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Michael Taylor Runs for Chester County Judgeship

Chester County attorney Michael Taylor announced he is running for Common Pleas Court judge.

In his announcement, Taylor, a Republican, promised to be strictly nonpartisan if elected, as judges are traditionally called to be.

“This announcement is to all citizens of the county, not just the members of one political party or another. For, the position of judge is above politics or political theory,” Taylor said. “A judicial candidate’s sole promise must be to uphold and pronounce the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the United States of America. Such a promise includes the equal application of the law to those who come before the court without the influence of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, or wealth. Today, I make this solemn pledge.”

He added, “Judges serve to protect the American Experiment by providing an unbiased forum to resolve society’s disputes. Judges are the arbiters of the law as pronounced by the legislature when parties come before them. In other words, a judge calls the ‘balls and strikes’ on the activities of our society nothing more, and nothing less. The judge is the ultimate referee.”

Taylor, of Uwchlan Township, has practiced law for 24 years and appeared in state and federal courts.

He graduated from Boston College and Temple University School of Law with his Juris Doctorate degree in 1998. He passed the bar in Pennsylvania and New Jersey that same year.

While in law school, he was a Temple Environmental Law and Technology Journal member. As a newly admitted attorney, Mike began his practice of law representing injured clients seeking compensation for their injuries. This work included representing injured members of the local federal railway unions and standing up to well-financed businesses, agencies and hospitals,” he said. He also assisted individuals with financial difficulties by volunteering with the Consumer Bankruptcy Project.

Taylor also volunteered legal services to the Support Center for Child Advocates in Philadelphia, where he was a court-appointed lawyer for the city’s most vulnerable children.

Taylor grew up in Ridley and moved to Chester County as a newlywed, attracted to a “well-run, low-tax community.”

He is married and has two children, ages 19 and 16. The family is parishioners of Saints Philip and James parish. They often attend various local events and enjoy walking the neighborhood with their dogs.

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POWELL: A Five-Step Plan for a Trump 2024 Victory

Former president Donald Trump’s announcement of a 2024 White House run was predictable, even if the timing was suspect. He delivered his message calmly and clearly, and he remained on point. The problem is the message was given by a man who has been branded by his opponents with the most problematic personal characteristics of any president in recent history.

The challenge for Trump is to overcome his own negative brand. Can it be done?

According to FiveThirtyEight, Trump’s unfavorability outpaced his favorability by 14.4 points in October 2022. The Club for Growth released a polling memo after the midterms showing Trump trailing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis by double digits in the key early presidential states of Iowa and New Hampshire, according to Politico.

However, the Morning Consult tracking poll may portend there is some daylight for Trump to turn his numbers around.

According to the poll, which tracks Trump’s popularity with Republican primary voters, Trump’s support dipped to 40 percent after the post-election events of January 2021. Trump rose to 57 percent in August 2022 — likely due to the FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago, and then dropped to 48 percent post-midterms in which several of his high-profile endorsed candidates lost.

Tracking polls also show DeSantis increasing his support from 14 percent to 26 percent during 2022.

The Morning Consult polling narrative suggests the Trump and DeSantis candidacies may be more symbiotic than parasitic, each appealing to different parts of the base.

“The Trump-supporting potential primary voter is slightly more likely to be a woman, a person of color, or lack a college education while the average DeSantis backer is more likely to hail from the suburbs, live in a higher-income household, and be of retirement age,” it reported.

And, the 26 percent who support neither candidate seem to be up for grabs. “This group of voters — a third of whom no longer want Trump to play a role in the party — shares a similar gender and educational makeup to the DeSantis base, while their age, household income, community, and racial identity aligns more closely with the typical Trump supporter, suggesting they may eventually split their allegiances, which could work to Trump’s advantage.”

Trump will need five things to happen to be successful and win the nomination.

—He cannot be the person his enemies say he is from this point forward. He needs to focus on issues, framing problems and positing solutions. He cannot attack the media, mock his opponents or excuse his past transgressions. If he slips here, he will fail.

—Trust that more “pain” is in the future due to President Biden’s policies. That will keep his campaign focused primarily on the economy, where he can win the support of 65 percent of primary voters who do not currently back his candidacy.

—Use political Jujutsu against Democrats to manipulate their force against them. That will be difficult for Trump as it cuts against his grain because he fancies himself to be a good counterpuncher who, during his term in office, usually meant insulting those who opposed him. Trump must find ways to deflect personal attacks and use them to highlight their failed policies.

—Embrace the new generation of Republicans in the House of Representatives as disciples of Trump’s “America First” agenda. Here, he should lay claim to every thoughtful initiative, especially those focused on altering the trajectory of government. That will bolster his claim to being the “Father of a Movement.”

—Stress that it will take four more years to finish transitioning the Republican Party to one that can be competitive in Democratic-controlled urban areas and win on both coasts by continuing to attract minorities and the working class to the party on the issues of crime and education. Trump will need to work hard in 2023 to favorably affect municipal elections nationally as part of his campaign strategy.

Trump has his age and several disturbing parts of his history working against him, but he also has something uncommon in politics as he started a movement that challenged the political class and lay bare its ineptitude and duplicity. But his biggest challenge will be to place his movement’s success above his ego.

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Throwing the First Stone: Dems Target Church Over Mastriano Appearance

Pennsylvania Democrats claim a church in south central Pennsylvania crossed the line when it hosted a film premiere last month featuring an in-person appearance by GOP gubernatorial nominee state Sen. Doug Mastriano. They claim the church may have violated the rules for nonprofits and they have filed a formal complaint.

While the Mastriano campaign shrugged it off as politics as usual, some Republicans noted that when it comes to politics in church, Democrats — particularly Philadelphia Democrats — are throwing stones in their own glass houses.

Mastriano attended the July 16 screening of “The Return of the American Patriot” at Christ Community Church in Camp Hill. He is facing Democrat state Attorney General Josh Shapiro in the November election.

Katherine Jarrett of Mechanicsburg, filed a complaint alleging the events at the premiere broke prohibitions against 501(c)3s engaging in political activity in support of a specific candidate. Under federal tax law, certain nonprofits—such as churches–cannot endorse candidates.

The church’s pastor, Rev. John March, told Fox 43: “There was no promotion done for him [Mastriano] running for governor in any way. That was how we set it up in the beginning if they were going to do it.”

Mastriano defenders point out the film presentation was very different from a partisan political gathering like those Democrats hold regularly in houses of worship or with religious groups.

In February, the Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church in Philadelphia held a candidate’s night event for the U.S. Senate race.

In May, the Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity went even farther, endorsing a slate of candidates in the state’s primary. That is an advocacy organization made up of pastors, not a church itself. But under the implied endorsement argument, when member pastors return to their respective pulpits, the implication of an endorsement is certainly there.

While campaigning for president in 2016, Sen. Bernie Sanders packed the Tindley Temple United Methodist Church in South Philadelphia. Rev. Robert Johnson moderated the event but did not make an explicit endorsement.

“Under the Obama administration, the IRS was used to punish conservative organizations and registered Republicans throughout the United States,” said GOP strategist Charlie O’Neill. “After congressional hearings and media coverage, it seemed the IRS had thrown off its Democrat Party enforcer hat and returned to a non-partisan bureaucratic agency. Should the Biden administration allow investigations into churches like Christ Community Church, it will represent a huge step back for an already maligned agency just beginning to regain public trust.”

And with the new Manchin-Schumer spending package proposing to double the number of IRS employees in an attempt to audit more taxpayers, this may not be the best time to push the agency to take on another partisan target.

Even assuming the worst intentions of all the churches referenced above, it was not clear the IRS would act. The Johnson Amendment prohibits certain nonprofits from “directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.” But it has largely been toothless when it comes to churches.

The law still allows for voter education guides that explain candidate stances on issues, voter registration, and preaching on social and political matters–all of which could presumably steer a congregation in a direction come Election Day.

From 2008 to 2017, some 2,000 clergy deliberately challenged the Johnson Amendment with explicitly political sermons on “Pulpit Freedom Sunday.” Only one was audited and none were punished.

While sharing the same 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status as most other nonprofits, churches are very different in that government regulation of a religious institution presents dicey constitutional issues, since houses of worship are protected by the First Amendment.

If the IRS applies the Johnson Amendment to Christ Community Church in Camp Hill, it would have to explain why it is not expanding its reach to Democrat-friendly houses of worship across the state.

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NASCIMENTO: Dean Cannot Distract Voters from Madeleinflation

Democratic leadership is failing America and desperate liberals like Madeleine Dean have already reduced their candidacies to inarticulate insults and shameful political theater.

On a recent Saturday night during a cable news broadcast Congresswoman Dean (D-Montgomery)  said that Republicans, “have no agenda, they’re simply the mouths of a cult.”

I’m a Republican. Here are three points of my agenda:

1. Normalize interest rates a year ago when the Covid-driven economic emergency was over.

2. Stop extending the moratorium on student loan repayment and SBA loans.

3. Don’t be a cheap politician on cable news. Voters deserve better.

Of course, we’ve seen this type of divisive rhetoric before from ultra-wealthy, far-left politicians like Dean who have few accomplishments to show to voters and unlimited amounts of time to spend pandering to their radical friends on cable news programs. It’s nothing new. And that’s the problem.

It’s particularly rich to hear this malarkey come from Dean, an Obama-Biden liberal who has spent her political life kneeling at the altar of Nancy Pelosi, AOC, and defund the police activists like Kadida Kenner.

Politicians like Madeleine Dean and her liberal cabal in Washington have created a mess and it feels like the 1970s again in America. And now – after months of catastrophic polls – it’s clear they’ll do and say anything and everything to deny responsibility, including a concerted and coordinated effort by the Left to gaslight voters.

But it was the left’s agenda that purposefully cut off domestic oil production, paid people not to work, spent trillions on wasteful, expanded government programs, released criminals back onto the streets, pointlessly restricted individual freedoms, and demonstrated weakness to the world.

As a result, all-time record inflation is devastating working families, violent crime and drugs are sweeping through our cities, gas prices are crippling our economy, and a red army is once again violently attempting to redraw Europe.

The monumental failures of Democrats in Pennsylvania and across the country who are now facing long odds of reelection means Dean and her liberal comrades will continue to do and say desperate things on television to distract voters from their failures.

But the proof is in the prices: gasoline is 48 percent more expensive than it was one year ago, gas bills are 22 percent more expensive, meats, fish, and eggs are 14 percent more expensive, rents are up 17 percent and home prices are up 19 percent.

Democrats aren’t failing Americans because gas prices are more expensive, they’re failing Americans because everything is more expensive.

Shockingly, instead of adjusting the financial levers back to normal a year ago when our national economic emergency began to wane, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Madeleine Dean kept the excess cash flowing. Interest rates remained near zero, student loan payments were deferred repeatedly, unemployment benefits remained more lucrative than working, the free government money kept rolling into households, and the fed kept printing cash.

Inflation was the inescapable result.

Democrats are in trouble now. The big government socialism and woke mob values at the heart of liberal orthodoxy have proven overwhelmingly to hurt more than help. People are struggling to pay for the goods and basic services they are used to having and it’s happening on the left’s watch.

Nevertheless, voters still deserve real solutions to the problems we face – especially from the leaders in Washington who caused the problems. But Democrats will not take responsibility. They’ll blame Russia, the supply chain, high demand, and of course, the “Republican cult”.

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Senate Pro Tempore Jake Corman Will Not Run For Senate Again, Focusing on Governor’s Race

Senate Pro Tempore Jake Corman said Monday he will not run for another term in the state Senate. Instead he is focusing on his campaign for the Republican nomination for governor.

“I’m all in for the governor’s race,” said Corman, saying that it “never felt right to run a dual campaign” for governor and for the Senate at the same time.

“I’ve served my time,” said Corman. “It’s time for my district to elect someone else.”

Corman is running under the banner “People First” and said he wants to be governor to get things done to help people more people.

Corman is raising money as a gubernatorial candidate and said, “We’re getting a lot of good support and that’s where our attention is focused.”

Corman, 57, who represents Centre, Mifflin, and Juniata counties, is the son of a state senator and has spent 22 years in Pennsylvania politics.

Corman argued he is the person who can get things done, not just winning an election but also being able to work with the legislature to accomplish his goals.

“We need somebody in Harrisburg who can pivot and get things accomplished,” said Corman. “I have a record of getting things done and that’s what’s important.”

ROSICA: An Election Education in West Chester

When I decided to run for Mayor of West Chester, I did not expect to win.  Most Libertarians and other smaller parties have an uphill battle in our two-party-dominated system.

My goal was to raise awareness and to give voters a viable alternative. Later, I started to think that our campaign might be competitive. My enthusiasm grew each day I went out door-knocking, talking to potential voters. Many expressed dissatisfaction with the current borough politics and responded favorably to the ideas in my platform. They were enthusiastic about supporting positive change and a localized, community approach to government. The fact that I had a solid platform with concrete plans to implement quickly also helped.

The League of Women’s Voters hosted a debate for the three mayoral candidates. This was an exciting — and rare — experience for most Borough residents made even more rare by having third-party participation. The debate exceeded my expectations. It was fun, challenging, thought-provoking, and an opportunity to share my platform.  The feedback from voters, friends, and neighbors was outstanding. They appreciated the amount of research I conducted in preparation for the debate and my candidacy. Afterward, I was pleased to find several borough council members expressing their support for my candidacy following the debate.

While our campaign team became increasingly optimistic about the possibility of a Libertarian win, other groups in the borough must have also sensed a shift in the momentum.  The negativity began.

Before the debate, I experienced mostly positive feedback both in person and through social media.  Now things started to become heated, and even some of my long-time neighbors transitioned from friendship to politics. This was disappointing because I had made a commitment to run an upbeat campaign that focused on issues and solutions.  Our campaign never criticized other candidates. Instead, we focused on our policy issues.  Unfortunately, we were not always granted the same courtesy.

In the end, my biggest disappointment was not losing the election. Instead, it was the lack of decorum and professionalism from some members of our community.  I was always happy to talk with anyone about my views on issues, even when we disagreed, but civil discourse seems to be a lost art.  It was distressing to see people impacted by peer pressure and social media blindly take sides and reject not only opposing views but the person expressing them.

This lack of civil discourse led me to ask, “when was the turning point?”  It was once acceptable and even encouraged for friends and neighbors to discuss politics in a spirited but respectful way. People were willing to share their perspectives without fear of repercussions or losing friendships.  It was ok to “agree to disagree” and remain friends.

Today, however, that does not generally seem to be the case.  This has been occurring nationally for a while, yet I was still surprised to discover this behavior in our own community. I am thankful for so many wonderful aspects of the campaign. I met incredible residents who appreciated the issues we raised. I have been overwhelmed by cards, notes, flowers, and thank-you notes for doing what I believe is right. On reflection, I will focus on the positive aspects of the experience and will continue to work hard to bring our community together and model civil discourse.  Maybe others will follow this example and grow to understand that our different perspectives actually make our community stronger.

A politician once wrote about this problem. “I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend… I never deserted a friend because he had taken an opposite side… the fever is abating, and doubtless some of them will correct the momentary wanderings of their heart and return again.” This quote is from a letter written in 1800 by a politician named Thomas Jefferson. West Chester Borough residents and the entire nation could benefit from these words written over 200 years ago.

 

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Abington Native Josh Shapiro Holds Rally in Hometown Campaign Kick Off

About 200 supporters cheered and applauded Josh Shapiro at a campaign rally on the Penn State Abington campus Wednesday evening.

Earlier in the day, the state attorney general announced his candidacy in Pittsburgh and via video. In a speech that at least one observer likened to former President Barack Obama’s cadences and gestures, Shapiro touched on his campaign’s key points, including “change,” transparency, competency, social and environmental justice, and  promoting organized labor so that “every worker has the right to join a union.”

Shapiro, 48, said while serving as a state representative for Abington and Upper Dublin he “learned to be a voice for the people, knocking on 18,000 doors.”

“When I became the first Democrat to lead Montgomery County in 150 years, the county wasn’t working when we took over,” the former chair of the county Board of Commissioners continued. “Partisan bickering and budget scandals and massive budget deficits were holding us all back. But we didn’t listen to the people who said, ‘That’s the way it’s always been done.’ We rolled up our sleeves, we got to work, and we turned county government around. We not only put the county back on stable footing while we were in charge. We helped restore our AAA bond rating, fired the Wall Street money managers so we could save millions and protect the retirement of our seniors.”

As attorney general, Shapiro says he fought “the powerful and the well-connected.” He touted his grand jury investigation into the Catholic clergy and the church’s cover-up that brought some 300 pedophile priests to light and his litigation to obtain money from pharmaceutical companies that sold addictive opioid medication.

“I want you to know that I will stand up to anyone who abuses their position,” he said. “I will not back down from that fight.”

He also said he championed the people’s right to vote that “came under attack from the most powerful office on earth.”

“When they went to court to prevent our votes from being counted, we stopped them,” Shapiro said. “We stood up to their mobs and we won in court to protect the will of the people every single time…We will continue to protect the right of Pennsylvanians to vote.”

He also promised to help businesses grow and families “keep a roof over their heads.”

“Main streets matter in Pennsylvania,” said Shapiro.

Shapiro added he would make sure every child has access to a good education “no matter what ZIP code you live in,” and that everyone has access to physical and mental healthcare.

“As we just saw in this pandemic, when the people needed government’s help, often times they couldn’t get answers,” Shapiro went on, slamming the Democratic Wolf administration.  “Often times they couldn’t even get their phone calls returned. That is not okay and that will change.”

Shapiro pivoted to attack his Republican opponents, saying they are not focused on these “challenges.”

“Instead they’re peddling the ‘Big Lie,’ they’re passing far-right litmus tests, and they’re pandering, pandering out of a profound weakness,” Shapiro said. “The private personal information of nine million Pennsylvania voters, that’s what they’re up to…Not only are they doing real damage to our democracy but they’re holding us back from meeting this important moment.”

He promised to “repair our roads and bridges and connect every Pennsylvanian to the internet from Waynesburg to West Philly.” He said the state should use its “first-class universities” to become a center for research and innovation and promised to promote vocational education, as well.

“Let’s lead the way on energy because we shouldn’t have to choose between protecting our jobs and protecting our planet, that’s a false choice. We need to invest in clean energy and create jobs in Pa. We need to protect every Pennsylvanian’s constitutional right to clean air and pure water.”

Shapiro also pledged to bring people together and work across the aisle.

“I am sick and tired of hearing that we’re Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and Alabama in the middle,” said Shapiro. “That is simply not true. That is not who we are.”

Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Gerow, a political consultant and business owner, called on Shapiro to resign from his post as attorney general.

“Josh Shapiro has never finished a job he asked the voters and taxpayers for and now he’s running for governor just months after being sworn in,” said Gerow. “Josh Shapiro must be honest with the taxpayers who pay his salary and admit that he has no interest in the job he asked for but wants to campaign for another office while staying on their payroll.  He should immediately resign as attorney general.”

Republican Bill McSwain, the former U.S. Attorney for southeastern Pennsylvania who is also running for governor said, “Josh Shapiro is a career politician who supports higher taxes, bigger government, more regulation, less freedom, and lawlessness. Dedicated to prioritizing his own career over the needs and desires of Pennsylvanians, Shapiro stands for the continuation of the same failed economic and public safety policies of liberal Governor Tom Wolf and would provide no new solutions to put Pa. on a path to prosperity.  Pennsylvanians deserve a governor who will put their needs first, and who views the office as an opportunity to enact positive change, not as a mechanism for his own professional advancement. It is time for a governor who will stand up and show up for our citizens, and I plan to be that governor.”

U.S. Representative Madeleine Dean

U.S. Representative Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery) was among those who introduced Shapiro to the crowd. She promised Shapiro would protect abortion rights.

“Josh knows we have to protect our democracy, our elections, and the fundamental right to vote,” she said, praising his defense of the 2020 election results. “That fight continues. That’s why we need Josh more than ever.”

“So much is at stake,” Dean said. “As John F. Kennedy said, ‘The rights of every man are diminished when the rights of one man (are) threatened.’ That’s true for you and me. The threats continue but the opportunity is right here in front of us. That’s why Pennsylvania needs and deserves Josh Shapiro to be the next governor.”

Several supporters spoke to the Delaware Valley Journal while awaiting Shapiro’s speech.

Abington resident Fran Earley said he has known Shapiro since he got into politics and finds him to be “focused.” “He has time for you and I find that important,” said Earley.

Marianne Gassman of Glenside called Shapiro “very fair-minded (and) terribly pragmatic. He’s just got a lot of common sense and he can work with both sides of the aisle.”

Ali Feldman

Blue Bell resident Beverly Hahn echoed Glassman and added, “He gets things done. He’s honest. He a real person. He’s authentic. He’s devoted his life to public service.”

Ali Feldman, of Ambler, who was wearing a “tax the rich” facemask said Shapiro is “driven” and “has integrity.”

“He fights for what’s right,” Feldman said. “He’ll build a better future for all of us.”