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: May 22nd, 2014
Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Political rookies usually don’t win in Pennsylvania politics. But Tom Wolf proved there’s always an exception.

Political analysts Terry Madonna and Michael Young, in their latest “Politically Uncorrected” column, write about how Wolf, the Democratic nominee for governor, was able to easily defeat three other Democrats in Tuesday’s primary.

“Wolf is an amateur politician by any standard and most rookies, running statewide in Pennsylvania, are like the proverbial ‘nice guy.’ They finish last. Except, Wolf never got the memo,” they wrote.

“Instead, he ran a flawless campaign going through the rigors of the contest without a major misstep. The essence  of equanimity, Wolf even when attacked, remained unfailingly polite. It is true that he had an impressive campaign team supporting him, a large amount of money available to him, and a well thought-out strategy that served him well,” they said.

“But it’s fair to say that Wolf is a different candidate than usually seen in Pennsylvania. It is far too early to fully evaluate him - but not too early to predict he will continue to surprise,” they wrote.

The authors raise five other points about the Democratic primary, which you can read at http://politics.fandm.edu.

As for the fall campaign against Gov. Tom  Corbett, they wrote that Wolf, a businessman and former state Revenue Department secretary, has “impressively passed his first test,” but a greater one could be ahead.

“Tom Corbett may be unpopular, but he has amply demonstrated his intention to wage an aggressive re-election campaign – something he has the resources to do,” they wrote.

“What’s certain is that Pennsylvanians are going to experience an exciting, hard-fought race to select their next governor,” they wrote.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 14th, 2014
Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

With just days before Tuesday’s primary, Tom Wolf continues to lead the pack of four Democrats seeking their party’s nomination for governor.

The Franklin & Marshall College Poll released this morning shows Wolf, a businessman and former state revenue secretary, leading with 37 percent over his closest challenger, Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz, with 20 percent.

Trailing are Rob McCord, the state’s elected treasurer, with 12 percent, and Katie McGinty, a former state environmental protection secretary, with 3 percent. Surveyed were 530 likely Democratic voters from May 6 through Monday.

However, there is still some wiggle room for someone to catch Wolf. Twenty-seven percent are undecided.

The poll also shows that seven in 10 voters, or 72 percent, think the state is moving in the wrong direction.

Of those surveyed, 83 percent have seen a television commercial for the gubernatorial candidates, the poll shows. Of those who have seen a commercial, 93 percent have seen a Wolf commercial, 67 percent have seen a McCord commercial, 61 percent have seen a Schwartz commercial and 44 percent have seen a McGinty commercial.

The winner will go on to face Gov.  Tom Corbett, who is unopposed in Tuesday’s GOP primary.

For complete survey results, visit http://politics.fandm.edu.

– John Guerriero

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 12th, 2014

Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Robbins today announced his endorsement of Parke Wentling, a Republican candidate for state representative in the 17th District.

Voters in westernmost Erie County will cast ballots for a 17th District candidate.

“Parke Wentling has the education, background, dedicated work ethic and commitment to his community to be an outstanding representative for the 17th District. We can trust Parke Wentling to make the right decisions to create a better future for our area. I am honored to join my predecessor, Sen. Roy W. Wilt, in supporting Parke Wentling’s candidacy,” said Robbins, of Greenville, R-50th Dist., in a statement. Robbins is retiring from the Senate after this year.

Wentling said in his own statement: “I am humbled and honored to have the support of Sen. Robbins and I will work every day to live up to his legacy and accomplishments.”

He added: “I will champion economic development, increased opportunities for job growth, and will support our agricultural base for the citizens of northwestern Pennsylvania. Like Sen. Robbins, I feel strongly in limiting government, reducing burdensome regulations and taxes, and upholding our Constitution.”

Parke Wentling works at the Wilmington Area School District in New Wilmington as a technology education instructor.

He is one of several candidates in a crowded field for the May 20 primary.

 The other candidates are: Republicans David Biros, of Mercer County; Ed Franz and Gary Temple, both of Crawford County; and Patrick Gehrlein, of Girard Township.

Democrats on the ballot are Wayne Hanson, of Crawford County, and Dennis Webber, of Mercer County.
– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 9th, 2014
Allyson Schwartz/AP file photo

Allyson Schwartz/AP file photo

This week’s mentions include Vincent Hughes and Allyson Schwartz.  Check it out here.
Enjoy the weekend.

–Kevin Flowers

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 7th, 2014
U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly/File photo

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly/File photo

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

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

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly and U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson have picked up another endorsement in their bids for re-election.

Kelly, of Butler, R-3rd Dist., and  Thompson, Howard Township, Centre County, R-5th Dist., gained the backing of The National Federation of Independent Business, the nation’s leading small-business association.

Kevin Shivers, executive state director of NFIB Pennsylvania, said in a statement, that the group supports candidates who support small business. He said that both Kelly and Thompson, who split the representation of Erie County, earned 100 percent voting records so far in Congress.

He said that both congressmen have “supported Main Street Pennsylvania by consistently voting for legislation that would help our small businesses grow and create jobs.”

NFIB has 15,000 small business members in Pennsylvania representing a cross-section of the state’s economy. Its endorsements come from NFIB’s Save America’s Free Enterprise Trust, the association’s political action committee, and are based on positions regarding small-business issues including health care, taxes, and labor and regulatory issues.

Both Kelly and Dan LaVallee, his Democratic opponent in the Nov. 4 election, are unopposed for their respective party’s nominations in the May 20 primary.

Thompson is unopposed for the GOP nomination May 20. His general election opponent will be one of two Democrats: Kerith Strano Taylor of Brookville, or Thomas Tarantella, of Renovo, Clinton County.

– John Guerriero

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: April 30th, 2014
Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Gov. Tom Corbett/ETN file photo

Republican Gov. Tom Corbett unveiled a radio spot today entitled “Twice as Bad,” which focuses on two Democratic candidates for Governor, Allyson Schwartz and Tom Wolf.

Check out the ad here.

Corbett’s campaign manager, Mike Barley, said: “Pennsylvania voters need to know the truth about extreme liberal Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz and millionaire Secretary Tom Wolf. Our ad shines a light on the soft spot Congresswoman Schwartz has for the liberal President Barack Obama agenda and millionaire Secretary Tom Wolf’s desire to hike taxes on middle class Pennsylvania families.”

–Kevin Flowers

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: April 30th, 2014
Dan LaVallee/contributed photo

Dan LaVallee/contributed photo

Dan LaVallee, the Democratic candidate for Congress in the 3rd District, continues to gain support from labor.

He’s announced that the United Mine Workers of America District 2, The International Association of Fire Fighters Local 293, and the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO have endorsed his campaign.

LaVallee is unopposed for his party’s nomination in the May 20 primary. His competition will come from U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, of Butler, R-3rd Dist., in the Nov. 4 election. Kelly also has no opposition in the primary.

Officials from all three unions issued statements in support of the Democrat’s candidacy.

Dave Chiaramonte, president of the International Association of Firefighters Local 293 in Erie said, “For our 136 members, Dan LaVallee would be the fresh air and energy western Pennsylvania needs to serve them in Washington. Dan’s desire to give these first responders the voice at the table they deserve is in the public’s best interest.”

Ed Yankovich, United Mine Workers of America International District 2 vice president, said, “I met Dan early on in the campaign trail and his energy and ability to listen impressed me the most. He was passionate about understanding the issues that effect not just our members but all working families.”

Frank Snyder, secretary-treasurer for the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO said, “I have known Dan for some time now, and I have always been impressed by what a talented, compassionate and intelligent man he is. He would be the perfect person to represent all of the constituents of the 3rd District. He will stand with not just western Pennsylvania, but with working men and women across our state.”

LaVallee said he is honored to receive the union support.

“I am proud to have been endorsed by one of America’s oldest unions, our first Erie local, and the statewide governing board for those unions. It’s a clear sign of the momentum we’ve gained, and the kind of campaign we’re running,” he said.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: April 29th, 2014
Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Tom Wolf/ETN file photo

Mayor Joe Sinnott/ETN file photo

Mayor Joe Sinnott/ETN file photo

Democrat Tom Wolf isn’t taking Erie Mayor Joe Sinnott’s endorsement of Treasurer Rob McCord for governor personally.

And Wolf said that he wouldn’t snub Erie in the May 20 primary if the wins the party’s nomination and the Nov. 4 election.

“This is what happens in primaries. Rob got some endorsements; I did too,” Wolf told GoErie.com/Erie Times-News during an interview.

“Erie is a really important part of Pennsylvania. And I’m sorry the mayor didn’t see the virtue in endorsing me. But I think you make public policy on merits,” he said.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: April 25th, 2014

cappabianca

Former Erie City Councilman Pat Cappabianca will lecture at the Jefferson Educational Society in May.

Cappabianca’s free May 14 lecture is titled “My View: The Rise and Decline of Erie City Council.”  It begins at 7 p.m. at the Jefferson Society, 3207 State St.

According to the Jefferson Society’s website, ”this presentation will give the perspective of a former Erie City Councilman as he analyzes the role of Erie City Council throughout the years under the Mayor-Council (Strong Mayor) form of government.”

Cappabianca is a Democrat who served several terms on City Council dating to 1966.

–Kevin Flowers

 

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: April 24th, 2014
Rick Santorum/AP file photo

Rick Santorum/AP file photo

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is giving signals that he could be a candidate for president in 2016, as he was in 2012.

He is attending events that are in the conservative Republican’s wheelhouse, such as the March for Life rally in Washington, D.C., in January. That rally marked the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Now comes the announcement that Santorum will address the National Rifle Association’s annual meeting in Indianapolis on April 25.

Santorum will participate in a leadership forum to discuss his support for the Second Amendment.

Santorum is also the chairman of Patriot Voices, a conservative advocacy group that he founded.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized

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