Ostrowski Petitioner Accosted by Cop in Hazleton

Congressional candidate Andrew Ostowski (PA-11) is suing the Hazleton Police Department and City because one of its on duty police officers accosted one of his petition circulators, conducted an unlawful search of her person and confiscated three nominating petitions containing 67 signatures.  The Hispanic woman is a resident of Hazleton and was getting signatures to help Ostrowski get on the ballot to run against former Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta who now holds the seat.

Congressman Barletta made his name using Hazleton as his vehicle to run for higher office through discrimination and bigotry.  The City’s harsh anti-immigrant ordinances were struck down by the courts.  This uniformed police officer falsely told the circulator she needed a permit per city ordinance to gather nominating petition signatures.  There is no such ordinance and if there were it would be unconstitutional.

Of course the constitution has never stopped the City of Hazleton from being a national disgrace before.

Ostrowski to Challenge Barletta

Dauphin County attorney Andrew Ostrowski announced he is running for Congress in PA-11 against incumbent Lou Barletta.  This District was held by Democrat Paul Kanjorski for many years.  Barletta is the former Mayor of Hazleton who gained national infamy for his bigotry against immigrants.

Harrisburg, PA –  Andrew “Andy” Ostrowski (D) has announced his candidacy for the United States Congress in the Pennsylvania 11th District.

           Ostrowski is a graduate of Millersville University and the Widener University School of Law where he graduated magna cum laude. After graduation, Mr. Ostrowski entered private law practice. Today, he has over 20 years of experience, primarily in the civil rights field, and has worked on a wide range of cases protecting the rights of American citizens. In 2010, he established the Pennsylvania Civil Rights Law Network (PCRLN), which is an organization devoted to providing equal access to justice for all.

           “I established this organization as the cornerstone for the development of a nationwide advocacy system, dedicated to upholding the United States Constitution in our courts. This network has provided support for victims of judicial misconduct and court deficiencies all over the country that have violated their civil rights.”

           Mr. Ostrowski has pursued cases involving race discrimination, sex discrimination, and whistle blowing against government misconduct. In the past, Mr. Ostrowski has handled cases against Penn State University, warning of the culture of secrecy that originated with then-president Graham Spanier.

           Mr. Ostrowski said that his top priorities in Congress would be job creation and judicial and government reform.

“I want to make sure that every Pennsylvanian has the opportunity to pursue their dreams, whether that means raising a family, opening their own business, or working for one of the many great employers in Pennsylvania in a free and open system where their rights are fully protected”

           Mr. Ostrowski is a resident of Dauphin County.

Did Barletta Pull A BonusGate?

Gene Stilp made his name going around the region with a giant pink pig designed to shame public servants who were greedy.  BonusGate was his major issue and he railed against those elected officials who used taxpayer resources for political purposes.  Now he’s running for Congress against Lou Barletta.  They had a debate the other night and the Congressman didn’t have the balls to show up.  Instead he sent staffer Shawn Kelly.  Kelly isn’t on Lou’s campaign he is a taxpayer paid Congressional staffer.  Taxpayer compensated employees doing political work on the public dime is illegal and the fuel on which Stilp has made his name by focusing on it.  How stupid do you have to be then to send such a staffer to debate him?

If it turns out any public funds were expended to send Kelly to this debate (cars, meals, cell phone use, etc) then Lou Barletta broke the law.  Interestingly Gort 42 says that when he contacted Kelly in the past about political questions the staffer correctly said he couldn’t respond.  That ethical stand obviously didn’t last for long.  Did Kelly violate the Hatch Act?  It certainly appears so.

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?

Marino, Barletta Vote to Cut Tobyhanna

Tobyhanna Army Depot is the largest employer in northeastern PA.  As other military facilities have been closed many of their operations were moved to Tobyhanna and it has become a major base.  For some strange reason both Congressmen in the area voted to cut its funding by $2 billion.  Tom Marino and Lou Barletta claim they didn’t know what was in the defense authorization bill for which they both voted “aye” but what does that say about their competence?  Congressmen have staffs to examine bills for important clauses which could adversely affect their Districts.  These men both need to take a page from Harry Truman and admit full culpability, after all the buck stops with them.

News & Notes June 11, 2012

I was at Philly Pride yesterday, have never seen such a huge turnout.  It was wall to wall people enjoying great weather, lots of interesting booths and people and constant entertainment.  I ran into Tony from Delco and Sherrie Cohen who was working at the Liberty City Democrats booth.  Dan Sauder was there distributing materials on the ACA for Keystone Progress.  I missed seeing my old friend Doug Shaps who succumbed last year to cancer.

Tom Corbett’s approval rating, down to 34% before the announcement of the sell-out to Shell, will continue sinking as he implements his radical agenda.  The Reading School District notified 110 teachers last week that they’ve lost their jobs.  Sixty more won’t be replaced.  How many of them do you think will vote for Gov. Gasbag?  Security guards are also on the hit list raising concerns about teacher safety.

Now Corbett wants to alter the state’s major building program.  Many public and private structures were built providing excellent jobs for workers under the program.  Capital projects funded by cheap interest rates are a major stimulus system, too bad our Governor doesn’t support it.

I was bemused this morning reading this article in The Reading Eagle.  I’m visualizing a group of young women in wedding gowns herding a loose horse…   Did the paper lay off all of its editors too?

Another amusing article is this one about the bank robber who ran out of gas.  If you need a getaway car shouldn’t you insure it has fuel before robbing the bank?  With gas prices what they are though he likely had to rob the bank to get gas.

Perhaps we need to return to the days of horseback riding.  A celebration of the Pony Express was re-enacted last week in New Mexico.

Shame on lawmakers who willfully vote to restrict their children’s rights.  They should be outed as bigots instead of their kid’s sexual orientations.

It took ten years to gather caucasian and Hispanic business people in one room in racially divided Hazleton.  Major League manager Joe Maddon helped get it done.  Congressman Lou Barletta used bigotry, hate and division to ride himself to Washington, DC leaving a shattered community behind.  Now that he’s gone as Mayor progress is being made.

Sen. Judy Schwank has a resolution drafted to build a comprehensive plan for education.  This was done before and called a costing out study.  The state was implementing it until Corbett came along and shredded it.  Plans don’t do any good when one idiot can undermine everything.

The police brutality against OWS protesters was designed to intimidate and threaten anyone condemning the 1% whose criminal behavior is destroying the country.  Now the cops aren’t even bothering to show up for the court dates.  Every arrested protester needs to sue the City of New York then go back tot he streets.  Each cop needs to be arrested for violating people’s civil rights.

I just read the book “The World Without Us” which discusses what’ll happen when homo sapiens becomes extinct.  With rapidly advancing climate change this is a distinct possibility.  We won’t even know when we’ve crossed the tipping point, when nothing we do can save us from our moronic selves.  If the species is too stupid to recognize the damage being done we don’t deserve to survive.  That’s evolution and the world will evolve without us.

Speaking of stupid, David Barton thinks people are on welfare because they don’t read the Bible.  It isn’t because we don’t educate them, provide jobs which support people or because of institutional racism and bigotry or because wall Street greed collapsed the economy.  It is because they don’t know the whale devoured Jonah.  Some people should become extinct.

The Koch brothers are totally corrupting our country and destroying democracy.   Capitalsim will be the end of democracy in this nation.  The corrupt businessmen have already undermined our national security by dealing with Iran despite sanctions.  Money trumps everything for these two greedy bastards.

Ed Rendell, in his speech Saturday at the PA Dems meeting, spent a few minutes talking about all the good we do at Planned Parenthood.  Thanks Ed!

In yet another example of how the Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground laws are nothing more than legalized murder a man in Texas instigated a fight then shot a teacher who WAS standing his ground.  It’s time to repeal this mob induced legislation.

News & Notes October 14, 2011

The US House passed a bill yesterday allowing federally funded hospitals the right to refuse to perform abortions.  Of course our law says it is a woman’s right to have an abortion and this law would actually kill women.  When severe complications from problem pregnancies threaten a woman’s life hospitals would be able to deny her life saving treatment.  Republicans in Washington just became a death panel.

Herman Cain is topping the GOP presidential polls.  I sure hope he becomes their nominee because we’d have a field day with his flat tax proposal.  Flat taxes mean even more income redistribution to the richest Americans while shifting the tax burden to the poor.  Here’s a news flash:  trying to close the deficit by taxing the poor won’t work for one simple reason:  they don’t have any money.  This man is a total idiot and his 9-9-9 plan reduces taxes for the rich from 35% to 9% and would not fund Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid.

The eviction of Occupy Wall Street was called off by the corporation which owns the park.  Regardless NYPD paratroops marched to the protest scenes outfitted in anti-riot gear to engage in yet more police brutality of behalf of bankers who stole their pensions.  

The ComputerGate trial continues in Harrisburg where former State Rep Brett Feese authorized work for Republican House campaigns as head of the HRCC according to testimony.  

State Senator Bob Mensch was found not guilty by Judge Thomas Eshelman in Berks County on charges he showed a gun to a passing motorist on I-78.  I sat through the first trial in Bernville and there’s no way a person could hear and see the testimony and find him not guilty.

The National Respurces Defense Council is targeting Congressmen Tim Holden and Lou Barletta for votes supporting polluters:

There was a state dinner at the White House last night and, again, I wasn’t invited.  Was it something I said???

Congress passed yet another job killing free trade deal this week.  Jim Gerlach spoke in support of this new measure which will cost yet more American jobs.

A pesky government regulation requires airlines to do periodic maintenance on all of their planes.  This keeps them from falling from the skies.

The Pennsylvania Superior Court candidates will be debating on PCN today.  The event is at Widener University.

News & Notes September 25, 2011

A Marcellus shale gas company (Chief Gathering LLC) is suing three families in Luzerne County for blocking a pipeline.  The people are opposing the construction through their development on covenant grounds.  Energy companies have gotten aggressive using litigation to steamroll their way through the Commonwealth.  This isn’t the way to gather public support for something many oppose.

Speaking of gas it appears wells drilled on state forest land procured with federal dollars may be illegal:

The law establishing the Land and Water Conservation Fund protects public park, forest and recreation lands acquired or developed with the program’s money from “conversion” to non-recreation use, like oil and gas wells, without prior approval by the Park Service. If such a conversion occurs, the state must buy land of at least equal value to compensate, and it must use any revenue from leases or royalties on such conversion lands for conservation and recreation purposes only.

A lot of wells in rural Pennsylvania have been sunk on our public lands.

Congressman Lou Barletta http://www.timesleader.com/news/Barletta__lsquo_raging_rsquo__over_loan_rate_09-22-2011.html”>is angry over the 6% interest rate being charged by the Small Business Administration for loans to those cleaning up following last month’s storms.  This is the same Congressman who has steadily cut government programs.  You can’t have it both ways Lou:  either government is good or it’s bad.

Herman Cain won the Florida straw poll.  I actually saw a car last week with a Cain bumper sticker.  How crazy must you be to support this man much less advertise your stupidity to others?

Speaking of the insane Republican presidential field did you see the “deer in the headlights” look of Rick Perry at the last debate?  He was barely able to string coherent sentences together.  Suddenly Rick “Man on Dog” Santorum is looking like a contender in this sorry field.  Obama’s only hope of a second turn is the extremism on the GOP side.

State Senator Jane Orie has lost an appeal attempting to delay her retrial on public corruption charges.  Her day in court is scheduled for October 3rd.

Powerful State Representative Dwight Evans has been unmasked as a ruthless Mafia type backroom politico by Mayor Nutter’s office.  Anyone who has spent any time in Harrisburg already knows this but front page headlines in The Inquirer reveal how he forced a private company to back out of a contract it won to convert MLK public school to a privatized one.  Here’s yet one more example of how privatizing government and public services is an invitation to corruption.  The non profit Evans supported has provided him with campaign contributions, surprise, surprise.

Barletta Linked to Nativists/Neo-Nazis

Congressman Lou Barletta who rode immigrant bashing to Washington has linked himself to Jim Gilchrest of Minuteman infamy and through that relationship, to Neo-Nazi groups surrounding Gilchrest.  The heated rhetoric created by Barletta resulted in the beating murder of an undocumented Mexican in Shenandoah, not far from Lou’s home in Hazleton.  Words do have consequences and besides using his inflamed rhetoric to get to DC the Congressman got there by attaching his coattails to some very unsavory souls.

Jim Gilchrest formed the Nativist, racist group Minutemen and eventually was forced out when he was accused of stealing donations.  He then formed a webiste largely devoted to promoting himself and has appeared at rallies and events supporting Congressional candidates.  Everywhere he goes he is surrounded by Neo-Nazis.  He also was a strong supporter of murderer Shawna Forde who conducted a brutal home invasion in Arizona and killed a 9 year old Hispanic girl and her father.

Congressman Barletta received an award from Gilchrest while attending the CPAC conference.  Why would a Pennsylvania Congressman associate himself with someone who defends racist murderers, is surrounded by Neo-Nazis in full regalia, and who constantly demeans minorities?  Attending the presentation were several virulent white nationalists:

William Johnson

Jared Taylor

The Council of Conservative Citizens

Timothy P. Dionisopoulos

Lou Barletta is openly associating with white supremacists and accepting an award from nativist Jim Gilchrest.  Is this what we as Pennsylvanians want associated with our Commonwealth?  What this says about Congressman Barletta is obvious.

W-B Airport Project Halted by Congress

A stop work order was issued by the FAA for an $18 million air traffic control tower at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport because of inaction by Congress.  Funds weren’t renewed and on Saturday all FAA projects around the nation came to an abrupt halt.  The country’s air traffic control facilities are extremely outdated and efforts to rebuild this critical infrastructure have now been halted.  4,000 FAA employees are now without pay in 35 states though the Agency says the safety of the flying public will not be compromised.  

“Construction workers across America will lose their jobs and local communities will be hurt the longer this goes on. Congress needs to pass an FAA bill to prevent further economic damage,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “This is no way to run the best aviation system in the world.”

“Unless Congress acts quickly, more work on projects critical to our nation’s aviation system will come to a halt. Work is stopping on construction and planning projects, NextGen system testing, and airport certification.  The list goes on and on and this is just the beginning,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt.

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton facility serves both the 10th and 11th Congressional Districts represented by Tea Party newcomers Lou Barletta and Tom Marino respectively.  These two are also blocking funding the federal government and driving powerful cuts in vital services.  Both voted for the radical and extreme Cut, Cap and Destroy Act last week which would slash Medicare and Social Security and put our national security in jeopardy.  I suppose, compared with that, an $18 million air traffic control tower is nothing.  The people of their Districts might disagree however.