DAILY GRINDER: LGBT Group Equality PA Releases Endorsements
Equality PA has released its list of endorsements for the 2012 elections this week. Locally, they’ve put their name behind Michelle Brownlee, of the 195th state House district; Larry Farnese, of the 1st state Senatorial district; Steve McCarter, of the 154th state House District; Allyson Schwartz, of the 13th U.S. Congressional District; Vincent Hughes of the 7th state Senatorial district; and Brian Sims for the 182nd state House district. “We cannot discount the impact of a member of our community at the legislative table in Harrisburg,” Equality PA notes of Sims in particular, who is gay. “LGBT Pennsylvanians will benefit greatly from the election of these four out candidates in November.” One Republican—Jason Owen of Erie—made the endorsement list.
Who do you side with this presidential election? There’s a website that could tell you just that, based on real life issues. ISideWith.com provides an “election quiz” to web browsers and helps them figure out which politician is closest to said browser’s values and opinions this year. Then, it breaks the information down by state and by website said voters have come from. As it happens, Pennsylvania voters “side with” Barack Obama on most issues, followed by Gary Johnson, Jill Stein and then Mitt Romney. Actually, most of those who’ve used the website side with Barack Obama. Even browsers from states like West Virginia and Wyoming and Arkansas, none of which he will win. The website and its results are of course unscientific and about 2 million people have taken the test. But you should. It’s fun.
The ‘fake bombs on a plane’ story has perhaps ended. It turns out a 26-year-old man named Kenneth W. Smith, Jr. was arrested for “knowingly engaging in conduct with intent to convey false and misleading information.” Smith allegedly made a prank call reporting Philadelphia man Christopher Shell had liquid explosives on a plane from Philadelphia to Dallas/Forth Worth. Smith claimed he was doing so to avenge Shell’s ex-girlfriend, whom he says Shell had “posted a compromising picture of her on Facebook.” Shell, if you’ll recall, was also arrested when he got to Texas, on unrelated charges.
Robin Jones, aide for Philadelphia city Council president Darrell Clarke, allegedly crashed a city-owned car into a pole around 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning in the Spring Garden section of the city. She then called City Council Sergeant-at-Arms for City Council, Rodney Williams, to pick her up (he was in a city-owned car, too). Police arrived, and they were both arrested on suspicion of being intoxicated. Clarke expressed anger over the incident in a statement and it’s believed both employees will be fired over the incident.
There’s a bill in the state House that’d potentially make the state Legislature a part-time body. Between their vacations, Harrisburg legislators spend about 60 days doing real, actual, in-session, you know, work—which is similar to other legislatures which are considered part-time. Members of the legislature don’t have set hours or a number of days they’re required to work, and make a base salary of $81,000.
Kiplinger Magazine says Pennsylvania is one of the best places to retire if you are old. Mostly because the state does not take old peoples’ money—there are no taxes on Social Security benefits, pensions or distributions from IRAs and 401(k) accounts.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will hear arguments this week regarding another challenge to the Pennsylvania voter ID law. Those arguments will take place on Thursday at City Hall. The law has been highly contested this year, and a Georgia Congressman even mentioned Pennsylvania’s law—and our House Majority leader’s statement on said law—at the Democratic National Convention last week.