Congressman Joe Sestak (D-Pa7), who is seeking to replace fellow Dem Arlen Specter as Pennsylvania senator, said in a Jan. 22 interview with TalkingPointsMemo.Com that the Democrats running the Senate lack courage especially piling on Harry Reid of Nevada.
He said he thought Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island should be leading things.
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.
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.
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!”
“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.
Adolph Replaces Civera — 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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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 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.