Tuesday evening the Commonwealth Club sponsored a reception at the Irish Pub at 12th and Walnut Streets with special guests CONGRESSMEN PATRICK MEEHAN (R-PA7) and MIKE KELLY (R-PA3). Meehanâ€™s district skirts around the City of Philadelphia and includes parts of Montgomery and Delaware Cos. Kelly was a little farther from home. Kellyâ€™s district starts just north of his native Pittsburgh and runs up the western spine of the state through the city of Erie. The master of ceremonies was Vice Chairman of the Pennsylvania Republican Party JOYCE HAAS.
Meehan reminded us despite the fact the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has roughly 1 million more registered Democratic voters than Republicans, we hold 13 of 18 US House of Representative seats and one of two Senatorial positions. He debunked the assertion we hold these seats through gerrymandering. Meehan noted his district is heavily Democratic. Meehan also noted the Pennsylvania delegation is well respected in Washington, D.C. as its members get along. While they do not agree on everything, they try to work as a cohesive group.
Kelly took this a step further and criticized fellow Republicans who trash their own. He noted that after every vote there are a group of Republicans who somehow find TV time and use it to criticize other Republicans and House Speaker CONGRESSMAN JOHN BOEHNER (R-Oh.) in particular. Kelly noted that for the most part we do not see Democratic Congressmen taking House MINORITY LEADER NANCY PELOSI or PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA to task in the media. This is particularly fascinating as many Democrats are facing reelection challenges this year owing to the Obamacare debacle and other botched policies and questionable positions taken by Democratic leadership. They have far more reasons to trash their leadership.
Meehan was the guest of honor at the annual Friendly Sons of St Patrickâ€™s gala on Saturday night at the Union League. Last yearâ€™s guest of honor was LT. GOV. JIM CAWLEY. The Friendly Sons is a nonpartisan Irish group. Meehanâ€™s comments were not particularly political in nature. However, there were a number politically active Republicans at the event, including former City Councilman JACK KELLY, Sen. Pat Toomey staffer JAMES FITZPATRICK and former City Council candidate JOE McCOLGAN. University City WARD LEADER MATT WOLFE, who is the Republican candidate for the City Council at-Large seat vacated by BILL GREEN in May, was also there.Wolfe announced his candidacy last Thursday at the Mill Creek Tavern in University City. Wolfe addressed a standing-room crowd. His opponent will BE STATE REP. ED NEILSON, whose 169th Dist. will be in York Co. owing to the redistricting that will go into effect this election.
Wolfe realizes he faces an uphill battle, but it is worth the fight. He believes we need a City Council that focuses on the core municipal responsibilities of public safety, pubic education and sanitation. While health and welfare services for the needy are vital, he believes these activities are the responsibilities of the state and federal agencies. He also stated the â€œâ€œterms â€œpublic educationâ€ and â€œpublic schoolsâ€ are not synonymous. We should be concerned about educating our children and not whoâ€™s providing the education.
Wolfe also plans to campaign against the amendment to the City Charter that will be on the ballot on May 20. City Council wants to eliminate the provision in the City Charter that prohibits elected city officials from running for other offices while in their current positions. He believes it was right that MAYOR MICHAEL NUTTER resigned from City Council when he ran for Mayor. Wolfe asked, â€œWhy in Godâ€™s name should the taxpayers basically pay them to not do the job they were elected to? Pay them so they can run full-time for a job theyâ€™d rather have. Itâ€™s just wrong on many levels.â€