Democrat Jason Altmire Using GOP Lobbyist for Primary Campaign Phonebanks & Donations

Will Democratic Voters or Jason Altmire Get the Last Laugh on April 24th?

Democrat Jason Altmire Using GOP Lobbying Firm for Phonebanks, Campaign Donations

Late last week, Keystone Politics was forwarded an email that had been sent out by the Altmire campaign to their Washington D.C. contact list.  The email, innocuous enough on its face, is an invitation sent out to PACs and persons on Altmire’s D.C. fundraising list requesting their attendance at a high-price fundraiser as well as inviting them to attend phonebanks in D.C.

Upon further inspection, however, one particular item sticks out as highly disconcerting.

It turns out that the phonebank is actually being held at the lobbying office of Potomac Strategic Development, a lobbying group with very strong ties to Republican candidates, campaigns, and initiatives.

After extensive research, Keystone Politics has found that almost every senior staff member for Potomac Strategic Development has contributed to or worked in a high capacity for various Republican campaigns.

Continue reading Democrat Jason Altmire Using GOP Lobbyist for Primary Campaign Phonebanks & Donations

USW President Gerard to Kick Off Labor Effort for Critz in PA 12th CD

Leo Gerard shakes hands with Mark Critz

by Randy Shannon

April 13, 2012

Leo Gerard, President of the USW, will appear at the headquarters of USW Local 8183 at 9:00 am Saturday morning to kick off a labor walk for Mark Critz. The union hall is located at 1445 Market St. in Bridgewater.

Mark Critz is the current Democratic Representative from the 12th CD. His district has been merged with the 4th CD, currently represented by Jason Altmire. Redistricting by the Republican legislature has thrown Critz and Altmire into a contest to win the Democratic nomination for the new 12th District.

Continue reading USW President Gerard to Kick Off Labor Effort for Critz in PA 12th CD

Public Forum with Expert Panel on Ambridge Reservoir

Ambridge Reservoir Arial Photo by Steve White

Can We Protect Our Water?

Public Forum on the Ambridge Reservoir

and Natural Gas Drilling

Ambridge High School Auditorium

1:00-4:00 pm Saturday April 21st

Service Creek is High Quality Water designated and Cold Water Fishes protected stream in Beaver County. The J.C. Bacon dam impounds Service Creek, forming the Ambridge reservoir, the source for the Ambridge Water Authority to provide water to 35,000 customers.

The rapid development of gas drilling in the Marcellus and Utica shale underlying S.W. PA could pose a challenge to the integrity of our natural resource. This forum will provide area workers, consumers, professionals and leaders an opportunity to hear experts on some of the challenges posed by possible hydrofracking operations in the Service Creek watershed.


Event Chairman

Robert Schmetzer, South Heights Borough Council President


Daniel J. Bain, PhD, Asst. Professor Dept. of Geology and Planetary Science, U. of Pgh; PhD. in Geography and Environmental Engineering Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore

Geology/hydrology – How does the geology and hydrology of this watershed respond to hydrofracking. What are the risks from above ground spills to the reservoir. What are the risks from subsurface migration to the reservoir.

Erika Staaf, BS Environmental Studies, Bucknell University, Clean Water Advocate for Penn Environment, Pittsburgh

History – What is the history of the impact on water resources of hydrofracking operations in PA.

Jill K. Kriesky, PhD Economics, Pitt Graduate School of Public Health, Senior Project Coordinator for the Center for Healthy Environment and Communities,

Public Health – What are the known public health impacts of hydrofracking operations, especially in regard to water.

Emily A. Collins, JD, Pitt Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Supervising Attorney at Environmental Law Clinic, formerly Public Interest Council of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

Legal – What is the federal, state, and riparian common law framework governing the Service Creek watershed, Service Creek and the Ambridge Reservoir.

The panelists will answer questions written on cards available at the beginning of the forum. After the panel there will be an opportunity for comments and discussion.

Sponsored by: Beaver County Marcellus Awareness Committee, John Pournaras Agency, Creekside Springs, Valley Realty, and W. PA Conference United Methodist Church Board of Churches Society

Labor and materials donated

Fracking Challenge to Pennsylvania Drinking Water Sources

Fracking at Drinking Water Source for 80,000 Pennsylvanians Raises Alarms

Documents and interviews reveal that one Pa. water utility has already leased its watershed to gas drillers — and many others are being courted

CNX Gas drilling site next to the Beaver Run Reservoir owned by the
Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County/Credit:

By Anthony Brino

InsideClimate News. Jul 19, 2011

Cynthia Walter, an ecologist at St. Vincent College outside Pittsburgh, gets a lot of emails from local wildlife enthusiasts asking about “this bird” or “that amphibian.”

But one day last year she got an uncommon request to inspect the forest cover around the Beaver Run Reservoir via Google Earth. The 1,300-acre lake is the main source of drinking water for 80,000 residents in southwestern Pennsylvania. It also rests atop the enormous Marcellus Shale gas reserve.

“Are those natural gas wells on the peninsulas?” she recalls the email sender asking.

Immediately, Walter spotted a square of barren earth on the satellite map. Later she learned that a company called CNX Gas had drilled more than a dozen wells on that bald patch from two sprawling well pads, using a controversial technique known as horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or hydrofracking, to release gas trapped in layers of shale rock deep underground.

Continue reading Fracking Challenge to Pennsylvania Drinking Water Sources

April 4 Vigil Vows to Fight GOP Efforts to Deny Voting Rights

mlkrally 040

HB 934 Exposed as ‘Modern-Day Poll Tax

By Carl Davidson
Beaver County Blue

Some 80 labor and civil rights activists, together with a few elected officials, gathered at dusk at the Beaver County Courthouse April 4 for a candlelight vigil. The somber but militant event commemorated the anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and protested the current efforts of rightwing PA Republicans to block citizens from voting in 2012.

mlkrally 008 “They’re declaring war on us,” said Lynwood Alford, a member of the Beaver-Lawrence Central Labor Council and leader of the Minority Coalition. ‘Taking away our voting rights is taking away the little power we have in the fight for survival.”

Alford repeated the refrain several times as he introduced new speakers. The vigil was sponsored by the Beaver-Lawrence Central Labor Council, SEIU Local 668, the USW, and the Beaver County NAACP. The 12 CD Progressive Democrats of America also endorsed the vigil, and turned out a good-sized contingent.

The target of everyone’s anger was the passage into law of HB 934 last month, the so-called ‘Voter ID Law’.

Continue reading April 4 Vigil Vows to Fight GOP Efforts to Deny Voting Rights