VIDEO: Don’t miss this important, honest discussion

(email, 1/29/10)

This was a week where we at the White House were reminded more than ever of why we came to work for this President.

On Wednesday, President Obama delivered his State of the Union address, laying out his priorities for jumpstarting job creation, fighting to restore economic security for American families and changing the way business is done in Washington.

But then on Friday something remarkable happened — with much less fanfare. The President visited House Republicans at their retreat and answered their questions directly for most of an hour. It was an honest and unscripted discussion where the President took their questions and concerns seriously, acknowledged where they had valid points, and explained genuinely where he felt they were wrong. Continue reading

Pitts is no moderate; Lois Herr a better choice

letter in the Kennett Paper, 1/27/10

I am concerned that Joe Pitts has taken a large amount of space two weeks in a row in the Kennett Paper, and he presents himself as a moderate both times. I hardly have space to list all my disagreements with Mr. Pitts and his destructive votes.

He states that he is in favor of birth control and that his opponents are lying, but he voted to prohibit in HR 2159 to prohibit planning assistance to ANY foreign organization. He voted against HR 3685 which prohibited discrimination in employment on the basis of sexual orientation; against HR 1388 which establishes national community service organizations and provides funding for community service organizations and projects; against HR 2642 to expand veterans’ education and unemployment benefits; against HR 1388 to expand a National Volunteer Program; against three different stem cell research bills between 2005 and 2007; against HR 3548 extending unemployment benefits; and against HR 3963 in 2007 to reauthorize and expand the Children’s Health and Insurance Program (CHIP).

All of these bills passed, whether there were Republican or Democratic majorities in the House, many of them passing overwhelmingly. All of his recent votes and explanations of each bill can be found at www.votesmart.org.

Perhaps worst of all, Mr. Pitts has long hidden from the voters his years of membership in the Fellowship, or the Family, which is a secret Christian group which provides, among other things, low cost rent to members of Congress in the infamous house on C street in Washington.

The Fellowship has had long, direct ties with brutal dictator Suharto of Indonesia, cult ruler Barre of Somalia, and the dictatorship of the generals in Brazil. Some members of the Fellowship have ties with Ugandan leaders who are sponsoring legislation to punish homosexuality by death. Continue reading

Meet and Greet with Senator Specter

January 22, 2010

Dear Friends,

State Senator Andy Dinniman cordially invites you to a meet and greet with United States Senator Arlen Specter on Friday, January 29th, 2010 from 5:00 to 6:00 PM at the Chester County Historical Society, 225 North High Street, West Chester, PA 19380.

Please note that this is not a fundraiser but rather a free event where you will have an opportunity to listen to and ask questions of Senator Specter.

As an added attraction, at the conclusion of the event, all in attendance are invited to see the historical society’s new exhibit on Barbaro, the famous horse with a Chester County connection. Also, the historical exhibit for the famous West Chester-born composer Samuel Barber has just opened and you will be able to view this exhibit as well.

We look forward to seeing you on January 29th.

State of the Union message, 1/27/10

Full text here.

See also Obama’s address to Congress 2/24/09 here:

…I know that for many Americans watching right now, the state of our economy is a concern that rises above all others. And rightly so. If you haven’t been personally affected by this recession, you probably know someone who has – a friend; a neighbor; a member of your family. You don’t need to hear another list of statistics to know that our economy is in crisis, because you live it every day. It’s the worry you wake up with and the source of sleepless nights. It’s the job you thought you’d retire from but now have lost; the business you built your dreams upon that’s now hanging by a thread; the college acceptance letter your child had to put back in the envelope. The impact of this recession is real, and it is everywhere.

But while our economy may be weakened and our confidence shaken; though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, tonight I want every American to know this:
We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before….

Hoeffel kicks off campaign, saying he ’stands with all the women of this state’

pa2010, 1/26/10

PHILADELPHIA—Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Hoeffel formally kicked off his gubernatorial campaign Tuesday, playing up his socially liberal stances during appearances in Pittsburgh and Harrisburg before an evening rally here.

After being joined by several state lawmakers in Harrisburg, Hoeffel basked in an impassioned plea to support him from longtime abortion rights activist Kate Michelman. Warning against other Democrats who “claim” to be pro-choice, Michelman said that “Joe is the only one who’s been with us from the start.” Hoeffel has positioned himself firmly to the left of his Democratic rivals since entering the race last year, repeatedly playing up his support for same-sex marriage and for easing access to abortions.

“I stand with all of the women of this state,” Hoeffel told supporters at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. “You have a constitutional right to privacy that, as governor, I will protect and defend.”

After his speech, Hoeffel said the political landscape favors him, even despite a financial disadvantage against other opponents. He said he was a better fit for the party compared to the more conservative Dan Onorato and Jack Wagner….

keep reading at pa2010

Credit for rating should be shared

letter in Daily Local News, 1/22/10

The Republican machine in Chester County is quick to take credit for the county’s stellar credit rating as described by Michael Rellahan in his Dec. 2 article, “Top-notch bond rating …” which was followed by the Republican chairman’s letter crediting Carol Aichele and Terence Farrell on Dec. 26 and Ken Knuth’s letter on Jan. 3, 2010.

First, I would remind our citizens that there are three county commissioners. Beginning with current state Sen. Andy Dinniman in his years of service to the county followed by our present Democratic commissioner, Kathi Cozzone, the Democratic minority on the commission has been more hawkish on tax and budget issues in the last 20 years than has been the Republican majority.

Commissioner Cozzone ran on a platform advocating a long-term financial plan for the county which has never existed under Republican rule and has quietly in the background pursued this objective on behalf of county taxpayers. Continue reading

Suit alleges discrimination in precinct polling place

Daily Local News, Thursday, January 21, 2010
By ERIC S. SMITH, Staff Writer

Two Lincoln University students and three Lower Oxford residents filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against Chester County that charges that black voters in Lower Oxford’s east precinct were deprived of their right to vote because of a small, inconvenient polling place.

The lawsuit stems from the November 2008 presidential election, when voters in the east precinct were sent to the Lincoln Village Community Association building to cast their votes.

The suit claims that a majority of the precinct’s voters are from Lincoln University and is requesting the polling place be on campus as it was prior to 1992.

The community center is accessible only by vehicle, according to the lawsuit.

“This is an action to secure the fundamental right to vote for African-Americans in Lower Oxford Township in Chester County, Pennsylvania, by ending practices which unfairly burden their right to vote,” the lawsuit states.

People had to wait in line for six or seven hours in November 2008 in order to vote….

keep reading at Daily Local News

MLK’s dream…

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today! Continue reading

Sestak vs Specter IX: Standing up for Seniors

email from the Sestak campaign, 1/15/10

As Hubert H. Humphrey wisely said, a fundamental part of the moral test of Government is how that Government treats those “who are in in the twilight of life, the elderly.” Joe Sestak has made seniors a priority in Congress, taking the lead on legislation to benefit their economic, health and community security, and prevent abuse that has become all too common.

Following horror stories of abuse in his District, including one gentleman with Alzheimer’s who was beaten with a belt buckle, Joe authored the Elder Abuse Victims Act, which was the first on the subject to pass the House in 17 years. It was hailed by the National Coordinator of the non-partisan 564-member Elder Justice Coalition as “the most significant vote specifically on elder justice ever taken in the House.”

Responding to seniors seeking learning opportunities and more community involvement, Joe introduced and passed the Silver Scholarship Program, now signed into law, to provide senior volunteers with educational scholarships.

With seniors representing one group in particular financial distress during the economic downturn, Joe put forth legislation to secure retirement savings. His proposal, which passed a year ago and has been reintroduced this session, removes requirements for seniors to withdraw savings and allows those savings to regain value as the market improves.

In three decades as a Republican Senator, Arlen Specter has voted against protecting seniors’ security, even preferring Bush Administration tax cuts — 53 percent of which went to the wealthiest one percent — over establishing a fund to better sustain Social Security. In addition, Specter voted to:

Privatize Social Security, putting retirement savings at risk based on the volatility of the market;

Cut projected Medicare spending by $270 billion over seven years in order to pay for a $245 billion tax cut that would mainly benefit the wealthy and special interests; and

Block an amendment to extend the Age Discrimination Act.

Contrast those votes with Joe’s record of opposing privatization of Social Security, co-sponsoring legislation to lower Medicare Prescription Drug Prices, and introducing and passing the Patient Safety and Abuse Prevention Act. It is no wonder that the Alliance for Retired Americans has given Joe a 95 percent lifetime score as opposed to 39 percent for Specter. As demonstrated by his accomplishments to date, Joe believes it is our government’s responsibility to enhance seniors’ health security, while also ensuring their economic and community security.

Click here to learn more about the records of Joe Sestak’s and Arlen Specter’s approaches to seniors’ security.

To see the sharp contrast between the records of Joe Sestak and Arlen Specter on, restoring our economy, supporting our workers, serving our Veterans, gender equality, education, and protecting our environment, visit http://joesestak.com/contrast.