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: August 20th, 2014

Congress isn’t popular with the public.

A new Gallup poll shows that only 19 percent of registered voters think that members of  Congress deserve re-election, about the same as in two polls earlier this year.

Gallup reports that the percentage is on pace to be the lowest in a midterm election since the polling company started asking the question in 1992.

In the last midterm election, in 2010, 33 percent of those surveyed said most members of Congress deserve to be re-elected, according to Gallup.

Despite the disapproval with Congress overall, the survey showed that 50 percent believe their U.S. representative in their congressional district deserves another term.

That’s despite an overall congressional approval rating of just 13 percent.

The poll of 897 registered voters was conducted Aug. 7-10.

Members of Congress will find out the accuracy of the poll soon enough. The election is Nov. 4.

– John Guerriero

 

 

 

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Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 15th, 2014
U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly/File photo

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly/File photo

Announced today by U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly’s campaign:

 

Mike Kelly for Congress Announces Campaign Co-Chairs and Staff

Butler, PA — U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) today announced Micaela May-Vrabel, Jeff Smith, Sean Parnell and Wade Root will chair his 2014 re-election campaign.

“After two terms of fighting to rein in frivolous spending and bring commonsense solutions to Washington made problems, I am proud to have the continued support of Micaela, Jeff, Sean and Wade. These Co-Chairs, respected leaders in Western Pennsylvania, share my concern for the future of this country and our local communities. I look forward to working with them to ensure that the Third District’s hard work ethic and values are represented in Washington.”
Co-Chair Micaela May Vrabel (Grove City)

Born and raised in Grove City, Micaela has been the proud owner of Beans on Broad since 2009. In addition, Micaela is a fourth generation employee of her family’s business, the George J. Howe Company, established 1927. In her free time, Micaela serves on the board of the Grove City Arts Council and is active in both the Grove City Chamber of Commerce and Olde Town Grove City.

Co-Chair Jeff Smith (Butler)

Jeffis the former Butler County Republican Committee Chairman. A long time municipal official, Smith is currently the Treasurer for the City of Butler and the Executive Director of the Butler County Council of Governments. He was formerly the President of Harmony Borough Council for 10 years where he was recognized as 2008’s Councilman of the Year in Pennsylvania. Active in the community, Jeff serves as a Trustee at Slippery Rock University, the Secretary of North Trails Library Friends Board in West Sunbury, and is a member of the City of Butler’s Stadium Authority. He has been employed by PPG Industries for the past 38 years.

Co-Chair Sean Parnell (Cranberry Township)

Sean is a former U.S. Army airborne ranger who served with the elite 10th Mountain Division before retiring in 2010 as a captain. He endured 485 days of fierce fighting along the Afghan-Pakistan border before being wounded in action on June 10, 2006. He received two Bronze Stars (one for valor) and the Purple Heart. His platoon remains one of the most decorated Army units since 9-11. Upon leaving the Army, Sean authored the New York Times bestselling book, Outlaw Platoon. He currently serves as a Goodwill Ambassador for Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation and is a Co-Founder of the American Warrior Initiative, a program that awards mortgage free homes to wounded veterans. Sean is also a Senior Advisor to Concerned Veterans for America, and is regular contributor on Fox News and other national media outlets.

Co-Chair Wade Root (Millcreek Township)

Wade resides in Millcreek Township and has been heavily involved in organizations throughout Erie County for years. The account executive for Hubbard-Bert Inc. also serves on the board of the Erie County Historical Society, is active in the Erie County Young Conservatives, serves as the Corbett Team’s Small Business Coordinator and was formerly the Erie County Republican Committee’s Millcreek Township Chairman.

In addition, the campaign has announced the hiring of key staff members: Jeff Rein, Campaign Manager; Veronica Cardello, Grassroots Coordinator; and Michael Walter, Grassroots Coordinator.

“These hires represent a talented and organized team that will help communicate my commitment to restoring the American people’s faith and trust in their government.”
Kelly was elected to his first term representing Pennsylvania’s 3rd Congressional District in November, 2010, after decades of running a successful family business. Kelly is running for re-election to continue working to advance an economic agenda that will grow jobs through a fairer tax system and to promote and preserve our home-grown energy resources.

–Kevin Flowers

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 15th, 2014
Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

 

Gov. Tom Corbett/ File photo

Gov. Tom Corbett/ File photo

Tom Wolf and Gov. Tom Corbett are among the mentions once again.  Check it out here.

Enjoy your weekend folks.

–Kevin Flowers

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 12th, 2014

Ron Tomalis had become a campaign issue in the race for Pennsylvania governor between Gov. Tom Corbett and Democratic nominee Tom Wolf.

Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

So it’s no surprise that Tomalis, special adviser to Gov. Tom Corbett on higher education, has resigned. Acting Secretary of Education Carolyn Dumaresq announced the resignation today.

Democrats had been hammering Corbett on how much work Tomalis was doing in a job that paid  $139,542 per year. Corbett told me last week that Erie County Democratic Party Chairman Bill Cole was wrong in asserting that Tomalis was a “ghost employee.”

“This is just the Wolf campaign trying to create an issue that doesn’t really exist,” Corbett said.

But Democrats wouldn’t let go of the issue. Corbett didn’t need that distraction as he tries to gain traction in the polls.

In a statement, Corbett said, “Ron has been committed to Pennsylvania’s education system since the early days of my administration.

“He has worked closely with Secretary Dumaresq and the Department of Education to shape programs and policies that are in the best interest of students. I thank him for his work and commitment to education,” Corbett said.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 8th, 2014

Gov. Tom Corbett has come under fire for allowing campaign staffers to attend meetings in the governor’s office.

Gov. Tom Corbett/ File photo

Gov. Tom Corbett/ File photo

That’s in part because, as state attorney general, he prosecuted state legislators who illegally mixed politics with their elected duties.

A total of 22 House members and staffers from both parties were convicted or pleaded guilty to charges over the use of taxpayer resources for political or personal purposes in a probe that began in 2007, according to the Associated Press.

Critics argue that Corbett is using a double standard, which the governor denied during a campaign visit to Erie.

We’re not using taxpayer resources at all. That’s what the whole investigation that I did as attorney general was about — using state tax dollars to run campaigns.

“They’re there just to weigh in on advice. The option would be to go over and take everybody over to the building where the campaign is, or to repeat it over and over again,” he said.

“They’re just there to give advice. That’s it. They’re not getting any money from state tax dollars,” Corbett said. “Do they get paid by the campaign? Absolutely.”

Still, don’t expect the issue to go away as Corbett is in a tough battle for re-election against Democratic nominee Tom Wolf.

– John Guerriero

 

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 8th, 2014

Tom Wolf has received an endorsement from Democracy for America, the national progressive political action group founded by Howard Dean.

Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Dean is the former Vermont governor, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and former presidential candidate.

Democracy for America says it has 51,470 members in Pennsylvania and 1 million members nationwide. Since Dean founded the organization in 2004, DFA said its members have raised more than $5 million and made more than 8.9 million volunteer calls to elect 802 candidates across the nation.

Wolf is the Democratic nominee for Pennsylvania governor, so it’s no surprise that DFA would endorse him. He is running against Republican Gov. Tom Corbett, who is seeking a second term in the Nov. 4 election.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 5th, 2014

 

Dan LaVallee/contributed photo

Dan LaVallee/contributed photo

Democrat Dan LaVallee, running for Congress in the 3rd District, has received the endorsement from the Alliance for Retired Americans.

“This organization represents thousands of union retirees throughout the 3rd Congressional District. The issue of protecting and preserving Medicare for future generations is a priority to me. My opponent’s actions have demonstrated that we are not on the same side when it comes to this issue,”  he claimed.

“Having spent time caring for my aging grandmother, I know first hand the positive impact Medicare has had on my grandmother. She has never had to make the inhumane decision of choosing between medicine and groceries,” he said.

“I will stand for our seniors in a way that is not a burden to future generations and will preserve this promise for all Americans,” said LaVallee, of Cranberry Township, Butler County.

LaVallee will face U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, R-Butler,  in November.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 1st, 2014
Tom Wolf/AP file photo

Tom Wolf/AP file photo

Tom Wolf is among the mentions.  Check it out right here.
Enjoy the weekend, folks.

–Kevin Flowers

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: July 29th, 2014
Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Political analysts Terry Madonna and Michael Young, in their latest “Politically Uncorrected” column, say that  Gov. Tom Corbett is trying something unusual in his re-election campaign.

While Corbett first ran for the governor’s job, they wrote that he took on the culture of Harrisburg – including “exploding budget deficit, bloated bureaucracy and a Democratic Party eight years in office.”

And while running against Harrisburg is “a popular strategy,” they wrote that no incumbent governor seeking a second term has done so until now.

They wrote that running against Harrisburg “might still be Corbett’s best bad choice in a race with few good choices. It’s a strategy born equally of frustration and desperation.”

Here’s the rub. “In running against Harrisburg, Corbett is also running against himself,” they wrote. “In indicting Harrisburg for its failures, he is also indicting himself for his failures. In advocating change, he is risking that voters might change much more than he wants.”

The authors conclude by saying: “Many believe Corbett may go down to defeat in November, but if so, he’s not going quietly.” Corbett, a Republican, faces Democrat Tom Wolf, a businessman and former state revenue secretary, in the Nov. 4 election.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
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