George Secures Dem Nod For Wilkes-Barre Mayor

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Tony George won the Democratic nomination for mayor in Tuesday’s primary election.

The four-candidate Democratic primary included George, 63, former Wilkes-Barre police chief and current city councilman; George Brown, 64, who retired from a career in business management for international companies and is a current councilman; Darlene Duggins-Magdalinski, 46, a community activist who founded the advocacy group “United We Stand Divided We Fall;” and Brian Kelly, 67, who retired from IBM Corporation as a senior systems engineer and currently works as an information technology consultant.

George will face off against Frank Sorick, 42, Republican, realtor and president of the Wilkes-Barre City Taxpayers Association, in the Nov. 3 general election. Independent nominees/candidates could also still join the general election race.

Democratic Mayor Tom Leighton is not seeking a fourth term for the city’s top position, which currently pays $84,779 per year.

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Wilkes University Student Wins Democratic Nod For Wilkes-Barre City Council

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Beth Gilbert, a 20-year-old Wilkes University student, easily won the Democratic nomination for City Council in District C, saying voters wanted youth and change in city government.

And change will come, as three of the five council members will be new come 2016, along with a new mayor and a new controller, according to unofficial results.

Gilbert, who will be a senior next year studying political science and international studies, said she felt it was her time to seek political office.

“I didn’t want to wait four more years to run,” Gilbert said Tuesday night. “I’m young and I think voters wanted younger people, new faces, to serve on City Council.”

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Kenney Stayed Confident As Williams Floundered And Flailed In Philadelphia Mayoral Race

Jim Kenney started 2015 eager to run for mayor but uneasy about leaving the at-large City Council seat he held for six terms.

Then the city’s political landscape shifted swiftly and sharply in his favor.

Kenney, who handily won the Democratic primary election Tuesday night, became a candidate at the end of January, due largely to factors over which he had no control.

First, City Council President Darrell Clarke – the first choice for most of the city’s labor unions – ruled out a run on Jan. 12. That labor support soon migrated to Kenney’s campaign.


Ross Belovich Running For Pottstown Borough Council, 4th Ward

Editor’s note:  We support Ross in his effort to gain a seat on Pottstown Borough Council. We have gotten to know Ross and feel he is a leader with a vision for Pottstown.  Here are a few words from the candidate:

Ross with Montco CommissionersWorking away at solving real problems with real practical answers. This is where experience and being involved matters. It takes time learn all the true hard facts beyond the gossip and analyze problems in order to come up with real implementable solutions. I have been working with local and county officials for some time now to try to start putting things in motion that will lead to a better tomorrow for Pottstown. I certainly hope you will allow me to take this to the next level for you by choosing me to be Pottstown’s 4th Ward Councilor. Primary Election day is Tuesday May 19th. I will see you at the Grace Lutheran Church 660 N Charlotte St, in Pottstown from 7am to 8pm!

Hillary Clinton To Run For President

Hillary Clinton is running for president for the second time, a top adviser announced via email to supporters Sunday, ending two years of speculation and flirtations with a campaign that had seemed preordained.

The announcement came about 3 p.m. in an email from campaign chairman John Podesta to donors and other supporters of the former first lady.

“I wanted to make sure you heard it first from me – it’s official: Hillary’s running for president,” the email reads. It also says that Clinton will visit Iowa and other states with early nominating contests soon, and will host a formal kickoff event next month.


Wolf vs. Corbett: 5 Issues They’ll Tussle Over Between Now And November

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The campaigns for Gov. Tom Corbett and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf traded shots over education funding, natural gas drilling and other issues before Wolf won his party’s nomination.

Voters can expect a lot more of that before Nov. 4.

“I think it’s going to be a long, grueling contest, in which both candidates are going to have to defend an awful lot about their records,” said G. Terry Madonna, a pollster and political science professor at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster.

Corbett has had lower approval ratings than Tom Ridge and Ed Rendell had at the same points in their first terms. In a January poll from Franklin & Marshall College, 23 percent of registered Pennsylvania voters said Corbett was doing an “excellent” or “good” job as governor.

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Expert: Low Voter Turnout Could Eat Into Wolf’s Margin Of Victory

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Democratic candidate for governor Tom Wolf seems the clear front-runner for Tuesday’s primary, but an expected low voter turnout could shrink his margin of victory significantly.

“I can see him winning by 4 or 5 percent,” said Dr. Thomas Baldino, professor of political science at Wilkes University. “I’d be surprised if he won by 13 percent, or even double digits.

The hype of an increasingly aggressive and negative ad campaign won’t change the fact that voters — particularly Democratic voters — usually don’t show up for midterm primaries or elections, Baldino said.

“It won’t be any historic low, but it’ll be low,” Baldino said. “In the aggregate, a registered Republican is more likely to vote than a registered Democrat.

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Pittsburgh-Area Leaders Expected To Back Tom Wolf

Tom Wolf, the Democratic front-runner in the race for governor, will be in town Saturday to showcase high-profile endorsements from Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and possibly other local elected officials.

Neither the county executive nor the mayor would comment on the development, which was confirmed by those involved in discussions with the candidate. It wasn’t clear what other officials might join them at the weekend announcement.

Mr. Fitzgerald and Mr. Peduto are part of a group of local officials who have had ongoing discussions about the possibility of a group endorsement from senior Democrats in the region. U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Forest Hills, has been part of those discussions and one figure familiar with the endorsement conversation said he expected the congressman to be there as well.

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Officials: Transportation Will Suffer With Bill’s Defeat

Map of Pennsylvania

Map of Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Commuter rail service is likely to be cut next year, and Pennsylvania’s highways and bridges will continue to deteriorate, transportation officials said Tuesday, following the narrow legislative defeat of a major transportation funding increase.

Most lawmakers from southeastern Pennsylvania supported the funding measure, but eight area Democrats and five Republicans voted against it. And a key supporter, Rep. Louise Bishop (D., Phila.), was out sick, the only legislator not voting on the measure, which was defeated 103-98 Monday night.

Supporters of the bill, which would have increased gas taxes and motorists’ fees to provide about $2.4 billion in additional funding, said negotiations were continuing Tuesday to try to revive the bill, which was one of Gov. Corbett’s key legislative priorities.

Republican opponents cited the increased taxes and fees as a prime reason for their “no” votes, while Democratic opponents said they objected to a provision that would have increased the prevailing-wage exemption on government construction projects, which some labor unions opposed.


Write-In Votes Change The Face Of Fall Elections

Editor’s note:  The only way to make Pottstown better is to clean house!  New mayor, new councilors. We ask you to please support the new candidates running for office and write in Ross Belovich for mayor.  If you wonder why, check out the Crime in Pottstown Facebook page and read what’s happening to your town.  It’s time to take it back!   POWER TO THE POTTSTOWN PEOPLE!

In Montgomery County, a contested Democratic primary in Pottstown’s Seventh Ward has translated into a general election battle.

Although incumbent Borough Councilman Joseph Kirkland easily won the Democratic line in the November ballot, his opponent, Cindy Conard picked up 50 wrote-in votes on the Republican line, for which no candidates were running.

As a result, the two will face-off again on the November ballot, with Kirkland on the Democratic line and Conard on the Republican line.

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Montgomery County Budget Cuts Take A Toll On Community Organizations

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORRISTOWN — It’s halfway into the year, and some local organizations that received county funds in the past are beginning to feel the effects of the 2013 budget cuts.

County budget cuts are robbing the Montgomery County African American Coalition of its “meat and potatoes” programs, according to charter member Bob Wright.

Three weeks ago, the group met at the First Baptist Church in Cheltenham, where a consortium of representatives from different minority organizations throughout the county, including the local chapter of the NAACP, discussed the budget and how it affects the low- and moderate-income county population.

Among them, Legal Aid, which received $281,7000 from the county general fund in 2012, was initially zeroed out of the budget for fiscal year 2013.

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Will A New Face In The Mayor’s Office Improve Harrisburg’s Image?

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note: YES!  We would like to see Eric Papenfuse win the November election.  It’s time to restore someone with business acumen to the office of the mayor in Harrisburg.  Eric is an excellent businessman and has been a leader in helping to revitalize Midtown Harrisburg.  Eric’s bookstore, Midtown Scholar, is one of the anchors of the new Midtown.

When major financial news organizations send reporters to a city the size of Harrisburg to cover the election for mayor, it usually means things haven’t been going well.

That was evidenced Tuesday night, as a Reuters news dispatch described Mayor Linda Thompson‘s defeat in the Democratic primary. The story began, “The embattled mayor of Pennsylvania’s financially crippled capital of Harrisburg was ousted on Tuesday…”

Embattled.  Financially crippled.  Harrisburg.

No matter who wins in November, the city’s next mayor must repair Harrisburg’s badly damaged brand, and that could be one of the most formidable aspects of the job.

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Have We Lost All Desire To Vote?

Editor’s note:  Apparently yes!

While other row offices were eliminated, Luzerne County’s home rule charter kept the controller to independently scrutinize its $260 million in spending, 1,400-plus workers and more than 50 departments providing services from tax assessment to 911 dispatch.

The public — not county employees or officials — pick the person who fills this $64,999 elected post for the next four years to be the fiscal watchdog.

Although an estimated 256,800 residents are eligible to vote on this decision, the number who narrowed down the controller finalists from four to two in Tuesday’s primaries was 31,000 — only 12 percent of the over-18 population.

“When you break it down and see the percentage of the population making the decision, that’s pretty troublesome,” said Barry Kauffman, executive director of the nonprofit citizen advocate group Common Cause Pennsylvania.

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York Mayoral Candidate Pulled Off The Ballot

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting York County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  If you don’t want to live in the City of York, why the heck would you want to be the mayor??????? I would think there should be a residency requirement for the mayor.

A controversial York city mayoral candidate likely won’t appear on the Democratic ballot this spring, after a county judge ruled that he does not meet residency requirements.

President Judge Stephen P. Linebaugh on Wednesday granted a petition to set aside nomination papers for Joe Beltrante, the mayoral hopeful who nonetheless maintained in court that he had “absolutely no desire” to live in the city.

That means Beltrante will not compete against incumbent Mayor Kim Bracey and York City Council President Carol Hill-Evans in the May primary, unless he first chooses to appeal the decision.

Beltrante said Wednesday afternoon that he’s not yet decided whether or not he will appeal.

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The Impact Of The Fiscal Cliff On The States: Sequestration

Click here to see a chart of all 50 states and where your state stands:

You can click on the state of your choice and get all the details broken down for you.

Clinton Leaves Secretary Of State Position, Sailing On Fair Wind

Official portrait of Secretary of State Hillar...

Official portrait of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She has traveled nearly a million miles, it seems, from Whitewater, Travelgate and the Task Force on National Health Care Reform — a tumultuous and very public journey from polarizing first lady to “workhorse” senator, to the U.S.’s top diplomat, where she really did almost hit the million mark and now basks in 69 percent approval ratings.

She could have, as she said once, stayed home and baked cookies, or divorced her husband for his infidelities or withdrawn from public life after her failed presidential campaign, but Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has, through ambition, calculation, fortitude and formidable intellect, just kept on going.

And it’s not over yet.

While today is her last day as secretary of state, the Hillary for President forces are already massing.  Super PAC “Ready for Hillary,” registered with the Federal Election Commission last week, although Mrs. Clinton has said she was “not inclined” to run in 2016.

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New Polls Show Pennsylvania A Battleground State

English: Official portrait of United States Se...

English: Official portrait of United States Senator Pat Toomey. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  Oh please, we knew it would be!

HARRISBURG – Tightening independent polls are giving hope to Republicans in Pennsylvania, although the presidential campaigns show no signs of bringing their candidates or TV ads back to the state.

Instead, Pennsylvania’s highest-profile politicians are finding themselves increasingly busy on the campaign trail, including Gov. Tom Corbett and U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, both Republicans, and former Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat.

In State College on Monday night, Toomey made time for a crowd of several dozen at a Centre County Republican Party dinner and told them that a sixth straight win for a Democrat in Pennsylvania’s presidential election is not inevitable.  After all, Pennsylvanians elected himself and Corbett just two years ago and 12 of 19 U.S. House seats are held by Republicans, he said.

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No Religion: Pew Study Finds Rapid Rise In Americans Without A Particular Faith

The number of Americans who say they have no particular religion has grown rapidly in the last five years, a trend that researchers say has significant implications for coming elections and American culture more broadly.

A report released today by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life found that 20 percent of Americans say they do not belong to any religion or are atheist or agnostic, the highest percentage ever recorded in Pew polls and about 5 percent more than those who said they had no religious affiliation five years ago.

Researchers attribute the growth in the ranks of the religiously unaffiliated – or “nones” as they are sometimes called – to changing patterns of religious participation and belief among younger generations and a “softening” of commitment to religion among some older Americans.  People who rarely or never attend church are also more likely to say they are not affiliated with any religion than in the past.

A third of adults under 30 say they have no religion, a much higher percentage than is found among older generations or was measured among young people in past decades.

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GOP Gobbling Up Berks Political Map

The lone Democrat representing Berks County in Congress would be pushed outside Berks borders, allowing three Republican congressmen to take larger chunks of Berks and a fourth to extend his district into the county.

That picture became clear Wednesday when maps and district descriptions began circulating in advance of an expected vote on them by the state Senate.

Dr. G. Terry Madonna, a political analyst and professor of politics and public affairs at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, described the plan as artful and skillfully drawn to protect incumbents. 

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Hillary Not Interested In Second Term As Secretary Of State

Official portrait of Secretary of State Hillar...

Image via Wikipedia

This is an interesting turn of events.  Almost sounds like Hillary wants to retire and play with any grandkids that come along.  Hillary was asked a number of questions about her future political aspirations and the answer to everything was no.

Read the full story from CNN here: