This makes sense to me

Article posted on January 31, 2012

The Supreme Court’s redistricting opinion is rumored to be coming tomorrow.   House Speaker Sam Smith filed a federal lawsuit in response to the State Supreme Court’s ruling saying that a decision that would force the state to maintain the current district boundaries for the next two years would violate the state and federal constitutions.  In other words, the constitutions require the state to redraw or re balance the legislative districts to reflect the numbers from the census every ten years.  This is done to comply with the one man, one vote model.  By pushing off this redistricting for two years, the state’s highest court is breaking constitutional law.  This argument has a lot of support in Harrisburg and makes sense to me.

-John

It is the private entrepreneur who has the vision for a better tomorrow

Article posted on January 30, 2012

I have had a lot of constituent meetings lately. I am regularly surprised with the clever innovation I see when folks stop in to explain an idea they have that will help the community or start a business (of course, new businesses help the community). I met with people this morning that have a great concept that would change our daily lives for the better. Again, I was impressed. It’s seldom the government that makes a significant improvement on our lives, it is the private entrepreneur who has the vision for a better tomorrow. I might have heard from just such a visionary this morning. In this case and in many others, it isn’t a case of what the government can do to help get the idea to market, it is the opposite, what can I do to help them keep the government from stopping their project. Government needs to stay out of the way a lot more than it does.

-John

There is never a shortage of places to be and things to do

Article posted on January 29, 2012

There were lots of stories printed today concerning the redistricting mess and the fact that three of the Supreme Court Justices flew to Puerto Rico for a conference immediately after issuing their decision, but, of course, before the full opinion was written.  One story said that it would be later in the week until the opinion was issued.  No one has been more specific to my knowledge.  I got a little office work done after church and worked on a project at home for most of the day.  We are not in session this week, so I loaded up my schedule with meetings, etc. in the district.  There is never a shortage of places to be and things to do.

-John

She looks stunning, as usual

Article posted on January 28, 2012

It was announced last night that long time State Rep. Bud George decided not to run again.  Bud is one of the oldest members, if not the oldest member, serving today.  When rumors circulated recently that he wouldn’t run, he vehemently denied them and fought inside his caucus to maintain the general boundaries of his district.  Meanwhile, other, less senior members had their districts essentially abolished.  The announcement yesterday worsened hard feelings within his own caucus.  Maybe with new redistricting changes coming, his district will be on the chopping block.  Charlotte and I are headed to Fort Littleton for a Fulton County Medical Center fundraiser tonight.  I had to dig out my tux.  She looks stunning, as usual.

-John      

It is a group of good people

Article posted on January 27, 2012

The Bedford County Chamber had their annual Legislative Breakfast this morning.  I spoke and answered questions along with Rep’s Dick Hess and Carl Metzgar.  Surprisingly, the three of us disagree on a fair amount of subjects.  I left there for an R.C.& D. Council meeting.  I served as a council member when I was a County Commissioner.  It is a group of good people.  I got a little office work done this afternoon.  Next week, we are not scheduled to go back into session, so I hope to catch up a little.  There was nothing new on the redistricting situation today, we’ll just have to wait.

It gives the impression that they weren’t talking about a tweak here and there

Article posted on January 26, 2012

The news today on the redistricting was about delays.  A spokesman for the Supreme Court said that the full opinion, containing the instructions about what they want changed, won’t be ready until at least next week.  Meanwhile, the clock is ticking on the three week period to circulate petitions for office.  Late this afternoon a story quoting Justice Max Baer said that he felt that there would not be sufficient time to remedy the necessary changes and that, therefore, the old district boundaries would have to remain in place for this election cycle.  In other words, the old districts would stay the same for two more years.  This was just his estimate, but it gives the impression that they weren’t talking about a tweak here and there.  Stay tuned.

-John

I’m not betting the truck either way

Article posted on January 25, 2012

The big story tonight is that the Supreme Court, in a 4 – 3 decision, sent the legislative redistricting plan back to the redistricting commission to be redone.  They will send more specific instructions, but at the time of this posting, no instructions have been issued.  This is the first time in 50 years that the court rejected a plan.  What this means to changes in this area is unknown.  I doubt if we will be affected, but I’m not betting the truck either way.

-John

I guess that you can’t believe all of the rumors you hear in this building

Article posted on January 24, 2012

Another Senator announced today that he would not seek reelection. John Pippy, a Republican from Allegheny County, said that he wanted to do something else after 16 years in the legislature. Conversely, Mike Turzai, the PA House Majority Leader, said that he was not going to run for Congress. He will run for another term in the state House. It was widely believed that he was going to run for a newly drawn Congressional district. I guess that you can’t believe all of the rumors you hear in this building. My last update on members of the legislature is about Representative and former Speaker Bill DeWeese. He is in the second day of his Bonusgate trial. His former aid testified against him today. It is expected to be a two week drama at the Dauphin County Court House. Tonight is the State of the Union Address, and I want to get back to my hotel to catch it. I expect the speech to be filled with excuses and blame about the bad economy and include a list of things that deserve more tax money.

-John

The rumor tonight is that some changes may be in the offing

Article posted on January 23, 2012

The oral arguments on the eleven appeals to the new legislative districts were heard today.  I didn’t get to see any of the action in person or on television, but the rumor tonight is that some changes may be in the offing.  I don’t think that our area will be affected directly, but depending on what needs done to correct a problem in another part of the state, we could be bumped around.  I would guess that a decision will come down in the next couple of weeks. Of course, nothing may change.  We’ll have to wait and see.

-John

This is democracy in action

Article posted on January 22, 2012

It’s Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. I left my church early and headed to Tyrone for the Respect Life March at St. Matthews Catholic Church. The group was larger than usual and the weather was better than usual. I was the speaker tonight at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Huntingdon. They hosted a prayer vigil for the marchers. Tomorrow morning, early, several of us will be delivering hot chocolate and donuts to the buses in our area that are driving to the March in D.C. This is democracy in action.

-John