Santarsiero to Run For Congress in PA-08

State Representative Steve Santarsiero of Bucks County announced his candidacy yesterday for the Congressional seat occupied by retiring legislator Mike Fitzpatrick.  The Eight Congressional District comprises most of Bucks and includes a large chunk of Northeast Philadelphia.  Prior to Fitzpatrick it was held by Patrick Murphy.  Kevin Strauss ran unsuccessfully last year.

Santarsiero is a proven, solid progressive with good liberal values.  He is strongly pro-choice and supports Planned Parenthood.  He ran for Bucks County Commissioner prior to becoming a State Representative and has distinguished himself as a progressive voice in Harrisburg.

From his campaign:

PA State Representative, Steve Santarsiero (D-31), filed his statement of candidacy this week in preparation for a run for Congress in 2016 in the 8thCongressional district seat being vacated by Congressman Mike Fitpzatrick.  Santarsiero is a dedicated public servant committed to the community who has demonstrated his ability to win seats previously held by Republicans.   A more formal announcement will come later in the year.

After watching the Twin Towers collapse in 2001 from his office window, Santarsiero left his job at a prominent law firm to become a high school teacher in the Bensalem Township School District.  He inspired his students to get involved in their community and led by example through organizing residents to stop the Matrix development, a proposed big-box shopping center in his home town of Lower Makefield.  That experience led him to run for Township Supervisor in 2003.  He won with 55% of the vote, beating a long-time incumbent and becoming the first Democrat to serve on the Lower Makefield Board in 18 years and only the second in recent memory.  He later helped secure the first ever Democratic majority on the Board and became its chairman.

In 2008, Steve Santarsiero won an open seat in the Pennsylvania state house that had been held by a Republican since it was created in 1992.  As a state legislator, Steve earned a reputation as a reformer when he repeatedly turned down legislative perks, including per diems, state cars and free health care; pushed for campaign finance reform; wrote what became the House’s new ethics rules on political activity; and became a leader on a variety of critical issues from gun safety to protecting our water and the environment to giving PA residents priority for state contracts.

“I’m excited to start preparing a campaign to represent the people of Bucks and Montgomery Counties in Congress,” Santarsiero said.  “It’s time we make Washington accountable to our citizens.  I will make it a priority to focus on keeping the middle class families of the 8th District secure while helping to grow our economy, create jobs and bring real reform to Washington.”

State Representative Santarsiero and his wife, Ronni, have lived in Bucks County for 19 years.  They have three children, Nancy (17), Billy (15), and Johnny (11).

Former Congresswoman, Allyson Schwartz, who like Santarsiero served in the state legislature before running for Congress said, “Steve Santarsiero’s entry into the race is great news for the 8th District and for our Democratic Party.  His broad support among Republicans, Democrats, and independent voters will make him a formidable candidate.”

John Cordisco, Chairman of the Bucks County Democratic Committee, and another former state legislator, echoed Rep. Schwartz’s optimism.  

“Steve can win this seat.  He just won re-election to the state house by a landslide in a swing district in what turned out to be a very bad year for Democrats,” Cordisco explained.  “He has a clear track record of winning in a tough district, and that’s what we will need to prevail in the 2016 congressional race.”

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?

Does Fitzpatrick Support the Constitution?

The NRCC ran racist ads last week against Kathy Boockvar claiming her husband was connected to Mumia Abu Jamal, a convicted cop killer.  I’ve known Jordan Yeager for years and he’s one of the top civil rights lawyers around.  The fact he represented someone unlawfully arrested at a Mumia protest event doesn’t equate with supporting the convict.  Every citizen has a right not to have the police violate their civil rights.  A citizen has the right to protest and many believe Mumia was railroaded because of his race.  I don’t know whether it’s true or not but the fact Jordan represented a client who did has nothing to do with his wife.  He was doing the job someone hired him to do:  protect their civil rights.  Obviously the NRCC has an issue with civil rights violations being brought before the courts.  Now there’s a dangerous thought:  Republicans in Congress not supporting OUR constitutional rights.  Mike Fitzpatrick refuses to take a stand on this.  Someone ask him if he thinks a citizen unlawfully arrested for exercising their constitutional rights shouldn’t have the right to counsel and due process against the police?  I’d like to hear his answer.

News & Notes July 31, 2012

Another month melts away as we race through 2012.  There are less than 100 days to the election and candidates are active sending solicitations for contributions before the final Labor Day push.

Mitt Romney continued his gaffe filled foreign tour underscoring his inability to understand diplomacy.  If President this guy could tick off more of the world than even GW Bush did.

The Supreme Court will hear the Prop 8 case on marriage equality.  A decision could make same sex marriage legal nationally.  That’s the only way we’ll ever see it here in Pennsyltucky.

Bucks Countians hung a large banner from I-95 telling Congressman Fitzpatrick to end tax cuts for the rich.

Questions arose in Commonwealth Court about the state’s readiness, and ability, to provide photo ID’s for voters.  What, just because neither the Governor nor his Secretary of State can answer basic questions about the law?  Why should we be surprised.  PennDOT wasn’t ready either.  This law has been a catastrophic example of election rigging.  If it throws Pennsylvania to Romney it could make him President by disenfranchising people from their fundamental right to vote.  By the way Sec. Aichele, one does NOT need an ID to ship a package via UPS.  That was one more lie she told at her press conference last week.

Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin faced a preliminary hearing while she continued saying the charges against her are a witch hunt.  Why then did two aides testify she ordered them to do political work on state time?  It’s exactly why her sister, former Sen. Jane Orie, is now in prison.

Cash grants to the poor were discontinued this week.  Republicans have now thrown 80,000 kids off Medicaid, 70,000 adults off Adult Basic, slashed food stamps, day care, services for the mentally and physically disabled and cut $2 billion from education.  Are these your priorities?  If not stop voting Republican.  Some folks are questioning whether Gov. Gasbag hates women.

Catholics won’t sell a 44 bedroom mansion it owns because the buyers are a gay couple who might allow same sex marriages on the property.  Someday the church might come out of the Dark Ages.  Don’t hold your breath waiting though.  The proceeds from any sale should go towards settling lawsuits by people molested by the Church and not for legal fees defending pedophile priests.

Democrats will include a marriage equality plank to their platform in Charlotte.  Bill Clinton is going to nominate Barack Obama.  I hope they have one of those orchestras which begins playing when someone goes over their time limit.

The Green Party of PA turned in their nominating petitions today, a day early, for their presidential ticket.  I signed the petition.  I think the state’s ballot access laws are terrible and anti-democratic.  Let’s hope Democrats don’t purge us of the opportunity to vote for real liberals come November.

Former CNN personality (it isn’t really a news network) TJ Holmes was stopped for driving while Black.  He Tweeted the entire experience.  In this age of instant communications you’d think cops would at least try to be a bit smarter.

It turns out Mitt Romney likes socialized medicine.

SCOTUS actually ruled a while back that lying is protected free speech.  It’s the only reason the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Faux News are on the air.  Not so in Canada however.  No license for Fox there.

kudos to Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) for this session.  Why can’t we have a Senator like that?  (Because liberals stayed home and Joe Sestak lost so they could send President Obama a “message.)

Rep. Fitzpatrick Ducks Questions on Ryan Budget Votes

Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick was confronted by constituents about his votes to dismantle Medicare and he avoided the issue.  Once a moderate Republican who then embraced the radical politics of the Tea party to win back his seat he must remember that the 8th District is a swing seat.  No one runs away with large margins in this Bucks centric Congressional District and ducking constituents won’t be good for his electoral health.  Voting to end Medicare as we know it will lose him tons of votes.  He has an obligation to answer direct questions about his voting record.

Fitzpatrick isn’t alone.  Sen. Toomey also ducked questions.  Today he voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act too.

CBS News Catches Fitzpatrick at Lobbyist Event

Key Largo is a nice place, just ask Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick who spent a weekend there surrounded by lobbyists.  CBS News went undercover at the RCCC event attended by a dozen freshmen GOP Congressmen.  The Tea Party hypocrites sure turned quickly into Washington fat cats didn’t they?

Fitzpatrick Walks Out On America

Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick just lost his re-election.  Acting as Speaker pro-tempore he gaveled the House of Representatives to adjournment for the year without voting on extending the payroll tax cut.  Steny Hoyer desperately attempted to shame him into returning before Republicans cut his mic and the camera feed for CSPAN.

Mike Fitzpatrick Violates Rules, Constitution on First Day

Newly elected Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08) had a notable first day in office.  While fellow Republicans made fools of themselves by reading the constitution but leaving several parts out, he violated the rules by using the visitor center for a fund raiser.  House rules clearly state the room cannot be used for political purposes.  His campaign organized a get together for supporters who paid $30 apiece.  He was there instead of taking the oath of office and so missed being sworn in.  He then cast votes on the floor without having been sworn in.

A rather inauspicious start!