Spring 2013 Starts Now — It is 7:02 a.m. EDT, March 20 and the vernal equinox has just occurred. This means that tht tilt of the Earth to the Sun is 0 degrees, and Spring 2013 has officially started.
By William W. Lawrence Sr
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Answer to yesterday’s puzzle: Why should I care what other people think of me? I am who I am. And who I wanna be.
Greatest Halftime Show Ever Courtesy of Cathy Craddock
The West Virginia University Marching Band from 2011.
Liquor Store Privatization Vote Expected Thurs. — Activist Bob Guzzardi notes that the bill to privatize was passed out of the House Liquor Control Committee, yesterday, March 18, and a full vote in the State House is expected on Thursday.
He asks that Pennsylvania residents email the below message be emailed to your state representative.
It is my understanding that you will be voting on HB 790 to privatize the state wine and spirits later this week. I urge you to support privatization. It is time to end the state monopoly and honor consumer choice in Pennsylvania. It is time to end the state’s conflict of interest and get the state out of the booze business. Thank you for supporting privatization.
Guzzardi describes the points of HB 790 as:
One year after the legislation is signed into law, wholesale divestiture would occur. The state would negotiate wholesale licenses to distribute wine and liquor products to stores, bars and restaurants by brand. After paying a license fee based on valuation, a wholesaler would have the exclusive right to distribute that brand throughout Pennsylvania.
New Privately-Run Wine and Spirits Stores
– Would allow for 1,200 initial wine and spirits licenses.
– Beer distributors would have right of first refusal on licenses for one year. If a distributor gets a wine and spirits license, they would be the one-stop shop to get wine, beer and liquor.
– After one year, the unclaimed licenses become available to the public on a ‘first-come basis,’ based on number of licenses available in each county; no county will have fewer licenses available than the number of distributors.
– All license holders must be stand-alone alcohol retail stores, unless owned by distributors.
– A wine and spirits licensee can hold five licenses in the state, but no more than one per county.
– Licensees can’t require memberships (that is, Costco, Sam’s Club, etc. would be excluded).
Retail License Cost
· Licensees can purchase the right to sell wine, spirits or both.
· The cost of a new license for beer distributors varies based on county classes. Wine: $7,500 to $37,500; Spirits: $30,000 to $60,000. Distributors can elect to pay this cost over four years with an additional five percent fee.
· New wine and spirits stores: Wine: $97,500 to $187,500; Spirits: $142,500 to $262,500.
· Licenses are renewed every two years at a cost of $1,000.
· Sunday sale permits will be available at annual cost of $1,000.
Greater Convenience through Grocery Stores and Package Reform
· Grocery stores may purchase a license to sell any quantity of wine. Prices for these licenses would range, based on county, from $97,500 to $187,500. Sunday sales permits would also be available.
· Restaurants may purchase a license to sell up to six wine bottles to go, in addition to beer which they are currently allowed to sell.
· The gas prohibition is removed, meaning that a gas station that has a restaurant license and sells food will also be allowed to sell small limited amounts of beer and wine.
Closure of State Stores
· Once the number of privately-operated stores (including grocery stores selling wine) doubles the number of government-run liquor stores in a county, the state stores must close within six months.
· As the 600 state stores close, the Department of General Services could offer up to 600 additional wine and spirits licenses.
· The PLCB will have to close all state store operations once it has 100 or less stores remaining.
Benefits for Current PLCB Employees
· These include: training and education grants, tax credits for businesses to hire displaced workers, and a civil service hiring preference.
· Transaction scan devices must be used and employees trained in alcohol safety.
· State Troopers would be allowed undercover investigations in licensed establishments, something that does not occur in PLCB stores.
· Only workers age 21 and older may sell alcohol.
How did the committee vote go?
Voting for Privatization were the following state Representatives. If your representative is on this list thank them and ask him or her to continue to support privatization.
Taylor, John – Chair
Delozier, Sheryl M.
Ellis, Brian L.
Killion, Thomas H.
Lawrence, John A.
Masser, Kurt A.
Miccarelli, Nicholas A. ( not voting)
Payne, John D.
Petri, Scott A.
Sonney, Curtis G.
Voting against the people’s wishes are the following: If one of these Representatives is your Representative please call and email your displeasure with their attitude toward consumers and ask them what special interest they are serving.
Costa, Paul – Chair
Boyle, Brendan F.
Davis, Tina M.
Harhai, R. T.
Sabatina, John P.
Liquor Store Privatization Vote Expected Thurs
House Passes Special Ed Bill — The Pennsylvania House voted unanimously last week in support of legislation to address the state’s distribution of special education funding, reports State Rep. Jim Cox (R-129)
House Bill 2 would create a 15-member legislative commission on special education funding to develop a new formula for distributing any increases in funding over the levels distributed in the 2010-11 school year.
The commission would be expected to develop a more effective funding formula that must meet certain requirements, including: establishing three cost categories for students receiving special education services, ranging from least intensive to most intensive; obtaining a student count for each school district averaged for the three most recent school years to correspond to each cost category; assigning a weight to each category of disability; and developing a fair system for distributing increases among school districts to determine the amount of funding that each school will receive under the new formula.
In addition, the commission would be required to issue a report of its findings no later than Sept. 30.
Currently, state funding for special education is distributed based on an estimate that special education students make up 16 percent of the overall student population in each school district.
House Bill 2 now goes to the Senate for consideration.
House Passes Special Ed Bill
By William W. Lawrence Sr
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Answer to yesterday’s puzzle: I am not a crook.
-President Richard Nixon
I am not a dictator
-President Barack Obama
I am not a sixth grader
-Sen. Dianne Feinstein
Superior Court and county court judges will be on the ballot for the May 21 Republican Primary and the election provides a perfect opportunity for the grassroots to send a message to the uncaring establishment which does not listen to its own base, notes activist Bob Guzzardi.
Few pay attention to these races as important as they are, he says.
Rob Wyda, who served as a JAG officer in GITMO, Afghanistan and Iraq is the choice for Superior Court of those who care about this state and want to end business as usual, Guzzardi says. The establishment candidate is Vic Stabile, a partner with uber-connected law firm Dilworth Paxson LLP.
Guzzardi has written an open letter to Stabile (below) explaining why he can’t support him. Mostly it is due to those with whom he associates, namely the party establishment which is is in bed with Democrats when it comes from transferring wealth from the forgotten taxpayer to the politically connected, he says.
“These are the associates Vic Stabile has chosen; birds of a feather flock together,” Guzzardi said. “The leaders of both parties either don’t know where money comes from or don’t care. The difference between them is that those who make up the Republican constituency do, unlike the rank and file Democrats, and want to save the state and avoid the real pain that will come for all from economic irresponsibility.”
Birds of a Feather….You have chosen your associates and, although you are, clearly, intelligent, well-informed and very experienced, you have chosen to associate with obstinate, self-serving, incompetent blockheads who do not hear the anger and anguish of the grassroots, the Forgotten Taxpayers, and the middle class working people who are being exploited by ever escalating size and cost of government and are selling out the loyal and credulous Republican voter.
Pennsylvania Republican Party Leadership (sometimes called The Establishment, or, as a rude child of nature might say “the bad guys”)
To learn more about the leadership of the state party, click the links below.
• Chairman Rob Gleason
• Vice Chairman Joyce Haas
• National Committeewoman Christine J. Toretti
• National Committeeman Robert Asher
• Finance Chairman Chris Gleason
• Deputy Chairman Renee Amoore
• Treasurer Carolyn “Bunny” Welsh
• Assistant Secretary Peg Ferraro
• General Counsel Lawrence Tabas
Don Yost Northeast Caucus Chairman
Bill Darr Southwest Caucus Chairman
Blake Marles Northeast Central Caucus Chairman
Michael Meehan Southeast Caucus Chairman
Donna Reinaker Central Caucus Co-Chairman
Dick Stewart Central Caucus Co-Chairman
Robyn Sye Northwest Caucus Chairman
You may think it “guilt by association” but when you associate with the guilty, what is any common sense person to think: “birds of a feather flock together”.
And here are some of the people you are ‘guilty’ of associating with:
BETRAYED and Financially ABUSED
• LeRoy Zimmerman profited from his position at Hershey Trust ( a charity for disadvantaged children or Republican slush fund) “When Leroy S. Zimmerman was named in late 2002 to the board of the small state-chartered Pennsylvania bank that managed the assets of the Hershey charity for disadvantaged youth, the post paid about $35,000 a year and came with restrictions.
For the tax year that ended July 31, 2010, Zimmerman, 76, earned $500,000 – for the second consecutive year. His total compensation on Hershey-related boards in less than a decade is $1.9 million.” Bob Fernandez Inquirer 20 July 2011 Inquirer.
• AND LeRoy Zimmerman, and many Republican Insiders, were silent as Hershey School assets and income were used to bail out Republican Insiders Bob Fernandez Inquirer 11 February 2011 (and five months later LeRoy Zimmerman resigns his well paid posts at Hershey!)
“The deal tossed a financial lifeline to 40 to 50 local businessmen and doctors who had invested in Wren Dale and faced substantial losses. One of them was Richard H. Lenny, then-chief executive officer of the Hershey Co. and a member of the charity board that approved the purchase.” READ MORE Bob Fernandez Inquirer 3 October 2010 Not surprisingly, Milton Hershey School Will Close[money losing golf course for which Leroy Zimmerman and crony insiders overpaid Golf Course READ MORE Bob Fernandez 15 February 2013
• Harrisburg Bond Bailout was engineered by Republican lobbyists Stan Rapp and Greenlee Partners and note involvement of John McNally, Andrew Giorgione, Jeff Haste Mike Pries, A.J.Marsico (Dauphin DA’s brother) Insiders Profit; The Forgotten Taxpayers of Pennsylvania pay for the fiscal profligacy of Harrisburg elected leaders…bankruptcy was an option but then bondholders would have had to take a haircut; Bondholders Happy; The Forgotten Taxpayer, not so much….
• Senate Bonusgate NonInvestigation and Orie Sisters Conviction
CasablancaPa (27 February 2012) On top of the Orie fiasco, Senate Rs awarded the largest bonuses of any in the General Assembly, to employees who did campaign work:
• $22,500 to Mike Long, former top aide to then-Senate President Pro Tempore Robert Jubelirer of Blair County.
• $19,647 to Drew Crompton, then a top lawyer on Jubelirer’s staff.
• $15,000 to Erik Arneson, former chief of staff to then-Senate Majority Leader David Brightbill;
Shocked at corruption in Pennsylvania Senate, are we? See Turnpike Grand Jury Report 13 March 2013 and Attorney General’s Press Release and Brad Bumsted’s reference to the spirit of Senate bipartisanship
Robert Jubelirer whose former chief of staff was….Mike Long: “It’s odd, though, that Mellow is the only elected official named in the report. During the past decade, Fumo and former Senate President Pro Tem Robert Jubelirer, R-Altoona, had the most influence at the Turnpike Commission. Jubelirer has not been accused of any wrongdoing.” READ MORE Tribune Review Brad Bumsted16 March 2013
Despite all this staring him in the face, Corbett never subpoenaed a single Senate R member or staffer;
Note CasablancaPa is run by (CasablancaPa provides a real service to citizens of Pennsylvania and is run by Democrats who s
eemed to have learned honest and “equal justice under law” when their ox was gored. These are Democrats affiliated with Mike Veon convicted of Bonusgate violations and and then another 1 to 4 years for BIG swindle and Brett Cott (21 months to five years)
• The House Republicans, who spent $30, 000 trashing the good name of a good man, now Representative John McGuiness who primaried and defeated Jubelirer Republican 34 year incumbent Rick Geist, (for whom phony Charlie Gerow campaigned), owe The Forgotten Taxpayers of Pennsylvania TWENTY MILLION DOLLARS (AG Corbett’s Grand Jury Presentment PART 1,page 1, paragraph 3 – hat tip Signor Ferrari) (Grand Jury Report: Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3) and very informative press release. Then Speaker Perzel signed the $10,000,000 computer contracts for technology and expertise was co signed by now Republican Speaker Sam Smith who, it seems, knew nothing.
• Mike Long and Todd Nyquist Two Faced Double Talkers, one could almost mistake them for Democrats but wait…they represent Union Aristocrat Wendell Young IV of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union(next to last page), currently, and vociferously and disruptively, opposing Liquor Store Privatization as well as the Corbett favorite Shell Oil (9 from last page).
Krystjan Callahan is Majority Leader Mike Turzai’s chief of staff and wife Megan Callahan is lobbyist with Long and Nyquist. Megan Crompton is wife of Senate Republican staffer Drew Crompton who was never investigated by AG for Bonusgate violations. Shohin Vance is grandson of faux conservative Republican Senator Patricia Vance.
• These two cases are important because Article III is important. The Supreme Court have been too deferential to General Assembly’s excesses. This is how we got Gambling.
Vic Stabile provided the links 2011 Superior Court case Sernovitz v Dershaw where Pennsylvania Constitution’s Article III, Section 3, Single Subject Rule, was upheld by Pennsylvania Superior Court in a case invalidating a section of Act 47 of 1988 Abortion Control Act and Pennsylvania Association of Jury Commissioners v Commonwealth (Act 108 of 2011 Senate Fiscal Note) where the Supreme Court upheld the Pennsylvania Constitution’s Single Subject Rule.
VIC STABILE: THESE ARE THE PEOPLE YOU HAVE CHOSEN TO ASSOCIATE WITH. BIRDS OF A FEATHER…
Bob Guzzardi Camp Hill is independent of any party, candidate or campaign and is approved of by no one.
Send Message This Judicial Primary
Mayor Nutter Outrage Misguided — Mayor Michael Nutter is outraged at Robert Huber’s article “Being White In Philly” which appears in this month’s Philadelphia magazine.
He says its a “pathetic, uninformed essay” and wants to sic the city’s Human Relations Commission on the publication.
Here’s a link to the article. Read it and judge for yourself.
Mayor Nutter Outrage Misguided
Rhetorically asking what Pennsylvanians would be willing to give to completely replace the school district property tax, March 12, State Rep. Jim Cox (R-129) held up a penny at a Capitol news conference and described how the Property Tax Independence Act (House Bill 76) could accomplish this huge goal with something so small.
Cox and his colleagues were officially introducing the new Property Tax Independence Act that would replace school property taxes with several other state revenue sources.
The legislation calls for a 1 cent increase in the state sales tax (from 6 percent to 7 percent) and a 1.27-cent increase in the state income tax (from 3.07 percent to 4.34 percent). The plan also would use existing state revenues from gaming and would close special interest loopholes in the state sales tax.
Property Tax Independence Act Introduced
By William W. Lawrence Sr
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Answer to yesterday’s puzzle: If I have any worth, it is to live my life for God so as to teach these peoples; even though some of them still look down on me.