Friday, September 2, 2016

I'll restore trust and integrity to the Attorney General's Office: John Rafferty

By PennLive Op-Ed 
on August 30, 2016 at 1:00 PM
By John Rafferty
The act of casting a vote for someone to serve in an elected office comes with an inherent agreement that the person elected to serve will do so while upholding the highest ethical standards.
According to voters, trust in those elected to represent us in office is at an all-time low. And with good reason.  
On the national level, we have a former Secretary of State whose use of a private email server, along with recurring questions about the relationship between the state department and the Clinton Foundation, continue to fuel questions about her ethics and her respect for the law. Voters can have no trust in a candidate who conducts themselves in that manner.
Here in Pennsylvania, we have our own crisis of confidence and trust with those we elected to serve us.  
When two former state treasurers are indicted or awaiting sentencing and a former U.S. Congressman convicted of corruption is also awaiting sentencing something is terribly wrong. 
A jury convicted our most recent attorney general of two felony perjury and abuse of power charges. She resigned in disgrace. All of that is unacceptable.
At a time in our country and our commonwealth when we face so many threats, both domestically and internationally, it is my firm belief that we must hold our public officials to a standard of conduct that is beyond reproach.  
In Pennsylvania, we face a heroin and opioid epidemic that is now the leading cause of accidental death in Pennsylvania.
One priority for Pennsylvania Republicans this year is taking back an office they have long seen as rightfully theirs: the Office of Attorney General. The choice between candidates Joe Peters and John Rafferty largely hinges on the kind of experience that GOP voters want.
Our state economy is struggling under the weight of over regulation and the threat of higher taxes from both the federal and the state governments. We see our police, those who serve to protect us, attacked and killed.
We are under a constant threat from terrorists who wish to do us harm simply for being American, to name only a few of the many issues we will face on the national and state levels.
There can be no questions from our constituents as to whether those in elected office are operating in a "gray area," or are allowing conflicts of interest to become a question mark in their decisions.  
We know what happens when a politician, responsible for keeping us safe and looking out for our interests, chooses their own political ambitions over making the best decisions for the citizens of Pennsylvania.  Sadly, this is an issue for my opponent.
Beemer could have a lively, albeit short, tenure, but many think he's the right choice to help the state's top law enforcement agency regain its footing.
Throughout his political career, and especially in this race, prosecutors and members of his own party have accused Josh Shapiro of questionable practices, including awarding government contracts to top donors and taking contributions from individuals with a checkered past. 
Josh Shapiro accepted and then, under force, returned donations from individuals with corruption convictions. Some current Shapiro donors are even paying lawsuit settlements to attorneys general in other states.  
Add to that his refusal to step down from a role where, as an agent of the state, he is in a position to give grants to potential political backers, and it would appear that Shapiro has, at the very least, the appearance of an ethics problem. 
Would he earn your trust? I am convinced he would not. 
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania deserves an attorney general who is there to be exactly that, the top law enforcement officer of the state.  That is why I pledged from day one of my campaign that if elected I will not seek higher office and I will not use the Office of Attorney General to run for governor.  
I will guide all of my decisions and policies by my desire to keep you and your family safe and to uphold the law in Pennsylvania.  
I will make sure there will never be a need for anyone to question my ethics. My opponent will not make this pledge because his political aspirations go far beyond the Office of Attorney General. 
The Montgomery County commissioner faces GOP Sen. John Rafferty in the November election.
All of us in Pennsylvania paid a high price the past four years as we went down a path of distrust and lies. 
Ask yourself, don't we deserve better? I know we do. Your trust in me is a promise I will gladly and wholeheartedly fulfill.
The author, a state senator from Montgomery County, is the Republican nominee for Pennsylvania Attorney General.

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John Rafferty Penn Live file photo

Monday, August 22, 2016

Washington Star-News Endorses PA Congressman Lou Barletta

Washington Star News Desk August 17, 2016

Over these past weeks, the public and the Washington Star-News have had the opportunity to observe and evaluate the perspectives and agendas of the various candidates in the upcoming congressional elections. Mr. Barletta’s honest, pragmatic, and hopeful insight into our country’s problems and needs, and his willingness to examine the issues and listen closely to the public’s questions and concerns, sets him far apart from the other candidates’ expected techniques and talk, and so we are writing today to express our support for re-election of Pennsylvania Congressman Lou Barletta‘s campaign with the intention to spread word to others of the value of his policies and abilities.

Lou Barletta is a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives from the state of Pennsylvania. Barletta was first elected by voters from Pennsylvania’s 11th Congressional District in 2010.

Barletta is running for re-election to his seat in 2016.

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Lou Barletta

Friday, August 19, 2016

Sen. Pat Toomey: The TPP falls short

Why the Trans-Pacific Partnership would be a bad trade deal for Pennsylvanians

August 17, 2016 12:00 AM
Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Every trade agreement must be studied on its own merits. Some are good, some are bad. I have carefully analyzed the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a proposed trade agreement between America and numerous Asian and Pacific countries.

TPP is supposed to give our country the chance to write the rules for global trade, instead of letting China do it. That is a laudable goal, and some of its provisions would open new markets for some of our state’s farmers and other industries.

However, having the right goal is not good enough. It also has to be a good deal, and good deals require good negotiations. In the TPP, the Obama administration has not gotten a good enough deal for Pennsylvania workers.

The TPP falls short in several areas. Take just two examples, both of which I have stressed to the Obama administration.

About 46,000 Pennsylvanians have jobs in the life science and pharmaceutical sector, making it one of our state’s largest industries. TPP will make it too easy for other countries to steal innovations that we create in Pennsylvania and take the jobs tied to those innovations.

Pennsylvania’s largest agricultural product is dairy, with about 7,000 dairy farms in the commonwealth. This sector depends heavily on exports, which means it’s critically important that trade agreements open foreign markets to our goods. Unfortunately, TPP has failed to do this meaningfully, particularly with respect to the protectionist Canadian market.

I have brought these and other problems to the attention of the Obama trade negotiators, but regrettably, they have failed to address them. As it now stands, TPP is not a good deal for Pennsylvania. I cannot support it.

A good trade deal can open up new markets across the globe and help turn around our weak economy. We must not abandon trade. Politicians in both parties who demagogue trade do a disservice to our people, playing on their economic fears, instead of promoting their economic well-being. But we should not pass a flawed deal just to get a deal done. We should dump the TPP and return to the negotiating table to get an agreement that would create jobs and economic growth here at home.

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey is a Republican from Pennsylvania.
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Friday, August 12, 2016

Poll: McGinty overtaking Toomey in Pa. Senate race

Democratic Senate candidate Katie McGinty and Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey.
By Jonathan Tamari / The Philadelphia Inquirer
August 11, 2016 6:36 AM

WASHINGTON -- Another new poll has found Democrat Katie McGinty surging into a late summer lead over Republican Sen. Pat Toomey in the critical Pennsylvania senate race.

A Quinnipiac University survey released this morning found Ms. McGinty leading Mr. Toomey, 47 percent to 44 among likely Keystone State voters. That's within the poll's margin of error, but suggests a far tighter contest than pollsters found earlier this summer, when Mr. Toomey had solid leads.

The new poll is the third in the past week showing Ms. McGinty, Gov. Tom Wolf's former chief of staff, with a small lead a few weeks ahead of Labor Day, when campaigns typically kick into high gear. Her rise coincides with Hillary Clinton's sharp gains in Pennsylvania in the wake of the Democratic National Convention.

Mr. Toomey's 44 percent support is similar to the 42 percent backing Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump registered in the same poll. But while Ms. Clinton had 52 percent support, Ms. McGinty -- who has never held elected office and is still introducing herself to many voters -- has won less backing.

The poll shows sharp disparities among races and genders. Mr. Toomey, seeking his second senate term, won 51 percent of white voters, but only 12 percent of non-whites. Women favor Ms. McGinty 52 - 38, while men support Mr. Toomey 51 – 41.

Pollsters have cautioned that surveys at this point may still be picking up the effects of the Democratic convention, which was held in Philadelphia and dominated media coverage. The poll was conducted immediately after the convention, from July 30 to Aug. 7, and surveyed 815 Pennsylvania voters. It has a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.

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Democratic Senate candidate Katie McGinty and Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey
Larry Roberts and Nate Guidry/Post-Gazette

Monday, August 8, 2016

McGinty ties Toomey

U.S. Senate hopeful McGinty ties Toomey to 'The Donald' in Delco

Published: Monday, August 08, 2016

By Rick Kauffman
@Kauffee_DT on Twitter

SWARTHMORE >> Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Katie McGinty was on a high after a campaign appearance introducing Hillary Clinton on Friday at Temple University.

By Wednesday, at an appearance in Delaware County, she was still beaming, still counting down the days — 96 in all — until Election Day.

While her focus remains on her individual race against incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, she quickly jumped back to the national stage in order to draw parallels to her own campaign.

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Protests at the DNC, Philadelphia, PA Wednesday, July 27, 2016

PHILADELPHIA — USA Today - As President Barack Obama took the stage at the Democratic National Convention inside the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night, a chaotic situation erupted nearby that led to seven arrests.

Protesters stormed security barricades  at 10:50 p.m. outside the center where the convention was being held, prompting some police officers to take out batons. No one appeared to be struck.

The U.S, Secret Service said seven people entered through the outer perimeter fence and into a Secret Service designated secure zone. They were detained without incident by Philadelphia police and are expected to be federally charged with entering a restricted area.

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DNC Phila., PA 2016

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