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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Katie McGinty says manufacturing can return to Pennsylvania

Posted By on Wed, Aug 31, 2016 at 4:48 PM

Katie McGinty speaks inside the Allegheny County Courthouse - CP PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
  • CP Photo by Ryan Deto
  • Katie McGinty speaks inside the Allegheny County Courthouse
At a press conference on Aug. 31 at the Allegheny County Courthouse, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Katie McGinty laid out a plan to help bring manufacturing back to the Keystone State.

“It is a bunch of bull to say that ‘manufacturing is just a part of our past.’ It is part of our future,” she said to a crowd of about 20 supporters.

McGinty says Pennsylvania has lost more than 120,000 jobs to China in the past few years, which only compounds the loss of manufacturing jobs most towns in the state have suffered over the last few decades. Her plan opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and supports the Trade Adjustment Assistance program, that provides assistance to workers who lost jobs due to international trade deals. She also said if elected she would stop tax breaks for companies shifting their workforce overseas, invest in clean energy and infrastructure, and support small-business manufacturing and workforce development.

She rejected the idea that international goods, particularly from China, are what the country should support and said the U.S. can compete with those international markets.

“Manufacturing is not about cheap labor, it’s about skilled labor, technology and speed to market,” said McGinty. “If a product has to travel on a boat from China, we already have them beat.”

She called out Sen. Pat Toomey’s (R-Pa.) ties to the domestic and international finance fields. (Toomey was an investment banker before getting into politics and worked for a Hong Kong financial firm in 1991.) She hinted that these ties show his loyalty to Wall Street and to China's finance industry (although Hong Kong wasn't part of China and was ruled by the United Kingdom when Toomey was there.)

Braddock mayor and former McGinty primary opponent John Fetterman, who has been campaigning in support of McGinty, was also critical of Toomey. He pointed to Toomey’s book The Road to Prosperity and was critical of its support of free trade.

“You may have heard that Pat Toomey actually wrote a book on free trade,” said Fetterman. “And you can actually buy it on Amazon. Copies of it used are selling for a penny, so I don’t recommend paying full price. And that just speaks to the bankrupt ideas; no one is buying it on Amazon and we aren’t buying it here in the Mon Valley.”

Ted Kwong, spokesperson for the Toomey campaign, issued this response to Pittsburgh City Paper on McGinty and Fetterman’s claims.

"Even John Fetterman has called out Katie McGinty's fraudulent rhetoric on trade, and her historic middle-class tax hikes would have slammed Pennsylvania families and killed jobs," wrote Kwong. "Pat Toomey has consistently fought against bad trade practices like steel dumping and currency manipulation while working across the aisle to open new markets for Pennsylvania manufacturers and farmers."

The latest poll out of Monmouth University gives McGinty a 45 percent to 41 percent lead over Toomey. 

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Friday, August 26, 2016

While the spirit of the message may be there, the #Never movement is maddeningly misused on incumbents

Posted By on Fri, Aug 26, 2016 at 12:51 PM

We’ve all seen the incredibly popular hashtags on Twitter, hand-made posters and billboards this political season: #NeverTrump and #NeverHillary. When critics of either nominee post something on social media, these two phrases almost always accompany them. For the most part, they make sense. Voters are making a statement against Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump or Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton ever becoming president.

And given the popularity of these hashtags, they have morphed and been applied to other races on the political ladder, including Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senate race. Tweets criticizing the campaign of Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) sometimes have an attached “#NeverToomey” hashtag.

But, Toomey is an incumbent and has been one of the state’s senators for about six years; “never” doesn't really apply. And this phenomenon is not unique to Toomey; #NeverRubio, #NeverAyotte and even #NeverMcCain have been used to reference races involving incumbent senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.). (McCain’s hashtag is the oddest, given he has served as Arizona’s senator for almost 20 years and rose to national prominence when he ran for president in 2008.) Maybe it should be #NeverAgain or #Foolmeonceshameonyoufoolmetwiceshameonme.

Even so, these “never” hashtags seem to be growing in popularity among senate races. There have been more than a dozen uses of #NeverToomey and more than 100 uses of #NeverMcCain this month on Twitter. But why, given that these hashtags are logically inaccurate?

A study from the Pew Research Center hints at a possible answer: Social media is the most effective online tool to inform potential voters. According to the study, 24 percent of adults look at social media to find out new information on the campaigns of Clinton and Trump. Only 10 and 9 percent look to campaign websites and emails, respectively.

The “never” hashtags for senate races involving incumbents also overwhelmingly apply to Republicans. Among battleground states, the only incumbent Democrat facing re-election is Michael Bennet of Colorado. As of Aug. 26, there have only been three instances of #NeverBennet on Twitter compared to the thousands that have been applied to Republican incumbent senators in battleground states.

Another Pew study offers a possible explanation for this partisan disparity. During this year’s primary elections, millennial voters in the Democratic party found news about candidates via social media 74 percent of the time. For their young Republican counterparts, it was only 50 percent of the time.

For the Pennsylvania senate race, #NeverToomey has been used about 50 times on Twitter, compared to #NeverMcGinty only twice, for Toomey’s Democratic opponent Katie McGinty.

And the strategy may be working. According to rollcall.com, a couple of senate races have shifted in favor of the Democrats, including Pennsylvania's. And the report currently indicates Democrats will regain the seats necessary to gain a majority in the Senate come 2017.

Regardless, applying logic to the #Never movement may be a fool’s game. The hashtag #NeverObama has thousands of appearances on Twitter and Facebook. The 22nd Amendment of the Constitution bars President Barack Obama from running for president again. Obama could potentially run for a U.S. House or Senate seat, but a president hasn’t successfully done this since Andrew Johnson became a Tennessee senator is 1874 (15 years after Johnson’s impeachment, oddly).

So congratulations to the Obama haters, come Jan. 20, 2017,  #NeverObama will become a reality. 

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

McGinty and Toomey pick up endorsements from gun-control advocacy groups in Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate race

Posted By on Wed, Aug 24, 2016 at 1:01 PM

  • CP photo of Katie McGinty by Ryan Deto; image of Pat Toomey provided by candidate
  • Katie McGinty and Pat Toomey
Earlier this week, a political-action committee for gun reform endorsed U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) in the upcoming November general election. The PAC, Americans for Responsible Solutions, was launched by former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) who in 2011 was shot in the head during a mass shooting in Tuscon in which six people were killed. 

"I am honored to receive this endorsement from Americans for Responsible Solutions in recognition of my work to keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals, terrorists, and the dangerously mentally ill," Toomey said in a statement. "I have long said that we must work together to forge a bipartisan consensus on gun safety, rather than talk past one another with partisan rhetoric. While protecting the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens, I am committed to bridging the partisan divide to crack down on illegal gun trafficking; close the terrorist gun loophole; require background checks on transactions at gun shows, over the internet, and between non-family members; and also ensure Congress is funding research into our country's gun-violence crisis. I look forward to introducing a bill next Congress that works to achieve these ends."

Today, Toomey's opponent Katie McGinty fired back with an endorsement of her own when Pennsylvania gun-reform group CeaseFirePa announced it was endorsing her. 

"CeaseFirePa is proud to endorse Katie McGinty," Shira Goodman, CeaseFirePa's executive director, said during a conference call today. "We believe the people of Pennsylvania want somebody who will consistently lead, consistently fight to solve this problem."

According to CeaseFirePa, Toomey did not respond to a survey the organization sent to both candidates. 

"To me, few [issues] would be more important than protecting our family and friends from gun violence. In Pennsylvania, we lose far too many to gun violence, and frankly we do nothing about it," McGinty said during the conference call. "These are tragedies of the highest magnitude, and they deserve a moral response. Respecting the dignity of those lives has nothing to do with disrespecting the Second Amendment." 

Both Goodman and McGinty praised Toomey's support for 2013 legislation to expand background checks. However, McGinty says the senator has done little to support gun-reform efforts since.

"We have someone who has seen this issue as a political calculation," said McGinty. "This issue has been inflamed in ways that certainly are not helpful. I would bring responsible huntsmen and sportsmen to the table … to diffuse the vitriol around this issue."

So what is Toomey's record on gun reform? Toomey has voted against banning high-capacity magazines with more than 10 bullets. He voted to prohibit suits against gun makers and sellers for gun misuse. And he voted to decrease the gun waiting period from three days to one.

And this past June, in the wake of a mass shooting in Orlando that left 49 dead, Toomey voted against four gun-reform measures: an amendment to increase funds for the federal background check system; an amendment that would require background checks at gun shows; an amendment that would delay gun sales for 72 hours for buyers on the no-fly list; and another that would block gun sales to suspected terrorists on the no-fly list. All four measures failed. 

Despite these votes, Toomey supporters, including former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, cite the Pennsylvania senator's response to the 2012 Sandy Hook mass shooting that left 26 dead, including 20 children — namely, his sponsorship of the 2013 background-checks bill that ultimately failed. 

"Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC is endorsing Senator Toomey for re-election this fall because our nation needs more Republican elected officials to stand with the vocal majority of Americans who support commonsense steps that help keep guns out of the wrong hands and prevent gun tragedies," said Peter Ambler, Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC executive director, in a statement. "In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Sen. Toomey stood up for responsibility, stood up to the gun lobby and stood up to many in his own party. While he has not backed every proposal we have supported, as advocates for gun-safety laws and safer communities, we're thankful for Sen. Toomey’s leadership."

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Friday, August 19, 2016

Sen. Pat Toomey wrote a book on benefits of free trade in 2009; now denounces Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 3:55 PM

Pat Toomey, the U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania who is in a dogfight for re-election, announced in an Aug. 17 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette op-ed that he is denouncing the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal — the same deal he supported and voted to “fast-track” in May 2015. The TPP would reduce and remove tariffs on international trade for 12 nations, including the U.S., Japan, Australia, Chile and others (not China, for those who were wondering).

“Politicians in both parties who demagogue trade do a disservice to our people,” wrote Toomey in the op-ed, “playing on their economic fears, instead of promoting their economic well-being. But we should not pass a flawed deal just to get a deal done.”

But in 2009, when Sen. Toomey was first running for office, he penned a book on economic policy called The Road to Prosperity. The book highlights the benefits of laissez-faire capitalism that emerged from former president Ronald Reagan’s administration, and includes dozens of mentions on the positive effects of “free trade.”

Multi-millionaire publishing giant Steve Forbes said of the book: “Pat Toomey brilliantly propounds the principles and practical policies needed to make America — and the world — prosperous again. Ronald Reagan, Adam Smith, and Milton Friedman would vigorously applaud what Pat has put forth here.”

In the book, Toomey wrote: “This book reviews many measures the government could take to help ensure a robust recovery and strong, long-term growth including lower taxes, free trade, sound monetary policy and limited spending.” 

Toomey also called free international trade a win-win situation and attacks other domestic labor-friendly ideas like raising the minimum wage. “Excessively high minimum wages, sold as protections against worker exploitation, prevent some people from earning any wages,” Toomey wrote.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who Toomey has not yet endorsed, has visited small towns in Western Pennsylvania and decried the TPP for eliminating many blue-collar jobs like steel manufacturing. (However, many experts, like New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, point out that so-called bad trade deals were not the biggest factor in the loss of manufacturing jobs. Krugman says that award goes to improvements in technology and efficiency of manufacturers.)

So why is Toomey changing course on his support of TPP?

Toomey’s spokesperson E.R. Anderson says the senator received the full TPP proposal to review in October, and wrote the op-ed now because he had issues with the sections involving agriculture, dairy and the bio-medical industries. Anderson says Toomey questioned TPP negotiators on these industries and was not satisfied with responses.

She says that Toomey is “still in support of free trade” and that the op-ed is “not a rejection of the idea of free trade.”

But given that, in the last couple weeks, Toomey has started to trail his opponent, Democrat Katie McGinty, in four polls, McGinty is more than skeptical.

"Pat Toomey has spent his entire career pushing bad trade deals and policies that ship American jobs overseas, so nobody is buying this ridiculous flip-flop," said McGinty in a press release. "Bad trade deals like the TPP have real impacts on Pennsylvania families, but for Pat Toomey, this is all a political game.”

Some Republicans point out that McGinty changed her mind on the North American Free Trade Agreement, which she supported in 1994 and announced she is against this June. Toomey’s book references NAFTA (and the Central American Free Trade Agreement) writing, “The economic benefit of these trade agreements have been staggering, despite the protests of protectionists.”

However, Toomey's book does highlight a free-trade benefit that may force voters to confront how they really feel about trade deals. He continually references how free-trade deals benefit consumers by providing access to more goods at lower prices (an idea shared in a 2015 economic paper from the White House). And it appears the price of goods is more important to Americans than debating the pros and cons of free trade.

An April AP-GfK poll asked Americans which they would prefer: a $50 pair of jeans made outside of the country or an $85 pair made in the U.S. Two-thirds of pollsters said they would buy the cheaper pair.

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Thursday, August 18, 2016

Kathleen Kane: from first elected female attorney general in Pennsylvania to first convicted female AG in the country in just four years

Posted By on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 at 1:35 PM

Kathleen Kane
  • Kathleen Kane
Four years ago, Kathleen Kane made history by becoming the first woman elected to the office of attorney general in Pennsylvania. This week, Kane made history again when she became the first female attorney general in the country to ever be convicted while in office.

(When Pittsburgh City Paper attempted to verify this claim by looking for a list of female attorneys general, the top search results were about a poll ranking the attractiveness of our country's female attorneys general. Thanks to the Internet for reminding us that society hasn't progressed as far as we'd like to think.)

Kane was convicted Monday on charges of perjury and obstruction. On Tuesday, she announced she would be resigning from her position effective this week. 

"I have been honored to serve the people of Pennsylvania and I wish them health and safety in all their days," Kane said in a statement.

The attorney general is often referred to as the state's chief law-enforcement officer. Despite this title, a number of attorneys general have been convicted of crimes while in office. Here are five more convicted attorneys general from around the United States.

Along with Kane, Pennsylvania is "lucky" enough to have had another attorney general convicted while in office. Ernie Preate was convicted in 1995 after being charged with federal racketeering and corruption for mail fraud involving a $20,000 campaign contribution. He served one year in federal prison. 

In Missouri, in 1993, William Webster was convicted of embezzlement for using his staff and office for political purposes. He was sentenced to two years in prison.

In Texas, Dan Morales was convicted in 2003 of mail fraud and tax evasion for trying to steer more than a million dollars in legal fees from a $17 million tobacco-industry settlement. He was sentenced to four years in federal prison.

In Louisiana in 1972, Jack Gremillion was convicted and sentenced to three years in prison for perjury after attempting to cover up his involvement with a failed savings and loan.

In Alabama, Richmond Flowers was convicted in 1969 of extortion and sentenced to eight years in prison for conspiring to extort payments from companies seeking to do business with the state.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Democrat Katie McGinty and GOP Sen. Pat Toomey agree to two debates; Toomey wants more

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 at 12:25 PM

  • CP photo of Katie McGinty by Ryan Deto; image of Pat Toomey provided by candidate
  • Katie McGinty and Pat Toomey
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Katie McGinty and current Republican Sen. Pat Toomey have agreed to duke it out in two debates. McGinty has agreed one in Pittsburgh, to be broadcast on KDKA, and another in Philadelphia, on WPVI. Toomey's campaign spokesperson Ted Kwong says while the Senator looks forwarding to debating in those cities, he has not officially agreed to participate on those channels.

And Toomey wants more debates, and in locations outside of Pennsylvania's two biggest cities. 

“We certainly support having debates in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, but why is Katie McGinty stopping at two?" said Kwong in a press release on Aug. 14. "Why is she unwilling to debate in Scranton, Harrisburg or Erie? Maybe it’s because she can’t defend her liberal pro-tax, weak-on-national-security record.”

No announcements have been made about additional debates in other Pennsylvania cities, but McGinty’s campaign says the two agreed-upon debates should be simulcasted and made available to other markets in the state. (Additionally, the last time Toomey was in a general-election race in 2010 against retired Navy admiral Joe Sestak, the two also debated twice — in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.) McGinty accepted invitations to the debates first, on Aug. 12, and issued a challenge to Toomey last week.

“After months of Pat Toomey ducking and dodging from questions about his pro-Wall Street economic policies and his loyalty to Donald Trump, Katie has decided that enough is enough. That's why she's challenging Pat Toomey to two major televised debates that will be seen by Pennsylvanians all across the commonwealth,” said McGinty campaign spokesperson Sean Coit in a press release. 

And while Toomey, like Trump, has made immigration and attacking "sanctuary cities" key to his campaign, he has shown little loyalty or support for Trump. Toomey endorsed Florida's Sen. Marco Rubio for president during the primary elections, before vowing to support whomever the Republican presidential candidate would be. As of today, Toomey has yet to give official support or an endorsement to Trump. Toomey and Alaska's Lisa Murkowski are the only Republicans seeking re-election to the U.S. Senate who have not firmly decided on endorsing Trump. 

Trump's recent falling in the polls may be having adverse affects on Toomey, regardless of whether the Pennsylvania senator chooses to endorse the Republican presidential candidate. Since winning the Democratic primary in April, McGinty had been even or behind Toomey in most polls. Now, McGinty has taken the lead. Four polls published in the last couple of weeks show McGinty ahead, with the latest Quinnipiac polls showing her up three points against Toomey, 47 percent to 44 percent. McGinty also recently received support from former political rival Braddock Mayor John Fetterman, who announced he would be campaigning with McGinty last week.

This ongoing bickering between the McGinty and Toomey could provide for some interesting arguments at the debates, which could include hot-button issues like the economy, the Supreme Court and immigration. (And it will probably be less bizarre than what we see on TV ads about the Senate hopefuls.) Dates and times for debates have not been announced. 

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Local Democratic officials and experts say Donald Trump's economic plan would hurt Pennsylvania

Posted By on Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 5:47 PM

Pittsburgh City Councilor Corey O'Connor speaks at a press conference Tuesday - CP PHOTO BY REBECCA ADDISON
  • CP photo by Rebecca Addison
  • Pittsburgh City Councilor Corey O'Connor speaks at a press conference Tuesday
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence made a stop in Pittsburgh Tuesday at the Heinz History Center to tout Donald Trump’s revamped tax and economic plan.

“When Donald Trump becomes president of the United States of America, he’s going to cut taxes, roll back regulation, repeal Obamacare and end the war on coal,” Pence said.

Hours earlier, in advance of Pence’s visit, local Democratic officials held a press conference denouncing Trump and Pence’s economic plans.

“The vice president will use some smoke and mirrors in his speech today,” said state Sen. Wayne Fontana. “There’s no benefit for the poor and middle class in Trump and Pence’s plan.

As has been done recently by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the officials detailed examples of bad business dealings from Trump’s past.

“Trump has a me first approach to the economy,” said Allegheny County Councilor Dewitt Walton. “Trump has a disastrous record of stiffing working people.”

As an official with the United Steelworkers union, Walton said Trump tried to get rid of the union at his Gary, Ind. casino. He also talked about about Pence’s record in Indiana where he says the governor worked against unions and supported support free trade, something some — including Trump — say hurt the U.S. economy.

“I know the devastation the residents of Indiana. Mike Pence has moved to eliminate bargaining rights of workers in Indiana,” said Walton. “And there’s never been a trade deal that Pence didn’t support or vote for.”

In comparison, the local officials praised Clinton’s economic plan. Citing a report by Moody's economist Mark Zandi, they said Clinton’s plan would create 414,000 jobs in Pennsylvania.

“A Trump presidency would cause us to lose 135,000 jobs in Pennsylvania,” said “That’s why on a local level it’s so important for us to support her policies because they are good policies for Pennsylvania.

Meanwhile in Detroit last night, Trump was also laying out his campaign’s economic plan.
But according to FactCheck.org, he used some inaccurate claims to demonstrate his plan would benefit the economy and how his opponent Clinton’s plan would hurt the economy. 

Among his claims was that he would save "2 million American jobs” by repealing the Affordable Care Act. But according to Fact Check: "That’s an old distortion of the Congressional Budget Office’s analyses, which found some workers would choose to work fewer hours or retire earlier mainly due to the insurance-expansion provisions of the law."

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Trump and Clinton in Pittsburgh City Paper: Through The Years

Posted By on Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 4:12 PM

In a presidential election filled with unprecedented shit, there's one novel aspect flying under the radar: we've known these two people for a long time. 

Think about it: 20 years ago, both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump would likely be recognized by a vast majority of Americans. Sure, not by everybody, but far more than most presidential candidates 20 years before their election run. 

How many times has that happened?

Ronald Reagan was a movie star (and Democrat) twenty years before his run. Quincy Adams, FDR, and Bush had family in the president business. Grant and Eisenhower had war-time name recognition. Grover Cleveland had relevant job experience (he'd been president once before).

But 20 years before Barack Obama took the oath, he was a student at Harvard Law. Ditto for Teddy Roosevelt (at 42, our youngest prez). Slick Willy (Bill Clinton) was at Yale, Jimmy Carter was on a submarine, and Honest Abe was in a courtroom in Springfield, Illinois. 

In most cases, when the candidates aren't incumbents or VPs, there's a process of familiarization they have to go through. They're in Congress or state government, they're known in their state, they're known in their party, but they're nobodies on the national scale.

And that's a plus. When you're (relatively) unknown, you get to write your own bio. You get a head-start on the media telling your story. You're relegated to a few bullet points and key stances; you're a blank slate. Previously unknown candidates can re-write their identity, stress the parts of their history that work and shush the parts that don’t.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump don't have that advantage. 

Surely the proliferation of mass media since (and before) 1996 plays a role in our familiarity with Clinton and Trump, but that doesn't change the fact that we've never really known our two candidates this well before. We've never had this much on record before. We've never had so much information to go through, hence the weird weightlessness that seems to apply when either candidate has some bygone quote or stance brought up. 

Trump said he'd run as a Republican because Republican voters are stupid? 

Clinton said she hates women who bake cookies?

Meh, there's always more where that came from, and it'll probably contradict what we've heard. 

So since Pittsburgh City Paper is the paper of record — well, our record anyway — we thought it’d be interesting to see how these two have fared in our pages over the years. After some tireless research (Googling their names), this is what I've found.

It's a partial list; our online archives tap out around 2003, and a lot of the results were just passing mentions. But these mentions underline just how long Clinton has seemed destined for this nomination and just how unlikely Trump's ascent to the seat has been. 

Let's go: 

June 12, 2003: Chris Potter on the Patriot Act

"As [Timothy] Edgar put it, 'The four most frightening words to some of those red-blooded conservatives in Washington are 'Attorney General Hillary Clinton.'"

July 31, 2003: W's speech at National Urban League 

"The vast majority of the protesters were focused on Bush's return-to-Reagan economic policy and on the war in Iraq. Jasmine Burton, 23, a CCAC student from Duquesne, hadn't planned to protest that morning, but 'I saw all the anti-Bush signs and wanted to come stand with y'all. I didn't vote for Bush and I don't know anyone who did. I'm gonna work hard this election.' But who for? She didn't have much enthusiasm for most of the Democratic hopefuls: 'I wish Hillary Clinton would run.'"

"Why conservatives are so offended by
Hillary's notion that parents can get help from teachers and neighbors and all sorts of folk to raise their kids is beyond me."

Parenting? Such a simpler time ...

July 28, 2005: Gambling in Pa.

"'The casino owners aren't used to people telling them what to do because no one has ever tried it before,' he says. 'If you get tough, then Donald Trump and Steve Wynn aren't coming to Pennsylvania,' he concludes, referring to the most famous Atlantic City and Las Vegas casino owners. 'Because the last thing they want is you knowing what they're up to.'"

October 20, 2005: Review of Good Night and Good Luck

"As for accepting innuendo as fact: I trust Clooney will agree that this holds as true for Karl Rove as it does for Hillary Clinton, despite how much we'd like to castigate an administration that labels people 'anti-American' for opposing its war."

November 10, 2005: On Roethlisberger impersonator Brian Jackson

"This may be the era of Hillary Clinton, Maureen Dowd and Oprah. Unfortunately, it is also the era of Paris Hilton, Wife Swap, The Bachelor and The Swan."

And what an era it was.

Side note: This article also includes the phrase "he wasn't merely trying to get his joint worked."
"Joint" is an old-timey word for penis, fyi. 

March 23, 2006: Anti-War Sentiment Grows

"For the Joe Bidens and Hillary Clintons to be accommodationists at this point, they should hang their heads in shame. If they think the advantage for running for president is to be Bush Light — that's not the way to be."


February 10, 2008: The Primaries

"Then again, most Dems I know will be happier voting for Obama OR Clinton than they were voting for white male John Kerry in 2004. And I expect at least one difference between 2007 and 2008: I doubt any Pittsburgh Democrats will be threatening to support the Republican in this year's general election."

February 21, 2008: More Primaries

"In important ways, the Hillarycare episode epitomizes the Clinton style. The plan was dense, extraordinarily complex, and tuned to a collaborative, evolutionary arrangement between the largest established forces."

Hillarycare really rolls off the tongue, huh? That's why we're still talking about it today. 

January 17, 2008: Savage Love
In response to a question about the subject’s father paying a younger woman for sex …

“It may not be legal, of course, but it's the only way a man who isn't rich and famous — like Donald Trump or Fred Thompson — can land a 29-year-old."

January 8, 2009: Lisa Lampanelli interview, discussing Sarah Palin

"Compared to Eleanor Roosevelt and Hillary Clinton, she's a 10, of course. But compared to Pam Anderson, she's a deuce, tops. That pissed me off because she's not that fucking hot."

March 6, 2009: Al Hoff on Celebrity Apprentice

"If we can't see Bernie Madoff or the head of GM hawk crap on the streets, can't we at least have some clapped-out celebrities be their proxies? And for their boss: Who better than last century's hero, the unrepentant king of garish nouveau riche, Donald Trump?"

April 6, 2009: More Celebrity Apprentice, Trump fires T-Boz

"'Tionne, I love your voice ...' — really? The Donald is down with TLC? — '... but you're fired.' Color Miz T stunned, and who can blame her? Her offense: being a team player. Pretty obvious here that that's a role Trump has never experienced."

March 4, 2010: Ted Hoover's stage review of Time After Time 

"Where's Hillary Clinton when you need her? I'm just back from Time After Time at Point Park Conservatory Theatre, and the show is so conflicted and obstructed — so at war with itself — that only a seasoned diplomat could untangle it."

Harsh, bro. 

"The book's nearly 800 pages make numerous startling disclosures: that the FBI tried to trick the Secret Service into passing misinformation to Clinton; that prosecutors drafted an indictment of Hillary Clinton before pursuing the Lewinsky scandal instead ..."

Oh word? 

August 18, 2011: Op-ed on Republican field by Chris Potter

"The market in GOP frontrunners is already plenty volatile, of course. For awhile Palin was the frontrunner. Then it was Donald Trump. Mitt Romney seemed the default choice until Iowa's recent straw caucus. Bachmann now seems on top, though Perry may topple her. After that, who knows? Paul Ryan? Allen West?"

September 14, 2012: Donald Trump discovers "Donald Trump"
This was a year and a half after its release. 

December 26, 2012: Trump's charm

"Sheena Monnin, a Cranberry Township resident and former Miss Pennsylvania is ordered to pay $5 million to billionaire Donald Trump for saying the Miss Universe pageant — owned by Trump — was 'fraudulent, lacking in morals, inconsistent, and in many ways trashy' on her Facebook page. Isn't that part of Trump's charm?"

January 9, 2013: Corbett suit proves just how out-of-bounds sports culture has become

"Polls show voters favor the suit, but that's largely due to support from Penn State fans: Everyone else — from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette — has blasted it. Corbett's staff has been reduced to retweeting attaboys from such renowned legal minds as Donald Trump."

June 15, 2015: Trump announces

"After much flirting, real-estate mogul, reality-TV star and all-around bloviator Donald Trump made it official: He's running for president. Snarky columnists are crying with joy; the Republican party may just be crying." 

Now you're all caught up! 

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Pittsburgh group protests vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence's workers'-rights history and policies

Posted By on Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 3:18 PM

Protesters march at the entrance to yesterday's Mike Pence event at Heinz History Center - CP PHOTO BY RYAN DETO
  • CP photo by Ryan Deto
  • Protesters march at the entrance to yesterday's Mike Pence event at Heinz History Center
When Gabe Kramer thinks of the Donald Trump-Mike Pence ticket, it isn’t just the possibility of Trump as president that scares him. Kramer, a labor organizer with Service Employees International Union Healthcare, was born and raised in Indiana, and most of his family still lives there. And for him, Indiana governor and Republican vice-presidential nominee Pence’s track record is just as scary.

“Mike Pence is the ideal ambassador for the dangerous policies of Trump,” says Kramer. “We can't have that in Pennsylvania or anywhere else in America.”

Yesterday, Pence visited Pittsburgh and spoke to about 200 attendees at the Heinz History Center, in the Strip District. Before the event, a group of 30 protesters, including Kramer, rallied outside the facility to protest the new Trump-Pence economic plan.

Kramer told the crowd they should be wary of Pence’s record in Indiana. “He helped push through laws that took away rights from workers,” said Kramer, who referenced a Washington Post article alleging that Pence’s policies on education have contributed to a teacher shortage in Indiana.

“Currently, Indiana can't find anyone who wants to teach there. Why would you want to teach when you have no rights?” Kramer said to the crowd.

Austin Davis, vice chair of the Allegheny County Democratic Party, also spoke. Davis criticized the Trump-Pence plan and how the Republican candidates claim that plan will help the working class. He questioned how the working class would benefit from candidates who believe the minimum wage is too high.

“Take a hike, their plan doesn’t sell here,” Davis said to the crowd.

After the speeches, the crowd marched in a moving picket line directly in front of the entrance to the event. Attendees were forced to navigate through the crowd, while chants of “take a hike” were shouted by rally-goers.

While several attendees navigated the line — some with a bit of difficulty — they were not the only ones disrupted by the protest. A man waiting outside the circle said, “Man, I just wanted to play Pokemon.” He showed Pittsburgh City Paper that there was a Pokemon Go gym right in the middle of the picket line.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Pennsylvania Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Katie McGinty receives endorsement from former political rival Braddock Mayor John Fetterman

Posted By on Tue, Aug 9, 2016 at 2:30 PM

John Fetterman and Katie McGinty - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CANDIDATES
  • Photo courtesy of the candidates
  • John Fetterman and Katie McGinty
On Aug. 8, establishment-backed Democratic Senate candidate Katie McGinty received the support and endorsement of former primary opponent and Braddock mayor John Fetterman.

“I am grateful and honored to offer a full-throated endorsement for Katie and her candidacy. ... It’s that important that we elect Katie, she is a real champion for Pennsylvania’s working families,” Fetterman said during a joint-conference call with McGinty and reporters.

Fetterman's endorsement is a departure from his time competing against McGinty during the primary campaign,  where he called her out on many issues, most notably her support of fracking. Fetterman told Pittsburgh City Paper in February that McGinty has positioned herself as a “green fracker” and described that position as a “paradox.” (McGinty served as the state’s secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection for five years in the mid-2000s.)

During the call, Fetterman acknowledged their past rift and defended his endorsement saying “Katie and I agree on 95 out of 100 issues.”

Fetterman's endorsement shouldn't come as much surprise, however. Though he was one of the first primary election candidates in the country to endorse former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, when Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton secured the nomination, Fetterman threw his support towards her. He said Donald Trump was too dangerous a candidate to become president.  

And now Fetterman and McGinty are uniting under a common goal: reducing Wall Street’s role in our political system and ensuring Pennsylvania Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey isn't re-elected.

“John has been a vigorous and effective fighter for hard working people,” said McGinty. “This effort that he is joining me on today, to call attention and continue to defend consumers and Main Street against Wall Street, is exceptionally important. Millions of American families continue to struggle, not having regained their footing after the devastating losses of the great recession.”

Both McGinty and Fetterman were critical of Toomey and his ties to Wall Street. Toomey was an investment banker before entering politics in the late ‘90s. McGinty said his opposition to the financial regulations of the Dodd-Frank Act and the formation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is an example of how Toomey is putting Wall Street ahead of Main Street.

Ted Kwong, communications director for Toomey’s campaign rejected this assertion and wrote to CP that Toomey has also been critical of Wall Street when he opposed government bailouts of financial institutions.

But McGinty said she wants to go beyond that. She said she would further strengthen Dodd-Frank, ensure banks can’t invest in risky hedge funds and further boost the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was created by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts, in 2011.

When asked how she would appeal to voters in small industrial towns in Southwestern Pennsylvania that may be wooed by Donald Trump’s claims that the steel industry will return, McGinty said there is an incredible opportunity to return jobs to these areas. McGinty said thousands of roads and bridges need to be repaired and vowed that manufacturing can compete here in the region.

And Fetterman’s support could help bring a tide of Southwestern Pennsylvania voters to McGinty, who was born and raised in Philadelphia and lives nearby today. Fetterman won Allegheny County in the Pa. primary, amassing around 93,000 votes, and also did well in other nearby counties.

But whether Fetterman's supporters will embrace McGinty isn't guaranteed. When Sanders threw his support and endorsement towards Clinton in the runup to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last month, many of his supporters dissented. Inside the Wells Fargo Arena, they booed, held up protest signs, and even staged a walkout during Clinton’s official nomination. (They returned less than two hours later to watch the rest of the speeches, FYI.)

Still, in circumstances like these data shows voters can be swayed by endorsements. According to FiveThirtyEight.com, before the DNC many Sanders supporters said they wouldn't vote for Clinton. But Sanders' endorsement did help persuade some of them to change their mind, even if a third say they are undecided or voting for a third-party candidate. 

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