas tax by 28 cents/gallon over five years which is steep but we must pay for the roads, bridges and transit somehow.  We do need to find new and more innovative methods of funding transportation as vehicles get more fuel efficient and we gradually rely less and less on fossil fuels.

The prevailing wage didn’t belong in this bill and it made it far more difficult to pass.  The bill raises the threshold for triggering the living wages from $25,000 to $100,000.  The limit hadn’t been raised since 1961 so it was due for review.  Let’s just remind Republicans how important considering cost of living increases is when the minimum wage bill comes before them for a vote.

The new threshold for the prevailing wage won’t, in my opinion, have much of an impact.  I don’t think there are many transportation projects which cost under $100,000.  The prevailing wage means non-union workers get paid equivalent wages as their union brothers.  This illustrates the failure of right to work laws in which freeloaders can piggyback on unions for similar wages, benefits and job conditions without paying for them.

I always thought conservatives hated freeloaders so why do they support right to work for less?

Sen. Orie Convicted on 14 Counts

While Tom Corbett was Attorney General and prosecuting House Democrats to get to the Governor’s Mansion Republican Senator Jane Orie was violating the same laws to get her sister elected tot he state Supreme Court.  So said a jury in Pittsburgh which convicted Jane Orie of 14 counts of corruption yesterday.  A lone holdout juror threatened to deadlock the trial over the weekend and resulted in her being acquitted on ten counts but a verdict finally was reached on Monday.

Five of the counts are felonies and the arrogant b*tch will see jail time for her misuse of public resources.  She must wear an ankle bracelet until she is sentenced on May 21st.  At that point she must resign her Senate seat and she’ll lose her state pension.  This is payback for the open and arrogant use of Senate time, staff, resources and offices to help elect both herself and her sister to public office.  She was so open about it and thought she could simply lie her way out of it that it never occurred to her someone might testify they saw it going on openly when they visited her office one day.  That rebuttal testimony undercut every defense her team had concocted for the jury.

Next up is the trial of sister Janine Orie who is accused of using the Senator’s offices and staff to run another sister’s  (Joan Orie Melvin) campaign for Supreme Court.  Melvin sits on that Court under a very dark cloud today.  Thus far she has refused to resign although it is obvious she won the election under false pretenses.

She was acquitted of charges of forgery for the documents which had been altered in her first trial.  They resulted in it being declared a mistrial.  There was no way the prosecution could prove Senator Orie did the forgeries though no one else had a motive.  A jury cannot convict based solely on motive.  Had someone come forward and said they witnessed the crime she might have been convicted on most all of the counts against her.

Should Janine Orie be convicted of corruption for using taxpayer resources to run Melvin’s campaign the Justice will have to resign her seat.  No Justice should sit on our high court and judge others under such circumstances.

PA Senate to vote on ALEC Modeled Voter ID Act

( – promoted by John Morgan)

Tomorrow the Pennsylvania State Senate will vote on HB 934, the Voter ID Act passed last summer by the Pennsylvania House. This bill, which aims to address so called voter fraud in the Commonwealth, will in fact make it harder for many Pennsylvanians to access the poll in April and May for the primaries and November for the general elections. According to Keystone Progress:

“Supporters of the bill have been unable to show any evidence of voter identity fraud in Pennsylvania, because safeguards against fraudulent voting are already in place in our state. Worse yet, the legislation will cost Pennsylvania taxpayers millions to implement.  Long lines at polling places are likely to form, leading other voters to simply give up and go home. “

This bill, which models ALEC’s founder Paul Weyrich’s, Republican strategy for victory does little more than propose a fix to a non existent problem in order to increase Republican chances at the polls.

“They want everybody to vote. I don’t want everybody to vote. . . . As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.” (http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=132×7538890)

I do not see how preventing access of citizens to polling locations can help anyone’s leverage, and in my opinion such a view makes me want to throw up (nice little Rick Santorum quote to show the sheer stupidity of the view). The fact that the party that claims to support individual liberty is constantly coming up with ways to restrict liberty is an irony all on itself. However, all joking asides, legislation like HB 934 does not create the kind of Commonwealth that Pennsylvanians need, or deserve. While, I fear it is too late to stop this bill from reaching Governor Corbett’s desk, bills like these are the very reason Pennsylvania needs to become the 25th state in the Union to offer her citizens the power of legislative referendums.

Other PA Bills that have been modeled after ALEC bills can be found at http://alecexposed.org/wiki/Pe…

Senate Approves Gerrymandering Congressional Districts

The Republican drawn Congressional redistricting map was released just one day before the Senate voted to approve it late last night.  The vote, in fact, came after the 11 PM rule closing Senate business.  That rule was put in place to stop the state legislature from passing onerous bills in the dead of night after they voted themselves a 2 AM pay raise of 37%.  They violated the rule in passing this similar onerous bill last night.

The 7th CD goes through five counties and is drawn to award Republican Congressman Pat Meehan a safe district.  Redistricting is a process wherein elected officials decide, not only who their voters will be, but their opponents.  The maps drawn for state House, Senate and Congress all conveniently exclude declared challengers.  This cannot be sheer coincidence.  It proves intent to gerrymander and protect incumbents and should be the foundation for a court challenge.

The initial vote was 25-25 in the heavily controlled GOP Senate as some in that body feared the wrath of their voters back home.  Sen. Vogel then switched his vote and the bill passed 26-24.

State Senate Defunds Troubled Schools

Our State Senate passed a school voucher bill early this evening which further defunds our public schools.  Following the Governor’s slashing of public education this siphoning of taxpayer money to parochial schools is the last part of their plan to screw every child in the state.  Clearly unconstitutional it didn’t stop Senators such as Tony Williams and Andy Dinniman from defecting tot he privatization side.

This will not help failing schools but simply make it worse for the 95% of those students left behind.  Meanwhile an amendment barring discrimination based on sexual orientation was defeated along with every other amendment offered by Democrats.  This means private and parochial schools getting public funds can openly discriminate, pick and choose their students and have little accountability for how they spend your tax dollars.

Schools starving for funds for basic needs will see more of their state dollars funneled away and be in even worse condition.  Dinniman compared the situation to the Titanic but it was a false comparison.  This ship can be saved with the correct reforms.  Schools fail because they don’t have equitable funding.  They fail because Harrisburg fails them and today they failed again.

Sen. Williams sounded indignant about accusations he has a personal agenda in all this.  He has five million reasons to sponsor this bill, one for each dollar he took for his Gubernatorial campaign from those pushing this legislation.  He wants to be Governor and is willing to do the bidding of those paying the freight.  We all know his agenda.  He shouldn’t insult us by pretending not to be just another corrupt Philadelphia pol.

Sen. Jane Orie Finance Reports

Sen. Jane Orie represents a district around Pittsburgh.  She was indicted last year in Allegheny County for using taxpayer subsidized offices, resources and staff to run political campaigns including that of her sister, Justice Joan Orie Melvin for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.  Neither she nor her sister had any campaign offices.  Numerous members of her Senate staff testified they routinely did political work on state time in state offices and ran the Supreme Court campaign from Sen. Orie’s district office.  The trial ended when the Judge halted proceedings after it was discovered that key documents had been altered.

Her campaign finance report violations:

In her 2010 cycle 1 report she itemizes three reimbursements to herself but neglects to file a candidate’s report as required by law:  $144.02 on February 25, $153.42 on March 8, and $71.80 on February 7.

In her 2010 cycle 3 report she reimburses herself $140 on May 5 and $236.36 on May 9 but also neglects to file a candidate’s report.  These are violations.

Her 2010 cycle 7 report shows $258.76 on Dec. 3, $420.75 on Dec. 9, $374 on Dec. 14 and no candidate’s report.  The final two reimbusements are shown as “REIMBURSEMENT FOR COPYING OF TRANSCRIPTS.”  This wa shortly before her trial and if campaign funds were used for personal legal expenses this is a very serious violation.  First she would have been alleged to have used state resources, staff and offices for political purposes and then campaign funds to pay for some of her defense costs?  Serious corruption if true.

In her 2009 cycle 2 report she reimburses herself $637.23 on April 14, $245.32 on April 24, $135.14 on Feb. 12 and $515.19 on Feb. 24 without filing a candidate’s report as required by law.

Orie’s 2008 cycle 3 report is massive in its violation of her failure to file a candidate’s report.  She reimbursed herself to the tune of

1/3/2008 $1,233.62

2/4/2008 $797.96

2/28/2008 $823.79

3/18/2008 $630.24

4/12/2008 $681.02

4/26/2008 $934.03

5/5/2008 $368.94

for a grand total of $5,469.60 with a threshold of $250 required to file a candidate’s report.  She was a mere $5,219.60 over the limit triggering a cycle 3 personal report reporting these reimbursements.  That’s a violation of the law.

PENN HILLS POLICE FALLEN HEROES FUND:  $50 (Donation)

RICHEY MEMORIAL FUND:  $50 (Donation)

BUTLER COUNTY CONSERVATION DIS:  $15 (banquet donation)

MARINE CORP. LEAGUE:  $25 (membership)

KIWANIS CLUB OF ALLEG CO N:  $120 (dues)

EXECUTIVE WOMENS COUNCIL OF GR PGH:  $125 (dues)

ZELIC + HARMONY CHAMBER OF COM:  $150 (dues)

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION SCHOOL:  $25 (Donation)

PENN TWP. VETERANS ASSOC:  $100 (Donation)

PITTSBURGH MELLWOOD AARP:  $11 (ticket)

TOWNSHIP OF HAMPTON:  $50 (Donation)

ZELIE HARMONY AREA CL:  $900 (Ticket)

N.H. ANTI RACISM COALITION:  $18 (ticket)

ST. ATHANDSIRS PT6:  $25 (Donation)

BUTLER CO CONSERVATION:  $10 (ticket)

BUTLER CO. BOROUGH ASSOC.:  $15 (ticket)

2008 reports:

SOLDIERS & SAILORS:  $100 (Donation)

NACCP:  $125 (dues)

PCUC:  $15 (ticket)

NORTH ALLEG. BOOSTERS:  $25 (ticket)

NH ANT. RACIST COALITION:  $16 (ticket)

ZH A CC:  $9 (ticket)

ALLEG CO. SPORTSMAN LEAGUE:  $30 (ticket)

FIREARM OWNERS AGAINST CRIME:  $30 (ticket)

PEEBLES VOL FIRE CO.:  $150 (Donation)

Sen. Bob Mensch Campaign Reports

Bob Mensch is the sponsor of the infamous Mensch Amendment which would force women seeking abortions to a handful of hospitals in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Allentown.  All other women’s clinics would be forced to close under his abusive, restrictive and unnecessary restrictions.  He lives in Pennsburg, Montgomery County and his district encompasses parts of MontCo, Bucks, Lehigh and part of Northhampton Counties.

He is also known for having shown a Glock pistol to a fellow motorist on I-78 in Berks County earlier this year.  He was convicted of the crime in Judge Andrea Book’s District Court.  He has appealed the conviction to Berks County Common Pleas Court.  The testimony showed he ran up behind a vehicle driven by a gentleman from Easton and was upset the other car was in his way.  When the man pulled into the right lane after passing a truck Mensch is alleged to have pulled up beside him, slowed down and palmed the Glock in a show if intimidation.  He took an oath on the witness stand then proceeded to lie his ass off.

QUAKERTOWN BLAZERS:  $50 (Donation)

CENTRAL PERK YOUTH ATHLETICS (CPYA):  $100 (Donation)

MONTGOMERY COUNTY 4-H:  $100 (Donation)

RED HILL BAND:  $400 (purchase of cd’s)

UPVAA:  $250 (Donation)

CROSSING THE FINISH LINE:  $250 (Donation)

WORLD TRADE CLUB OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY:  $35 (Donation)

SILVER CREEK AA:  $25 (Donation)

HARLEYSVILLE ROTARY:  $75 (Donation)

NEW GOSENHOPPEN UCC:  $50 (Donation to a church!)

PERKIOMEN VALLEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE:  $195 (Dues)

MARLBOROUGH ELEMENTARY SCHOOL:  $25 (Donation)

RED HILL VFW:  $200 (Donation)

SOUDERTON BASKETBALL BOOSTER CLUB:  $100 (Donation)

UPPER PERKIOMEN TAKEDOWN CLUB:  $150 (Donation)

UPPER PERKIOMEN VALLEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE:  $105 (Dues)

PROJECT OF EASTON:  $150 (tickets)

AMERICAN LEGION WAR MEMORIAL:  $500 (Contribution)

TRICOUNTY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE:  $350 (Membership)

FRIENDS OF MARLBOROUGH TOWNSHIP:  $100 (Contribution)

PA FIRE & EMERGENCY SERVICES INSTITU:  $600 (Contribution)

UPV CHAMBER OF COMMERCE:  $18 (Jan meeting)

TRICOUNTY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE:  $32.33 (membership)

UPV CHAMBER OF COMMERCE:  $18 (Feb meeting)

PERK VALLEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE:  $195 (membership)

PERK VALLYE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE:  $50 (meeting)

LOWER FREDERICK FIRE CO:  $50 (Contribution)

SEBATIAN RIDING ASSOC:  $50 (contribution)

CPYA:  $350 (Contribution)

UP YOUTH BASEBALL LEAGUE:  $200 (contribution)

UP YOUTH BASEBALL LEAGUE:  (again) $200 (contribution)

MONTCO IND DEV COR

EAST NORRITON, PA  19403

Description: MEETING

5/3/2009 $15.00

TRICOUNTY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMER

POTTSTOWN, PA  19464

Description: MEETING

5/6/2009 $28.00

UP YOUTH BASEBALL LEAGUE

RED HILL, PA  18076

Description: CONTRIBUTIONS

5/6/2009 $30.00

BERKS-MONT NEWSPAPER

BOYERTOWN, PA  19512

Description: ADVERTISING

5/28/2009 $42.00

UPV CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

EAST GREENVILLE, PA  18041

Description: MEETING

5/31/2009 $18.00

TRICOUNTY AREA CHAMBER OF COMMER

POTTSTOWN, PA  19464

Description: MEETING

6/17/2009 $36.00

UPV CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

EAST GREENVILLE, PA  18041

Description: MEMBERSHIP

7/31/2009 $105.00

IV CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

SOUDERTON, PA  18964

Description: SPONSOR

7/31/2009 $150.00

VETERANS APPRECIATION DAY COMMITT

PENNSBURG, PA  18073

Description: CONTRIBUTIONS

7/31/2009 $100.00

Sen. Richard Kasunic Campaign Finance Reports

Sen. Richard Kasunic represents several counties in western Pennsylvania from Somerset to Westmoreland and Fayette.  Unlike you and I he has a campaign slush fund he can use to support non profit organizations.   Unlike you he doesn’t make charitable gifts from his own pocket but uses his campaign account as a slush fund for such purposes.  He also voted for the Mensch Amendment.

He also accepted a $490 reimbursement from his campaign account without filing the required candidate’s report for cycle 2 in 2010.

NORMALVILLE ROD & GUN CLUB:  $25  (Donation)

EAST END UNITED COOLSPRING CENTER:  $100 (Donation)

CONNELLSVILLE JR HIGH WEST:  $50 (Donation)

BROWNSVILLE AREA REVITALIZATION CORP.:  $25 (Donation)

FAYETTE COUNTY ASSOC. TWP SUPERVISORS:  $25 (Donation)

FCCCN:  $100 (Donation)

CHESTNUT RIDGE COMMUNITY VFD:  $25 (Donation)

MEYERSDALE RENAISSANCE INC.:  $35 (Membership)

BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS:  $50  (Donation)

FAY PENN ECONOMIC DEV. COUNCIL:  $100 (Membership)

CAHS PATRIOTS:  $25  (Donation)

WESTMORELAND COUNTY FOOD BANK:  $25 (Donation)

MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS:  $25 (Donation)

DUNBAR COMMINITY FEST:  $50 (Donation)

SOMERSET COUNTY CONSERVANCY:  $15 (Membership)

ST JOHN THE EVANGELIST SCHOOL:  $20 (Donation)

STAR JUNCTION FISH AND GAME CLUB:  $50 (Donation)

FAYETTE COUNTY CATTLEMAN ASSOC.:  $36 (banquet tickets)

MARCH OF DIMES:  $100 (Donation)

NATIONAL AMERICAN MISS:  $60 (Donation)

THE ARC OF FAYETTE COUNTY:  $25  (Donation)

EAST END UNITED COMMUNITY CENTER:  $100 (Donation)

IRSF:  $50 (Donation)

STATE THEATER:  $200 (Donation)

BORO OF MEYERSDALE:  $25 (Donation)

CHESTNUT RIDGE VFC:  $100 (Donation)

He has so many violations (the list above is from cycle 2 in 2010 alone) I’ll tuck them in under the fold.

DUNBAR HISTORICAL SOCIETY:  $50  (Donation)

THE REDSTONE FOUNDATION:  $50  (Donation)

OLD TRAILS LIONS CLUB:  $25 (Donation)

ALL SAINTS REGIONAL SCHOOL:  $25 (Donation)

FAYETTE COUNTY NAACP:  $50 (Donation)

ST JOHN’S & TRINTY LUTHERAN CHURCHES:  $25 (Donation)

COLONIAL 3 LEGION TEAM:  $50 (Contribution)

FAYETTE CO FIREMEN’S ASSOCIATION:  $100 (Donation)

CONFLUENCE LIONS CLUB:  $300 (Donation)

PENN STATE FAYETTE:  $500 (Donation)

CROSSKEYS:  $100 (Donation)

LEUKEMIA & LYMPHOMIA:  $500 (Donation)

GPUAC:  $200 (Donation)

EVERSON CIVIC ORGANIZATION:  $25 (Donation)

SHANKSVILLE ATHLETIC BOOSTERS:  $25 (Donation)

DAV VAN FUND:  $25 (Donation)

THE CHILDREN’S AID HOME:  $25 (Donation)

MONESSEN ROSTRAVER ROTARY CLUB:  $100 (Donation)

MAKE A WISH FOUNDATION:  $100 (Donation)

NEW SALEM VFD:  $25 (Donation)

CATHOLIC WAR VETERANS:  $20 (Dues)

CITY MISSION:  $25 (Donation)

S CONNELLSVILLE BORO CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION:  $25 (Donation)

DUNBAR VFD:  $25 (Donation)

MT GOLF ASSOC.:  $140 (Donation)

AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY:  $100 (Contribution)

COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF FAYETTE COUNTY:  $400 (Donation)

Sen. Stewart Greenleaf

Sen. Stewart Greenleaf represents Montgomery County.  Since he was “born again” he has moved from a traditionally moderate centrist to an extremist wingnut.  He also voted for the Mensch Amendment.  He has also violated campaign finance law by giving political money meant to influence an election for non political purposes.

It really gets my goat when these well paid public servants can’t pay a $10 or $20 item from their own pockets.  Can they really be this cheap?

Greenleaf obviously didn’t get any ethics when he got religion.

He also uses a lot of abbreviations instead of spelling out the recipients of his largesse.  This almost means they’re hiding something.

FRIENDS OF BOILEAU FARMSTEAD:  $10  (membership)

DVHAA:  $25  (membership)

UKRAINIAN AMERICAN SPORTS CENTER:  $25 (membership)

AMHF WOMEN’S BOARD:  $350  (tickets)

LLS-EASTERN PA CHAPTER:  $50  (donation)

AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY:  $50 (Donation)

INDIAN VALLEY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE:  $70 (tickets)

ST. DAVID CHURCH:  $500 (sponsor)  religious organizations such as churches are forbidden by law to engage in  politics

PETER BECKER COMMUNITY (retirement home):  $75 (registration)

CONCERT FOR THE GULF:  $25 (donation)

SUSAN G. KOMEN 3-DAY FOR THE CURE:  $25 (donation)

UPPER MORELAND EDUCATION FOUNDATION:  $25 (donation)

ROTARY CLUB OF HATBORO:  $140  (tickets)

HATBORO HORSHAM HS-HAS:  $25 (donation)

PA HERO WALK:  $25 (donation)

WISSAHICKON VALLEY WATERSHED ASSOCIATION:  $100 (ticket)

EASTERN FOUNDATION:  $25 (donation)

TREVOR BAELZ:  $25 (donation)

KAREN HOUCK:  $175 (donation)

ANNA SCHULTZ:  $25 (donation)

ST. DAVID CHURCH:  $41 (donation)

NATIONAL M.S.:  $50 (ticket)

MONTGOMERY BAR ASSOCIATION:  $100 (ticket)

HARTSVILLE 911 MEMORIAL FUND:  $50 (donation)