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 ‘Pat Toomey’
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: February 6th, 2014
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey/File photo

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey/File photo

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

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

President Barack Obama is scheduled to sign a controversial farm bill into law on Friday.

It’s a bill that both of Pennsylvania U.S. senators voted against, but for different reasons.

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., said that while the bill includes “some very good policies,” the bill also includes significant cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, S.N.A.P., better known as food stamps.

Citing statistics from the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger, Casey said that 175,000 Pennsylvania households will lose, on average, $65 for food each month.

“The S.N.A.P. program plays a critical role in the battle against hunger for children, seniors and families across our commonwealth and throughout our nation.  For every dollar invested in this program, it is estimated that the economy gets $1.75 in return.  The program fuels consumer spending while providing much needed nutrition for 1.7 million Pennsylvanians. Therefore, I could not support this bill,” he said in a statement.

Toomey, R-Pa., cited several reasons for his “no” vote, saying in a statement that the Senate missed “a vital opportunity to reform some of our government’s largest spending programs.”

He added: “The farm bill legislation continues to subsidize big agribusiness through non-means tested crop insurance and unjustifiable price supports.

“It does not even make token reforms to the sugar program — a program so indefensible that even the Department of Commerce acknowledges that it destroys three manufacturing jobs for every sugar producing job it protects.

“Finally, the food stamp program accounts for nearly 80 percent of the spending in this bill.  Despite total food stamp spending quadrupling since 2000, the Senate could only agree on 1 percent in savings,” Toomey said.

The bill will cost about $96 billion annually.

Obama said in a statement that the farm bill isn’t perfect, but “on the whole, it will make a positive difference not only for the rural economies that grow America’s food, but for our nation.”

– John Guerriero





Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: December 20th, 2013
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey/ File photo.

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

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey has endorsed Gov. Tom Corbett and Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley for a second term.

The  Corbett-Cawley team announced the endorsement today. All three are Republicans.

In a statement about his endorsement, Toomey, R-Pa., said they “recognize the importance of preserving the fiscal health of our commonwealth for future generations.

“Under the leadership of the Corbett-Cawley team, fiscal discipline has returned to Harrisburg. Whether it was eliminating a $4.2 billion deficit without raising taxes, or enabling the private sector to create 141,000 jobs, Gov. Corbett has consistently championed policies to protect the tax dollars of hard-working Pennsylvanians. That is an impressive achievement few governors can claim,” Toomey said.

Corbett said in a statement, “I am honored to receive the endorsement of Pat Toomey, a leading advocate of smaller government and fiscal responsibility.”

Corbett faces a tough battle for re-election in 2014. Eight Democrats are running for their party’s nomination and the right to oppose Corbett, who trails most of the candidates in the polls.

– John Guerriero

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 3rd, 2013

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey will be in Meadville on Thursday.

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

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

Toomey, R-Pa., will host a roundtable with veterans at 9:45 a.m. at V.F.W. Post 2006.

Toomey is expected to provide an update on policy matters in Washington,  D.C., and talk about issues specific to veterans.

Here’s guessing that Syria will be one of the topics.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 27th, 2013

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey will host a jobs forum Thursday morning in Venango County.

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

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

Toomey, R-Pa., will hold the forum at 9:20 a.m. at DeBence Antique Music World, 1261 Liberty St., Franklin.

Participating will be the Oil City Alliance, Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce and the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce.

The latest unemployment statistics, from July, show that Venango County had a jobless rate of 7.7 percent. Erie County’s unemployment rate is 7.3 percent. 

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: August 14th, 2013

If you’re a political junkie, I can recommend Mark Liebovich’s book about the incestuous nature of Washington, D.C. politics.

The book has a long title, “This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral – plus plenty of valet parking!” But the book doesn’t read long.

I found myself zipping through the 371-page critique – often humorous – of the connections among politicians, ex-politicians, the media, consultants and PR firms that make Washington spin.

Liebovich, chief national correspondent for the New York Times Magazine, drops plenty of names throughout. But he deliberately left out an index so that people couldn’t just skim it to see if they were included.

As the jacket says: “Those players wishing to know how they came out will need to read the book.”

I’ll give you this much of a heads up. There’s no mention of the two congressmen representing Erie County: U.S. Reps. Mike Kelly and Glenn Thompson, nor of the two U.S. senators from Pennsylvania: Bob Casey and Pat Toomey.

Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, of Pennsylvania, is covered as part of the 2012 presidential campaign.

– John Guerriero




Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 9th, 2013

In a steelmaking state, this appointment make sense.

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey,  R-Pa.,  has been named a vice-chairman of the bipartisan Senate Steel Caucus.

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

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

Toomey joins a leadership group of Sens. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., Jay Rockefeller , D-W. Va., who will serve as co-chairmen, and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, who will also serve as a vice-chairman.

The Senate Steel Caucus works to promote American manufacturing and the steel industry, according to Toomey’s office. The caucus will serve as a forum for policy talks regarding issues that affect the U.S. steel industry.

Steel is still an important driver of the state’s economy.

The steel industry employs more than 12,000 people across the state, according to a 2011 study that Toomey’s office cited from the Pennsylvania Economy League of Southwestern Pennsylvania. The same report showed that more than $9.3 billion is generated by the state’s steel industry annually.

“Western Pennsylvania is known as the heart of steel country,” Toomey said in a statement.

“The production of steel is key to our state and national economy. It is an integral component in products we find everywhere, from our cars to our kitchens. I appreciate the efforts of Senators Rockefeller, Sessions, and Brown to help ensure that American steel producers and the industries they supply remain strong to boost our national security and our economy,” he said.

– John Guerriero


Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: May 8th, 2013

The latest poll numbers for Gov. Tom Corbett again don’t look good.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett. Photo by CHRISTOPHER MILLETTE

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett. Photo by CHRISTOPHER MILLETTE

His job performance remains low, with only 25 percent of registered voters saying he’s doing an excellent or good job,  according to the Franklin & Marshall College poll released today.

That percentage represents little change from February’s 26 percent.

Not surprisingly, the poll showed that few Democrats (12 percent) or Independents (20 percent) think he deserves re-election in 2014, but the poll summary said it’s surprising that fewer than half of Republicans (46 percent) think he should get a second term.

“The governor’s difficulties with voters may be due in part from the priorities he has emphasized in recent months,” the pollsters wrote.

“Debate in the state capital has centered on efforts to privatize the state liquor stores and the state lottery, but these issues rank well below the economy, creating jobs, or improving public schools as important issues (that) voters want state government to address,” they wrote.

The data represented the responses of 526 registered voters, including 265 Democrats, 196  Republicans and 65 registered as Independent or a third party.

The survey was conducted April 30-May 5.

Among other findings, the survey showed that U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey’s favorability ratings jumped to 35 percent, up from the 26 percent in February.

That could be due to the senator from Pennsylvania’s bipartisan effort to close the loopholes on background checks for gun buyers – an effort that was defeated in the Senate.

– John Guerriero




Posted in: Uncategorized
Posted: April 17th, 2013

So much for that.

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey’s bipartisan compromise proposal to expand background checks on gun purchases has been defeated in the Senate.

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

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

Toomey had teamed with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., on the amendment that failed late this afternoon in the Senate.

The legislation would have made it harder for criminals and the dangerously mentally ill to obtain guns, while preserving the rights of law-abiding people to do so, Toomey’s office said.

It would have expanded background checks to cover gun shows and sales over the Internet.

“I did what I thought was the right thing for our country. I sought out a compromise position that I thought could move the ball forward on an important matter of public safety,” Toomey said in a statement.

My only regret is that our amendment did not pass. It’s not the outcome I hoped for, but the Senate has spoken on the subject, and it’s time to move on.

“We have a lot of other very important issues to deal with such as getting the economy back on track, dealing with the debt ceiling and creating more jobs for Pennsylvanians,” he said.

– John Guerriero

Posted in: Uncategorized