Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Armond James for Congress Commercial


Two months before Rep. Chaka Fattah's bid for an 11th term in Congress, a longtime aide and friend admitted conspiring to misuse federal, charitable, and campaign funds to repay loans for Fattah's losing mayoral campaign and his son's college tuition. Accused in the plea of initiating the schemes, Fattah took days to defend himself and longer to produce more than a terse, generic denial. Even now, rather than address the details of the allegations, the Philadelphia Democrat prefers to draw attention to his achievements in Congress, the excesses of federal authorities, and the presumption of innocence.
Fattah is certainly entitled to be considered not guilty until proven otherwise. Innocence of criminal wrongdoing, however, is not tantamount to fitness for office.
The lack of formal charges against Fattah - the recent plea doesn't even identify him by name - puts voters in an awkward position, though. They must choose between an accomplished congressman under the shadow of an investigation and his promising but novice Republican opponent, Philadelphia schoolteacher Armond James.
Fattah, 57, has won 10 terms and been repeatedly endorsed by The Inquirer, and not just because his Second District, spanning parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery County, is inhospitable to Republicans. The ranking Democrat on a House Appropriations subcommittee, Fattah has been an effective advocate for neuroscience funding, access to education, mortgage assistance, and green energy.
Many of Fattah's achievements, for example in facilitating higher education, have been enabled by his influence over appropriations and his willingness to direct money to a network of nonprofits. But the same groups have come under scrutiny for generous salaries and other dubious expenses, up to and including some of the misappropriations admitted by his former aide.
Newcomer James, 33, who has made a point of spending time in some of the district's rougher neighborhoods, advocates more support for vocational alternatives to college as well as corporate tax reform to improve employment. If elected, he would have a long way to go to match Fattah's record of service. Given the serious allegations against the congressman, however, and his unpersuasive response to those charges, ARMOND JAMES is more deserving of voters' support.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Public Record: Singer Boxed In By Ethics Code?

Singer Boxed In By Ethics Code?

by Joe Shaheeli

The Committee of Seventy states Democratic City Commissioner Stephanie Singer, a former Chair of the Commissioners, whose office has been plagued by ethical issues, including having her Deputy Tracey Gordon’s computer confiscated at the request of the City’s Ethics Board, stated, “Singer has already declared her intention to seek reelection in 2015.”
This could pose a problem for her because the Pennsylvania Code states that she cannot perform official duties and must be replaced by a Judge, which would mean that she cannot preside over the Sunshine meetings or participate in the official vote canvass following the election.
Section 301(c) of the Code states: “(c) Whenever a member of the board of county commissioners is a candidate for nomination or election to any public office, the President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas shall appoint a judge or an elector of the county to serve in his stead.”
The Committee believes the City’s Board of Ethics further states a candidate is defined as “An individual who i) files nomination petitions or papers for public elective office, or ii) publicly announces his or her candidacy for public elective office.” It believes Commissioner Singer should recuse herself from any official conduct as the City Commissioner including overseeing the vote canvass and presiding over the weekly Sunshine meetings.
Now you know why we look at Board of Ethics as a tangled web created by pols who don’t understand how this growing indictment of commonsense politics remains unchecked.

Public Record: City GOP Urges ‘No’ On Questions

Public Record: City GOP Urges ‘No’ On Questions  
by Joe Shaheeli 

The Philadelphia Republican City Committee voted to recommend a “No” vote on the three proposed ballot questions for the 2014 General Election on Nov. 4.  “The proposed ballot questions represent the usual poorly thought-out expansion of City Hall’s bureaucracy,” stated RCC Exec. Dir. Joe DeFelice. “More bureaucrats and less transparency seem to be the recurring theme of these ballot questions.  “The first ballot question is about making permanent the Office of Sustainability while also making permanent another high-level director. The Republican Party supports government looking to be more sustainable, efficient to use less resources and energy, but that should be a goal that every department should be working towards, not another paper-shuffling department,” he insisted.

Read More Here

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

NE Times: Philly GOP Stresses NO Vote on Ballot Questions

The Phil­adelphia Re­pub­lic­an City Com­mit­tee is re­com­mend­ing “No” votes on the three ques­tions on the Nov. 4 bal­lot.
“The pro­posed bal­lot ques­tions rep­res­ent the usu­al poorly thought-out ex­pan­sion of City Hall’s bur­eau­cracy,” said ex­ec­ut­ive dir­ect­or Joe De­Fe­lice. “More bur­eau­crats and less trans­par­ency seem to be the re­cur­ring theme of these bal­lot ques­tions.”
The first ques­tion is about mak­ing per­man­ent the Of­fice of Sus­tain­ab­il­ity while also mak­ing per­man­ent an­oth­er high-level dir­ect­or.
The second ques­tion would cre­ate a new De­part­ment of Pris­ons and Board of Trust­ees, with the head of the de­part­ment mak­ing $150,000 a year min­im­um.
The third ques­tion asks voters to al­low the city to bor­row more than $137 mil­lion for cap­it­al im­prove­ments.
“No money for schools, taxes go up and they still want to in­crease debt and hire more people. Phil­adelphia needs to vote ‘No’ across the board this Novem­ber,” De­Fe­lice said.

NE Times: PA and Philly GOP Discuss Impact Fee

City and state Re­pub­lic­ans gathered last week out­side Re­pub­lic­an City Com­mit­tee headquar­ters at 3525 Cottman Ave. in May­fair to ex­press sup­port for Act 13, which cre­ated an im­pact fee for nat­ur­al gas drillers.
Many Demo­crats want to re­place the im­pact fee with a sev­er­ance tax.
Calv­in Tuck­er, a state com­mit­tee­man and Re­pub­lic­an lead­er of the 22nd Ward, said the fee has helped pre­serve 1,000 jobs at the Aker Shipyard.
Den­ise Furey, a state com­mit­tee­wo­man and Re­pub­lic­an lead­er of the 46th Ward, said its is “deeply con­cern­ing” that Tom Wolf, the Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate for gov­ernor, wants to use the sev­er­ance tax for $4 bil­lion in spend­ing.
Ar­mond James, who is chal­len­ging Demo­crat­ic U.S. Rep. Chaka Fat­tah, said the im­pact fee helps cre­ate jobs, and he doesn’t want to see pro­ceeds from a sev­er­ance tax put in­to the gen­er­al fund.
Also in at­tend­ance was Mike Tom­lin­son, Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate in the 173rd Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict.

NE Times: Democrat Dirty Tricks

Letter about campaign sign appears to be phony


In a let­ter to the ed­it­or in last week’s Times, a wo­man named “Jenn Mi­chael­son” claimed that a cam­paign sign for Dee Ad­cock, the Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate in the 13th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict, fell onto Wood­haven Road and caused a four-inch-long scratch on her car.

The wo­man claimed she didn’t know the can­did­ate’s first name, and didn’t know whom she’d vote for, but def­in­itely wouldn’t vote for Ad­cock, who is fa­cing Demo­crat­ic state Rep. Brendan Boyle. She sug­ges­ted it’s dan­ger­ous for Ad­cock to have vo­lun­teers pla­cing signs on such a busy road.
In the let­ter, she chal­lenged the Ad­cock cam­paign to ob­tain her email ad­dress and phone num­ber from the Times to pay for the dam­age to her car.
The Ad­cock cam­paign asked the Times for that in­form­a­tion. When Ry­an Ca­pone called the num­ber - 215-275-8350 - she said a wo­man answered the phone, “Boyle for Con­gress.”
When Ca­pone asked for Jenn Mi­chael­son, the wo­man said, “Hold on a second,” then hung up.
The Ad­cock cam­paign re­lated the in­form­a­tion to the Times. The pa­per called the num­ber three times, and each time there was a re­cor­ded Boyle for Con­gress mes­sage. By Sat­urday, the phone rang un­answered. By Sunday, the num­ber was “not reach­able.”
Mean­while, Ad­cock and four cam­paign staffers paid a vis­it to Boyle’s of­fice on Bustleton Av­en­ue in Somer­ton. They asked a man if Jenn Mi­chael­son was in the of­fice. A video­tape of the en­counter ap­pears to show the man say, “I think she’s left for the day.”
Later, two Ad­cock aides vis­ited a Demo­crat­ic cam­paign of­fice in Jen­k­in­town. They re­por­ted that three work­ers in that of­fice said that Jenn Mi­chael­son works in Boyle’s Phil­adelphia of­fice.

NE Times: Letter to the Editor from 53rd Ward Leader Gary Grisafi

The choice is clear
I urge you to know the facts. Don’t let Tom Wolf pull the wool over your eyes. Eighty per­cent of the people I have spoken to do not know the facts, they have been hear­ing the lies over and over and those lies be­come the truth.
Tom Corbett in­creased fund­ing for ba­sic edu­ca­tion by $1.5 bil­lion since 2011 — a his­tor­ic level. Ed Rendell used fed­er­al stim­u­lus money for schools and was warned not to count on that money for fu­ture budgets. That warn­ing was ig­nored. The Philly schools in­cluded it in their budgets any­way and when it was no longer there they blamed Corbett for cut­ting money to our schools. Rendell gave $8,586,962 of state funds in 2010/2011 and ad­ded $1,042,562 one-time fed­er­al stim­u­lus money, so when Corbett gave more ($9,083,300) of state funds and was giv­en $0 from the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment, it looked like Corbett gave less. Wolf and his friends who donated $1.13 mil­lion to his cam­paign have con­tin­ued to lie about this.
Tom Corbett elim­in­ated more than $1 bil­lion in taxes and re­duced gov­ern­ment spend­ing for the first time in 40 years. Wolf plans on in­creas­ing the in­come tax on hard-work­ing middle-class fam­il­ies, while he pays a tax rate 56 per­cent less than the av­er­age Pennsylvani­an.
Frack­ing com­pan­ies pay 12 per­cent taxes over­all, which is high­er than all oth­er nat­ur­al gas-drilling states. They already pay more taxes than even Texas, so adding an ex­trac­tion tax will hurt all Pennsylvani­ans. Tax rev­en­ue from Pennsylvania’s 9.9-per­cent cor­por­a­tion tax is col­lec­ted to make up for the ex­trac­tion tax. Wolf says he will over-tax these com­pan­ies any­way. Bot­tom line: Taxes kill jobs. 
Tom Corbett cre­ated over 184,000 private sec­tor jobs since 2011. Wolf laid off 15 per­cent of his em­ploy­ees in 2011. He also moved his com­pany to Mary­land.
Tom Corbett un­der­stands that pen­sion re­form means prop­erty tax re­lief for Pennsylvania homeown­ers. Wolf denies the ex­ist­ence of a pen­sion crisis.
I am a small busi­ness own­er and cur­rently have my own mu­sic school. I am very con­cerned that if Tom Wolf wins this elec­tion, my taxes will skyrock­et and I will be forced to close my busi­ness. This will un­for­tu­nately res­ult in a lay­off for the mu­sic teach­ers, and the stu­dents will suf­fer be­cause they will be forced to give up mu­sic les­sons. The “Wolf taxes” will hurt us all.
Gary Grisafi
Re­pub­lic­an Lead­er, 53rd Ward

NE Times: Republican candidates visit Normandy Civic

Republican candidates visit Normandy Civic

Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ates Dee Ad­cock and Mike Tom­lin­son earli­er this month asked mem­bers of the Nor­mandy Civic As­so­ci­ation for their sup­port in the up­com­ing gen­er­al elec­tion.
“Every can­did­ate should do what I’ve done,” said Tom­lin­son, who is run­ning against Demo­crat Mike Driscoll for the 173rd Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict seat. He’s gone out and met dis­trict res­id­ents. 
“I’ve knocked on al­most 20,000 doors,” he said. What people are telling him, he said dur­ing the as­so­ci­ation’s Oct. 8 meet­ing, is that they are afraid, in des­pair and want to move out of the city. They’re es­pe­cially con­cerned about edu­ca­tion, he ad­ded, and with good reas­on. Eighty of Pennsylvania’s worst schools are in Phil­adelphia, he said, and the qual­ity of the edu­ca­tion is poor. 
The school dis­trict is simply mis­man­aged, he said, and Phil­adelphi­ans who smoke must now pay an ex­tra $2 a pack that goes to the city’s schools. If you smoke, he said, you are the one who has to pay for the school dis­trict’s mis­man­age­ment. We don’t need new taxes, he said, we should man­age what we’ve got.
Ad­cock is run­ning against Demo­crat Brendan Boyle for the 13th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict seat. This is his second run at the post. Four years ago, he was de­feated by Allyson Schwartz, who is leav­ing Con­gress after mak­ing a failed bid for the Demo­crat­ic gubernat­ori­al nom­in­a­tion.
If elec­ted, Ad­cock said, he will donate his con­gres­sion­al salary to his dis­trict. 
The can­did­ate, who runs a sub­urb­an pool com­pany, said he is a small busi­ness­man who doesn’t care much for big busi­ness and big banks. He feels the same about people who spend their lives only in gov­ern­ment.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Day of Truth About the Impact Fee #dayoftruth

Philadelphia Republican Party
Contact:          Joe DeFelice, Executive Director
Phone:             215-756-4158 (mobile)

Day of Truth
About the Impact Fee

Philadelphia, PA October 17, 2014:  Yesterday, Philadelphia Party Leaders joined Elected Officials and Party Leaders throughout the Commonwealth in a “Day of Truth” about the importance of the Impact Fee and, more specifically Act 13.  State Committeeperson and 22nd Ward Leader Calvin R. Tucker stated, “Vital to any discussion about our economic future is the enactment of Act 13, which made major overhaul in Pennsylvania’s oil and gas laws.  In fact this enactment of Act 13 created a significant revenue driver in Pennsylvania’s economy, which is known as the Impact Fee.  As of 2013, the Impact Fee has brought in $630 million to Pennsylvania including $224 million in 2013.”  He further stated, “Look to the Aker Shipyard…because of Governor Corbett, more than 1,000 people have been rehired to fulfill shipbuilding contracts with various energy companies. Unfortunately, Tom Wolf wants to do away with the Impact Fee and grow government in Harrisburg.  Pennsylvania just cannot afford Tom Wolf.”

            Next up, Denise Furey, State Committeewoman and Leader of the 46th Ward, whom has spent roughly thirty years in the energy business, stated “When I hear Tom Wolf speak, I am deeply concerned that he’s letting his liberal ideology get in the way of practical solutions.  The Impact Fee is working in our communities as well as all across Pennsylvania; that Tom Wolf would want to do away with a successful program in order to fund more than $4 billion in new spending is deeply concerning.”

            Tucker and Furey were joined by State Rep Candidate Mike Tomlinson and Congressional Candidate Armond James.  James stated that “This topic is very important in our District and in our State as a whole.  The types of jobs created by this new industry will help shape our future and we shouldn’t take the dollars generated by the Impact fee and lose them within the General Fund.”

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Vote NO on the Ballot Questions

Philadelphia Republican Party

Contact:          Joe DeFelice, Executive Director
Phone:             215-756-4158 (mobile)

Vote “NO” on Ballot Questions

Philadelphia, PA October 15, 2014:  Last evening, the Philadelphia Republican City Committee voted to recommend a “No” vote on the three proposed ballot questions for the 2014 General Election on November 4th.

“The proposed ballot questions represent the usual poorly thought out expansion of City Hall’s bureaucracy,” stated Executive Director Joe DeFelice. “More bureaucrats and less transparency seem to be the recurring theme of these ballot questions.”

The first Ballot Question is about making permanent the Office of Sustainability while also making permanent another high level Director. The Republican Party supports government looking to be more sustainable, efficient to use less resources and energy, but that should be a goal that every department should be working towards, not another paper shuffling department.

The second Ballot Question would create a new Department of Prisons and Board of Trustees with the head of the Department making $150,000 minimum.  The Mayor and City Council has done nothing to inform the tax payers of Philadelphia why they need to create a new department with higher paying politically appointed positions.

The third and final Ballot Question is asking voters to allow the City to borrow over $137 million dollars for capital improvements. RCC has two of the same complaints as previous loan requests. First, the Mayor and City Council are not informing the tax payers of what specific projects the borrowing is for, only the categories. Second, the legislation allows City Council to move money to different categories if they desire instead of using the unnecessary money to pay back the loan. In essence, they are asking the tax payers to give them approval to borrow $137 million to do whatever they want. Frankly, we don’t trust their judgment and believe the voters should know specifically what they are being asked to approve.

“No money for schools, taxes go up and they still want to increase debt and hire more people. Philadelphia needs to vote ‘No’ across the board this November,” adds DeFelice.