Archive | December 2014

Landau named to Wolf Transition Team

Delaware County Democratic Party Chairman David Landau is among at least four county residents selected to join Gov.-elect Tom Wolf’s transition team.

Landau will join a 290-member team that includes Upper Darby Councilwoman Sekela Coles, attorney Gerald Lawerence and Anthony Gallagher, the business manager of Steamfitters Local 420.

Landau was selected to a team charged with overseeing the transition in the Department of State. Coles joins the transition team overseeing drug and alcohol programs. Lawerence is part of the insurance transition team and Gallagher is part of the Department of Labor and Industry transition team.

Landau said he was pleased that several Delco residents were selected, saying it shows the county’s importance and should bolster the administration’s relationships here.

“I’m very thrilled to be asked to serve on the transition task for the Department of State,” Landau said. “I look forward to that.”

Landau was unable to go into specifics about his role, citing an ethics pledge all transition members must sign preventing them from detailing their tasks with the media.

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Pileggi says he won’t run for Pa. Supreme Court

Dominic Pileggi is sticking with the state Senate.

Pileggi, R-9, of Chester, will not seek a seat on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, according to a post on Facebook page.

“Over the past few weeks, many people have asked me to consider running for the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania,” Pileggi wrote. “While I’m honored by the support and encouragement, I will not be a candidate for the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in 2015.

“I look forward to continuing my service in the Senate to address the significant issues facing our Commonwealth, and will continue to fight for government transparency, meaningful pension reform, and a fair basic education funding formula.”

Pileggi served as the Senate’s majority leader for eight years until his Republican colleagues replaced him in November with Jake Corman, R-34, of Centre County.
Corman was backed by a group of conservative senators who saw Pileggi as too moderate. Some blamed him for the Senate’s failure to pass bills privatizing liquor sales and public pension reform.

Toomey, Casey sound off on federal gov’t spending bill

The U.S. Senate approved a $1.1 trillion spending plan that will keep most of the federal government open through September. The 56-to-40 vote Saturday night followed bipartisan passage of the bill in the U.S. House two nights prior.

Both Pennsylvania senators supported the bill.

Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat, said the bill was not perfect, but included a number of provisions he had fought to support. They included investments in the Delaware River deepening project, National Institutes of Health, Head Start and community development block grants, among others.

“While I don’t like the way it came together, strongly disagree with parts of it, and believe we have to do better — I also have an obligation to look at the package as a whole,” Casey said in a statement. “Taken in totality, this bill will help create and protect jobs in Pennsylvania and will prevent another government shutdown.”

Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican, praised the bill for “essentially freezing government spending.” He listed several provisions as important, including exemptions to the Affordable Care Act, increased investment for Alzheimer’s research, decreased IRS spending and the establishment of funding levels for the Veterans Employment and Training Service.

“In addition to stopping a number of job-killing regulations and taxes, this funding measure will help our veterans and troops, victims of child abuse and domestic violence, and researchers who are leading the fight against Alzheimer’s,” Toomey said in a statement. “I also am pleased that this bill exempts about 400,000 people from Obamacare. This is a significant step toward dismantling this terrible law altogether.”

During the approval process, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, raised a point of order questioning the constitutionality of President Barack Obama’s authority to defer deportations for undocumented immigrants. Toomey was among 20 Republicans who joined Democrats in rejecting that.

“As for the point of order regarding the bill’s constitutionality, I voted to waive it because this legislation does not violate the Constitution,” Toomey said. “Like many Americans, I believe that President Obama’s executive amnesty represents a dangerous executive overreach. But there is a difference between a bill to fund the government, and a president violating the law. Funding the government is constitutional.”

Both U.S. Congressman representing Delaware County — Reps. Bob Brady, D-1, of Philadelphia, and Pat Meehan, R-7, of Upper Darby, voted in favor of the bill when it passed the House on Thursday.

Meehan-sponsored homeland security bills sent to President

A trio of homeland security bills sponsored by U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan have passed Congress and are headed to President Barack Obama’s desk.

The bi-partisan legislation includes two bills aimed at preventing cyberattacks and another that seeks to better protect chemical facilities from terrorist attacks.

Meehan, R-7, of Upper Darby, called the passage of the bills “important steps forward in improving our nation’s security.”

“The House and Senate passed legislation, and Republicans and Democrats worked together to compromise and find areas of agreement,” Meehan said in a statement. “The result: groundbreaking cybersecurity legislation that protects our nation’s critical infrastructure from cyberattack, and legislation that will improve security at chemical facilities.”

As chairman of the House Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies, Meehan played a key role in developing each of the bills passed.

The National Cybersecurity Protection Act of 2014 codifies the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center at the Department of Homeland Security and its existing cybersecurity responsibilities. The legislation was a Senate companion bill to a House Resolution Meehan sponsored.

The Cybersecurity Workforce Assessment Act requires the secretary of Homeland Security to assess and enhance the department’s cybersecurity workforce. The Protecting and Securing Chemical Facilities from Terrorist Acts of 2014 reauthorizes the Chemical Facilities Antiterrorism Standards program, providing guidelines to improve its operation, measure progress and enhance security. Meehan sponsored each of these bills.

 

Democrats express interest in vacant county council seat

A pair of Democrats announced today that they have applied for the vacant county council seat created by Chairman Tom McGarrigle’s departure for the state Senate.

Former Lansdowne Mayor Jayne Young and Media tax collector Bob Dimond submitted their information to the county clerk earlier this week, according to the Delaware County Democratic Party.

McGarrigle, a Republican, is leaving council with one year remaining on his second term. The all-Republican board is charged with appointing a replacement within 30 days of McGarrigle’s Dec. 31 resignation.

No Democrat has held a seat on the board since the county’s Home Rule Charter went into effect in 1976.

Young, who previously served as three terms as mayor of Lansdowne, is a project manager at the Pennsylvania Resources Council. She unsuccessfully ran for county council in 2011.

Dimond, a Korean War veteran, has served as Media’s tax collector since 1999. He previously was the mayor of East Lansdowne for eight years and a council member there for eight years beforehand.

Young and Dimond joined Rev. Keith Collins in publicly announcing their interest. Collins has twice run unsuccessfully for council as a Democrat, though he indicated that he is switching his registration to independent.

The county is accepting resumes from candidates until Friday.

McGarrigle, who beat Democrat John Kane to win the open seat in the 26th Senatorial District, presided over his final county council meeting today. Council unanimously passed a $338 million budget that holds the line on real estate taxes in 2015.