Category Archives: US House PA-16

Trump Score updates

Data from

Congratulations to Rep. Costello (R-06), whose Trump Score has declined from 94% to 90.6%, since he voted against H.R.38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 (which passed the House; it would allow anyone in the country who has a concealed gun permit to carry a gun anywhere, obviously an invitation for mayhem and anathema to those who believe states still have some rights). He is now 24.5% more Trump-friendly than his district.

Rep. Meehan (R-07) has sunk to a Trump Score of 85.7%, based on the same vote. His voting record is now 25.2% more “Trumpish” than his district.

Rep. Smucker (R-16), meanwhile, has boosted his Trump Score to 96.4% by voting for H.R.38, but his ‘Trump plus-minus” score is only 16.6% since his is a much more conservative district.

Sen. Toomey has achieved a 90.4% Trump Score, about 3 times Sen, Casey’s 29.6%. Naturally there are some votes where the parties actually still agree, like confirming an FBI director or keeping the US government open for business.

The Trump Score measures how often a legislator votes as Number 45 wishes.

Dr. John George on “the plight of our citizens”

Dr. John George, a long-serving educator, is withdrawing from the race for the 16th congressional district Dem nomination, but not without a heartfelt blast at the direction our country has recently taken — or better said, been lured and coerced into:

“I originally chose to enter this race primarily because I was appalled by the rapid dissolution of integrity, honesty, and ethics that has occurred in our executive and legislative branches of government. I was also distraught and angered by the injustices that were, and continue to be, inflicted against our citizens and many of our respected public institutions. As a citizen and a community leader, I believe I had an obligation to stand up, speak out, and act.

“Since I initially launched my campaign, the plight of our citizens has worsened. Many of our elected officials have made it abundantly clear that they are willing to sacrifice traditional American values like goodness, kindness, empathy, and respect to advance a political agenda that may benefit a few but significantly harm many. Instead of declaring war on poverty, they have declared war on those living in poverty. They have abandoned the middle class and pandered to the rich. They have tried to make access to affordable health care a privilege rather than a right. They claimed to be fiscal stewards while they plan to significantly add to our national debt. Their silence has promoted racism and their selective blindness has justified treachery. They seek to profit off the education of children and fail to understand that public education is the bastion of democracy….”

quoted in “George suspends campaign for 16th Congressional District seat,” Daily Local News, 12/6/17

2 Chesco reps make the Big Money 20 list

The group End Citizens United sponsors the “Big Money 20” campaign, “aimed at defeating incumbents who do the bidding of special interests such as drug companies, Big Oil, and Wall Street, while also rigging the system.”

Chester County’s all-R congressional delegation of 3 supplied 2 out of the 20 winners. In End Citizens United’s words:

Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA 06)

Co-sponsored a bill that contributed to the opioid crisis by making it “virtually impossible” for the DEA to freeze suspicious shipments of drugs; and received more than $300,000 in contributions from the pharmaceutical industry over his career

Voted against campaign finance reforms, including the DISCLOSE Act and a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United

and Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA 07)

Was the beneficiary of over $1.2 million of outside spending from secret money groups in 2010 and voted several times against disclosure requirements for those groups.

Flip-flopped on protecting Americans’ online privacy rights after a major uptick in contributions from the telecom industry, including from top donor Comcast

Is Chesco’s 3rd rep, Lloyd Smucker (R-PA 16), feeling left out?

You can hunt down a lot of info on donations to elected representatives at the Center for Responsive Politics’ Open Secrets site.

“Trump Scores” of the 3 Chesco incumbents in Congress

From “Tracking Congress In The Age Of Trump” at

These scores have actually increased in the past month! Two of them even surpass right-wing admiree Senator Pat Toomey’s 90.2%.

The right-hand column shows how the Trump scores compare to what one would expect given Trump’s own performance in the district in 2016. All have voted substantially more in line with Trump than their own constituents, who in districts 6 and 7 actually rejected Trump.

Per the fivethirtyeight site:

Trump Score = How often a member votes in line with Trump’s position
Trump Margin = Triump’s share of the vote in the 2019 election minus Clinton’s
Predicted Score = how often a member is expected to support Trump based on Trump’s 2016 margin
Trump Plus-Minus = Difference between a member’s actual and predicted Trump-support scores