In Pennsylvania's

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Pa Catholic Conference and the May 20th primaries - a look at Harrisburg legislative slots

As per the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, "Primary Election day is May 20, 2014. Pennsylvanians will go to the polls to select the Democratic and Republican contenders for governor, lieutenant governor, U.S. Congressional representatives, some state senators and all state representatives."  This posting compares the  positions of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference with incumbents and challengers for the Pa House and the Pa Senate from districts in Bucks County....


The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference suuported "HB 818 and HB 587:

  • "HB 818, [which] passed in the House in April, clearly prohibits the taxpayer supported insurance plans created under the federal health care exchange from covering elective abortions. On Tuesday, June 4, the Senate considered amendments that would have significantly weakened HB 818 and defeated them [i.e.,the Schwank Amendment to HB 818 and the Vance Amendment to HB 818 ]HB 818 was passed by the full Senate on Wednesday, June 5 by a vote of 31 to 19....Governor Corbett signed the bill into law on June 17" (6/5/13).

  • "Among the many atrocities revealed at Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s 'House of Horrors' abortion clinic in West Philadelphia was that several of his staff provided medical services without the proper training or license to do so. Consequently, a woman died and seven newborn babies were killed by infanticide in Dr. Gosnell’s abortion clinic....the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed House Bill 587 to increase the penalty for those who commit the crime of impersonating a doctor of medicine....The legislation now moves to the state Senate" (12/17/13).

Among its 8 “Current Alerts,” the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference has 5 which trigger contact to the governor and/or our state legislator(s):
1.      Support Equal Education Funding in Pennsylvania (“Please represent me by returning the nonpublic school textbook and auxiliary services line items to equal that of the public schools in the state budget.”)
2. Respect All Parties in Adoption (“Please respect the concerns of all parties involved in adoption proceedings and vote no on HB162.”)
4.      Stop Human Trafficking! (“Human trafficking violates the dignity of the person….I ask you to represent me by supporting Senate Bill 75.”)
5.      Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Religious Liberty (“Simply put, this legislation is intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith….Please vote NO on HB/SB 300.”)
8.      I Support Marriage and Pennsylvania's DOMA (“Marriage is a personal relationship with great public significance-not a private affair-that affects all in society. Marriage is not just about adult relationships; it is the foundation of the family. Every child has a mother and a father. And every child has a basic right to a mother and a father united in marriage….There are many ways to protect the basic human rights of all, but redefining marriage serves no one's rights, least of all those of children. Treating different things differently is not unjust discrimination.  Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act that statutorily upholds this important building block of society is under attack, but I wanted to let you know that this Pennsylvanian supports marriage.” While HB 1349 seeks to establish a Marriage Amendment in Pennsylvania to preserve the definition of marriage,  HB1686, HB1647, and SB 719 seek to alter the definition of marriage in Pennsylvania to include same sex couples.

Where did our incumbents stand on HB 818 (and its proposed weakening amendments) and HB 587

How would challengers have stood on HB 818 and HB 587

How would incumbents and  challengers stand on HB162, SB 75HB 1349, HB1686, HB1647, and SB 719 ?



Bucks County Representation in the Pennsylvania House:



District 18: No Democratic candidate to challenge Republican incumbent Gene DiGirolamo.    

  • DiGirolamo voted with the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 818.
  • DiGirolamo voted with the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 587.
  • DiGirolamo voted against the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 162.
  • How would DiGirolamo vote on SB 75?
  • How would DiGirolamo vote on HB 300?
  • How would DiGirolamo vote on HB 1349HB1686, and HB1647?

District 29: No Democratic candidate to challenge Republican incumbent Bernard O'Neill.

  • O'Neill voted with the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 818.
  • O'Neill voted with the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 587.
  • O'Neill voted against the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 162.
  • How would O'Neill vote on SB 75?
  • How would O'Neill vote on HB 300?
  • How would O'Neill vote on HB 1349, HB1686, and HB1647?

Distict 31: Republican candidate David William Gibbon (gibbon2014@gmail.com) is looking to challenge Democratic incumbent Steve Santarsiero.  Gibbon did NOT respond to a request for information.

  • Santarsiero voted against the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 818. 
  • Santarsiero voted with the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 587. 
  • Santarsiero voted against the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 162.
  • How would Santarsiero vote on SB 75? 
  • Santarsiero is a co-sponsor of HB 300, which the Pa Catholic Conf calls "intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith." 
  • As a co-sponsor of HB1686, it is assumed Santarsiero would oppose HB 1349 and support HB1647.

 

District 140: No Republican candidate to challenge Democratic incumbent John Galloway.

  • Galloway voted with the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 818.
  • Galloway voted with the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 587.
  • Galloway voted against the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 162.
  • How would Galloway vote on SB 75? 
  • Galloway is a co-sponsor of HB 300, which the Pa Catholic Conf calls "intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith." 
  • How would Galloway vote on HB 1349, HB1686, and HB1647?

District 141: Republican candidate Joseph Lippolis (soondg@hotmail.com) is looking to challenge Democratic incumbent Tina Davis.  Lippolis did NOT respond to a request for information.

  • Davis voted against the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 818. 
  • Davis voted with the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 587. 
  • Davis voted against the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 162.
  • How would Davis vote on SB 75? 
  • Davis is a co-sponsor of HB 300, which the Pa Catholic Conf calls "intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith." 
  • As a member of the Pa House's "LGBT Equality Caucus," it is assumed that Davis would oppose HB 1349, and support HB1686 and HB1647.
     

District 142: Democratic candidates Ritchie Webb (WebbForPA@gmail.com) and Gina Kiley (email?) are vying for the chance to challenge Republican incumbent Frank Farry.  Webb did NOT respond to a request for information, and an email address for Kiley was not found.  

  • As per http://www.ginakiley.com/content/issues, "I support a woman’s right to choose and make her own medical decisions, without government interference. I also support the ability of women to receive necessary preventative care services, including birth control and health screenings....I strongly support marriage equality in Pennsylvania so all citizens are free to marry the person they love.  I support House and Senate Bill 300"
  • Farry voted with the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 818.
  • Farry voted with the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 587.
  • Farry voted against the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 162.
  • How would Farry vote on SB 75?
  • How would Farry vote on HB 300?
  • How would Farry vote on HB 1349, HB1686, and HB1647?

District 143: As Charles B. Young is reported to have withdrawn, there is no Democratic candidate to challenge Republican incumbent Marguerite Quinn.

  • Quinn voted with the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 818.
  • Quinn voted with the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 587.
  • Quinn voted against the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 162.
  • How would Quinn vote on SB 75? 
  • Quinn is a co-sponsor of HB 300, which the Pa Catholic Conf calls "intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith." 
  • How would Quinn vote on HB 1349, HB1686, and HB1647?

District 144: No Democratic candidate to challenge Republican incumbent Katherine Watson.

  • Watson voted with the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 818.
  • Watson voted with the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 587.
  • Watson voted against the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 162.
  • How would Watson vote on SB 75?
  • How would Watson vote on HB 300?
  • How would Watson vote on HB 1349, HB1686, and HB1647?

District 145: Paul Clymer is not running for re-election.  Democratic candidates Karen Chellew (email?), Jonathan McCartney (email?), and Brian Kline (bkline145@gmail.com) are vying for the chance to challenge Republican candidate Craig Staats (email?).  Kline did NOT respond to a request for information, and email addresses for Chellew, McCartney, and Staats were not found.


District 178: No Democratic candidate to challenge Republican incumbent Scott Petri.

  • Petri voted with the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 818.
  • Petri voted with the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 587.
  • Petri voted against the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 162.
  • How would Petri vote on SB 75?
  • Petri is a co-sponsor of HB 300, which the Pa Catholic Conf calls "intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith." 
  • How would Petri vote on HB 1349, HB1686, and HB1647?

Bucks County Representation in the Pennsylvania Senate:


District 6: Democratic Kimberly Yeager-Rose is looking to challenge the incumbent, Robert Tomlinson. 

  • Tomlinson voted with the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 818.
  • Tomlinson voted with the Pa Catholic Conf position on the Schwank Amendment to HB 818.
  • Tomlinson voted with the Pa Catholic Conf position on the Vance Amendment to HB 818.
  • How would Tomlinson vote on HB 587?
  • How would Tomlinson vote on HB 162?
  • Tomlinson voted with the Pa Catholic Conf position on SB 75.
  • How would Tomlinson vote on SB 300?
  • How would Tomlinson vote on HB 1349  and SB 719?

District 10: Democrat Stephen George Cickay Jr. is looking challenge the incumbent, Charles McIlhinney.

  • McIlhinney voted with the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 818.
  • McIlhinney against the Pa Catholic Conf position on the Schwank Amendment to HB 818.
  • McIlhinney voted against the Pa Catholic Conf position on the Vance Amendment to HB 818.
  • How would McIlhinney vote on HB 587?
  • How would McIlhinney vote on HB 162?
  • McIlhinney voted with the Pa Catholic Conf position on SB 75.
  • McIlhinney is a co-sponsor of SB 300, which the Pa Catholic Conf calls "intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith." 
  • How would McIlhinney vote on HB 1349 and SB 719?


District 12: Democrat Ruth S. Damsker is looking to challenge the incumbent, Stewart Greenleaf.  

  • "In 1973, The Supreme Court guaranteed a woman the right to choose an abortion in the landmark case Roe v. Wade. It is important that this right be preserved and protected....'Abstinence only' programs are not effective in reducing pregnancies....Prescription contraceptives should be covered under health insurance programs....Damsker believes that the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act should be amended to protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Damsker supports amending the Pennsylvania Ethnic Intimidations Act to criminalize hate crimes based on sexual orientation or gender....Damsker believes that any discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender is unacceptable."(http://www.voteruth.com/positions/women-s-issues).
  • Greenleaf voted with the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 818.
  • Greenleaf voted with the Pa Catholic Conf position on the Schwank Amendment to HB 818.
  • Greenleaf voted with the Pa Catholic Conf position on the Vance Amendment to HB 818.
  • How would Greenleaf vote on HB 587?
  • How would Greenleaf vote on HB 162?
  • Greenleaf voted with the Pa Catholic Conf position on SB 75 - PRIME SPONSOR.
  • How would Greenleaf vote on SB 300?
  • How would Greenleaf vote on HB 1349  and SB 719?

District 24: There is no Democrat challenging the incumbent, Bob Mensch.

  • Mensch voted with the Pa Catholic Conf position on HB 818.
  • Mensch voted against the Pa Catholic Conf position on the Schwank Amendment to HB 818.
  • Tomlinson voted with the Pa Catholic Conf position on the Vance Amendment to HB 818.
  • How would Mensch vote on HB 587?
  • How would Mensch vote on HB 162?
  • Mensch voted with the Pa Catholic Conf position on SB 75.
  • How would Mensch vote on SB 300?
  • How would Mensch vote on HB 1349  and SB 719?

Among all the incumbents from Bucks County, Davis, McIlhinney, and Santarsiero appear to be the most out of touch with Pa Catholic Conference positions.  While McIlhinney's challenger is also out of touch with Pa Catholic Conference positions, the positions of Davis' challenger and Santarsiero's challenger are unclear.  




(For this update, candidates were identified by Ballotpedia for the Pa House and Senate districts which include parts of Bucks County.  Confusing matters for many will be the re-apportionment of districts, going into effect!)

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