Monday, December 17, 2012

From 2 Political Junkies: Tracking Teh Crazie

2 Political Junkies: Tracking Teh Crazie: I took a look at crazie central this morning to see if there's any reaction to the Sandy Hook shooting. And guess what?  Teh crazies are c...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Why Congressman Altmire could have won

Why Jason Altmire could have won – and why the Democrats and unions played right into the hands of State Representative Mike Turzai and the Pennsylvania Republican Party.

You knew this post was coming.

I’ve never denied or been ashamed of my admiration for Congressman Altmire, and I’m really sad that our region will lose him at the end of the year. He’s done a great job voting for the district as a whole, and as a Democrat, I recognize that I probably won’t be represented by another Democrat in Congress in the next 10 years (if not longer). 

There are currently about 5,000 more Democrats in the new PA-12 than in the old PA-4.  There are fewer Democrats, though, in the new PA-12 than the old PA-12. So, for Critz, who boasted about being able to win in hard scenarios, this should have been a shoe-in for Critz, right?   


Mark was an unknown to the Altmire voters in the new parts of PA-12 district. I can’t figure out if he thought he would win them regardless of what he did or if he thought they were a lost cause. If Critz thought they would automatically go with him, Critz and his team didn’t review voting trends in the area. If they thought they couldn’t win the Altmire voters, I’m wondering why he even ran in the primary considering the landscape of the new district. 

It’s been interesting to me to read the post-Election Day fall out regarding this race. The Post-Gazette even said last week that that no Democrat could have won. The Trib has been fairly quiet.  Twitter has been buzzing about how much money the Republicans spent trying to win it.

Congressman Altmire lost Allegheny County by fewer than 500 votes in 2010 to Keith Rothfus.  Mark Critz lost by 15,000 in Allegheny County.  Altmire won Beaver County by 9,000 votes in 2010. Mark Critz won by 1,000 in Beaver County.  Right there, Altmire is 23,500 votes ahead of Mark Critz’s performance last week.  
In 2008, Congressman Altmire won by 12% when Obama lost Altmire's congressional district by 11%.

In every plausible scenario involving Beaver and Allegheny counties, Altmire would have beaten Rothfus in 2012. In 2010 Altmire beat Rothfus when ever other Republican running in Altmire's congressional district won the district by double digits. Altmire ran ahead of every Democrat in the 2010 election cycle in his district, so to even insinuate that people don’t split their tickets is ludicrous. They did in 2006, 2008, and 2010 for Altmire, and there’s no reason to believe they wouldn’t have this year – especially considering that this wasn’t the Democratic wipe out year it was in 2010.

Money isn’t spent to help challengers who can’t beat their opponents.

In a year when Republicans picked up 70+ seats in the House, there’s a reason that outside money against Altmire was minimal – they couldn’t beat him. When Critz won the primary, the Republicans saw the pickup opportunity and targeted the seat knowing they could win. Don’t blame the outside money – blame the liberal Democrats and unions who supported Critz in the primary. 

I really hope that the liberal, activist Democrats in the party and these union folks who helped oust Altmire in April recognize what they’ve done. They played into the hands of the Pennsylvania Republican Party. In a 14 year stretch, we’ve elected a Democrat to Congress from northern Allegheny County three times– Jason Altmire’s six years in office. The awful Hart and Rothfus duo have never been beaten in a run for public office unless Altmire is on the ballot.
I have made this mistake before, I voted for Melissa Hart in 2000 because she appeared to be a moderate Republican. I was wrong, and I then had to deal with her until 2006 when Altmire came through and won this seat against all odds.  

I hope that Congressman-elect Rothfus represents our district with the level-headedness that Altmire did, but I’m extremely skeptical.

My Election Predictions vs. Results

I didn't fare so bad in who won each race (9 out of 10), but I'm no Nate Silver:

My Predictions for some select races:
President Obama wins with 290 Electoral Votes and also wins the Popular Vote
Obama wins Pennsylvania by 3-4%

Pennsylvania U.S. Senate
Senator Bob Casey wins by 6-7%

Attorney General
Kathleen Kane wins by 8-9%

Rob McCord wins by 9-10%

Auditor General
Eugene DePasquale wins by 1-2%

Congressional District 12
Keith Rothfus wins by 2-3% over Congressman Mark Critz (I really, really hope that I'm wrong about this one)
*The more I study the results of this race in Beaver County and Allegheny County, the more I am sure that Congressman Jason Altmire would have won vs. Rothfus.

Northern Pittsburgh state legislative races:

State Senate District 37
Raja wins by 5-6% over Matt Smith

State House District 30
Hal English wins by 6-7% over David Tusick

State House District 16
Rob Matzie wins by 5-6% over Kathy Coder
*Kathy Coder is President of Bellevue Council and she lost every voting district in Bellevue.

State House District 20
Adam Ravenstahl wins by 55% over James Barr

Monday, November 5, 2012


My Predictions for some select races:

President Obama wins with 290 Electoral Votes and also wins the Popular Vote
Obama wins Pennsylvania by 3-4%

Pennsylvania U.S. Senate
Senator Bob Casey wins by 6-7%

Attorney General
Kathleen Kane wins by 8-9%

Rob McCord wins by 9-10%

Auditor General
Eugene DePasquale wins by 1-2%

Congressional District 12
Keith Rothfus wins by 2-3% over Congressman Mark Critz (I really, really hope that I'm wrong about this one)

Northern Pittsburgh state legislative races:

State Senate District 37
Raja wins by 5-6% over Matt Smith

State House District 30
Hal English wins by 6-7% over David Tusick

State House District 16
Rob Matzie wins by 5-6% over Kathy Coder

State House District 20
Adam Ravenstahl wins by 55% over James Barr

Campaign Robocalls

Enjoy the Republican rhetoric!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Catholic Association Mail

Do you think Mother Teresa would approve of this message?

AFL-CIO Mail in support of Sen. Bob Casey

More Rothfus Mail

Some Rothfus mailings that hit mailboxes this past weekend:




Funny, Rothfus doesn't mention the millions that have been spent on his behalf by organizations that never have to tell you where their money comes from:

Anti-Matzie mail!

Kathy's Coder idea for not letting the Government spend 'your' money? Don't pay your taxes!

What the hell is Kathy Coder talking about? She has attacked State Rep. Rob Matzie for voting in favor of "Pennsylvania's version of Obamacare," yet there are no news sources to back that up. You mean to tell me that Pennsylvania tried to pass state run health care, and not a single paper covered it?
That is because the bill that Ms. Koder is citing was about expanding Adult Basic that covered the poorest Pennsylvanians so that our health insurance and hospital costs didn't go through the roof. Here is the fiscal note to House Bill 1 of 2009. Tell me where you see any number that even comes close to $60 billions dollars?
If Kathy Coder can have this little understanding of how legislation works, what will she be like as a State Representative? 

More malarkey from the Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania:


Positive Mail from State Rep. Rob Matzie

Positive piece from State Rep. Rob Matzie:

Anti-Critz Mail

Trying to get all the mail scans up on the blog before Election Day. Here are a bunch of Anti-Critz mail from various organizations:

Paid for by the Republican Young Guns organization:

From the Rothfus campaign. They are again using numbers against Critz from Jan 2009 to present, even though Critz has only been in office since June of 2010:

This if from the Rothfus campaign and it touts the ultra Conservative, and only support Republicans, Pro-Life Group that endorsed Rothfus. Here is a link to their cited source. The Pro-life voting percentage is based on votes against repealing Obamacare and not actual Pro-Life legislation:

Turzai Mail!

Not sure why Mike Turzai felt the need to send this mailer. He has no opponent in the General Election.

Is Keith Rothfus a Regular Guy?

A mesage from PA Working Families. Tea Party Republican, lawyer, Keith Rothfus, likes to say he is a regular guy who understands the problems of working people in Western PA. But many western Pennsylvania residents disagree.

Friday, November 2, 2012

AFL-CIO mail in support of Senator Bob Casey

Some positive mail for Senator Bob Casey that was sent out to AFL-CIO members.



AFL-CIO mail in support of Mark Critz

Some positive mail for Congressman Mark Critz that was sent out to AFL-CIO members.

Scott Wagner is an idiot

You have to be kidding me that Scott Wagner thinks he can tell everyone that he built his business and the Government had nothing to do with it.
He owns a company (Penn Waste) that makes money when local governments force their private citizens to pay his company directly for a service he provides.
His business might not be as successful if Mr. Wagner had to spend money marketing his product to individual citizens, but waste companies lobbied municipalities many years ago to force their residents to use a waste removal company chosen by the municipality (in most of Pennsylvania). So if it wasn't for the government forcing their residents to use Penn Waste, maybe Penn Waste wouldn't be as successful.
On Mr. Wagner's website he complains about how much his company has to pay in taxes when they purchase fuel for their trucks. What he fails to mention is what those taxes go towards. The residential roads that Penn Waste uses when they drive their overweight trucks around are paid for by liquid fuel taxes that get funneled to the 60+ municipalities that Penn Waste serves. So if Penn Waste didn't pay that fuel tax, Scott Wagner wouldn't have quality local roads to drive on and continue to build his business.
He doesn't seem to complain about how much the price of the trucks have gone up or if he started charging his customers more to cover the his increased costs. I guarantee that he has a fuel surcharge attached to his contracts with local governments that raises his prices (taxes) when prices go up.  
This is the crazy talk that just doesn't make sense to me from the Republican Party. They don't want to talk about anything past the surface issues. Republicans tell you about more freedom while they want to tell you how to live your life, who to love, and what to do in your bedroom.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The confusing tales of Kathy Coder

Here are some pictures that Mr. Byrne (you can follow his blog about the Pittsburgh Pirates here) took of the mailers. One sentence really sticks out to me as a statement that contradicts what Ms. Coder told the newspapers about her tax issue just a few days ago.

From a Beaver County Times article:

County court documents indicate that the lien has not been satisfied. Coder, a Conway native, said she and her husband, Ron, have “never missed a payment” and the balance now stands at about $20,000.

“I feel very strongly that I was on top of things and that I handled things well with my business, but when the IRS comes in and audits, it is what it is,” said Coder, who characterized the lien as “not a big deal.”

So Kathy Coder tells the voters that State Rep. Rob Matzie is lying to you! Her and her husband have paid all of their taxes! However, she told the newspaper that she still owes almost half of the back tax bill that comes from neglected to pay the correcty amount over 3 years. Also, she points out on the front of the mailing (it is tough to see) that she disclosed this information on her candidate financial report. Here is where she thinks the average voter is too stupid to understand how candidate financial reports work. You couldn't have paid off all of your unpaid, back taxes and also disclosed this on your candidate financial report. The only thing that gets reported on candidate financial reports are your debts.

While there are some semantics involved in these arguments, my real issue has to do with the fact that she owed $42,000 in unpaid, back taxes. She says it is only because of an audit that she owes these taxes. So if the audit wouldn't have caught her accounting 'errors' she would have found a way to avoid paying thousands of dollars in taxes. Are the voters ready to send someone to be in charge of a $27 billion dollar budget that couldn't even handle her own company's books?

Also, her quote that a $42,000 lien isn't 'a big deal' worries me about how she can relate with the average American worker.

Kathy Coder needs to come clean about what shady accounting practices she used at her company and also why she continues to talk out of both sides of her mouth about this issue.

Also how is it legal for Kathy Coder to take donations from a corporation?

More negative mail in PA House District 16

More negative mail from Kathy Coder against State Rep. Rob Matzie. How much money is being spent on this race?
If this candidate doesn't even know how to understand legislation like 'PA's version of Obamacare' how can we expect her to be an knowledgeable legislator? Expanding the Adultbasic program in Pennsylvania isn't Obamacare, but she probably doesn't even understand that. She obviously doesn't understand how medicare works if she thinks that a State Representative could vote to cut it.

Faith and Freedom Coalition Mailing

More mail from the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District. Keeps on pushing the lie that Congressman Mark Critz voted for Obamacare.

Mailing from the Americans for Tax Reform

More outside spending form the Americans for Tax Reform in Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District. Keith Rothfus has signed a pledge that Pennsylvania's biggest Republican already broke.

Keith Rothfus spreads more lies about Congressman Mark Critz

More attempts by the Republican Federal Committee of Pennsylvania and Keith Rothfus to distort Congressman Critz's so called 'liberal' record.
Notice they used the 95% number from May 2012. His actual score with Nancy Pelosi as of today? 74%. Did you know lots of legislation are passed with an overwhelming majority of both parties? Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner vote together 23% of the time? So 23% of that 74% of the votes that Critz has voted with the Democrats he has also voted with the Republican Speaker of the House.
Notice they try to tie Obama and Critz together, even though Congressman Critz has only been in office sine June of 2010 and Obama has been in office since Januaray 2009. I'm sure unemployment is down since Critz took office and I'm sure the debt hasn't increased by $55,000 since June 2010.

More mail in PA State House District 16

Some great Kathy Coder negative mail that was sent out recently. Since she is distorting Rep. Rob Matzie's record, I see nothing wrong with going after tax issues like this. I believe many personal issues should be left our of politics, but paying your taxes and arrest records aren't personal in my opinion.

More negative mail from Kathy Coder

Kathy Coder continues her attack of State Rep. Rob Matzie. In this mailer she claims that Rep. Rob Matzie raised 'your' taxes by $1 billion. Ms. Coder and the PA GOP point to budget votes that Rep. Matzie made. I know the personal income tax level hasn't been increased since 2003, so what taxes if Ms. Coder referring too? If it is all about corporate taxes, I wonder what other revenue that the GOP and Ms. Coder would have had to raise to offset those businesses taxes? I believe she is referring to a vote against a cut in the corporate tax rate, and not a vote to 'raise' taxes, but I'm not positive.
To claim that a Democrat that spoke out against the cuts to education in Mr. Corbett's budgets proposals didn't vote to 'restore' education funding is just ridiculous. If people believe these twists and turns they haven't paid any attention to the way Governor Corbett and Ms. Coder's Republican friends have been governing Pennsylvania over the last 2 years.
Also, I believe that picture that is used in this mailer is from PCN and should not be used for political purposes. I have spoken about PCN's rule before. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Rothfus continues to misrepresent Critz not voting in favor of Obamacare

Amazing how Rothfus continues to rail against Congressman Critz for Obamacare, even though Congressman Critz didn't vote for Obamacare. Just because Congressman Critz didn't participate in the political game by the House Republicans of voting to repeal he now has to put up with this crap from Rothfus.
What is the Rothfus plan for health care? Does Rothfus have any ideas outside of his Tea Party talking points?