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OVERHEARD ON 3RD THE INTERVIEW
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Pat Toomey drops the ‘I’ word — “im- Freshman Rep. Frank Ryan’s singular Lou Barletta, the Republican trying to
peachment” — while ripping the state mission in the Legislature is to keep unseat U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, is fighting in
Supreme Court justices who redrew Pennsylvania from going bankrupt. a more competitive weight class. Could
the congressional districts. PAGE 4 The clock is ticking. PAGE 10 he be a real-world Rocky? PAGE 12
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CONTENTS F E B R U A R Y 2 7, 2 0 1 8

10
Freshman Rep. Frank Ryan outlines
his mission to keep Pennsylvania from
going bankrupt in an interview with The
Caucus.

BLAINE T. SHAHAN FOR THE CAUCUS

INSIDE THIS ISSUE

4 THE ‘I’ WORD


U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey says the state 10 NOT GOING FOR BROKE
Freshman Rep. Frank Ryan’s singular mission SEND US A NEWS TIP
If you know of a good story, are holding a political
Supreme Court decision on the in the Legislature is to keep Pennsylvania from
event or fundraiser, or want to share information about
congressional maps should spark going bankrupt. The clock is ticking. a new hire in your agency or firm, please send an email to
an ‘inevitable’ discussion about tips@CaucusPA.com or mail to
impeaching the justices
12 ROCKY BARLETTA?
The Republican trying to take away Bob Casey’s
PO Box 1328, Lancaster, PA 17608-1328

6 THE UNDEAD
What happens to all that PAC
Senate seat is fighting in a more competitive
weight class – without the experience or money.
Please remember to include contact information
unless you wish to remain anonymous.
money when the campaign ends? Will he suffer a TKO?

9 14
ON THE COVER
CAPITOL DISPATCHES THIS WEEK IN PA HISTORY Graphic by
Events, committees, fundraisers Excerpts of noteworthy, newsworthy Tommy Baran
and benefits of the upcoming week and just plain odd political news

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Tuesday, February 27, 2018 THE CAUCUS 3


OVERHEARD ON 3RD

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey listens


during a roundtable dis-
cussion on tax reform with
Lancaster business leaders in
November.

DAN MARSCHKA FOR THE CAUCUS

THE ‘I’ WORD


U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey says the state Supreme Court
decision on the congressional maps should spark an
‘inevitable’ discussion about impeaching the justices

U
» » SAM JANESCH + PAULA KNUDSEN

.S. Sen. Pat Toomey stopped by the Capitol last week to impeaching the justices over the redis- “I think they know that they’ve crossed
blast the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s new congres- tricting decision. the line.”
The justices who voted to throw out Toomey, asked if he was pushing
sional map and give legs to an idea that would further
the Legislature’s map “engaged in mis- lawmakers to move that effort forward,
push the state into constitutional crisis mode. behavior in office” by violating the state said he hadn’t — “yet.” But he would
and federal constitutions, Dush said. urge them, he said, to talk about it
The junior Republican senator said blatant, unconstitutional partisan pow- Dush told The Caucus last week he among themselves and with their con-
“a conversation that has to happen,” er-grab that undermines our electoral is still circulating his co-sponsorship stituents.
and an “inevitable” one, is whether process — does that rise to the level of memo for impeachment, but he has now Critics have said impeaching the jus-
the five Democratic justices should be impeachment?” Toomey said to report- decided not to pursue impeachment for tices because Republicans disagree with
impeached. ers in the Rotunda. Justice Max Baer. their decision would be, as the American
“I think state House members, state Jefferson County Republican Rep. Dush, who said he has been taking Civil Liberties Union put it, “effectively
senators are going to be speaking among Cris Dush made national news two a lot of “flak” on social media, said he neutering protection for individual
themselves and their constituents and weeks ago when he began circulating isn’t introducing the resolutions lightly. rights.”
the fundamental question is: does this a co-sponsorship memo that called for “We don’t have any recourse,” he said. Toomey called the redistricting deci-

4 T H E C A U C U S Tuesday, February 27, 2018


Former Secretary
OVERHEARD ON 3RD of State Pedro
Cortés

sion “a terrible miscarriage of gested Cortés hadn’t resigned but Business Advocacy Council, Adult
justice.” He said he would be as was fired. Basic and Literacy Education
helpful as he could be to the state “I have done a great deal of soul Interagency Coordinating Council,
Republicans’ legal challenge to the searching in the last 24 hours,” Joint Committee to Review Cost of
new map. Cortés wrote in an email the day Living, the Legislative Representa-
Former Gov. Ed Rendell said the before his resignation. “I remain at tive for Collective Bargaining and
idea of impeaching state supreme a lost [sic] to understand why you the Lobbying Disclosure Regula-
court justices was “ludicrous.” would dispense with my services tions Committee.
“What they did is legal and ap- without sharing with me concerns “Many of these boards and
propriate,” Rendell said. you had about my professional commissions are merely names
performance or personal life.” on paper and have been obsolete
WHAT PEDRO CORTÉS “Wished I had that opportu- for quite some time,” Fritz said in
IS DOING nity,” Cortes wrote in the email a news release. “With spring just
quoted by the Inquirer. around the corner, now is a perfect
Former Secretary of State Pedro Wolf spokesman J.J. Abbott time for the General Assembly to
Cortés, who abruptly resigned from did not respond to a request for do some spring cleaning while,
office last October, has resurfaced comment about when a permanent more importantly, quite literally
with a new Harrisburg firm, Cortés secretary of state would be named. reducing the size of government.”
Global. The firm’s website de- The Canine Health Board was
scribes its work as “professional HOUND HEALTH created by the Dog Law signed by
consulting services.” Gov. Ed Rendell in 2008. Speaking
Cortés did not return a phone Sorry, Canine Health Board. in support of the establishment
call or email seeking comment on There’s a new dog in town. of the board on the Senate floor
the new endeavor. Legislators last year enthusias- in October 2008, then-Sen. Mi-
Before he resigned last year, tically joined with Gov. Tom Wolf chael Brubaker (R-Lancaster) said
Cortés was the longest-serving for the signing of “Libre’s Law,” the board would be “made up of
secretary of state in Pennsylva- an expansion of the state’s animal veterinarians who will determine
nia history. He held the role from cruelty protections. Now some law- ventilation, lighting standards, and Libre, the Boston
2003 to 2010 under Rendell. Wolf makers are looking to nix a state types of flooring that will be per- Terrier whose name is
associated with a 2017
appointed him to the role in 2015, board dedicated to hound health. mitted based on acceptable animal
animal cruelty law. He
and he held the position until his A group of Republican House husbandry practices.” was photographed at
resignation. members last week introduced a Department of Agriculture The Caucus offices in
The only information provided package of bills aimed at stream- spokesperson Bonnie McCann December.
by the Wolf administration, which lining state government through said that while the Canine Health
has touted its stance on trans- mergers and eliminations. Board continues to exist, it does
parency, was a brief “personnel Rep. Jonathan Fritz (R-Susque- not meet on a recurring basis. She
update” naming Robert Torres hanna/Wayne), unveiled legisla- said the board is not compensated
interim Secretary of State. Wolf has tion that would remove numerous but can be reimbursed for reason-
repeatedly refused to comment on obsolete state boards or commis- able costs. In addition, McCann
Cortés’ resignation. sions — among them, the Canine said, the Board has no on-going
In November, The Philadelphia Health Board. Other groups on annual financial impact associ-
Inquirer obtained emails that sug- Fritz’s hit list include: the Small ated with it. FILE PHOTOS

G
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Tuesday, February 27, 2018 THE CAUCUS 5


THE UNDEAD
Elections come and go, but some campaign accounts
live forever. And ever. And ever.

6 T H E C A U C U S Tuesday, February 27, 2018


COVER STORY

T
» » SAM JANESCH + PAULA KNUDSEN + MIKE WERESCHAGIN

he brief political life of Harry Citrino III ended on a Rendell said he tries to keep PA Fu- University — also rated Pennsylvania’s
ture donations for Pennsylvania candi- campaign-finance law on the low end of
Tuesday night in 2002, when election returns in the
dates and Keeping America Competitive their spectrum. They gave it a score of
Philadelphia-based 170th Legislative District race for out-of-state candidates. 45, just above Wisconsin’s 40, the lowest
showed him losing to Republican George Kenney. And sometimes they give to other in the nation.
vaguely named political committees. David Thornburgh, president and
Citrino garnered less than 35 percent PA Future’s largest donations last chief executive officer of the Philadel-
of the fewer than 19,000 votes cast, and UNEARTHING A PAPER TRAIL? year, $60,000, went to the Philadelphia- phia-based good government group
he never put his name on another state GOOD LUCK based Fairness PA committee, which Committee of Seventy, said Pennsylva-
ballot. raised $1.2 million and donated $1 mil- nia is generally regarded as the “wild,
But his campaign committee was just To fully understand the shape-shift- lion to Gov. Tom Wolf’s campaign last wild West” when it comes to campaign-
getting started. ing transformation some zombie PACs year. finance issues.
Contributions continued to trickle experience, look no further than former In effect, money raised through Ren- Elizabethtown College political sci-
into the Friends of Harry Citrino com- Gov. Ed Rendell’s campaign committees. dell’s former gubernatorial campaign ence professor Kyle Kopko described
mittee over the years, and, since 2003, In the dozen years since Rendell was went through multiple channels to end the state’s approach as being “very
the campaign has spent more on other last a candidate for elected office, his up in his Democratic successor’s re- hands-off.”
candidates than it did on the one it committees have remained as active election campaign. “There are reporting and disclosure
briefly aimed to elect. as ever. But instead of fundraising and Rendell’s PACs had a combined requirements, and that seems to be the
It’s “a very strange thing to do” even spending money on behalf of the two- $400,000 left in the bank at the end of bare minimum. But that’s something


if it is perfectly legal, said campaign-fi- term governor and former Philadelphia 2017. They also had four unpaid debts conservatives really promote. They want
nance expert Adav Noti of the Campaign mayor, they’ve taken on different roles — totaling $65,500 from 1990 and 1991 to have that minimal type of regulation
Legal Center in Washington, D.C. and cryptic names. that Rendell said have been forgiven but on money and expenditures. Money is
And while Citrino’s fundraising and What used to be “Edward Rendell for don’t show it because the committee speech to them,” he said.
spending may be paltry in the grand Gov” is now “Keep- hasn’t filed the ap- Kopko said there’s little chance of
scheme of campaign finance, it’s just one ing America Com- propriate paper- any reforms in the near future.
of the many “zombie PACs” that contin- petitive.” work. Still, Sen. Jay Costa said he’s “hope-
ue to operate in Pennsylvania years after What was “Ren- Rendell’s ful” his legislation prohibiting the
their candidates cease to have political dell ’95” is “PA Fu- Republican personal use of campaign funds has
ambitions. ture.” I’m a pretty good successor, Tom momentum and will make contributions
Election loss, retirement, term Together, Corbett, went more transparent.
limits, criminal conviction and death they’ve spent more forensic CPA. I another route with “My constituents want fairer and
may mean the effective end of political than $10 million his PAC after he more transparent processes. My bill
careers — but not necessarily the end of since 2006 on can- couldn’t trace lost re-election. would give them that,” Costa said in a
their campaigns. didates at every lev- By the end of 2014, prepared statement. “I’m sure my col-
Zombie campaigns operate at the el of government where all the mon- Corbett’s guber- leagues are hearing the same from their
federal level, too. There are about 100 of inside and outside natorial campaign constituents, and campaign-finance
them still raising and spending money of Pennsylvania, ey was going to committee was reform is a great step.”
to influence federal elections. campaign-finance closed and had Thornburgh agreed that timely
Those campaigns are paying for
everything from cellphones to football
reports show.
Supreme Court
through different transferred the re-
maining $150,678
and complete disclosure of campaign-
finance transactions is critical. “Trans-
tickets to gifts for family members of
congressmen — long after those elected
candidates like
Dwayne Woodruff
PACs. to his other com-
mittee, Friends
parency is the first line of defense
against illegal, unethical, too-cozy
officials leave Washington, D.C. The and Debra Todd REP. FRANK RYAN of Tom Corbett, relationships between contributors and
R-LEBANON COUNTY
campaign arm of former Rep. Mark received, respec- which went on to candidates,” he said.
Takai of Hawaii kept spending on “con- tively, $7,500 and spend the rest of Micah Sims, executive director of
sulting services” for months after the $1,500 in 2017. In 2016, then-attorney its money by September 2016. Common Cause Pennsylvania, said the
congressman died. general hopeful Josh Shapiro took home The funds went to a trio of Har- Legislature could consider additional
In Pennsylvania, where campaign- at least $8,500. Hillary Clinton’s cam- risburg-based firms for “professional improvements to deal with inactive
finance laws have long been considered paign got $15,000 in March 2015, more services,” the Pennsylvania Republican PACs — possibly passing legislation that
weak and where candidates aren’t than a year before Rendell would host Party for campaign staff salaries, and to would allow the Department of State to
required to terminate their political com- her at the Democratic National Conven- ongoing efforts — including $25,000 to shut down those that have been dor-
mittees when they leave office, a Caucus tion in Philadelphia. the Republican Governor’s Association mant for at least three years.
analysis found many top-ranking officials Out-of-state beneficiaries of Ren- and $25,000 to the PA Future Fund, a DePasquale said he supports limits
who left public life but continued to hold dell’s fundraising prowess include a PAC chaired by businessman and Re- on contributions and more frequent
hefty pots of leftover campaign cash — Maryland congressional candidate, a publican National Committee member reporting deadlines. As for oversight, he
with little oversight on how they spent it. former mayor of Jacksonville, Florida, Bob Asher. said the Department of State audits a
In some cases, campaign records re- and gubernatorial candidates in Maine random 3 percent of campaign accounts
viewed by The Caucus revealed a tangled and Virginia. ZOMBIES RUN AMOK every year; he said that number should
and confusing web of cash transfers In an interview, Rendell said he UNDER WEAK LAWS probably be closer to 10 percent.
between vague and often innocuous- chooses to donate to candidates “who I As a House member, he was the sub-
sounding campaign accounts whose think are going to do a good job and care Pennsylvania’s campaign-finance law ject to one of the random audits and “it
political agendas are opaque. They also about the same things I cared about as is notoriously relaxed, experts say. was pretty helpful,” he said. “We got a lot
exposed flaws in the state’s campaign- mayor and governor.” Campaigns have wide latitude when of good tips.”
finance laws, which are designed to He said he also keeps at least three it comes to spending, including the Giving those insights to more cam-
promote transparency in electioneering. people on payroll for “consulting ability to spend money for personal use. paigns is going to cost the state, though.
“I’m a pretty good forensic CPA,” services.” One is a fundraiser who was They also don’t have to explain in detail “Is there an argument to do every
said Rep. Frank Ryan, a Republican involved in his gubernatorial campaign, when reporting the purpose of expendi- campaign fund every year? Absolutely,”
from Lebanon County and a licensed and another takes care of office duties tures, and there are no limits on indi- DePasquale said. “But you’re going to
certified public accountant. “I couldn’t such as record-keeping. vidual contributions or political action need more staff in the Department of
trace where all the money was going to Both were paid $21,000 in 2017, ac- committee donations. State to do it.”
through different PACs. And the reason cording to the reports. DePasquale called the law a “joke”
is I didn’t have the time. It’s a challenge The third, who was paid the most in 2016 when former Attorney General ’TIL DEATH DO US PART
to find out the way the money can get at $63,000 last year, is a former staffer Kathleen Kane was dishing out cam- — OR NOT
around there. I used to do banking. from his time as district attorney and paign money for legal fees.
That’s called bank fraud.” now handles compliance issues related The Center for Public Integrity, in Rendell, who said he also gives
Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, to the PACs, he said. its 2015 State Integrity Investigation, personally to candidates, defended his
who doesn’t have jurisdiction to audit Keeping America Competitive raised gave Pennsylvania an “F” in the political ongoing political committees as a way to
campaigns, said he didn’t even know $477,000 and spent $266,000 in 2017. financing category, ranking it the 43rd contribute to a new generation of politi-
that political action committee money The biggest chunk of expenditures, worst among states. cal leaders.
gets passed around like that in the state. $125,000, went right to the other com- And in 2017, researchers with the “I wanted to continue to stay rel-
“I don’t know what you do about that,” mittee, PA Future, which in-turn spent Electoral Integrity Project — a venture evant in terms of having an impact on
he said. it on other candidates and committees. of the University of Sydney and Harvard CONT., page 8

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 THE CAUCUS 7


COVER STORY

Continued from page 7 eight local Republican commit- and 2017, including $9,500 to 2017.
getting good people into gov- tees in his suburban Philadel- Stack. Among a slew of investiga-
ernment, which I thrived on phia district. Others who made it to their tions and corruption issues in
when I was governor. I tried to Former Lt. Gov. Catherine coveted elected seats and stayed recent years, there are likely
make sure we slated good peo- Baker Knoll’s campaign — there for decades sometimes many other former lawmakers
ple to run for all of the offices in which ceased to have a clear have similarly lingering cam- and state officials that fall into
Pennsylvania,” he said. “To the goal when its candidate died paign accounts. the campaign-turned-legal-
extent that I can do it, through in office in November 2008 — Longtime senator and fund category.
the use of my PACs, that was my went another route. former Lt. Gov. Bob Jubelirer Former Attorney Gen-
main goal.” In the days before her death, retired in 2006; his campaign eral Kathleen Kane was found
The end of the former gover- and in the month afterward, raised $1.2 million and spent guilty by a Montgomery Coun-
nor’s political career has likely about $13,000 went to herself $1.5 million that year and had ty jury of perjury, obstruction
jump-started countless new and her immediate family $49,084 at the end of his term, and other crimes on August 15,
ones. members for campaign “reim- according to his campaign- 2016.
But sometimes, political bursements,” according to her finance reports. Less than two weeks later,
careers are born out of death reports. In the years since, interest the Kathleen Kane for Pennsyl-
itself. More than $18,500 was given on that bank account has been vania political-action commit-
In 2009 Corey O’Connor, to her estate by mid-2009 to — for the most part — the only tee paid Winston and Strawn of
son of the late Pittsburgh Mayor empty out her campaign ac- reported source of income. Chicago, Illinois, $157,000 for
Bob O’Connor, was in the early count. The reports say those Beneficiaries, meanwhile, “legal services.” In July 2016 the
stages of his own budding politi- payments were also for “re- have been candidates both local political committee had already
cal career. The buzz around him imbursements” — a term that, and national. Rep. Judy Ward paid for other legal services —
had long been about when, not while allowed by Pennsylvania received $100 last October. U.S. $50,000 to the Philadelphia
whether, he’d run for his dad’s campaign-finance law, is so Sen. Pat Toomey and U.S. House law firm Pietragallo, Gordon,
former city council seat. vague as to prevent any real Speaker Paul Ryan got dona- Alfano, Bosick & Raspanti and
Corey O’Connor’s late father evaluation of whether the mon- tions in 2016. $21,140 to attorney Amil Mi-
had given him more than just a ey is being spent for campaign And with $4,630 left in the nora of Scranton.
well-known name in their Pitts- purposes. tank, Jubelirer PAC could still Ross Kramer, a partner in
burgh enclave; his still-active The Department of State be handing out cash when it Winston and Strawn’s New York
campaign committee donated did not respond to a request for celebrates the 40th anniversary office, was one of Kane’s trial at-
$120,000 to his son’s that No- comment about whether candi- of its committee registration torneys. Minora was also a trial
vember, two years before he’d dates must provide receipts for next March. attorney, according to court
win his first term, according to “reimbursement” expenses. records.
campaign-finance records. LEGAL-DEFENSE ZOMBIES Kane has appealed her
The elder O’Connor died in CAMPAIGNS THAT criminal conviction to the
2006, just shy of nine months JUST WON’T DIE There’s another category of Pennsylvania Superior Court.
into his first year in office. Dur- emptying out political com- Court records show a decision
ing the years that followed, his Citrino, the state House can- mittee accounts that has less to is pending. Kane’s law license
wife, Judith, continued to sign didate who never won election do with future campaigns and has been suspended since
off on annual reports for her in 2002 but kept his campaign more to do with cleaning up September 2015, according to
husband’s committee, which account open, was still spending before, during or after a legal the Pennsylvania Disciplinary
had $165,000 in 2008. In a box money as of last year. battle. Board.
on the reports’ cover sheets, In his original campaign, The practice is not rare, said Kane’s campaign-finance re-
under “Name of Office Sought he raised $31,673 and spent Noti, from the Campaign Legal ports show her account remains
by Candidate,” it says, “Mayor, $16,707, leaving about $15,000 Center. open, and in debt. In a 2016
City of Pgh.” in cash. People continued to do- “It’s common and generally report the committee reported
Aside from the large gift to nate here and there — $2,000 in not problematic to use cam- it owed $1,650,000 to Christo-
his son, Bob O’Connor’s cam- 2003, about $1,700 in 2005, all paign funds to defend lawsuits pher Kane, for a loan he gave
paign fund gave its money to the way down to $380 in 2012 that are related to the person, the campaign in 2011.
charities around the city, and — but the candidate they were certainly to their campaign or And she’s not the only con-
donated $10,000 to the Pitts- supporting never put his name even to something that goes on victed felon with a functioning
burgh Foundation to set up a name on another state ballot, in their officeholder capacity,” campaign arm, according to the
memorial fund. state records show. Noti said. Department of State records.
His signature annual fund- Rather, during the 15 years The Committee to Elect Former House Speaker H.
raiser, the “Cookie Cruise,” also that followed his ill-fated House Mike Stack is the most recent William DeWeese, D-Greene,
continued, though the proceeds bid, Citrino doled that cash out and relevant example among was convicted of theft, conspir-
shifted to a foundation set up in in relatively small donations to the state’s top officials. acy and other charges in 2012.
the late mayor’s name. an even smaller pool of candi- The embattled lieutenant His appeal of the convictions
Some deaths give life to their dates. governor’s political commit- is currently pending before the
successors’ campaigns. Lt. Gov. Mike Stack was the tee paid the Philadelphia law state Supreme Court.
Rep. Dan McNeill’s death biggest beneficiary, receiving firm Montgomery, McCracken, When contacted by The Cau-
last fall fueled his wife’s suc- $13,785 over the years. It was Walker & Rhoads more than cus, he said he didn’t know his
cessful bid to replace him, a bit of turnabout for the two; $80,000 last year while the political-action committee, reg-
according to campaign- Stack was by far Citrino’s big- Office of Inspector General istered in 1979 as the Campaign
finance reports. Shortly gest donor, having given Citrino investigated his personal use of Committee for Bill DeWeese,
after McNeill’s death, $10,000 for his lone campaign, state resources. had not been terminated.
almost all of the last according to campaign-finance Despite the payments, his “Although I prevailed in
$10,500 left in his ac- records. political-action committee three elections subsequent to
count went to a new In all, his campaign has stated that it still owed $21,000 Mr. Corbett’s charges being
campaign for Jeanne spent about $26,000 on other to the law firm as of December levied against me – two prima-
McNeill, now rep- politicians since 2003, which 2017. ries and a general – my electoral
resenting the 133rd is almost $10,000 more than it Sen. Larry Farnese’s prospects seemed eminently du-
Legislative District in spent on the candidate it was political-action committee – bious behind seven rows of razor
Lehigh County. created to elect. Friends of Farnese – has also wire and I subsequently asked
When former Citrino did not return a call paid Montgomery, McCracken, a former campaign
House Speaker Matt from The Caucus. The treasurer Walker & Rhoads thousands staffer to close out the
Ryan died in the listed on his last campaign- of dollars. In January 2017, account,” he said.
middle of his term in 2003, finance report — father Harry Friends of Farnese paid the law The last campaign
the three largest donations — Citrino Jr. — died in 2015, ac- firm $75,000 for “legal fees.” report available
about $50,000 each — spent to cording to an obituary in The The following month, the politi- online, from 2014,
empty out his campaign went Philadelphia Inquirer. cal action committee paid the shows that DeWeese
to the Delaware County Re- The younger Citrino hasn’t law firm $31,000 in legal fees gave $3,000 that
publican committee, the 168th filed any reports since, though and in June it paid the law firm was left in the account to
Legislative District Republican other campaigns show Friends another $45,000. Department of reimburse himself for an
committee and the House Re- of Harry Citrino has continued State filings show that Friends outstanding personal loan.
publican Campaign Committee. to donate. The committee doled of Farnese still owed $305,890 The ending cash bal-
Other recipients included out a total of $12,000 in 2016 to the law firm as of January ance was $630.
8 T H E C A U C U S Tuesday, February 27, 2018
CAPITOL DISPATCHES

HEARINGS
9:30 A.M., FEB. 27 10 A.M., FEB. 27 3 P. M . , F E B . 2 7 9:30 A.M., MARCH 1
HOUSE PROFESSIONAL HOUSE VETERANS AFFAIRS & SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE HOUSE VETERANS AFFAIRS &
LICENSURE COMMITTEE EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS COMMITTEE Hearing Room 1, North Office Building EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS COMMITTEE
Room G50, Irvis Office Building Room 60, East Wing Budget hearing with the Pennsylvania Room 60, East Wing
Public hearing on H.B. 1545 from Rep. Informational meeting on the Pennsyl- College of Technology. Informational meeting with officers and
Bryan Cutler, the proposed Medical Imaging vania Emergency Management Agency and
students from the U.S. Army War College’s
and Radiation Therapy Health and Safety the Office of the State Fire Commissioner 4 P. M . , F E B . 2 7
on emergency preparedness initiatives and Advanced Strategic Art Program.
Act. The bill is designed to protect patients SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
by ensuring that the medical profession- legislative goals for the new session.
Hearing Room 1, North Office Building
als operating medical imaging and radia- 10 A.M., MARCH 1
Budget hearing with the inspector
tion therapy equipment are appropriately 11 A.M., FEB. 27 HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
general.
trained and certified on the equipment. LEGISLATIVE BUDGET AND FINANCE Room 140, Main Capitol
The legislation would create a board of COMMITTEE Budget hearings with the Department
Room 14E, East Wing 10 A.M., FEB. 28
examiners, comprised of professionals in HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE of Health, Department of Drug & Alcohol
a variety of medical imaging fields, to es- Meeting to release reports on sexual
Room 140, Main Capitol Programs and Attorney General’s Office on
assault evidence collection and the costs to
tablish scope of practice, set requirements combating opioids.
implement the Right-to-Know Law, and to Budget hearings with the Department of
for licensure, and to develop standards
update of cost estimates for an alternative General Services, Liquor Control Board and
to improve medical imaging and radia-
approach to meeting the state’s Chesa- Department of Military & Veterans Affairs. 10 A.M., MARCH 1
tion therapy procedures. The legislation
peake Bay nutrient reduction targets. SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
also outlines the requirements for medical
10 A.M., FEB. 28 Hearing Room 1, North Office Building
imaging licenses, including fluoroscopy,
1 P. M . , F E B . 2 7 SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE Budget hearing with the Department of
diagnostic sonography, radiation therapy,
HOUSE VETERANS AFFAIRS & Hearing Room 1, North Office Building
and radiologist assistant. Corrections and Board of Probabation &
EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS COMMITTEE Budget hearing with the Department of Parole.
Room 60, East Wing Military and Veterans Affairs.
10 A.M., FEB. 27 Informational meeting on the legislative
HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE initiatives from the following organizations: 1 P. M . , M A R C H 1
Room 140, Main Capitol 1 P. M . , F E B . 2 8
Ambulance Association of Pennsylvania; SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
Budget hearings with the Department SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
National Guard associations; Fire and Hearing Room 1, North Office Building
of Corrections, Board of Probation & Parole Hearing Room 1, North Office Building
Emergency Services Institute; Emergency Budget hearing with the Pennsylvania
and Office of Administration’s Office for Budget hearing with the Department of
Health Service Council; Civil Air Patrol; and Liquor Control Board.
Information Technology. Department of Defense Office of Military Agriculture.
Community and Family Policy.
3 P. M . , F E B . 2 8 3 P. M . , M A R C H 1
10 A.M., FEB. 27
SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE 1 P. M . , F E B . 2 7 SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
Hearing Room 1, North Office Building SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE Hearing Room 1, North Office Building Hearing Room 1, North Office Building
Budget hearing with state-related uni- Hearing Room 1, North Office Building Budget hearing with the Department of Budget hearing with the Department of
versities. Budget hearing with the judiciary. Conservation & Natural Resources. Environmental Protection.

FUNDRAISERS
THE
9 A.M., FEB. 27 11 A.M., MARCH 12 5 : 3 0 P. M . , M A R C H 1 2 8 A.M., MARCH 13
RECEPTION FOR RECEPTION FOR RECEPTION FOR RECEPTION FOR
SEN. TOM KILLION REP. ROB KAUFFMAN REP. AUSTIN DAVIS REP. CAROLYN COMITTA
Harrisburg Hilton
Pennsylvania Rural Electric Stock’s On 2nd

WEEK
Harrisburg Carley’s Ristorante
$500 to $1,000 Association Harrisburg Harrisburg
Harrisburg $250 to $1,000
11:30 A.M., MARCH 4 $300 to $1,000
RECEPTION FOR 8 A.M., MARCH 13

AHEAD
5 : 3 0 P. M . , M A R C H 1 2 RECEPTION FOR
SEN. JOHN YUDICHAK
11:30 A.M., MARCH 12 WINGS-N-THINGS WITH
Genetti’s REP. JAMES ROEBUCK
Wilkes-Barre RECEPTION FOR REP. BRIAN ELLIS Harrisburg Hilton
$25 to $500 REP. JOE MARKOSEK The Brick Haus Harrisburg
Harrisburg Hilton 10 A.M., FEB. 27
6 P. M . , M A R C H 8 Harrisburg
Harrisburg NATIONAL EATING DISORDER
RECEPTION FOR $300
5 : 3 0 P. M . , M A R C H 1 3 MONTH
REP. AARON BERNSTINE
4 : 3 0 P. M . , M A R C H 1 2 RECEPTION FOR Capitol Rotunda
The Crane Room Grille 8 A.M., MARCH 13
SHAMROCK FEST WITH REP. JUSTIN SIMMONS Dr. Rachel Levine, the acting sec-
New Castle
RECEPTION FOR retary of the Department of Health
$50 to $80 REP. TIM HENNESSEY McGrath’s Pub
REP. MIKE CARROLL and Pennsylvania’s physician general,
McGrath’s Pub Harrisburg reads a proclamation from Gov. Tom
8 A.M., MARCH 12 Harrisburg Hilton
RECEPTION FOR Harrisburg $250 to $1,000 Wolf declaring March National Eating
Harrisburg
REP. JOANNA MCCLINTON $350 to $1,000 Disorder Month.
$300 to $1,000
Ridge Policy Group 7:30 A.M., MARCH 14
Harrisburg 5 : 3 0 P. M . , M A R C H 1 2 3 P. M . , F E B . 2 7
RECEPTION FOR
8 A.M., MARCH 13 AFFORDABLE HOUSING
RECEPTION FOR
9 A.M., MARCH 12 RECEPTION FOR REP. MATT GABLER Capitol Rotunda
REP. GREG ROTHMAN
COOKIE BREAK FOR REP. JIM MARSHALL 500 N. 3rd St. The Pennsylvania Association of
Smigel, Anderson & Sacks Housing & Redevelopment Agencies
REP. JIM COX Harrisburg
Harrisburg 500 N. 3rd St.
500 N. 3rd St. present EveryHome, an event to raise
Harrisburg $250 to $500
Harrisburg $250 to $1,000 awareness of the demand for afford-
$300 to $1,000 $250 to $1,000 able, accessible housing in sustain-
8 A.M., MARCH 14 able communities for low-income
5 : 3 0 P. M . , M A R C H 1 2
11 A.M., MARCH 12 8 A.M., MARCH 13 RECEPTION FOR families, seniors, disabled persons
RECEPTION FOR
RECEPTION FOR REP. JORDAN HARRIS and homeless veterans.
REP. ED GAINEY RECEPTION FOR
REP. KAREN BOBACK
Old Town Deli REP. BRIAN KIRKLAND Café Fresco
500 N. 3rd St.
Harrisburg Harrisburg Stock’s on 2nd Harrisburg
$300 $250 Harrisburg $300 to $1,000

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 THE CAUCUS 9


THE INTERVIEW

Rep. Frank Ryan comments


during an interview at The
Caucus office in Harrisburg.

NOT GOING FOR BROKE


BLAINE T. SHAHAN FOR THE CAUCUS

Freshman Rep. Frank Ryan’s singular mission in


the Legislature is to keep Pennsylvania from going
bankrupt. The clock is ticking.
» » PAULA KNUDSEN + SAM JANESCH

R
ep. Francis “Frank” Ryan, a freshman Republican, didn’t with existing tax revenues and provide a something that taxpayers should be
higher quality of service. paying for. What I was most concerned
waste time when he got to Harrisburg. He founded and about is — and this sounds a little bit
chairs the Financial Rescue Caucus. THE CAUCUS: You were at the kick- unusual — as a CPA, if there are CPAs in
off House Appropriations hearing. You state government, they might be at risk
A certified public accountant who mand special operations officer during heard Chairman Stan Saylor talk about themselves if we’re approving expenses
specialized in bankruptcy for small and Operation Enduring Freedom. accountability of tax dollars. Are you on that aren’t necessarily appropriate and
mid-sized businesses since 1978, he Ryan is married with four children board with that idea? should have a 1099.
decided he could help sort out the com- and seven grandchildren. RYAN: I’m not a real big believer that
monwealth’s finances. there’s an awful lot of wasted programs. THE CAUCUS: There are several CPAs
Ryan is the author of two books and THE CAUCUS: You were at the House Now there’s some I’m not real crazy in the House, right?
would like to write a third, if the Ethics State Government Committee meet- about. But I do think they’re run pretty RYAN: Yes, there’s six in the House and
Commission gives him the OK. He jokes ing in August where there was a review inefficiently. So I’ll give you an example. one in the Senate
that one of his books, “Revolutionizing of Lt. Gov. Mike Stack’s spending and I’ve done a turnaround of a newspaper.
Accounting for Decision Making,” pub- expenses. Tell us your thoughts on that We looked at some of the internal issues THE CAUCUS: So do you ever get
lished in 2016, has “been endorsed by as a certified public accountant. about the newspaper industry. A lot of together?
the National Sleep Foundation.” RYAN: It is one of the reasons I ran. I’m it had nothing to do with the problem RYAN: All the time. It’s a fun group. Oh
“In case you have insomnia, you read 66 and I went into office at age 65. I’ve in the newspaper industry, it had to do my gosh.
this sucker, you’re out,” he jokes. run previously and lost two congres- with ancillary operations. Like if you
Before he became a legislator and sional races. I did it in 2004 and then don’t buy a new printing press — you do THE CAUCUS: The CPA Caucus?
author, Ryan was a Marine Reserve 2010 and the one in 2010 was close, one every 50 years — don’t be tremen- RYAN: … We all get on very, very well.
colonel. After he retired he was recalled which means that the one in 2004 was dously surprised if it’s not efficient. So We don’t all think alike. We have differ-
to active duty, in December 2004, and not. So I decided to run to help keep we were able to pull out tons of ways ent perspectives.
served with the Multi-National Force- the commonwealth out of bankruptcy. to provide a better quality paper. And I
Iraq, or coalition forces, until June ... I firmly believe — absolutely, firmly believe that for everything. THE CAUCUS: Are all the CPAs Repub-
2005. Prior to his initial retirement in believe — that we can honor every single Going back to governments, Stack’s licans?
2002, Ryan served as the Central Com- obligation that the commonwealth has expenses reports — this is just not RYAN: In this case they are. In the U.S.

10 T H E C A U C U S Tuesday, February 27, 2018


THE INTERVIEW

House of Representatives that’s not the of legislation I’ve ever seen in my entire necticut is they raised the income taxes
case. life and we’re seeing the effects of that significantly. And so General Electric
today. Medical decided to move from Con-
THE CAUCUS: So you’re running If we got all this legislation of my necticut to Massachusetts and much of
again? financial rescue plan passed next year, I that was tax-driven. That turned out to
RYAN: I am. I told everybody it’s going will be out of the House of Representa- be like a $500 million dollar hit to Con-
to take anywhere from two to six years, tives by the end of my term. I got done necticut. And they’re such a small state
two to four years to keep the common- what I needed to get done. At that point that it would bankrupt the state. It really
wealth out of bankruptcy. I’m also now it’s like, I don’t have any aspirations would. New Jersey is really struggling.
66, so I’m not interested in a career. I did for higher office and I’m 66. But I will And then I think we’re on par with New


not take a pension. I did not take health tell you this: we have two to four years Jersey. I think in 12 years, if we don’t
insurance. Obviously, because I live so before which, if we don’t solve these start solving these problems, we’re done.
close, we don’t get per diems. … I’m actu- problems, the financial solutions to We can’t keep throwing the taxes on
ally a little bit ahead of schedule. I had keep the commonwealth out of bank- (younger people).
an eight-step plan under the bankruptcy ruptcy are so severe that nobody in the
prevention plan. And of those I thought Legislature would agree to the changes. THE CAUCUS: How many years did
maybe one or two would get approved And I mean that. I believe there’s a legal you focus just on bankruptcy?
in my first term. And I was told none responsibility to pay your taxes. But I RYAN: Since 1978. I’m probably one of
of them would be and so far we’ve had believe my responsibility goes beyond the leading experts of bankruptcy for
three. And so we have more measures the legal. It’s a moral and ethical respon- We have two small to mid-sized companies. That’s my
to do. But as I’ve gotten here I’ve kind of sibility. And I believe I have the financial forte.
added to the list because there’s more expertise. ... In this budget, I believe we to four years
things broken that I was not aware of. are $1.5 billion short of what we should THE CAUCUS: Do you still handle any

THE CAUCUS: What is the bankruptcy


be paying. There’s a thing called the ARC
— the actuarially required contribution.
before which, if private clients’ cases?
RYAN: I do not. With this job it’s too
protection plan?
RYAN: I call it a “financial rescue plan,”
There’s no such term in actuary science.
The required contributions are about
we don’t solve demanding. I still lecture to CPAs occa-
sionally because I have to keep my CPA
but for everybody else I talk to, it’s really
designed to keep the commonwealth out
$1.5 billion more than we plan on doing
now and I have a problem with that.
these problems, license current. ... There’s only a few
of us who are CPAs who have kept our
of bankruptcy and it’s a multi-step pro-
cess. And I’ll give you a perfect example: THE CAUCUS: So two to four years
the financial licenses current.

the cost of children with disabilities. In


2014 I walked across the United States
until bankruptcy?
RYAN: No, I apologize. It might have solutions to keep THE CAUCUS: Going back to lavish
state spending, such as on high-priced
to raise awareness of the needs of kids
with disabilities. That’s my passion.
come across that way. Two to four years
until the solutions to our problems the commonwealth meals, or travel, do you think someone
at the state level is checking on the ex-
And I’ll be honest with you, that’s what
I want to go back to. I want to devote
are so severe that no one will agree. It
will take 12 years to go bankrupt. As an out of bankruptcy penditures?
RYAN: ... I’m not a real big believer in
the rest of my life when this is over with example, Puerto Rico went bankrupt ‘gotcha’ moments with people. I think
to do it. But we talked and realized that formally on May 3, 2017. And the crisis are so severe Mike Stack is a decent guy. I just think
there are so many structural failures had been brewing. We all knew it 15 somebody should tell him, “By the way,
in the system that if we don’t fix the years ago. There’s a common perception that nobody in if someone complains to the Internal
government, the ability to help kids with that a state can’t go bankrupt and that’s Revenue Service, you might have a
disabilities will go away very quickly. actually accurate. However the U.S. the Legislature problem.” But there’s also a CPA who is
I sponsored a resolution to get the Senate and House of Representatives in doing the state work that’s paying him,
federal government to pay its 40 percent concert with President Obama spon- would agree to equally at risk. I was part of the team
required under the Individuals with sored a thing called PROMESA. And that changed the ethics standards for
Disabilities Education Act. Now that’s what PROMESA does is allow Puerto the changes. And I CPAs. So let me give you an example.
maximum, I do want to be clear about Rico to go bankrupt and then the presi- Mary Jo Mullen, the comptroller of the
that. … I put the resolution in and the
chairperson wouldn’t run it. And he said,
dent, President Obama, appointed a
three-person panel overseen by a judge
mean that. House, is one of my students. And Mary
Jo is — there’s an expression I use, it’s
“Frank, I don’t believe in asking the fed- and then the hurricane hit. And I know REP. FRANK RYAN probably not even a real word — called
eral government to do things. That’s not many people have angst about President “pluperfect.” You can’t get anything by
our job.” I said, “You’re right, but I need Trump. But one of the things I think that her. And she said, “My goal is to keep
to get to Congress to understand this is he did that was the right thing. Now I’m you out of trouble and safeguard the
a bipartisan group.” He said, “Well, why putting on my bankruptcy hat. He said, state’s assets.” And she’s also an attor-
don’t you just print it out as a letter and “Look, we just need to forgive that debt.” ney. She’s a brilliant attorney ... and so I
get members to sign it.” (Ryan obtained All of us, the big venture firms that had was the chair of the Ethics Committee
161 signatures and met almost every it. The crisis is so severe after the hur- for the Pennsylvania Institute of Certi-
member of the House in the process.) ricane that we just need to all step up to fied Public Accountants for a year. ...
the plate and help Puerto Rico recover. We also helped write the standards on
THE CAUCUS: How do you see your And many people can’t stand hearing me ethics. And it was very, very clear with
military service informing your public say that, and I get it. But if you don’t, it us. We said our responsibility is to be
service in government? What lessons will never recover. I’ve been in seven na- independent. I’m not supposed to have
did you learn in the military that you tions in my life that have collapsed eco- a Republican viewpoint or a Democrat
end up using here? nomically. And once you start that death view. ... So had Mike Stack been a Repub-
RYAN: There is a discipline that we are spiral, then you can’t fix it. We’ve got to lican lieutenant governor, I would have
taught in the military that you should be more merciful and compassionate. made the exact same comment. It’s just
not be judgmental. My son Matt is an about the money.
ardent Democrat. And we should be THE CAUCUS: Other than Puerto The one thing I don’t like about
teaching each other to question. The Rico, are there any other states that you being up here is a lot of this stuff is de-
military is very, very good about – and view as being in as bad of a condition as signed to see who we can get in trouble.
they haven’t always been, by the way — Pennsylvania? . That’s the exact opposite of what I want
teaching our leadership principles to RYAN: I will tell you that Illinois is to do. We passed a bill that said that
stop judging people. My faith tells me probably as bad as Puerto Rico. Illinois any auditor general audit recommen-
to do that, too, by the way, to not judge has only staved off bankruptcy, predom- dations that are not acted upon in 120
people. inantly Chicago, because of emergency days the auditor general would refer
But we have to really look at what funding that was provided by President back to the appropriations commit-
will solve the problem. And I think that’s Obama and President Trump. tees and to the governor, and then we
probably one of the biggest problems have the right to suspend their appro-
that I’ve run into since I’ve been here. THE CAUCUS: But we’re not quite to priation until they comply. That was
No Child Left Behind — we left all these Illinois’ level yet? $812 million the first year. In my mind
children behind. But try voting against RYAN: No. I think Connecticut is ahead someone said to me, “Well, that’s low-
it. Yet it was probably one of the better of us. I think New Jersey is. And you hanging fruit.” And I said, “I pray to
things to vote against. The PATRIOT know why Connecticut is, right? The God we don’t ever think of $812 million
Act. I’m a retired Marine. Worst piece way the finances are run with Con- as low-hanging fruit.”

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 T H E C A U C U S 11


COMMENTARY

FLICKR

12 T H E C A U C U S Tuesday, February 27, 2018


COMMENTARY

ROCKY BARLETTA?
ROCKY BARLETTA?
The Republican trying to take away Bob Casey’s
Senate seat is fighting in a more competitive weight
class – without the experience or money.
Will he suffer a TKO?
» » G. TERRY MADONNA + MICHAEL L. YOUNG

I
f politics is a science, it is a science of probabilities, not cer- DRAGGED DOWN BY TRUMP more funds. That will not be easy. Com-
tainties. “President” Hillary Clinton could probably elaborate petitive races abound across the country
The Republican also faces other and Barletta must look like a winner to
on that, as could the late “President” Tom Dewey. challenges. One of these is Trump. The attract his share of campaign contribu-
congressman has embraced the presi- tions.
This is not to say there are no cer- READING TEA LEAVES dent so fiercely that the race will inevi- All of this paints a dreary picture for
tainties in politics. One is the calendar. tably be seen as a personal referendum the Barletta candidacy. He is likely to
Pennsylvania and 33 other states on Collectively, these antecedents sug- on Trump and his policies. lose. But likely to lose is not certainty
Nov. 6 will hold a U.S. Senate election, gest that Barletta, indeed, has a high Trump’s current anemic approval that he will.
one that almost certainly will help de- hill to climb to defeat Casey – although rating means Barletta may have trouble
termine which party controls Congress it would be foolish to predict either an expanding his base beyond core Trump PLAYING THE ODDS
during the last two years of President easy or certain victory for the incum- supporters. Even worse, Barletta is
Trump’s term in office. bent. Barletta, who hails from Hazleton, most known for his hard-line position Trump’s approval ratings are show-
Another near certainty is that is no Rocky Balboa-like political pugilist, on immigration, a position greatly at ing a modest upward tick nationally,
the major party nominees will be and he has no bronze statue sitting off odds with swing and independent state which could continue into the Novem-
Democratic incumbent Bob Casey and the steps of the Philadelphia Museum voters. ber election. Certainly, he will cam-
retiring Republican Congressman Lou of Art. paign for Barletta and it is not yet clear
Barletta. Casey’s a two-term senator But Rocky could well be Barletta’s IN THE BIG LEAGUES whether Trump helps or hurts on the
who has no serious opposition within campaign avatar as he begins an epic campaign trail.
the Democratic Party while Barletta struggle to unseat Casey, who has run Organizational challenges also con- Moreover, the now-elusive money
overwhelmingly won the endorsement statewide five times for three separate front the Barletta campaign. Barletta will flow into Barletta’s coffers if he gains
of his Republican Party. offices in the past 15 years, winning has never had a tough race nor has he momentum. Rookie or no, he might turn
Finally, we can be sure the Pennsyl- all of them in a landslide. Casey’s 2018 ever run statewide in a state of 8.5 mil- out to be a great campaigner.
vania Senate race will be perceived as a candidacy marks the 15th time his lion registered voters living in six major If any or all of these things happen,
proxy war between Trump supporters family name has appeared on a state media markets. By entering the race, he this race could end up an old fashioned
and his opponents. No fiercer critic of ballot over the course of the past six is moving from the minor leagues to the Pennsylvania nailbiter.
Trump serves in the Senate than Casey, decades. majors, becoming a “rookie” in a state The probabilities are that it won’t.
and there has been no more loyal or Hard statistical probabilities lead that has been tough on rookies aspiring The certainty is that it could.
enthusiastic supporter of Trump than the list of challenges confronting Bar- to the Senate.
Barletta. letta. For more than a century, the re- Money also looks problematic for
Casey routinely criticizes Trump for election rate for incumbent senators Barletta. Casey already has about 10 G. Terry Madonna is a professor of
many of his policies. Barletta, who co- of the party not in the White House is times more cash on hand, $5.5 million. public affairs at Franklin & Marshall
chaired Trump’s race in Pennsylvania, 91 percent. Statistically speaking, that And it’s going to be an expensive race. College in Lancaster. Michael L. Young
was the early face of immigration poli- makes Barletta’s chances of beating The 2016 U.S. Senate contest in Penn- is a former professor of politics and
cies Trump later adopted. Casey about nine percent. The well- sylvania topped $175 million, setting a public affairs at Penn State University
Who might win this looming contest established “midterm effect” holds national record. and managing partner of Michael Young
between two candidates who could not be that the party whose president occu- Barletta has little experience in rais- Strategic Research. Madonna and Young
more different? Answering that takes us pies the White House struggles to win ing these large sums. To do better, he has encourage responses to the column and
squarely into the realm of political prob- congressional races; Casey’s incum- to attract Republican national campaign can be reached, respectively, at terry. ma-
abilities, where numerous historical and bency and name certainly don’t help funders to his cause — and to do that he donna@fandm.edu and drmikelyoung@
political antecedents prefigure the race. Barletta’s chances. must demonstrate the ability to raise comcast.net.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 T H E C A U C U S 13


POLITICAL HISTORY

THIS WEEK IN PA HISTORY


Excerpts of noteworthy, newsworthy and just plain odd political news

1
Y E A R AG O
16
Y E A R S AG O
82
Y E A R S AG O

Holder, Dems target Gekas not amused Last ‘wounded heart’


Pa., swing-state districts by ‘gotcha story’ case goes to trial
FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER PERHAPS IT WAS INTENDED TO BE A HUMOROUS WAKE- MEMBERS OF AN ALL-MALE JURY IN LANCASTER
launched a Democratic coalition in late February 2017 up call for U.S. Rep. George W. Gekas, but the veteran County tilted back their chairs and watched Pennsylva-
designed to undo a “rigged political process” — redistrict- lawmaker wasn’t laughing in March 2002. Roll Call had nia’s last “wounded heart” case go to trial in March 1936.
ing — that helped Republicans sweep into congressional reported that Gekas skipped out on a luncheon with Penn- A 33-year-old widow had gotten in just under the wire
and legislative offices after the 2010 census. Among the sylvania Gov. Mark Schweiker and was seen in Washington with her appeal for a $5,000 “heart balm” from a local
group’s focus were races for governor in Ohio and Penn- later that day napping in his car. A spokesman for Gekas auto mechanic who allegedly broke off their engagement.
sylvania, where they aimed to “set new precedents for how called it a “gotcha story” meant to make the congress- Shortly after the woman had filed her case, the Legislature
redistricting must occur nationally,” according to The Asso- man look bad, but admitted Gekas was sleeping. He said outlawed further lawsuits for breach of promise of mar-
ciated Press. “The will of the people, I think, has ultimately Gekas had been fighting an upper respiratory infection for riage. The woman alleged that the broken engagement left
been frustrated — both at the state level and at the federal close to a week, was taking a cocktail of medicines and her solely responsible for the costs of a washing machine,
level,” Holder said. was under the care of the Capitol Hill physician. Reached a saxophone and dental repairs purchased or undertaken
in Harrisburg, Gekas said that when he first read the story with the expectation of marriage. The jury awarded her
he thought it was funny, but then wondered, “What were $100.
they doing around my car?” He explained he arrived in
Washington ahead of schedule that afternoon and decided
to “relax in the car for a few minutes. I put my head back
to perk up.”

238 Y E A R S AG O
252 Y E A R S AG O
337Y E A R S AG O

Legislature passes Franklin argues against William Penn gets


anti-slavery act Stamp Act; levy repealed Charter to Pa.
THE PENNSYLVANIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY PASSED “AN THE BRITISH HOUSE OF COMMONS, WHICH HAD EXAM- WILLIAM PENN, A QUAKER SEEKING THE FREEDOM TO
Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery” on March 1, 1780, ined witnesses including Benjamin Franklin over the course worship as he wished, received a charter on March 4, 1681,
a milestone that underscored the influence of both Quaker of three days in 1766, repealed the Stamp Act amid steep for a tract of land west of New Jersey, north of Maryland
abolitionism and the strength of the radical press in end- colonial opposition in March of that year. The year-old and south of New York that King Charles II had initially
ing slavery. The preamble of the act, authored in part by Stamp Act had imposed a tax on newspapers, deeds, ships granted to his brother, the duke of York. This “seed of the
Thomas Paine, states: “It is not for us to enquire, why, in manifests and legal documents. Franklin appeared before nation,” Penn wrote, was Pennsylvania. “Penn wanted
the Creation of Mankind, the Inhabitants of the several the House Committee of the Whole in his capacity as dep- his Pennsylvania to be a land where people of differing
parts of the Earth, were distinguished by a difference in uty postmaster general of America under the Crown and languages and customs could live together, where men and
Feature or Complexion. It is sufficient to know that all are an agent of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Testifying women could worship as they pleased, where men could
the Work of an Almighty Hand, We find in the distribu- before the House of Commons, Franklin was asked: “Do participate fully in their government. Such a land, Penn be-
tion of the human Species, that the most fertile, as well as not you think the people of America would submit to pay lieved, would indeed be blessed,” wrote Lehigh University
the most barren parts of the Earth are inhabited by Men the stamp duty, if it was moderated?” His reply: “No, never, history professor Jean R. Soderlund in “William Penn and
of Complexions different from ours and from each other, unless compelled by force of arms.” the Founding of Pennsylvania.”
from whence we may reasonably as well as religiously infer,
that he, who placed them in their various Situations, hath
extended equally his Care and Protection to all, and that it
becometh not us to counteract his Mercies.” The authors FROM LEFT Former U.S. Attorney General
called on the government to extend liberty and indepen- Eric Holder, former U.S. Rep. George Gekas,
dence to the enslaved, writing: “We conceive that it is our former Gov. Mark Schweiker, Thomas Paine,
duty, and we rejoice that it is in our Power, to extend a Por- Benjamin Franklin and William Penn.
tion of that freedom to others, which hath been extended
to us.”

14 T H E C A U C U S Tuesday, February 27, 2018


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