Category Archives: ChesCo Democrats

This fall, local Republicans may have a Russian problem

by Mike McGann, The Times of Chester County, Jul 28th, 2018. (Sorry, the original Russian script of the actual title of the editorial won’t post here; above is the translation furnished.)

So, comrades, how was your week?

If you happen to be a Republican, and hold public office locally, the guess here is: not too great.

Between the missteps, lies, new infidelity claims (and tapes, lordy) and policy decisions of El Presidente For Life Donald J. Trump (seems about right for a would-be banana republic dictator), elected Republicans, many of them facing the the voters in less than 100 days have to be wondering: what the heck is next? Add to that missteps by a gubernatorial candidate, Jim Jordan’s divisive Speaker run and some concerning poll numbers and you begin to understand why this might not be a fun fall for the GOP….

keep reading at The Times of Chester County for some acute local observations and predictions.

ELEVEN HARRISBURG-BOUND CANDIDATES SCOOP UP DONATIONS AND RALLY THE PARTY IN JULY

Chester County Democratic Committee Distributes 3Q Donations To Every One Of Its Statehouse Candidates As They Work To Turn The County “Blue”

CCDC Chair Dick Bingham (left) with local PA state House and Senate candidates.

West Chester, PA (July 25, 2018) – During the traditional lazy hazy days of summer eleven Democratic candidates bound for Harrisburg have been busy cashing donation checks and canvassing their neighborhoods ahead of the all-important Midterms. They all came together in West Chester Wednesday night to rally the party leaders responsible for getting out the vote.

Dick Bingham, Chair of Chester County Democratic Committee (CCDC) presented a “big check” totaling $11,000 to the candidates gathered before CCDC’s Executive Committee. Earlier in July Bingham signed an initial $1000 check to each of the eleven PA State House and PA State Senate candidates running on the November ballot in Chester County.

“This is wonderful,” expressed Pam Hacker, one of almost a dozen candidates gathered at Henderson High School, site of the monthly party meeting. Hacker is running for the State Representative in the 26th District with a motto of “hard work, higher wages and more freedom for our families.” She told Bingham the timing of the donation was a pleasant surprise and a boost to her volunteer team.

Candidates countywide have been busy hosting summer meet-and-greets while raising funds via bowling, golfing, picnics and other creative outlets. With help from the PA Dems, state candidates are pitching their hometown appeal while also boosting fellow state and federal candidates. The list runs from Governor Tom Wolf and Senator Bob Casey, Jr. to 6th Congressional District candidate Chrissy Houlahan and the vacant 7th Congressional special election candidate Mary Gay Scanlon.

Chester County party leaders interacted with their Statehouse candidates in small groups before starting their monthly meeting. Strategies and dates were established for the final 100-day push leading to the November 6 elections.

As Bingham stated upon his win as Chairman last month, “Our goal is to help every one of our 228 precincts become a voter turnout powerhouse. Electing Democrats in Chester County will be the norm, never again the exception.”

Also announced Wednesday night was the election of the fifth member of the Executive Board, the Zone Leader Caucus Chair. Wayne Braffman of Kennett Square was voted by his peers to join the county leadership team. Elected the Assistant Zone Leader Caucus Chair slot was Dave McLimans of Parkesburg.

For more information on volunteering, candidates, voter registration and a calendar of upcoming events, visit CCDC’s website at www.chescodems.org.

2018’s Chester County Statehouse Democratic Candidates

Tim Kearney, PA Senate District 26
Katie Muth, PA Senate District 44
Sue Walker, PA House District 13
Pam Hacker, PA House District 26
Dan Williams, PA House District 74
Danielle Friel Otten, PA House District 155
Carolyn Comitta, PA House District 156
Melissa Shusterman, PA House District 157
Christina Sappey, PA House District 158
Anton Andrew, PA House District 160
Kristine Howard, PA House District 167

ABOUT CHESTER COUNTY DEMOCRATS

The Chester County Democratic Committee believes in Freedom, Fairness and Opportunity for all Americans regardless of what they believe, who they are, or where they came from.

Happy Independence Day from CCDC

CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED

Today we celebrate the birth of our country. I hope you all have a beautiful day filled with family, friends and fireworks. As you are enjoying the day, please reflect again on these words from our Declaration of Independence:

“…We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness;

“—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed;

“—That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness….”

In previous readings, I have tended to focus on phrases like “self-evident truths” and “unalienable rights.” They are important and powerful, of course, but today, the phrase that struck me was “CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED.”

If we are unhappy with our government today, it is our duty, our obligation, to change it. It is our duty to VOTE. It is our duty to elect people who will be “most likely to effect [our] Safety and Happiness.”

Have a great day today. And let’s dedicate ourselves, starting now, to make sure November 6 is a day that will make us all proud.

Thank you.

Dick Bingham
Chair, Chester County Democratic Committee

Report from the PA Dem State Committee, May 15-16, 2018

by Bill Scott and John Hellmann
 
The Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee met on Friday and Saturday, June 15-16, 2018, at the Sheraton Hersey Hotel in Harrisburg.
 
The first day consisted of “Deminars” (seminars) educating attendees on topics such as New Chair Training, Engaging GenZ, New State Committee Member Training, Finance Compliance and Reporting, and Best Practices for Party Building. There were also caucus meetings for Veterans, LGBT, Labor, Rural and a DNC Committee meeting. In the late afternoon there was a Women Candidates forum followed by dinner. All caucus and Deminar meetings are open to the general public as well as to credentialed State Committee members.

Many feel that the first day (Friday) is the more stimulating of the two because then a lot of one-on-one conversations and politicking take place in the lobbies, restaurants, and elsewhere around the Hotel.  The banquet that night, for many, is the highlight of the weekend. (Cost is $20.18 per ticket.)  Democrats of national importance (Senators, Congressional Representatives, Governors, Cabinet Members and the like) appear and give significant speeches.  This time it was Conor Lamb, the new Congressman from western PA who recently won a special election in a Republican District against a candidate backed by Trump.  Lamb flipped the seat and gained much positive attention for our side.  It’s no secret that he is a nice-looking young man who stands tall at the podium.  Many have seen TV clips of him speaking on the stump.  But the banquet was a different kind of forum.  Lamb gave a speech of standard Democratic fare but he did so with humor and  a  fresh, appealing, and dynamic delivery.  He was a big hit.

The second day, the morning consisted of meetings for the Black, Progressive, Senior, County Chairs, Women’s, Latino and PA Young Democrats Caucuses.

Late morning hosted the Regional Caucuses which represent the Commonwealth by geographical regions: Southeast (the largest with 73 members), Philly (next with 49), Allegheny, Northeast, Northwest, North Central, South Central, and the Southwest.  Elections for caucus officers was conducted. The functions of the regional caucuses are to discuss issues of concern for their regions, pass nonbinding resolutions, provide a forum for statewide candidates, and make recommendations for endorsements.
 
The Southeast region consists of Berks, Bucks, Chester and Delaware Counties.  It will be critical for taking back the US House in this November’s General Election. 
 
The official business of the State Committee Meeting began at 12 noon.  315 Delegates were in attendance.
 
The outgoing Chair, Jack Hanna, spoke about the current incumbent in the White House threatening our life in America.  The ripping apart of families runs counter to the American way. We may lose the American Dream.  The recently passed tax bill means attacks on working families. The eroding of healthcare services means more of the same. To achieve commonsense gun regulations we look to Young Democrats to lead the way.  There are seven women US Congressional Candidates up for the General Election.  They need our support. Our job is to provide a venue and a structure to make change in our country.
 
We need to assist diversity in the Democratic Party.  There are reforms needed on the role of Superdelegates at the National Convention such as not allowing them to vote on the first ballot.  Hanna also spoke about the #METOO movement as an important milestone in how we as human beings treat each other.  He received a standing ovation from the committee in appreciation of his service.
 
Just as, locally, the Chester County Democratic Committee recently elected their officers following the Primary of the year the Governor is elected, so too the State Committee is required to do the same.  Candidates for State Committee Chair, Vice-Chair, and Treasurer were nominated and spoke.  Only recently elected PA Democratic State Committee Members could participate, i.e., speak, nominate, second and vote.  The meeting, however, was open to the general public.
 
Nancy Mills was overwhelmingly elected to be State Party Chair with 216 votes. She is the first woman elected to this position in the history of the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania. She had spoken about how our defeats in the past will drive us now.  This is where we learn.  As State Chair she will balance the interests of urban and rural areas.  We must move together; otherwise, “…this man can be reelected who puts babies into concentration camps.”  We must win elections to prepare for 2020.
 
Sharif Street was elected to Vice-Chair by unanimous acclamation as was Alex Reber for Treasurer. (Photo: newly elected State leadership. Standing left to right: Sharif Street, Nancy Mills and Alex Reber.)
 
Following the general business meeting, votes were conducted to elect Executive Committee members by State Senatorial Districts.  The committee will meet as needed to select statewide candidates for special elections.
 
The meeting adjourned around 3 PM.
 
If there are issues of concern, please let your State Committee members know so they can be brought to the attention of the statewide organization.