The Right To Know Where Dog Owners Live

Pennsylvania’s Right To Know law still has some bugs to be worked out.

The law, Act 3 of 2008, took effect Jan. 1, 2009, and was much-needed improvement over the existing Sunshine Act.

But then who could have guessed the implicit conflict between the right to protect the privacy of public school teachers and the right to know where dog owners lived?

Yesterday, Delaware County Daily Times columnist Gil Spencer described how Lauren Marks wanted to know where dog owners lived in four zip codes in Delaware County. Ms. Marks runs a pet-sitting service and was looking for potential customers. Businesses have long used lists of registered voters, taxpayers and real estate transfers for similar things.

Ms. Marks made requests in Montgomery and Chester counties without issue.

Delco, however, felt uncomfortable about releasing the information. County Clerk and Open Records Officer Anne Coogan checked with Solicitor Frank Catania, who recommended the request be denied citing a recent court injunction barring the release of the home addresses of public school employees.

Ms. Marks appealed and the state directed Delco to release the information — after removing the names of the public school employees.

This is a ridiculous and an almost impossible demand, especially since Spencer says state Open Records Officer Executive Director Terry Mutchler has expanded the rule to prohibit the release of the addresses of every public employee in the state.

Spencer says Senate Majority Leader Domenic Pileggi (R-9) is preparing a fix.

And may people wake up to the understanding that transparency is much better than hiding behind a false sense of privacy.

Pa. To Pay $800M Tax Anticipation Loan In May And June

The $800 million Pennsylvania borrowed via tax anticipation notes (TAN) authorized Dec. 7 is due June 30.

Along with $6.5 million in interest.

The law gives these notes  the first right of revenue. Revenue from state business taxes arrive in March followed by personal taxes in April.

The debt is scheduled to be paid off with $300 million in May and $500 million in June.

This year’s Pennsylvania budget is about $27 billion not including $1.2 billion in federal American Recover and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) money. It is expected to rise between $1 billion and $1.2 billion.

This was the state’s first TAN offering since 1997.

State Of The Union Bingo

Something being passed around the web to make tonight’s State of the Union speech bearable.

Event

Instructions

Obama says “let me be clear”

Do one shot

Obama says “change isn’t easy”

Do one shot

Obama says “make no mistake”

Do one shot

Obama says “Let me be clear, change isn’t easy, make no mistake.”

He’s screwing with you to get you drunk, do five shots

Joe Wilson yells something

Do two shots

Obama yells back

Finish the bottle

Obama says “jobs”

Do one shot, two if you’re unemployed

Obama says “health care”

Do not drink, you will not be given a replacement liver

Nancy Pelosi claps like a seal

Do one shot

Nancy Pelosi becomes a seal

STOP DRINKING FOR THE LOVE OF GOD

Obama mentions Bo

Put beer in your dog’s water bowl

Joe Biden nods-off/laughs inappropriately/starts talking before the speech
is over

Do three shots

Obama uses the term “Congressional leadership”

Do two shots carefully as all that laughing will make it difficult to
swallow

Obama says he’s “fighting for you”

Do one shot, two if you believe him

Obama mentions Haiti

Text “Haiti” to the number 90999 and donate $10 to the Red Cross

Athony J. Frascino, Obama’s New BFF

Step aside Ellie Light, here comes  Anthony J. Frascino of Swedesboro, N. J.

Friday’s Philadelphia Inquirer published this letter from Frascino in which he described the independents in Massachusetts who elected Scott Brown to the Senate as voters having “no loyalty” and  “switch parties like underwear” and are “America’s insurgents”. 

“Welcome to the new age of anarchy,” he said.

Yesterday’s Boston Globe published this letter from Frascino in which n which he described the independents in Massachusetts who elected Scott Brown to the Senate as as voters having “no loyalty” and  “switch parties like underwear” and are “America’s insurgents”. 

“Welcome to the new age of anarchy,” he said.

At least Frascino is consistent as to where he lives.

Kudos to James Taranto’s Best of the Web for the tip.

Taranto notes that Frascino wrote a letter to the Inquirer in April, not available on the web, in which  he praised Sen. Arlen Specter for switching parties, and that he found this letter to the Inquirer in which he said that Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Ct)  “makes Judas Iscariot look like Mother Teresa!”

Obama Is Losing Obama Girl

Amber Lee Ettinger, who spent 2008 singing of her crush for Obama,  has fallen out of love.

On the eve of the President’s State of the Union address she is giving him a B-minus.

“In my opinion, I feel like he should be focusing a lot more on jobs and the economy,” she said. “He did create some jobs, but most of them were government jobs and that doesn’t really help the middle class.”

Ms. Ettinger notes she still does not have health care.

“I can’t afford it, ” she says.

Adolph Replaces Civera As GOP House Appropriations Chairman

The members of the Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus, yesterday, elected William Adolph  to replace  Mario Civera
 as Appropriations Chairman for the rest of the 2009-2010 legislative session.

Civera, who represents the 164th District, won a seat on Delaware County Council last November and will be resigning from the legislature, according to House GOP Leader Sam Smith of the 66th District.

Adolph represents the 165th District and lives in Springfield.

Ex-NFL Lineman Faces Prison Time For Taking Bribe In Luzerne County

Greg Skrepenak, the former NFL lineman who became a Luzerne County Commissioner, has pleaded guilty to accepting payoff from a developer who got a government-subsidized loan through the county.

Skrepenak, a Democrat, got $5,000 for his yes vote for the $1.1 million loan. Skrepenak faces
a maximum 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, but will likely spend
33 to 41 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines.

Skrepenak played for the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders and the Carolina Panthers.

In other Luzerne County news, former county Sheriff Michael Savokinas is being investigated for improperly selling firearms belonging to the county including an antique Thompson submachine gun for $20,000.

Rendell Haitian Trip Hot Blonde Glory Grab

Rendell Haitian Trip Hot Blonde Glory Grab —  Jason Altmire had been a lobbyist for, and former acting vice president at, UPMC, an integrated global health enterprise headquartered in Pittsburgh that is affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh.

In 2006, he was elected to Congress to represent Pennsylvania’s Fourth District as a Democrat.

Rendell Haitian Trip Hot Blonde Glory Grab
Gov. Rendell with Leslie Merrill McCombs at a 2007 Pittsburgh Pirates game.

Mary Beth Buchanan, a Republican former U.S. attorney for Western Pennsylvania  who had announced she was considering a run against Altmire this November, began organizing a mission two days after the Jan. 12 Haitian earthquake to render aid to Jamie and Ali McMutrie, Pittsburgh-area sisters who were running a orphanage in Port-au-Prince and rescue the orphans.

She enlisted Valerie May, a Pittsburgh immigration lawyer, to smooth the way for the children’s entrance and contacted Dr. Mary Carrasco, an old friend who was director of A Child’s Place, based at UPMC Mercy hospital who connected her with Kathy McCauley, a grants consultant, who began gathering supplies.

By the end of the day she had received permission from Joseph Klaus, U.S. Customs port director for Pittsburgh, for the children to enter the country  humanitarian parole.

It was then that Leslie Merrill McCombs appeared on scene.

Mrs. McCombs is the hot blonde senior consultant for government relations at UPMC who developed a close working relationship with Gov. X-Man Rendell while successfully lobbying on behalf of Lions Gate Entertainment for the $75 million 2007 Pennsylvania Film Tax Credit program.

Mrs McCombs never disclosed the relationship — with Lions Gate that is albeit she vociferously denied having one with X-Man– and wound up being fined $5,025 in July 2009 for failing to reveal being a lobbyist.

Anyway, Mrs. McCombs told Mrs. Buchanan that UPMC would be the sole handler of the rescue mission, a mission that would eventually include Gov. Rendell, Congressman Altmire, but not Mrs. Buchanan.

Wonder what Congressman Altmire and Gov. Rendell have in mind to pay her and UPMC back?

Rendell Haitian Trip Hot Blonde Glory Grab

The Need For A Little Leadership

An email is going around regarding how the First Lady’s failure to accompany President Obama on his trips to Islamic nations is an indication that our president is a secret Muslim.

It’s actually more than an email. Conservapedia, for instance, mentions the matter in a whole section in the President’s biography entitled “Obama is likely the first Muslim President”.

Michelle Obama visited eight countries in 2009.

  1. The United Kingdom
  2. Denmark
  3. France
  4. Germany
  5. The Czech Republic
  6. Italy
  7. Russia
  8. Ghana

It is true, none of these are Muslim lands. On the other hand, however, Michelle did not participate in the President’s trips to China, Japan or Mexico. Frankly, I think it’s more of an indication that Michelle is a diva, than Barack is a Muslim.

Still, Obama ought to recognize that millions of his constituents believe these stories and he ought show a little leadership and haul Michelle with him the next time he visits Arabia or Turkey.

Of course, he should have also waived any privacy rights to birth or college records when the Birther movement started, and he has yet to do so.

Brazilian Oil Loan, George Soros And The Chinese

Brazilian Oil Loan, George Soros And The Chinese — I recently received one of the emails circulating regarding the $2 billion U.S. loan made to the Brazilian state-controlled energy company Petrobras in August.

Sarah Palin harshly criticized the loan at the time which led to comments on Fox News and various blogs. Brazilian Oil Loan, George Soros And The Chinese

The email quoting Glen Beck said the

  • Chinese government is under contract to purchase all the oil that this  field will produce.
  • That we gain nothing from it
  • Obama contributor George Soros profited greatly from it.

The concerns and observations appear legitimate albeit defenders of the loan would take issue with the second point in that the money would be used to buy U.S. made equipment.

With regard to the first point, three months after the U.S. loan, Petrobas signed a $10 billion loan deal with the Chinese in which Petrobas “will increase its sale of crude to Unipec Asia,a unit of Chinese state oil company Sinopec, to 150,000 barrels per day(bpd) in the first year of the agreement and up to 200,000 bpd duringthe subsequent nine years.”

You know, you can use U.S.-made equipment to drill for oil in Alaska and off Florida and the Carolinas and California? Wonder if President Obama ever considered that?

Brazilian Oil Loan, George Soros And The Chinese