News & Notes January 31, 2011

Joe Hoeffel announced this morning that he will not run for re-election as Montgomery County Commissioner.  He astutely allied with fellow Commish Jim Matthews to be in the majority following Bruce Castor’s implosion four years ago.  That began when he ran Matthews under the bus for accepting campaign contributions from convicted felon Bob Asher.  That story broke here on The Pennsylvania Progressive.  Hoeffel had gotten into some hot water when it was revealed that he and Matthews routinely met for breakfasts.  That was an apparent violation of the sunshine law because they formed a quorum of the County Commissioners by meeting.

Josh Shapiro, Hoeffel’s former Chief of Staff when he served as a Congressman, announced he will run to succeed Hoeffel.  Josh is a State Representative and a leading reformer in Harrisburg.  He is a brilliant young man who impresses everyone.  He has a great future and will make a fantastic Commissioner.

In the wake of the tragic shootings in Tucson gun sales there continue unabated.  New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg sent undercover agents to a recent gun show in Phoenix where they were able to purchase firearms in spite of telling dealers they wouldn’t pass a background check.  New York, like many other cities, is wrought with gun violence perpetrated by criminals able to buy guns and extended magazines at gun shows and from unscrupulous dealers.  Yes, guns kill people.  Countries which severely restrict gun sales and ownership have a fraction of the gun deaths we do.  That’s proof that it isn’t the people but the guns.  Let’s begin taxing ammunition heavily and we’ll cut the number of senseless deaths substantially.  I like Chris Rock’s idea:  if bullets cost $5,000 apiece these fools will think twice before pulling the trigger.  Nothing in the constitution says anyone has a right to ammunition.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has decided to decide on the role judges play in determining whether minor girls can obtain permission for abortions from the courts.  The state’s Abortion Control Act, one of the most restrictive in the nation, requires such permission if a young woman cannot obtain parental permission.  The issue of parental consent is a hot button issue.  Responsible parents understandably want to be involved but in too many cases they are the problem.  Until we live in a perfect world where incest doesn’t occur this is a serious issue.  Young women should not be forced to obtain permission from an abusive and incestuous parent for an abortion.

A federal judge in Florida ruled the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional.  So far some judges have agreed and others disagreed.  Until this is ruled upon by the Supreme Court nothing will be settled.  While I feel the Interstate Commerce Clause provides sufficient legal basis for the law I’ve never felt comfortable with the Act forcing Americans to buy insurance from private corporations with no public option alternative.  This amounts to a giant governmental underwriting of private business at taxpayer’s expense.  That is a purely Republican position and it mystifies me why they’d oppose such legislation.  The mandate is the part of the health insurance bill I dislike so this thrills me.

Demonstrations continue throughout Egypt today while the government successfully shut down Al Jazeera.  The Arab network had been broadcasting video of the revolution sweeping the country against President Hosni Mubarack.  Here is a picture Tweeted from Cairo today:

a href=”” title=”Cairo Demonstration by morgan_2408, on Flickr”>Cairo Demonstration

I wonder where Fox News sent their correspondents?  Back in 2009 they broadcast this map of the Middle East:

Fox's Egypt

President Obama will speak at Rec Hall on the campus of Penn State Wednesday at noon.  I have White House press credentials but a major winter storm set to hit us tomorrow night may make that impossible.  Didn’t anyone in Washington check the forecast first?

The Koch brothers, major financiers of the Tea Party and the Heritage Foundation held their annual Billionaire’s Caucus in Rancho Mirage, California to be met by hundreds of protesters.  They were met by police in riot gear.  Isn’t it nice to know the Koch brothers billions are going for a good cause???

House Republicans in Harrisburg backed off a vote today stripping Democrats of a member on each committee.  Protests over the weekend and a press conference by good government groups in the Rotunda this morning may have given them pause.  They got tons of bad publicity over the weekend.  Democrats robo called for support yesterday.

The Homestretch

This Saturday morning finds us in the homestretch of this year’s important primary campaign and me in western Pennsylvania.  I drove out to Ebensburg yesterday so I can cover Joe Sestak today.  He’ll be here in Ebensburg this morning for the Cambria County Democratic Breakfast as will Jack Wagner and, I expect, a few others.  At 1 PM we’ll be in Pittsburgh’s Leslie Park for another rally.  Joe’s day ends in Erie at 4 PM at the West Perry Square Gazebo.  Tomorrow he does a final GOTV rally at home in Media at 6 PM at the Delaware County Courthouse.

Poll show the Senate race a dead heat and these final days will swing this election one way or the other.  Rain forecast for Tuesday may be the final bellweather for either Congressman Sestak or Senator Specter.

The race for the Governor’s mansion is also interesting.  Four Democrats are sparring though Allegheney County Executive Dan Onorato has opened a large lead due to his warchest and ability to flood television with ads.  Tony Williams keeps hammering him though while Republicans continue largely undecided between Tom Corbett and Sam “The Crazy Fundie” Rohrer.  Polls show as much as 40% of Republicans undecided meaning that contest could go either way.  Attorney General Corbett is fatally flawed due to his political prosecutions and blatant lie about his health care lawsuit not being political.  Rohrer is a nutso religious fundamentalist who doesn’t believe in government except when it benefits him or his friends.

The most interesting contest of all Tuesday may be the GOP contest for Lt. Governor because there are nine, count ’em 9, candidates.  That means someone could conceivably win with 15% of the vote.  Wingnut Daryl Metcalfe could team up with Rohrer to give the GOP a ticket comparable to Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann.  

It’s going to be a long day, especially if I follow Congressman Sestak all the way to Erie, and I’ll upload video as I can depending on time and internet connections.

News & Notes May 13, 2010

Jack Wagner was our guest on Democratic Talk Radio this morning and we had a good discussion about reforming state government, competitive state contracts, campaign finance reform, interest rate swaps and so forth.

We’re five days out from the primary election and all the candidates are scrambling and organizing their get out the vote efforts.  I’ll probably be in western Pennsylvania Saturday covering the Sestak campaign.

Sen. Casey is working on Wall Street reform as a Member of the Democratic Policy Committee.  As he says there’s no middle ground:  either support Wall Street or Main Street:

Joe Hoeffel did an interview with public radio’s Scott Detrow that you can listen to here.  As a disabled person those issues are important to me.  The NE PA Center for Independent Living surveyed all six Gubernatorial candidates and only Joe Hoeffel responded.  I recall receiving a platform on his disability issue positions some time ago.

The Pennsylvania Democratic Party website is listing candidates but not all of them.  Perusing their list of Congressional candidates I note the following are omitted:  Sheila Dow-Ford, Ryan Buccaneiri and Corey O’Brien.  They list both primary candidates for the 6th but not for the other districts.  Why?

Specter keeps trying to explain his 45 years of supporting Republicans and 30 years of supporting Republican policies by saying he was an FDR Democrat.  Chris Matthews roasted him over the coals last night on Hardball:

Matthews caught the Senator lying about voting for Ed Rendell.  Can we believe anything Specter says?

Today is the 25th anniversary of the MOVE bombing in Philadelphia.  MOVE was/is a radical nature group which confronted neighbors and authorities over numerous issues and finally fortified themselves in a West Philadelphia row home.  Philadelphia’s Mayor and police bombed the home killing women and children and the fire wound up consuming almost an entire block.  It remains, 25 years later, the worst stain on the City’s blighted reputation.

Public Education Becoming Key Issue in Governor’s Race

Tony Williams entered the race for Governor in late January and immediately thrust the issue of public education into the mix.  Seeing as his campaign is being funded by devotees of charter schools trying to siphon funds from our public schools he has made school vouchers a central issue.  Vouchers are a right wing proposal which were designed to destroy our system of public education.  They allow our tax dollars, meant to fund and educate children in public schools, to be used to fund private schools.

I have no problem with parents opting to send their kids to private schools.  I have a problem when you want to use tax dollars to do so.  Pay for it yourself and, while you’re at it, transport your kids there yourself.  Why do we use public school buses to take kids to private schools?  

Our educational system needs major reforms and how we fund our schools is a central issue. Using vouchers to siphon even more money from them is the worst option however.  How will we fully fund education by taking funds away and giving them to private entities?  This is governmental privatization and that’s almost always a bad idea.  What we need to do first of all is eliminate the concept of taxing property and real estate to fund schools.  A progressive income tax and taxes on the extraction of natural gas can fully fund our system of public education.  The issue here is the loss of local control.  No one wants to lose that control so seniors keep losing their homes to taxes and sheriff’s sales, people are overly burdened with property taxes and nothing changes.  It must.

Let’s institute a constitutional convention and enable progressive taxation.  Then the state can collect these funds and distribute them equally among all districts according to a per student amount.  The costing out study done several years ago told us what it takes to educate each child.  Unfortunately our urban, poor districts cannot raise the same resources as rich, suburban ones.  Tony Williams decries the gap between schools like Philadelphia’s and Lower Merion and he’s right, the parents of kids in Philadelphia deserve better, the children deserve better.  Vouchers and charter schools are not the solution however.  Studies show charter schools are no better and be worse while enabling corruption and nepotism.  If we have the political will and the courage to tax properly and distribute funds equally we can  solve the problems.  How many bills has Sen. Williams introduced in Harrisburg to end the property tax, pass progressive income taxes (its actually Sen. Mike O’Pake’s bill) and demand equal distribution of funds?

Willaims and his charter school supporters are trying to buy the Governor’s mansion on this issue.  One candidate has stood steadfast behind our public schools however:  Joe Hoeffel.  Since her entered the race last September Joe has spoken about funding education equally and equitably.  He appeared on Democratic Talk Radio in September and spoke about his plan.  He didn’t wait for Sen. Williams and his cockamamie plan he backed our teachers, administrators and children with a real plan which will produce real results without destroying our public schools.  He challenged Dan Onorato today to support public schools in the face of Williams’ issue:

“There’s another important component to fully funding public education,” added Hoeffel. “Where do we get the money? Our state’s financial situation is precarious, and we need a solid plan. I have had a solid strategy for raising the revenue needed to fully fund public education and early childhood education, without burdening taxpayers. We must change our regressive state income tax to a progressive, graduated state income tax, and lessen the amount of school funding that comes from property taxes. And we must close corporate tax loopholes — including the Delaware Loophole, which allows many large multi-state corporations to pay no state tax at all — to ensure we collect the revenue we’re supposed to collect.”

While Onorato has said that — like Hoeffel — he “would gradually boost the state share of school funding,” his “policy outlines do not specify exactly how he would come up with the revenue needed to balance budgets” according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette of April 28th. And the Morning Call has reported that Onorato “perhaps sensing that it would cause apoplexy among business leaders … stopped well short of saying he’d support the elimination of the Delaware Tax Loophole that most state businesses use to avoid paying” the Corporate Net Income Tax.

“Next to job creation, education is the most important issue of this election. None of us should be silent and let our support be assumed. And all of us need to not just support education, but have a solid plan for funding. I’ve made my support and plan very clear,” said Hoeffel. “I’d like to hear the same from my opponents and particularly, Dan Onorato.”

Hoeffel, ended with one last comment.  “It’s one thing to say you are for a plan that supports public education — But without a funding mechanism, it’s just a disrespectful, empty promise.”

Joe Hoeffel For Governor

Joe Hoeffel is on the air with his first ad of the Governor’s campaign.  I love how he flips a pair of flip flops and goes after flip flopping candidates Dan Onorato and Tony Williams.

Joe has always been there with us on progressive issues and hasn’t been afraid to say he supports them in his stump speeches.  He isn’t afraid to tell audiences everywhere he goes that discrimination against anyone is bad and that women have the right to safe, legal abortions.  He has a strong platform and his commercial shows his personal side too, one I’ve had the pleasure of seeing many times.  There is a clear choice next week.  Our Commonwealth faces very serious budget issues.  We have a $450 million hole in the transportation segment and billions because we didn’t fund our pension obligations.

The pension issue may be the most serious crisis.  While Tony Williams voted to increase his state pension by 50% he didn’t do the tough work involved in funding those obligations in his role as State Senator.  No one in Harrisburg did though.  An aversion to raising taxes resulted in smoke and mirror gimmicks which led to risky investments, investments which ultimately soured, to avoid yet another budget battle.  Pensions must be funded and pension funds must be invested wisely and conservatively so the monies will meet future obligations.  That didn’t happen in Pennsylvania.  Anti-tax Republicans and Democrats fearful of being labeled “tax and spend” by foes refused to make the hard decisions.  Now its time to pay the piper and those same legislators who padded their own pensions are faced with having to fund the pensions with several billion dollars exactly when state revenues have crashed have to face the error of their ways.

Republicans Tom Corbett and Sam Rohrer have signed pledges to not raise any taxes.  Therefore they have self limited what they can do to solve this huge crisis.  The federal stimulus money currently filling a $2 billion hole in the budget leaves next year.  Do the math and you’ll find $450 million missing in transportation money, $2 billion in lost stimulus funds and $2-4 billion in pension obligations and the next Governor cannot simply continue to cut jobs and services.

Voters have said they want anyone convicted of three major crimes put away for life so our prisons are so full we’re outsourcing our criminals to other state prisons.  We’re spending huge amounts of tax dollars housing non violent offenders, trying them in courts and paying judges, prosecutors, defenders, deputies, bailiffs and all the other necessary personnel.  If we cannot cut them kiss your parks, recreation, roads, bridges, public safety, services like children and youth, aging, schools and everything else good bye.  Candidates who box themselves in for political purposes leave themselves, and us, with no recourse to solve gargantuan problems.  This shows extremely bad judgment.

We must elect someone with a proven record of coming together with both sides to find solutions.  Someone not afraid to make tough decisions and do whatever has to be done to move Pennsylvania forward.  Someone who doesn’t run from his record to pander to voters, someone proud of his record and unafraid to say where he stands.  We need Joe Hoeffel as Governor.

News & Notes May 10, 2010

Joe Sestak is mounting one of the most shocking comebacks in political history.  A month ago he was down by around 17 points and awakens this morning five points ahead of reeling Arlen Specter.  The Muhlenberg College tracking poll is a four day average and each day his margin is increasing so that means his real lead today is more than five.

The Congressman takes his Senatorial campaign to Wilkes-Barre today outside the Luzerne County courthouse at noon if you’re in that area and have yet to see him.

President Obama will appoint Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court this morning.  Sheis yet another moderate selection which, again, moves the Court to the right because she replaces a strongly liberal Justice.  The country thought it elected a liberal to the White House but Obama is nothing of the sort.

Update:  Sen. Arlen Specter voted against Elena Kagan as Solicitor General.  Will he flip flop once again now that he’s in a tough race and she’s Obama’s selection for the Supreme Court?  If so is there nothing he won’t pander to to win another term?  If she wasn’t fit, in his mind, to be the country’s top lawyer before the Court how can he explain she should be on that Court?

Did you catch Betty White on SNL?  She has been an undervalued national treasure for decades.  I’m so happy to see her receiving her due before they are eulogies.

On that note singer Lena Horne passed away at age 92.  She broke many racial barriers in a day when segregation was common.  Her courage will live on.

As Tony Williams and Dan Onorato battle it out with negative ads will Joe Hoeffel and Jack Wagner, now both on the air, be the beneficiaries?  Does Williams’ pay raise and pension votes still carry baggage with voters four years later?

What’s the big deal with reading a suspect Miranda rights?  Its the law of the land.  How convenient is it that these folks carrying copies of the constitution around are the first to toss it in the trash?

NOW President Terry O’Neil and former NARAL President Kate Michelman both endorsed 6th CD candidate Manan Trivedi last week.  I stopped by Trivedi’s canvass operation Saturday afternoon in Wyomissing.  The new father and Iraq War veteran is running against Doug Pike in next week’s primary.

Sen. Bob Bennett lost his seat Saturday when Republicans turned out the hard right conservative because he wasn’t conservative enough.  Extremists are running the GOP over a cliff.  Voters were upset over Bennett’s vote for the Bush Administration’s TARP program bailing out the banks.  Don’t they understand yet that those moves, unpopular as they were, staved off a repeat of the 1930’s?  The Great Bush Recession might have been worse than the Great Depression had the entire financial system collapsed.

We’re continuing to fix the system and Republicans are fighting reform every step of the way.  I don’t understand how, on one hand, the rank and file are upset with Senators like Bennett who did what had to be done and then obstruct actual reform designed to prevent future bailouts on the other.

Emails Prove Corbett Suit Is All Political

Emails obtained from Wisconsin through Keystone Progress’ partners prove Attorney General Tom Corbett is conducting the same kind of misuse of taxpayer funds for his own political campaign as those officials he is prosecuting in BonusGate.  He has been indicting and prosecuting legislators and staffers for misallocating tax money to run campaigns and use state offices and resources to do so.  Now we know Corbett is doing exactly the same thing in his frivolous lawsuit contesting the legality of health insurance reform.  The AG has publicly denied such misconduct and now has egg all over his face.  He violated Pennsylvania’s Open Records Law by refusing to comply with requests for these communications and we now understand why he was willing to take that risk.  Unfortunately for Corbett other state AG’s did turn over some documents which include his staffers and office in conversations planning the legal action.

The entire affair seems to have been initiated by Ed Gillespie, former RNC Chair and now head of the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC).  Their political director, responsible for helping elect Republicans to state level seats such as Attorney General, initiated the emails in which 14 state AG’s filed legal action only seven minutes after President Obama signed the bill into law.  The effort was begun before the bill even got passed by Congress so Tom Corbett didn’t even know what was in the bill before he agreed to join the lawsuit.  He is spending state money and resources for an effort which is entirely political in nature and which is being overseen and managed by the RSLC’s Political Director.  He is using this issue to run for Governor so he is doing the exact same thing in which he has charged Mike Veon, Bill DeWeese, John Perzel and others.  How can he go into court and prosecute these people while engaging in the same activity with public monies himself?

The emails prove Corbett’s complicity and he must release all communications he and his staff sent and received about this matter.  First of all this, we now know, a political operation and not legitimate litigation.  Secondly the emails have nothing to do with the actual litigation.  They were his marching orders from the organization which gave him $691,000 in his last election for Attorney General.  The RSLC owns Tom Corbett and he obviously felt he had to say “how high” when Ed Gillespie told him to jump.

How embarrassing is it to have a state Attorney General who is so beholden to his Party’s political operations he cannot use good judgment when it comes to expending tax money?  How embarrassing is it to have an AG who is currently prosecuting legislators for the same misdeeds he himself is committing?  How embarrassing is it to have an AG who is violating our Open Records Law?  How embarrassing is it to have the prospect this man could be our next Governor?


The Pennsylvania Democratic primary election is two weeks from today so I will announce my endorsements for this election.  I am an independent liberal and cannot vote but I can explain why I support the liberals and progressives who all happen to be Democrats in these races.  There hasn’t been a liberal Republican in Pennsylvania since, perhaps, Hugh Scott so my endorsements for office are either Democrats or Greens.  

For United State Senate I endorse Joe Sestak.  The Congressman from PA-7 is someone I came to know covering events he held for his constituents and someone for whom I have great respect for his courage, integrity, core values and principles, energy and commitment.  He will fully represent working people in Washington and no one will ever doubt where he stands or how he will vote on key, critical issues for working people.  He is also young enough we do not have to worry if he can survive a six year term.

For Governor I endorse Joe Hoeffel.  If Arlen Specter wins a new Senate term our next Governor may well be the person to appoint his replacement should he not be able to complete another six year term.  Specter has had two bouts with cancer just in this last term so this is an important aspect of choosing our next Governor.  I’ve known Hoeffel since he ran against Arlen six years ago and have worked with him since then.  He is a committed liberal with the core values and beliefs we need in Harrisburg.  He unapologetically says he supports a woman’s right to choose, equal rights for everyone and reform of schools funding so every child has an equal opportunity for a good education.  He supports health care for all, the minimum wage and the rights of workers to organize.  Joe is the only progressive running for Governor on all the issues and he is deserving of your vote.

For Lt. Governor I endorse Jonathon Saidel.  We elect our Governor and Lt. Governor candidates separately in the primary and then they run as a team in the general election.  Jonathon was City Controller in Philadelphia where he did an amazing job with the city’s finances and left office with a surplus.  He is steadfast for working people and is endorsed by the AFL-CIO.

In Congress we have several primaries.  In the 12th CD (Jack Murtha open seat) I endorse Ryan Bucchianeri.  The Pennsylvania Progressive led the way exposing Mark Critz as Murtha’s bag man and revealed that as CFO of Parkins Concrete the firm neglected to apy their taxes.  Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to vote for a tax cheat.  Bucchianeri is a true progressive and is worthy of our support.  The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette agrees.

In the 17th Congressional District I heartedly endorse Sheila Dow Ford.  This is my own District and I have refused to vote for Tim Holden because he is an elephant in a donkey suit.  He voted for the Iraq War, the Bush tax cuts, torture and to shred our Bill of Rights.  Dow Ford is a progressive who also knows her core values and beliefs and will support working people, protect our constitutional rights and fight for jobs and economic growth in the District.

In the 6th CD Manan Trivedi is my endorsed candidate.  I interviewed Dr. Trivedi for a national PAC last December and was impressed with his progressive credentials.  He is also an Iraq War veteran and will support working people.  Doug Pike strikes me as an empty suit who will say anything to get elected.  He cannot even be truthful about his personal biography.

I digress from my liberal and progressive values in the 11th CD.  There I endorse incumbent Paul Kanjorski.  I understand he isn’t pro-choice and I understand he is no liberal.  However Congressman Kanjorski sits as the Chair of a critically important subcommittee and has been working tirelessly to reform Wall Street and our financial markets.  His knowledge and expertise on these issues is unparalleled in our state delegation and we cannot afford to lose him in the midst of a serious recession.

For State Senate I endorse Chris Doherty in the Scranton area for Bob Mellow’s open seat.  As Mayor of Scranton he made enormous progress and is a bright star for Democrats in Pennsylvania.  This year’s state legislative races are even more important because these are the lawmakers who will decide how we will implement health insurance reform on the state level.  Will one of our exchanges offer a public option?  Would a Gov. Corbett attempt to veto this legislation?  We need good people in the House and Senate and Chris Doherty is the person.

The State House race in Center City Philadelphia is receiving national publicity because of questions about one candidate’s sexual orientation.  I don’t usually think anyone’s sexual orientation should be an issue but there are claims that a man is pretending to be part of the LGBT community, a large portion of the constituent base in this district, and is not.  I don’t know what Gregg Kravitz is but I do know Babette Josephs.  For 25 years Babette has served in Harrisburg with distinction with only a few questionable votes for which she readily admits were mistakes and correctable.  She has the power and influence to do so and that is tremendously important.  So important it trumps any other consideration.  Rep. Josephs is our friend, our supporter and is deserving of our loyalty in return.  This about issues and qualifications and not about sexuality.

Governor’s Primary Race Heats Up

With the primary two weeks away things are heating up in the race for Governor on the Democratic side.  As polls show Dan Onorato pulling away due to his sizable money advantage and paid television spots Tony Williams launched an ad attacking the Allegheny County Executives claims.  Dan’s primary claim to be best qualified stems from his statements he has reinvigorated Pittsburgh’s economy.  I can’t tell you how many from Allegheny County have told me how intensely they dislike Mr. Onorato over the past 18 months.  Not one has said anything positive about him (I stand corrected by Tom Waters who does) to me since he began his campaign for Governor.  Let me repeat that:  not one person from his home county has had anything good to say about the man.  That’s amazingly unusual.  I understand that every public official makes some enemies, you cannot do your job without making some.  I judge people by who their enemies are.  Everyone has friends and supporters though and Dan Onorato’s seem invisible.

In the middle of these comments I also have heard that he has failed to support key Democratic candidates.  John Morganelli tells about how he drove to Pittsburgh while running for Attorney General for events Dan planned to arrive and have no one there wasting valuable time and money.  There are also reports he failed to support Jack Panella last year.  I called the Superior Court Judge when this first arose and he told me he didn’t want to get involved in any such controversya nd, as a sitting Judge, is prohibited from doing so by law.  However other sources told me that Dan Onorato was instrumental in securing the Teamsters endorsement for Jack’s opponent Joan Orie Melvin.  I also note that Panella only received about 58% of the vote in Allegheny County, a number which seems awfully low for a Democrat at the top of the ticket in a heavily Democratic county.  Why couldn’t Dan Onorato deliver the vote for Jack in that race for the Supreme Court?

Now Jack Wagner and Tony Williams are telling voters that Onorato’s claims to have turned his economy around are false.  He also is vulnerable on the green front as he claims he has environmental cred but his city had the worst air in the country.

I attended SundayOUT! last weekend and had a great time relaxing and visiting with many of the major candidates who came to The Piazza in Philadelphia to meet with LGBT voters.  Dan Onorato and Joe Hoeffel had booths both attended.  Joe Hoeffel, as I explained to some of the young voters, has always been out in front supporting our community and says so right in his stump speech.  He doesn’t wait for a question, he says he supports equal rights for every citizen.  Dan Onorato doesn’t support marriage equality and apparently his people were getting questions about his positions since he had a table at the festival.  Some were actually offended the Equality Forum even allowed him to have a presence there “since he doesn’t support our community.”  I thought that was a good point but I’m not involved with the organization.  It does underscore how Dan is anti-choice and anti-equality however (as is Jack Wagner).  Wagner doesn’t attempt to hide his positions though and is honest about not supporting women or gays and lesbians.  Onorato tries to fudge it and make it seem he does when he doesn’t.  Do Democrats want another John Kerry as their candidate?  If Dan Onorato flip flops any more he should run in New Jersey where he at least has the beach to explain those flip flops.  Expect to see more negative ads appearing before May 18th as the real Dan Onorato is unveiled.