Anti-Trump wave in Pennsylvania? More Democrats than Republicans seek election to the state Legislature

Democrats account for 56 percent of the 489 candidates who filed petitions by Tuesday’s deadline to run in 228 elections for Pennsylvania Legislature in what could be another sign of an anti-Donald Trump wave powering a renewed interest in elective politics.

Source: Anti-Trump wave in Pennsylvania? More Democrats than Republicans seek election to the state Legislature

For Immediate Release: Democratic PA Senate District 16 Candidate Mark Pinsley Receives the Endorsement of Fellow Progressive and PA Lt. Governor Candidate John Fetterman

  Democratic PA Senate District 16 Candidate Mark Pinsley Receives the Endorsement of Fellow Progressive and PA Lt. Governor Candidate John Fetterman  ALLENTOWN, PA— On Friday John Fetterman endorsed PA State Senate District 16 Candidate and progressive activist, South Whitehall Commissioner Mark Pinsley. Pinsley is running for the PA Senate 16th District seat currently held … Continue reading For Immediate Release: Democratic PA Senate District 16 Candidate Mark Pinsley Receives the Endorsement of Fellow Progressive and PA Lt. Governor Candidate John Fetterman →

Source: For Immediate Release: Democratic PA Senate District 16 Candidate Mark Pinsley Receives the Endorsement of Fellow Progressive and PA Lt. Governor Candidate John Fetterman – The Valley Ledger | Its All About The Lehigh Valley

Pa. lawmaker obtains restraining order against fellow House member she accuses of abusive behavior

Rep. Tarah Toohil obtained the restraining order against fellow House member, Rep. Nick Miccarelli, who she once dated, out of fear for her life. The restraining order bars Miccarelli from contacting her or being around where she lives or works.

State Rep. Tarah Toohil on Friday obtained a protection-from-abuse order against a fellow Republican House member who she has alleged in a complaint pointed a gun at her in 2012, threatening to kill her and himself by crashing his car while driving 100 mph.

Toohil, R-Luzerne County, obtained the order from a judge in her home county against sitting five-term incumbent Rep. Nick Miccarelli of Delaware County, with whom she once had a dating relationship, confirmed Terry Mutchler, who along with law partner Charlie Lyons, is representing her.

“From the beginning, she was in fear for her life and it was on that basis that the judge issued the temporary order,” Mutchler said. “A hearing will be held next week to determine whether the temporary order will stay in place.”

A spokesman for Miccarelli, who is under investigation by the Dauphin County District Attorney’s office as well as House of Representatives, denounced the order as part of “an ongoing smear campaign” by a jilted partner who is attempting to destroy his life.

Toohil along with a political consultant, who had dated Miccarelli from 2013 to 2014, last month filed a complaint with the House of Representatives, accusing the 35-year-old lawmaker of violating the House’s workplace harassment policy.

In her complaint to obtain the restraining order, Toohil alleged after they broke up, Miccarelli continued to harass and stalk her. “I had to hide my family and staple a note to my life insurance policy that in the event of my death he should be investigated,” the complaint states.

In a story about a complaint she and the political consultant filed with the House that was first reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer and The Caucus on Feb. 28, the women alleged Miccarelli had sexually or physically assaulted them and engaged in other abusive behavior over the past six years.

Miccarelli, who got married on Feb. 17, has denied the allegations and has issued subsequent statements proclaiming his innocence.

The statement from his spokesman Frank Keel said, “It’s shameful that Toohil would make this move for a PFA without any notice to Nick or any opportunity for him to be heard. The allegations Toohil trumpeted to secure the PFA supposedly occurred six long years ago, yet she never decided to seek any legal relief until now?

“She knew Nick was recently married. It’s unconscionable that Toohil would abuse the PFA process in this way at this time, knowing the shame and embarrassment it would bring to Nick and his new family. The only minimal contact the two even have at this point in time is when they’re carrying out their official duties at the State House.

“This stunt provides further evidence that political forces beyond Toohil and Nick’s other female accuser are pulling out all the stops to destroy Nick’s good name and end his political career. Nick Miccarelli maintains his innocence. He has done nothing wrong and will continue to fight these outrageous and baseless allegations against him.”

The women have been reported as saying they didn’t come forward until now out of fear for putting their careers or lives in jeopardy.

In the complaint, Toohil states, “I have been silent for fear that when this story is released he will kill me, himself and others.”

She later says, “Threats, intimidation and his obsession with violence and firearms causes me great concern for myself and my entire family and coworkers.”

The women were emboldened to have their story made public by the #MeToo Movement to try to hold Miccarelli accountable for the alleged behavior, particularly after Miccarelli put a post on his Facebook page saying “The me too stuff is really hard to read. We must face this issue together,” Mutchler has said.

The restraining order bars Miccarelli from having any contact with Toohil or being where she lives or works, according to a story that appeared late Friday afternoon in the Citizens Voice.

It was unclear on Friday evening how that will impact his ability to participate in next week’s House session or caucus discussions. House Republican spokesman Steve Miskin said, “We’ve not seen the order yet. There’s nothing we can comment on.”

Mutchler confirmed that as part of the order, Miccarelli, who is a staff sergeant in the Army National Guard, will have his firearms confiscated. One of the women confirmed to PennLive that Miccarelli did occasionally carry a concealed firearm. In the complaint for the restraining order, Toohil said he has carried a weapon on the House floor.

Sources close to the House investigation who are not authorized to speak publicly about it confirmed that both women told House investigators looking into their complaint that Miccarelli had an obsession with former state Treasurer R. Budd Dwyer’s public suicide in 1987 and that fact sparked concern for House investigators. Toohil mentions the alleged obsession with the Dwyer suicide in her complaint for the restraining order as well.

All eight House Republican leaders have called on Miccarelli to resign from his House seat as did Gov. Tom Wolf and some House Democrats.

Until now, neither women’s names has been released publicly.

Mutchler said on Friday evening, “Rep. Toohil was preparing to go public with her name on Monday because she feels very strongly as a public official that she has a duty to protect other women and wanted to underscore the complexities and the issues that go along with women and families involved in situations of domestic violence or sexual violence. Obviously with the protection order her name came out sooner.”

Source: Pa. lawmaker obtains restraining order against fellow House member she accuses of abusive behavior

98 Democratic Women File Petitions for State Legislature

As Democrats look to increase their numbers in the state Senate and House, 98 Democratic women have filed petitions to be on the ballot in the May primary with the help of groups like Emily’s List and Emerge Pennsylvania.

Currently there are 9 women in the 50 member state Senate, and 40 women of the 200 seated members in the state House.

Update: According to the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University Pennsylvania ranks 39th for women in the state legislature.

Emily’s List has been on the ground in Pennsylvania since last year when they ran a training session in Philadelphia to help women become more engaged and connect with resources to help them navigate the process.

Part of the work Emily’s List has done includes helping women who have been working in politics, including women in elected office, help those considering learn about the process.  They have been working with groups in the state including Emerge Pennsylvania.

According to their website, Emerge Pennsylvania works towards “identifying, training and encouraging Democratic women to run for office, get elected and to seek higher office.”

“Since November of 2016, we’ve seen a movement sweep the country and women have stepped up to lead the resistance.  Women have decided that they are no longer accepting the status quo and have set out to make the government reflect their values and ideals,” Emerge Pennsylvania Executive Director Anne Wakabayashi said.

Emerge Pennsylvania has 18 alumni of their training program running for the state legislature, including five for the state Senate and 13 for the state House.

“After 100 percent of our alumnae on the ballot in 2017 won their elections, we are excited about the group of Emerge women who have stepped forward in 2018, ready to make a difference in their communities, Harrisburg and Washington,” Wakabayashi said.

Emerge Pennsylvania also has three alumni running for Congress.

The increase in Democratic women is part of an increase of Democratic candidates running for state legislative seats.  56% of the candidates who filed petitions to be on the primary ballot are Democrats, according to the Morning Call.

Source: 98 Democratic Women File Petitions for State Legislature

Democrat Meredith Buck announces run for 144th state house district

Meredith Buck, of Chalfont, is running for the state house with the endorsement of Bucks County Democrats.

First a nurse, then a lawyer and now she’s hoping to be a state legislator.

Meredith J. Buck, of Chalfont, announced her candidacy this week for the Democratic nomination in the race for the 144th District state House of Representatives seat held by retiring Rep. Kathy Watson.

The 58-year-old Democrat comes to the race with her party’s endorsement and so far is running unopposed in the May 15 primary. Buck is taking aim at health care, education and safety as campaign issues.

“The partisan politics in Harrisburg has neglected our senior population for way too long and has shortchanged our public education system,” she said, in a statement.

The race won’t be Buck’s first. In 2015 she ran for district judge, which she lost to District Judge Regina Armitage. Since that campaign, Buck has focused on her legal practice, especially in the field of family law, and on pro bono work representing protection from abuse victims, the candidate said by phone Friday.

On the Republican ballot, Realtor Todd Polinchock is seeking his party’s nod, touting his military service, small business experience and involvement with his community.

The two are likely to square off for Watson’s seat in the fall.

Watson was one of four state-level Republican legislators in mid-January to announce intentions to retire, along with Sens. Chuck McIlhinney, R-10, and Stewart Greenleaf, R-12, and state Rep. Bob Godshall, R-53.

Source: Democrat Meredith Buck announces run for 144th state house district

Activist groups to hold meet and greet with Democratic candidates of 10th Congressional District

Court District 10 map

Two activist groups will host a meet and greet with Democratic candidates of the 10th Congressional District.

The meet and greet and petition-signing event will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Harrisburg Bridge Club, 349 N. 21st St., Camp Hill.

The event is hosted by Indivisible PA4 and Rising Fourth. Some portions of the new 10th Congressional District set by the state Supreme Court are in the 4th Congressional District. That district is represented by Congressman Scott Perry, of Dillsburg, who is seeking the Republican nomination for the 10th District.

The 10th District includes Cumberland County from Carlisle eastward, all of Dauphin County and northern York County.

From this newly formed district, there are five Democratic candidates who have confirmed they are still running for the seat, or who have announced their candidacy since the release of the new district map.

Alan Howe of Carlisle, George Scott of Dillsburg, Shavonnia Corbin-Johnson of York County and Gene Stilp of Middle Paxton Township are Democratic congressional candidates living in the district.

According to LancasterOnline, Christina Hartman of Lancaster has also declared for a run in the 10th District, even though Lancaster County is not in this district. According to the House of Representatives website, the qualifications to be a congressman or congresswoman is to be at least 25, be a U.S. citizen for at least seven years and live in the state he or she intends to represent (not necessarily in the same district).

Corbin-John, Hartman, Howe and Stilp will be in attendance at the meet and greet, and Scott will send a representative.

Candidates for local state House seats will also be in attendance.

Local PA activist Katie Muth takes on anti-women’s health commissioner publicly and wins!

images.jpgMany of the readers on this site will have had the experience of taking on the local GOP hacks in county government. My experience has been that they try to bully you by acting condescending as if you have no idea what you are talking about. What I have found is effective is when one has done one’s homework and reciting back to them what their actual voting record is. They generally start to look like a deer in the headlights and usually quickly run for cover.  read more…