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Divernan's Journal
Divernan's Journal
March 10, 2016

GOP battles to gain access to McGinty's emails.

McGinty's endorsed Hillary Clinton and now she has her own email hot mess on her hands. It does sound as if the GOP submitted overly broad FOIA (Freedom Of Information Act) requests. Nevertheless, this would be hanging over her head if she survived the primary and became the candidate in the general election. One of the few items produced has been her calendar. Why on earth would there have to be any redactions on her official state appointments calendar ? I wonder who are the other groups who've filed FOIA requests for her records. "When Ms. McGinty stepped down to launch her campaign last summer, he said, Republican groups were among those making 35 requests for her records."

GOP battles to gain access to McGinty emails
March 10, 2016 12:20 AM

Katie McGinty served as Gov. Tom Wolf's chief of staff.Ms. McGinty stepped down last summer to launch her campaign for the U.S. Senate.
By Chris Potter/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

For a while last summer, it looked as if the state Republican Party might get almost everything it wanted — or at least a chance to find ammunition to use against the U.S. Senate campaign of Democrat Katie McGinty. That prospect prompted GOP staffer Paul Engelkemier to file a request under Pennsylvania’s Right to Know law, seeking months of emails Ms. McGinty compiled as Gov. Tom Wolf’s chief of staff.

Mr. Engelkemier made two right-to-know filings last year: a July 7 request for Ms. McGinty’s calendar and email from Jan. 20 through that date, and a July 22 request asking for emails and calendar entries logged since the earlier request. To obtain the emails, Mr. Engelkemier submitted more than 100 search terms, including phrases like “pension reform” and the names of state officials.

That produced over 15,000 pages of emails, the governor’s office says, each of which would have to be scanned for material deemed confidential under the law. But the attorney handling the request, Jessica Diaz, emailed Mr. Engelkemier that the process could begin on Aug. 24. After that, she wrote, “[a]ll records for one month (based on your order of preference) can be reviewed for exemption, redaction, and/​or release … every two weeks.”

Seven months later, the state GOP is still waiting. State law “has been completely abused … with an unconscionable seven-month delay,” Republicans said in a statement. “[T]he public deserves answers.”
The state GOP, though, has obtained only 71 pages of emails, 25 of which reproduced a marketing brochure.

Republicans suspect the Wolf administration is running out the clock: A court decision is unlikely until well after the Democratic primary. “We and the Office of Open Records have been in agreement,” said state GOP spokeswoman Megan Sweeney. “It raises questions about why this request has taken seven months.”

March 9, 2016

Lobbyist for Coal Company Hosts Katie McGinty Fundraiser

Hillary Clinton said company was ‘outrageous and must be stopped’
Katie McGinty / AP

BY: Brent Scher
March 4, 2016 11:00 am

Democratic Senate hopeful and former lobbyist Katie McGinty spent Thursday night at a fundraiser hosted by a top Pennsylvania lobbyist who represents a coal company that was recently attacked by likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Holly Kinser runs her own lobbying firm, The Kinser Group, and writes on its website that she has “earned the reputation as one of the best lobbyists in Pennsylvania.” She hosted the fundraiser at her firm’s office, located inside Philadelphia’s iconic Bellevue hotel. Among Kinser’s clients is the Patriot Coal Corporation, which went through its second bankruptcy in three years last October and was forced to restructure due to a distressed coal market. Its plan drew the attention of Clinton, who called it “outrageous” and said that it “must be stopped.”

“Patriot Coal is trying to take $18 million of the $22 million put aside for retired coal miners, wives and widows and use it to pay its lawyers instead,” Clinton said of the plan. “Ensuring health care and retirement security should be the first priority in a bankruptcy proceeding, not the last.”

Kinser’s ties to McGinty, who had already received $1,000 from McGinty before Thursday’s fundraiser, are likely rooted in Kinser’s close relationship with former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, who serves as McGinty’s campaign chairman. Though McGinty has successfully managed to get both the state and national party to rally around her candidacy, it hasn’t helped her pull away from her opponents in the polls or financially.

She continues to trail Joe Sestak, who lost to Republican Sen. Pat Toomey in 2010, in poll after poll and also had $2 million less cash on hand than he did at year’s end. Rendell himself has admitted that McGinty’s campaign has a fundraising problem and just told the Philadelphia Inquirer that if she is unable to spend $3.5 to $4 million on television ads in the coming weeks, “she won’t win.”


The article includes the sordid past history of lobbyist, Holly Kinser, her ex, Bill DeWeese and her current relationship with Rendell.
March 9, 2016

Sestak increases lead over McGinty!

In my latest e-mail from the Sestak campaign:

With less than 50 days until the primary election, we're widening our lead:
“Joe Sestak continues to lead the Democratic primary race for Senate, earning 33% of the vote. Katie McGinty has fallen into a more distant second (17%), followed by John Fetterman (15%).” – Harper Polling, 3/9/16

I've heard him speak to small groups (under 40) twice - once at Veterans Place (a non-profit residential/rehab/training program for homeless vets. Did you know 20% of the homeless are vets?
The second time was at the Pitt Law School where he presented his positions on foreign policy. At both events, he stayed until all members of the audience had asked every question; and then he stayed and talked informally.

If you haven't had the chance to hear him speak in person, take the time to read this very well-written piece from Penn Live. Once you learn about him, I hope you agree with me that he will make one of the finest senators Pennsylvania has ever sent to Washington.

Walking with Sestak: 'Joe marches to his own drum' in Senate race


March 9, 2016

Sanders just took lead in Flint/Genessee County!

After Hillary had her billionairess BFF, Penny Pritzger, pump in HALF A MILLION $$$ to Flint, days before the election, she still couldn't buy a win!

Now that may change by the end of the night, but it will remain damn close.

This will shake the Clintons' world view! What the fuck do you mean, we can't buy off these poor minority voters?!?!? Why didn't they realize their votes were bought and paid for?

You can be damn sure, Flint Michigan will never see one more red cent from Hill or her wealthy friends. And that photo op with Chelsea? She'll never set her pampered foot in there again! Hope the Mayor of Flint got a certified check for that half a million!

Wealthy Democratic donors J.B. and M.K. Pritzker are kickstarting the Clinton’s initiative with a $500,000 donation.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2016/03/08/hillary-starts-jobs-program-in-flint-chelsea-assures-its-not-political/#ixzz42N5UotDS
March 5, 2016

Hence Hillary's fundraisers in Mexico City, building on her 2008 Chinatown experience.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign is holding fundraisers in Mexico on Wednesday, expanding its offshore money operation one day after the New Hampshire primary.

Two events hosted by the Clinton campaign treasurer Jose Villarreal will be held in Mexico City. Clinton herself will not be attending. One of the co-hosts of the fundraising dinner is Wal-Mart lobbyist Ivan Zapien, who relocated to Mexico with the company in 2015. Clinton served on the board of Wal-Mart from 1986-1992.

Overseas fundraisers are relatively common for leading presidential candidates, though Mexico City is not itself a common destination. Donors attending must assert that they are U.S. citizens or lawfully admitted permanent residents of the United States.http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/fundraising/268782-clinton-campaign-hosting-fundraisers-in-mexico

When it comes to funneling campaign contributions through donors, it's pretty damn easy, as Hillary has managed to do in NYC's Chinatown in her 2008 campaign. All donors, even those at Hill's multiple overseas fundraisers, must "assert" they are U.S. citizens. But the campaign organizations are on an honor system (LOL) to verify those assertions.

And while U.S. journalists tracked down the Clinton campaign's questionable donors in 2008 in NYC, what investigative reporters have the backing/financing/personal bodyguards necessary to track down the alleged donors in crime-riddled Mexico City? Pretty sweet deal for Hillary.

Hillary Clinton's Chinatown Tangle
Last June, Hillary Clinton's campaign gave back $7,000 to Chinese restaurant workers who contributed $1,000 apiece for a political fund-raiser. It was her campaign's token effort to stop a common campaign-finance abuse: the use of proxies by well-heeled donors trying to get around the $1,000 limit on campaign contributions. But however well intentioned, the effort points up the difficulty all of the presidential campaigns have in trying to police their political contributions.

The problem was that the low-paid restaurant workers did not seem capable of affording $1,000 donations — and thus, it appeared likely, may have been used as proxies by other big donors. Yet the Clinton campaign did not reimburse another 15 restaurant workers — including cooks, waiters, a dishwasher and cashier — who also wrote checks for the April 13 event in New York's Chinatown. Nor did it send back money from a garment worker and phone card clerk, not to mention 15 donors who had failed to list any occupations or register to vote.

Few Chinese-American workers in New York City's several Chinatowns will reveal how much they really make. At the same time, it is not uncommon to see waiters and dishwashers among other so called menial workers who are capable of paying for cars, plunking down large initial premiums for insurance policies or making sizable down payments on homes or apartments — in cash. The banks of Chinatown centered in Canal Street in Manhattan have combined deposits of $6 billion, behind only the ritzy Upper East Side ($8 billion) among New York City neighborhood.

That creates a particular problem in trying to figure out which donations are being funneled through proxies. Fund-raisers face pressure to gather large numbers of checks but have no responsibility to screen them. Fugitive businessman Norman Hsu drew attention to the $850,000 he bundled for Clinton because of some of the donations came from people of modest means.

March 5, 2016

Clinton:"I'm the most transparent public official in modern times."

I think we should all get the hell out of this thread before lightning strikes.

Clinton: I’m the ‘most transparent public official in modern times’

Hillary Clinton says she's the "most transparent" public official of modern times, slamming critics of her email practices in a new interview.
March 4, 2016

Inside the Fight to Frack a Pennsylvania Township

This is really an excellent, in-depth article on the multiple negative effects of fracking on a community. If you are concerned about fracking in your area, whatever state you live in, you'll learn a lot from reading the whole thing. Good job, TruthOut.


Since a 2013 Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling, several Southwestern Pennsylvania communities have ended up meeting in local government buildings - like Penn Township's municipal complex tucked behind Fox's Pizza Den in Harrison City - sharply divided on where shale gas drillers should be allowed to frack wells.

The state's highest court overturned key parts of Act 13, the state's governing oil and gas law, and gave the power to local governments to control some aspects of shale drilling through zoning. Penn Township's zoning ordinance allows shale drilling across about half of the township, much of which is rural land. The ordinance is pending and could change, but it is in effect.

It's this mix of suburbia-meets-rural landscape that's at the heart of the drilling debate in Penn Township: Many residents who live in residential areas don't want drilling near their homes - fearful of what the activity could mean for their health, property values and way of life. Other residents want to lease their land to drillers.

Just one well pad in and Penn Township officials, residents and the drillers are struggling under the change. The public hearing is mostly filled with residents against the pad. Under township rules, residents who object can try to prove to the zoning board that the site would be harmful to the environment and their health and safety. Then, it could be a violation of the ordinance.
(Cont. below)
March 2, 2016

Time is on our side, yes it is!

Sing it, Mick!

March 1, 2016

She brags about visiting more countries than any previous SOS

That included fly-by diplomacy of landing for an hour in some country on her bucket list, and meeting AT THE AIRPORT some clueless local officials driven in for the privilege of meeting with her.

And on her longer visits to various countries she preached and pushed for opening countries for Big Energy fracking or new trade partnership agreements. She was often acting as a Chamber of Commerce-type proponent for big corporations, rather than dealing with international crises or diplomacy.

Same for the Clinton foundation - in earthquake devastated Haiti, it "facilitated" (while skimming a percentage off the top of the financial support) building a luxury hotel, industrial parks, docks, roads, electric power sources for corporate manufacturing - i.e., infrastructure for international business investors - leaving tens of thousands homeless and hundreds of thousands more living in thrown together shanties with no electricity, water supply, plumbing.

When it comes to promoting corporate exploitation of dirt cheap labor sources in 3rd world countries, the Clinton Foundation is a full service operation. It's not enough to provide labor for under a dollar per hour, the Clinton Family Foundation will also "facilitate" schools and medical clinics - because it's good business to have minimally educated workers -have to be able to read directions and write up reports; and also healthy workers to reduce costly labor turnover. If there's a way to squeeze a dollar out of disaster, the Clintons are masters of the game.

February 28, 2016

The Libya Gamble: Part One (International New York Times)


Hillary Clinton, ‘Smart Power’ and a Dictator’s Fall

FEB. 27, 2016

The president was wary. The secretary of state was persuasive. But the ouster of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi left Libya a failed state and a terrorist haven.

President Obama was deeply wary of another military venture in a Muslim country. Most of his senior advisers were telling him to stay out. Still, he dispatched Mrs. Clinton to sound out Mr. Jibril, a leader of the Libyan opposition. Their late-night meeting on March 14, 2011, would be the first chance for a top American official to get a sense of whom, exactly, the United States was being asked to support.

Mrs. Clinton was won over. Opposition leaders “said all the right things about supporting democracy and inclusivity and building Libyan institutions, providing some hope that we might be able to pull this off,” said Philip H. Gordon, one of her assistant secretaries. “They gave us what we wanted to hear. And you do want to believe.”

Her conviction would be critical in persuading Mr. Obama to join allies in bombing Colonel Qaddafi’s forces. In fact, Mr. Obama’s defense secretary, Robert M. Gates, would later say that in a “51-49” decision, it was Mrs. Clinton’s support that put the ambivalent president over the line. The consequences would be more far-reaching than anyone imagined, leaving Libya a failed state and a terrorist haven, a place where the direst answers to Mrs. Clinton’s questions have come to pass.

Note: In choosing where to post this OP (General Discussion or GDP), I read the entire article and concluded it is far broader in history, scope, international relations and impact, and lessons to be learned from the complex situation in Libya and surrounding countries than is appropriate for GDP, notwithstanding the fact that the then Secretary of State is now running in the primaries.

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