Category Archives: Pennsylvania

Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) is Retiring But GOP Needs Quality Candidates by Gregory Hilton

Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) is announcing his retirement today, which means the awful Russ Feingold could come back to inflict more damage on our national security. Continue reading

Reapportionment: Mapping The New Congressional Districts by Gregory Hilton

New York has lost two seats and it is likely there will be some combination of the districts of Democratic Reps. Joseph Crowley, Carolyn Maloney and Gary Ackerman. The last time New York had 27 House seats was in the early 1820s, when the chamber had 181 seats. The two upstate districts with the heaviest population losses are in the western part of the state and are represented by Democratic Reps. Brian Higgins and Louise Slaughter. With a Democratic Governor and state Assembly and a GOP Senate, expect each party to lose a district.

Yesterday’s release of the Census Bureau data allows the 2012 Congressional reapportionment process to begin. Drawing the new maps will be the subject of considerable speculation for the next six months. The GOP will gain at least six seats, and they are practically assured of pickups in Texas, Georgia, South Carolina and Utah. Also, several vulnerable Republicans will see favorable territory added to their districts.
The liberal Huffingtom Post does not agree with this assessment. Their current headline article is “Reapportionment Not Necessarily Good News for Republicans” by Robert Creamer. He is the same author who wrote their analysis explaining why Democrats would keep control of the House. Continue reading

When America Finally Turned Against Slavery – The Wilmot Proviso by Gregory Hilton

The February 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican War. The United States acquired tremendous new territory and at the end of the year war hero Zachary Taylor would be elected as America's last Whig President.

“Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” – Victor Hugo.

Passage of the Wilmot Proviso in the House of Representatives was truly a great moment in America history. It is one of the few Congressional debates which completely changed the political landscape. All of the old issues (the tariff, a national bank and internal improvements) were placed on the back burner. House voting patterns and party loyalties radically changed, and slavery now dominated the Congressional agenda. Continue reading

The John Murtha Seat: Pennsylvania Special Election Appears to be Close by Gregory Hilton

PHOTO: Senator Scott Brown (R-MA), left, is shown in Pennsylvania on Friday with congressional candidate Tim Burns.

The May 18th special election to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Rep. John Murtha (D) appears to be headed for a photo finish. The poll results are conflicting and they are all within the margin of error. Furthermore, polling in special elections is often unreliable.
Rep. Murtha was Chairman of the powerful Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and was the campaign manager of Nancy Pelosi’s bid to become House Speaker. The late Congressman was retired Marine Corps colonel when he was first elected to the House in 1973 after serving in Vietnam. Continue reading

Public Opinion Shift Demonstrated in Pennsylvania Senate Race by Gregory Hilton

Angry crowd jeers Specter By Luis Fabregas, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Friday, August 14, 2009”

A major change is happening throughout the nation. As the article above notes, “About 1,500 people waited for hours under the beating sun for the town hall meeting on health care reform. The 200 or so allowed into the hall greeted the Republican-turned-Democrat with rounds of thundering jeers reminiscent of a Jerry Springer show. Some stood up and applauded, and so began a 90-minute showdown marked by passionate pleas for action, interruptions from angry hecklers and incessant chants that drowned out Specter’s call for civility. ‘Read the bill!’ the crowd roared. ‘We will be taxed!’
Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) is now trailing his GOP opponent by 12 points after having a huge lead a few months ago. The electorate is energized and the center is moving to the right. Unlike many of his colleagues, Senator Specter does deserve credit for showing up at town hall meetings during the August recess.
Specter has always had difficult re-election battles and he is a diligent campaigner. This powerful message goes way beyond the Specter campaign. The grassroots left was energized last year, and now the grassroots right has awakened. They may go back to sleep after cap and trade and the health care public option bite the dust. I am surprised this has happened so early in the Obama administration.
I hope Specter wins his primary. He switched parties but he is continuing his opposition to the union card check legislation. His primary opponent, Rep. Joseph Sestak (D-PA) is a retired Admiral. Obama is keeping the Pentagon budget constant without any increases. Sestak wants to make significant cuts in DoD spending and because he was a flag officer he will receive prominent attention from the news media.
The feedback for the town hall meetings demonstration that people are concerned about a deficit which has increased ten times from two years ago. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says they are “un-American,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid calls them “evil mongers,” and Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA) says they are similar to the Nazi’s. One reason these lawmakers are angry is because independent voters are now siding 2-1 with opponents of the public option, the stimulus and cap and trade.

The Rust Belt Deathfest by Gregory Hilton

‘Fastest Dying Cities’ Meet for a Lively Talk by Douglas Belkin, Wall Street Journal

Last year, used long-term trends of unemployment, population loss and economic output to devise a list of “America’s Fastest Dying Cities.” The cities include Cleveland, Dayton, Canton and Youngstown, Ohio; Detroit and Flint, MI; Buffalo, Scranton, Springfield, MA and Charleston, WV. They all realize manufacturing is not going to come back to save them.
These cities have natural resources, hardworking people, underutilized infrastructure, and land for expansion, but you can see the decline everywhere and the housing markets and crime are awful. What they also have in common is rejecting the obvious path to a turnaround. All of them are over-taxed and over-regulated with a one party political system which has led to heavy patronage and incompetence in local government. They all have several common denominators. Among them bad local political choices, lack of regional cooperation, and no vision to diversify 20-30 years ago. They are also controlled by unions which promoted policies destroying manufacturing jobs. Decades of anti-business policies have resulted in a migration of good jobs.
The companies that stayed in these cities saw their market share evaporate, as their ability to fend off foreign or non-union competitors waned. Union workforces became increasingly less productive as measured against hourly throughput. Now the laws of economics are holding true. Union leaders horribly failed their membership by not emphasizing productivity.
The leaders of these dying cities are meeting now but their problems have been around for a long time. For example, Detroit never recovered from its 1967 riots. I hope they will look at themselves to come up with an answer but I am skeptical.
This letter was published in Forbes: “I’ve lived in Flint, MI my entire life and I just recently began working at a GM factory. With the exception of a few people my co-workers are the laziest and most negative people I’ve ever seen. From what I’ve heard from the GM workers all my life and what I’ve recently seen first hand, the workers themselves have played NO SMALL PART in what’s happened to the automotive industry here.”
These observations were supported in a letter I received from Norina Mooney of California’s Silicon Valley; “As a member of the SEIU labor union I agree with you. Most union workers are lazy. They are complacent in their jobs but they know they will never be fired. I work for a government agency and I am the exception to the rule. Most workers do not go out of their way to do anything. I makes me so irritated but I guess I was placed there for a reason.”