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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Posts tagged ‘Mike Kelly’
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: 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
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: March 20th, 2014
Dan LaVallee/contributed photo

Dan LaVallee/contributed photo

Dan LaVallee, a Democratic candidate for Congress in the 3rd District, has picked up another labor endorsement.

LaVallee, 26, of Cranberry Township, Butler County, got the endorsement from Local 9 of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers. 

LaVallee said in a statement that he was “thrilled” to get the endorsement. “For far too long, unions have been the scapegoat for politicians who choose not to examine the real problems at hand, such as bad trade deals. I’m proud to be endorsed and work with unions, such as the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers, to protect and increase jobs in Pennsylvania and across the country,” he said.

William Greer, executive vice president of the local, said in a statement: “Dan is someone who understands working Americans. We need more people like him in Congress - people who will protect jobs, not ship them overseas.  We are excited to endorse a candidate of his caliber to represent the people of western Pennsylvania.”

It is the third union endorsement for LaVallee, who is trying to unseat U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, of Butler, R-3rd Dist. But first LaVallee faces a candidate in the May 20 primary: Mel Marin, of Sharon.

The sprawling 3rd District includes all of Butler County, the city of Erie and western Erie County.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: March 13th, 2014
Dan LaVallee/contributed photo

Dan LaVallee/contributed photo

Dan LaVallee, the Democratic candidate for Congress in the 3rd District, has picked up another labor union endorsement.

Sheet Metal Workers Local Union No. 12 has endorsed LaVallee, who is unopposed for his party’s nomination in the May 20 primary. He will face U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, of Butler, R-3rd Dist., in the Nov. 4 election. Kelly is unopposed in the GOP primary.

“For decades, the Sheet Metal Workers Local No. 12 has created and protected good, family-wage paying jobs for western Pennsylvanians,” said LaVallee, of Cranberry Township, Butler County, in a statement.  “I am proud to have their endorsement as we seek to put families back to work and bring new leadership to Pennsylvania’s 3rd District.”

Dave Bernett, business manager for Sheet Metal Workers union, said in a statement that the laborers were “proud to support and endorse Dan LaVallee for the 3rd Congressional District to represent and fight for working class people and our values.”

 LaVallee previously received an endorsement from Steamfitters Local No. 449 and its nearly 1,500 members.

– John Guerriero
Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: March 3rd, 2014
Dan LaVallee/contributed photo

Dan LaVallee/contributed photo

Congressional candidate Dan LaVallee today received an endorsement from Steamfitters Local No. 449 and its nearly 1,500 members.

LaVallee, 26, of Cranberry Township, Butler County, is a Democrat running for his party’s nomination in the 3rd District, which includes the city of Erie and western Erie County.

He is the only Democrat in the race. If no one else files nomination petitions by March 11, he would oppose U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, of Butler, R-3rd Dist., in the Nov. 4 election.

“The working families of northwestern Pennsylvania have gone without a voice for far too long, and having the Steamfitters Local No. 449 endorsement is the first step in ensuring we are heard,” LaVallee said in a statement.

Ken Broadbent, business agent of Steamfitters Local No. 449, said in a statement: “The real issues are the lack of jobs and increasing the minimum wage, and Dan is the guy who can rally the people and get them to vote. This is an opportunity: Dan is energetic, he’s passionate, he thinks the right way and he’s working hard.”

– John Guerriero

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: February 12th, 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

Wondering how Erie County’s two U.S. representatives voted on extending the nation’s debt ceiling without concessions and their reasons for it?

Both Congressmen Mike Kelly, of Butler, R-3rd Dist., and Glenn Thompson, of Howard Township, Centre County, R-5th Dist., voted against it, though the measure gained enough GOP support to pass the House, 221-201.

Thompson’s spokesman, Braden Parish, said that “given the federal government each year spends hundreds of billions of dollars more than it takes in, the congressman believes allowing further federal borrowing without taking some action to reduce spending would be irresponsible.”

Here is Kelly’s full statement on the issue:

My constituents in Western Pennsylvania sent me to Washington because government spending has reached a crisis level, and I gave them my word that I would to do everything in my power to reverse course. While it’s true that my House colleagues and I have succeeded in cutting federal spending over the past two years for the first time since the Korean War, our national debt still totals more than $17 trillion — higher than any other point in American history.

“Our historic debt and deficits are merely the symptom; over-spending of the American people’s money is the disease. Responsible leadership demands that elected leaders stop our nation’s decent toward bankruptcy, and treat our spending crisis as the threat to our economy, our security, and our future that it truly is. This especially holds true for those of us charged with bearing the power of the purse in the ‘People’s House.’

“When it comes to the solemn task of preserving the American dream for the next generation, I cannot in good conscience support adding more debt to the backs of our children and grandchildren without a meaningful solution to Washington’s spending addiction in sight.”

– John Guerriero

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: January 27th, 2014

 

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly/File photo

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly/File photo

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly has invited Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Robbins to be his guest at Tuesday night’s State of the Union address.

President Barack Obama will make the address to a joint session of Congress at 9 p.m.

Kelly, of Butler, R-3rd Dist., noted that Robbins is retiring at the end of his current term. Robbins, of Greenville, R-50th Dist., will join other guests in the House gallery during the president’s address.

 Here is a statement from Kelly on his invitation:

“I am very honored that Senator Robbins has accepted my invitation to join me in the nation’s capital next week to listen to the president’s State of the Union address firsthand. Senator Robbins’ lifetime of service to Pennsylvania and to our country is well known and widely respected across the aisle and across the entire commonwealth.

“From his two tours of duty in Vietnam to his three-plus decades of leadership in the state Legislature, Sen. Robbins has long been a shining example of steadfast dedication to both community and country. It is only fitting that he begins his final year as a public servant in the presence of other esteemed citizens and leaders at (Tuesday’s) annual event.”

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: October 18th, 2013

The dust has settled, for now, after a 16-day partial federal government shutdown.

Some of you have wondered whether the two congressmen who divide their representation of Erie County accepted their congressional pay during the shutdown.

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

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

Both U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, of  Butler, R-3rd  Dist., and U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, of Howard Township, Centre County, R-5th Dist., did not get paid during the impasse. However, they will get paid retroactively now that the government is open for business again.

Congressional pay is $174,000 per year.

“I have always believed that you lead by example, so I sent a letter to the administrator of the House saying that I would not accept my paycheck until we get this done,”  Thompson said before he and Kelly voted to reopen the government through Jan. 15 and extend the nation’s borrowing capacity until Feb. 7.

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly/File photo

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly/File photo

In the meantime, the deal includes a plan for deficit negotiations that could avoid a repeat of the shutdown.

Before the vote, Kelly said he didn’t want to make a big deal out of not accepting his pay because he and others in Congress would get it back retroactively.

– John Guerriero and Kevin Flowers

 

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: October 17th, 2013

The Erie area is represented by four members of Congress, only one of whom voted against the bill to reopen the government and extend the nation’s borrowing authority until Feb. 7.

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., joined 17 of his Senate colleagues in voting against the bill. The vote was 81-18 in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

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

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

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., was among the majority who voted for the bill.

On the House side, U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, of Butler,  R-3rd Dist., and U.S. Rep.  Glenn Thompson, of Howard Township, Centre County,  R-5th Dist., also voted for the bill, where it passed in the GOP-controlled chamber, 285-144.

Toomey said he voted against increasing the nation’s debt burden because the law does nothing to address overspending that has caused the debt to mount.

“The one major redeeming aspect of this bill is that it reopens the government,”  Toomey said in a statement.

“I disagreed with the plan to make funding the government contingent on defunding Obamacare and I am glad this bill will get the shutdown behind us.  But I cannot support piling hundreds of billions of dollars of debt on current and future generations of Americans without even a sliver of reform to start putting our fiscal house in order,” he said.

The law includes a bipartisan plan for deficit negotiations, though similar past efforts have failed.

Democrats wasted no time in attacking Toomey’s vote.

“Tea Party Pat Toomey has once again shown his true colors by leading the most extreme wing against a policy to reopen the government and help hundreds of thousand of middle class Americans,”  Pennsylvania Democratic Party spokesman Marc Eisenstein said in a statement.

“Tea Party Pat Toomey wants to continue to hold the nation’s economy hostage while he fights for Tea Party policies that his constituents simply do not support. There has been no clearer indication that Tea Party Pat Toomey is completely out-of-touch with Pennsylvania,” he said.

What do you think about our lawmakers’ votes?

– John Guerriero

 

Posted in: Uncategorized