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: 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
Posted: September 25th, 2013

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey will join MSNBC anchor Tamron Hall today at 2 p.m. to talk about the need to prevent a government shutdown.

Then Casey, D-Pa., will get more national air time this evening when he appears on CNN’s “Crossfire” at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the same topic.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey/File photo

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey/File photo

The GOP-controlled House last week passed a bill that would avert a government shutdown, but defund Obamacare - the signature domestic achievement of President Barack Obama’s presidency.

But the Democratic-controlled Senate is expected to keep the health-care law under any bill it would approve. And the president would veto any legislation that would gut the health care overhaul law from 2010.

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, of Butler, R-3rd Dist., flatly told the Erie Times-News Editorial Board earlier this week: “The government is not going to shut down.”

Kelly voted for the House bill, however.

– John Guerriero

 

 

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: September 19th, 2013

The Pennsylvania Republican Party’s fall dinner in Harrisburg will include prominent roles for Erie County’s two congressmen.

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

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

U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson, of Howard Township, Centre County, R-5th Dist., and U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, of Butler, R-3rd Dist., will be among the seven speakers for the dinner Friday night at the Harrisburg Hilton.

The keynote speakers is John Bolton, who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush.

The party will hold its fall meeting on Saturday at 9:30 a.m., when it will hear from state party members, elected officials and party Chairman Rob Gleason. 

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly/File photo

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly/File photo

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: September 11th, 2013

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly and U.S. Sen. Bob Casey are among those who have released statements on the Sept. 11 anniversary.

Here is the statement from Kelly, of Butler, R-3rd Dist., which includes a statement on the first anniversary of the terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.:

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly/File photo

U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly/File photo

“Twelve years ago today, our country was reminded that not even two great oceans can keep freedom permanently safe from the forces of evil. After the terror of that dark morning, we wept together, we mourned together, and we prayed together — as one united nation under God — and then together we reminded the world that Americans are truly the most resilient citizens Earth has ever known.

” Today, we bow our heads and lower our flags in memory of those we lost and for the families who still miss them dearly. We will never, ever forget those Americans no longer with us, and we will always remember the 21st century ‘day of infamy’ that took them.

 “On 9/11, history summoned America to once again answer a call met by generations of heroes before us. The slogan ‘freedom is not free’ acquired new meaning, and with justice firmly on our side, America fought back. Our war against terrorism was begun that very day by courageous citizens in the sky above Pennsylvania, and over the course of a decade, we took the fight to wherever our challenges demanded. It is with pride and gratitude that I’ve watched our noble warriors defend our homeland, liberate millions from tyranny, and ultimately bring our attackers to justice. Those who have fallen will remain in the eternal memory of a thankful nation.

 “Of course, today also marks the first anniversary of another attack on the United States by another group of Islamist terrorists against our diplomatic mission in Benghazi. The attack took the lives of four Americans – including our Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens – and reminded the civilized world that we are still very much at war with terror. My deepest prayers and condolences continue to be with the families of these brave heroes.”

Here is the statement from Sen. Casey, D-Pa.: 

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey/File photo

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey/File photo

 

“Today, we remember those we lost on September 11th and the uncommon courage Americans showed during one of our nation’s most difficult times. In
Shanksville, at the Pentagon and in the streets of Manhattan, Americans came together and in some cases made the ultimate sacrifice to protect others.

” This 12th anniversary of 9/11 is a day to renew our commitment to confront our security and economic challenges in a spirit of unity and cooperation. While
the Senate was in session this week, my wife Terese was able to attend
remembrance events in Shanksville on my behalf. We pray today for those who died on 9/11, for their families and for our troops serving around the globe; we also pray for ourselves, that we may be worthy of their valor.”

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized

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