ELEPHANT CORNER: Ed Turzanski Sheds Light On Ukraine

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PROF. ED TURZANSKI, left, is congratulated after his talk at "Red State of Mind" breakfast by host Ward Leader Mike Cibik.

PROF. ED TURZANSKI, left, is congratulated after his talk at “Red State of Mind” breakfast by host Ward Leader Mike Cibik.

Last Thursday the Philadelphia Republican Party hosted its monthly breakfast series, “A Red State of Mind” at the Racquet Club of Philadelphia. March’s guest speaker was EDWARD TURZANSKI. Turzanski, a regular on Channel 6ABC’s Sunday-morning political talk show “Inside Story”, spoke on the crisis in Ukraine. He also addressed other foreign policy issues, including the Middle East and tragic deaths of four Americans in Benghazi.

Typically speakers at the breakfast series focus on Philadelphia and/or Pennsylvania issues. However, given the prominence of the Ukrainian crisis in the news and fact that Pennsylvania has the second-largest ethnic Ukrainian population in the United States, the organizers determined the topic was timely.

Also, the presence in Philadelphia of an expert on the issue made the decision a no-brainer. Turzanski is the Templeton Fellow and Co-Chair of Center for the Study of Terrorism at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. He is a Scholar in Residence at LaSalle University where he was a longtime professor of political science and history. Turzanski is a life member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. He served in intelligence postings throughout the Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe during the Reagan Administration. Also he was a member of the Justice Dept.’s Anti-Terror Advisory Committee during the GEORGE W. BUSH administration.

The United Republican Club held its wildly successful annual Shrimp Night on Saturday. The event had to be the best deal in Philadelphia that night. For $30, one could have had all the shrimp he or she could eat and an open bar. For the most part it was not a political event; however, MATT WOLFE, Republican candidate for City Council at Large in the May special election, was seen pressing the flesh.

The URC was the site of the monthly Republican Happy Hour on Tuesday night. Typically the event is on the third Wednesday of the month. However, this month the organizer, ANNIE HAVEY, selected Apr. 1. In honor of April Fool’s Day, the evening was turned into an amateur comedy-night competition. The winner was security-intelligence specialist BEN MANNES. Next month’s Happy Hour is expected to return to the third Wednesday and to be held at Paddy Whacks at Head House Square.

Monday night the Keystone Alliance held its annual cocktail reception and fundraiser at the Top of the Tower. The guest speaker was the Majority Leader of the US House of Representatives ERIC CANTOR (R-Va.). All 13 members of the Pennsylvania US House delegation and SEN. PAT TOOMEY were invited as special guests.

I heard most of the special guests were able to attend and four of the five local Republican County Chairpersons were there also. Philadelphia’s Republican City Committee Chairman STATE REP. JOHN TAYLOR was unable to attend as he was working on legislation in Harrisburg.

Keystone Alliance describes itself as “a multi-candidate Federal PAC.” Its mission “is to support federal candidates that are committed to our core Republican values of promoting economic growth and limited government.” Keystone Alliance only donates to candidates for federal office and primarily for Pennsylvania Republicans.

BOB ASHER, one of Pennsylvania’s members of the Republican National Committee, was instrumental in forming the Keystone Alliance. The RNC has two members from each state (one male and one female). The other Pennsylvania RNC member is businesswoman CHRISTINE TORETTI of Indiana, Penna. Asher and other family members own Asher’s Chocolate, located in suburban Philadelphia.

COUNCILMAN DAVID OH continues to introduce substantive legislation to improve Philadelphia’s fiscal health. Following his bill to cut the city’s Wage & Net Profit tax by $100 million over 10 years, the Councilman introduced a bill to speed up the delinquent tax-collection process aimed at collecting $150 million in outstanding taxes and fees. If his bill becomes law, it will prevent the City from amassing delinquencies like the current $500 million in uncollected taxes and fees.

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