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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 13,687

Journal Archives

Sen. Pat Toomey is failing veterans

Letter to the Editor - Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Sen. Pat Toomey has a very disingenuous and inaccurate political TV ad with a very pleasant woman who says she is a naval veteran. Her message is that Sen. Toomey has supported veterans while in the House and the Senate.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Some examples from his record:

He voted against 12 Veterans Affairs budgets.
His answer to the falsification of VA records was to send the low-level workers to jail instead of providing additional funding and manpower to do the job right without any consequences for upper management.
He voted to send troops to war but blocked the Veterans Job Act.
He voted against bankruptcy protection for National Guard and Reserve members sent to Afghanistan and Iraq.
He voted against a program that gives child-care assistance to veterans.
He voted to defund Veterans Business Outreach Centers at the Small Business Administration.
He voted against the Comprehensive Health and Benefits Bill of 2014, which would have expanded treatment for traumatic brain injuries and veterans job training,

If this was looking out for veterans I’d hate to see what he would do if he wasn’t.

Retired Army Major
Squirrel Hill

A long, strong marriage, w/ mutual respect & TRUST

Good, in-depth piece showing the quality of their long marriage. I'm glad for Bernie that he has a supportive spouse who is by his side as he fights the good fight for us. Liked all the pictures of her & Bernie at different times in their marriage. Caption on 1 photo: Jane Sanders serves as an advisor to her husband, presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders. Their desks sits side by side at his campaign headquarters in Burlington. Seen on Thursday, August 6, 2015. (Photo: GLENN RUSSELL/FREE PRESS)

When asked about her husband's ability to compete against the fundraising power of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-funner, Sanders seemed undaunted.
"We've been outspent many, many, many times," she said.

She noted that her husband's campaign has taken off faster than either of them expected.
She said one marked moment occurred as they arrived in Minneapolis with field director, Phil Fiermonte. She described seeing blocks of people lined up to enter the campaign event on May 31, less than a week after the campaign kicked off.

She recalled her husband saying, "Whoa! Are we competing with something Phil?" and Fiermonte's reply, "I think that's you, Bern."

An estimated 5,000 people showed up for that event, a number that would be dwarfed by the turnout for his latest West Coast rallies.

Editorial: Get ready for a barn-burner in Dem Senate primary

Joe Sestak has the Democratic brass right where he wants them.
Lined up against him.

It’s not exactly a secret that the former 7th District Congressman from Delco is not the apple of their eye. They have been searching for someone – anyone – to challenge him for the right to take on Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, who defeated Sestak back in 2010. Of course, that followed a Democratic primary that saw the retired admiral thumb his nose at his own party’s brass. Top Democrats – including President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and former Mayor and Gov. Ed Rendell were ready to roll out the red carpet for Republican turncoat Sen. Arlen Specter. Realizing he was going to lose his own primary fight against the conservative Toomey, Specter switched his stripes – and his party allegiance.

Sestak has at least one party leader in his camp. Delaware County Democratic Party Chairman David Landau remains a staunch Sestak supporter. “I believe Joe is extremely popular with the rank-and-file throughout the state,” Landau said.

The truth is Sestak never stopped campaigning after his close defeat to Toomey. He continued to travel to every nook and cranny across the state thanking his supporters. He taught classes at Carnegie-Mellon in Pittsburgh to give him a footing in the western part of the state. That will be important. Both McGinty and Sestak are from the Philadelphia region. They could split the vote among Democrats here, leaving the rest of the state largely up for grabs.

One thing is certain. Don’t expect Sestak to give an inch. This is how he reacted on Twitter to the news that Rendell was lining up behind McGinty: “If party leaders in DC & the machine in Philly want an establishment candidate, I’m not their guy. I’m for people, above party or type.


This one should be a barn-burner. Pass the popcorn. Sestak is starring in a sequel of “Joe Vs. the Machine.” He’s got ‘em right where he wants them.

Sestak + 50 interns + volunteers busy campaigning today.


Thank you to all the volunteers today who are helping us pass out brochures and make phone calls to voters across the Commonwealth!

This week, our brochures made it into the hands of people in Allegheny, Tioga, Wyoming, Erie, Bucks, Berks, Huntingdon, Northampton, Cumberland and Clearfield counties. And our team of over 50 interns plus our volunteer army made thousands of phone calls from the office and from home.

To help right the ship of state, I need all hands on deck. If you haven't already, please sign up to volunteer at joesestak.com/sign-up-to-volunteer/

(I've been meaning to sign up to volunteer, and did it just now at the above link.)

The Fracking Ties That Bind; Like Husband, Like Wife (Katie McGinty)

Pennsylvania dodged a bullet, well more a Big Fracking IED, when McGinty came in 4th in the Dem. primary for Governor. Now the DNC, determined to defeat Admiral Joe Sestak's Dem. primary run for Senator, is pushing pro-fracking McGinty on us. No thanks, Debbie Wasserman Schultz. We want a United States Senator who will represent the best interests of Pennsylvania's citizens and environment, not be a lacky for the DNC.

Keystone XL Influence Peddling Web Extends into PA Governor's Race Via Katie McGinty

By Steve Horn • Thursday, August 15, 2013 - 08:25

Pennsylvania Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate and former head of the PA Department of Environmental Protection, Kathleen “Katie” McGinty, has hired powerful PR firm SKDKnickerbocker for her campaign's communications efforts.

One of SKDKnickerbocker's key clients is TransCanada, owner of the Keystone XL tar sands export pipeline.

Another key SKDKnickerbocker client: Association of American Railroads, that industry's version of the American Petroleum Institute. Rail is an increasingly viable alternative to pipelines for bringing tar sands - and fracked oil - to market.

Both McGinty and Dunn also have key marital connections with skin in the game for the looming decision over the prospective northern half of Keystone XL: Karl Hausker and Robert “Bob” Bauer, respectively.


Like Husband, Like Wife
Hausker is the former Vice President of ICF International, one of the three contractors chosen by TransCanada to do the now hotly contested U.S. State Department Keystone XL environmental review.

ICF and the more-publicized Environmental Resources Management, Inc. (ERM Group) concluded that Keystone XL's northern half would have negligible climate change impacts. Keystone XL's southern half - TransCanada's Gulf Coast Pipeline - is 95-percent built and ready to send 700,000 barrels a day of tar sands from Cushing, Oklahoma to Port Arthur, Texas by year's end.

A previous DeSmog investigation also revealed Hausker and McGinty have myriad ties to the controversial horizontal drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), both at the federal and state level. http://www.desmogblog.com/2013/08/06/fracking-ties-flawed-state-dept-keystone-xl-environmental-review

Exhibit B: ICF International, an additional firm contracted by the State Department to perform the environmental review.

ICF maintains important ties to the industry-funded Center for Sustainable Shale Development and to U.S. Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, an outspoken fracking proponent. Former ICF Vice President Karl Hausker is the husband of Kathleen “Katie” McGinty.

Missing Tom Corbett? Well, here's Katie McGinty! & her fracking husband too!

In January 2014, McGinty called fracking the “secret sauce” of economic growth (“McGinty: Gas is part of ‘secret sauce’ to drive economic growth” -NPR).

– The McGinty DEP permitted 586 Marcellus Shale wells across PA, according to the DEP Permit Report. (PA DEP Permit Report) (interactive map, click “Map of Latitude”)Screen shot 2015-07-24 at 3.30.40 PM

McGinty was reprimanded by the state Ethics Commission for giving the pro-fracking Pennsylvania Environmental Council $2.8 million in state grants while her husband, Karl Hausker, was employed as a consultant there. In 2009, the Supreme Court upheld an Ethics Commission ruling saying Cabinet secretaries in the future should have no role in grants that benefit spouses. (“Philly native Katie McGinty might be the political surprise of 2014“ -Philadelphia Inquirer)

– The PR firm McGinty hired to do communications for her gubernatorial campaign is SKDKnickerbocker, who also represents TransCanada, owner of the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. From 2007-2013, her husband Karl Hausker was a vice president at ICM International, which was hired by the State Department to perform the environmental review of KXL and determined it would have no significant impact on the environment. (“Fracking’s Myriad Ties to Flawed State Dept Keystone XL Environmental Review” -DeSmogBlog)

- McGinty’s husband, Karl Hausker’s former firm, ICM International, wrote a report for the American Petroleum Institute praising shale gas exports. (“Ties That Bind: Ernest Moniz, Keystone XL Contractor, American Petroleum Institute and Fracked Gas Exports” – DeSmogBlog)

I am horrified at McGinty's pro-fracking actions/ties to Big Fracking

It is beyond outrageous that she campaigns as an "environmentalist".

– After DEP, McGinty went to work as Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Strategic Growth at Weston Solutions, Inc., a gas industry consulting firm and member of the Marcellus Shale Coalition, enjoying the revolving door open to regulators among companies they are supposed to oversee. (McGinty’s LinkedIn Profile)

- McGinty more recently has worked for the shale gas industry as a business partner of Ed Rendell’s at Element Partners, which provides investment capital to shale gas industry start-ups. (“Keystone XL Influence Peddling Web Extends into PA Governor’s Race Via Katie McGinty” -DeSmogBlog)

– When McGinty ran for governor in 2014, she hired Mike Mikus to be her campaign manager. Mikus is a V. P. of IES Solutions, an energy consulting firm that represents the Colorado Oil & Gas Association and he is Executive Director for Consumer Energy Alliance’s Mid-Atlantic region which supports drilling on public lands. (http://www.solutions-ies.com/, “CEA Applauds Approval of Marcellus Shale Production on Airport Land by Allegheny County Council” -CEA)

– The gas industry donated $72,500 to Katie McGinty’s gubernatorial campaign in 2013-14. A new study finds a 47% increase in campaign donations from the natural gas industry to Pennsylvania politicians in the 2013-2014 election cycle (over 2011-2012). Lobbying expenditures reached $17.9 million, up $2.1 million from the previous two-year cycle. (“How Gas Drillers Rented Pennsylvania’s Government
” – MarcellusMoney.org)

Rendell to chair McGinty's Senate campaign


Katie McGinty will get help from an old boss as she seeks the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate.
Ed Rendell will serve as Ms. McGinty's campaign chairman, her campaign announced ths morning.
Ms. McGinty served as secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection during Mr. Rendell's tenure as governor. She recently resigned from her post a chief of staff for Gov. Tom Wolf to enter the Senate race.

In the comments section of this Post-Gazette article is this statement from Doug Shields.

(Doug Shields, former Pittsburgh city council member & president, introduced an ordinance banning corporations from natural gas drilling in the city, the first of its kind nationwide to pass. This was back in 2010. He remains actively involved in opposing fracking.)

Ed Rendell & Katie McGinty illegally orchestrated the leasing of over 300,000 acres of state forests and parks - the "common property" of the People. No consultation with the people. No hearings. No environmental impact studies. No regard to the PA Constitution's provision at Article I, Section 27.

Natural Resources and the Public Estate
Section 27.

"The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania's public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people."

Ed Rendell is now a lobbyist for the Oil & Gas industry. McGinty also has close industry ties. I have no inclination at all to cast my vote for those who don't know the difference between governing by the people and governing by fiat. I find no need to have another U.S. Senator who takes their lead (and their campaign money) from those who despoil our natural resources and purchase our government and have no respect at all for the health, welfare and safety of the people of PA.

Sestak responds each week toToomey's weekly newsletters

Each week, Sen. Toomey sends out a newsletter to tell us what he’s been up to… and Joe Sestak responds.

Politicians saying one thing and then doing another is why they have lost the trust of Pennsylvanians and the American people.

Below is a series on how Sen. Toomey says one thing here in Pennsylvania, but then does entirely another when he gets down to Washington, D.C.


I really enjoy reading Sestak's commentary, which nails Toomey to the yardarm, so to speak, week after week after week, issue after issue.

Sestak provides two, side-by-side columns. On the left is Sestak's column - on the right, Sestak's commentary/rebuttal. Can't get any clearer or more specific than that.

I want Sestak, not Toomey, as the voice of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania on the floor and at the committee meetings of the United States Senate.

Retired Rear Adm. Sestak supports Obama/Kerry Iran deal.

(I get a weekly email update from Joe Sestak): "I was honored to sign this letter with three dozen other retired generals and admirals cautiously supporting the Iran deal." Sestak is a retired Navy Admiral and current candidate for U. S. Senate, Pennsylvania.


Dozens of retired generals, admirals back Iran nuclear deal
Three dozen retired generals and admirals released an open letter Tuesday supporting the Iran nuclear deal and urging Congress to do the same.

Calling the agreement “the most effective means currently available to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons,” the letter said that gaining international support for military action against Iran, should that ever become necessary, “would only be possible if we have first given the diplomatic path a chance.”

The release came as Secretary of State John F. Kerry said U.S. allies were “going to look at us and laugh” if the United States were to abandon the deal and then ask them to back a more aggressive posture against Iran.

Not only would U.S. global credibility be undermined, Kerry said, but also the dollar’s position as the world’s reserve currency would be threatened.

You can read the letter and see all the retired admirals and generals who signed it here:
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