↓ Archives ↓

Posts Tagged → establishment

Ken Matthews, local reporter extraordinaire

WHP580 AM radio has long been a source of news for those hungry for accurate reporting outside of the establishment media liberal agenda.

Bob Durgin was the lovable, garrulous, crotchety, cowboy hat wearing local man-on-the-street news guy from 3:00 to 6:00 daily, and his news items shaped a good deal of local, regional, and state politics.  Because Durgin worked in the state capital region, he was listened to by a population of political activists.  So when the PA state legislature midnight pay raise happened, Durgin was on the soap box, giving vent to his frustration.  He inspired an entire movement and generation of political activists; existing activists like Gene Stilp, Russ Diamond, and Eric Epstein were bolstered by having weekly access to his show as guests, and often sitting in for Durgin when he went on vacation.

After Durgin retired, Ken Matthews was hired by RJ Harris to run the 3-6 slot.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure if Ken was going to make it during his first couple of months at the microphone.  His listeners missed Durgin’s style, and they missed Durgin’s local content.  It is a tough place to be, following three hours of Rush Limbaugh, and the natural inclination is to talk about national and international issues.  After all, these big issues best reflect the great principles and ideas that guide government, both good and bad.

So Ken’s callers were hostile towards him.  They didn’t like his style, his voice, or his views.  It was a rough transition, and it came through the radio like a sharp thumb in the eye.

But to Ken’s credit, he dove into the Central PA culture and took a crash course in our ways and our people.  There is a reason that this region is the most politically and culturally conservative area in America.  Our people here will always fight the good fight, and they want to be knowledgeable about politics.

Ken Matthews has now mastered the audience’s interests and passions, and he has really hit his stride.  Last week Ken reported on the frivolous but dangerous lawsuit against Perry County Sheriff Nace, by liberal county auditors seeking concealed carry permit holders’ information. Did the Patriot News report on it up front? No.  But, surprisingly, that liberal activist newspaper had an incredible interview with citizen activist Jim Lucas, after the fact.  So Ken is having an impact.

Ken’s reporting awakened a sleeping giant in otherwise pastoral, tranquil Perry County.  Ken is a hero.

Perry County’s tranquility is often seen as being simple and backwards by outsiders.  As a guy who grew up in very rural farm country, I can tell you that the outward tranquility masks a soul of steel and resolute commitment to American liberties.  City slickers do not understand that.  Here comes the political surprise, folks!  The hornet’s nest was knocked down with a broom handle, kicked, and then a swarm of angry hornets poured forth.  The implications for the 2016 state senate race in the 15th PA senate district are huge.  Perry County voters are now riled up.

Thank you to Ken Matthews, a friend of our Second Amendment rights, and a fantastic local reporter.  We are pleased to have you wearing Bob Durgin’s big cowboy boots.

AG Kane exonerates Corbett with backhanded, ironic report

PA Attorney General Kathleen Kane “exonerated” Governor Tom Corbett with the most back-handed investigative report seen in a long time.

While acknowledging that Corbett, previously as AG himself, investigating Jerry Sandusky, did not politicize the Sandusky investigation, Kane still called Corbett’s choices in that investigation “inexcusable” and “inexplicable.”

Without question Penn Staters like me, who have followed the Sandusky debacle from beginning to end, we tend to feel like Penn State’s reputation never was considered by anyone involved.  Well, it was the paramount consideration by former PSU president Graham Spanier, at a time when the school’s reputation should not have mattered at all, and the kid victims’s interests should have been advanced immediately and at any cost.

So, too little, too late for Penn State by everyone, including a majority of the PSU trustees, Louis Freeh, and state officials everywhere.  If Corbett was guilty of failing to jump to Penn State’s defense, he was in damned good company.  Pissed at Corbett? OK, then be pissed at many of the sitting trustees.

But what irks me is to see the most politicized AG in Pennsylvania’s history use the words “inexcusable” and “inexplicable.”

Kane’s behavior in the AG office has been both of those words and much much more.

My favorite misdeed is how she refused to pursue the unethical PA Liquor Control Board members, whose financial misdeeds have been widely reported.

What has not been reported is how her family, Kane Trucking, holds PLCB contracts worth millions of dollars.  Kane’s failure to apply the law here could be due to a large financial incentive for her to not rock the PLCB gravy boat.  Is anyone investigating THAT?

No.  In fact, the establishment media has circled the wagons around Kane, with not one word yet mentioned in print about this ethical lapse of hers.  In fact, a fawning, fluffy, cheerful, supportive interview with Kane was posted by the Patriot News two weeks ago, and worse yet, by reporter Charles Thompson, a writer I have long considered one of the last real investigative reporters in Harrisburg.  Thompson made no mention of any of Kane’s lapses, or of her pending impeachment, in that unpaid advertising piece run by the Patriot News.  She was even photographed laughing away, her head held high, her artificially white teeth flashing for the camera.

While people are still asking if Kane’s report on Corbett’s role as AG has any salience for the governor’s race, what informed citizens want to know, is: Why does it appear that Kathleen Kane is protecting Kane Trucking’s PLCB contracts?  Now that is a real public policy question worth asking.

York County senate race is a sad state of affairs

Scott Wagner is an upstart York County businessman who wants to be elected to the PA state senate. He’s not a fan of the Republican establishment, and they’re no fan of him.

What Wagner has done to attract the negative radio ads the PA Republican Senate Election Committee is running against him, is anyone’s guess. His political independence is most likely the great crime.

Voters overwhelmingly embrace independent minded candidates. Free of special interests, or of tepid blah political stances designed to offend no one, candidates like Wagner are a threat to a plain vanilla political orthodoxy that often stands for basic business issues and not a lot else.  Candidates like Wagner have the potential to propose and support strong laws that threaten to upset the delicate balance of power the establishment has cultivated with Big Labor, Mainstream Media, etc.

Wagner is a breath of fresh air, necessarily running against his own political party because his party is afraid of him. Very sad state of affairs. And an indication that political parties often have their own interests well beyond those interests of the party members.

You call that a scandal? I’ll show you a scandal

New Jersey governor Chris Christie is rightly under fire for shutting down eastbound traffic lanes across the George Washington Bridge into NYC.

Emails, texts, and other sources used by Christie’s senior staff paint an unflattering picture of a guy using every means possible to punish politicians, and citizens, who don’t do what he wants. Like endorse him for reelection. It’s criminal behavior on its face and also because at least one person died due to traffic backups and slow ambulance service.

Amazing now how the American media is buzzing with this scandal, but the deadly Benghazi scandal (abandonment of US personnel and subsequent coverup of their cruel deaths) and the criminal IRS political scandal (destruction of elementary Constitutional principles in government behavior) are nearly off the media’s radar. Where’s the buzz about these huge scandals? Where are the public demands for justice, the mocking, the sneers, the tongue-clucking among network news anchors that they now employ against Christie?

On one hand, we have a scandal about traffic. On the other hand, we have multiple scandals about earth-shaking abuse of power, criminal negligence, undermining of the Constitution that holds America together and guarantees citizen rights. It’s impossible to justify reporting on the bridge, but not on Benghazi, IRS, US Dept. of Justice malfeasance, etc.

I regularly listen to NPR radio, and this double standard was especially strong there, as would be expected.

This double standard, or political activism masquerading as journalism, is just one more example of how the national media have abandoned their watchdog role and are now partisan cheerleaders.

According to the establishment media, Obama can’t do anything wrong; Republicans can’t do anything right. It’s shameful and all the more reason for new, additional fair and balanced news outlets. It’s why citizen reporters are the real journalists.

President George Washington said it best

George Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation:

“Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to “recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.
–George Washington”

Patriot News Editorial on Mindlin’s Toss from Ballot

“Infrequently” best describes how often an editorial by the local newspaper, The Patriot News, would appeal to me on logic, principle, or understanding of the facts. However, independent candidate Nevin Mindlin’s political assassination by both Democrats and Republicans is so notoriously egregious that the Patriot News stated the case pretty well, so here it is:

Commonwealth Court sides with mystery challengers to Mindlin’s candidacy: Editorial
Print
Patriot-News Editorial Board By Patriot-News Editorial Board
on October 07, 2013 at 10:59 AM, updated October 07, 2013 at 12:09 PM

Nevin Mindlin, the one-time independent candidate for Harrisburg mayor, is a candidate no more. He has been knocked off the November ballot by court rulings based on the mindlessly literal application of a nonsensical state law. With little time for an appeal to the state Supreme Court, he has decided against waging a write-in campaign.

Nevin Mindlin went to Commonwealth Court in September, seeking to get back on November’s mayoral ballot. Friday, the court turned him down.

Though Mindlin was an independent candidate, not affiliated with any party or organization, state law requires him to name a committee that would replace him should he leave the race. That requirement makes sense for a political party, but it makes no sense for an independent candidate. By definition, an independent candidate is independent of organizational structures that would be entitled to claim an independent’s slot on the ballot.

Knowing all that, Mindlin did not name that committee. The Dauphin County elections office accepted his petition, without any warning that his petition had any fatal defect.

None of that mattered to the lower court that knocked him off the ballot earlier this summer. And it didn’t matter to Commonwealth Court, which last Friday upheld the dubious ruling.

Commonwealth Court used a legal technicality to dodge the heart of Mindlin’s case. He said that the state law in question violates a right enshrined in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution — freedom of association. In this case, the law forces Mindlin to associate with a “committee” empowered to choose some undetermined future candidate who could replace him, when the whole point of his candidacy is that he is independent of backroom-type arrangements like that.

Mindlin’s case is an example of the sleazy, insider political game-playing that fuels public disillusionment with elected officials and government.

The court’s hostility to Mindlin’s arguments also contradicts a well-established principle set by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in election cases. Courts in the commonwealth, when applying the election code, are supposed to construe the requirements liberally, “so as not to deprive an individual of his right to run for office, or voters of their right to elect a candidate of their choice.”

Again, the Commonwealth Court used a technicality to completely ignore those claims under the state Constitution.

Mindlin’s campaign is the latest casualty of ballot bounty hunters, ordinary citizens who mysteriously come forward, armed with expensive lawyers, to press a legal challenge to a candidate’s filing papers.

Hired guns parse signatures for the slimmest possible rationale to disqualify them: using a first initial instead of full name, women whose maiden name and married name are different, imperfect handwriting, stray marks in the signature block.

Even if the candidate survives the challenge, (as third-party Allegheny County council candidate Jim Barr did earlier this summer), he or she has to expend precious time and money fighting in court.

These often-shadowy court challenges to candidates’ paperwork have a corrosive effect on public confidence in the integrity of the election system.

In a comment on PennLive, one reader said Mindlin “must have stepped on the wrong toes.” Another announced, “I won’t be voting for anybody; the best candidate just got bounced.”

Many have wondered who paid the legal bills for challenging Mindlin. But without any public disclosure requirements, the mystery money can remain secret.

All in all, Mindlin’s case is an example of the sleazy, insider political game-playing that fuels public disillusionment with elected officials and government.

Pennsylvania’s legislature could rewrite election law to strike the nonsensical provision that kept Mindlin off the ballot. The legislature could require those filing challenges against candidates to identify how they are paying for all that expensive legal work. The Legislature could lower the unreasonably high barriers now imposed on third parties seeking to get on the state’s ballot.

But as with so many dysfunctional aspects of Pennsylvania’s laws affecting politicians, those who get to make the rules are content with the status quo. After all, they got there by playing by the rules as they are – why would legislators want to change them?

From their selfish perspective, it makes political sense. But from the perspective of the citizen whom elected officials are supposed to serve, allowing ballot bounty hunters so much room to squelch candidates is nonsense.
(from http://www.pennlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2013/10/mindlin_off_ballot_commonwealth_court_bad_ruling.html#comments)

Harrisburg City mayoral race free-for-all shows weakness of rules-happy system

Watching all of the petty legal shenanigans unfold in our mayoral race reinforces the lesson that lots of rules works against democracy, and works in favor of rule makers.
Here’s a city in need of an independent minded leader, and both main political parties gang up to protect and promote the one guy, Eric Papenfuse, who is most likely to sell out the city taxpayers.
If you like democracy, and you want ordinary citizens to be part of the political process, then eliminate these arcane and unnecessary rules. They are barriers to legitimate political participation.
In our case, these silly rules are going to help protect the guilty (the bondsmen who issued faulty bonds that bankrupted Harrisburg) in both main political parties. And that tells us all we need to know.

Do you believe in your private property rights?

Isn’t it intriguing that the establishment wings of both the Democrats and the Republicans believe that your private property rights are actually theirs?

Several weeks ago, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party took a position on natural gas drilling in deep shales, saying that a moratorium on “fracking” is needed. That adds up to the government taking away from you the right and ability to develop a resource on your property, without compensating you and without demonstrating good cause.

When I inquired of a bewildered Democratic operative whether or not the proposed fracking moratorium would include nitrogen, or be limited to just water, he said “I don’t know, I don’t know. I cannot believe they did this. It makes no sense.” To be sure, it’s an indefensible and politically suicidal position. Unsurprisingly, I don’t believe any of the Democrat gubernatorial candidates have adopted this fatally flawed position.

This week, Republican Governor Tom Corbett signed into law a bill that, aside from two deadly sentences, was an otherwise fine solution to a lot of outstanding, unresolved problems associated with deep gas extraction.

Two deadly sentences are an issue, however, because they basically strip landowners\ oil, gas and mineral owners of their ability to negotiate new leases when the prior one has ended. The new law is a theft from you and a gift to a select industry. Gas is a good and necessary industry, for sure, but no more deserving of a free ride on someone else’s dime than you or I.

The arguments made in favor of what I would call ‘forced apportionment’ were ridiculous and laughable, except that so many private property rights have just been in effect taken and handed over to industry, so it is not funny. Apportionment is a term never used before in Pennsylvania OGM, and the 11th-hour two-sentence amendment to the bill lacks a definition of it. Surprise, surprise.

The worst argument is that by being forced into a “pool” of landowners, basically a fragmented production unit, this new law is guaranteeing that landowners will get paid (!). The state minimum payment, by the way. Never mind that you are due that payment already, and you’d prefer to renegotiate an expired lease on your own, thank you very much.

My sense is that these two sentences could cost Governor Tom Corbett his governorship and several lawmakers their seats. State representative Garth Everett and state senator Gene Yaw were the sponsors of the two sentences. Both are from Lycoming County, a place where private property rights are still held dearly and natural gas is plentiful.

How sad that the establishment wing of the Republican Party is so close to the Democrats that they adopt policies that are practically the same….

Next up, the courts will undoubtedly weigh in on this new law. Let’s hope they save the Republicans from themselves.

It Takes a Democrat Strategist & a Conservative Republican to Say What the GOP Establishment Can’t & Won’t Say

CPAC is going on now and through the weekend. CPAC is the annual conservative gathering held around America that pressures the GOP establishment to make sounds of conservativism.

Political strategist Pat Caddell sat on a panel at CPAC yesterday and chided the Republican Party for not fighting to win. Caddell said that the Democrats fight to win, and win they do, and he laughed at how gentlemanly Republicans and conservatives like to be, even at the cost of winning. He listed many examples that I will not reproduce here.

Caddell is a Democrat.

Slip over to the US Capitol around the same time, where US Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) was being asked simple questions about her view of the US Constitution by US Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX). You can easily look up the exchange. Cruz asked Feinstein if her approach to gutting the Second Amendment would apply to the First and Fourth Amendments to the US Constitution, where, by her kind of legislation the US citizens could be told which books they could read and which parts of their homes were open to warrantless searches.

Feinstein had a snit and “took offense” to the question, instead of answering it. Liberals always, always, always take offense to anything that they don’t agree with. Being offended is silly, and is no grounds for dismissing an issue. If someone is offended, so what…keep going.

Recall that until very recently, Cruz was the outsider Republican, excluded by the GOP establishment and undermined by them at every turn in his quest for elected office. Conservatives like Cruz are always on the outs with the GOP establishment, because they say things that aren’t considered polite by GOP moderates.

In a nutshell, Thursday, March 14, 2013, was a significant milestone in the internal reformation of the GOP. A Democrat laughed openly in the faces of the GOP for being such weenies that they willfully lose races, and a conservative Republican asked a simple question not asked by any establishment R’s, highlighting the gulf between traditional conservatives and moderate Republicans.

Fortunately, Pennsylvania has US Senator Pat Toomey, a real American with basic American values representing our views in Washington. How sad it was and remains today that the PA GOP tried to promote Steve Welch as the GOP alternative to Bob Casey, instead of staying out of the primary race and letting the candidates contend among themselves. We might today have Tom Smith as our second US Senator, instead of the leftwing Bob Casey.