God bless their families

Article posted on March 31, 2012

I finally had a day to get at least organized.  Maybe I’ll get caught up a little more tomorrow.  I do some of my best thinking when I’m running.  Yesterday morning, I thought of a way to fix a bill that is stuck in a committee in the Senate.  This is a bill that I can’t vote for as written, but could support the intent of the bill.  We’ll see if I can get it resolved next week.  Tonight, Charlotte and I attended the Geeseytown Fire Hall banquet.  They had a brief memorial service for three members who died over the past year and then a video tribute to a local police officer/EMT/fire fighter who recently died.  One thing is for sure, these people made a real difference in their community.  God bless their families.

-John

These offices just don’t seem to be able to get the job done

Article posted on March 30, 2012

I said last night that my schedule should be freed up a little today and that I was looking forward to getting out some work.  Well, my schedule was worse than yesterday.  So much for catching up.  I did have time to take Charlotte out to the Bellwood Fire Hall for a fish dinner, it was excellent.  My office is dealing with another example of the very poor work coming out of this administration’s departments.  This time it’s a birth certificate that we have been waiting weeks for.  Whether it’s a legal opinion, a property transfer, an agreement on legislation or a simple birth certificate, the people in these offices just don’t seem to be able to get the job done.  It’s an embarrassment to those of us who try to help the citizens of this great state.    

-John

Jimmy Wayne mesmerized the crowd with his story and his music

Article posted on March 29, 2012

I had a full schedule back home today.  At lunch time, I attended the Arrow Child and Family Ministries event in Altoona.  I have been a supporter of this organization for years.  Country music singer Jimmy Wayne mesmerized, and I mean mesmerized, the crowd with his story and his music.  I’ll have a photo of Jimmy and I soon on my website.  I met with people about funding today, taped a public access program, went to the HCBI open house and attended a dinner in Huntingdon.  I have a lot less on my agenda tomorrow and hope to get caught up with office work.  At least, that’s the plan.

-John     

Next time, I’m calling the cops!

Article posted on March 28, 2012

Last night, I worked at the capitol until sometime between 9:00 and 9:30, then went to my hotel to get settled down for the night.  The hotel was full of K-9 police officers with dogs.  The hotel staff told me they were in town for a training program. Unfortunately, I had K-9 units on both sides of me.  I like dogs as much as anyone, but a barking dog is unpleasant at best.  My neighbor dogs were left alone and barked nonstop.  I had to get up this morning at 5:15 so I wasn’t happy.  I talked to someone in law enforcement today who told me that as well as these dogs are trained to do what they do, when their shift is over, they’re just dogs.  I have a warning for those two that harassed me last night. Next time, I’m calling the cops! 

-John

Today was one of the busiest I’ve experienced for a long time in Harrisburg

Article posted on March 27, 2012

Today was one of the busiest I’ve experienced for a long time in Harrisburg. I was booked without a break from 8:00 this morning until about 7:00 this evening. I then came back to my office to get some work done. I have another day like this tomorrow and have to prepare for three important meetings as well as a presentation tomorrow night in Altoona. Groups that I met with at the capitol today included the Farm Bureau, two college students who had displays in the capitol, the Bedford County Christian Home Educators, the local libraries, The Arc, Families for Public Cyber Schools, the Allegheny County Retirement Board and the Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Assoc. I also had session, caucus and a Transportation Committee meeting. There was chatter about the Jane Orie verdict and her chances of a successful appeal. The consensus was that the appeal would not likely work out in her favor and that given the judge’s order to place her under house arrest until sentencing, a long jail term is anticipated. Most of the newspaper stories I saw today weren’t about the case, they focused on who would replace her in the Senate. If you ever wondered how long it takes to go from grabbing headlines to becoming just a footnote in a story, apparently it’s about 24 hours.

-John

This is another dark day for the Senate and the people of Pennsylvania

Article posted on March 26, 2012

News just broke that Senator Jane Orie was found guilty on 14 of 24 charges.  The guilty counts included theft of services, conflict of interest, ethics violations, tampering with evidence and forgery, and conspiracy.  That’s about all we’ve received at this point.  I’m sure the media will have more detail as time passes.  I assume that at least some of these violations are felonies.  I don’t know all of the ramifications to her position in the Senate, her pension (which is a big issue in these cases), if she plans to appeal and what will happen with her sister Janine and her sister and Supreme Court Justice Joan.  This is another dark day for the Senate and the people of Pennsylvania.

-John

Maybe I can catch up next week

Article posted on March 25, 2012

After church I ran in the Ken Brumbaugh Memorial Race. I have done this race for years, but must have missed it last March. I looked on line at the times and saw that a friend of mine won our age group with a time of 37:37.  This is a 5 miler.  I thought his time was great for this race where you start at the bottom of the mountain and run up to the Horseshoe Curve then back. So, I finished with an unofficial time of 36:42, 55 seconds better than last year’s winner for the 50-54 males.  I felt pretty good about it until I saw the postings and that another guy beat me handily.  I had to settle for 2nd.  The race and an unexpected birthday party for my niece Sidney, put me behind schedule for the day.  Since this was PLC weekend, I really didn’t get as much work done as I should’ve.  I head back to Harrisburg tomorrow for three days that are scheduled about as fully as it gets.  Maybe I can catch up next week, yeah, right…

-John

Finding effective ways to communicate is the key

Article posted on March 24, 2012

The Pennsylvania Leadership Conference came to a close this afternoon.  I got to hear Herman Cain this morning.  He was a much better speaker than I imagined.  Our luncheon included a debate between the Republican candidates for U.S. Senate and the closer was Newt Gingrich.  I missed Rick Santorum earlier.  It was quite the conference.  A final comment on Frank Luntz’s presentation last night.  He showed us quite a few anti-Obama TV spots accompanied by his focus group analysis.  Interestingly, he had three ads that haven’t been released yet so, before he ran them, he made the PCN film crew turn off their camera.  I never saw anyone shut down a camera like that before, but he did it.  He also talked a lot about messaging, something he said conservatives could do better.  He said polling indicates that people who understand issues well, agree with conservative solutions.  The catch is educating the people and finding effective ways to communicate is the key.  That is a message worth heeding.

-John

“It’s like a visit to the chiropractor, it helps straighten your spine”

Article posted on March 23, 2012

I spoke to an old friend and national conservative activist today at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference about what the event meant to him, he responded with, “it’s like a visit to the chiropractor, it helps straighten your spine”.  I couldn’t have said it any better.  We had a great day.  I spoke to people nonstop about a wide variety of issues.  Preeminent on their minds was reigning in Prevailing Wage.  Public sector unions, including school teachers, were also hot topics.  In fact, I was on the platform with two school reformers who did a great job.  The dinner speaker was Dr. Frank Luntz, big-time pollster.  He was great.  More on his speech tomorrow.

-John

If ever we’ve needed a clear message of hope for America, it’s right now

Article posted on March 22, 2012

I didn’t have much on my schedule today, so I got caught up with a little work, got an overdue haircut and got the truck in for an overdue oil change. She turned over 275,000 miles yesterday. Tomorrow, I’m going to the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference in Harrisburg. I got word today that they have the largest registration ever. I’m presenting on a panel with Rep. Steve Bloom and Matt Brouillette at 2:45 PM. We’re going to cover the Four Alarm Fire budget crises facing PA. Steve and Jeff Coleman and I will host a private screening of our DVD on this subject after the dinner tomorrow night. I expect that PCN will cover the entire event, they usually do. I’m looking forward to seeing conservative leaders from across the country and hearing about their solutions to today’s problems. If ever we’ve needed a clear message of hope for America, it’s right now. And that message will be delivered at PLC.

-John