Rendell Vetos Castle Doctrine

As expected, Gov. Ed Rendell today vetoed HB 1926 , a bill which would have greatly expanded the grounds on which one could used deadly force to defend oneself. The bill would have ended significant requirements to retreat from a potential assailant before employing protective force and would  have expanded the “Castle Doctrine”  to matters outside the home and workplace.

The Castle Doctrine, as specifically described in HB 1926, is a “Common Law doctrine of ancient origins which declares that a home is a person’s castle.”

The bill passed the State House 61-35 and the State Senate 45-4 which are easily enough to overturn a veto. The legislative session, however, has ended for the year and so the bill will have to be introduced in the next one. Incoming Gov. Tom Corbett is expected to be willing to sign such a bill.

Rendell also vetoed HB 1231, which
would define cancer as an occupational disease for firefighters making
it easier for them to get workers’ compensation. He also vetoed a bill that would have restricted public access to autopsy reports.


GOP Up In Pa

The  Reuters/Ipsos poll released, today, has Republican Pat Toomey up 47-37 percent among likely voters over Democrat Joe Sestak in the Pennsylvania Senate race. Among registered voters, a category historically more favorable to the Democrats, Toomey is up 40-37 percent.

Meanwhile, the latest Rasmussen Poll has Toomey up 45-39 percent among likely voters with Toomey ahead 48-42 percent if leaners are factored in.

In the governor’s race, Reuter/Ipsos has Republican Tom Corbett head of Democrat Don Onorato 49 percent to 34 percent.

In other election news, Sestak has launched his first attack ads in which he accuses Toomey to be in the pockets of Wall Street and features a CNBC interview from 2007 in which he advocates ending corporate income taxes.

The ad buy is estimated to cost $110,000 and will run in every market but Philadelphia.

Toomey has responded saying he was just trying to explain to consumers that it is they who ultimately pay for taxes on corporations, and that he recognizes that a 0 percent corporate income tax is is “impractical for a host of reasons”.

Some friendly advice, Joe. You are living in a greenhouse on the “capitalist tool of Wall Street” matter so be careful about throwing stones. It’s not like Toomey ever voted to take $700 billion in taxpayer money to bailout Goldman Sachs et al. That’s not his name there in the yes category of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.

It’s funny that even though the TARP bailout was pushed by President Bush most Democrats voted for it and most Republicans voted against it.


Pa. Becomes Top Beggar Under Rendell

The dynamic leadership of Gov. Rendell has lead Pennsylania to a number one ranking in each year of his administration in the category of money spent on lobbying Washington. In other words, Pennsylvania had dedicated more state taxpayer money to attempting to leech off the federal taxpayer than any other state.

Pa. snatched the crown in 2003 walloping second-place New Jersey $890,000  to $400,000.

By 2009, the winning streak was John-Woodenesque with Pennsylvania outspending second-place Nevada more than 5 to 1 at $1.48 million to $280,000.

“We’ve done awesome in getting funds from Washington both under the BushAdministration and the Obama Administration,” said Rendell.

Hat tip to Pennsylvania Independent and GrassrootsPa.Com

Kimmett Suit Derail Corbett Or Smoke Sans Gun?

A pending civil rights lawsuit against state Attorney General Tom Corbett who is the GOP’s nominee for governor is the simmering subject of discussions in the blogosphere with rumors about a pending autumn surprise that would derail his candidacy.

The case was filed Aug. 11,  2008   in United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on behalf of Thomas D. Kimmett and Sherry E. Bellaman by attorney Donald A. Bailey and amended two months later. The amended complaint names Corbett and nine others in the state attorney general’s office as defendants. 

Bailey is a former congressman and state auditor general but has acquired a reputation about being a little quick in filing a lawsuit.

Kimmett worked as a senior deputy attorney general according to the complaint and Ms. Bellaman was his assistant.

Kimmett alleges that Attorney General’s office unlawfully gave breaks to tax delinquents and unlawfully paid commissions to collection agencies. He also alleges that they ruined his chance of promotion after he complained about it to the Department of Revenue by running “him in a circle between the two Agencies.”

In the amended complaint, Kimmett says that “immediately after Kimmett filed the original suit the defendant’s (sic) Roman, Keiser, and others in the Attorney General’s office began a retaliatory program of harassment and ostracism”  and acted  “to alienate him from his assistants including the plaintiff Sherry E. Bellaman”

According to the court, the last action taken on the matter was a phone conference in April and no trial has been scheduled.

A phone call was placed to Bailey’s office to provide him a chance to elaborate.
Kimmett Suit Derail Corbett Or Smoke Sans Gun?
Will Kimmett Suit Derail Corbett Or Smoke Sans Gun?

Corbett Kills Subpoena After Stiff Sentence For Cott

Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett directed that the subpoena to Twitter Inc. for the records of the accounts for bfbarbie and CasablancaPa be dropped after Brett Cott was sentenced this morning for his role in Bonusgate.

Cott, who was an aide to State Rep. Mike Veon, received 21 to 61 months along with fines totaling $11,000 and a requirement to pay $50,000 restitution to the state.

Why pile on Corbett must have figured.

The subpoena was an attempt by Corbett to connect to Cott  statements disparaging the investigation after being found guilty of theft of service, conflict of interest and conspiracy to commit conflict of interest following a six-week trial that ended in March.

The statements would have shown a serious lack of remorse.

Convicted in the same trial were Veon, a Democrat who represented the 14th District from 1985 to 2006, and two other Veon aides.

Bonusgate involved tax money being used to pay political aides for campaign work in the form of large year-end bonuses. Ironically, much of work performed by the staff hacks involved keeping candidates to left of the Democratic Party off the ballot.

Cott, for instance, was reportedly instrumental in keeping Carl Romanelli, a Green Party candidate, off the ballot for U.S. Senate in 2006. He was paid salary of $223,000plus bonuses of over $39,000from 2004 to 2006 and apparently little of his time was spent on constituent services or legislative matters.

The subpoena from the state Investigative Grand Jury was signed by Judge Barry F. Feudal. It was the cause of the moment yesterday as speculation went around the nation that Corbett, who won the Republican gubernatorial nomination Tuesday, was trying to squelch critics or expose whistleblowers.

More irony is that these same “free speech” and privacy advocates outraged over the exposure of a thief have been silent on the matter of George Donnelly who  spent two days in jail  and faces eight years in prison for trying to videotape a confrontation involving federal officers and a man trying to distribute fliers in front of the federal courthouse in Allentown.

Meanwhile, the Senate Democrats, today, passed a financial regulatory bill that allows the government to collect data on any person operating in financial markets at any level, including the collection of personal transaction records from local banks, including customers’ addresses and ATM receipts.

Wonder how many of the Anti-Corbettites are going to express concern.

Maybe Corbett’s Not Evil After All Or Live By Tweets Die By Tweets

The May 6 Grand Jury subpoenas of Twitter Inc. for the records of bfbarbie and CasablancaPa per the request of Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett involve tomorrow’s sentencing of convicted felon Brett Cott according to Kevin Harley, spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office.

Harley said details will be forthcoming at the sentencing.

Cott was the top aide to State Rep. Mike Veon , who represented the 14th District from 1985 to 2006. Cott, along with his boss and two other aides were convicted in March after a six-week trial on charges relating to Bonusgate in which legislative staffers  were given bonuses with state money for campaign work.

Cott is specifically guilty of theft of service, conflict of interest and conspiracy to commit conflict of interest.

If Cott spent the last two months ripping Corbett anonymously via Twitter it really doesn’t show much in the way of repentance for his ill deeds and it really doesn’t bode well for the sorry sack of pick-your-favorite-word-starting-with-an-s if he can’t figure out why he should be repentant.

Corbett’s Twitter Headache May Go Viral

Pennsylvania attorney general and GOP gubernatorial nominee Tom Corbett has an unexpected viral headache ruining the glow of his primary triumph.

Corbett in his job as A.G. subpoenaed Twitter Inc., May 6, for the records of two account holders who have been harshly critical of his handling of Bonusgate , in which tax money was used to pay political aides for campaign work in the form of bonuses.

Wrongdoing happened and Corbett got guilty pleas and his corruption investigations — while starting with Democrats — eventually netted high-ranking Republicans as well.

So why were the accounts bfbarbie and CasablancaPa subpoenaed? It can’t be a simple matter of slander/libel since Corbett is seeking the information via a grand jury, and as a public figure it is unlikely what was said about him would come close to even meriting a case.

If he doesn’t come up with a good explanation for his action, though, don’t be surprised if it causes his campaign surprising damage. The matter is being discussed in a very unfavorable way on political and technical blogs throughout the state and nation.

Not to mention Twitter, of course.

A call has been placed to the Attorney General’s office asking for Corbett’s side, and Corbett’s office responded. See the next post.

Famous Philadelphia Sports Fans

Matthew Clemmens and Ed Rendell

Philadelphia sports fans took another black eye  when 21-year-old Matthew Clemmens reportedly purposely vomited on an 11-year-old girl at the April 14 Phillies-Nationals game. In this case the black eye was literal as can be seen from Young Mr. Clemmens mug shot  and, with a nod to the presumption of innocence, well -deserved if the reports are accurate.

At least Mr. Clemmens had the excuse of being fat, drunk and stupid.

Clemmens, however, has inspired retrospectives of notable moments in Philadelphia sports fan history that should give some pause. Here is one from NBCPhiladelphia.

The second item describes an incident at the Dec. 10, 1989 Eagles-Cowboys game at Veterans Stadium in which the Dallas players were pelted with ice-balls made from snow the city never managed to get around to cleaning up from a storm several days earlier. Then District Attorney Ed Rendell bet a young fan $20 he couldn’t reach the field with one of the ice balls. Rendell lost the bet but he would go on to become the city’s mayor, the state’s governor and chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

So, Mr. Clemmens take heart. Dean Wormer’s  famous bit advice may not apply to you and your future might be bright after all.

Pennsylvanians, please note. Mr. Clemmens is a resident of Cherry Hill, N. J. while Gov. Rendell is a native of New York City.


Rendell Praises Dubya

Gov. Ed Rendell speaking on the Sean Hannity show about five minutes ago  — IOW about 6:10 p.m., March 10 — praised President George W. Bush for being courageous and correct.

Rendell, who chaired the Democratic National Committee during the 2000 election,  said Bush and the Republicans heroically went against popular opinion in instituting the surge in Iraq and the policy was a resounding success.

And while speaking of the Republicans, the Governor said “we have to be a big tent”.

Yo Eddie, what’s up with this?

Rendell Wants KSM Tried By Military In Gitmo

Pennsylvania’s Bush-bashing, Obama-supporting governor may have changed his tune, at least with regard to the wisdom of military trials for terrorist and the closing of the detention facilities in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Gov. Ed Rendell, on Fred Thompson’s radio show today said Khalid Sheikh Mohammed should be tried before a military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay.

“Let him plead guilty before a military tribunal in Gitmo,” Rendell said.

There had been talk about holding the trial in Wester Pennsylvania after New York politicians started rebelling against the plan to have it in The Big Apple.
Thompson is a conservative as is Sean Hannity whose show the governor has also been gracing with his presence.
Rendell Wants KSM Tried By Military In Gitmo
Rendell Wants KSM Tried By Military In Gitmo