Posted October 21, 2016, 11:06 am


Voter Guide

Posted October 21, 2016, 11:02 am

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Get Out The Vote – Volunteer Shift Signup

Posted October 7, 2016, 11:30 am

756437543Republican friends,

We are weeks away from Election Day, and we need all hands on deck to ensure a Trump victory in November and keep Hillary out of the White House! We are looking for dedicated volunteers like you to knock doors in your neighborhood, as this election is going to be won through door to door interaction and talking to swing voters.

Help us win the state by signing up to volunteer below. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Emily Greene (Field Organizer at the Republican Party of Pennsylvania) at (412) 302-3338 or egreene@pagop.org.

Click here to sign-up

Pack naloxone: Police everywhere should carry the opiate antidote

Posted October 11, 2016, 10:25 am

narcan-with-needle3DA Gene Vittone lead county in championing naloxone

The effects of naloxone in reversing an opioid overdose are immediate. Allegheny County Deputy Sheriff Neil Hall, who administered the reversal drug to a woman who crashed her car after overdosing on heroin late last month, recalled her remarkable metamorphosis “from breathless, gray, purple, to standing.”

But many law enforcement agencies aren’t carrying naloxone, widely known by the brand name Narcan. That means opportunities to save lives are being lost. It also means police departments are failing in their mission to protect and serve. “Some are not willing right now,” said Jana Kyle, executive director of Fayette County Drug and Alcohol Commission Inc., explaining the lack of participation by police departments there. Fayette County has one of the worse opioid crises in the state, so it it way past time for police agencies there to get with the program.

A new report by Drexel University’s Dornsife School of Public Health criticized Allegheny County and Philadelphia for putting out too few of the so-called “take-back boxes” where people can drop opioids not needed for medical reasons. The report also criticized Allegheny County for having one of the state’s highest opioid death counts in 2014 —  255 — but only a lackluster number of known reversals by police — 15 — from November 2014 to this past June. According to the Allegheny County Health Department, as few as one-third of the county’s suburban police departments are equipped with naloxone.

In areas where police departments have been slow to carry naloxone, influential elected officials — especially district attorneys, judges and state legislators — should step into the breach. They should make sure police officers understand the scope of the epidemic, know where to get the reversal drug and how to use it.

Some law-enforcement agencies have done tremendous work and deserve to be held out as models. In Washington County, District Attorney Eugene Vittone has taken the lead in championing naloxone. Nearly every police department in his jurisdiction carries the drug. During the period cited in the Drexel study, police in Washington County administered 41 reversals, compared with the 15 in Allegheny County.

Elected officials and public health workers also must continue addressing the stigma surrounding opioid addiction. Police should take to heart the sentiment of Allegheny County Sheriff William P. Mullen, who said this in a Sept. 30 letter to the Post-Gazette about Deputy Hall’s lifesaving action: “Were the victim’s actions illegal? Did the young woman make poor choices, risking her life and the lives of the random bystanders in her path that day? The answer to both questions is resoundingly affirmative. But thanks to the redemptive capabilities of naloxone, this person was given an additional, deserved chance at life.”

Transparency and information, coming soon from a municipality near you

Posted October 7, 2016, 11:30 am

jim_christianaI authored House Bill 1155 after hearing from multiple members of the community and media who felt deliberately left out of the governing process.

Openness and transparency encourages public participation. This results in an informed electorate and informed voters, which is the keystone of democracy.

My bill, which is hopefully up for vote next week, addresses a loophole within the “Sunshine Act” by requiring all government bodies to post a meeting agenda 24 hours before a voting meeting. Items left off the posted agenda, with the exception of emergencies, will no longer be permitted.

I respect the fact that you are busy. Juggling work, family, your home and other commitments has your schedule on overload. As your State Representative, a night student in law school and a new dad, I get that now more than ever before.

Attending every public meeting is not an option for most people. Having an agenda available to the community before the meeting lets them decide if they want to attend and offer comments or raise concerns on those agenda items. For example, if a school district was going to close a swimming pool, people would know about it and have the chance to join together in voicing their concerns, and hopefully talk the board out of that decision. Transparency works!

In the private sector, this is a routine practice before any call, meeting or conference. Why should government be any less accountable?

The unfortunate reason for this bill is too many examples of municipalities, counties and school boards leaving controversial issues off their agenda in order to suppress public participation and media coverage.  Whether the issue is raising taxes or awarding a small government contract, this is a necessary requirement that can be easily accomplished and immensely beneficial to the public.

Last Thursday, I had the opportunity to discuss this common-sense measure at the Beaver County Chamber of Commerce Debate. As this is clearly a positive step toward greater government transparency, my opponent couldn’t actually rebut my position or my proposal.  He did try to twist the narrative by chiming in that we need transparency for campaign donations.

Mr. Rossi, we already have that.

In Pennsylvania, every donation received is available for public review online, including MrRossi’s personal donations to my re-election campaign last year.  The state’s website even shows that I was the only state candidate Mr. Rossi has donated to.

Mr. Rossi’s entire campaign platform so far merely consists of attacking my clothes and smoking cigars.  It would serve him better if he did some research on the transparency measures I have implemented which expose wasteful and fraudulent government spending and my focus on new accountability measures.

I will continue to champion transparency at all levels of government. My successful initiatives like PennWatch and SchoolWatch continually demonstrate their value in Harrisburg, but local government should also be more accountable.

The fact that HB1155 is not in law yet, proves there is more work to be done when it comes to conducting the taxpayers’ business openly and with transparency.

It’s your money being spent. You should always have a say in where it’s spent.

Please help me on November 8th to continue that fight.


Posted October 17, 2016, 10:12 am

voted-3I’m reposting this piece because, amazingly, the vote-rigging system it describes has not gotten widespread attention. The system can be used across the entire US.
As we know, there are a number of ways to rig an election. Bev Harris, at blackboxvoting.org, is exploring a specific “cheat sheet” that has vast implications for the Trump vs. Hillary contest.

It’s a vote-counting system called GEMS.

I urge you to dive into her multi-part series, Fraction Magic. Here are key Harris quotes. They’re all shockers:
“Our testing [of GEMS] shows that one vote can be counted 25 times, another only one one-thousandth of a time, effectively converting some votes to zero.”
“This report summarizes the results of our review of the GEMS election management system, which counts approximately 25 percent of all votes in the United States. The results of this study demonstrate that a fractional vote feature is embedded in each GEMS application which can be used to invisibly, yet radically, alter election outcomes by pre-setting desired vote percentages to redistribute votes. This tampering is not visible to election observers, even if they are standing in the room and watching the computer. Use of the decimalized vote feature is unlikely to be detected by auditing or canvass procedures, and can be applied across large jurisdictions in less than 60 seconds.”

“GEMS vote-counting systems are and have been operated under five trade names: Global Election Systems, Diebold Election Systems, Premier Election Systems, Dominion Voting Systems, and Election Systems & Software, in addition to a number of private regional subcontractors. At the time of this writing, this system is used statewide in Alaska, Connecticut, Georgia, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Utah and Vermont, and for counties in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. It is also used in Canada.”