Campaign '14
By John Guerriero, Kevin Flowers Erie Times-News staff bloggers
John Guerriero and Kevin Flowers have joined forces for Campaign ’14, a blog about the 2014 races for governor and U.S. House, among others. And you'll read about President Barack Obama, Congress and what's going on in Harrisburg. Check it out and you’ll be a lot more informed before voting in the May 21 primary and the Nov. 5 election.   Read more about this blog.
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Posted: July 25th, 2014
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey/ File photo.

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey/ File photo.

Pat Toomey is among the mentions this week.  Check it out here.

Enjoy your weekend, folks.

–Kevin Flowers

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 25th, 2014
Kerith Strano Taylor/ETN file photo

Kerith Strano Taylor/ETN file photo

Kerith Strano Taylor, the Democratic challenger for Congress in the 5th District, has been endorsed by the Women’s Campaign Fund.

The nonpartisan organization states on its web site, www.wcfonline.org, that it is dedicated to “dramatically increasing the number of women in elected office who support reproductive health choices for all.”

Strano Taylor will face U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, of Centre County, R-5th Dist., in the Nov. 4 general election. The sprawling district includes eastern and parts of central Erie County.

Clare Bresnahan, political and programs director for WCF, said in a statement released by Strano  Taylor’s campaign: “With her experience running her own business, her legal background and her demonstrated commitment to standing up for Pennsylvania women and their families, Kerith is incredibly qualified to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Further, this is another incredible opportunity for Pennsylvania women to ensure that they have at least one voice representing them in Congress,” she said.

The only woman in Congress from Pennsylvania, U.S. Rep.  Allyson Schwartz, is leaving the lower chamber in January. Schwartz ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for governor in the May 20 primary.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 23rd, 2014
Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Gov. Tom Corbett, during his visit to Erie on Tuesday, framed his push for public-sector pension reform in a way that might make property owners take notice.

Corbett said a proposal for “hybrid” reform, for new state and public school employees, isn’t a Democrat or Republican issue. “It’s a property-owner bill,” he told business leaders at the Manufacturer & Business Association.

Corbett said property owners are being forced to pay for rising pension costs through higher taxes.

The governor backs a plan that, for those newly hired, would combine a defined benefit program with a 401(k) plan in which the employees could control their investment decisions.

The unions are opposed to the plan, saying it would offer no immediate savings and only limited savings in the future. The unions argue that the state should impose a Marcellus Shale drilling severance tax or roll back corporate tax cuts for meaningful pension relief.

Corbett will have a tough time getting pension reform through the Legislature before the Nov. 4 election, even though the governor is a Republican and both the House and Senate are GOP-controlled.

Corbett also faces a tough re-election task, with Democrat Tom Wolf continuing to lead in the polls. Wolf will visit Erie on Aug. 11.

– John Guerriero

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 17th, 2014
Dan LaVallee/contributed photo

Dan LaVallee/contributed photo

Democrat Dan LaVallee is challenging Republican U.S. Rep. Congressman Mike Kelly to support legislation that would increase the federal minimum wage from the current $7.25 an hour to $10.10 an hour.

Kelly, thus far, has not supported efforts to increase the federal minimum wage.

“An individual working in the Third Congressional District earns approximately $26,654, this is roughly $4,000 less than our state average of  $30,697. The stats speak for themselves, yet Mike Kelly overlooks the facts and supports policies that hurt our working families,” said LaVallee, a first-time candidate for public office.

LaVallee  faces Kelly in the Nov. 4 election; Kelly is seeking his third two-year term in the House of Representatives.

“I urge Congressman Kelly and his colleagues in the House to pledge their support to raise the minimum wage… The fate of our working families is contingent on this action,” LaVallee said.

–Kevin Flowers

 

 

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 17th, 2014
Attorney General Kathleen Kane/ETN file photo

Attorney General Kathleen Kane/ETN file photo

Will Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane run for U.S. Senate in 2016?

That’s the question I asked when she stopped at the Times Publishing Co. this week. Not surprisingly, she didn’t say yes, or no, for that matter.

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., is expected to seek a second six-year term, but likely would face a Democratic opponent, whether it’s Kane, former Admiral and U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak or someone else.

Kane laughed when I asked, “Are you running against Toomey?”

“I have a lot on my plate today and tomorrow and the next day. I love my job, I really do. I love my job as a prosecutor. I think this is a great job. I love the fact that we get to stand up for consumers,” she said, citing work in bringing UPMC and Highmark to the negotiating table as an example.

“I love the fact that we can go in and make neighborhoods better by, you know, helping out with the drug problem. And I love the fact that we can go in and educate kids on guns and violence and drugs and cyber-safety,” she said.

And she said the Attorney General Office’s Child Predator Unit has taken nearly 200 child predators off the streets, including six in Erie.

“I feel that Pennsylvania is safer. I think that we’re doing a great job, and I love doing it. And quite honestly, that’s (2016) a long way off,” she said.

But would she love doing a U.S. senator’s job? She laughed again, and said, “I love doing my job.”

Stay tuned on this one.

– John Guerriero

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 14th, 2014
Kerith Strano Taylor/ETN file photo

Kerith Strano Taylor/ETN file photo

Kerith Strano Taylor, the Democratic candidate for Congress in the 5th District, has gained the endorsement from the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO.

Strano Taylor, of Brookville, Jefferson County, will face U.S.  Rep. Glenn Thompson, R-Centre County, in the Nov. 4 election. The sprawling 5th  Congressional  District includes most of eastern and central Erie County. 

The Pennsylvania AFL-CIO is the largest labor organization in the state, representing more than 800,000 unionized workers.

Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale said in a statement: ”We highly recommend Kerith Strano Taylor for Pennsylvania’s working families. We are confident that she will support us as we fight to grow and protect jobs and support policies that will improve opportunities and the quality of life of working families.  She is committed to keeping workers on a level playing field and moving Pennsylvania forward.”

Strano Taylor said, “I am honored to receive the endorsement of the Pa. AFL-CIO. They fight for the working people of Pennsylvania every day.  We need to stand up for the people on Main Street and push back against the corporations on Wall Street.  I will do that in Washington and I look forward to working with the AFL-CIO through November and while in Congress.”

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 10th, 2014
Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Gov. Tom Corbett and Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley have released their first television commercial since the May 20 primary.

Called “Building a Future,” the ad focuses on what the GOP team calls the state’s rebounding economy under the governor’s leadership.

Corbett’s Democratic opponent, Tom Wolf, the businessman and former state revenue secretary, calls the latest ad misleading. His spokesman, Jeffrey Sheridan, called it an attempt to hide the governor’s “failed record.”

“Tom Wolf is a different kind of leader and a proven job creator,”  Sheridan said in a statement.

Corbett, in seeking a second, four-year term, says at the end of the commercial: “ I didn’t come to Harrisburg to make friends; I came to build a stronger Pennsylvania. And we’re not done yet.”

Of course, the voters will decide that on Nov. 5.

– John Guerriero

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 3rd, 2014
U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson/ETN file photo

U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson/ETN file photo

From U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson:

“On Independence Day we honor a group of early revolutionaries, including our Founding Fathers, for pledging their lives and fortunes in the name of liberty.  We also give praise to the generations of Americans who have made our country what it is today and most especially the countless men and women of our military who sacrifice on our nation’s behalf.  Today as we celebrate with picnics, parades and fireworks, let’s always give thanks for the cherished blessings bestowed upon us by our forefathers.  My wife, Penny, and I wish all Americans a happy and safe July 4th.”

Enjoy the holiday, everyone.

–Kevin Flowers

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 27th, 2014

 

Kathleen Kane/ETN file photo

Kathleen Kane/ETN file photo

Kathleen Kane is among the mentions. Check it out here.
Have a great weekend.

-Kevin Flowers

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: June 20th, 2014
Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

The mentions include Tom Wolf.  Check it out here.
Enjoy the weekend, folks.

–Kevin Flowers

Posted in: Uncategorized

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