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Democratic State Committee Roundup

PADems Marcellus moratorium
The PA Dems voted to support a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing. Photo: Carl Feldman

Lancaster — Add another name to the list. Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz told central Pa. committee members that she intends to run for Governor.

She cited her experience as an ten time elected official and President of the Swatara Watershed Association.

Litz ran for state Senate in 2010, but lost to Mike Folmer by a near 3-1 margin.

PA State Education Association President Mike Crossley declared his intent to run for Lt. Governor Friday. He stumped in front of the Allegheny County committee saying, “Tom Corbett is the worse Governor PA has ever had.”

But aside those updates, statewide primary contests saw little action Saturday.

Treasurer Rob McCord was out meeting attendee’s and stumping in regional caucuses.

And Progressive Caucus Chair Bruce Slater gave some input on Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz’s effort.

“I’m not certain Allyson Schwartz has what it takes to win a statewide race, not like these guys who already hold statewide office. I am interested in hearing more of what Tom Wolf has to say.”

Most of the candidates left after the round of receptions Friday night.

Candidates for other offices made the rounds, too. Josh Young is a Caln Township Commissioner. He’s planning a run for state Rep. in HD-74, the newly formed Democratic district in Chester County.

Marcellus moratorium

Morning caucuses covered womens issues, labor, and seniors among others.

In the Labor Caucus, AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale lambasted union opponents in the state House and Senate.

“We need to make life miserable for Daryl Metcalfe, we need to make life miserable for Mike Turzai, even if we do not win we need to make life miserable for them.”

The labor caucus meeting became contentious though when Monroe County Committee member Sue Lyons began to stump for her resolution. She wanted a moratorium on the practice of hydraulic fracturing to retrieve natural gas.

Bloomingdale was quick to remind the caucus of the union jobs within the natural gas industry.

“The Labor Caucus has no official position on fracking other than it supports the jobs of those who work within the industry,” he said.

After much debate in regional caucuses the body of meeting arrived at the issue of committee member Lyons’s resolution proposing moratorium on hydraulic fracturing.

Vice Chairwoman Penny Gerber rose in opposition to the proposal.

“This bill as it currently stands says it is a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, but it specifies that the moratorium will last until the practice can be done safely. Because no set period of time is provided it truly is a ban on fracking, and this is a thriving industry. It is for that reason I cannot support this bill,” she said.

Nonetheless the resolution passed by a standing vote of 115 in favor to 81 opposed.

The victory was to the delight of many members of the state committee and a small group of protesters who had camped out, outside the Penn Square Marriott and Convention Center. They disagreed with the views of the labor caucus leader Bloomingdale.

“There are jobs being developed, but not nearly as many as were promised to us,” said Karen Feridun founder of Berks County Gas Truth, also an attendee at the state committee meeting.

Party rules

Progressive Caucus Chair Slater was hard at work whipping votes for his state party bylaws amendment. He wanted to unify the party’s rules on the ability to remove county committee members from their position.

According to Slater this move was spurred by a Philadelphia committeewoman who was removed from her elected office by other committee members because, he said, she did not receive the blessing of the county chairperson.

“This is cronyism, she was denied a local or state hearing,” said Slater.

In the full state committee meeting the motion was defeated by a voice vote, and Party Chairman Jim Burn denied a follow up with a vote count.

29 Responses

  1. What is wrong with American voters?

    photo from the
    — by Getahun Leta, Hillary Supporter
    All American voters have both the right and the duty to participate in the political process of their country by casting votes for the candidate of their choice instead of dancing to the political passion of one candidate or the other. As voters, we should know voting is the will of the people and we should refrain from voting based on narrow self-interest or for redressing grudges. Voters go to campaign events not to watch realty shows or to hear empty promises. Each voter must stand with a candidate who has a realistic program for action to make a difference.
    Currently, it is appalling to see that people at election events, in most cases, clapping hands in support of candidates who use vulgar language, flip-flopping, self over evaluation, insulting and degrading the other candidates to promote self-rightedness. Yes, in some cases, participants in the political gatherings wooed those candidates who use vulgar language and bent on character assassination of opponents. We should not forget that it is our chance that our voices are heard and we should vote carefully after vetting each candidate. Before voting, we should consider the main issues that affect America most and the ability of each candidate to attune to those issues both at home and abroad. Voters should consider such factors as experience, honesty, morality, compassion, competence and leadership ability of the candidates to make a choice. False promise or unattainable promise should not sway us from the vital issues that America is now facing both at home and abroad. Both men and women, both the young and the elderly should help America to vote for a candidate with a vision larger than oneself and the ability to identify issue of national importance and provide timely solutions in the interest of the American people. Spontaneous response in order to satisfy whatever anger we harbor does not contribute to electing a visionary and transformational president. All voters must ask themselves how can we help America to function well in order to bring about social transformation and economic progress in this 21st century.
    Recently, we see the American political landscape shaking and moving to an uncertain destination like a car having several passengers with no driver behind the steering wheel. Presidential candidates having different political agendas are pushing it from behind in different directions. Both political parties, Republican and Democratic, are labeled as “establishments” and yet outsiders like Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump and many others are trying to be on the power saddle by appealing to people’s psychic, anger and fears that all American problems will be solved if they win the presidency. I believe any candidate for who seek nomination by Democratic Party must show acceptance of the core democratic party principles and values.Bernie Sanders is an Independent and is not a democrat. He might have been caucusing with democrat’s senators but that alone is not enough to seek nomination by the Democratic Party.
    Without taking into account how the American democracy would work in reality to ensure check and balance, some candidates claim that they have magic solutions for ‘making America great again’. For example, Donald Trump everyday preaches that jobs will come back from China, Mexico, Japan and Vietnam to guaranty the America people with job security and everybody will win if he becomes president. He doesn’t tell us how he can attain these goals.
    Building a wall to prevent aliens from coming in and charging Mexico to pay the cost of the wall is a fantasy. Advocating for deportation of immigrants, who may be illegally here, without due process of the law, is not the American value we know. Any candidate for the presidency of the United States must commit himself/herself to honoring the Constitution. Any candidate who mixes politics with religion should be rejected. America can’t claim to be the world leader by excluding 1.6 billion Muslims. We know that Donald Trump’s wealth is more than $10 billion but the American presidency is not for sale at the highest bidder. This wealth will not also trickle down to the American people. Mr. Trump confidently assures that Americans will be bored with success after success. He himself failed the first test. He lost the support of the Iowan people. He admires Presiden Putin who annexed part of Ukran and currently bombing women and children in Syria. He failed to recognize the geopolitical alliance with other friendly countries. If he continues favoring President Putin, how can he work with the European Union if he is elected president of the United States? America won the Cold War with the fall of Berlin Wall in the early 1990s. Then, America built democratic bridge to connect with Eastern Europe and Russia. In the 21st century, Donald Trump wants to build a big wall that separates America from Mexico. We can secure the boarder to prevent illegal immigrants without necessarily building a wall. Perhaps, Donald Trump my think isolationism would work for American. This won’t happen in this 21st century world interconnectedness.
    On the other hand, candidate Bernie Sanders masks his idea for socialist revolution behind political revolution. For now, it appears that he has mobilized some youths by promising political revolution with the aim of providing free public college and university education and free medical care to all Americans without having a clue how to finance it. Making fiery political speech and giving false expectations in the hope of achieving temporary political goal is madness.
    The political passion of the 1960th and that of the 1970th would not serve shaping the political environment of the 21st century. No matter what, some candidates shamelessly claim that they have solutions for every problem in this country without mentioning how to achieve their political objectives. It is not possible to make income redistribution to make everybody equal because people differ in education, experience and ingenuity. Some candidates think that they can insult others all the way to the White House and take the presidency. Voters should question the character of each candidate for the presidency. A candidate who is impulsive, erratic and claiming selfrightenedness should not be supported. Any promise a candidate makes must be supported by concrete action plans and the sources of fund, how and when it can be achieved.
    When a candidate says that there should be free public and university education and free healthcare for all, he should keep in mind that as of December 15, 2015, the U.S. is $18.8 trillion in debt. What would it cost the U.S to provide free public college and University education and free healthcare as a matter of legal right? Some candidates advocate for high tax on corporations, on Wall Street business and on investors without considering the globalization of trade and industry. They forgot that America is competing with other countries to achieve a healthy and sustainable economic growth. Of course, paying reasonable tax is legal. What is not feasible and untrue is that the United States president can’t do everything alone. He/she needs the support of Congress and the American people. As people, we have the right and the obligation to participate in the government proper functioning. It is not without reason that the late President John F. Kennedy once said, “ Ask not what your county can do for you-ask what you can do for your country.” Voters can help American progress and prosperity by electing the right person for the right job. We can’t continue supporting the republican “no” party. When President Obama said, “Yes, we can!” the Speaker of the House said, “No We can’t!” We cannot expect results from a “no” party. It is up to the voters to make the right decision.
    Some candidates advocate for carpet-bombing in the Middle East, taking oil wells, without concern for the civilian population, women, children, the elderly, the sick and those who are trying to escape from havoc of war. America with her allies held the Nazis accountable for human genocide during World War II. Hence, the candidates should refrain from suggesting any action that may result in Human suffering and genocide. Any candidate for the presidency should not depart from the high ideals of American democracy, strong economy and the maintenance of security both at home and abroad.
    Each and every voter has a great responsibility in carefully vetting before getting in an election both to vote because each vote is a part of the instrument that lead the candidate to power.
    In the 20th century we have witnessed a number of wars that were largely caused by irresponsible leaders. As an example, we can cite Germany. To all Germans, Hitler promised to restore German honor by abrogating the Treaty of Versailles and by promising everything to make Germany great again. What was the basic reason for supporting Hitler? The Nazis got peoples’ support by capitalizing on many hopes, fears and needs of the German people. The end result was disastrous for Germany. We should vote for a candidate that understands both domestic and global issues, who has cool mind, dedicated to uphold the constitution, uphold the American vital interest over and above party politics, ready and able to ensure American security at home and abroad
    Any voter, the young, the elderly, whether female or male, should uphold the American interest over and above party politics. Then, as voters, we must be able to identify which candidate is a transformational leader to tackle the root cause of social ills, ensure security, provide equal opportunity for all, work for continued prosperity and economic growth for us all.
    Some candidates want to repackage ideas and political goals that have been advanced by others and try to sell it to minorities as newly invented issues. A case in point is candidate Bernie Sanders. All his years in Senate, he did not express opinion about the disproportionate incarceration of African Americans and Latinos, did not speak about their income inequality or the lack of economic opportunity. Now, he comes with these empty promises to woo votes from the minority communities of African American and Latinos.
    Hillary Clinton introduced the universal healthcare system in the early 1990s, but it could not succeed because of Republican obstruction in Congress. We all know that for years Hillary Clinton has been expressing concern for the lack of equal economic opportunity for African Americans, Latinos, and their disproportionate incarceration and continuously advocated for change in the criminal justice system. She passionately believed and still believes that the disadvantaged minority community needs full support to redress the issues until justice is done and equality is achieved. She supports free public college education and determined to make public universities education affordable by introducing a policy that help students and parents in alleviating the burden of tuition fees. Her record is testimony to the fact that she has been fighting for human rights, women’s rights, gays’ rights, and equal opportunity and justice for all. She takes American interest and issues close at heart and do everything in her power to see America succeed both at home and abroad. She has pledged that she will give chance to diplomacy for dealing with international conflicts by involving American alliances and use military force as a last resolve.
    Why Hillary Clinton is the best-qualified person to be president? She is better prepared, well experienced, she does what she says and she never promises what she can’t deliver.
    Should a high bar be held for Hillary or should the criteria for presidency be the same for female and male? There shouldn’t be different criteria for a woman to be president of the United States. We are ready to support Hillary Clinton for the presidency not because she is a woman but she is the most qualified person. Gender should not be considered as an issue but electing a woman as president of the United States has a big historical significance here at home and abroad. The United States presidency is no longer a monopoly for males and we should not wait for another century to see a woman elected as president of the United States.
    In the 20th century there were 20 women who became head of state, in the capacity of presidents or prime ministers. To mention a few, Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain, Indira Gandhi of India, Golda Meir of Israel, Benzir Bhutto of Pakistan Corizon Aquino of Phillipens etc. These women were successful leaders in their respective countries. There is no reason why we should not hire the most quailed woman to serve us as president of the United State. Let’s not be distracted from seeing reality that could lead us to success. Following unrealistic rhetoric political passion will serve as a bridge to nowhere. In the eventful American history so many things have happened, good and bad. In some cases we faced a sad reality. To mention a few, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Marines lost their lives in Lebanon, American Embassies attacked in Kenya and Tanzania, Terrorists attacked N.Y., Pentagon in Washington D.C and a passenger plain was brought down in Pennsylvania. The Secretary of Department of State was not held responsible for each attack that occurred in different years. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton was allegedly held responsible for the attack on American consular in Bengazi and subjected to different congressional committees questioning. The last committee subjected her to 11 hours grueling questions but she was not at fault for what has happened in Bengazi. Why Hillary Clinton was held responsible and subjected to investigation while her predecessors were not? Is it because she is a woman? History will remember this unwarranted different treatment at the Congressional hearing. No matter what, Hillary will always remember those four hero Americans who lost their lives in Bengazi. Hillary Clinton has been tested, ready to take responsibility and she is determined to better serve the American people if she is elected as President of the United States. She is a person to be trusted with American ideals and resolve to keep the country safe and prosperous.
    Hillary Clinton is a fighter for us! She is determined to make a difference in America by fighting for equality and justice for all. Let’s stand with Hillary Clinton! We elect her not only she is a woman but for her quality of leadership, experience, and commitment to public service to make America strong in this 21st Century.

  2. Why does the Democratic party want to make heat/electricity so expensive for everyone? My bill this winter doubled because of their war on coal. If natural gas is next, I’ll be bartering for fuel next winter.

  3. I have been trying to buy some acreage to start my small retirement business in Pennsylvania next year. I was born and raised in the state and most of my family members are still there in the SW part of the state. It is so frustrating to find frack pads or ponds in the “backyards” of most properties I have found. I am rethinking moving back. This moratorium is promising, shows some common sense. Why do we want to make our beautiful state a wasteland while companies plan to export our resources abroad? We have sun, we have wind, we have rivers to support our energy needs without dirty extraction of nonrenewable resources.

  4. Labor needs to look closer at the labor market with all of the jobs in the fracking industry in Pa. Those who are hired are mostly NON-UNION, according to the industry. The INS has been pulling over busloads of illegal migrant workers that don’t speek english , and work behind caged worksites. The americans that were hired talk about throwing up everyday working in the pit. Others quit because of headachs, dizzyness, diarea, blisters, cancer, etc. OSHA has been called to a site in WVA where a seismic tester was killed when a drill rig fell on him. Others were burnt to death, and others were not trained enough to know that the water trucks blow up. And they were killed when the trucks blew up from the methane disolved in the flowback water. Radio-active flowback requires a nuclear cleanup on the holding tanks. All we have to do is research Texas, Wyoming, Colorado, etc to see what is happening tp Pa Workers, union & non-union. Jobs and money is only part of the issue. Health ,Safety, and the Welfare of ALL Pa workers are at risk. LOOK DEEPER, and you will see.

  5. PSEA and Mike Crossey did NOT endorse Corbett. And, PSEA supported legislators who supported their issues.

    Mike Crossey is a good union leader who is WELL LIKED in Western PA…no idea what WesternDem is talking about in that regard (comparing him to Corbett and Sandusky…give me a break).

    Mike Crossey will have a great deal of support from Western PA and from educators. He is a good guy, and would make a good addition to a ticket from which the candidate for governor will no doubt be from the east.

  6. FYI, PSEA did not endorse Corbett. In fact, they worked very hard to defeat him…although were unsuccessful, obviously.

  7. No idea on who Crossley is, but in the last state house races we had 2 good Democratic candidates here in Monroe County who got zip from the unions and PSEA gave a lot of money to Scavello who votes against education and unions whenever he is told to. I’m sure he is nice about it, but he screws the unions when he has to. With union help we could have beat him and his protege. Unions (as well as everyone else who isn’t a 1% in PA) are going to get crapped on until the Dems take back the legislature.

  8. How about Vereb, Turzai, Adolph and Sam Smith to start? Defend him all you want but the facts are facts.

  9. Which pro-voucher republicans did PSEA support? Also, I’m not sure if you realize but SB1 voucher bill was primarily sponsored by a DEMOCRAT. That same Democrat ran pro-voucher Democrats against pro-public school Democrats in Philadelphia. I worked with Crossey and PSEA to fend off at least one of those challengers.

    You can’t narrow Democrats and Republicans down to for or against on party lines on many issues in PA, if you don’t get that you might not ever accomplish anything.

  10. But support pro-voucher Republicans over Dems with at least some chance? Just look at who PSEA gives this money to and realize where their and Mike Crossey’s priorities are. He will sink the ticket. Typical independent minded voters don’t typically care for teachers unions

  11. Not a teacher, just someone whose worked with Crossey. He’s a real great guy and very smart. Democrats who think unions or other traditional left organizations must support all Democrats running should face some facts. Not all Democrats vote well on our issues and we are non-partisan groups and not Democratic groups. I think he would make a fine addition to the top of the ticket. Raising the issue of education funding to the forefront.

  12. The vote on Sat, June 15 at the PA St Democratic Committee Meeting on passing the resolution in support of a moratorium on fracking in PA is a sea change. The timber, coal, oil and now the gas extraction industries have devistated areas of PA. They should have never been allow to frack without proving they can do it safely, dispose of the wastes and restore the well pad sites. Their record in the Susquehanna, Ohio River watershed basins is atrocious. There is no plan for storin the drill cuttings, the waste water or restoring the well pads, let alone paying for the inspection of the well bores after the wells are spent. It reminds me of the early days of nuclear power when the propaganda was touted that atomic energy would be “too cheap to meter”. If you read the research by Jacobson and Dilluchi from their Nov 2009 issue of Scientific American or their 2013 and 2001 studies in Energy Policy, you will learn that we can transition to a renewable energy economy without fossil fuel or nuclear power by 2030 with existing technology. Fracking is too dangerous, too expensive and totally unnecessary for our energy needs. The only thing laking according to Jacobson and Delucchi is “the political will”. Finally, some Democrats have begun to make the political will known and do the right thing for the people of the Commonwealth, the nation and the planet.

  13. Mike Crossey is probably the third least liked person in PA (comes with his position) just behind Corbett and Jerry Sandusky. In his leadership career at PSEA, millions of PA’s students have been wronged. He is a huge liability to the top of the ticket.

  14. Eric Bradway Former Constable of Lower Merion Township is Running for Governor on the Democratic Ticket

  15. Former Lower Merion Constable Eric Bradway is running for Governor on the Democratic Ticket


    Josh Young, Candidate for State House District 74, is indeed a Caln Township Commissioner. However, he is NOT the Chair of the Board of Commissioners.

  17. “PA State Education Association President Mike Crossley declared his intent to run for Lt. Governor Friday. He stumped in front of the Allegheny County committee saying, “Tom Corbett is the worse Governor PA has ever had.””

    Mike Crossley is the worst president the PSEA has ever had. Good luck with defending his record supporting right wing Republicans who took over the House in Harrisburg. What a joke!

  18. For all you misinformed right-wingers…
    The company that Corbett chose to run Marcellus Shale is Canadian. Most of the employees are Canadian. There are no American jobs being created there. Go see for yourself, like I did.

  19. Why stop at eliminating natural gas jobs? In a party bought and paid for by public sector unions, why not oppose all private sector jobs?

  20. Yesterday in Lancaster, PA, the Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee voted 115 to 81 for a resolution calling for a moratorium on all frack drilling in Pennsylvania. This was a vote for the health and safety of Pennsylvanians and our environment against the out of state billionaires and corporations who own Corbett and the DEP.

    Resolution can be read here:

    The supporting document can be read here:

  21. @Ms. Teacher Person: I’m not certain exactly whose grammar is “worse.” See also: “Treasurer Rob McCord was out meeting attendee’s…”

  22. Huge win for many of the dedicated fracktivists in PA. Congrats to Karen and all the others. I did not think the Dems would go for it, I was wrong. Hard work paid off. While it is not likely to change any given Gov candidate’s position on fracking, now there is a definitive line in the sand forward, Dem v R, on the issue.

  23. I am strong pro-labor; I am also strong anti-fracking. I respect Mr. Bloomingdale. But, when you get down to it — the economic impact is not as was promised, the health and environmental consequences are significant– and, more, important, most jobs in the industry are NOT union jobs. Repeat: Most are NOT covered by union contracts.

  24. Crossley expects the democrats to support him after he’s supported so many republicans in tight races? Yeah right!

  25. Mr. Crossley apparently has the worse grammar of any candidate for Lt. Gov. Maybe he knows some English teachers ?

  26. Mike Crossey calls Corbett the worst governor ever. His union endorsed him and put him in office. Sleep in the bed you make Mike.

  • Do you agree that ByteDance should be forced to divest TikTok?

    • Yes. It's a national security risk. (60%)
    • No. It's an app used by millions and poses no threat. (40%)
    • What's ByteDance? (0%)

    Total Voters: 30

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