PA-13: Leach Files FEC Complaint Against Margolies

The bitter war between former Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies and her Democratic opponents entered a new chapter today as the campaign of State Senator Daylin Leach disclosed that they are filing a FEC complaint alleging Margolies broke campaign finance laws.

Margolies Money

Chart of Margolies’ primary Q1 COH, provided by the Leach campaign

“We’re here to talk about a campaign that blatantly, flagrantly, knowingly and repeatedly broke the law,” Leach said during a press conference call with reporters. “[It was] a clear, unambiguous, repeated breach of the law.”

The Leach campaign provided ample evidence, in the form of charts, tables, and even full blown-up posters to document how the Margolies campaign broke FEC law by spending general election funds during the primary.

According to the documents compiled by the Leach campaign based off Margolies’ latest fundraising report, her campaign first dipped into the red on January 15th and didn’t get into the black on primary cash on hand again until March 31st, the day before the first quarter deadline.

At the worst point, March 19th, the Margolies campaign would’ve spent anywhere from $71,427.94 to $78,065.94 of general election funds depending on unitemized contributions.

On the call Leach was characteristically not shy about expressing his opinion of Margolies’ actions, declaring that her campaign decided to “say to hell with the law.” He stated that this shows the “utter contempt in which her campaign holds the voters and the law” and asserted that “they had to cheat to survive so they decided to cheat, hundreds of times, day after day after day.”

Margolies Response

In a piece that ran in the Philadelphia Inquirer this morning, Margolies spokesman Ken Smukler slapped down the charges of the Leach campaign. “[The Margolies campaign] has at all times complied with campaign laws. Period.” He further took a swipe at the State Senator by describing this whole episode as an attack intended “to save his desperate campaign.”

On the call, Chris Brennan of the Daily News got into a long debate with Leach and his lawyer Adam Bonin over a 2009 FEC decision that Smukler pointed out to defend the legality of the Margolies campaign’s actions. In that case, a candidate that was alleged to have used general election funds was acquitted.

Leach and Bonin argued that in that case, the FEC did not rule the general election spending legal because the campaign had a surplus of primary COH by the end of the quarter, as Smukler seemed to be indicating. Rather, they asserted, the FEC ruled that the overall lack of evidence was the determinative factor in that case. Bonin also referred to a section of election law that maintained this law applies “at all times.”

In response to a question about Smukler’s statement that his campaign was desperate, Leach pointed to their lead in fundraising and primary COH.

“You know the first lesson in ‘hack politics 101’ is whenever anyone attacks you, to say its desperation,” Leach responded. He then went on to decry the fact that Smukler and not the candidate was speak about this.

“Why isn’t Marjorie talking about this? Isn’t this her campaign? Where’s Marjorie?” he asked.

Leach also challenged the notion that Marjorie is the front-runner pointing out that the poll the Margolies campaign has repeatedly cited was an internal poll from August. He stated there are only two purposes to internal polls 1. Get information 2. Create a narrative. Leach suggested that he is focused on the former while Margolies is focused on the latter.

The candidate additionally pointed out that according to her reports, the ex-Rep. hasn’t spent any money on field operations. “No, I don’t see her as a front-runner at all” he finished.

Finally, when another reporter brought up past allegations against Marjorie, Leach referred to her claim that she recused herself from a vote to raise her pay, which the Huffington Post has disputed.

“Life just seems to happen around Marjorie, nothing is ever her fault,” the candidate sarcastically summarized.

PA-Gov: Mayors Endorse McCord

McCord

McCord

Earlier today, 30 mayors from across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania announced their united support for State Treasurer Rob McCord in his campaign to become governor.

Even better for McCord, this endorsement will go down in history as the largest, most diverse group of municipal officials support a gubernatorial candidate at once, according to a release from his campaign.

“Today’s announcement is truly humbling and historic,” said McCord. “When such a diverse group of passionate mayors from across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania come together in a primary election to support one candidate, you know something important is happening. And it is, because together we’re going to invest in our classrooms, stop the natural gas drillers from taking our natural resources for pennies on the dollar, and raise the minimum wage. But most importantly, we’re going to defeat and evict Tom Corbett.”

Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate and current Mayor of Allentown Ed Pawlowski was one of the 30 who threw his weight behind McCord.

“No one in this race is standing up for working families like Rob McCord and no one in this race has had the courage to make the bold proposals that Rob McCord has,” said Pawlowski, also the acting Chair of Mayors for McCord. “Rob is hands down the only one who can beat Tom Corbett, and as the mayor of the third largest city in the commonwealth and the Chair of Mayors for McCord, it’s exciting to be part of this historic day and help Rob win the primary in May.”

Pawlowski dropped out of the Democratic primary race in early February due to the difficulties of running a city and a gubernatorial campaign at the same time. At that point, the Allentown mayor had announced his full support for McCord.

In addition to Mayors for McCord, the gubernatorial candidate has a wide range of endorsements to carry with him into the primary month. This includes six current and former state senators, 25 current and former state representatives, 27 of 67 Democratic county chairs, and roughly 455,000 current and retired union members. The unions include the Laborers’ District Council of the Metropolitan Area of Philadelphia and Vicinity and the Pennsylvania Professional Fire Fighters Association.

The list of mayors endorsing McCord is as follows, straight from the press release:

Mayor City/Town County
Angela Adkins Midland Borough Beaver
John Antoline Monaca Borough Beaver
Ed Burns Girardville Schuylkill
Kenneth Cecconi Homer City Borough Indiana
Dennis Clawson Clymer Borough Indiana
Ronald Evanko Blairsville Indiana
Adam Forgie Turtle Creek Allegheny
Tom Grady Narberth Borough Montgomery
Edward Hozza, Jr. Whitehall Township Lehigh
Frank Janakovic Johnstown Cambria
Dan Lello Dupont Luzerne
Anthony Mastrangelo New Castle Lawrence
Sal Panto Easton Northampton
Ed Pawlowski Allentown Lehigh
Nancy Petritsch Mahanoy City Schuylkill
David Poling Economy Borough Beaver
George Quay III Beaver Falls Beaver
Wayne Quick Hughestown Luzerne
Thomas Reenock Northampton Borough Northampton
David Rhome Canonsburg Borough Washington
Tim Scott Carlisle Borough Cumberland
Joseph Sinnott Erie Erie
Rick Smith Borough of New Brighton Beaver
Vaughn Spencer Reading Berks
John Szczyglak Shenandoah Schuylkill
Vincent Tozzi Yatesville Borough Luzerne
Donald Wachter Big Beaver Borough Beaver
Anthony Weaver McSherrystown Adams
Richie Wiaterowski Nanticoke Luzerne
Nicholas Yanosich Industry Beaver

Also in the running for the state governor Democratic primary are former Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf, Rep. Allyson Schwartz, and former DEP Secretary Katie McGinty.

Kane Stymies Williams Prosecution of Philly Sting

kane presserA new tangent materialized in the widely reported sting operation that Attorney General Kathleen Kane halted back in 2013.

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, an outspoken dissenter of Kane’s decision to stop the sting operation, accepted the AG’s offer to prosecute the case himself if he believed a conviction could be made.

Williams accepted the challenge more than two weeks ago, but none of the pertinent case files have been sent to Williams or his team.

In a letter to Williams, Kane cited “potential conflicts” that Williams will face handling the case, as well as “concerns about privacy provisions of the Pennsylvania Wiretap Act,” the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

“It has been almost two weeks to the day that Ms. Kane requested that I take this case, and I find it odd that in all of this time she has never mentioned this so-called conflict of interest,” Williams told the Inquirer. “It is apparent that Ms. Kane doesn’t really believe I have a conflict, or she wouldn’t have repeatedly suggested I take over this case.”

Kane has received a lot of flack for her decision to disband the sting operation. She has insisted that the Attorney General’s office “could not prosecute [the] case,” citing a lack of prosecutable evidence and a blatantly racially-tinged operation. But even members of her own Democratic party have spoken out against her decision, Williams included.

The case involved five Philadelphia politicians, including four State Reps., who allegedly accepted bribes from an undercover lobbyist named Tyron B. Ali. The State Reps. implicated were all members of the Democratic Party as well as the Black Caucus.

Kane has faced accusations that she was protecting her own party and the lawmakers who supported her campaign. Williams, by accepting Kane’s offer to prosecute the case, hopes to correct any favoritism shown towards those implicated.

However, State Reps. Ronald G. Waters and Vanessa Lowery Brown, both accused of accepting bribes, also supported Williams campaign back in 2009.

“The fact that political figures endorse a prosecutor for office should not grant them immunity from prosecution,” Williams told the Inquirer. “These same representatives endorsed Ms. Kane for office, but that did not excuse her from her duty to investigate and prosecute them under the law.”

As it stands, Williams is still waiting for the files to go any further with reassessing the case.

In addition, a reader poll held last month by PoliticsPA showed that many of this website’s viewers — a little more than half — believe that Kane should have prosecuted the case back in 2013.

 

Lt. Gov.: Neuman Wins The West

Rep. Neuman

Rep. Neuman

If you’re still wondering how the west was won, ask State Rep. Brandon Neuman (D-Washington).

Last week, Neuman unveiled a slew of Northwest PA endorsements from elected officials, and this week, he wrangled in another handful from the Pittsburgh area.

The latest endorsers include Pa. Rep. Pam Snyder (D-50th), Frank Dermody (Pa. House Minority Leader), Paul Costa, Dom Costa, Dan Deasy, Tony Deluca, Dan Frankel, Bill Kortz, Nick Kotik, Joe Markosek and Rob Matzie.

“Representative Neuman is one of the brightest people in the House and he has a big impact on legislation that affects people,” said Rep. Frank Dermody. “He’s a forceful advocate for better protection of vulnerable children and care-dependent seniors. Brandon Neuman is an engaging person who brings energy and deep intelligence to everything he does.”

“Among the greatest compliments that a public servant can receive is being acknowledged by your peers for your efforts and performance,” Neuman responded. “I am very grateful for their confidence in me.”

His Erie area support comes from PA lawmakers Reps. Ryan Bizzarro of Millcreek, Patrick Harkins of Erie, and Flo Fabrizio, also of Erie, have pledged their support to their colleague Neuman. Several other Erie County Dems have thrown their support behind Neuman, including Erie City Councilman Bob Merski, Erie County Councilmen Jay Breneman, Phil Fatica and Andre Horton, and former Erie County Councilwoman Joy Greco, who is also an elected Millcreek Township auditor.

Neuman is one of two Democratic candidates for Lieutenant Governor from Western PA; the other being former Congressman Mark Critz. But despite running multi-million dollar campaigns in the region, Critz is being outpaced in fundraising and endorsements by the young State Rep.

Also running for the Democratic nomination are Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski, State Senator Mike Stack and Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith.

PA-13: Philly Dems Endorse Boyle

Rep. Boyle

Rep. Boyle

The Philadelphia Democratic Party endorsed State Representative Brendan Boyle (D-Philadelphia) in Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District race.

Boyle, the only candidate running for the seat who is from Philadelphia proper, received widespread support from city officials, including official endorsements from State Senator Mike Stack, City Controller Alan Butkovitz and Councilman Bobby Henon.

“I am proud to have the support of the Democratic Party in Philadelphia’s portion of the 13th district,” said Boyle. “This endorsement is another sign that our campaign continues to build momentum every day. We have received backing from the overwhelming majority of elected officials across Philadelphia, and it shows that our message of advocating for working families rather than just the hyper wealthy is clearly resonating with voters across the district.”

Boyle aired his first ad this week which discussed how he plans to change that culture of “the hyper wealthy” in Washington.

Butkovitz nominated Boyle for the endorsement, and that nomination was then seconded by 55th Ward leader Bob Dellavella. Boyle then received votes of support from State Sen. Stack and Ward leaders Pat Parkinson, Lorraine Bednarik, Sharon Losier, Shawn Dillon, Bernice Hill and Danny Savage.

“We need representation in Washington that will fight for families in communities across Philadelphia,” said 61st Ward leader Sharon Losier. “I’ve been privileged to work with Brendan on a variety of issues over the past several years, and look forward to continuing that work when he becomes our next Congressman. Electing Brendan will ensure that we have an advocate in Congress who understands the needs of our community because they are part our community, something that is important to keep moving Philadelphia forward.”

This endorsement is a big pickup for Boyle who faces a dense field for the Democratic primary in May. Boyle is campaigning against physician Val Arkoosh, State Senator Daylin Leach and former Congresswoman Marjorie Margolies as he attempts to win the Democratic nomination.

 

4/24 Morning Buzz

pa flagStrouse unveils his debut ad, Schwartz doubles down on ACA and NOW endorses Koplinski. Good morning politicos, here’s the Buzz.

PA-Gov: Corbett Campaign Pushes For Opponents to Reveal Tax Returns: Citing PA Dems’ Jim Burn in 2012, Corbett’s campaign applies more pressure to gubernatorial candidates.

PA-Gov: Schwartz Doubles Down on ACA Support: The Democratic candidate reiterated her support of health care reform in a conference call with reporters today.

Lt. Gov.: National Organization for Women Endorses Koplinski: With no woman in the race, PA NOW endorses the Harrisburg City Councilman.

PA-8: Strouse Debuts First Ad Entitled “Seriously”: The Democrat discusses his gravitas regarding education and rebuilding the middle class.

PA-6: DCCC Steps Up Attack on Costello: The DCCC hopes to get Costello to answer more questions about the Republican budget.

HD-36: Readshaw’s Ad Accused of Misleading Viewers: Talking about the latest transportation bill, Readshaw’s ad fails to mention the benefits that his district would garner.

Legislative Elections Update:

HD-22: Peter Schweyer, Democratic candidate for State Representative in the recently relocated 22nd District, announced that he has received the endorsement of the Lehigh Valley Association of Realtors. The trade association represents approximately 2,000 real estate professionals in Lehigh and Northampton Counties.

HD-98: Central Pennsylvania Building and Construction Trades Council endorsed Democrat Tony Crocamo. This seat has been held by Rep. David Hickernell (R-Dauphin) since 2003.

HD-164: Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania PAC, the electoral arm of Planned Parenthood in Pennsylvania issued the following statement regarding the misleading nature of State Representative Margo Davidson’s (D-164, Delaware) first campaign mailing of the election.

“Davidson’s claims about supporting reproductive healthcare and protecting access to safe, legal abortion are just simply inaccurate,” said Sari Stevens, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Pennsylvania Advocates and PAC. “Davidson is deliberately misleading voters. In just three years, she cast an astounding eighteen votes against women’s reproductive health, even voting for a ban on private insurance coverage for abortion with no exception for health complications like organ failure or cancer.”

HD-163: The Pennsylvania Professional Fire Fighters Association (PPFFA), a union representing more than 10,000 paid professional firefighters, EMT’s and paramedics in Pennsylvania, has endorsed Republican Jamie Santora for State Representative in the 163rd Legislative District. The Pennsylvania Professional Fire Fighters Association is affiliated with the International Association of Firefighters and the AFL-CIO. He faces Democrat Vince Rongione for the open seat left by Rep. Micozzie’s retirement.

HD-202: The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO has endorsed State Representative Mark Cohen for reelection. The AFL-CIO represents 900,000 workers and families. Cohen has held the seat for 22 years and faces Democratic challenger Jared Solomon in the primary.

Statewide
PA Independent: Severance tax proposals called ‘short-sighted tax schemes’
PA Independent: Wagner condemns portraits of felonious officials
StateImpactPA: DEP says residents not exposed to harmful air pollution during Chevron well fire
StateImpactPA: Royalties bill stalled in state legislature

Philadelphia
Daily News: Allyson Schwartz’s gender gambit
Daily News: With raises, BRT tackles appeals
Daily News:Sky’s the limit for Chestnut Hill art space
Inquirer:In Ukraine, Gerlach warns of a ‘sword’ hanging overhead
Inquirer: Center City showing signs of weakness
PhillyClout:Schwartz calls Wolf “vague” on Obamacare support
Philly.com:Pa. man pleads in chemical weapon lab sales to Syria
Philly.com:Toomey visits Chesco to tout tax reform act

SEPA
Courier-Times: Middletown reaches deal with police union over complaints
Courier-Times: Groundbreaking set for 2 Bristol Twp. elementary schools
Courier-Times: Strouse gets cute in first TV spot for Congress
Montgomery Media: Four-year police contract presented to Norristown council
Montgomery Media: Upper Dublin School Board looks at 3 percent tax increase

Pittsburgh
Business Times: Report: Region’s tech employment, pay on upswing
Business Times: State, city hope for bigger investments into roads, bridges
City Paper: Calling the Question: Point Park adjuncts eyeing summer unionization vote
WTAE: Prosecutor: ID theft scheme cost US Treasury $10M
Tribune Review: Casey to promote tax-free savings plan for disabled during Pittsburgh stop
Tribune Review: Pittsburgh to spend $10,700 to repair 4 chandeliers in mayor’s office
Tribune Review: Allegheny County stands to save $13M if it refinances debt
Tribune Review: Mortgage holder keeps pressure on debt-ridden Wilson center
Post-Gazette: Mayor, Yellow Cab approach merge point on ride-sharing
Post-Gazette: Two gubernatorial candidates woo black voters
Post-Gazette: Casey pushes to get things moving at nuclear waste site

Southwest
Tribune-Democrat: DiLeo: District awaiting teachers contract
Beaver County Times: DEP: No harmful pollutants emitted from Greene County well fire site
Beaver County Times: Vogel and AARP hosting consumer education seminar
Beaver County Times: Historical restoration tax credit begins
Observer-Reporter: Washington County chooses new human resources director
Altoona Mirror: Mad deer zone expands
Altoona Mirror: Transportation program’s growth to be ‘sustained’

NEPA
Times Leader: Ouster attempt reaffirms Lawton’s position
Times Leader: Local supervisor elected to state board
Times Leader: Environmental grants go to 5 local groups
Times Leader: Cartwright announces $10K grant to help support ADA post
Times Leader: City council will consider gas line change
Times Tribune: Six Scranton schools on ‘low achieving’ list
Times Tribune: Midvalley fuel oil supplier buys Dunmore rival
Times Tribune: W-B taxpayers group pens letter denouncing Mericle

South Central
ABC 27: Harrisburg City Council approves fire contract
ABC 27: Pipeline concerns many in Lancaster County
Harrisburg Patriot News: Dauphin County approves merit hire system for social service workers
Harrisburg Patriot News: Carlisle Borough Council could vote tonight on Goodman Birtcher warehouse zoning
Harrisburg Patriot News: New state Sen. Scott Wagner wants portraits of felonious lawmakers removed: Wednesday Morning Coffee
Harrisburg Patriot News: Linda Thompson starts her political comeback with baby steps
York Dispatch: York County commissioners dole out $100,000 for county projects
Lancaster Intelligencer/Era: Union workers want testing for toxic chemical exposure
Lancaster Intelligencer/Era: Commissioners’ April 29 pipleline meeting to give speakers 3 minutes each

Lehigh Valley
Morning Call: Stakes high in PPL union talks
Reading Eagle: Survey finds education top issue for voters
Express Times: Northampton County DA submits proposal to help mentally ill suspects stay out of prison
Express Times: Postal workers union plans protest Thursday outside Staples in Bethlehem Township, Pa.
Express Times: Northampton County Council to discuss approval of candidate whose qualifications were questioned

North by Northwest
AP: Schwartz ad highlights her role in health-care law
Campaign ‘14 Blog: New poll: Voters want more education funding
Campaign ‘14 Blog: Harborcreek’s Smith stays on ballot
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Big impact on flood insurance in Muncy is ‘highly likely’
Onward State: Voting Numbers Down in Board of Trustees Election

Opinion
Harrisburg Patriot News: Should they stay or should they go? Is it time to remove portraits of convicted lawmakers?
Williamsport Sun Gazette: Pact helps county prison overcrowding, but doesn’t solve it
Post-Gazette: Help wanted: It’s time for Mayor Peduto to fill key positions
Altoona Mirror: EPA still abusing authority
Inquirer: Inquirer Editorial: Drug arrests reflect reality
Daily News: DN Editorial: Is local better?

Blogs
Above Average Jane: Philadelphia NOW Endorses Jared Solomon in 202nd House District
Above Average Jane: Philadelphian Amy Jones Honored
Keystone Politics: #PA13: Margolies Violates FEC Guidelines – Leach Campaign Files Legal Complaint
Keystone Politics: #PAGov: Obamacare Frenemy Allyson Schwartz Takes a Page From Karl Rove’s Playbook
Keystone Politics: CHART: Marjorie Margolies’ Burn Rate From Hell
Keystone Politics: #PA13: Will fundraising woes be Margolies’ downfall?
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Elected Sheriff On The Agenda Again
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: LWV State Senate Debate on May 8
Lehigh Valley Ramblings: Brown Pick For Administrator Appears to be Unqualified

PA-8: Strouse Debuts First Ad Entitled “Seriously”

Democratic candidate for PA-8 Kevin Strouse is set to debut his first television ad on both cable and broadcast networks.

The ad runs thirty seconds long and is entitled “Seriously.”

“I’m Kevin Strouse. People say I’m a serious guy — and they’re right,” says Strouse to the camera.

“I’m serious about education, and I direct a nonprofit that works with schools. And as someone who got help from the G.I. Bill, I’m serious about making college affordable for every kid.”

strouse adAll of this serious talk is juxtaposed with images of Strouse playing with his children in their living room and kitchen.

“Now I’m running for Congress because we need to rebuild the middle class,” he says.

“I’m Kevin Strouse and I approve this message. Seriously.” Strouse then laughs as if he can no longer keep the serious act up.

Strouse is campaigning against businesswoman Shaughnessy Naughton in the upcoming Democratic primary in Pennsylvania’s 8th Congressional District.

The winner of the primary will face incumbent Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) who has held the PA-8 since 2011. Fitzpatrick has a large war chest of funds to run a very strong campaign leading up to the general.

PA-6: DCCC Steps Up Attack on Costello

ryan budget for dummiesThe Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee kicked their efforts in PA-6 up a notch, and created a “Republican Budget For Dummies” in hopes of receiving a response from him.

House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled this budget earlier in April, igniting all out partisan warfare over his proposals.

The DCCC sent out copies of the budget first, coming in at just over 100 pages in length. Since Republican Costello has yet to respond to satisfy their demands, the DCCC followed up the budget with the two-page “Republican Budget For Dummies.”

The document is part of a site entitled “Scandalous: The 2014 Republican Budget.” It’s just one of several media components on the site. Two videos are set up as a mockery of the popular television political drama “Scandal”: the first one features shots of the show weaved in among news clips of former Vice Presidential Candidate Ryan promoting his budget, with characters on the show telling Olivia Pope that she needs to stop him. The second video features more news clips with details of the Republican budget and various politicos speaking out against it.

Beneath that, there’s a “By the Numbers” section where the reader can choose his or her state from a list and see exactly how the Republican budget will affect those categories listed. Right under that is the star of this story, the “Republican Budget For Dummies.”

“Don’t want to read all 102 pages of your Republican budget? Have no fear!” the top of the second page assures, before going into a list of who wins and an even lengthier list of who loses, according to the DCCC.

“Ryan Costello is out of excuses,” said Josh Schwerin of the DCCC. “In case the 102-page Republican budget we sent him was too long, we are providing a handy cheat sheet containing all of the middle class-squeezing, special interest-coddling lowlights in Ryan Costello’s Washington friends’ Republican budget. Ryan Costello cannot hide from the people of Pennsylvania any longer, since this one simple guide shows how the Republican budget obliterates 3 million jobs and hikes middle class families’ taxes by $2,000, all while handing millionaires and special interests tax breaks. With this guidebook in hand, Costello can now come clean as to how he would vote on these backward priorities.”

Costello’s campaign remains unamused with DCCC’s cutesy efforts to force a detailed statement on the Ryan budget.

“Ryan is committed to getting our nation’s fiscal house in order and  putting a stop to the current process of budgeting by sound bites and partisan attacks, just like the DCCC is doing here,” Costello’s campaign manager Peter Towey said. “That is what is wrong with Washington D.C. Ryan believes we need to work to pass balanced budgets and stop burdening future generations with mountains of debt, just as he has done as during his time as the Chairman of the Chester County Board of Commissioners.”

Costello is the only Republican racing for retiring Congressman Jim Gerlach’s (R-Chester) seat. He recently reported a very productive first quarter for his campaign. Costello’s Democratic opponent will be Manan Trivedi.

The “Republican Budget for Dummies” is included below:

The Republican Budget for Dummies

PA-Gov: Schwartz Doubles Down on ACA Support

schwartz aca adAllyson Schwartz wants everyone to know she supports the Affordable Care Act; she also wants everyone to ask Tom Wolf whether he does too.

The Congresswoman and candidate for Governor held a conference call with reporters this afternoon to further emphasize the campaign’s recent push on her work on, and support for, the Affordable Care Act.

“I’m here to talk about how proud I am of this accomplishment,” she stated in her opening remarks. “I’m very proud of my work on the Affordable Care Act. I’m proud of my work helping to write this law, I’m proud to run on it and we should all be proud of it.”

The Congresswoman specifically mentioned working on the provisions to close the Medicare donut hole for seniors and to ensure children can not be dropped from their health plans because of pre-existing conditions.

She also called out her Democratic opponents, especially front-runner Tom Wolf, to join her.

“Tom Wolf has been a little evasive in expressing his support of the law,” she said at one point.

When read Wolf’s statement to the York Daily Record that he felt the law was a “step in the right direction” Schwartz responded incredulously.

“I don’t know what that means? What does [that] mean?”

When asked by PoliticsPA whether she was afraid her strong support of the law would hurt her in a general election, Schwartz dismissed the criticism.

“I will go toe-to-toe with Tom Corbett on this issue,” she said.

When asked if she he felt she could turn this issue into a winner in the fall, the Congresswoman made her feelings clear.

“Of course!” she responded. “You have 500,000 people who won’t get health insurance,” she said in reference to Corbett’s refusal to not fully accept the Medicaid expansion. Schwartz asserted that this stance would shortchange Pennsylvanians and that she would win this fight with Governor Corbett if given the chance.

In addition to slamming Schwartz in their statement, Corbett’s campaign took this opportunity to hit Wolf as well.

“Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz is the only Democrat brave enough to run on President Obama’s failed policies and the ObamaCare disaster she helped to write. We already know they all want to expand ObamaCare’s grasp in Pennsylvania, but we agree that our opponents should speak up and join her in proudly voicing their support for this disastrous legislation,” Corbett’s campaign manager Mike Barley said.

“Again, here is another example of where Secretary Tom Wolf has been elusive.  Why is Wolf afraid to deliver straight answers on simple questions? If he  really supports ObamaCare, he should come out and let Pennsylvanians know where he stands.  Who is the real Tom Wolf?”

According to Wolf’s campaign, these accusations are unfounded.

“Tom’s record in support of the Affordable Care Act has been clear and unambiguous,” Wolf spokesman Mark Nicastre said. “Tom Wolf would expand Medicaid, institute a state level exchange, and work toward universal, quality access to health care for Pennsylvanians. It’s unfortunate and disappointing that Allyson Schwartz would play politics on this given her own record of zig zagging.”
Tom has been clear on his support for the Affordable Care Act since the start of the campaign,” Nicastre finished, and provided the following citations.
April 2, 2013 – Patriot News: “As for boilerplate issues, Wolf fits firmly in the Democratic Party establishment. He’s for marriage equality, is pro-choice, backs “reasonable” gun-control laws, and favors Obamacare.”
November 21, 2013 – York Daily Record: Tom Wolf: A better insurance plan for Pa. (column)
February 28, 2014: Tom Talking About Obamacare at the Progressive Summit Debate

Lt. Gov.: National Organization for Women Endorses Koplinski

Koplinski

Koplinski

The National Organization for Women endorsed Harrisburg City Councilman Brad Koplinski in the race for Lieutenant Governor.

“For many years, Brad Koplinski has been committed to not only women’s rights and Choice, but social and economic justice as well. He is a Progressive leader and will be a great partner for the head of the ticket that takes on Governor Corbett in November,” Caryn Hunt, President of Pennsylvania NOW said.

“I am extremely pleased and honored to receive the endorsement of NOW. For decades, it has consistently fought for Progressive ideals and ideas and has changed America for the better,” Koplinski said. “I look forward to working with them as we both fight for equal pay, marriage equality, reproductive rights, greater diversity and understanding, a living wage and other vital issues in Pennsylvania.”

NOW was founded in 1966 and is one of the largest organization of its kind with 19 chapters across Pennsylvania. PA NOW also endorsed Shaughnessy Naughton in PA-8 and Billy Smith in HD-164 in their Democratic primaries.

Also running for Lt Gov are Bradford County Commissioner Mark Smith, former Congressman Mark Critz, State Rep. Brandon Neuman and State Senator Mike Stack.

Stack and Koplinski appear to be trading socially progressive endorsements as last week, Stack racked up the support of three LGBT organizations in the state.

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