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Democracy or concentrated wealth?

"We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. " -- Louis Brandeis, Supreme Court Justice 1916-39.

Do you Remember…

...when teachers, public employees, Planned Parenthood, NPR and PBS crashed the stock market, wiped out half of our 401Ks, took trillions in TARP money, gave themselves billions in bonuses, and paid no taxes? Yeah.. Me Neither. --John Gall, SodaHead

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True Blue Society

The True Blue Society supports the Chesco Democratic Party's financial future, annual operations, and campaigns. Chester County Democrats who donate $200 annually or $20 monthly gain exclusive updates, discounts, VIP events admission, and other benefits. 2014-15 VIP events will start April 30. For a list of current members, click here.

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Posting policy

Discussion-worthy articles from other sources are posted as relevant, not necessarily signifying CCDC endorsement. We aim for comparable numbers of issue-oriented posts by Dems facing each other in primaries. Candidate events will also be posted when a pdf or jpg is submitted here. For events, see also the Calendar.

To vote or not to vote?

There is no democracy without the vote. If you don't vote, you cast your vote against democracy.

Don’t just vote!

"Too often..., we elect people who we assume are going to make fundamental changes, and then we go home and do whatever we were doing before without realizing that an election is just the beginning of the challenge. They need all our help and support if they are going to succeed." -- Robert Reich, 10/21/13

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The Dispatch

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If money is speech

"If money is speech, then speech is no longer free." --Jim Hightower

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Democrats

"The Democratic party is at its best when it represents the American people" -- Joe Sestak, 12/6/13

An election is coming, let’s get to work

Don't just hope our candidates win next time. Help the party get them elected. Every district and every precinct has opportunities to help! Contact the Chester County Democratic Committee by email or at 610-692-5811. Yes, there is an election every 6 months.

Makers of Things

Stephanie Phillips (Markstein) has a new song in honor of the 2012 Obama campaign. Hear on YouTube.

KAD online Gift Store

Click here to view and order an array of clothing, cups, car magnets, etc., for KAD and all Dems

Free and equal elections

Pennsylvania Constitution I.5: "Elections shall be free and equal; and no power, civil or military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage."

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The Kennedy legacy

"For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."
-- Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA), elected November 7, 1962, died in office August 25, 2009

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Calendar


For best view, click on “Agenda” in upper right. Click on any event to open full details (click again to close). In the “Where” line, click on “map” to see the location on googlemaps.
To submit events for the calendar, click here.

Ohio Oil Spill: Mid-Valley Pipeline Leak Released More Than 20,000 Gallons Into Oak Glen Preserve

[n.b. Sunoco Logistics is the company whose plan to send a natural gas pipeline just north of West Chester, complete with pumping station and gas flaring facility, has run into increasing public opposition. For more related info on this site, see here.]

by Dan Sewell, Huffington Post, 3/24/14

CINCINNATI (AP) — Federal environmental officials now estimate more than 20,000 gallons of crude oil — double the initial estimates — leaked from a pipeline into a nature preserve in southwest Ohio.

Meanwhile, Sunoco Logistics said Monday that the pipeline has been repaired and re-opened. Sunoco shut off the stretch of Mid-Valley Pipeline from Hebron, Ky., to Lima, Ohio, early March 18 after a leak was confirmed.

Sunoco spokesman Jeff Shields said under a federally approved plan, a specially engineered clamp was placed on the 20-inch diameter pipeline, which had a 5-inch crack that leaked oil. The clamp was tested before oil flow resumed Sunday evening.

Shields declined to say how much of the oil supply was disrupted in the last week in a system that runs about 1,000 miles from Texas to Michigan. He said the information is considered internal company business….

keep reading at Huffington Post

KAD Endorses Tom Houghton for Congress

Kennett Area Democrats, 4/16/14

Strong showing among local Committee People

Tom Houghton addresses KAD after Little League practice

In a vote at the KAD meeting on April 10, Zone 8 Committee People gave the Houghton campaign a strong endorsement for the primary election on May 20.

In remarks given right after coaching his son’s Little League baseball team, Tom reinforced his commitment to a more reasonable style of governing and to represent all the people of the 16th Congressional District.

Tom thanked the people in KAD who helped him gather signatures for his petition to get on the ballot. In all, Tom’s campaign collected nearly 3,000 signatures, well more than enough to ensure his place on the ballot.

Josh Young fundraiser, PA House 74, April 22

Young_Georgios

Are you a member of the True Blue VIP Society for our 2014-15 season?

True Blue SocietyFrom Adam Thomas, CCDC Secretary, 4/15/14

Are you a member of the True Blue VIP Society? If not, it’s not too late to join! On Thursday, April 30th we are kicking off our 2014-2105 season.

We had an exciting 2013 series of events and we have more planned into the 2014-2015 season. Our first two years were a great success! Due to financial support we received, we have been able to provide ongoing campaign support to our local and county candidates as well as plan to secure our long-term financial future.

If you would like a chance to meet James Burn, Chairman of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and Dr. Stephen Medvic, Associate Professor of Government at Franklin and Marshall College, please join us on April 30th. You’ll have an opportunity to hear from these two leaders in the political industry about the Pennsylvania landscape leading up to a competitive PA Democratic Gubernatorial Primary. Find out what the PA Democratic Party is doing to prepare for making history and making Tom Corbett a one-term governor.

You can be a part of more of these TRUE BLUE VIP SOCIETY events into the 2014-2015 seasons by becoming a member today. Membership contributions are just $20 per month/ per person (or a one-time $200 contribution) or $30 per month/ per couple (or a one-time $320 contribution). (A $40 yearly savings!)  We have held our costs to the same rates as the 2013-2014 season.

You can sign up for the True Blue VIP Society on our website or send a check payable to the Chester County Democratic Committee directly at: 37 South High St., West Chester, PA 1938 by Friday, April 25, 2014, to be in time to attend the special April 30 event.

To download flyer including sign-up form, click here: CCDC – Blue VIP Society-2014.

PUC response to the petition “PA PUC Must Deny Sunoco Logistic Public Utility Status”

Those who signed the MoveOn petition “PA PUC Must Deny Sunoco Logistic Public Utility Status” have received the answer below via MoveOn. In sum, Sunoco is not trying to override local zoning regulations by becoming a public utility. Rather, it is trying to override local zoning regulations by acting like a public utility. Well, that’s comforting for those living near or downwind of the proposed West Goshen natural gas pumping facility, isn’t it? See more background here.

Thank you for your interest in the 31 cases pending before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) regarding the petitions filed by Sunoco seeking an exemption from local zoning for pump stations in 31 separate municipalities across the Commonwealth. This response is being provided on behalf of all five Commissioners and our executive director who also was listed on the petition. The company is not filing to become a public utility as defined under the state’s Public Utility Code. Rather, what they are seeking is a zoning exemption as public utility CORPORATION under the state’s public corporation code (53 P.S. Section 10619).

Here’s the text of 53 PS Section 10619:

§ 10619. Exemptions. This article [Zoning] shall not apply to any existing or proposed building, or extension thereof, used or to be used by a public utility corporation, if, upon petition of the corporation, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission shall, after a public hearing, decide that the present or proposed situation of the building in question is reasonably necessary for the convenience or welfare of the public. It shall be the responsibility of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to ensure that both the corporation and the municipality in which the building or proposed building is located have notice of the hearing and are granted an opportunity to appear, present witnesses, cross-examine witnesses presented by other parties and otherwise exercise the rights of a party to the proceedings.

The company filed its required notice in the April 4, 2014, PA Bulletin. The MoveOn.org petition that you signed will be filed as part of the proceeding in the public comment folder for the case. You can follow any one of the 31 docketed proceedings on the PUC website, an example of one of the cases can be found at the following link. Formal protests, comments, and petitions to intervene as an active party are due by the close of business on April 21, 2014. Instructions on how to formally participate in the proceeding are defined by the state’s Public Utility Code and 52 Pa. Code, Chapters 1, 3, and 5 as outlined in the company’s required posting linked above.

Tredyffrin & Schuylkill Dems fundraiser May 4

TTDems May 4 2014

 

Please let us know you are coming!

See more info and register at TTDems.

Download pdf of invitation poster here: 2014_Art_of_Politics_Flyer.

Death and Taxes

from Manan Trivedi for Congress, 4/15/14

“In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, but death and taxes.” – Benjamin Franklin

Tax Day is never fun, but if Republicans had their way, tax day 2015 would be especially painful for middle class families.

Last week, House Republicans passed Paul Ryan’s Budget – a sweeping piece of legislation that slashes government funding for things like education, job training, and medicare. In order to fund these cuts, the Ryan Budget puts the burden on the backs of the middle class.

In a recent interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, our opponent, Ryan Costello, offered praise for the Ryan Budget – claiming it “puts us on the path to fiscal responsibility,” but failed to mention which specific parts of the plan he supports.

If Mr. Costello wants to serve in Congress, he should know that we expect details.

The cuts in the Ryan Budget also create a funding nightmare that could require higher taxes on employer provided health care plans, as well as reductions in mortgage interest and charitable tax deductions. 

We all believe in fiscal responsibility and working to reduce the deficit, but we can do both without putting the burden on the backs of middle class families. 

Your 2013 Federal Taxpayer Receipt

email from the White House, 4/15/14

Want to know how your federal taxes are spent?

President Obama is keeping his promise to make sure Americans like you can easily see what you’re getting for your taxes.

Just enter a few pieces of information, and the Taxpayer Receipt gives you a breakdown of how your tax dollars are spent on priorities like education and veterans benefits.

Get your 2013 Federal Taxpayer Receipt

[Here is what you find there]

Your 2013 Federal Taxpayer Receipt

In his 2011 State of the Union Address, President Obama promised that, for the first time ever, American taxpayers would be able to go online and see exactly how their federal tax dollars are spent. And for the fourth year in a row, he’s keeping that promise.

Just enter a few pieces of information below, and the Taxpayer Receipt gives you a breakdown of how your tax dollars are spent on priorities like education, veterans benefits, or health care.

Learn more about President Obama’s plan to grow our economy.

[The median income for Chester County is about $80,000 per household. Entering "$80,000 income — married with two children" on the site produces this use of your federal tax money}

How taxes spent $80,000

[Click on "Expand All Sub-Categories" on the site for a more detailed breakdown]

$2.83 an hour isn’t enough

From Stack Democrat Lieutenant Governor, 4/14/15

Sign the petition: give tipped employees a raise

Tipped employees – those who earn tips in addition to their base pay – are paid only $2.83 in the State of Pennsylvania. That base pay hasn’t gone up in 23 years, and today that simply isn’t enough for most families to get by.

We’re doing something about it. Earlier this year I introduced legislation that would eliminate the exemption that allows employers to pay tipped employees less than the minimum wage. Instead, my bill would require employers to pay all employees at least the minimum wage, and raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour in the process.

Together, we’re urging the Pennsylvania state legislature to bring the bill to the floor for a vote so we can give these working families a much-overdue pay increase.

Our petition calls on the leadership of the Pennsylvania State Legislature to do exactly that.

If passed and signed into law, my legislation would put more money in the pockets of over 1 million working Pennsylvanians.

Join us today and let’s give working families a raise.

Did you pay more in taxes than GE?

It’s April 15 and millions of Americans are finishing up their tax returns today. They’re worried about how much tax they owe, or hoping their refund check gets deposited quickly so they can pay some bills.

Big corporations aren’t worried. They’re celebrating. Thanks to high-priced accountants, corporations have hidden their profits offshore and don’t pay their fair share of taxes. Many corporations, like Boeing and General Electric, don’t pay any federal taxes at all.

These wealthy companies get away with it because they’ve hired armies of lawyers to create huge loopholes in the tax code. Now they are demanding Congress renew two of these loopholes so they can continue to evade their tax obligations.

It’s up to us to stop them. That’s why Democracy for America is teaming up on tax day with progressive allies across the country — from Americans for Tax Fairness and Rebuild the Dream to The Other 98% and Daily Kos — to put some pressure of our own on Congress to close the loopholes.

Join us in telling Congress: Make corporations pay by ending these tax loopholes once and for all!

Large corporations and banks like Verizon, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup use these loopholes to hide billions of dollars from the IRS. The two loopholes we’re targeting, the “Active Financing Exemption” and the “CFC Look Through Rule,” sound complicated. But the effect of closing them is simple — large corporations will start paying what they owe.

Thank you for helping stop these corporate tax giveaways.

Jim Dean
Chair, Democracy for America