ELEPHANT CORNER: Toomey Wows Commonwealth Club; Republicans Party For Dollars

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Last week, US SEN. PAT TOOMEY was the keynote speaker at the Commonwealth Club’s luncheon at Morton’s Steakhouse. He spoke mostly of the need to take back the Senate in order to have a functioning Senate again.

The current MAJORITY LEADER HARRY REED has used, or should I say abused, (abused is my word, not Toomey’s) his procedural powers to stop any bill from coming to the floor that could hurt PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S agenda. Toomey noted the Senate is essentially “closed for business.” Roughly 400 bills passed by the US House of Representatives have gone to the Senate to die. The mainstream media speak about the gridlock in Washington. This is where it is.

Toomey was back in town on Saturday at the 1st City Troop Armory on 23rd Street. The event was hosted by a number of veterans, including JOE EASTMAN, RAY BILY, PHILIP DeHENNIS, WARREN HUDAK and DOC PARGHI. Toomey mostly spoke of the need for our government and all of us to help those returning soldiers that have physical and psychological traumas that hamper their easy transiting into civilian life. He also was asked to read a citation and from BRIG. GEN. BECK, the Deputy Adjunct General of Veteran Affairs, thanking Eastman for work with veterans. Eastman was awarded the Pennsylvania Achievement Medal for his work with veterans, which he can add to the many other military awards that earned in his 25 years in the US Navy. Eastman retired from the Navy in 1996. At that time, he was the Executive Officer of SIMA Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Toomey also noted, “Winning an election is a team sport” and to that end he plans to be here in Pennsylvania to help GOV. TOM CORBETT get reelected. Next Monday, he will be touring the Commonwealth with Corbett with a Philadelphia-area stop at 11 a.m. at the American Helicopter Museum in West Chester.

Republican City Committee held its annual Fall Fundraiser at Romano’s Tuesday Night. The 500-plus crowd enjoyed the music of fellow WARD LEADER GARY GRISAFI’S band the Party Crashers. STATE REP. and RCC CHAIRMAN JOHN TAYLOR introduced the evening’s keynote speaker, LT. GOV. JIM CAWLEY. Cawley was in full campaign mode and reminded us that we have one week to get Gov. Corbett re-elected.

A few candidates were asked to speak, including MEGAN RATH, candidate for US Congress (PA 1) and BILL POUNDS, candidate for the State House of Representatives (Dist. 194). JOE DeFELICE, RCC executive director, noted that MIKE TOMLINSON, candidate for the State House of Representatives (Dist. 173) chose to knock on doors instead of attending the event. Tomlinson has knocked on over 20,000 during this campaign.

UNITED Republican Club got more than ready for Halloween at party last weekend. From left, front, congressional candidate Armond James, Matt Wolfe, Vandella Goodman, Adam Lang and Aldridk Gessa; rear, Frankenstein’s monster. Photo by Bill Myers

UNITED Republican Club got more than ready for Halloween at party last weekend. From left, front, congressional candidate Armond James, Matt Wolfe, Vandella Goodman, Adam Lang and Aldridk Gessa; rear, Frankenstein’s monster. Photo by Bill Myers


A number of wards have had fundraisers over the past week to fund election-day efforts. Last Friday, the 26th Ward had its annual fall event at the Waterfall Room on Water Street. Newly elected WARD LEADER TERRY DINTINO was the master of ceremonies. ADAM LANG, leader of the 29th Ward, held a Halloween Party at the United Republican Club on Saturday. Ward CHAIRWOMAN ALDRIDK GESSA made much of the wonderful Cuban fare that was served. By the time of publication of this edition of the Public Record, Lang and Gessa will be married. Last Thursday, Joe DeFelice, leader of the 64th Ward, held a fundraiser at Parrish’s Pub in Mayfair.

I would be remiss if I did not at least comment briefly on City Council’s decision to pass on the sale of the Philadelphia Gas Works to UIL Corp. I am disappointed that the sale died, as I believe it was in the best interest of the City to sell the assets.

I do not believe that government should be in the gas distribution business. Also, the net proceeds of the sale were to go the City’s pension plans that are only roughly 50% funded. Now we taxpayers are going to need to make up shortfall in those funds.

I was not surprised that Council passed on the deal, owing to pressure it was receiving from some unions who are instrumental in getting them elected. However, I was stunned and outraged that that the decision was made behind closed doors without any public hearings.

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