Last Thursday the Commonwealth Club hosted an event at the Marriott in Conshohocken. CONGRESSMAN JIM GERLACH (PA 6) was the guest speaker. While the Commonwealth Club is a statewide organization, a number Philadelphia elephants attended the event, including Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association CHAIRMAN FRED ANTON and WARD LEADER MIKE CIBIK as well as local Republican activists MONIKA CZAPLA and LEONORA CRAVOTTA. JOYCE HAAS, vice chairwoman of the Pennsylvania Republican Party, introduced Gerlach.
The Congressman, like many others on Capitol Hill, is appalled by the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons on insurgent soldiers and civilians. However, he does not know if PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S planned aerial attacks will be effective. He also feels the Administration does not have a clear long-term plan for dealing with Syria.
Subsequent to Gerlach’s comments last Thursday, President Obama announced he is delaying military action to pursue diplomatic activities with Russia to address the issue. I do not believe a diplomatic process involving VLADIMIR PUTIN will be productive. Going down this path saves the President from embarrassment of having his plans for Syria shot down by Congress. While many believe the President as Commander in Chief has the authority to order these air strikes on Syria, he was reluctant to do so without Congressional backing. I find this amusing, as the President has decided not to enforce some of our immigration laws and to delay the implementation of aspects of Obamacare.
Gerlach also discussed immigration-reform legislation and stated, as we have already heard from the US House of Representatives’ Republican leadership, the comprehensive Senate proposal that includes a path to citizenship for illegal aliens will not be taken up this year in the House. However, smaller bills addressing various aspects of illegal immigration may be reviewed.
As a member of the House Ways & Means Committee, Gerlach has had first-hand experience with the IRS scandal. Contrary to the protestations of many Democrats, the issue is not over and there will be further investigations and hearings in the fall. IRS employees acknowledged before Congress they had been instructed to give more-serious reviews to many conservative groups seeking 501(c)3 or 501(c)4 status. In one case, the donor list of conservative family-values group was illegally disclosed by IRS personnel. The IRS had begun by asserting the invasive reviews of conservative groups were the fault of over-zealous rogue employees in the IRS’s Cincinnati office. However, those employees have testified they were being micromanaged by more-senior staff in Washington.
The Commonwealth Club is a fundraising arm of the PAGOP. The group’s next event is a cocktail reception next Friday preceding the fall State Committee dinner in Harrisburg. The keynote speaker at that dinner will be former United Nations AMBASSADOR JOHN BOLTON. The Commonwealth Club will next be in Philadelphia for a luncheon with Delaware Co. STATE SEN. DOMINIC PILEGGI on Oct. 9.
Monday night, Montgomery Co. Common Pleas candidate SHARON GIAMPORCARO held a fundraiser in Center City. She is currently a Deputy District Attorney in Montgomery Co. running the Juvenile Division. In addition to being a lawyer, she is also a registered nurse with an undergraduate degree in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania and law degree from Villanova. The host committee included WARD LEADERS LINDSAY DOERING, RICK HELLBERG, MATT WOLFE and DENISE FUREY, as well as attorneys LEE HERMAN, MICHAEL ADLER and SUSAN SATKOWSKI.