Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Scranton City Council Attacks State Preemption

According to the NRA, Scranton City Council introduced a proposal that would require gun owners to report a lost or stolen firearm within 48 hours or face fines and possible imprisonment.

The proposal, as with other proposals across the state that do the same thing, would turn victims of crimes into criminals and raises serious questions as to the legality of such a measure considering Pennsylvania has a pretty solid preemption clause in its Constitution.

As just mentioned, this type of legislation has been proposed in other municipalities in Pennsylvania. Many of those municipalities are now caught in litigation over this type of ordinance.

One has to wonder how this can be a priority for Scranton City Council. The city is swimming in red ink, has a budget deficit, stalled contract negotiations with some of its labor organizations, and has had a rather unflattering light cast on it for defaulted loans from area businesses. Instead of tackling these issues of city governance, Scranton’s council sees fit to weigh into constitutional law.

If Council is going to weigh into this matter and don the hats of constitutional scholars, it should also take a look at how the issue from all sides and hopefully gain a better understanding of what is really happening.

The DelcoTimes ran a column awhile back dealing with this exact issue. A retired federal customs agent and licensed federal firearms dealer inventoried his collection and found a pistol to be missing. He reported the firearms stolen and didn’t hear a peep after that until seven months later. The call was from the Philly PD which said his missing firearm had been found in a drug sweep. The perp was released on $100 bail and the case referred to the gun crimes unit. Months went by without any word from the authorities so again the former federal agent contacted the authorities. Turns out they decided not to prosecute.

What occurred next was more shocking…when the former Federal Agent asked that his firearm be returned he was told that he would have to contact the DA’s office to make arrangements which included appearing before a Judge to see if the former Federal Agent was fit to have his lawfully obtained property returned to him.

The Federal Agent has to appear before a Judge to get his stolen property returned to him (maybe) but the drug dealer with the stolen firearm doesn’t.

The moral of the story is this: firearms are inanimate objects. They do not commit crimes, criminals do. If prosecutors want to get guns out of the hands of criminals they should actually prosecute them when they catch them, not harass law-abiding citizens with endless bureaucratic nightmares for anyone that decides to exercise a constitutional right.

For further reading, an on-target letter to the editor from Joseph Fox, Chief of Detectives for the Philadelphia Police Department.

Scranton City Council should stop this legislation tonight. At a minimum, they could table the motion until the Constitutional issues are answered in the many cases across the state on this exact issue.

One last thought…remember the smoking ordinance that Scranton tried to pass that was found to preempt state law and was therefore, illegal? Do you remember how stupid Scranton looked and the litigation that was threatened by businesses that felt they were harmed by your last illegal ordinance? Don’t make the same mistake folks. Worry about city business and leave the state constitutional stuff to the state legislature where it belongs.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Rematch Round 4

WILK News Radio was the first to report it in an on-air interview…

Democrat businessman Gary DiBileo will seek a rematch against Democrat Chris Doherty for the Mayor of Scranton.

In the 2009 Primary Election, DiBileo lost to Doherty on the Democratic side. Doherty ran a spirited (and costly) write-in campaign to secure the Republican nomination as well. A committee, the Concerned Republicans for Mayor Chris Doherty led the effort.

Now that Doherty has formed a state PAC and announced a campaign team, his run for Governor of the Commonwealth is all but declared.

DiBileo points out that Doherty didn’t even finish his Mayoral election cycle in 2009 before setting up his state activities. Should Doherty be elected in 2009 and seek the Governorship in 2010, Scranton will likely be run by an absentee Mayor. That is just a fact of life on the campaign trail. Pennsylvania has 67 counties, if Doherty is seriously considering a run for Governor, he will have to visit them all. That is tough to do if you are in City Hall during its hours of operation Monday through Friday.

Chris Doherty is a proven fundraiser. As an all but declared candidate for Governor, he is going to have to win Scranton. If he cannot win his hometown, no one will take him seriously statewide. Enter the thorn of DiBileo.

By declaring a write-in against Doherty, DiBileo will certainly force Doherty to spend more than he had anticipated in the November Election. This will also serve as a distraction to his state efforts. This is “do or die” politically for Doherty. If he cannot win his home city, he will not be taken seriously on the state-wide stage.

Another complication is Doherty’s announcement that he is now pro-abortion. Scranton is known to be a blue collar, hard working, Catholic town. Jumping ship on abortion is sure to rile at least some of the voters that he had before.

In Doherty’s favor is the fact that he is on the ballot for both nominations. DiBileo faces the structural hurdle of conducting a write-in effort. It is no easy task and one that certainly costs more money than a traditional race. The other distinct advantage is that as a campaigner, DiBileo has always been timid. Doherty has a host of political liabilities including broken promises. DiBileo failed to capitalize on them in every campaign he has waged against Doherty. Perhaps he has learned from his past mistakes and will now discuss issues like

Bad use of taxpayer money

And more bad use of taxpayer money

Careless use of personal information

Shirking of the Audit Law

And losing funding because of shirking audit law

Ripping down private homes without due process

And who can forget the gang problem which was first denied and now is evident, 25% tax increase, ridiculous borrowing, and near union busting activities of this administration

And, the new issue of flipping to a pro-abortion stance

Gary DiBileo has yet to prove that he has the stomach for the kind of campaigning necessary to beat Doherty. Maybe he will realize that not only Doherty’s political future, but his own will rest on this election…if nothing else, Scranton politics are always interesting.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Casey, One of Seven that Still Support ACORN

Democratic United States Senator Robert Casey has voted to continue funding to ACORN despite videos which appear to show ACORN workers caught in an undercover sting operation. The videos are available at BigGovernment.com. They really speak for themselves and confirm the worst many thought of the organization.

BigGovernment.com deserves credit for brining this behavior to light. The taxpayers, forced to underwrite this organization and its actions, deserve an explanation from Democrat Casey as to why he thinks anyone that acts this way deserves a single red cent from the taxpayers.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

ACORN Exposed

Undercover investigation of ACORN featuring alleged prostitution, sex trafficking, tax evasion, and money laundering.

According to its directory ACORN has a real presence in Pennsylvania with offices in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrrisburgh and Allentown.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Van Jones Quits

As fellow Democratic Senator Robert Byrd pointed out to Politico, the appointment of Czars by the Obama White House is a dangerous precedent. Byrd views these appointments as an avoidance of constitutionally-vested power of the United States Senate to vet candidates for posts and expose them to the confirmation process.

This also creates potential problems if these Czars are placed in positions of power over cabinet officials since they are vested with authority with no constitutional method of accountability.

The Democratic President has appointed over 30 of these Czars. They are listed below. Headlines broke recently that Green Jobs Czar Van Jones has resigned amidst controversy over his past statements. These statements involved racial issues, shootings and a host of other issues. Others were more of the insult variety.

It was also revealed that Jones was a “Truther,” signing a petition with others that believed 9/11 was an inside job.

Jones was also a supporter of Philadelphia-area convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal. In his position as an “Organizer,” he put together a protest rally in Oakland in support of Abu-Jamal.

This closes an embarrassing episode for President Obama. Perhaps he should reconsider the Czar approach to governance. Those confirmation hearings that he is avoiding certainly would have vetted Jones and likely stalled his appointment to any position of power in the administration.

President Obama’s Czar Appointments so far:

Afghanistan Czar: Richard Holbrooke

AIDS Czar: Jeffrey Crowley

Auto recovery Czar: Ed Montgomery

Border Czar: Alan Bersin

California Water Czar: David J. Hayes

Car Czar: Ron Bloom

Central Region Czar: Dennis Ross

Domestic Violence Czar: Lynn Rosenthal

Drug Czar: Gil Kerlikowske

Economic Czar: Paul Volcker

Energy and Environment Czar: Carol Brower

Faith-Based Czar: Joshua DuBois

Great Lakes Czar: Cameron Davis

Green Jobs Czar: Van Jones

Guantanamo Closure Czar: Daniel Fried

Health Czar: Nancy-Ann DeParle

Information Czar: Vivek Kundra

International Climate Czar: Todd Stern

Intelligence Czar: Dennis Blair

Mideast Peace Czar: George Mitchell

Pay Czar: Kenneth Feinberg

Regulatory Czar: Cass Sunstein

Science Czar: John Holdren

Stimulus Accountability Czar: Earl Devaney

Sudan Czar: J. Scott Gration

TARP Czar: Herb Allison

Terrorism Czar: John Brennan

Technology Czar: Aneesh Chopra

Urban Affairs Czar: Adolfo Carrion Jr.

Weapons Czar: Ashton Carter

WMD Policy Czar: Gary Samore

Doherty Deceit on Abortion

The Democratic Mayor of Scranton, Chris Doherty, has now declared that he is pro-abortion.

Previously, Doherty was declared as “Pro-Life” by the local chapter of the Pennsylvanians for Human Life (PHL). On September 27 of 2003, Doherty penned a proclamation declaring the day “Pennsylvanians for Human Life Day” in Scranton according to local news accounts.

This declaration comes on the heels of Doherty’s exploration of a run for governor of the commonwealth.

The RockinTraddy blog calls Doherty “Scumbag of the Day” for his declaration.

To his detractors, the smell of pure political opportunism is in the air. Scranton is a very Catholic area. It would be anathema to run as a pro-abortion Democrat in the city. As such it seems that Doherty declared himself as pro-life. Now that he is looking to state office, he seems to have had a conversion.

It is no wonder that someone saw it fitting to launch a website entitled DohertyDeceit.com or that it has such spirited participation on its message board.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Another Democrat Indicted in Luzerne County

The Times Leader reports that Democrat Gerald Bonner, former Democrat Committee member from 1986-1988, and a current Democratic Jury Commissioner, was indicted for bribery in Luzerne County.

Again, displaying their as-expected blackout on democratic identification, WBRE, the Scranton Times, and WNEP failed to disclose Bonner’s political affiliation.

Must read story on coverage and failure on the part of the media to accurately disclose Democratic Party ID on those involved in corruption here (hat tip to Newsbusters.org).

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