Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Archive: June, 2009

POSTED: Tuesday, June 30, 2009, 8:49 AM

With the political eyes of the nation on Sen. Specter's party switch and a potential clash with Rep. Joe Sestak (D., PA) in the 2010 Democratic Senate primary, it's easy to forget that Republican Senate candidate Pat Toomey has a primary opponent.

Peg Luksik, the self-described "kitchen table mom" and former gubernatorial from Johnstown, has launched a listening tour to give voters a chance to interview her. Luksik is making appearances in Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton this week before heading west after the July 4 holiday.

Her Website design recalls the 1950s and "Kitchen Table Blog" offers observations on free trade, judicial elections and the founding fathers. In her "Ask Me" section, Luksik defends her right to run against those who call her candidacy against GOP frontrunner Pat Toomey "divisive."

Amy Worden @ 8:49 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Saturday, June 27, 2009, 6:14 PM

All the brouhaha over South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's unscheduled trip to Argentina for a rendezvous with a girlfriend has gotten people wondering what their governor's up to - even during working hours.

Fact is, most of the time we don't know.

So the Associated Press dispatched reporters in 40 states to try to find out what the governor was doing at a certain moment and ran into roadblocks in almost every one of them, including Pennsylvania. Reporters were routinely told that the governor's private schedules was off limits, citing privacy and security concerns, and that they would have to file open records requests to receive them.

Amy Worden @ 6:14 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Friday, June 26, 2009, 12:15 PM
U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak pumps out another fundraising e-mail to supporters, using results of the Franklin and Marshall poll showing Sen. Arlen Specter's vulnerability.

Dear XXXX,

Thomas Fitzgerald @ 12:15 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, June 25, 2009, 12:55 PM

U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak (D.,Pa.) has said he has to talk to his family before deciding to run for Senate next year. Apparently is dad is on board with it. Sestak is distributing a fundraising email that quotes his father telling him: "Why not?"

Here's the email:

From: Congressman Joe Sestak [mailto:info@sestakforcongress.com]
Sent: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 10:59 AM
Subject: "Absolutely, Why Not"
Dear ,
I wanted to relay to you a conversation I recently had with my 88 year-old Dad ... the man I admire most in life and whom I always wanted to be like.

I asked my Dad if I should run for the U.S. Senate and, with a heart-felt smile on his face and in his unassuming way ... as so many members of his "greatest generation" were ... he simply said "absolutely, why not".

You see my Dad is the embodiment of the American Dream, and reflects what is best about America.

Dad had come to America at a young age from then-Czechoslovakia with his father who became a Pennsylvania steelworker. Dad worked hard in high school; graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy; fought in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans during WW II ; rose to be a Captain in the U.S. Navy; married Mom (a Catholic high school math teacher - they'll be celebrating their 63rd wedding anniversary this year) and had eight children; and put all eight through high school and college, while encouraging us that the only limitation in life that could hold us back was ourselves.

We weren't different than any other families of my generation, whose parents instilled in them the same values of hard-work and accountability for our actions, while teaching us that America was a land of meritocracy.

But with recent political events, some have gotten away from that sentiment which is affecting us - and our electoral process - here in Pennsylvania.

The Washington D.C. "establishment" has told us that THEIR standard-bearer for Pennsylvania Democrats should be a 45-year Republican Party member who stood "shoulder-to-shoulder" with George W. Bush on the President's failed policies that we are now suffering from ... and now the D.C. insiders are telling us we are to vote for this Republican, someone who:
  • four weeks before switching parties emphatically told Pennsylvanians that "to eliminate any doubt, I am a Republican, and I am running for reelection in 2010 as Republican on the Republican ticket";
  • who four weeks after making that express commitment, then breached it and switched parties ... not to help Pennsylvanians ... but rather to help himself personally because, as he said, his internal polling showed he could not beat his Republican challenger; and,
  • who, after breaking his commitment, then announced to the nation "I did not say that I would be a loyal Democrat ... I did not say that I am a loyal Democrat"!
Is that someone who Pennsylvania Democrats really want as OUR standard-bearer? I just don't think so.

If you believe - like I was raised by my parents to believe - that America is a land of meritocracy and that we are accountable for our actions, then I ask you to join me, and fight!  Fight for accountablility, for consistency of purpose, for honest commitment.  And to help me do that, I ask you to please immediately contribute $5, $10, $25; $50; $100, $250 ... to my campaign ... a campaign for a choice for someone who is running for Pennsylvania, for Democrats, not for himself.


We've set an an ambitious goal of raising $70,000 in 7 days - by midnight, next Tuesday, June 30th, the end of the quarter.

We've got 7 days to raise $70,000! Not only is your financial support needed, but your help in getting others to contribute is critical to reaching our goal. Please forward this e-mail to others, with your own personal note, and ask your family and friends to please make a donation of just $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, $250 ... to support what is shaping up to be "the race"of the election cycle.


"Courage, Honor, Commitment" is the Navy's honor code that extends back over 200 years, and which our Dad imparted on us as we grew up and, upon entering the U.S. Naval Academy, I became part of that tradition.

While career politicians often do things for their own political survivability, I just believe that there is still a place for courage, honor and commitment in public office ... and in our elected officials.  If you agree, then please make a contribution to my campaign.

You have been, and continue to be, the best grassroots organization in the nation!
Joe Sestak

Click here for Philly.com's politics page.

Thomas Fitzgerald @ 12:55 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, June 25, 2009, 11:16 AM

Pennsylvania again ranks among the bottom of states when it comes to what personal financial information it makes its legislators publicly disclose.

So judges the Center for Public Integrity in a just-released survey of states and their transparency when it comes to public access to legislators’ employment, investments, personal finances and property holdings.

Mario Cattabiani @ 11:16 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, June 25, 2009, 10:56 AM

Think political consultant and you think, at best, rumpled khakis a wrinkled blue shirt, three-day beard stubble and eyes red from lack of sleep. Maybe a frayed blazer. And don't forget coffee stains.

(Sorry for the stereotype, guys. I also just described a lot of reporters.)

Thomas Fitzgerald @ 10:56 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Thursday, June 25, 2009, 8:13 AM

When it comes to government operations, no state wants to rank below Mississippi. But Pennsylvania does, at least when it comes to financial disclosure.

The Center for Public Integrity released its latest financial disclosure rankings yesterday, praising Mississippi for its progress (No. 24) and slamming Pennsylvania (No. 35) for its failing grade.

The Center has been reporting on disclosure requirements in state legislatures since 1999, and bases its rankings on a 43-question survey that measures public access to information on legislators’ employment, investments, personal finances, property holdings, or other activities outside the legislature.

Amy Worden @ 8:13 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
About this blog

Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.

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