Local Pubs Help Stop Pro-Environmental Law

Local Pubs Help Stop Pro-Environmental Law — An attempt to de-fang the anti-environmental Davis-Bacon Act was defeated, June 5, after 36 Republicans joined all Democrats to vote down an amendment to the Military Construction/Veterans Affairs appropriators bill to bar the use of its funds to enforce the Davis-Bacon  prevailing wage requirements.

The Davis Bacon Act is a 1931  federal law that mandates  paying the local prevailing wages on public works projects over $2,000.

The law inflates the costs of such products by an estimated 15 percent, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

This means there is less money to repair bridges, fix roadways and resolve polluting traffic snarls that waste gas and clog our atmosphere.

Just consider that the historic Rose Tree Tavern in Upper Providence was moved back from the intersection of Route 252 and Rose Tree Road in 2004. When is PennDOT going to put in the desperately needed turn lanes? Wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have to wait until 2017 for an interchange between I-95 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike?

In fact, with less money needed for construction projects maybe we could get rid of the turnpike tolls ending the smog producing toll lanes.

Davis-Bacon is a significant part of the reason for our declining infrastructure.

Here are, courtesy of Bob Guzzardi, the Pennsylvania Republicans that voted against the amendment: Jim Gerlach (PA-6), Pat Meehan (PA-7), Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8), Bill Shuster (PA-9), Lou Barletta (PA-11) and Tim Murphy, (PA-18).

Guzzardi also notes the last year’s vice presidential GOP nominee Paul Ryan of Wisconsin also opposed the amendment.

And this is why things don’t get better.

Local Pubs Help Stop Pro-Environmental Law

$28.3 Billion Budget To Be Pondered By Pa. House

$28.3 Billion Budget To Be Pondered By Pa. House — Members of the House Appropriations Committee last week advanced a $28.3 billion budget proposal for the 2013-14 fiscal year, reports State Rep. Jim Cox (R-129). The bill now goes to the full House which is scheduled to consider it this week. The Pennsylvania Legislature has until June 30 to adopt a final budget.

The budget priorities outlined in House Bill 1437 include education, public safety, health and human services, and the environment.

The bill proposes to do the following: Increase funding for basic education by $100 million; allocate funding for more than 300 new state troopers; add $7.2 million to the Department of Health to restore funding for health disease line items such as diabetes programs, epilepsy support, ALS support services and bio-technology research; and allocate $4 million in funding for county conservation districts.

Year-to-date revenue collections are $102 million higher than projected. For the latest budget updates, visit PAHouseGOP.com, says Cox.

$28.3 Billion Budget To Be Pondered By Pa. House

Freindly Fire Recap

Freindly Fire Recap
By Chris Freind

It’s been another banner week for battering common sense, but what else is new? However, there was one bright spot, and that leads off our weekly recap:

Tom Corbett’s NCAA Lawsuit Folly: Honest to God, Corbett acts more like Adam Sandler’s deer-in-the-headlights characters every day – slow, clueless, out-to-lunch. The only differences are that 1) People are laughing at Corbett, not with him, and 2) Sandler always wins at the end of the movie. In Tommy Boy’s case, the final scene is coming quickly, and there will be no contract renewal for a sequel.

The latest scene in The Tom and Jerry (Sandusky) Show was the common sense ruling – a no-brainer to everyone but Corbett – by federal Judge Yvette Kane. By her throwing out Corbett’s baseless lawsuit against the NCAA for its sanctions levied against Penn State, the governor gets the worst of both worlds: his crass political move spectacularly backfired, further tanking his already basement-dwelling approval rating.

Were the sanctions an outrageous over-reach? Absolutely. But remember that Gov. Corbett, as a Penn State trustee, agreed to and approved of the sanctions. In an overtly calculated effort to show he “cared” about Penn State – and to improve his abysmal approval rating – he sued the NCAA over those very same penalties.

And what are the reviews for Corbett now? Well, a Quinnipiac poll conducted right before the court decision found that six of 10 Pennsylvanians think Corbett, as then-attorney general, mishandled the Sandusky investigation – a significant reason why a majority (by a whopping 20 percentage points) do not believe he deserves reelection.

Any guesses as to how his embarrassing NCAA-lawsuit thumping will affect those numbers? Single digits, here he comes!


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Chrysler Rejecting Jeep Recall: In some respects, this case has the potential to be just as disconcerting as the IRS and AP phone record scandals. The government, via the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is threatening a federal lawsuit against Chrysler if it doesn’t recall nearly three million Jeeps, alleging that those vehicles’ gas tanks pose a safety issue in rear-end collisions.

Forget the fact that the government’s data is very sketchy (37 accidents and 51 deaths, for Jeeps going back as far as 1993, which, Chrysler states, is about one fatality every one million miles driven).

The big issue is that the vehicles in question meet federal safety requirements – which the government does not contest! In other words, if you accomplish everything you are mandated to do, meeting or exceeding all requirements, the government can still completely disregard that compliance on the whim of bureaucrats seeking a mega-power trip. And for the record, the NHTSA stated the Jeep’s gas tank design “may”, not “does,” pose a safety issue. Way to try to spend other people’s money, in this case hundreds of millions.

When a government is above the very law that it creates, everyone and everything is at risk. Kudos to Chrysler for having the guts – rare indeed – to shove it right back up the government’s tailpipe.


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Major League Baseball’s Insane Lawsuit: Speaking of lawsuits with absolutely no merit, the action of Major League Baseball regarding the latest steroid saga is downright foul.

Don’t forget that baseball, and Commissioner Bud Selig in particular, have been the sporting world’s biggest hypocrites when it comes to banning steroids. For years, they officially condemned such substances while not lifting a finger to outlaw them, (having done so only several years ago), instead cashing in big-time on players clearly using “juice.”

Now it wants to appear “tough,” but is vastly overstepping its bounds. In an action that should have no legal standing whatsoever, the League filed a lawsuit accusing Anthony Bosch, owner of Biogenesis, a now-closed anti-aging clinic, for “intentional and unjustified tortious interference” with contracts between MLB and its players by providing them with steroids and possibly other banned substances.

There are frivolous lawsuits, and then there is this.

How can Major League Baseball possibly have grounds to sue a private individual for interfering with the contracts of players?

What’s next? Will baseball sue the Netherlands in World Court if players smoke pot in Amsterdam, which, while legal there, would undoubtedly be interfering with player contracts here?

Stay tuned, as this subject will be revisited.



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Chris Christie’s special election: Taxpayer-friendly? New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has always fashioned himself an advocate of taxpayers, eliminating wasteful spending. He has done a fantastic job, which makes his latest action somewhat troubling.

Upon the death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg, Christie used his power to schedule a special election. The problem is that he did so for this October, just a month before the November election, in which he is on the ballot for re-election.

Millions in taxpayer money are used to process a statewide election. So the obvious question stands: Why not save that dough and just have the special election on the same date as the general? Common sense, it would seem. And since New Jersey is already being represented in Washington by the new interim senator, it’s not be like there was an urgency to fill a vacancy.

The real reason, obviously, is that Christie does not want to share the ballot with Cory Booker, the popular mayor of Newark who will undoubtedly be the Democratic candidate for Senate. It’s not that Christie himself is in danger of losing, as he is the most popular governor in the country with a stellar track record. (Anyone listening in Pennsylvania? Anyone?) But most observers believe he wants his reelection margin to be as large as possible, since winning big would help him in 2016 infinitely more than edging out a lesser opponent.

Is this a sound move? In most places, it wouldn’t be, as the political motivations are obvious. But Christie is Christie, and New Jerseyans, used to the roughest, most callous politicians in the nation, won’t even bat an eye. So while Christie will get a free pass on this one, it is nonetheless disappointing to see such a blatant compromise of political principles for such an openly political reason.

We can only hope that’s where Christie’s slippery slope ends.

Alieta Eck Seeks Lautenberg Seat

Alieta Eck Seeks Lautenberg Seat — A prominent conservative medical doctor and ObamaCare opponent, Alieta Eck, has decided to enter the Republican primary for the special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat in New Jersey left vacant by the death of Democrat Frank Lautenberg, reports Don Adams of the Independence Hall Tea Party Association Political Action Committee.

“While our PAC is not endorsing her candidacy at this time, we hope that, if you live in New Jersey, you migt consider helping her gather 1000 signatures  over the weekend and on Monday morning so that her name can be placed  on the ballot,” Adams said. ” Other conservative groups are already circulating petitions.”

Here are two important links–one to Dr. Eck’s website and one to her nominating petitions for download.

http://www.eckforsenate.com

http://www.eckforsenate.com/ecksenatepetition.pdf

 

 

Alieta Eck Seeks Lautenberg Seat

Toomey Statement Sarah Murnaghan

By Sen. Pat Toomey

On Wednesday, a federal court ruled to allow 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan from Newtown Square, Pa., and potentially other children, to be temporarily placed on the adult list for a lung transplant based on medical need.

Sarah has Cystic Fibrosis and is fighting for her life at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia as she awaits a life-saving transplant. Absent this surgery, doctors believe she has only a few weeks to live. Her doctors are confident that they could perform a life-saving lung transplant with a portion of an adult lung. The rules for organ donations generally make medical need the primary criteria for receiving an organ. But these rules also limit eligibility for children younger than 12 by placing them at the bottom of the adult list. So Sarah Murnaghan was effectively shut out of the chance to get an adult lung transplant despite her urgent need and suitability. (Pediatric lungs rarely become available.)

Sarah’s family filed emergency legal action in federal court to prevent the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), Kathleen Sebelius, from enforcing a policy that prevents children under 12 from getting the adult lung transplants they need to save their lives.

Judge Michael Baylson, senior federal judge on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, granted a temporary restraining order and told the Secretary of HHS to direct the transplant network to cease application of the “Under 12 Rule” as it applies to Sarah. Since then, Judge Baylson issued a temporary restraining order for another child in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in a similar situation. The organ transplant network will hold an emergency review meeting on Monday.

Finally, we have some positive news for Sarah and her family. I applaud the ruling and am grateful to Judge Baylson for quickly issuing his decision on such an important matter.

Now Sarah has a chance for a lung transplant. As I’ve said all along, Secretary Sebelius should use her authority to make medical need and suitability, rather than age, be the primary criteria in determining how organ donations are prioritized. I hope this court ruling will encourage her to make this important policy change.

Toomey Statement Sarah Murnaghan

Toomey Statement Sarah Murnaghan

Patriot Act Author Says Obama Abused Law

Patriot Act Author Says Obama Abused Law — Attorney General Eric Holder and the Obama Administration have used the cover of the Patriot Act to collect the phone records of essentially every call made by millions of Verizon customers.

Congressman James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc) is the author of the law.

Here is what he says about what the Obama Administration has done:

“As the author of the Patriot Act, I am extremely troubled by the
FBI’s interpretation of this legislation. While I believe the Patriot
Act appropriately balanced national security concerns and civil rights, I
have always worried about potential abuses,

“The Bureau’s broad application for phone records was made under the
so-called business records provision of the Act.  I do not believe the
broadly drafted FISA order is consistent with the requirements of the
Patriot Act. Seizing phone records of millions of innocent people is
excessive and un-American.”

Patriot Act Author Says Obama Abused Law

Patriot Act Author Says Obama Abused Law