State Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione (D-Kensington) launched her campaign for reelection last week with a rally featuring top political, civic, labor and religious leaders from across the 2nd Dist. and the city of Philadelphia.
Speakers at the campaign kickoff included Congressman Bob Brady (D-Phila.), State Sens. Vincent J. Hughes and Anthony Hardy Williams (both D-W. Phila.), a host of labor leaders and John McNeil, president and COO of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Eastern Regional Medical Center, site of the news conference and rally.
McNeil told of Tartaglioneâ€™s help in convincing CTCA to locate its facility on Wyoming Avenue in the 2nd Senate Dist. 10 years ago, and her assistance in helping it grow from 150 employees then to more than 1,000 employees today.
Brady, who chairs the Philadelphia Democratic Party, said Tartaglione â€œhas led the fight to win fair and adequate funding for our cityâ€™s schools, and consistently has battled for family sustaining wages, an increase in the minimum wage and an increase in the minimum wage for employees who depend on tips for their livelihood.â€
Hughes cited Tartaglione for â€œdelivering time and time again for the people of the 2nd Dist. and all Philadelphians. And sheâ€™s stood up to the profiteers who want to line their own pockets by privatizing the Wine & Spirits stores and the Lottery, anything else that benefits working families and our communities.â€
Williams said Tartaglione â€œsets the standard for hard work in Harrisburg, and uses her seniority to benefit the people she represents.â€
Patrick Eiding, president of the Philadelphia AFL-CIO, said the labor movement is united in support of Tartaglioneâ€™s reelection.
Tartaglione promised an issue-based campaign focused on â€œmy efforts for the working men and women.â€
Those participating also included Wendell W. Young, IV, president, United Food & Commercial Workers Local 1776; State Sen. LeAnna Washington); Councilman William K. Greenlee; Frederick Wright, president, AFSCME District Council 47; Harry Lombardo, international president, Transport Workers Union; Sam Staten, business manager, Laborersâ€™ Local 332; Wayne Miller, business agent, Sprinkler Fitters Local 692; Ted Kirsch, president, Pennsylvania Federation of Teachers; Â Ryan Boyer, business manager, Laborersâ€™ District Council; John Ruane, treasurer, Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5; Guy Pigliacelli, business agent, Carpentersâ€™ Union Local 1050; and Jonathan Saidel, former Philadelphia Controller.
State Rep. Pam DeLissio (D-Northwest) will have a major fight on her hands as she seeks reelection to her 194th Legislative Dist. seat.
Dan Pellicciotti, well-known Roxborough activist, announced he was able to amass over 2,500 signatures in a nominating petition drive he headed for one of her challengers, Capt. David Henderson.
That effort has propelled Henderson, an Iraqi War veteran, from an underdog independent challenger to being her most-serious challenger. The other challenger filing is Sean Stevens, who is also well regarded.
That sends a loud signal to her she may well lose the 21st Ward located in Roxborough, a ward she sorely needs. Henderson said, â€œShe has forgotten all elections are local. Her agenda does not reflect the concerns of voters in this district.â€
Henderson returned from his third tour in the Middle East in late October.
He said, â€œI am running for Representative of the 194th because I want to create a better future for our whole community. Every single person counts. As a fourth-generation member of this community, a working-class person, and a veteran of three combat tours, I understand the challenges our great community faces and I am determined to be a part of the solution.â€
David graduated from West Point in 2007. He is currently seeking his MBA with Penn State University.
For his last tour in Afghanistan, he received the Bronze Star Medal for actions while deployed in combat. His embedded team in Afghanistan was also interviewed for a documentary entitled â€œOutside the Wire,â€ which focused on their efforts to boost the Afghan National Security Forces and aid local villagers.
Stevens is active in the 38th Ward. Stevens spent a year with Americorps program working with the School District. An attorney, he has worked for the DAâ€™s office as well as the Cityâ€™s Law Dept. Sean continues his work with public education as a board member of Discovery Charter School since 2007. During his tenure on the board, he has become chair and helped oversee the construction of new $13 million state-of-the-art facility.
In between hearings in Harrisburg, DeLissio rebutted allegations she had illegally listed a property she owned in Harrisburg for a homestead exemption. She said the property had that designation early in 2007, and that was legal since she owned it and Philadelphia Co. at the time did not offer a homestead exemption for homeowners. She now lives in her legislative district, she said.
Mike Driscoll, the endorsed Democratic nominee to replace State Rep. Mike McGeehan in the 173rd, will be challenged by Dennis Kilderry and Paul DeFinis. In the 179th, Rep. James Clay (D-Kensington) will face Dave Hall and Jason Dawkins.
Josh Shapiro, Chairman of the Montgomery Co. Commissioners, has endorsed Marjorie Margolies in her campaign for Pennsylvaniaâ€™s 13th Congressional seat.
In other news from this race, the Willow Grove Branch of the NAACP will host a PA-13 congressional-candidate forum on Monday, Mar. 17 at 7 p.m. at 1st Baptist Church of Crestmont, 1678 Fairview Avenue, in Willow Grove, Pa.
Signed up already are Democratic congressional candidates Dr. Val Arkoosh and State Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Northeast) and Republican candidate Dee Adcock.
Arkoosh has released a list of Montgomery County Democrats that have endorsed her to prove that she is a serious contender in the four-way race for PA-13.
â€œI support Val for her dedication to service in our community,â€ said Colleen Alexander, former chair of the Montgomery Co. Democratic Committee and committee person for Cathedral Village. â€œThe job is never over for Val. Even after a huge success like the Affordable Care Act, I still see her working hard to improve the lives of others. This is the kind of attitude and devotion that will get results for us in Congress.â€ Her endorsements cover every area of the Congressional District.
Also running in the Democratic primary for the 13th Dist. is State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery).
With the Southeast either likely to be locked up for Allyson Schwartz or split five different directions, everybodyâ€™s eyeing the next-biggest cluster of liberal votes out west in Pittsburgh.
Democratic lawmakers from Western Pennsylvania are lining up behind Tom Wolf in the Democratic primary for Governor.
Those announcing at a press conference were Congressman Mike Doyle (D-Allegheny), Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, Allegheny Co. Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Allegheny Co. Democratic Chair Nancy Mills.
â€œWe need to put a businessman, someone who understands how to grow the Commonwealth, into the seat of Governor,â€ State Rep. Ed Gainey (D-Allegheny) said.
Also in attendance were State Sens. Jim Ferlo, Wayne Fontana and Matt Smith (all D-Allegheny); State Reps. Jake Wheatley and Bill Kortz (both D-Allegheny); City Councilmen Daniel Lavelle and Corey Oâ€™Connor; Allegheny Co. Councilmen Mike Finnerty and Bob Macey; and former Congressman Ron Klink.
Corbett-Cawley Campaign Mgr. Mike Barley has broadcast with glee the January jobs report which showed unemployment dropping to 6.4% in Pennsylvania, the lowest level since November 2008 and below the national rate of 6.7%. He stated, â€œUnder the leadership of Gov. Tom Corbett, Pennsylvaniaâ€™s unemployment rate continues to drop, and today, it is at its lowest level since November 2008. Well below the national unemployment rate, Gov. Corbettâ€™s â€˜More Jobs, Less Taxesâ€™ agenda is growing our economy and putting Pennsylvanians back to work.â€
That will no doubt be included in their reelection strategy.
GOP insiders tell this paper they believe President Obamaâ€™s ratings, taking a further downward slide because of his handling of the Crimea crisis, are cutting his coattails and will have a telling effect if that trend doesnâ€™t reverse itself.
Underscoring their belief is a report from pollster John Zogby in which he assays, â€œThe administration also gets bad marks for ‘discouraging’ the IRS from cooperating with a congressional investigation.â€
The message to Democrats in Pennsylvania is donâ€™t count out Corbett-Cawley.
Paul Glover, founder of more than a dozen organizations and campaigns and author of six books on community economic development, is the Green Party candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania.
â€œThe Green Party of Pennsylvania is proud to offer voters a candidate such as Paul Glover who would ban fracking, promote progressive taxation, generate green jobs, revive public education, end mass incarceration and the death penalty, establish a state bank and more, to restore faith in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,â€ said Jay Sweeney, state chairman of the Green Party.
Declaring he would donate half his salary, reduce top bureaucrat salaries by 20%, and spend this money for free clinics, Glover said, â€œHarrisburg needs a diet of less fat and more greens.â€
â€œI have agreed to stand as the Green Partyâ€™s candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania so that voters have the opportunity to select a Governor who would ban fracking; shift subsidies from nuclear to solar, from road-building to rail, and from prisons to public schools,â€ Glover stated.
Cheri Honkala reports her Poor Peopleâ€™s Economic Human Rights Campaign is trying to raise $5,000 in three weeks. â€œWe are a grassroots organization that is committed to uniting the poor across color lines.â€ She can be reached at (215) 869-4753.
9th Ward Democratic Leader John Oâ€™Connell has a Facebook page that should be the envy of other computer-oriented ward leaders. Itâ€™s up to the minute and promotes those communities within or bordering the 9th as well as 9th Warders making news.
As if the Philadelphia Inquirer doesnâ€™t have enough headaches with the infighting of its owners, Pennsylvania State Supreme Court Justice Seamus P. McCaffery and his wife, Lise Rapaport, have indicated theyâ€™ll sue the newspaper for libel, apparently over stories about referral fees that Rapaport received from law firms while she was a full-time employee in her husbandâ€™s office.
Although referral fees are legal in Pennsylvania, State Supreme Court Chief Justice Ron Castille condemned the fees being taken by someone working in a judicial chamber. McCaffery and his wife havenâ€™t yet detailed their allegations against the Inquirer but theyâ€™ve filed a summons indicating a libel and slander suit is coming.
A spokesman for McCaffery said he and Rapaport would have no comment until a complaint is filed, and the justice didnâ€™t say when that might be.
According to State Sen. Mike Stackâ€™s (D-Northeast) Campaign Mgr. Marty Marks, the Stack campaign filed 4,000 signatures to get him on the ballot in the Democratic primary for Lieutenant Governor.
Stack is the first statewide candidate to file his petitions this year. Lieutenant Governor candidates are required to amass a minimum of 1,000 signatures from registered Democratic voters, with at least 100 from five different counties.
Stackâ€™s first round of filing represented more than 100 from seven different counties. His campaign expected to file an additional 4,000 by this Tuesdayâ€™s deadline, representing seven more counties.
Candidates seeking Liberty City endorsements are invited to register online for their two evening candidate meetings. One will be scheduled Mar. 20 and another Mar. 27.
Robert Guzzardi, a conservative activist and suburban Philadelphia businessman, has filed nomination petitions to challenge Gov. Tom Corbett in the GOP primary. What needs to be seen is whether his petitions will withstand the GOP organizationâ€™s challenges.
Democratic gubernatorial candidates filing petitions to challenge the winner of the GOP primary are former DEP Secretary John Hanger, former Auditor General Jack Wagner, current Auditor General Robert M. McCord, Congresswoman Allyson Y. Schwartz (D-Northeast) and Tom Wolf. Lieutenant Governor candidates are Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley on the GOP side. Democrats State Sen. Mike Stack (D-Northeast),State Rep. Brandon P. Neuman (D-Washington) and former Congressman Mark Critz had filed their petitions as of Monday.
SQUILLA, KENNEY ENDORSE SIMS
1st Dist. Councilman Mark Squilla and Councilman at Large Jim Kenney have announced their support of State Rep. Brian Simsâ€™ (D-S. Phila.) reelection bid.
They are welcome endorsers, since Squilla has strong support in the 182nd Dist., as does Jim Kenney.
Sims, also an attorney, has found himself challenged by former State Rep. Babette Josephs, a 28-year incumbent, whom he defeated in 2012. She filed her nominating petitions in Harrisburg last week.
Sims said he was â€œhonored to receive the endorsement of Councilman Squilla and Kenney.â€
Sims seems sure of reelection, since he is involving himself in other races. Heâ€™s endorsed Jared Solomon who is challenging State Rep. Mark Cohen (D-Northeast). In addition to Cohen, Sims is backing challenger Billy J. Smith against fellow freshman Margo Davidson in Delcoâ€™s 164th, who has antagonized progressives with her votes supporting charter schools and limiting abortion.
IN OTHER HOUSE PRIMARY FIGHTS
In the 202nd, the Philadelphia Building & Construction Trades Council has endorsed State Rep. Mark Cohen (D-Northeast) for reelection. The building and construction trades are made up of thousands of employees from 15 different international unions.