Dan Onorato Makes it Official

Dan Onorato made it official today:  he is a candidate for Governor.  The Allegheny County Executive has been running for the nomination for two years and already has a sizable war chest on hand.  He began a statewide announcement tour in Philadelphia and will also be in Allentown, Erie, Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.  I regret that I can’t attend any of the events but we hope to have him on Democratic Talk Radio along with the other candidates.

Joe Hoeffel: “I am a candidate for Governor”

Montgomery County Commissioner and former Congressman Joe Hoeffel is running for Governor in next year’s race.  He will be the progressive candidate with a long, defined record of standing up for progressive causes.  The lack of a true progressive candidate following the departures of Tom Wolfe and Don Cunningham has frustrated the state’s large progressive base.  Hoeffel ran for the U.S. Senate against Arlen Specter in 2004 and has statewide name recognition.  A new poll he commissioned shows him with a very credible backing and support in the critical southeastern part of the state.  

The Lake poll shows Hoeffel with 15% of the vote statewide against Dan Onorato and Jack wagner at 12% each, Chris Doherty at 6% and Tom Knox with 5%.  The large numbers of undecided Democrats in previous polls illustrated, I felt, an opportunity for a candidate with a strong, progressive record to win this race.  Onorato and Wagner will split the western vote and with more votes in the east in a Democratic primary Joe Hoeffel saw an opening to bring real progressive issues to Harrisburg.

In a conversation this morning he said he didn’t see any of the other candidates addressing progressive issues at all.  Investing in education, jobs and healthcare would top his list of priorities as Governor.  Hoeffel would continue Ed Rendell’s commitment to education and he sees underfunding of schools in poor neighborhoods as something needing to be addressed.  “There are vestiges of discrimination we need to change” such as restrictions on women’s reproductive rights, educational opportunities for the poor, environmental decisions which hurt people in poor neighborhoods, and equal marriage rights for all Pennsylvanians are issues he specificall y mentioned.

On the issue of healthcare Hoeffel said “we need to move to single payer” though he added he would not support any specific legislation until funding issues are researched and viable.  “I’ll fight in Harrisburg” is a welcome statement after a Governor who fought against single payer legislation.  Joe supports the public option on the national level presently and would like to see the country move to a single payer system as it becomes feasible.

I asked about fund raising and money which is always crucial in politics.  He hopes to raise a million dollars by January and sees a primary costing between $4-5 million.  He sees his task as using that money to “fire up the progressive base.”  Until now the progressive base of the Democratic Party has been left out of the Governor’s race because of the absence of a candidate.  Hoeffel plans on organizing them behind his effort by reaching out to all the progressive groups in the state.  “I know how to do it.  People have to be motivated to give to a candidate.  I think they’ll respond.  The race is wide open and I think they’ll respond because a progressive message gains strength.”

Joe Hoeffel has been a progressive his entire political career.  He has run on progressive issues forever and stands on these principles.  He knows where his moral compass points and is unafraid to stand up for what he feels is right whether it means protecting a woman’s right to choose, my right to get married (if I wanted to), to protecting the rights of the poor, to equalizing educational opportunities for every child.  He has been there for us and now is our opportunity to be there for him.  I will be supporting my friend and I urge all progressives around Pennsylvania to support the natural successor to Ed Rendell.  We finally have a candidate who can win because he is unafraid to support all of us and all of our rights.

I had relegated myself to sitting out the Governor’s race after Wolfe and Cunningham withdrew.  The frustrating part was that I saw an opportunity for a progressive from eastern Pennsylvania to win.  Knox is a predatory lender who made his millions fleecing poor people in the inner cities.  He is NOT a viable Democratic candidate.  Doherty has a proven record as Mayor of Scranton but has not ever been considered a progressive.  His record belies any attempt for positioning himself as a real progressive.  This is Hoeffel’s race and his statewide name recognition from the Senate race affords him the support to keep the Governor’s mansion from Republican ownership.  The budget impasse this summer should scare every voter about the future if Tom Corbett or Jim Gerlach becomes Governor.  Educational spending and critical social services will be slashed in the name of further enriching the rich.  There is too much at stake to not support Joe Hoeffel.

Bank’s Backdoor to stealing from Consumers

(Tom Knox style – promoted by PA Eagle Eye)

Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-PA) was instrumental to the passage of legislation to curb some of the predatory and unethical atrocities credit card companies commit on consumers.  There are many upsides to the passage of the bill, but one downside is what the Bill failed to include, which was the fictituous and manufactured fees that banks charge their customers dubbed as “service fees.”  Large banks such as Bank of America, Sovereign, and PNC that charge such fees should be issued subpoenas by Congress to hand over records regarding executive correspondence on this issue and the development of such practices.  I received an email stating “do A, B, or C before June 22 or your account will be assessed a 40 dollar fee.”  I called and explained to the customer service rep that this is essentially stealing, and he said “ummm ok if you think of it that way.”  I said, “ummm no most Americans think of it that way because you are taking money from them and manufacturing reasons to do so.  A service fees denotes service, and you have not given me no where near 40 dollars in service.”  

Of course, asshole tellers don’t care.  They have sympathy for no consumer.  Since im on a rant on the issue of stealing…. I read an article in the Post-Gazette today on Tom Knox, the 20 million dollar man for Governor.  It would be a cold day in hell before I voted for someone that exploited the poorest of the poor thru payday lender loans.  Furthermore, Knox while running Crusader did not apologize for it at all, claiming “he didn’t know” that the fees rolled over when loans could not be paid by consumers.  Do you honestly believe that executive businessman Tom Knox did not know the fees rolled over on consumers when they couldn’t pay… sprialing them into deeper debt?  What does he think, we’re all stupid?  Luckily, Onorato and Cunningham are far better alternatives than Tom Knox.  Im sure Mr. Knox will be dealing with Morgan and me more as we head toward 2010.  Here is a link to the article kiddies:

http://community.post-gazette….

Until next time, same bat time, same bat channel!

Predatory Lender Knox Running For Governor

Philadelphian Tom Knox is running for Governor following a failed attempt to become the City’s Mayor.  Knox spent scads of his own money and reportedly will self fund most of his gubernatorial campaign.  Knox flooded television viewers with bio commercials touting his business success while conveniently forgetting to tell how he gained those millions.

Tom Knox made his money by being a predatory lender.  He owned a chain of payday loan stores who preyed on working people and the poor, one of the financial leeches who helped destroy our economy.  Since the interest rate on these short term loans is comparable to loan sharking many people wind up rolling them over and over, falling further and further into debt while the likes of Tom Knox get rich off their hard work.

Tom Knox is a legal loan shark.  Is this the type of character we want running our Commonwealth?  Is this the sort of man Democrats want leading their ticket next year?  I observed Knox at a couple State Committee meetings last year as he attempted to woo those who will vote on an endorsement next January.  It was interesting to watch who was brown nosing him and who ignored him.

Here is an explanation about payday loans.  Every time you see or hear Tom Knox remember where he got his money.

PA Supremes Punish Payday Lender

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has decreed that payday lender Advance America Cash Advance violated usury limits by imposing fees and interest which exceed state law.  

Payday loans such as Advance America provides leech funds from the poor at outrageously high rates.  Theirs impose a $150 fee and 6% interest for a $500 loan.  Former Philadelphia Mayoral candidate Tom Knox made his fortune preying on the poor with such usurious and immoral business practices.  Knox briefly toyed with the idea of running for State Treasurer last year and has his sights set on the Governor’s mansion in 2010.