Monday, October 16, 2006

U.S. House Financial Reports

CANDIDATE NAMEDISTRaisedSpentCash on HandDate of Last Report
BRADY, ROBERT A1$558,180 $466,461 $837,631 9/30/2006
GERLACH, JIM6$2,865,469 $1,813,873 $1,201,495 9/30/2006
MURPHY, LOIS6$2,766,891 $1,930,417 $873,074 9/30/2006
FITZPATRICK, MICHAEL G8$2,480,867 $2,260,539 $446,038 9/30/2006
MURPHY, PATRICK J8$1,614,968 $982,949 $632.019 9/30/2006
WELDON, CURTIS W.7$2,306,687 $1,485,960 $1,129,268 9/30/2006
Sestak, Joe7$2,312,779 $750,907 $1,561,872 9/30.2006
CARNEY, CHRISTOPHER10$868,442 $585,726 $271,907 9/30/2006
SHERWOOD, DONALD L.10$1,489,376 $1,257,196 $436,093 9/30/2006
IREY, DIANA12$563,689 $406,396 $157,292 9/30/2006
MURTHA, JOHN P MR.12$2,566,294 $2,189,737 $1,210,178 9/30/2006
BHAKTA, RAJ PETER13$400,259 $352,470 $47,789 9/30/2006
SCHWARTZ, ALLYSON13$2,466,286 $1,766,174 $724,644 9/30/2006

Los Angeles Times 2004 Article on Weldon

Copyright 2004 Los Angeles Times
All Rights Reserved
Los Angeles Times

February 20, 2004 Friday

Lucrative Deals for a Daughter of Politics;
Karen Weldon, whose dad is a Pennsylvania congressman, is a lobbyist for three foreign clients who need his help, and get it.

BYLINE: Ken Silverstein, Chuck Neubauer and Richard T. Cooper, Times Staff Writers



Karen Weldon, an inexperienced 29-year-old lobbyist from suburban Philadelphia, seemed an unlikely choice for clients seeking global public relations services.
Yet her tiny firm was selected last year for a plum $240,000 contract to promote the good works of a wealthy Serbian family that had been linked to accused war criminal Slobodan Milosevic.
Despite a lack of professional credentials, she had one notable asset -- her father, U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.), who is a leading voice in Washington on former Eastern Bloc affairs.
She got the contract after he championed the efforts of two family members, Dragomir and Bogoljub Karic, to win U.S. visas from the State Department, which so far has refused them entry.
Intelligence officials warned Weldon that the brothers were too close to Milosevic, who is accused of leading the "ethnic cleansing" in the former Yugoslav federation.
But the congressman has praised the Karics, who own a vast empire of banking, telecommunication and other firms, as model business leaders and humanitarians. He has portrayed them as victims of faulty intelligence reports and, last month, asked the CIA to sit down with them and sort things out. He has repeatedly pressed the State Department to give them visas.
Karen Weldon said her father "developed a rapport" with the Karics and introduced her to them. But her firm, Solutions North America Inc., won the consulting contract on its merits, she said. Her father declined to answer questions for this article.
The congressman also has gone to bat for at least two of Solutions' other clients, both struggling Russian companies.
Together, the three contracts are worth almost $1 million a year to her firm for services that have included joining her father on congressional trips and in meetings with clients.
The Weldons are the latest example of special interests hiring relatives of important members of Congress as lobbyists and consultants. Over the last year, The Times has identified 11 other House members and 17 senators with relatives who lobby or consult, many of them for clients the members have helped through legislative or other action.
Congressional ethics rules provide few barriers to the practice. They do not forbid members of Congress from helping companies or others who are paying their relatives.
But Weldon has brought his daughter so deeply into his official activities that they sometimes appear to be working in tandem.
For example:
* After a Russian aerospace manufacturer hired Karen Weldon's firm for $20,000 a month plus 10% of any new business it generated, Rep. Weldon pitched the company's saucer-shaped drone to the U.S. Navy, which signed a letter of intent to invest in the technology. And Weldon, who chairs a subcommittee that oversees $60 billion in military acquisitions, has been working to get funding for the project, Navy officials say. A lawyer for Solutions said the firm did not collect the finder's fee and it was later removed from the contract. Federal law bars companies from paying commissions to lobbyists on government contracts.
* The congressman helped round up 30 congressional colleagues for a dinner at the Library of Congress to honor the chairman of a Russian natural gas company, Itera International Energy Corp., that had just agreed to pay his daughter's firm $500,000 a year to "create good public relations." Records show Solutions North America helped arrange the privately funded affair for the company, which has been trying to improve its image with U.S. officials after questions were raised about its acquisition of vast natural gas fields in post-Soviet Russia.
* Karen Weldon's firm paid for her father's chief of staff to take a "fact-finding" trip to Serbia, where he met with U.S. Embassy officials about the Karics' visa problems. The congressman approved the arrangement, travel records show. House ethics rules bar members or staff from taking official trips paid for by lobbyists or registered agents of foreign companies. The chief of staff, Michael J. Conallen Jr., said he reimbursed Solutions with his own money last week after The Times raised questions about the trip.
Conallen said the congressman's actions on behalf of Karen Weldon's clients posed no ethical concerns.
"I just don't think there's anything strange about it," he said. "If Curt wanted to he could snap his fingers and divert a lot of business to Karen, and that hasn't happened."
Karen Weldon has a partner in Solutions, Charles P. Sexton Jr., 67, the former finance chairman of Rep. Weldon's campaigns. Neither has lobbied Weldon nor asked for his help, Conallen said.
"The fact that they have contracts with these clients hasn't influenced anything Curt has done," he said.
The congressman was advocating for the Karics and other Eastern European business interests long before his daughter opened her firm, Conallen said.
In a written statement Thursday, Conallen added, "The congressman is generally aware of his daughter's company and the work she does for several of her clients. But the congressman has not discussed the specifics of Solutions North America's agreements with their clients or the nature of their representation."
Karen Weldon declined to say whether she discussed her clients with her father. But she said her firm's success was not due to his position in Congress.
"Because of who he is, people have questioned me all my life about whether I'm qualified and if I can do the job," she said. "I have nothing to hide. I haven't done anything inappropriate."

Going Into Business
Rep. Weldon, a former school teacher, was first elected to Congress in 1986 from the Republican suburbs southwest of Philadelphia. Over nine terms, he has moved up in seniority on the House Armed Services Committee. He is vice chairman -- the second-ranking Republican -- and chairman of its tactical air and land forces subcommittee.
Weldon, a Russian studies major in college, also is a noted advocate of closer relationships with the former Soviet Union. He has made more than 30 trips to Russia as a member of Congress. He is the founder and chairman of the Congressional U.S.-Former Soviet Union Energy Caucus and founder and co-chairman of the official interparliamentary exchange between the U.S. and Russia.
Today, Conallen said, "There is nobody in Congress more knowledgeable about Russia than Curt Weldon." That judgment is shared by many of Weldon's House colleagues.
Until she launched Solutions, Karen Weldon had been following a different career path. She had an undergraduate degree in education and a graduate degree in information systems.
She spent six years, she said, working on "learning and training programs" for Boeing Co., which has a helicopter plant at the edge of Rep. Weldon's district. Conallen said Weldon did not help his daughter get the job at Boeing, which is a frequent beneficiary of his work in Washington and one of his top campaign donors.
When she and Sexton opened their business in September 2002, Solutions' office consisted of a cubicle in a suburban Philadelphia office suite that provided a common receptionist and conference room for all 120 of its tenants. A few months later, Solutions opened a similar office in downtown Washington.
Karen Weldon said Sexton "makes a lot of the business connections" for their firm. Her partner is a political power broker in Weldon's district and the former owner of a security guard company, which he recently sold for $6 million.
She described her role as "legwork and project management," including graphics and Web development.
She said she doesn't work on legislation and called Solutions "more of a business consultancy than a lobbying firm," though she and Sexton have registered with the Justice Department as foreign agents for their three clients. Lobbyists representing overseas clients must file disclosure reports with the department's Foreign Agents Registration Unit.
She would not say who else she and Sexton represented beyond the three clients reported in Solutions' disclosure forms.
Karen Weldon said the idea for Solutions originated with Sexton. He was already talking to Itera, the Russian energy company, she said. Sexton declined an interview request from The Times.
She said they became 50-50 partners, and Itera became Solutions' first client. It paid $170,000 of its annual fee up front -- a timely infusion of cash for a start-up firm, especially one that had little experience or presence in Washington.

Russian Relations
Itera needed friends in Washington.
Questions had been raised by Russian energy and investment companies about how Itera had gained title to billions of dollars worth of natural gas resources from a state-controlled conglomerate called Gazprom.
William Browder of Hermitage Capital Management, a large Russian investment fund with a stake in Gazprom, said the conglomerate transferred the assets for little or nothing.
Itera officials declined to be interviewed.
The controversy has been a cloud over Itera's efforts to gain access to Western investment capital and markets. The U.S. Trade and Development Agency withdrew an $868,000 grant to the company in March 2002 after questions were raised about Itera's background, said Leocadia Zak, an agency lawyer. It was a setback to the image of the company, which is seeking to expand its natural gas, timber and real estate holdings in the United States.
Two months later, Rep. Weldon led a congressional delegation to Moscow in connection with a visit by President Bush. Weldon toured Itera's offices and, according to a company news release, praised it as a "strong and well-established company," and recommended it as "a great source" for U.S. energy firms seeking partners for joint ventures.
When he returned home, Weldon blasted the Trade and Development Agency's decision at a news conference and made calls to the State Department on the company's behalf, though to no avail.
On Sept. 5 and 6, 2002, Itera paid for Weldon's lodging in New York so he could do an interview with Russian radio about energy, Conallen said.
A week later, Itera sent e-mails to Karen Weldon telling her the company would complete the terms of a contract with her firm at an upcoming dinner in Washington that her father was co-hosting to honor Itera's chairman.
The dinner took place Sept. 24 at the Library of Congress. That day, Rep. Weldon had introduced a resolution in the House that encouraged U.S.-Russian cooperation on developing energy resources. Two days later, in a floor speech, he gave House colleagues a glowing report on Itera.
On Sept. 30, Itera signed the $500,000-a-year contract with Solutions, which agreed to work on creating "good public relations so in the future Itera may sell goods and services to U.S. entities," according to foreign agent disclosure filings. They show the Library of Congress dinner as one of the firm's first efforts on Itera's behalf.
When Rep. Weldon led a congressional delegation to Eastern Europe two months later, Itera paid for Karen Weldon to join him. Father and daughter met with the president of Georgia, and the congressman helped Itera resolve a costly commercial dispute with the government. During a stop in Moscow, Rep. Weldon called for increased U.S. imports from Itera and other Russian energy corporations.
By January 2003, Itera had enough confidence in its prospects here to open an expanded U.S. headquarters in Jacksonville, Fla. The company flew the congressman down for the gala marking the event, according to his travel records.
"I can think of no other company that represents what Russia is today and offers for the future," the congressman said, according to a local news report.
'Flying Saucer'
Kaen Weldon said she found her second client, a Russian aerospace company, through a family friend.
The friend was Philadelphia lawyer John J. Gallagher, who has worked with her father to foster U.S.-Russian business ties.
Gallagher said he introduced Solutions to Saratov Aviation Plant in December 2002, because the company needed help promoting its products in the United States. One of its most promising creations was a drone that could deliver supplies to war zones, a device the company sometimes called its "flying saucer."
Karen Weldon, or her partner Sexton, in turn sparked Rep. Weldon's interest in the company's technology, according to chief of staff Conallen.
A Saratov official recalled hearing from Rep. Weldon "quite unexpectedly" in early January 2003. The congressman expressed "an acute interest" in the unmanned vehicle, said company director Alexander Ermishin.
Weldon visited Saratov's plant later that month, accompanied by his daughter, who by then was negotiating a deal to consult for the company, according to Solutions' disclosure reports.
It was an official trip for Weldon, who had congressional business in Russia and Austria. Karen Weldon's travel was paid through Solutions.
They each attended meetings with Ermishin and other company officials. The congressman expressed enthusiasm about the saucer technology, Ermishin said. Within weeks, Saratov sealed a contract with Solutions to promote the company's products, according to foreign agent disclosure filings.
Ermishin described the congressman's assistance on the project as "really invaluable." He declined to discuss why he hired Karen Weldon's firm.
According to the contract that Solutions filed with the Justice Department, Saratov agreed to pay Solutions $20,000 a month with two contingencies: The cash-strapped company did not have to start paying until Solutions attracted new business. And Saratov would pay a 10% finder's fee if the company "strikes a deal from a lead supplied" by Solutions.
After the Weldons returned from Russia, the congressman took steps to get a deal going. He contacted the Naval Air Systems Command, or Navair, which is based near Washington, about the Saratov saucer, Conallen said.
Robert Carullo, a Navair staff member, said Weldon asked him to arrange for Ermishin to meet with Navair. The meeting took place in March. Solutions' disclosure reports say the firm also helped set up the meeting.
Karen Weldon also helped arrange a follow-up meeting between Navair and Saratov in Russia in September, disclosure reports show. At the conclusion of that visit, Navair and Saratov signed a nonbinding letter of intent that called for Navair to seek funding to develop the saucer technology and fly a prototype by 2005. Ermishin said the technology needs between $10 million and $14 million as initial capital.
John Fischer, Navair's director of research and engineering sciences, who led the delegation to Saratov, said he was impressed with the company's technology.
In an interview, Fischer credited Rep. Weldon for bringing Saratov to Navair's attention, calling him "a very proactive member of Congress."
He said Weldon was looking for money for the project. "The money is a sensitive question, but we are confident it will come," Fischer said.
Conallen said Weldon had not yet taken steps to get the funding authorized by Congress.
Asked later about Karen Weldon's involvement, Navair provided a written response saying that Fischer met with her twice during the discussions with Saratov but did not realize she worked for the company.
"Dr. Fischer was aware that Ms. Weldon was Rep. Weldon's daughter, but he was not aware that she had a business relationship with Saratov," the response said. "She did not identify herself other than by her name, and Dr. Fisher [sic] assumed her to be doing staff work for Congressman Weldon."
Solutions' attorney, Joseph M. Fioravanti, on Thursday said the firm's finder's fee was eliminated under a new contract with Saratov signed in November. That contract was transferred to a new firm that Sexton and Karen Weldon formed last year. Fioravanti declined to provide more information on the new firm, Solutions Worldwide Inc. He said Saratov began paying the new firm $20,000 a month in December.
At least four laws prohibit companies that receive federal contracts from paying contingency fees to lobbyists, according to Tom Susman, chairman of the ethics committee of the American League of Lobbyists.
"We realized that with government contracts you're not supposed to get a percent, so we revised it," Karen Weldon said. "We were worried that it might look inappropriate."
A Family Affair
Clearing the Karic family name in the United States has become something of a crusade for Rep. Weldon.
Their relationship dates to 1999, when he led a congressional delegation to Vienna that tried to broker a deal to end the war between Yugoslavia and the province of Kosovo.
By then, Milosevic's record of atrocities had been thoroughly documented. NATO had gone to war with the Belgrade regime, and U.S. bombers had pounded the capital to force the Yugoslav leader to withdraw from Kosovo.
In public statements about the trip, Weldon has said that he and his colleagues met Dragomir Karic, who was introduced as a confidant of Milosevic who could negotiate a deal with the United States. His brother, Bogoljub, was a member of Milosevic's cabinet.
Weldon later told Congress that he had received a report on the Karics from U.S. intelligence officials that said a family member had bankrolled Milosevic's election, and that the family's bank had tried to finance a missile sale to his regime.
Because of evidence that the Karics had supported Milosevic, the Treasury Department placed them on a list of Serbians banned from doing business in the United States. They all had been removed from the list by last year, as the United States normalized relations with Serbia, but they still cannot get visas.
In a written statement, a spokesman for the Karics said, "Regarding the alleged links of the Karic Group or family to the Milosevic regime, we can only reiterate that these allegations are the product of groups or individuals from our country who have been themselves profiting from ties with the former regime."
Rep. Weldon came to adopt the view that the Karics, whose businesses thrived under Milosevic, were being unfairly portrayed as sympathizers of the former leader. "The story we get from the Karics is that Bogoljub was from the pro-democracy side, and Milosevic said your life and business depends on your working with me ... and he did," Conallen said. "Curt believes in these guys and that their support for Milosevic was the result of innuendo and threat."
On Oct. 8, 2002, Weldon sent a letter to Dragomir Karic inviting him to Washington to discuss the "extensive humanitarian and charity projects" sponsored by the family's Karic Foundation. The letter praised the Karics' business group and commended it to "U.S. companies seeking to establish business relationships in Serbia."
Weldon's invitation was signed by 18 colleagues. According to Conallen, it was an effort to pressure the State Department to grant visas to the Karics.
In March 2003, the Karic Foundation hired his daughter's firm on a renewable one-year contract paying $240,000. In disclosure forms, Solutions said it would assist the foundation in "establishing and developing a U.S. presence."
"I did a proposal for them," Karen Weldon said. "I worked my butt off, and they liked it."
The Karics' written statement said that they hired Solutions on the strength of its proposal and that "no American member of Congress" influenced their decision.
In August, Weldon led a congressional delegation to Serbia. An association of Serbian businessmen headed by Bogoljub Karic helped plan the trip.
In November, Solutions paid for Conallen to travel to Belgrade. He said he went on the invitation of Karen Weldon's partner, who received an honorary degree from a private university owned by the Karics. While there, Conallen said he met with U.S. Embassy officials to discuss the Karics' visa problem. His airfare, lodging and meals came to $2,403.30.
Conallen said he did not know at the time that Solutions represented the Karics. He said he consulted the House Ethics Committee after The Times raised questions about the payment and was told that he needed to reimburse Solutions. He said he has done so.
In December, Conallen said he called State Department officials again about the Karics. He appeals so frequently on behalf of the Karics, he said, that State Department officials know why he's calling without asking.
The Karic brothers sent Weldon a letter Jan. 13 to thank him for his support and assure him of their "lasting friendship." The letter requested a meeting with intelligence officials "in the hope that this will finally clear our good name."
Weldon delivered the Karics' request to the CIA. Conallen said the congressman has not heard anything from the agency. The CIA declined comment.
Weldon invited the Karics to the National Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 5. Since the State Department would not grant them visas, they were unable to attend. The congressman's efforts for the Karics, Conallen said, are "ongoing."
So are Karen Weldon's efforts for the Karics and their foundation. "It's one of my main projects," she said two weeks ago.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Vote for Governor by Media Market 2002

Media Market RegistrationVotesTurnoutFisher%%Rendell%%Rep. Margin
Erie 253,997116,102 46%65,469 56%46,752 40%18,717
Harrisburg1,097,951530,848 48%332,079 63%186,609 35%145,470
Johnstown457,060222,152 49%135,307 61%81,858 37%53,449
Other211,74091,754 43%57,658 63%32,343 35%25,315
Philadelphia3,182,4471,458,903 46%439,132 30%995,113 68%(555,981)
Pittsburgh1,847,834807,028 44%384,986 48%400,605 50%(15,619)
Wilkes-Barre784,746355,202 45%174,777 49%169,955 48%4,822
Pennsylvania7,835,7753,581,989 46%1,589,408 44%1,913,235 53%(323,827)

Friday, September 29, 2006

Ed Rendell's Major Contributors

From the latest campaign finance reports (Cycle 4) top contributors to the Rendell campaign:
$265,000 PSEA PACEHarrisburgPAState Teachers Union
$224,000 Democratic Governor's AssociationWashingtonDCDem Governors PAC
$100,000 Reynolds Construction PACHarrisburgPA
$100,000 Philadelphia Area Carpenters UnionPhiladelphiaPA
$100,000 Dennis AlterFort WashingtonPAChairmanADVANTA Corporation
$100,000 James A. ShinerTucsonAZAttorneySelf-Employed
$100,000 Lynn K. ShinerPittsburghPAAttorneySelf-Employed
$100,000 Thomas W. WolfMount WolfPAChief Executive OfficerThe Wolf Organization
$56,000 Jack B. PiattCannonsburgPAChairman of the BoardMillcraft Industries
$50,000 L. Robert Kimball & Assoc. PACEbensburgPA
$55,000 LAWPACHarrisburgPA
$50,000 Daniel BergerPhiladelphiaPAAttorneyBerger & Montague, P.C.
$50,000 David BergerPhiladelphiaPAAttorneyBerger & Montague
$50,000 DeCotiis Fitzpatrick Cole & Wisler, LLPTeaneckNJPartnership
$50,000 William A. Graham, IVGladwynePAChief Executive OfficerThe Graham Company
$50,000 Dorrance H. HamiltonWaynePARetiredTwo Eighteen Enterprises
$50,000 Thomas F. KaramWaverlyPAPresident & COOStonegate Capital Partners
$50,000 H. Laddie Montague, Jr.PhiladelphiaPAAttorneyBerger & Montague, P.C.
$50,000 Jack B. PiattCannonsburgPAChairman of the BoardMillcraft Industries
$50,000 Reed Smith LLPPittsburghPAPartnership
$50,000 Phyllis RizzoMendhamNJOwnerTamiment Resort
$50,000 Lawrence T. SimonShawnee on DelawarePAPresidentLTS Builders

Lynn Swann's Major Contributors

Extracted from this week's campaign finance filing, here is an annotated list of the top givers to the Lynn Swann campaign during the most recent reporting period.

Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Jerrold Perenchio 1999 Ave.Of The Stars Los Angeles CA Businessman $125,000
(Perenchio is founder of Univision, the Spanish-language TV network and a big Republican giver.)

Bob and Doylene Perry PO Box 34153 Houston TX Owner $100,000
(A Texas homebuilder with close ties to the Bush White House

Republican State Committee of PA 301 Market St Ste 900 Harrisburg PA Principal $92,000

PA Future Fund PAC PO Box 5028 Harrisburg PA Principal $85,000
(The Political Action Committee controlled by former party chair Bob Asher)

Kim & Terrence Pegula 32 Wexford Club Dr Hilton Head Island SC Pres. & CEO $63,773
(An oil and natural gas co. executive)

James Pallotta 61 Bristol Rd Wellesley Hills MA Executive $50,000
(A hedge fund manager and part owner of the Boston Celtics)

Wayne Huizenga 4200 N Flagler Dr West Palm Beach FL Owner $50,000
(Blockbuster video founder and also owner of the Miami Dolphins)

PA ABC PAC 135 Shellyland Rd Manheim PA Principal $45,000
(Pennsylvania Builders & Contractors PAC)

Dr. John M. Templeton, Jr. 601 Pembroke Rd Bryn Mawr PA Chairman $30,000
(Physician, son of financier Sir John Templeton & head of the Templeton Foundation)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

A Pen Dipped In Bile

Perhaps instead of the Inquirer, the name "Hoplophobe Crier" would be more suitable for your newspaper.
Yesterday's local section really had a lot of "bang for the buck" going for it's usual antigun preachy venue. The "Crier" has the body count at 271 and I'm sure it hopes that will quickly rise, for time is short.
Philadelphia's ghetto sections are only slightly ahead [ by two ] of where they were on this day last year, not much different per capita for the last two or three decades, by your own "statistics" in other articles -- what a tangled web we weave...
Since this is conspicuously, an all-out assault on the Second Amendment rights of the evil "gun people" in an election year, and the inept Democratic party that has been putting the local economy in a death spiral for over a decade now, your party of choice, needs as big a smokescreen as your disgustingly liberal paper can help it muster.
[ Not to mention the childish anti-freedom and Bush bashing graphic concepts by that charlatan snob, artist want-to-be, Tony Auth. ]. I was surprised to see the letter "allowed" printed in Thursday's Local News section by Steve Cain. He was right on target with the whole scenario. Drugs, lack of education, and laissez-faire use of police intelligence are the real culprits in our Badland sections of the city.
That was the token five or so percent pro-gun letter, which of course simply had to be lumped in with that no-thought-process, knee-jerk piece two letters below it: "Guns in the house" where "Brady Nanny" brainwashed Barbara Gold, spouted some of their "statistics catechism" about guns causing normal people to uncontrollably shoot friends, simply by the guns' being there.
Sure, there is always going to be a small percentage of people that will kill themselves in stupid ways with guns; many more comparatively with cars, motorcycles, farm machinery and other potentially lethal devices, especially when mixed with excess quantities of alcohol.
Now to advocate banning cars, bikes etceteras, wouldn't stand a chance in a public forum; yet when it comes to guns, we are all required to agree with the antigunners' "Nanny knows best" philosophy that prattles on, that 'banning them' [ firearms, especially handguns ] is the only way. If you dare disagree, you must be a barbarian that eats live babies and worships the freaking devil. Getting back to yesterday's local section, we have hoity-toity John Grogan doing his best Dr. Phil imitation [ 'What were they thinking?' ] about the parents that left the gun under their mattress which led to their dysfunctional 17 year old "boy" [ many 17 year old men and women hunt and fight wars without shooting their "friends" ] getting drunk, finding the gun, and shooting one of his classmates.
His parents should have had the gun with them, but you know Jersey and it's archaic gun laws -- they were probably afraid to chance crossing the border with it. It should have been kept in their trunk unloaded, with any ammo in another [ as in the passenger compartment ] section of the car, and that would have satisfied the freaky antigun Jersey laws. Personally I find it hard to believe that their son had "no interest" in guns. Perhaps his parents were just "too busy" to do the right thing by at least giving their son some minimal awareness of gun safety, being that they owned and kept a gun in their house.
As a parent myself, I took the responsibility to instill in my children a healthy respect for firearms and taught them how they function; that they are not something you use unsupervised, or casually show off to your friends; and eventually how to safely shoot a gun [ they should be at least eight or so for a low recoil weapon of .22 caliber ]. My children are not avid shooters, however, they are also not likely to [ Youngest is twenty now and both have managed to stay alive without mindlessly shooting anyone else for shits and giggles -- so far, so good! ] use firearms foolishly since we went over the dangers and the defensive advantages they possess many moons ago. Hopefully they will eventually opt to get a carry permit to protect themselves from the violent predators that we all hope will never chose them or anyone's loved ones for that matter, as victims.
I personally feel much safer with a loaded .357 over a frantic 911 call, but that is me, which brings us to another aspect of yesterday's local antigun bash in your misinformation guide to hating gun possession. Beyond know-it-all John Grogan's rant about the drunk 17 year old murderer, there was the letters section in which [ probably some closet case, typically over eighty old fart ] Inquirer "believer," Philip Zebley from Swarthmore, was apparently completely duped by that drivel session by your Tom Ferrick about how the Congress will "insulate" the evil gun people with the help of that demon Curt Weldon.
'Oh, Chicken Little Tom,' the senile geezer gushes, 'lets vote for some better congressman that will give us even more "sensible gun laws" to go with the ones that all the liberals have either chosen to ignore or have refused to enforce, that we already have on the books now.'
Gosh Tom,'re swell! The streets of Swarthmore must be covered in blood or that guy is clueless, I'd bet on the latter. Then to further insult the intelligence, the next one by Greg Barnes from "da hood" in rough and tumble Haverford reminds us that 'guns in the home kill us,' they morph legs and the ability to shoot the residents all by themselves, I presume he means -- better lay off the coffee and sci-fi channel there Greg. Next page headline: 100 leaders join to fight gun violence in Pa. by your Vernon Clark. "On Sept.26, busloads of activists will urge the state legislature to take steps against the problem."
Let's face it, you can blow smoke up a lot of your readers asses regularly, but anyone that attends these sort of events knows the drill. The "free cheese people," many of them straw purchasers themselves to supplement their welfare checks, will take a free ride to pretend they care about the punks that they let rule their neighborhoods, because they don't work anyway, so what to hell else have they got to do.
The usual welfare whores from act up will be waltzing around selling their "the world owes the ignorant-by-choice a living" bullcrap. Street, Abraham, and some antigun by party affiliation "police spokesperson" from Philadelphia will all be there, armed to the teeth themselves as usual, bodyguards in tow.
At least the Pennsylvania State Police are endorsing Mr. Swan for Governor, a Republican who supports enforcement of current gun laws, unlike Rendell, who basically supports himself. The "Brady Nanny" groups will be hamming it up for the press and the union hacks, Men United for a Better Philadelphia [ Don't Snitch Inc. ], Physicians for Social Responsibility [ Liberal Doctors that don't have to sweat being victimized because they don't live in, or have to work in the ghetto areas or even drive through them in their BMWs ] will all have a little pompous speech to make into the bullhorns.
The usual boring travesty. Dwight Evans will be there to avoid the issue that his inner city black caucus constituents are their own worst enemies, while espousing legislation to disarm decent people that are stuck in Philadelphia and can't depend on the police, most of the time, for protection, so that when his perceived voting block gets tired of shooting each other, they can be safer carjacking, raping, and killing law abiding citizens with less chance of facing a potentially armed victim [ Genocide by Dwight Inc. ].
He knows that the gang-bangers won't care about violating the goal law of the whole charade: namely, making Philadelphia's political prostitutes able to circumvent State gun laws the way they did before the people demanded uniform right to carry, statewide back in 1995 and have had virtually no revocations [ In Philadelphia and Statewide ] by permit holders in the more than a decade since the common sense law was enacted. You will have a microcosm of the aformentioned phonys from Reading, Pittsburgh, and every other little holler with a ghetto area; all there to cover their own failures as politicians and citizens, by lambasting the "demon gun culture."
Don't you people ever tire or feel embarrassed at all, promulgating these sideshows of anti-Constitutional debauchery? What a Joke!

Gregory Niblock
Philadelphia, Pa.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Meet the Press Transcript

MR. RUSSERT: Another issue that’s risen in this campaign, particularly in western Pennsylvania, is the issue of residency.
MR. RUSSERT: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette had this editorial: “Five Santorum children have been home-schooled at their house in Leesburg, Virginia, through the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, an education paid for by the Penn Hills district to the tune of $38,000 a year, until it became apparent that they don’t live in Penn Hills.” They go on. “The [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette] sent a letter to Rick Santorum at his home address, at least the one that he claims. Back from Penn Hills came the letter with a sticker from the U.S. Postal Service checked as ‘Not Deliverable As Addressed—Unable To Forward.’”And what people point to, and particularly the media in the western part of the state, is in 1990 when you ran for the House, you ran against the incumbent Doug Walgren, and ran this commercial repeatedly. Let’s watch.

(Videotape, 1990 Santorum campaign ad):
AD ANNOUNCER: There’s something strange about this house. It belongs to our congressman, Doug Walgren. What’s so strange? Instead of living in his own congressional district, Congressman Walgren lives in this house, located in the wealthiest area of Virginia.
(End of videotape)

MR. RUSSERT: And now the State Education Department, state taxpayers are going to have to—have agreed to give the Penn Hills school district $55,000 to compensate for your children’s’ tuition while they were in Virginia taking a cyber course. And based on that commercial...
MR. RUSSERT: ...isn’t that rather hypocritical of you?
SEN. SANTORUM: No, not at all. Look, look, first off, that commercial, you didn’t play the rest of it, that commercial criticized my opponent. First off, he never owned a home in the district, ever, in 14 years. Let me finish. He never owned a home for 14 years, never had a residence there.
MR. RUSSERT: OK, you own a home, but...
SEN. SANTORUM: Number one, I own a home and always owned a home.
MR. RUSSERT: But since you’ve owned your home at 111 Stevens Lane, how many nights have you personally spent there?
SEN. SANTORUM: I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve spent there. What I say is...
MR. RUSSERT: Roughly, roughly.
SEN. SANTORUM: I don’t know. I—what I, what I spend is...
MR. RUSSERT: I mean, a handful?
SEN. SANTORUM: I, I probably spend maybe a month a year, something like that.
MR. RUSSERT: A month a year...
SEN. SANTORUM: On nights.
MR. RUSSERT: that house?
SEN. SANTORUM: Yeah, probably. I mean, the, the, the bottom line is that I, I have—I, I own a home there, I pay all—I pay my local taxes, I pay my state taxes, income taxes, I pay real estate taxes, and I have, and I can—and my driver’s license there, I vote there, my dentist is there. I mean, the bottom line is, yes, I have a job here in Washington, that’s what the people of Pennsylvania elected me to do. And I pay all my taxes there, and, and I want to be a father who’s with his children. And I own a home, I pay my taxes. My opponent didn’t own a home, and he didn’t pay his taxes. Number one.
Number two, and this is very important, he didn’t spend any time in the district. Not only didn’t he own a home, but, but the rest of that commercial was he only spent 28 days in the entire year in that district. I spend—I get to every single one of 67 counties of Pennsylvania every single year. I spent hundreds of days, thousands of days probably during my term—in Pennsylvania. There’s no one—you heard, you heard the—you heard Governor Rendell, no one works harder, no one spends more time, no one delivers more for Pennsylvania. The issue is not where I put my head. I put my head where my—I want my children with me, and that’s because I care about my six children and my wife, Karen, and I want to be a good husband and a good father.
SEN. SANTORUM: But I also have a record of being one heck of a hard worker for the people of Pennsylvania.
MR. CASEY: (Unintelligible)

Philadelphia Police on the Payrol

Philadelphia Uniformed Police on the Payroll As Of
June 19996,768
June 20006,947
June 20016,901
June 20026,766
June 20037,044
June 20046,762
June 20056,473

Friday, September 08, 2006

Ed Rendell's Contested Elections

Opponents RendellRendell
1977Primary District AttorneyEmmett Fitzpatrick33%Rendell67%68,900
1977GeneralDistrict AttorneyMalcolm Lazin36%Rendell62%93,266
1981GeneralDistrict AttorneyWilliam Cannon23%Rendell75%174,228
1986Primary GovernorBob Casey Sr.56%Rendell40%-160,000
1987Primary MayorWilson Goode57%Rendell42%-58,828
1991Primary MayorLucien Blackwell27%Rendell49%67,161
1991GeneralMayorJohn Egan30%Rendell30%155,656
1995GeneralMayorJoe Rocks23%Rendell77%169,000
2002Primary GovernorBob Casey44%Rendell56%149,564
2002GeneralGovernorMike Fisher44%Rendell53%323,827
2006GeneralGovernorLynn SwannRendell

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Pres. & Senate 2000 by Media Market

Senate 2000R D
Total%%%TotalRick RRon DPlurality
Media MarketReg.TurnoutVoteSantorum%Klink%Others Santorum
Erie252,51861%154,911 88,555 57%63,291 41%3,065 2%25,264
Harrisburg1,099,02363%692,146 450,840 65%223,915 32%17,391 3%226,925
Johnstown462,26163%291,031 178,092 61%104,165 36%8,774 3%73,927
Other207,70562%129,791 81,739 63%45,630 35%2,422 2%36,109
Philadelphia3,170,33959%1,863,160 881,691 47%949,306 51%32,163 2%(67,615)
Pittsburgh1,823,97463%1,143,636 540,157 47%579,434 51%24,045 2%(39,277)
Wilkes-Barre766,17760%460,441 260,888 57%189,167 41%10,386 2%71,721
Pennsylvania7,781,99761%4,735,116 2,481,962 52%2,154,908 46%98,246 2%327,054

President 2000

Media MarketTotal Reg.TrnoutTotal VoteRDDD Total O Plurality
%Bush%Gore% Others%Bush
Erie252,51865%163,197 77,175 47%80,186 49%5,836 4%(3,011)
Harrisburg1,099,02365%714,591 439,433 61%254,838 36%20,320 3%184,595
Johnstown462,26164%294,916 170,074 58%116,151 39%8,795 3%53,923
Other207,70565%135,360 80,328 59%50,903 38%4,153 3%29,425
Philadelphia3,170,33961%1,948,840 748,586 38%1,145,908 59%53,687 3%(397,322)
Pittsburgh1,823,97464%1,166,041 527,766 45%605,248 52%32,842 3%(77,482)
Wilkes-Barre766,17764%489,274 237,544 49%232,731 48%18,819 4%4,813
Pennsylvania7,729,303 64%4,912,185 2,281,127 46%2,485,967 51%145,091 3%(204,840)