Conservation Voters of PA Endorses Danielle Friel Otten for State Representative

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 18, 2018
Conservation Voters of PA Endorses Danielle Friel Otten for State Representative

[Philadelphia, PA] – Today, Conservation Voters of PA endorsed Danielle Friel Otten for State
Representative in Chester County’s 155th District. Conservation Voters of PA represents thousands of
individuals in the Commonwealth who are committed to clean air, land, energy, and water, and
prepared to vote for candidates who reflect those values.
“Danielle embodies all of the values we look for in pro-environment candidates. She is a self-motivated
and passionate advocate for clean water in her own backyard and will bring real change to Harrisburg,”
said Josh McNeil, Executive Director of Conservation Voters of PA. “Danielle will not only make
environmental protection a top priority when elected, but she also has firsthand experience in enacting
lasting change.”
In 2017, Ms. Friel Otten co-founded the Uwchlan Safety Coalition when she found out that the Mariner
East II pipeline was going to cut through the yard where her children play. She successfully organized
hundreds of local citizens to advocate for pipeline safety and succeeded in electing township leaders
who will serve as key watchdogs for pipeline development. Ms. Friel Otten is a mother, businesswoman,
and community leader who is committed to fighting for the health and welfare of the residents and
landscapes in the 155th District.
Ms. Friel Otten said of the endorsement, “I am so grateful for partners like Conservation Voters of PA
who understand that real change and lasting progress happen by building a coalition of environmentally
minded legislators and activating citizens who will stand up together to challenge polluters and oil, gas
and industry lobbyists who work to take our voice away in Harrisburg. I am committed to being a
champion for clean air, clean water and protection of Pennsylvania’s precious land and resources, and
proud to stand with Conservation Voters of PA.”
Information about Danielle can be found at www.danielle4pa.com.
Good environmental laws are made by good environmental lawmakers. That’s why Conservation Voters
of Pennsylvania works to elect leaders committed to a cleaner, safer Keystone State.
##

Danielle Friel Otten - PA House 155

Mailing Address

400 Devon Drive
Exton, PA 19341

Contact

Phone: 484 876.1361

Email: danielle@danielle4pa.com

Website: http://www.danielle4pa.com/

Meet the two Democrats hoping to unseat Rep. Daryl Metcalfe

Meet the two Democrats hoping to unseat Rep. Daryl Metcalfe

Democratic voters in the Pennsylvania’s 12th state House district were introduced Saturday to the two candidates who are vying for the chance to unseat GOP state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, who has served in the state House since 1999.

Daniel Smith Jr., of Adams, and Honora Rockar, of Cranberry, will face off in the May primary. They covered a bevy of issues during the Butler County Democratic Party’s candidate forum, including abortion rights, marijuana legalization, illegal voting and opioids.

Ms. Rockar is an adjunct professor of information systems at Duquesne University. She has lived in Cranberry since 2004. As part of her platform, she wants to place an emphasis on technology investments, business development and creating a more accountable and responsible government.

Mr. Smith, who is a manager at BNY Mellon, said he ran because he feels Mr. Metcalfe has not properly represented his constituents. He said he wants to bring a new focus to the local issues facing the district such as infrastructure and education.

“The job of a representative is to represent everybody,” Mr. Smith said. “His view is, ‘If you didn’t vote for me, you’re not my constituent.’”

Mr. Metcalfe, one of the most conservative members of the GOP-controlled legislature, is known for his boisterous outbursts that sometimes go viral.

Last month, the Butler Republican posted his opinions about the Parkland High School shooting and referred to student activists in quotes, echoing a false theory that the teenagers were paid actors rather than students at the Florida school where 17 died in a mass shooting last month.

“I totally applaud the students in Florida for their ability and strength to be able to come and protest and get laws changed,” said Ms. Rockar, who added that she would be in favor of legislation that bans the sale of automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines.

In December, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf asked GOP House leaders to demote Mr. Metcalfe for “offensive and discriminatory statements” he made during a meeting of the House State Government Committee, which he chairs.

He’s also drawn a rebuke from his Democratic counterparts for blocking bills that would outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

Mr. Smith, who is openly gay, characterized Mr. Metcalfe as a “bigot” and “sexist.” Ms. Rockar, while not as pointed in her criticism, said, if elected, she will do everything in her power to protect LGBTQ rights.

Mr. Metcalfe dismissed Mr. Smith’s portrayal of him as a “nonsensical attack” that fits a narrative used to undermine him and his office.

“I look at every individual as someone who deserves respect and their rights protected,” Mr. Metcalfe said.

Tim Williams, 56, attended the forum and said he was impressed with both candidates and believes Mr. Metcalfe’s viewpoints and style of governance are antiquated.

“Sometimes when you’re in a position too long you get complacent,” said Mr. Williams, a 10-year resident of Cranberry and a registered Democrat. “This district is a growing area, and the representative needs to be open to more views.”

Mr. Metcalfe pointed to that fact that he has been repeatedly reelected as evidence he is in touch with his constituents’ concerns.

“I have a very strong record over the last 20 years on fighting on the behalf of my constituents in Harrisburg,” he said. “The results speak for themselves.”

Katishi Maake: kmaake@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1459 or @katishimaake

First Published March 24, 2018, 7:51pm

Source: Meet the two Democrats hoping to unseat Rep. Daryl Metcalfe

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

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

Phoenixville-Area Woman Announces Candidacy For PA’s 157th District

Local business owner Melissa Shusterman has announced her candidacy to challenge State Rep. Warren Kampf (R) in the 157th District.

Phoenixville-Area Woman Announces Candidacy For PA's 157th District

PHOENIXVILLE, PA — A Democratic challenger has announced her intention to run for Rep. Warren Kampf’s (R-157) seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Local business owner Melissa Shusterman will vie for the 157th seat, which encompasses parts of Phoenixville, Upper Providence, Schuylkill, and Tredyffrin.

“It is an exciting time to be involved in politics,” Shusterman said in a statement. “When it comes to the government, there is a great deal of activity, energy, sharing of ideas and frustration being expressed throughout my district. People are upset with the status quo and the lack of transparency with the entire election process.”

Shusterman, a Schuylkill Township resident and Conestoga graduate, is involved with TurnPABlue, an organization aimed at increasing the number of elected Democrats in Pennsylvania politics.

Kampf, a Republican has been in office since 2010. In 2016, he soundly defeated Democratic challenger Hans Van Mol.

Shusterman says she wants to “offer the voters a determined citizen not a career politician.”

According to Kampf’s office, his legislative agenda has “focused on job creation, pension reform, crafting sustainable budgets, improving Pennsylvania’s business climate, and increasing competitiveness through regulatory reforms.”

Shusterman has a master’s in Media Studies from American University. She has worked at companies like The Food Network, VH1, MTV, and HGTV, and has also founded her own digital video production company, Fedora Media.

State representatives in Pennsylvania serve two year terms. The election for the 157th seat will be held on Nov. 6, 2018.

Image via Furman Communications

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