fbpx
Tag

legislature

Browsing

Perhaps the only thing more heartbreaking than the string of child cancer cases in Washington County in recent years is the total lack of accountability by the region’s elected officials. A quick look at the political landscape makes it easy to understand why. State Senator Camera Bartolotta and State Representatives Jason Ortitay and Tim O’Neal all owe their political existence to campaign money from the oil and gas industry, with O’Neal even working in the industry before being elected. Not surprisingly, they collectively assumed the mantle as ardent defenders of the companies operating in and around their districts. Nowhere has this been more apparent than in response to the public outcry over the cancer cluster in Washington County. Bartolotta, Ortitay, and O’Neal: The Oil and Gas Industry’s Three Stooges The…

NOTE: THIS POST IS SATIRICAL IN NATURE. THE INTENT IS TO SHOW THE FAILURE OF LOCAL LEGISLATORS TO PRIORITIZE HEALTH AND SAFETY OVER EVERYTHING ELSE, ESPECIALLY MONEY. With tens of thousands of residents from southwestern Pennsylvania reaping the consequences of the region’s booming oil and gas industry, local state legislators and senators are joining the rush to make sure they don’t miss out on the financial benefits. Recently, Senators Camera Bartolotta and Elder Vogel joined forces with their colleagues State Representatives Jason Ortitay, Josh Kail, and Tim O’Neal to form a new company to address the needs of the region. Their new venture, Kiddie Koffins, is aimed squarely at the rising rates of child cancer from a cancer cluster primarily located in Washington County. Representative Kail recalls the initial brainstorming session that led to the formation of Kiddie Koffins. “We…

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Let’s get one thing straight right up front. Lindsey Williams won. Nobody can dispute the results of the election for the vacant seat in Pennsylvania’s 38th Senate District. Lindsey Williams: 62,361 Votes Jeremy Shaffer: 61,568 Votes I’m no mathematician, per se, but I checked my work several times and used the calculator app on my phone to be sure. Senator-elect Lindsey Williams beat Republican Douchey McDoucherson Jeremy Shaffer by 793 votes. Done deal, right? You’d think so, but never underestimate the enduring petty dickishness of Republican legislative leaders in Harrisburg. Here’s a quick breakdown of this utterly bullshit “issue” making equally bullshit headlines.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text] What Are The Legal Issues? Article II, Section 5 of the Pennsylvania Constitution lays out the requirements to be a state senator as follows:[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”Qualifications of members. Senators shall be at…

As has been widely touted by Camera Chatham Bartolotta, Goose in the Gallows received a “cease and desist” email from her attorney, Matthew Haverstick of the Philadelphia law firm Kleinbard LLC/ This notice comes in response to the article we published several days ago regarding questions about the potential use of taxpayer-funded resources for political purposes, specifically email addresses submitted to Bartolotta’s official website showing up on campaign mailing lists.   To be blunt, this threat by Senator Bartolotta is utter nonsense, and we are treating it as such. But instead of restating our points and in the sake of transparency, here is the response we sent to Mr. Haverstick upon receiving their initial threat. At this time we have no further comment on this issue and plan on focusing…

As the 2018 Election Cycle begins its wind into the homestretch, some Democratic candidates for Pennsylvania State House and Senate will wake up one day in early October to realize those months of planning, personal sacrifice, and hard work will likely not be enough to put their campaigns over the top. Most voters may not understand this, but many campaigns are decided well in advance of Election Day; not by the voters, but by “the Stakeholders” who fund most closely-contested political campaigns. Who are the Stakeholders and why do they matter? It’s not as clandestine as it sounds. In Democratic politics, the stakeholders are composed mainly of labor unions, the legal community and other professional groups that have a vested interest in what happens in the State Legislature. Because most…

Sometimes the inner workings of government can be complicated and require a nuanced understanding of how and why things happen the way they do. Then there are the times when you’re like “What the hell are those clowns doing?” This is one of the latter. Earlier this week, TribLive.com published an article titled, “Cash-strapped state giving $1 million to Nutting-owned Seven Springs, Hidden Valley.” You can read the entire piece here, but the bottom line is this: Pennsylvania, yes the very same Pennsylvania that couldn’t get around to passing a state budget for the first time in modern history, is giving a $1 million to Bob Nutting, the billionaire (yes that’s billion with a “b”) owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates. This isn’t a tax credit or some write-off; the Commonwealth…

As someone who has worked in government and politics for years, including eight years as a state legislator, my bar for basic competence is relatively low. At this point, it takes something extraordinarily stupid to make me sit up and take notice. On that bit of foreshadowing, let’s take a look at my old stomping grounds, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, where this week they passed what I can only refer to as The Dumbest Fucking Idea Ever™. The Backstory The state is legitimately broke, with a $32 billion spending plan approved without any way to pay for it, which in of itself is pretty dumb, but furthermore, nobody knows where the final $2.2 billion needed to balance the budget is going to come from. The governor, Tom Wolf, is…