Beaver County Blue

Progressive Democrats of America – PA 12th CD Chapter

Archive for the ‘elections’ Category

Credit Unions’ PAC Finances Mitch McConnell Campaign

Posted by randyshannon on October 18, 2014

Oppose Credit Unions’ Support for Politicians Who Oppose Working Families’ Interests

by Randy Shannon

Most of our credit unions are members of CUNA – the Credit Union National Association. CUNA’s political action committee has donated $20,000 to right wing Republican Senator Mitch McConnell. They plan to spend another $300,000 in radio and TV adds for McConnell in hopes that he will become Senate Majority leader.

McConnell is in a tight race against Democrat Alison Grimes in Kentucky.

Please sign and circulate this petition. Contact your credit union officers and ask them to pass a resolution against this expenditure of our money. 

Sign Petition HERE

 

McConnell Bid Earns $300K CULAC Support

Mitch McConnell

CUNA told CU Times on Thursday that its political action committee, CULAC, filed notice with the FEC of a $300,000 independent expenditure on behalf of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in his re-election campaign.

McConnell is locked in a tight race against Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D-Ky.). If the current minority leader wins his midterm bid, and Republicans win a majority of Senate seats, McConnell would presumably become majority leader, setting the Senate’s agenda.

CULAC, CUNA’s PAC, has already donated $10,000 to McConnell’s campaign as well as $10,000 to his leadership PAC, according to Trey Hawkins, CUNA vice president of political affairs.

NAFCU’s PAC contributed $7,500 to McConnell, according to NAFCU Vice President of Political Affairs Katie Marisic.

CUNA plans to spend approximately $274,000 on television advertisements for McConnell and $25,000 in radio ads.

A CUNA spokesperson told CU Times they have not planned independent expenditures for additional candidates at this time.

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Republican Cuts Kill

Posted by randyshannon on October 13, 2014

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PA Auditor General: DEP Fails to Protect Our Water

Posted by randyshannon on October 11, 2014

Ambridge Reservoir Arial Photo by Steve White

Ambridge Reservoir Arial Photo by Steve White

Auditor General Issues Critical PADEP Audit

Pennsylvania Environmental Organizations Applaud Investigation’s Goals

Report’s findings mirror concerns raised by Pennsylvanians dealing with water contamination

Harrisburg, PAPennsylvania’s Auditor General office released a highly anticipated audit of the Department of Environmental Protection’s performance regarding shale gas development today. 

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale stated that the audit “…shows that the meteoric growth of the shale gas industry caught the Department of Environmental Protection unprepared to effectively administer laws and regulations to protect drinking water and unable to efficiently respond to citizen complaints”.

The report is available here:

 http://www.delawareriverkeeper.org/resources/Reports/PA%20AG%20audit%20DEP072114.pdf

For the last 18 months, environmental and citizens groups have been in touch with DEP regarding our grave concerns about procedures and policies for water quality monitoring, testing, and response in the face of the shale gas boom. It has long been clear that:

  • they lack transparency;
  • result in the withholding of vital data from affected households and the public;
  • force residents to undergo prolonged exposure to contaminants that can impact health;
  • and delay action necessary to correct pollution and ensure that operators provide clean drinking water to those who need it. 
  • The audit confirms that basic reforms are needed to address the harms communities are experiencing from shale gas development in the Commonwealth.

“The Auditor General’s inspection is not just a capture of deficiencies within the agency in present time but a call to the future to take actions that will improve agency policies & operations so that public confidence in the agency can be restored & we can better protect drinking water & public health”, said Steve Hvozdovich, Marcellus Shale Policy Associate, Clean Water Action.

“For countless Pennsylvanians in the Marcellus and Utica, the Auditor General’s findings come as no surprise. His frank assessment of the deficiencies within the DEP accurately tells the story of an agency that was unprepared to deal with shale gas development’s impacts on our water supply and, by extension, our communities. The tenor of the agency’s response included in the report is discouraging in its denial of many of the problems the Auditor General has cited and its misguided belief that it has satisfactorily addressed some of the other issues, particularly those dealing with transparency and public access to critical data,” said Karen Feridun, founder of Berks Gas Truth.

 

Read the rest of this entry »

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Students Plan City-wide Strike to Defend Philly Schools

Posted by randyshannon on October 8, 2014

PHL Students Announce Plans to Strike as Mayor Praises SRC

Students vow to be truant until SRC restores union’s contract.

October 7, 2014
By Flood the Drummer
CLICK HERE to read "PHL Students Announce Plans to Strike as Mayor Praises SRC."By Christopher “Flood the Drummer®” Norris 10.7.14: Philadelphia – (Politics): The reason the Philadelphia School Reform Commission quietly voted to cancel their labor contract with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers yesterday was to push them into contributing to their healthcare and reinvest the savings back into the classroom, particularly ensuring nurses and counselors would be on sight and that school buildings are stocked with the appropriate supplies, like pencils, pens and toilet paper.

But in response to the news, students didn’t cheer and applaud the five-member, state controlled board, instead they announced their intentions to strike on Wednesday, October 8th 2014, and every day after that until their teacher’s contracts are restored. As organizers noted on their Facebook event page, the peaceful protest(s) will include students arriving to their schools, but not entering the buildings.

City Hall nor school district headquarters have responded to the threat of widespread truancy, however, the mayor did express his support for the SRC and hopes others can see this for what it is: “another consequence of this horrible situation our schools have had to face year after year.”

Mr. Nutter, in his statement which was released this afternoon, brings attention to Principal Linda Carroll of Northeast High School who has a operating budget that breaks down to $5 a student.

“That’s inexcusable,” said Mayor Nutter, who noted he was pleased that Dr. Hite has chosen to reinvest the savings in schools.

Mr. Nutter wants the PFT and the School District back at the negotiating table, as does PFT President Mr. Jerry Jordan and his attorneys. Mr. Jordan yesterday said the last proposal to cross the table was from the union, and they’re waiting on the district to respond.

In the meantime, the students in Philadelphia – who all this political maneuvering is allegedly for – are organizing themselves in support of the teacher’s union and hope their voices and opinions will one day matter as much as politicians and their appointees

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Its October – Get Out the Vote

Posted by randyshannon on October 2, 2014

Canvassing in western PA

Canvassing in western PA

IBEW 712 Hall

217 Sassafras Lane, Vanport, PA

Phone Banks on Wednesdays from 4-8

Literature Walks on Saturdays from 10-2

Union members and Progressive Democrats welcome!

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PA Republicans Appeal to Racism

Posted by randyshannon on October 1, 2014

Racist Campaign001

 

by Randy Shannon

PDA 12th CD Chapter

Progressive Democrats of America – Economic & Social Justice Team

Most people already know or sense that Pennsylvania has dropped from 8th to 47th in job creation under Corbett. That’s an important issue that Corbett lies about in this campaign mailer.

The real message in this mailer is subliminal. “The effectiveness of subliminal messaging has been demonstrated to prime individual responses and stimulate mild emotional activity.” – Wikipedia

The images of Gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf are several shades darker than the images of President Obama in this Republican mailer. The reality is that Wolf’s skin color is much lighter than Obama’s.

The purpose of this subliminal message is to stimulate voter turnout with an appeal to racial prejudice based on skin color. The Republicans consider this effective now because they have spent the last couple years spreading racist images, jokes, cartoons, references, insinuations, insults, and lies about Obama. They expect many voters to stay home on election day, discouraged by the failure of the government to address so many problems. So the strategy is to use fear and racism to boost the turnout of Republican votes, overcoming their passivity in this election.

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Progressive Democrat Rep. Lee Statement on US Bombing Syria

Posted by randyshannon on September 23, 2014

Congresswoman Lee Releases Statement on U.S. Airstrikes in Syria

Written by  Congresswoman Barbara Lee | Press Release

Congresswoman Lee Releases Statement on U.S. Airstrikes in Syria

Oakland, CA – In response to the airstrikes last night in Syria, Congresswoman Lee released this statement:

“I am gravely concerned about the expansion of U.S. airstrikes into Syria and continuation of airstrikes in Iraq.

It is clear we are rapidly becoming more involved in another war in the Middle East.

President Obama has put together a strong international and regional coalition to address the ISIS threat. We must now leverage this regional coalition to achieve the political solution that will end this crisis. Only a political solution that respects the rights of all Iraqis and Syrians will ultimately dismantle ISIS.

I have called and will continue to call for a full congressional debate and vote on any military action, as required by the Constitution. The American people deserve a public debate on all the options to dismantle ISIS, including their costs and consequences to our national security and domestic priorities.

The rapid escalation of another war in the Middle East underscores the danger of the blank check for endless war passed by Congress in 2001. I could not support this blank check for endless war or the 2002 blank check for war in Iraq. I have introduced legislation to repeal the 2001 and 2002 authorizations for the use of military force and continue to build bipartisan support for their repeal.

There is no military solution to the crisis in Iraq and Syria. In fact, continued U.S. military action will result in unintended consequences. We must remember the roots of ISIS – President Bush’s ill-begotten war.

Congress needs to debate the political, economic, diplomatic and regionally-led solutions that will ultimately be the tools for U.S. and regional security.”

###

Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of both the Congressional Black Caucus and Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the newly formed Whip’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity.

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Obama Launches New Illegal War

Posted by randyshannon on September 23, 2014

“There Is No Military Solution” –

But Obama Launches a New U.S. War in Syria

In response to the initiation of U.S. bombing in Syria, Phyllis Bennis, Fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies and of the Transnational Institute, issued the following statement:

23 September 2014

President Obama’s decision to bomb Syria stands in stark violation of international law, the UN Charter, and the requirements of the U.S. Constitution. It contradicts his own commitment, stated a year ago in the UN General Assembly, to reverse Washington’s “perpetual war footing.”

 

IDLIB, SYRIA - SEPTEMBER 23: Syrian children are on the ruins of a destroyed building as civil defense teams undertake a search and rescue operation among the ruins of it, in a region of Idlib, a northwestern city of Syria, on September 23, 2014. United States of America (USA) have launched air strikes against the targets of terrorist organization ISIL in Idlib, a northwestern city of Syria. (Photo by AA Video/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

IDLIB, SYRIA – SEPTEMBER 23: Syrian children are on the ruins of a destroyed building as civil defense teams undertake a search and rescue operation among the ruins of it, in a region of Idlib, a northwestern city of Syria, on September 23, 2014. United States of America (USA) have launched air strikes against the targets of terrorist organization ISIL in Idlib, a northwestern city of Syria. (Photo by AA Video/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

And it portends disaster for the people of Syria, the region, and much of the world.

The White House stated goal is to destroy the headquarters of the violent and extremist ISIS militia. But you can’t bomb extremism out of existence. The U.S. bombs do not fall on “extremism,” they are falling on Raqqah, a 2,000 year-old Syrian city with a population of more than a quarter of a million people – men, women and children who had no say in the take-over of their city by ISIS. The Pentagon is bombing targets like the post office and the governor’s compound, and the likelihood of large number of civilian casualties as well as devastation of the ancient city, is almost certain.

President Obama was right when he said there is no military solution to the ISIS crisis. Bombing Syria, without Congressional authorization, without United Nations approval, in direct opposition to the stated position of Syria’s government, will only make that crisis worse. It will give ISIS and its allies a new basis for recruitment, it will strengthen the repressive Syrian government, it will undermine Syria’s struggling non-violent opposition movement, and it will further tighten the links between ISIS supporters in Syria and in Iraq.

The bombing should stop immediately, and be replaced with a U.S. policy based on

  • Supporting an intensive new UN-based diplomatic initiative involving all parties in the region
  • Opening direct talks with Iran and Russia based on shared opposition to ISIS – with Iran to jointly push for ending anti-Sunni sectarianism in the Iraqi government, and with Russia to work towards ending the multi-party civil war in Syria
  • Pressuring U.S. allies in the region to stop their governments and people from arming and facilitating the movement of ISIS fighters
  • Shifting the war funds to a massive increase in humanitarian assistance

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Nobel Peace Laureate Bombs 7th Muslim Country

Posted by randyshannon on September 23, 2014

SYRIA BECOMES THE 7TH PREDOMINANTLY MUSLIM COUNTRY BOMBED BY 2009 NOBEL PEACE LAUREATE

Featured photo - Syria Becomes the 7th Predominantly Muslim Country Bombed by 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate

The U.S. today began bombing targets inside Syria, in concert with its lovely and inspiring group of five allied regimes: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Jordan.

That means that Syria becomes the 7th predominantly Muslim country bombed by 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama—after Afghanistan,Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Iraq.

The utter lack of interest in what possible legal authority Obama has to bomb Syria is telling indeed: Empires bomb who they want, when they want, for whatever reason (indeed, recall that Obama bombed Libya evenafter Congress explicitly voted against authorization to use force, and very few people seemed to mind that abject act of lawlessness; constitutional constraints are not for warriors and emperors).

It was just over a year ago that Obama officials were insisting that bombing and attacking Assad was a moral and strategic imperative. Instead, Obama is now bombing Assad’s enemies while politely informing his regime of its targets in advance. It seems irrelevant on whom the U.S. wages war; what matters it that it be at war, always and forever.

Six weeks of bombing hasn’t budged ISIS in Iraq, but it has caused ISIS recruitment to soar. That’s all predictable: the U.S. has known for years that what fuels and strengthens anti-American sentiment (and thus anti-American extremism) is exactly what they keep doing: aggression in that region. If you know that, then they know that. At this point, it’s more rational to say they do all of this not despite triggering those outcomes, butbecause of it. Continuously creating and strengthening enemies is a feature, not a bug. It is what justifies the ongoing greasing of the profitable and power-vesting machine of Endless War.

If there is anyone who actually believes that the point of all of this is a moral crusade to vanquish the evil-doers of ISIS (as the U.S. fights alongside its close Saudi friends), please read Professor As’ad AbuKhalil’s explanation today of how Syria is a multi-tiered proxy war. As the disastrous Libya “intervention” should conclusively and permanently demonstrate, the U.S. does not bomb countries for humanitarian objectives. Humanitarianism isthe pretense, not the purpose.

President Barack Obama makes a speech during the Nobel Peace Prize Concert at Oslo Spektrum on December 11, 2009 in Oslo, Norway

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Sen. Sanders Speech in Philadelphia

Posted by randyshannon on September 20, 2014

 

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