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NEWS
April 1, 2016
ISSUE | SUPREME COURT Judicial jousting Touché, obstructionists. Well-played, Supreme Court. It appears that the Supreme Court will use its calendar as its check and balance against the U.S. Senate. Tuesday's 4-4 split over a California woman's lawsuit to strike down mandatory union fees clearly spanked the Republican obstructionists for shirking their duty to vet President Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court as required by law ("Vacant seat lets unions prevail," Wednesday)
NEWS
March 31, 2016 | By John Baer
THIS ISN'T an endorsement. It's an observation. After covering every major Pennsylvania political race of the last quarter-century, I can say I've never encountered a candidate quite like John Fetterman. Not only doesn't he look like a politician, he doesn't act like one. Yet he's running for U.S. Senate. He doesn't work a room. He doesn't talk in platitudes. He isn't fed big servings of special-interest money. He just shows up at events and says things that make sense. Or he broadcasts, somewhere on discount outlets or YouTube, unusual ads that actually ask viewers to think rather than just watch colorful video of a pol talking with groups of ethnically diverse smiling people or cops or veterans or friendly, nodding senior citizens, while making sure to gently place a hand on someone's shoulder.
NEWS
March 20, 2016 | By Jonathan Tamari, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. on Friday endorsed fellow Democrat Katie McGinty in Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate primary, calling her the party's best chance to unseat Republican Sen. Pat Toomey this fall. "The challenges we face this year and the likelihood of getting a Democratic victory in November is too significant to stay on the sidelines," Casey told reporters in a call. Casey chose McGinty over Joe Sestak, a former admiral and member of the House from Delaware County, who has had an edge in polling and narrowly lost to Toomey in 2010, but whose campaign style has worried party leaders in Washington and Pennsylvania and stirred them to look for an alternative.
NEWS
March 12, 2016 | By Jonathan Tamari, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - With help from the kind of big-money political groups they have forcefully decried, the leading Democrats in the Pennsylvania race for the U.S. Senate have launched an air war, opening a new phase in their battle for the nomination. Katie McGinty unveiled her first broadcast ads this week, followed quickly by a pledge from EMILY's List, which backs Democratic women candidates, to spend $1 million on TV for her next month in Philadelphia. An independent super PAC backing rival Joe Sestak responded with a $250,000 ad buy. Its spot, which began airing Thursday, came just days after Sestak sent fund-raising emails criticizing the influence of such groups.
NEWS
March 11, 2016
ISSUE | CAMPAIGN 2016 Focus on Pa. race I find it strange that there has been so little coverage of the upcoming primary for U.S. senator from Pennsylvania ("Debate can impact Super Tuesday," Feb. 29). And stranger yet, that columnist John Baer called Democrats Katie McGinty and Joe Sestak unexciting candidates. McGinty is a strong progressive who has worked hard for environmental causes in various government positions. Sestak, a former Navy admiral and progressive congressman, walked across the state (with little Inquirer coverage)
NEWS
March 6, 2016 | By Jonathan Tamari, Washington Bureau
HERSHEY, Pa. - With a fight over the Supreme Court vacancy dominating debate in the U.S. Senate, four Pennsylvania Democrats running to join the chamber laid out their visions of what they want to see in a new justice Friday night. Their answers at a forum before the party faithful touched on respect for abortion rights, limiting money in politics, supporting same-sex marriage, and, for one, endorsing gun rights. The quartet are running to take on Republican Sen. Pat Toomey in November in a contest that could help reshape the Senate.
NEWS
March 3, 2016
A VACANCY on the Supreme Court is not an opportunity to score political points; it is a call to duty. The Constitution states that "[The president] shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint . . . Judges of the Supreme Court. " The Constitution doesn't absolve either of their obligations in an election year, and the Senate has upheld this constitutional responsibility for the last century without exception. This year should be no different. This is not about choice or personal interest, it is about duty to our country.
NEWS
March 1, 2016
LET'S AGREE 2016 is a year in which the answer to almost anything political is some variation of who the hell knows. Let's agree our politics seem, as GOP Sen. Lindsay Graham just described his party, "bats- crazy. " Now, let's look at the Democratic primary for the right to challenge Republican Sen. Pat Toomey this fall. It's April 26. It offers very different choices. And it's wide open. A Franklin & Marshall College poll shows a majority of Democrats, 56 percent, don't know how they'll vote.
NEWS
February 27, 2016
By Gary Frisch Senate Republicans have declared that they will not hold hearings on any nomination to the Supreme Court by President Obama. Fine, then let's dock their pay. Because if they fail to do a part of the job they've been elected to do, then they shouldn't be compensated. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) appears to be the flag-bearer of this absurd, petty movement, arguing that Americans should have a voice, via the coming presidential election, in the selection of the next Supreme Court justice.
NEWS
February 20, 2016
By Art Haywood After the Pennsylvania Senate voted not to remove Attorney General Kathleen Kane last week, Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati was quoted as saying "this circus continues. " Indeed, the circus of criminal proceedings, porn emails, and media distraction from pressing issues like raising our state's minimum wage has not ended. The Senate had no power to end that circus. I served on the Senate special committee that heard testimony and received evidence related to the removal of the attorney general on the basis of a specific question.
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