Michael Newsome to serve on Gov.-elect Tom Wolf’s budget task force

Michael Newsome of the Wolf Organization will serve on Democratic Gov.-elect Tom Wolf’s Budget Deficit and Fiscal Stabilization Task Force, Wolf’s transition team said in a news release.

The full news release, after the jump:

Continue reading “Michael Newsome to serve on Gov.-elect Tom Wolf’s budget task force” »

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Sen. Toomey calls Iran nuclear talks extension ‘very troubling’

U.S. Rep Scott Perry

U.S. Rep Scott Perry, R-Carroll Township, in an official portrait.

Update. Started 8:38 p.m.

In a phone interview Monday night, U.S. Rep. Scott Perry, R-Carroll Township, said that he feels that most Americans who have been following the negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program were “not at all surprised” by the talk extensions Monday.

“The red line came and the red line went,” he said of allowing the deadline to pass. “This is simple, Flint. You set a deadline and say this is what you’ve got to do or this is going to happen … When the deadline comes, you act on what you said you’re going to do.”

President Barack Obama’s administration’s failure on foreign policy is “unmatched by any administration I’ve read or heard about,” he said, adding that in his five decades on Earth each presidential administration has had at least some success, “including Jimmy Carter. But in this administration, I fail to find one.”

Regarding the Menendez-Kirk sanctions bill that Sen. Toomey wrote about in his news release on the extension, Perry said that there “is going to be very strong support in the House of Representatives for sanctions against Iran,” especially when Republicans strengthen their majority next session.

He said that House tends to follow the lead on the Senate on foreign policy issues for various reasons and he didn’t know of an equivalent House bill. So, that lends the question as to whether Republicans will advance the bill when they take control of the senate under incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Perry said he can’t speak for the higher chamber, but added “If I were a betting man, and I’m not, but with what has come to light I think the odds are very favorable that it will come to the floor for a vote” in the Senate.

Time will tell.

Previously reported earlier in the day:

Sen. Pat Toomey

Sen. Pat Toomey’s official U.S. Senate portrait. As an official, federal portrait, this photo is in the public domain.

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, called today’s extension agreement with Iran — which the Associated Press reported would last until July — over their nuclear program “very troubling” in a news release.

Associated Press reporters Matthew Lee And George Jahn summarized the week-long talk as having “achieved little more than an agreement to keep on talking” in their report.

“Iran’s aspiration to become a nuclear power represents a significant and immediate threat to our allies in the Middle East, especially Israel, and ultimately us,” Toomey wrote in his response. Continue reading “Sen. Toomey calls Iran nuclear talks extension ‘very troubling’” »

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Gov.-elect Tom Wolf’s names the head of his inaugural committee

Here is the full news release about the leaders of Gov.-elect Tom Wolf’s inaugural committee.


Governor-Elect Tom Wolf Names Governor Ed Rendell Honorary Chair of Inaugural Committee; Mary Isenhour and Reid Walsh Co-Chairs of Inaugural Committee

Rendell, Isenhour, and Walsh Bring Decades of Experience and Knowledge to Leadership Team


YORK, PA – Today, Governor-elect Tom Wolf announced Governor Ed Rendell as Honorary Chair of his Inaugural Committee and Mary Isenhour and Reid Walsh as Co-Chairs.


“Today, I am proud to announce Governor Ed Rendell as Honorary Chair and Mary Isenhour and Reid Walsh as Co-Chairs of my Inaugural Committee,” said Wolf. “With their combined experience and expertise, I am confident in their abilities to bring Pennsylvanians together in celebrating a fresh start for the commonwealth.”

Information concerning ticketing and scheduling of events will be forthcoming shortly.


Governor Ed Rendell

Governor Ed Rendell served as the 45th governor of Pennsylvania from 2003 to 2011. As governor, Rendell oversaw a budget of $27.5 billion and made strategic investments in the economy, education, and health care. He also served as chairman of the National Governors Association from 2008 to 2009.


Prior to his election as Pennsylvania governor, Rendell was the general chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 1999 to 2001. From 1992 to 2000, Rendell served as the mayor of Philadelphia, where he created budget surpluses and oversaw an urban and community revitalization.


Rendell is currently special counsel at Ballard Spahr LLP and serves as a co-chair of Building America’s Future, a bipartisan coalition of elected officials that are focused on improving and investing in United States infrastructure. He is also a frequent commentator on MSNBC and authored “A Nation of Wusses: How America’s Leaders Lost the Guts to Make Us Great” in 2012.


Mary Isenhour

As a senior advisor to the Tom Wolf for Governor campaign, Mary Isenhour was a key player in Tom Wolf’s gubernatorial success in both the Pennsylvania primary and general elections. Isenhour has over 25 years of political leadership and strategic planning experience within the Democratic Party. She is currently a partner in the consulting firm Isenhour Rooney Strategies, LLC, where she serves as political advisor to clients including former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell’s PAC and Pennsylvania House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody.


Before founding Isenhour Rooney Strategies, LLC in 2010, Isenhour served as executive director of the Pennsylvania House Democratic Campaign Committee from 1999 to 2003 and then as the executive director of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party from 2007 through June 2010, where in 2006 she led the state party’s successful Coordinated Campaign for Governor Rendell and Senator Bob Casey, Jr. Isenhour also served as Pennsylvania State Director for the Hillary Clinton Presidential Campaign in 2008.

Reid Walsh

Reid Walsh, a native of York, has over a decade of experience in communications, human resources, project management, and operations. Most recently, Walsh served as the director of operations for the Tom Wolf for Governor campaign, where she oversaw the operational needs of 15 offices across the state and a staff of over 90 employees. Walsh also managed the planning and execution of the Tom Wolf for Governor campaign’s primary and general election night events.

Before moving back to her hometown of York, Walsh spent over thirteen years in Washington, DC, working for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), most recently as the senior director in the Business Affairs and Program Management Department overseeing a multi-million dollar fiscal year budget while leading operational activities across seven departments. During her tenure, Walsh also served as point person for the PBS Business Affairs team to ensure timely negotiation and accurate execution of all legal agreements and acted as a primary liaison to PBS’s governmental funding arm, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. In 2007, Walsh developed, implemented, and managed a new company division of PBS. Walsh also worked on the production team for seven PBS Annual Meetings.


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Gov.-elect Tom Wolf names transition team’s Medicaid adviser

Democratic Gov.-elect Tom Wolf today named Estelle Richman, a former state Department of Public Welfare secretary, as the Medicaid adviser for his transition team.

Wolf wants to fully expand the state’s Medicaid system under the 2010 federal healthcare law, something Republican Gov. Tom Corbett opposed. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported earlier this week that Corbett’s administration plans to move forward with its alternative Medicaid plan, which would provide subsidies for hundreds of thousands of low-income Pennsylvania residents to purchase private insurance.

Richman led the state Department of Public Welfare from 2003 to 2009.

She has also had a variety of positions in Philadelphia government, and she was chief operating officer at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under President Barack Obama.

“Secretary Richman’s experience and expertise will be crucial to moving toward full Medicaid expansion, which is both the right thing to do for thousands of Pennsylvanians and their families and the right thing to do for the economy,” Wolf said in a news release.

Full release, after the jump:

Continue reading “Gov.-elect Tom Wolf names transition team’s Medicaid adviser” »

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York County state representatives, commissioners respond to York budget crisis

York Mayor Kim Bracey.

York Mayor Kim Bracey. (File photo)

York Mayor Kim Bracey called for help from county and state officials Tuesday night when she unveiled a budget with an anticipated $7 million gap.

The proposed budget, which still has to be approved by City Council, would include payroll cuts of about $1.9 million by cutting 75 positions, including nearly half the police force, in the workforce.

Some state Representatives from York County answered her call, as did some commissioners.

Here’s what President Commissioner Steve Chronister, Commissioner Chris Reilly, State Rep. Seth Grove and State Rep. Kevin Schreiber said:  Continue reading “York County state representatives, commissioners respond to York budget crisis” »

Posted in County, Kevin Schreiber, Kim Bracey, Pennsylvania State Government, Seth Grove, state House, Steve Chronister, York city, York County, York County Commissioners, York County Government | Leave a comment

Gov.-elect Tom Wolf names steering committee for transition team

Full release after the jump:

Continue reading “Gov.-elect Tom Wolf names steering committee for transition team” »

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Pennsylvania facing $1.85 billion shortfall for 2015-16 fiscal year, report says

The state is facing a $1.85 billion shortfall for the 2015-16 fiscal year, according to a report from the state’s Independent Fiscal Office.

Matthew Knittel, director of the office, said in a news release Thursday that the big contributors to the deficit are non-recurring revenues and one-time cost savings used for the current year’s budget.

Knittel said a $171 million shortfall is expected for the current fiscal year and a more than $1.6 billion shortfall is expected for the 2015-16 fiscal year.

Gov.-elect Tom Wolf, a Democrat from York County, said in a statement that the report is “a stark reminder of the dire fiscal situation my administration will face.” Wolf takes office Jan. 20.

Five Year Outlook 2014 (Text)

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How Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate compares to other states

So I’m doing more experimenting with maps today. Here is a look at how the seasonally adjust unemployment rate compares in different states for September.


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Map: Where are Pennsylvania government leaders from?

I created this map to show where the top leaders in Harrisburg are from. The map is for the upcoming legislative session, which begins Dec. 1, and for the term of Gov.-elect Tom Wolf. His inauguration is Jan. 20.

I’ve included state row officers and legislative leadership positions, based on what the caucuses announced Wednesday. I’ll also be using the green dots to track top members of Wolf’s staff and cabinet. The locations are based off hometowns or office addresses. Some are not exact.


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House Majority leader vote tomorrow, conspiracy theory put forward

On Wednesday, the Republican Caucus of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives will elect a new leader for the largest majority they’ve held since 1957.

Rep. Stan Saylor, of Windsor Township and current majority whip, is running for the seat.

Rep. Stan Saylor

Rep. Stan Saylor, R-Windsor Township. YDR file photo.

The 22-year legislator has 10 years seniority over his opponent in the race for leader, Rep. Dave Reed of Indiana County.

Also of interest: State Rep. Stan Saylor returns to Harrisburg

Reed has served as the caucus policy chairman for four years and as the Republican House campaign committee chairman for six years.

He says he wants to serve as the majority leader because this majority gives Republicans “the opportunity to move our state forward in short term goals but also long term goals as well” and that he wants to be an integral part of that.

They both also had great things to say about the state of the Republican party and Pennsylvania in general under their leadership.

Saylor called Reed “an honorable person, a good guy.” Reed called Saylor a “wonderful man” and a “great legislator.”

Also of interest: Republicans Perry, Saylor and Wagner: 3 things each wants to accomplish in the next session

Neither Saylor nor Reed wanted to talk too much on internal discussion of the race before Wednesday’s election and didn’t seem to have any biting words for one another.

That didn’t keep others from talking. Continue reading “House Majority leader vote tomorrow, conspiracy theory put forward” »

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