Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pennsylvania Election Results from the National & PA NOW PACs Perspective

Thanks to everyone who worked for all of our National and state's NOW PAC endorsed candidates. Yesterday we won most but not all of the races in which we (either the National NOW PAC or the PA NOW PAC) made an endorsement. Here's a rundown of the winners. Of the 18 candidates endorsed, 15 won, 2 lost, and 1 (the Lt. Governor race) is going for a full state-wide recount.

Here are our winners.


US Senate
Joe Sestak (D)

U.S. Congress
Bryan Lentz (D) 7th CD
Lois Herr (D) 16th CD
Manan Trivedi (D) 6th CD

Governor - lost this one

Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Tina Davis (D) 141st HD
Babette Josephs (D) 182nd HD

Pennsylvania Senate
Ruth Damsker (D) 12th SD

Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee
Pamela Macklin (D) Allegheny County, 38th Senatorial District
Barbara Ernsberger (D) Allegheny County, 43rd Senatorial District
Stephanie Fineman (D) Bucks County
Karen Cochran (D) Bucks County
Joanne Tosti-Vasey (D) Centre County
Ruth Damsker (D) Montgomery County
Karen Bojar (D) Philadelphia County, 4th Senatorial District

Lieutenant Governor - too close to call

In the Lieutenant Governor's race, only 4,654 votes separate the top two candidates - Jonathan Saidel (D) and Scott Conklin (D). Since this is less than 1/2 of one percent of the total vote, state law triggers an automatic recount in all 67 counties of every vote in the state.

The Pennsylvania Department of State Bureau of Commissions, Elections, and Legislation will be doing a full state-wide recount of ballots between PA NOW PAC endorsed candidate Jonathan Saidel (D)  and his opponent Scott Conklin (D) . See the Philadelphia Inquirer (newspaper from Saidel's home county) and the Centre Daily Times (newspaper from Conklin's home county) for information so far on the expected recount.

I believe that this process will include a hand recount in those counties that have paper ballots and, in my opinion, a cursory repeat of reading the electronic chips in the counties with electronic voting machines that don't have a backup record.. This will be, FYI, the second statewide recount that Pennsylvania has held since the Help America Vote Act was passed. The first statewide recount occurred last year when Anne Lazarus, another PA NOW PAC endorsed candidate, was confirmed for the third position on Pennsylvania's Superior Court of Appeals.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Primary Election Day and Joe Hoeffel for Governor

Thanks to Caryn Hunt, President of Philadelphia NOW and member of the PA NOW PAC for speaking out on behalf of Joe Hoeffel for Governor of Pennsylvania.

Primary Election Day is Tuesday May 18.  Joe is the PA NOW PAC endorsed candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania.  The following is Caryn's statement.

Remember - get out and vote on Tuesday May 18.  Polls open at 7 am and close at 8 pm.  For a full listing of the Pennsylvania NOW PAC and National NOW PAC candidates that have been endorsed in Pennsylvania, go to the PA NOW PAC web page.

Stand with Joe Hoeffel

by Caryn Hunt

The National Organization for Women in PA enthusiastically supports Joe Hoeffel for Governor. He's got experience. He's got a record on our issues. But most exciting, he's got a backbone. He's a progressive, feminist candidate and proud of it.

He's also the smartest guy in the race with solid plans to grow Pennsylvania's economy, to keep money in the state, and to create 21st century, family-sustaining jobs. He recommends a sensible approach to the Marcellus Shale, and supports a moratorium to drilling in the Delaware watershed so potential harms to our drinking water can be evaluated. He proposes local control over handgun laws, which would give urban areas the legal foundation they need to drive down homicides, while leaving rural gun issues alone. He is a staunch advocate for women's rights: equal pay for equal work, equal access to health care, and reproductive rights. He supports gay marriage.

Dan Onorato, by contrast, does not support marriage equality. Onorato is also anti-abortion. He has stated he will support the status quo on abortion, but the status quo is harmful to women. His refusal to deal head-on with the reproductive issues so central to women's lives is a refusal seen at every level of government. It leads to chronic underfunding of access to family planning education, allows insurance companies to refuse to cover birth control, and has, by neglect, created broad negative consequences for maternity care. At the national level we saw that reproductive rights are vulnerable because they are not important enough to a majority of legislators to defend- they are viewed as 'chips' in the 'game'. Meanwhile women suffer. This attitude creates the conditions for back alley operations: it begets misery. Onorato is the Party-anointed front runner, which begs the question, how serious can the Democratic Party be about women's issues? Onorato's attitude, reflective of the Party stance, is to put reproductive rights on the back burner. Again.

Extremists nationwide come up with novel assaults on women's reproductive rights every day. Recently Oklahoma's state legislature passed a law allowing doctors to withhold information from women about their baby's birth defect, apparently to prevent abortions. Oklahoma and other states are pushing reproductive rights as far backwards as they can. They know there's a reactionary Supreme Court just waiting for the right case. Now is the time to move reproductive rights to the frontburner.

The basis of a woman's freedom is her ability to decide for herself when she will become a parent. Joe Hoeffel understands that. He also happens to be good on the economy, labor, government reform, and the environment. He's the total package. All along he's been direct and clear about his plans for Pennsylvania and on the issues. All along Joe Hoeffel has stood right up and championed women's rights, worker's rights, LGBT rights. But the ultimate decision will be made by voters on May 18th. With Joe a close second in polls, your vote is crucial. Now it's time for us to stand up with Joe Hoeffel.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Spring Pennsylvania NOW Times and Voters Guide

Our semi-annual newsletter, the Pennsylvania NOW Times is now available.  Included in the newsletter are the following articles:

  • New Executive Board Elected
  • Voters' Guide
  • Legislative Updates
  • Fundraising Update
  • National NOW PAC Endorses Lois Herr for 16th CD
To view the newsletter in pdf format, click here.