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Democratic-Aligned Voter Registration Website Harvests Personal Data for Partisan, Political Messaging

(This article first appeared in Broad + Liberty.)

Update: Sometime on Monday after Broad + Liberty had requested comment from the owners of, the website was changed so that the top option was “Check your Registration” as opposed to “Register to Vote.” The Internet Archive contains numerous captures of the website that show was offering voter registration.

If you were to visit the website, you can enter your personal information, and the website will register you to vote with the Pennsylvania Department of State.

But don’t be surprised a few weeks later if the website is also sliding into your text messages urging you to vote for your local Democratic candidate, or maybe begins sending you even more political mailers than you already get each fall. sounds very much like the real Pennsylvania Department of State website: The website’s logo — a deep blue outline of Pennsylvania with a white “vote” inside the borders — looks thematically similar to the blue keystone with a white “PA” used in official state websites.

But tucked away at the bottom of the page is the note that the site is a project of Commonwealth Communications, a 501(c)4 political nonprofit run by J.J. Abbott, Governor Wolf’s former press secretary turned political operative.

The website’s privacy policy page (which studies say less than nine percent of website visitors actually read those disclaimers) makes clear: “We may use your personal information in connection with our political efforts and activities.” And of note, asks for a phone number, while the state website does not.

And, “We reserve the right to share your personal information to third parties as part of any potential business or asset sale…” — meaning the website is well within its rights to sell data collected from a visitor.

Broad + Liberty reached out to Abbott through emails publicized both on federal filings as well as on Commonwealth Communications’ website. Additionally, we reached out through a phone number listed on its Facebook page. The requests for comment were not returned or were not successful.

At least two Democratic state senators have promoted the website using their campaign-associated X accounts. Elected officials have greater leeway to promote various political messages through campaign-associated accounts when compared to “official” state accounts used to interact with the public.

Last week, Sen. Judy Schwank (Berks) told her followers “Please make sure your voter registration is up to date,” and then linked to in the post.

“I really want to earn your vote, but first we have to make sure you’re registered to cast it,” Sen. Jay Costa (Allegheny) said, while also linking to the website.

If the senators were tricked by the website — or alternately, if they approve of using the website to build a political database — they aren’t saying. Requests for comment to both were not returned.

Additionally, Gov. Josh Shapiro attended a voter registration event at Penn State Abington last Sunday, which was organized by two groups that promote on their own websites.

Shapiro can be seen on social media posts at the event hosted by The Voter Project and “Show Up Strong ‘24.” The latter group has an email address on its website that belongs to The Voter Project, so it is possible the two groups are the same. But both websites point people to to register.

A request for comment to Shapiro’s office was not returned.

Some Republican communications have pointed people to a web URL that is not the Department of State’s website: That URL, however, redirects to the Department of State.

“Third-party organizations should under no circumstances collect people’s personal information under the guise of ‘voter registration,’” House Appropriations Chairman Seth Grove said.  “House Bill 1300, a comprehensive and bipartisan election code update bill I authored last session, would have outlawed this practice. Unfortunately, Governor Wolf vetoed this bill because HB 1300 contained a Voter ID provision. Wolf, of course, changed his position a few weeks later, but his veto has left scores of unresolved election issues. is an obvious attempt to steal information from voters or potential voters who are very likely looking for the Department of State’s website. I believe all elected officials should call out these websites as bad actors and commit to sharing official government websites.”

The Department of State did not respond to a request for comment. Additionally, the Committee of Seventy, a nonprofit that, according to its website, “advances representative, ethical and effective government in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania,” also declined to comment.

The Voter Project is run by Kevin Mack who is a partner in Deliver Strategies, a Washington D.C.-based political consulting and political mailing firm. The Voter Project was a key player in the distribution of election grants in 2020 that later became controversial and have since been outlawed in Pennsylvania.

Not long after the 2020 election, Kevin Mack’s professional online bio said he “served as Lead Strategist for The Voter Project in Pennsylvania which was instrumental in signing up over 3.2 million people to vote by mail and leading the soft-side effort to win the swing state in 2020.” The biography is no longer available on Deliver Strategies’ website.

The Voter Project and also have a close professional relationship. According to Commonwealth Communications’ IRS 990 form for 2022, Commonwealth spent $1.1 million with Deliver Strategies for consulting.

Commonwealth Communications was seeded by PA Alliance Action, a 510(c)4 political nonprofit. According to PA Alliance Action’s most recent 990 filing with the IRS, the group gave approximately $2.6 million to Commonwealth Communications, with as much as $2 million of that money specifically earmarked as being available for the creation of

GOP Makes Gains in DelVal Voter Registration Numbers

A Democrat in the governor’s mansion. A Democratic majority on the state Supreme Court. And two elected Democrats in the U.S. Senate for the first time since 1947. (Republican Arlen Specter switched parties).

The Pennsylvania GOP entered 2024 knowing it had a lot of work to do — particularly in the Delaware Valley.

And early voter registration numbers show they’re making progress. Modest, perhaps, but progress nonetheless.

Official voter registration totals from Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties show party registration is growing, though Democrats still lead in overall registration totals.

The appetite of the electorate may be why Pennsylvania’s major parties both saw their numbers rise.

“I’m a firm believer that your voter registration status is a lagging indicator of where you are politically,” GOP strategist Chris Nicholas of Eagle Consulting told DVJournal. “It takes a while for you to say, ‘You know what? I’ve been registered X, but I’ve been voting Y the last bunch of years, so maybe I should become Y.”

National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Mike Marinella has a more aggressive explanation.

“The word ‘Democrat’ means something different to Pennsylvanians now than it did years ago. The Democrat Party has become too extreme for the voters of the Delaware Valley. Voters feel the impact of extreme Democrats’ failed policies every day as prices get higher, crime is on the rise, and families are being torn apart by fentanyl.”

Delaware Valley Republicans made most of their gains in Bucks County, with GOP registrations rising from 193,123 last May to 195,000 today. Democrat registrations fell from 198,487 to 197,853, leaving them with a narrow advantage of fewer than 3,000 votes.

Compare that to a decade ago, when during the 2014 general election, Democrats had a solid 186,865 to 174,666 advantage over Bucks County Republicans.

“The whole thing is just dissatisfaction with what’s happening in Washington,” Bucks County Republican Party chair Pat Poprik told DVJournal. “It’s driving [formerly registered Democrats] to either the third party or to us. But it’s one common thing: We’re all watching this county.”

Bucks County Democratic Executive Director Zach Kirk did not respond to a request for comment.

There are about 80,000 unaffiliated and third-party registered voters in Bucks, up from 78,382 last May.

Other counties also saw GOP growth as well.

In Chester County, GOP registration rose from 149,567 in May to 151,505. But Democratic registrations rose, too, from 156,994 to 158,604. While that margin means Republicans can be competitive, it’s also a reminder of how far the party has fallen from 2014, when the GOP had a 148,355 to 126,551 advantage.

Other Chester County registrations include 18 voters with Conservative Party affiliations; 10 registered as Independent Republicans, and two voters total registered as ‘GOP’ and ‘Trump’ parties. There are also six Socialists, 14 Independent Democrats, two Democratic Socialists, and one each for Communist, Obama, Socialist Party USA, and the Socialist Progressive Parties.

Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s long-forgotten Forward Party had one registered voter.

For Montgomery County, the Republican Party added about 1,000 voters, bringing its total to around 204,000. Democrats saw a similar rise, going from 301,543 to 302,330. That 100,000 Democratic advantage is about twice as big as it was a decade ago. Holding steady in Montgomery County is progress for the GOP.

In Delaware County, however, the roles — and rolls — are reversed. Democratic registrations rose from 201,616 to 203,316, while GOP numbers ticked up from by fewer than 1,000 votes to 146,224. In 2014, Democrats had just a 172,601 to 168,744 lead.

The net result is a GOP that’s gaining but is still far behind. And, adds Jeff Jubelirer of Bellevue Communications Group, registrations don’t necessarily translate into votes.

“Most people don’t change their registration, even if they change their ideology. You look at the coalition that helped elect Donald Trump in 2016. Many of those same people were blue-collar Democrats who are now much more Republican.

“Did some change their registration? Sure. But I think a number of folks may be still registered as Democrats but are voting Republican,” Jubelirer added.

He said there are also moderate Republicans who generally find themselves supporting Democrats more than they had in the past. “They’re more the Reagan Republicans and the Mitt Romneys…the traditional country club business moderate.”

The Delaware Valley, once a GOP stronghold, has become largely blue. Jubelirer said migration from the heavily Democratic cities to the suburbs helped bring about the shift. That trend caused Democratic voter rolls to increase while Republicans lagged behind.

While much of the focus remains on the two major parties, trends show that unaffiliated voters are a force to be reckoned with nationwide. Gallup reported in January that 43 percent of Americans considered themselves independent. Republicans and Democrats were tied at 27 percent. That’s a historical low for Democrats and two points off the low of 25 percent for the GOP.

“Nobody wants to be a Republican or a Democrat anymore,” Nick Gillespie, editor-at-large of Reason magazine, told DVJournal. “These are dead parties that have ceased to represent the factions that they were created in the post-war era to represent. The independents are the place to go.”

The number is much smaller in Pennsylvania. According to Pennsylvania Department of State statistics, there are almost 1.3 million voters who belong to a Third Party or are registered Independent/No Affiliation.

It’s still a trend that analysts believe is worth noting.

“When I got active as a professional in politics here in the late 80s, the state was like seven percent independent,” said Nicholas. “And now it’s basically doubled that.”

Gillespie, who co-wrote a book called “The Declaration of Independents” in 2012, sees the change as something that started years ago. “This is a long-term structural trend that exists not just in the United States,” he said, pointing towards Brexit and the election of Emmanuel Macron as French president. “People are finally done with the zombie political and kind of cultural institutions of the postwar Europe.”

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Democrats Flip Central Bucks School Board Winning All Five Seats

The Democrats won all five seats on the Central Bucks School Board Tuesday, sending a message that voters were unhappy with the GOP-controlled board’s direction. Reforms such as allowing challenges of patently pornographic books in school libraries and keeping political banners and other items out of classrooms, unless those were part of the curriculum, will likely be swept aside.

Democrats Heather Reynolds, Dana Foley, Rick Haring, Susan Gibson, and incumbent Karen Smith won handily.

“I am so very happy and relieved to have won reelection and to share this victory with all my running mates. But this isn’t just a victory for me or my fellow candidates,” Smith said. “This is a victory for our students, our teachers, our support staff, and our community. With this vote, we showed that love is stronger than hate and compassion is stronger than fear. And voters made clear they will not be divided or distracted from working together — all of us — to solve the real issues our students face.

Aarati Martino, who lost to Haring, thanked her supporters.

“I learned a lot and have not a single regret for running,” said Martino. “And congratulations to my opponents for winning the board race. Good luck!”

Martino told DVJournal, “We lost because not enough voters saw the danger in the policies that our opponents will propose and effect.

“We conservatives have this Cassandra-like curse of seeing the longer term and unintended consequences of actions that intend to help people but usually make things much worse. I predict our district will not be as effective in educating our children and preparing them for the future as they were for this past generation. It will take time for these policies to degrade the system because the district internally has been run extraordinarily well with many amazing people in charge, not to mention the superb teachers and staff on the front lines. And the press will not be transparent on this matter, so parents will have no idea that things could (have) been so much better. In fact, now that their endorsed candidates are in charge, at least now, the media will give us a reprieve from the constant negative media barrage!

“It is sad because I know for a fact many people voted against us because of unhappiness with their families, with their children, with their lives. These new progressive policies will do nothing to improve their situation and will likely worsen it. And I feel bad for them because I do believe our slate could have led the way in showing a much better way for nurturing and educating our children together,” she said.

Her husband, Paul Martino, also shared his thoughts on Facebook.  =Paul Martino founded a political action committee, Back to School PA PAC, in 2021 and successfully backed school board candidates across the state, with 60 percent of those candidates winning.

“The first big message here is that Pennsylvania is a blue state and has been since 2020,” he said. “We stuck our finger in the dike in 2021, but the water has fully crested now. We lost pretty much everywhere last night, from row offices to the state Supreme Court. And, of course, in many school board races, including CBSD and Pennridge.

“This bodes poorly for the 2024 nominee for president here in the previously purple state of Pennsylvania, despite the recent polling. I think the current polling methods don’t reflect the now baked D advantage that the voting changes of Act 77 (mail-in ballots) brought.”

Paul Martino added that the pending redistricting decision by a judge will make it unlikely for Republicans to win seats on CBSB in the future.

“That’s terrible news if you want to keep the prestige of the district, as the Ds have made their priorities clear:…going back to advocacy in the classroom, DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) initiatives, more social-emotional learning, etc. None of this makes education outcomes better but promotes their social agenda. The kids are the real losers here.”

Dr. Steven Mass, Smith’s opponent, said, “The only winners in Tuesday’s elections are the private schools, who will have their enrollment skyrocket in the next few years when parents see what policies are coming into our district.”

Smith said, “Now that the election is behind us, I am eager to start working on some of the priorities I shared with voters during the campaign. Restoring civility to our meetings, beginning to revise these policies that have divided us over the last couple of years, working to bring additional mental health supports for our students, and ensuring we are providing a safe and inclusive environment for all our students and staff.”

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Central Bucks Teachers’ Union President ‘Disheartened and Disappointed’ by Dem Candidates’ New Signs

(This article first appeared in Broad + Liberty.)

Update: After publishing this story late Sunday evening, Broad + Liberty was made aware on Monday morning of a social media post appearing to show an internal email indicating Central Bucks Education Association President Joe Kirsche resigned on Sunday. Broad + Liberty offers this as context with the understanding that it has not been able to authenticate the email.

Five candidates for board seats in the Central Bucks School District are crying foul over new campaign signs saying their opposition was endorsed by “teachers and staff” of two unions in the district, especially given that the leader of one of those unions said in an email he didn’t approve the signs and was disappointed in them.

The sign says “teachers and staff” of the Central Bucks Education Association and the Central Bucks Education Support Professionals Association “endorse” candidates Karen Smith, Heather Reynolds, Dana Foley, Rick Haring, and Susan Gibson.

Although school board elections in Pennsylvania are ostensibly bipartisan, that group of five Democrats is hoping to overturn the Republican majority of the current board, which was elected in 2021 in the wake of frustrations about how the district was managed during the pandemic.

The five Republicans say that, while it’s true the CBEA union has voted to support the five Democratic candidates, the sign is a historic breach of norms, and they’ve published an email from CBEA President Joe Kirsche which they say proves it.

“In response to the recent signage posted amongst our voting community, I want to be perfectly clear with both of you. CBEA did not know the signs were being printed and posted. I did not endorse the signs beforehand,” Kirsche wrote to CBSD Board president Dana Hunter, who is up for re-election, and CBSD Superintendent Abraham “Abe” Lucabaugh.

“In fact, had I been approached to support the signs posted, I would not have approved them with the current verbiage as the signs are not inclusive of the opinions of all my CBEA members,” Kirsche continued. “I am disheartened and disappointed that it appears as though the teacher’s union has become an additional pawn.”

Hunter provided a forwarded copy of that email to Broad + Liberty for authenticity, and the political action committee supporting the five Republicans says in a Facebook post that it was authorized by Kirsche to release his email.

Kirsche did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Emailed requests for comment to all five Democrat candidates were not returned. Broad + Liberty also reached out to those campaigns through their Facebook pages. Broad + Liberty further attempted to reach out to the Haring and Gibson campaigns through the phone numbers listed on their Facebook pages, but those calls went to voicemail.

“I deeply value and appreciate all our teachers and support staff and all they do every day to support our students. I believe the unions play an important role in representing their members in the district and value the working partnership between the board, unions, and administration,” Hunter said in a statement.

“While I respect the endorsement process, Republican candidates did not seek union endorsements because we believe that our district functions best when our school board represents the entire community and not the interests of one specific group,” Hunter continued. “The unsanctioned verbiage on the signs paid for and created by the Democrat School Board candidates is yet another example of actions that divide our community and take focus away from educating our children. I have a wonderful working relationship with CBEA President Joe Kirsche. I think he is a great leader and admire the position he has taken on this matter.”

Current board member Leigh Vlasblom, a member of the conservative contingent who is not up for re-election this year, shared on social media an email from the CBEA from 2019 in which the CBEA official was asking candidates if they wanted to be considered for “recommendation.”

The email notes that the CBEA would not be considering making endorsements in two regions, and both of those regions had incumbent board members that year.

To Vlasblom and Hunter, the email shows that the CBEA in years past aimed to stay out of races with incumbent members — regardless of party or ideology — because the CBEA wanted to build a working relationship with all sitting board members.



Another problem is that the sign puts the union names in small, faint print, such that the distinction that the endorsement came from the unions is meaningless. Given that the CBEA does not represent all teachers in the district, the sign will nevertheless appear to some as though each and every teacher and staffer in the district is in support of those candidates, something Kirsche positively refuted in his email.

Candidate Aarti Martino echoed the same ideas as Hunter.

“From that email, you can see that the president of the CBEA (Central Bucks Education Association, the local public school union) was working well with Mrs. Hunter and Dr. Lucabaugh and making good progress. He did not want the signs,” Martino said.

“I wish more people understood that we are not the ones causing division in our district. It is a select few activists who are turning neighbor against neighbor. And they are taking advantage of this chaos to settle a $119M lawsuit that hasn’t even gone through discovery yet and that will bankrupt our schools and our taxpayers.”

Martino is referring to an ongoing suit in which hundreds of female teachers, current and former, allege the district has paid its female teachers less than its male counterparts. A settlement of $119 million was recently floated.

Martino is the wife of Paul Martino, a venture capitalist who previously supported the conservatives, who won the majority in the 2021 elections. Martino has made significant investments in the current election as well. Their children are students in the district.

The board elections in the Central Bucks School District will be closely watched not just in the county but across the commonwealth and even in the D.C. beltway.

The district has been the center of a political maelstrom ever since a conservative majority took the reins in early 2022.

In particular, the political left in the county has waged an unceasing attack on the board, alleging it is hostile to LGBT issues. Those arguments were fueled in large part by the controversy surrounding a single teacher in the district, Andrew Burgess.

In May of 2022, the district suspended Burgess. Critics of the board said his suspension was retaliation for his support for LGBT students.

In response, the board hired the law firm Duane Morris to investigate the allegations that it was biased against LGBT students. In the final report, investigators for Duane Morris alleged Burgess had withheld information about the bullying one transgender student faced to manufacture controversy against the board.

In a more recent twist on the Burgess controversy, the conservative majority on the board has alleged that the U.S. Department of Education failed to report the abuse of a student when it was contacted by those who wanted the department to investigate the district for discrimination based on sex. Essentially, the current conservative board majority is saying Burgess’s allies told the DOE about the student abuse, which then turned a blind eye, even as Burgess was allegedly keeping the district in the dark.

Bucks County is in many ways the center of political gravity in Pennsylvania this cycle. Political insiders from both sides of the aisle are looking to this year’s election results, both in Central Bucks School District and the hotly contested county commissioner races, as harbingers of what might come in the nation’s largest swing state in 2024.

The five Republican candidates for office are incumbent Board President Dana Hunter, Dr. Stephen Mass, Tony Arjona, Glenn Schloeffel, and Aartai Martino.

Delco DA Stollsteimer Running for Pennsylvania Attorney General

(This article first appeared in Broad + Liberty.)

Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer is running for Pennsylvania attorney general, according to social media postings related to his recent attendance at a political breakfast in the southwest corner of the commonwealth.

A Facebook post from the Westmoreland County Democrats’ page for its “Committee Appreciation Breakfast” earlier this month noted that “Jack Stollsteimer for Attorney General” was a “Gold Star Sponsor.”

photo from the group also shows Stollsteimer at the event, sitting at a banquet table that is appropriately close to the podium for a “gold” sponsor.

Although the attorney general’s race won’t appear on the ballot until next year, the reverberations could be felt as early as this November. Stollsteimer is currently running to keep his job as Delco’s district attorney, but he hasn’t yet made his intentions about future ambitions known to his constituents. In essence, Stollsteimer hasn’t told Delaware County residents that if things go the way he hopes, he’ll only be back on the job for about another year.



Requests for comment were not returned. Broad + Liberty emailed requests for comment to Stollsteimer’s spokesperson at his government office, and also to an email associated with his campaign website. In addition, Broad + Liberty texted its request for comment to Stollsteimer, his campaign chair, and treasurer, using phone numbers taken from a recent campaign finance report.

Stollsteimer’s sponsorship of the breakfast on the other side of the state also raises reporting issues.

According to a Department of State FAQ, someone’s candidacy is officially triggered when the person “makes an expenditure…to influence his/her nomination or election to office.” Assuming that the breakfast sponsorships required monetary donations, his candidacy is official with or without an announcement.

Stollsteimer faces Republican Beth Stefanide-Miscichowski in the election now just nineteen days away.

Stefanide-Mischichowski, a former assistant district attorney in Delaware County, has been hammering Stollsteimer on the county’s homicide rate. And in the wake of an inmate escape in neighboring Chester County earlier this year that captivated the nation, she’s raising other criminal justice issues, such as calling for an investigation into the February death of an inmate at the county prison.

The race for the Democratic attorney general nomination was already crowded even before the knowledge that Stollsteimer will eventually join the fray.

Jared Solomon and Keir Bradford-Gray, Democrats with Philadelphia ties, have already announced. Eugene DePasquale, the former auditor general and also state representative, is also an announced candidate and was listed as a silver-level sponsor at the Westmoreland breakfast.

Stollsteimer came into office in January 2020 after winning in the 2019 election. His was one of several campaigns that sometimes caught national attention because liberal billionaire George Soros spent a six-figure sum to boost Stollsteimer.

Stollsteimer also ran for attorney general for the 2016 election. Governor Josh Shapiro went on to eventually win that contest.

O’NEAL: Chaos, Corruption, Scandal – Pennsylvania Democrats Put Power Over People


The beginning of 2023 ushered in a new day for Pennsylvania Democrats. The party had a new governor and, for the first time in over a decade, a one-seat majority in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

However, it was immediately clear that Democrats in Harrisburg are far more concerned with holding onto power at all costs rather than governing. Their constant political posturing has led to staggering gridlock, mistrust, and absolute chaos.

At the beginning of the year, an insecure Democrat leadership team totally shut down the state House for months because its majority was not cemented due to three vacancies in its caucus. Crucial time was lost leading up to the governor’s budget address because they refused to work with House Republicans. Since then, the Democrat majority has held the fewest number of voting session days in recent memory, creating one of the least productive legislative years in history.

In fact, as of this writing, Pennsylvania still does not have a completed budget thanks to a tantrum from House Democrats and a lack of leadership from Gov. Josh Shapiro. Shapiro came to a budget agreement with the state Senate centered on scholarships for children in failing schools. But apparently helping children in bad schools is unacceptable to House Democrats and their political allies, so they blew the compromise up.

This led to Shapiro weakly going back on his word, creating a costly budget impasse that has yet to be solved. The result is total mistrust among the branches of government and a lack of legislative direction that would enable hundreds of millions in funding to flow to programs and entities that sorely need it.

Speaking of the governor, Shapiro made his bones on the campaign trail by touting his commitment to responsible government and transparency. Apparently, he has totally abandoned this mantra. This may be due to Shapiro focusing his attention on his Secretary of Legislative Affairs Mike Vereb, who recently resigned in disgrace amidst a workplace sexual harassment scandal.

Vereb and Shapiro go way back and by now it is apparent that the governor kept this scandal under wraps for months, only acting after the media finally began asking questions. Even now, Shapiro has not been up front about the timeline of events and how the situation was handled internally. His lack of accountability should speak volumes to the victims for whom Shapiro has always claimed to protect. Perhaps the governor is too worried about his image and political future to stand up for the women on his staff.

If one sexual harassment scandal isn’t enough, let’s not forget about Democrat State Rep. Mike Zabel. Once again, House Democratic leadership was long aware that Zabel had been accused of assaulting a woman, yet no action was taken. When the charge was finally made public, numerous other women came forward to reveal similar experiences with the representative.

It is horrendous to think that if House Democrats would have acted Rep. Zabel may not have been able to assault other women. Apparently, they were more concerned with protecting their slim majority in the House.

Finally, irresponsible Democrat leadership goes beyond the Capitol building. This summer, it came to light that the executive director of the House Democrats’ campaign arm in Pennsylvania pocketed over $365,000 in reimbursements since 2021. After calls for an investigation, it was revealed that the committee could not even produce receipts for nearly $150,000 of those expenses, a blatant campaign finance violation that borderlines on corruption. Yet, we have not heard a peep on the matter from either the governor or his former aide who is now the attorney general.

With all that said, one thing is clear. Democrats are only concerned with holding onto power at all costs. From covering up scandals to shutting down state government, Democrats have done whatever it takes to put their political interests over the people of Pennsylvania.

We must do better in Harrisburg. People across the Commonwealth are struggling everyday with skyrocketing costs, economic uncertainty, and rising crime. There is simply no time to waste playing political games. Pennsylvania Democrats need to clean up their act or step aside and let the adults get to work.


O’Neal represents the 48th Legislative District in Washington County and serves as the Republican Whip.

Bar Association Asks Voters to Retain Delco Judges

On Monday, the Delaware County Bar Association held an unusual press conference, announcing their members wholeheartedly endorse the judges running for retention.

This move comes after the Delaware County Democratic Committee, in an unprecedented move, voted to tell its members not to vote not to retain three Common Pleas Court judges: Richard M. Cappelli, Barry C. Dozor and William Chip Mackrides.

“As attorneys, we recognize that it is in the best interests of justice that we support a strong and independent judiciary. And that judicial independence is more than a mere ideal. It is a cornerstone of our democracy and the rule of law,” said Patrick Daley, bar association president.

“We must vigilantly support judicial retention as a nonpartisan, nonpolitical matter,” said Daley. “An independent judiciary guards against political interference in legal cases that come before the court, and it ensures that our judges remain impartial stewards of the law, owing fealty to the law and our constitutions, rather than to a political party or partisan interests,” Daley added.

Colleen Guiney, chair of the Delco Democrats, said her organization is not opposing any individual judge but instead wants to change the system. Judges are up for retention votes every ten years.

Since these judges were elected, the county has moved on, and there is more “transparency and equity,” she said. The court system uses up half the county budget, she said. And the current bench “does not reflect those changes.”

“There have been lots of challenging situations,” she said. As it is now, “it’s more about patronage and personal convenience,” she said.

The party’s Facebook page says the court “costs taxpayers money and clogs our justice system.”

“The Democratic Party is recommending a No vote on retaining Common Pleas Court judges so Delco voters have a chance to elect new judges at the next municipal election,” the party said.

Guiney said about half of the voters don’t vote on the retention question.

After the press conference, Daley said the bar has members of both parties and is a nonpartisan entity, so he could not comment directly about the Delco Democrats’ recommendation not to vote for the sitting judges.

Capelli was elected to the Common Pleas Court in 2013. He had served as a magisterial district justice for 21 years before serving as the county’s first child advocate. He also assisted the DA’s Office in founding a special prosecution unit, the bar association said in a press release.

Dozor was appointed to the Common Pleas Court in 2001 and was elected in 2004. He is a lifelong county resident and graduated from Haverford High School and West Chester University. Currently the head of the civil division, he was also a family court judge and introduced the “one judge-one family” assignment protocol to provide consistency in litigation. He also served on the criminal bench and was assigned all the opioid litigation for the state of Pennsylvania. The bar voted 91 percent to retain Dozor.

Mackrides is also a lifelong county resident with an accounting degree from Villanova and a law degree from Loyola University. He was elected in 2013 and practiced law in the county and statewide for more than 33 years. The bar voted by 91 percent to retain him.

“The Delaware County Republican Party vehemently condemns the outrageous and partisan attack launched by the Delaware County Democrats on qualified, nonpartisan judges ahead of the upcoming November election,” said Frank Agovino, chair of the Delco GOP. “The Delaware County Democratic Committee’s recent decision to recommend non-retention marks a dangerous departure from the long-held tradition of non-partisanship in judicial retention elections.

The judges targeted for non-retention…have a lengthy record of distinguished, nonpartisan service. Furthermore, they have all been endorsed by the Delaware County Bar Association – a nonpartisan organization –for retention, with 90 percent in favor of retention. Their impeccable qualifications and unwavering commitment to upholding the rule of law have earned them bipartisan respect and support.”

He called the Democrat’s recommendation to their voters “an overt power play to manipulate the judicial branch for political gain, all because these judges were once endorsed by the Republican Party.”

Agovino noted that in the past, Guiney had “respected the traditional practice of retaining judges unless they engage in egregious misconduct. This recent action is utterly at odds with Democrats’ purported commitment to safeguarding democracy, protecting norms, and preserving institutions.”

Guiney said the move to not recommend judicial retention was in response to many voters, who do not want to wait longer for change.

“We are a bottom-up, not a top-down organization,” she said.

GRAHAM: Dems’ Vote to Vacate Leaves Congress Powerless During ‘Israel’s 9/11’

When reports of kidnapped women and murdered children began pouring in Saturday from the massive Hamas attack on Israel, the response in Washington was to convene the “Gang of Eight.” Those are the eight key congressional leaders charged with overseeing military intelligence, and they are usually the first people briefed in such a crisis.

Only thanks to House Democrats, it is now the gang of seven. The speaker’s chair is empty, vacated by a vote of all 208 members of the House Democratic Caucus in support of Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, and seven fringe MAGA Republicans.

Unlike a typical leadership battle, Democrats weren’t backing an alternative candidate to take control. They didn’t even offer a leadership plan. Their only goal was to help what talk host Hugh Hewitt has dubbed the “Knucklehead Caucus” create chaos and promote GOP infighting while shutting down the House.

The Democrats’ plan worked. There is plenty of chaos in Washington today.

Unfortunately, there is far worse in Israel, and thanks to the Democrats’ success, a leaderless Congress is powerless to act. The House cannot pass legislation or approve military aid until the vacancy that Democrats helped create — purely for partisan political purposes — has been replaced.

“The emergency in Israel puts a spotlight on the state of paralysis in the House and completely unchartered legal territory the House is in,” reported CNN’s Annie Grayer.

Or, as moderate Republican Mike Lawler of New York put it, “This is why you don’t remove a speaker mid-term without cause. What an unmitigated sh*t show.

“Doing so as Israel faces an all-out attack is dangerous. Uncertainty and chaos in the U.S. breeds vulnerability around the world,” Lawler added.

Democrats remain unapologetic. Rep. Annie Kuster of New Hampshire, head of the New Democrat Coalition in the House, sent out a fundraising email Saturday morning — literally as the Hamas terrorists were rampaging across Israel — touting Democrats’ success in ousting the speaker.

The email included this description of Kuster’s vote to vacate: “As the Chair of the New Democrat Coalition, she worked to end the chaos and deliver bipartisan solutions for the American people.”

Voting with Gaetz and his fringe fellow travelers is certainly “bipartisan,” but how many Americans view it as a “solution”?

Meanwhile, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pennsylvania, was bemoaning the behavior of Democrats in the Problem Solvers Caucus who could have intervened to stop the chaos.

“The motion to vacate (the speakership) gets put on the floor, and we went to our (Democratic) colleagues and said, ‘Can you at least buy us some time?’” Fitzpatrick told Fox News. “Forty-eight hours. We can’t rewrite a 300-page rules package to make the House work more in a bipartisan manner in eight hours. It’s impossible.”

Fitzpatrick said Republicans asked Democrats in the Problem Solvers Caucus to vote “present” instead of advancing the motion to vacate. They refused.

“That’s all we were asking for was some time. … And that’s why there are so many Republicans in our group that are very, very upset, and add me to the list.”

And even if there hadn’t been an international crisis (there could be another one in Ukraine, Taiwan, North Korea, etc. tomorrow), former Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg points out that empowering Gaetz would still be a mistake.

He says House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries’ decision to “let (Kevin) McCarthy hang himself may have allowed Democrats to feel good in the moment, but Democrats now face the prospect of a speaker who will likely be to McCarthy’s right, and who will likely draw from his political demise the worst possible lesson: that the extremists must be heeded.”

Democrats engaged in childish partisanship for short-term gain, with Kuster’s enthusiastic support. Now, there is a mess the United States must clean up quickly to fully come to Israel’s aid.

All 208 Democrats should be asked whether it was worth it.

Angry Dem Operative Goes ‘Bobby Knight’ With Folding Chair at CBSB Meeting

Steve Sullivan, Central Bucks School Board Member Tabitha Dell’Angelo’s husband, picked up a chair and appeared to brandish it as a weapon during a tense moment at a school board meeting Tuesday evening.

Tim Daly, a speaker at the meeting, had criticized Dell’Angelo, referring to the results of his various right-to-know requests. Daly said he had proof Dell’Angelo was using her work emails at The College of New Jersey for district business and that she had reached out to the state School Boards Association to ask how to get away with leaking information.

Daly then tried to drop those papers on a chair next to Sullivan as he returned to his seat but said they accidentally flew out of his hand.

“I said, ‘Here are your wife’s emails for you to take a look at, buddy,’” Daly said.

That was when Sullivan picked up the metal folding chair and turned toward Daly but was prevented by Lela Casey, who grabbed the chair leg. Another man stopped Sullivan from walking further, and then two police officers came into the room and escorted Sullivan out.

The official video of the school board meeting does not show the incident but is focused on a list of names of the speakers.

“Oh my gosh,” someone says, and there are unintelligible voices until a board recess is announced.

Mara Witsen filmed the incident and posted it to @protectbucks on X (Twitter).

Resident Paul Martino also spoke at the meeting and witnessed the event.

“Tim Daly, in public comment, shared some harsh truths about sitting board member Tabitha Dell’Angelo. After his comments, he walked by her husband, Steve Sullivan (also campaign manager for the Democrats running in the 2023 school board election).

“There were words of some kind said, nothing too serious when Tim said something: ‘Read these, buddy.’ He threw the papers at Steve and Lela Casey, who was sitting next to him.”

Martino added, “Then he just lost it. You can see the video. He got crazed, picked up the chair, and lunged toward Tim, who walked down the aisle. The closest person to Steve was my 85-year-old dad, John Martino. Instead of backing away, John stood up immediately. Another larger and younger gentleman then escorted Steve back to his original seat.”

“There were no fists thrown,” said Martino. “I was there for the entirety, sitting next to my dad, who had the closest view of anyone.”

“They were swearing behind me while I was talking. That’s the reason I tossed (the papers) onto the chair,” said Daly. He noted the papers were flat, not rolled as reported in another publication.

“These hard-fought RTKs showed her unethical behavior,” said Daly. “I hit the nail on the head. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have responded the way he did. These people are very upset when the facts come out.” Daly said he did not swear at Sullivan, which had also been reported.

Police talked to both men afterward. Daly said he declined to file charges against Sullivan since he was not hurt.

Neither Sullivan nor Dell’Angelo responded to requests for comment. Democratic Party Chair Steve Santarsiero, also a state senator, did not respond to a request for comment. And the Democratic candidates for the school board did not answer DVJournal’s request for comment.

Dell’Angelo is not seeking reelection.

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Opposition to ‘Safe Injection Sites’ Brings GOP, Dems Together in Happy Unity

In a rare moment of bipartisanship between the normally warring parties, Pennsylvania Democrats and Republicans—including state Gov. Josh Shapiro—have formed a unified opposition to “supervised injection sites” in Pennsylvania.

Supervised injection sites are controversial facilities in which drug users can go to consume illegal substances while being watched by trained staff. Advocates claim the sites save lives by allowing drug addicts to get high without fear of a fatal overdose.

The Pennsylvania Senate passed a bill this month—S.B. 165—that would ban those sites across the state. Every Republican senator and 13 Democratic senators voted in favor of it, while nine Democrats voted against it.

One of the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Tracy Pennycuick (R-Montgomery), told DVJournal that Democrats and Republicans came together on the bill “because nobody wants a safe injection site in their district.”

“When you think about a ‘safe injection site’ for illegal drugs, it’s just an oxymoron,” she argued. “You’re going to ask a nurse to inject a drug addict with an illegal drug, and you don’t know the potency or the efficacy or the component of what’s in that drug. All under the guise of, ‘Well, if we offer safe injection sites, they won’t overdose.’

“But you’re operating with a drug you have absolutely no knowledge of what’s in it, how quickly it’s going to work, how effective it is, and what constitutes a good dosage. It’s just a bad idea.”

The Senate bill would outlaw “the operation of a clinic or establishment that knowingly provides space for any person to inject, ingest, inhale or otherwise introduce into the person’s body a controlled substance.”

Pennycuick argued that there are “great programs in Pennsylvania” to help people kick drug habits. “We have methadone clinics, suboxone clinics,” she said.

“We need to help these people on drugs get off them and get clean,” she said. “We don’t need ‘safe injection sites.’ That’s just enabling their disease instead.”

Gov. Josh Shapiro has also voiced his opposition to the sites, a likely indicator that he will sign a ban that makes it through the legislature. He had previously come out against them as state attorney general and re-affirmed his opposition to them in December.

The facilities are also opposed at the local level. Montgomery County Republican Committee Chair Christian Nascimento told DVJournal: “There is bipartisan opposition to supervised injection sites because it’s common sense that they make neighborhoods less safe and do not actually help the people struggling with addiction.”

“Montgomery County’s Republican officials and candidates will continue to speak out against them because it is the right thing to do for the community,” he added.

Some evidence suggests supervised injection sites have a positive effect on drug use mortality.

A 2017 review in Canadian Family Physician suggests the facilities are “associated with lower overdose mortality … 67 percent fewer ambulance calls for treating overdoses, and a decrease in HIV infections.”

The federal government this month, meanwhile, announced a $5 million study to determine the efficacy of injection sites here in the U.S. The data will be drawn from locations in New York and Rhode Island.