Wagner Doubles Down On Open Ladies Rooms — An email has been forwarded to us from Pennsylvania State Sen. Scott Wagner (R-28) in which he doubles down in support of legislation which most feel will mandate opening traditional private places for females in schools and businesses to males claiming to be women.
Sister legislation HB 1510 remains similarly and thankfully entangled in the House.
Wagner in his missive correctly notes that the bills were introduced before the open ladies room controversy happened and insists it won’t change anything with regard to state law.
That’s naive. Just because Wagner couldn’t see what was coming doesn’t mean the powerful interests who lobbied for the bill didn’t. And how, exactly, does a bill “prohibiting discrimination against LGBT individuals as it relates to . . . public accommodations” exempt public restrooms?
And school locker rooms?
Most troubling, though, is that Wagner, who has generally championed the needs of business, supported SB 974 knowing full-well it expanded “protected classes“.
Being in a protected class does not help one find employment. Just consider the employment rates for those in a “protected class” verses those who aren’t.
This is not due to bigotry. This is due to self preservation. A small business-owner will bend over backwards to avoid hiring a person from a “protected class” because it is exponentially harder to fire one in that class if that person turns out to be a bad employee.
Now, if one has a company that has grown big enough to have its own HR department fully able to keep up with the latest in employment law and do the appropriate record keeping of employee failings some of the risk is mitigated but if one is part of a three-man LLC and has to do the hiring and firing face to face along with a thousand other things, this is the type of government interference that causes ulcers.
As someone who has run a business and who has hired gays knowing full well they were gay — really, Scott where do you think gays are more inclined to seek employment, journalism/advertising or trash collection? — employee sex lives are not an issue for the vast majority of business owners. Show up on time and meet deadlines. Everyone is happy. Special protection does not help anybody yet probably hurts everyone.
And one more thing Senator. The “special snowflake” stuff does not become you. If you think you are being “bullied” or “intimidated” when angry constituents contact you, you probably should stick to trash collection.
Here is Sen. Wagner’s email:
Over the past several months, my office has received hundreds of phone calls and emails regarding my co-sponsorship of SB 974, The Pennsylvania Fairness Act. This legislation would add sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, effectively prohibiting discrimination against LGBT individuals as it relates to employment, housing, and public accommodations. I have been asked to remove my name as a co-sponsor of SB 974 because of recent events in the news related to how bathrooms are dealt with in other states, as well as President Obama’s recent directive regarding schools and Title IX funding.
Let me be very clear – I will not be removing my name from this legislation. Allow me to explain why.
As an employer and a Pennsylvanian, I believe that everyone should be treated fairly and with dignity.
As an employer, I do not care what your sexual preference is as long as you perform at or beyond the required expectations of your job. The fact remains that without this legislation there are a group of citizens that can legally be fired or overlooked because of their sexual orientation instead of their job performance. This is a step in the right direction to ensure workers are not being discriminated against.
This is why I put my name on this legislation, and this is what I will continue to work toward. The fact that attempts have been made to intimidate me and other supporters of SB 974 to try to get us to remove our co-sponsorships of this legislation and are trying to change the conversation to make it about men in women’s bathrooms should not deter us from our goal.
Cities all across Pennsylvania have had ordinances similar to SB 974 for well over 20 years without a single issue as it relates to bathrooms. From a very practical perspective, SB 974 changes absolutely nothing about the way that bathrooms are dealt with, in spite of claims to the contrary that are full of legalese and references to court decisions from states with laws that are very different from Pennsylvania’s.
I believe that it is critical that we find a way to treat LGBT people with the dignity and fairness that they deserve – that we all deserve. I am equally committed to work with concerned groups to find ways to improve the legislation. If there are valid concerns related to individuals with deeply held religious convictions, we should work to fix them. If there are real, concrete concerns with the way that bathrooms will be handled, we should listen.
What we should not do, however, is completely abandon all efforts to gain fairness for the LGBT community. What we should not do is use fear as a tool to attempt to bully legislators into just giving up on this important issue.
Those of you that know me, know this – I will not be bullied.
I encourage those of you with serious concerns about this legislation to continue to contact me so that we can continue our work on this issue. My staff and I have spent a great deal of time with interest groups on both sides of this issue attempting to find a way to accomplish everyone’s goals, and we will continue to do so.
I know that fellow Pennsylvanians share my commitment to make our great Commonwealth a state that is open and welcoming to everyone, whether that means changing our Human Relations Act or addressing our oppressive tax and regulatory systems.
I appreciate your support, and look forward to continuing the effort to create a better Pennsylvania with everyone.
Target Bathroom Policy Bad Business — Target Corp., April 19, declared that men with severe emotional issues can use the ladies’ bathrooms at its 1,800 discount retail stores and its stock has since dropped $2.65 per share.
More than a million people have signed a boycott petition against it.
If the organized boycott ended tomorrow the business’s future would still be bleak.
The vast majority of those who use the stores are women. People — especially women — don’t want to be in places that creep them out.
If one saw a mouse scamper across the floor of a restaurant one would never return no matter how much one had patronized it in the past.
So imagine a woman seeing the equivalent of a 200-pound mouse in lipstick and a wig and fishnet stockings scamper into the stall next to hers.
If you have Target stock sell it while you can.
And in a related issue, Montgomery County’s Springfield School District has opened its girls rooms to boys who say they feel feminine.
Hippette Superintendent Dr. Nancy Hacker says it was done because a junior at the school was afraid to use the boys’ rooms.
So now the 14 and 15 year old girls, many of whom are just as insecure about their bodies and the changes occurring in them as he, get to share their private space with him.
And maybe other males trying to make a big prank out of it.
With cellphone cameras.
Really stupid people are now running our institutions.
Verizon Springfield Picket Line — Verizon workers Tim and Kevin man a picket line, today, April 15, on Sproul Road, near the Verizon store in the Springfield (Pa) Shopping Center. About 36,000 Verizon workers have been on strike since Wednesday over concerns about planned cutbacks in the company’s landline business and off-shoring jobs.
Big Soda Shafts America — Joseph DiStefano of Philly.com notes in his story about Big Soda’s response to Philadelphia’s proposed soft-drink tax that Coca-Cola Co.’s tax rate is now less than 25 percent of its income while in the late ’90s it was 36 percent.
PepsiCo dropped from 34 percent to 23 percent.
In Coke’s case, it is because it has shifted plants and earnings to lower-tax countries and accepted “tax incentive grants” from nations like Brazil and Swaziland.
Pepsi baldly explained their strategy in 2005 declaring “We intend to continue to reinvest earnings outside the U.S.”
Republican Values Mean Boom For All — The Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch earlier this month attributed an economic boom in Montgomery County to tax-subsidized development in Lower Merion.
Retired businessman Bob Guzzardi points out in the below article that the growth in Montco is not coming from government-funded projects in Democrat Lower Merion but from free market policies in Republican-controlled King of Prussia, Hatfield and Lower Moreland.
By Bob Guzzardi
Do Republican values and Republican governance lead to prosperity for all as well as more taxes to pay for necessary government services and infrastructure? Empirically, the real world says “yes”. King of Prussia, Hatfield and Lower Moreland are governed by Republicans and they are growing.
I would think that Republican officeholders and those seeking office would want to make the case that Republicans governance means a higher standard of living.
It would seem to me that Republicans would be promoting themselves as the party of growth providing jobs with industrial projects and shopping centers/malls and which generate the tax revenue to build and maintain infrastructure and finance necessary government services.
Upper Merion is Republican, is it not? And the fastest growing municipality in MontCo, it seems. Hatfield is Republican, is it not? How many of these projects are built by free market, competitive contractors, that is, non-union contractors.
Of the 4,089 proposed units, how many were in Republican municipalities? My point is to make the case that in the real world, it can be empirically verified that Republican values work. Democratic Lower Merion is in decline; Republican Upper Merion and King of Prussia are growing raising their standard of living for everyone and creating jobs. So is Lower Moreland and Hatfield.
One of Lower Merion’s biggest projects, the Dranoff project, had to be subsidized and unionized.!
Democrats escaped Democratic (and union controlled) Philadelphia to Republican Lower Merion and, instead of embracing Republican ideas, they imposed a regime of more taxes, more spending and more debt. Lower Merion is in decline. It is shabby and down scale.
Kudos to Robin E. Cohen who has been named top the professional team of The Lapin Group of Jenkintown.
Robin has spent over 25 years in the fields of development and non-profit executive management. She served as the Interim Executive Director of Women of Reform Judaism (WRJ), assisting them with the launch of their capital campaign and centennial celebration. During the span of her career she has also served as executive director for synagogues and other non-profits across the country, and has held various positions in fundraising, programming, and public relations. Her specialties include turnaround management, leadership development, marketing and PR strategy and campaign management.
She received her Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Florida International University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from Nova University.
Wolf Furniture Co. of Blair County, which operates nine stores in central Pennsylvania, has taken out television commercials in which proprietor Doug Wolf says “I’d like to clear the air. We’re not related to anyone in public office.”
It’s sure sign of Gov. Tom Wolf’s unpopularity when a connection to him is considered bad for business.
The Governor achieved his 1-percenter status from the York County kitchen cabinetry company he inherited, and that appears to be the source of the confusion.
Repeat: There is no connection with the Blair County furniture chain.
With a little less greed, though, there would not be a problem.
The point of advertising is to expose one’s product to potential customers. If a website is a bad experience and chases away viewers, exposure is not going to happen no matter how often an ad pops up or how loud the video auto-plays.
We use Firefox as our browser with the free plug-ins Ghostery and No Script. We see comments on sites cursing the pop ups and the slow loading and wonder what the fuss is. We check the site in another browser without the blockers and learn.
And websites need support. If a website were to restrict advertisements, however, to .jpgs with a clickable link or even just written classifieds as per Ben Franklin’s paper, products and services would get the necessary publicity, readers would not be chased away and the websites would get the funding they need.
And of course there is nothing wrong with asking for the occasional donation either:
But making people miserable by trying to squeeze every cent one can from them is a pretty lousy way to go through life.
Ad Blocking Praise — Ad Blocking: It’s A Good Thing
Penncora Decorated Parkway For Pope –Penncora, the excellent Phoenixville design firm run by Barbara Bater, provided the flowers for the Papal stages on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway for Pope Francis’ visit last September.