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McCormick Slams Casey Over Stance on Illegal Immigrants

Republican Dave McCormick, a successful businessman running against Sen. Bob Casey Jr., called out the three-term senator for his votes on illegal immigration.

“Last night, while most were asleep, Bob Casey voted to allow Pennsylvania’s taxpayer dollars to fund illegal aliens’ flights into our country. This disaster is leading to the fentanyl deaths of 4,000 Pennsylvanians a year. A failure of leadership of disastrous proportions,” McCormick posted to social media after Casey voted for the $1.2 trillion omnibus spending bill.

Pennsylvania has been the destination for “ghost flights,” bringing hundreds of illegal immigrants here, often in the dead of night. And President Joe Biden’s policy of flying “paroled” illegals from Venezuela and Haiti into the U.S. is also under fire.

Casey also voted against the Laken Riley Act amendment to that spending bill. Riley, a young Georgia college student, was brutally killed while out on a run across campus, allegedly by an illegal immigrant. The bill would require that any illegal immigrant who committed burglary, larceny, shoplifting, or theft be detained.

McCormick also criticized his Democratic opponent for that vote.

“Laken Riley would still be alive if Jose Ibarra — an illegal immigrant — was deported after breaking our laws in the first place. Bob Casey just voted against making it easier to deport criminals like Ibarra. PA needs a senator who will fight evil, not enable it,” McCormick posted to X.

In September, Danelo Cavalcante, an illegal immigrant who escaped from the Chester County prison, kept police, state police and the U.S. Border Patrol busy as he evaded capture for 14 days. Cavalcante had been convicted of murder for the stabbing death of his girlfriend in August and was awaiting sentencing when he crab-walked between two walls to a roof and fled the jail. The manhunt led to fear and inconvenience for Delaware Valley residents, especially after he stole a rifle.

Casey also voted to give undocumented immigrants federal benefits, opposed border security measures, and voted to keep counting illegal immigrants in the U.S. Census.

He voted three times to keep giving federal money to sanctuary cities and opposed an executive order from former President Donald Trump to rein in sanctuary cities. Sanctuary cities, including Philadelphia, don’t cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Casey also voted against Kate’s Law, which would have set mandatory minimums for deported felons who reenter the U.S. illegally.

Some illegal immigrants who’ve been flooding across the southern border are believed to be drug mules, bringing deadly fentanyl and other drugs into the U.S. The number of overdose deaths in Pennsylvania grew by 19.5 percent from 2019 (4,479) to 2021 (5,356). And 78.4 percent of all overdose deaths in Pennsylvania involved fentanyl in 2022.

The Casey campaign did not respond to requests for comment. However, a Casey spokesperson told another news outlet he opposes sanctuary  cities.  

But a new Cygnal poll commissioned by the Republican State Leadership Committee showed Pennsylvania voters are most concerned about inflation (32 percent) and immigration/border security (28 percent). The poll was taken March 10 through 12.

National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Philip Letsou said, “Just one month after Laken Riley was murdered, Bob Casey voted to allow illegal immigrants to be released into the country, fund flights for illegals throughout the country, and continue funding sanctuary cities. Casey refuses to stand up to his party, and the Democrats’ radical agenda is making our country less safe.”

“Putting every Pennsylvanian at risk, Bob Casey is in lockstep with Joe Biden’s deadly, pro-criminal agenda. Casey has recklessly prioritized sanctuary cities and illegal immigrants over the safety of Keystone State families, who will reject his failures and vote Republican this November,” added Rachel Lee, Republican National Committee spokesperson.


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PA Legislature, Governor Consider Driver’s Licenses for Illegal Immigrants

Should illegal immigrants be able to get Pennsylvania driver’s licenses? At first, the Shapiro administration seemed to support this idea. Now, not so much.

Answering questions from members of the House Appropriations Committee on March 4, Secretary of Transportation Mike Carroll said he and Gov. Josh Shapiro favor allowing illegal immigrants to get driver’s licenses.

“The issuance of driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants is something that I support, the department supports, the governor supports, with safeguards necessary to make sure that folks that are issued those products are treated the same as folks that have a regular driver’s license or a naturalized citizen or a citizen of the U.S.,” Carroll said.

However, during a hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee two days later, Carroll was more tentative.

“There are other agencies that will have a role with respect to the oversight,” Carroll said in response to a question on driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants from Sen. Shariff Street (D-Philadelphia). “And it’s going to be important to make sure that those other agencies are able to get to a comfort level before that bill were to advance.”

Shapiro’s spokesman Manuel Bonder told DVJournal, “The Shapiro administration will continue to evaluate this proposal as it moves through the legislative process” — a far cry from a statement of support.

The bill (HB 769) sponsored by Philadelphia Democratic Reps. Danilo Burgos, Christopher Rabb, and Joseph Hohenstein would allow illegal immigrants to get driver’s licenses and state identification cards. It remains pending in the transportation committee.

One member of that committee, Rep. Donna Scheuren (R-Gilbertsville), told DVJournal, “Granting driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants undermines the rule of law in Pennsylvania, and I stand against it. Driver’s licenses are a privilege for citizens and legal residents, not those who broke immigration laws, to enter our country illegally. It undermines our immigration system and could threaten our national security.

“As a member of the Transportation Committee, I believe my job entails writing or approving legislation that ensures proper safety measures are being taken in all forms of travel throughout our state,” said Scheuren. “This policy just opens a whole new list of concerns that PennDOT has not yet addressed. I am very opposed to this legislation, and I hope the Shapiro administration reconsiders their support.”

Rep. Mike Cabell (R-Luzerne) asked Carroll on Monday about undocumented immigrants obtaining REAL IDs in Pennsylvania. Beginning in May 2025, Pennsylvanians will need a REAL ID, a passport, or military identification to board an airplane or enter a military base or federal building.

“Over a dozen states already allow noncitizens, including illegal immigrants, to obtain driver’s licenses,” said Cabell. Meanwhile, federal DHS (Department of Homeland Security) policy stipulates that states can offer REAL ID to those with TPS temporary protected status. Does Pennsylvania allow noncitizens with TPS to obtain a real ID?

Carroll said, “When it comes to REAL ID, I was in the House when the REAL ID was voted the first time, and I voted against it because I thought we had a REAL ID in Pennsylvania: it’s called a Pennsylvania driver’s license. (But) Pennsylvania complied with the federal requirement. I have the greatest level of faith in our Pennsylvania motor vehicle folks that those folks that are getting REAL IDs. About 20 percent of Pennsylvania drivers have a real ID at this point, have the documentation necessary to support that REAL ID.”

He mentioned the documentation can be challenging to obtain, especially for women who use their married name.

“But the issuance of REAL ID is not something that happens haphazardly in Pennsylvania,” said Carroll.

Cabell also mentioned ghost flights that drop off illegal immigrants at various locations in the middle of the night. Carroll said he did not know what ghost flights were.

“There was one that just happened. It was diverted into Philadelphia in December,” said Cabell. “The question is, are we positive that there are not people (who are) obtaining REAL IDs in other states, and entering into our state?”

Carroll didn’t know.

Rep. Seth Grove (R-York), the Republican chair of the committee, also asked Carroll whether “the administration does support licenses for illegal immigrants.”

Carroll said, “With the necessary safeguards so that law enforcement can do its job.”

Grove also asked whether the Department of State, which handles voter services, interacts with PennDOT. Deputy Secretary Kara Templeton said the Department of State and the counties have access to the SURE voter registration system. Last fall, Shapiro began a program to register voters automatically when they sign up for a driver’s license.

Rep. Craig Williams (R-Chester/Delaware), a candidate for attorney general, also opposes giving driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.

Rep. Lisa Borowski (D-Newtown Square) said, “I look forward to learning more about the provisions of HB 769 when it is vetted through the committee process.”


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POWELL: The Border Crisis, a Failure in Strategic Management

Chaos abounds at the border that is spilling over onto the streets of sanctuary cities and college campuses. Tragedies are playing out daily in America stemming from President Biden’s failure as a strategic manager.

Peter Drucker said strategic management requires “analytical thinking” and a “commitment of resources” to resolve issues. Both are sorely missing from border management.

First, the issue was never properly framed, so the public understood the rationale for open borders. This mean a strategy to achieve an outcome could not be created because goals were not in place.

President George H.W. Bush set a clear goal of removing the Iraqi army from Kuwait. And once it was achieved, for a variety of reasons, including his commitment to the coalition, hostilities ended. The goal was not to destroy the army of Saddam Hussein but rather to remove it as an occupying force.

So, let us speculate about President Biden’s goal. Was it people living in poverty? The Global Multidimensional Poverty Index puts the number of people living in poverty at 1.1 billion.

Perhaps the issue is human rights? Reuters reports, “more than a third of the world’s population, or 2.6 billion people, live in nations and territories gripped by repression, corruption and human rights abuses.”

Was it about climate refugees? According to the United Nations, 110 million people in 2023 were considered “displaced people” for a variety of reasons, including climate, war and natural disasters.

Failure to properly frame the problem means we lack a clear pathway toward achieving success.

The second strategic management mistake is Biden’s failure to fully assess resources, assuming instead that our social safety net is sufficient to meet the challenges posed by mass migration. Arguably, the social safety net was not working that well before the migrant influx, and the president would have known this by performing a simple stress test.

The president would have found that the performance of urban public schools is appallingly low and that the trend of teaching English as a second language is not sustainable when you are drawing migrants from 150 nations. He would have discovered in New York City, there existed a lack of affordable housing, leading to 150,000 New Yorkers living in the shelter system. He would have concluded that the influx of migrants would only exacerbate a growing problem.

He would have uncovered that emergency Medicaid for migrants has the potential to overwhelm the healthcare system and that diseases would likely be reintroduced into America because of the lack of vaccinations in many feeder nations. An assessment of our legal system would have uncovered police forces are underfunded and our justice system defanged. Neither can deal with the number of bad actors coming from all over.

It is essential in strategic management to ensure that your first move is the right move to gain support and continue building momentum behind your goals. The first move for migrants was to expand their dependency on government services. It is estimated by Homeland Security that the migrant crisis could cost Americans $451 billion annually. The total annual expenditure cannot be estimated going forward without a clear border strategy.

Finally, when managing an issue strategically, at the beginning, you have asked and answered what success will look like after that crisis has abated. The Senate bill signaled that we cannot stop illegal migration into America. The lack of strategy has led to a fluid approach focused on problem management. This is antithetical to strategic management, which demands leaders anticipate problems and prepare to meet the challenges they create.

It is time for us to begin to hold our elected leaders to a higher standard as strategic managers and stop relying on spending, which is not linked to a clear executable strategy, to solve every issue.

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PA GOP Legislators to Shapiro: Support Texas’ Efforts To Secure the U.S. Border

With the U.S. southern border in chaos, Pennsylvania Republicans are supporting Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) in his efforts to prevent waves of illegal immigrants from crossing into the U.S. And they want Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) to step up, too.

In December, Customs and Border Patrol reported a record 302,000 migrant encounters at the U.S./Mexico border. More than 7 million illegal immigrants have crossed into the country since President Joe Biden took office three years ago, according to the House Homeland Security Committee.

One of Biden’s first acts was to stop construction work on the border wall initiated by his predecessor, former President Donald Trump.

Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward (R-39), Majority Leader Joe Pittman (R-41), Appropriations Committee Chair Scott Martin (R-13), and Majority Whip Ryan P. Aument (R-36) circulated a co-sponsor memo Wednesday for a resolution affirming Abbott is lawfully exercising his constitutional authority to defend his state and its citizens.

It comes in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court decision allowing Border Patrol agents to cut razor wire that Texas forces deployed along the Rio Grande in an attempt to prevent illegal border crossings.

The Senate resolution also calls on Shapiro to join 25 GOP governors across the country publicly endorsing Abbott’s actions. The resolution also calls on the Biden administration to stop fighting Texas’ efforts and instead commit resources to support the Lone Star State in securing the border.

“Many of us are hearing from our constituents who are concerned with this troubling crisis and who have expressed a desire for us to help take a stand against the Biden administration’s disastrous border policies. This resolution reflects our duty to uphold our oath to support, obey, and defend the Constitution of the United States and ensure the safety of its citizens,” the lawmakers said.

“State and local officials across this country have sounded the alarm regarding the straining of their resources, the scourge of fentanyl deaths, the tragedy of human trafficking, including children smuggled across the border, and the flow of illegal firearms and dangerous gang members; all exasperated by the disastrous enforcement at our borders by the Biden administration.”

The resolution will likely go before the full Senate for a vote next week.

Similarly, the letter penned by Rep. Michael Cabell (R-Lackawanna/Luzerne/Wyoming) and signed by dozens of representatives calls on Shapiro and Attorney General Michelle Henry to support Texas’ Operation Lone Star.

“While Operation Lone Star should be credited for, in a relatively short span of time, apprehending approximately 500,000 undocumented immigrants and seizing enough Mexican fentanyl to kill the entire population of the United States, additional manpower and resources are urgently needed to stem the tides of unlawful migration, human trafficking, and deadly narcotics trafficking,” the letter to Shapiro reads.

“At a time when the federal government has demonstrated an unmistakable aversion to countering this ever-increasing surge in illegal immigration, we encourage you to honor your commitment to ensuring that Pennsylvania ‘does not leave any state with an oversized responsibility’ in addressing the crisis at our southern border. Indeed, like you, we believe that all states, including Pennsylvania, share an obligation to fight this crisis to safeguard our communities and uphold the rule of law.”

Delaware Valley Reps. John Lawrence (R-West Grove), Donna Scheuren (R-Gilbertsville), and Milou Mackenzie (R-Bethlehem) signed the letters.

Also, Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin), who ran against Shapiro for governor in 2022, called on Shapiro to send Pennsylvania National Guard troops to help Texas.

“Reckless federal government policies have created a crisis at our nation’s southern border,” Mastriano said. “Every state is now a border state. Pennsylvania has a compelling interest in helping secure the southern border of the United States. Fentanyl has flooded communities throughout our commonwealth, school districts are increasingly burdened, and strained social safety net funds are being diverted.”

Asked to comment, Shapiro’s spokesperson Manuel Bonder said, “Gov. Shapiro has been clear that our country needs a secure border and Congress needs to pass comprehensive reform to fix our broken immigration system. This issue requires leaders from both parties to step up and deliver real, comprehensive solutions — not the failed talking points and political grandstanding that have brought us decades without immigration reform.”

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Illegal Immigrant Burglary Gang Arrested in Radnor, One Suspect Still on the Lam

Three illegal immigrants from Argentina were arrested for burglary in Radnor last week, while a fourth alleged gang member escaped police.

Radnor Police Superintendent Chris Flanagan said Abington Police had alerted his department to suspects driving around upscale neighborhoods and breaking into homes.

Flanagan said the burglars used a “high-tech” device to disable alarm systems and ring the doorbells of homes they were targeting. Residents of a house on the 500 block of Huston Road were home at the time of the break-in but were not harmed, police said.

Matis Sanchez-Diaz, 30; Miguel Guzman-Pardo, 43; and Yanara Venegas-Rodrigues, 23, are charged with burglary, criminal trespass, loitering and possession of instruments of crime, police said. All three are in the U.S. illegally after overstaying tourist visas.

They are in George Hill Correctional Facility and held on $200,000 bail. A fourth suspect remains on the loose. The Delaware County District Attorney’s Office did not respond when asked if the defendants would be turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). A spokesperson for ICE did not return calls.

Radnor police were notified by Abington Police about the suspected burglars on Jan. 19. At 5:35 p.m. that day, they responded to a burglar alarm malfunctioning at a house on Huston Road and noticed a rear glass door had been forced open.

They stopped a car that was driving less than a mile from Huston Road and found burglary tools and the alarm jammer, police said. The vehicle is believed to have been involved in various burglaries in the area, including in Lower Merion, through license plate reading technology in Radnor Township.

Officer Stephen Henry stopped the car when Henry and other officers noticed broken glass in it, similar to the glass from the broken door. They arrested the three defendants.

A fourth suspect, Alejandro Vincento Gallardo, escaped. Police described him as a Latino male, about 5-foot-tall and in his 20s. He was wearing a black jacket and black pants.

He was last seen running in the area of north I-476. If you see him or have information about his whereabouts, please call the Radnor Township Police at (610) 688-5600.

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Candidates Speak Out on ‘Ghost Flights’ of Illegals into PA

The specter of charter planes landing in the dead of night at Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport carrying unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors has become a campaign issue for the GOP.

Republican Lou Barletta, a former mayor and congressman now running for governor in 2022, called out Democrats Gov. Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro for their lack of action on the issue. Barletta, a longtime opponent of illegal immigration, told the Delaware Valley Journal he would bus illegal aliens to President Joe Biden’s home state of Delaware if the federal government continued to ship them to the Keystone State. And he raised the issue of the ghost flights in a DVJournal podcast.

“We can’t let the federal government just drop people off in this country in the middle of the night without any background on who they are or what their health and COVID status is. This nonsense stops when I’m governor,” Barletta said on Facebook.

Shapiro, a Democrat, is also running to replace the term-limited Wolf. Shapiro’s spokeswoman deferred a request for comment to the federal Health & Human Services Department, which did not immediately respond.

“It has been confirmed that there have been four clandestine charter flights of illegal immigrants from El Paso, Texas to northeast Pennsylvania: On December 11, December 17, and twice on Christmas night. Further flights are expected on December 30 and 31,” Barletta said on his campaign website.

He also sent a letter to Wolf and Shapiro concerning the flights.

“While the federal Department of Health and Human Services claims that minors on the flights have been given ‘catch-up’ vaccines for a variety of diseases, it is difficult to comprehend how that could be the case. Under Pennsylvania law, children are required to be immunized against many diseases, and some require multiple doses spread out over long periods of time,” Barletta said.

“I asked Gov. Wolf, did he know about this? Were they vaccinated?” Barletta said during a Fox News appearance last week. “And I’m not only talking about COVID. Pennsylvania law requires any minors, before they can go to school, to [be vaccinated for] polio, hepatitis, mumps, measles, chickenpox. Were criminal background checks done? And where were they going? Shouldn’t the people in those communities, those school districts, know? And there was no answer at all.”

Wolf spokesperson Elizabeth Rementer said the governor viewed it as a federal issue.

“As any elected official should know, immigration is a federal matter; instead of making this a political PR stunt, their questions are best directed to the federal government,” Rementer said. “That said, the administration sought further information from the federal Department of Health and Human Services. Had any of the elected officials sending letters/statements asked, they would have received the same information that we have from HHS.  Over recent weeks, unaccompanied children passed through the Wilkes-Barre airport en route to their final destination to be unified with their parents or vetted sponsor. These were not ICE flights as the legislators have claimed.”

Rementer also claimed the children being brought to the state are vaccinated and those with symptoms must quarantine.

“While traveling, unaccompanied children are required to wear masks and follow all federal guidelines for safe air travel,” said Rementer.

Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies, said, “This conversation gets right to the heart of the border problem – it is the states that have to bear the fiscal and security burden of the Biden administration’s policy to allow unlimited entry of families and kids crossing the border illegally. The states and localities where the migrants are settling are not consulted, or even informed, about who is arriving, yet they will have to provide education, social services, jobs and housing for them indefinitely, not to mention deal with the few among the migrants who turn out to be criminals. Biden is doing this in the dead of night because he can’t defend the policy in the light of day.”

Republicans aren’t letting the issue go.

Former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain, also a GOP candidate for governor, said he would stop the flights if he were governor.

“We are a nation of laws. This requires our government leaders to uphold the rule of law – and not do things like transport illegal immigrants into Pennsylvania in the dead of night,” McSwain said in a statement. “These ‘ghost flights’ are a slap in the face to law-abiding Pennsylvanians and yet another example of Joe Biden’s willingness to prioritize taxpayer-funded accommodation of lawbreakers over the safety of American citizens. The people of Pennsylvania deserve better than to be duped into receiving hundreds of unvetted illegal immigrants into their communities.”

State Sen. Doug Mastriano, (R-York) who is expected to announce his gubernatorial candidacy on Jan. 8, also sent Wolf a letter claiming flights with more than 100 illegal immigrants have landed in both Erie and Scranton. He asked if state funds were used for these immigrants and called upon the governor to stop the flights as well.

“Our own citizens have serious needs,” said Mastriano. “And it is irresponsible to divert any resources to those who are in the country illegally.”

Dave White, former Delaware County councilman and gubernatorial candidate, also weighed in. “Rather than conducting these flights with illegal immigrants under the cloak of darkness, Pennsylvanians deserve transparency. With spikes in crime and COVID-19 infections spreading, we cannot allow Joe Biden’s open border policies to spread to Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, Biden, Tom Wolf, and Josh Shapiro have embraced and rewarded lawlessness.”

Carla Sands, a Republican running for U.S. Senate, took to Facebook to express her concerns.

“Biden has left our borders wide open and now Pennsylvanians are paying the price. Four ghost flights packed with illegal immigrants landed in Scranton just a few days ago. This is Biden’s mess but it’s all part of his open borders agenda,” she said. Sands, a former ambassador under Trump, called on Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to resign.

GOP Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz weighed in on Facebook, as well. “Biden’s border crisis has turned every state into a border state & the effects of his disastrous, open-border policies have rippled across our country, sadly even into the Wilkes Barre-Scranton area. We need strong leaders who will secure our border.”

Meanwhile, Republican Senate candidate Kathy Barnette, a frequent Fox News commentator, posted a video on Facebook about the issue.

“We can have great sympathy and heart for those particular illegal aliens coming into our country who truly want a better chance in life,” said Barnette. But she noted, “We are a nation of laws. Right now we are blowing through the Constitution like a whale moves through a net.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Homeland Security did not respond to a request for comment for this article. However, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) told the Times-Tribune that it had not organized the flights.

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Lou Barletta Promises to Bus Illegal Immigrants to Delaware, President Biden’s Home State

If he becomes Pennsylvania governor, Lou Barletta says he will bus illegal immigrants to Delaware.

Barletta is taking a page out of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ playbook in saying he would send migrants that the federal government has been flying throughout the country to President Joe Biden’s home state.

The Florida governor recently told Fox News he was considering responding to the Biden administration’s policy of flying migrants from the U.S. southern border to states like his by sending them on to Biden’s home state.

“Our view is that if they’re going to be dumping, we want to be able to facilitate transfer to places like Delaware. And so we have $8 million in my new budget to be able to do that,” DeSantis said.

Barletta, 65, who is polling ahead of the other 14 or so candidates running for the GOP voters’ nod in the May 2022 primary, first made national headlines with a no-nonsense attitude toward illegal immigrants when he was mayor of Hazleton. He says he likes what DeSantis is doing.

“We’re a lot closer to Delaware than Florida, and it will cost us all lot less money to ship people from Philadelphia to Wilmington than it will for DeSantis to ship them from Fort Lauderdale,” Barletta told the Delaware Valley Journal podcast on Wednesday.

Barletta said that he has stayed true to his principles “his whole political career” and always did what he thinks is right, “even if it’s not politically popular.”

“When I was mayor of Hazleton, I was the first mayor in the country to stand up against the illegal immigration because it was affecting our city,” said Barletta.

It’s a matter of fairness to Barletta.

“How many millions of (legal) immigrants who are waiting, have waited, have gone through the process, have paid the price (to) bring their families here legally,” said Barletta. “And, you know, they’re watching people just cross the border and getting the same benefits…which is unfair. It’s a case of unfairness, but everybody should care.”

Barletta, who also served in Congress and ran for the Senate against Democrat Bob Casey, said that his experience in government, coupled with his background as a small business owner, has prepared him to be governor.

Barletta promised to get the state’s economy back on track.

“I would open up our economy.” Pennsylvania “was blessed with all this energy under our feet,” he said. The commonwealth has as much mineral wealth as “an entire country.”

“That’s how much energy we have that we could be exporting, but also using it to bring manufacturing here, building pipelines, which will put people to work, having all this gas under our feet and not building a pipeline is like being in college and having a keg of beer without a tap.”

Barletta would also cut taxes and regulations to bring more businesses here.

“Pennsylvania’s not business-friendly,” said Barletta. The state has “the second-highest business taxes in the country” and “our regulatory agencies are used as weapons to punish businesses right now. The DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) stands for don’t expect permits.”

Asked about the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) that Wolf is entering Pennsylvania into without the legislature’s agreement, Barletta said, “Day one, I’m repealing RGGI.”

“It’s ludicrous that we would be a state with all this opportunity here. And we would put ourselves in a consortium of other states that could care less because they don’t have it. They don’t have the energy…that we have and our country needs this energy. Look at the price of gas…Pennsylvania can be a leader and we will be a leader, and that’s going to mean a lot more jobs and a lot more opportunities.”

So far the only Democrat running for governor is Attorney General Josh Shapiro.

Meanwhile, many of the Republican gubernatorial candidates will be in Carlisle on Jan. 5 for their first debate, although Barletta will not attend any debates until after the qualifying period to be on the May primary ballot.

Among those also running: Montgomery County Commissioner Joe Gale; former U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain; Jason Richey, a Pittsburgh attorney; Charlie Gerow, a political strategist based in Harrisburg; Guy Ciarrocchi, who is on leave as president of the Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry; Dave White, a former Delaware County councilman and small business owner; Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, who lives in Centre County; Melissa Hart, a lawyer and former congresswoman from Allegheny County; and Lancaster state Sen. Scott Martin, who also owns a small business. State Sen. Doug Mastriano of Franklin County, is also expected to run.

If he does, Mastriano may compete with Barletta for voters who support former President Donald Trump. Barletta was the first congressman to support Trump when the former billionaire businessman and TV star began his quest for office. Mastriano is a strong advocate of Trump’s contention that he lost to Biden in 2020 because of a rigged election.


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PODCAST: Lou Barletta Says He’s The Trump Guy PA Dems Can Love

In this edition of the Delaware Valley Journal podcast, former Congressman (and mayor of Hazelton, Pa.) Lou Barletta talks to News Editor Linda Stein about his race for governor and why he believes he’s the best candidate to take on Democratic A.G. Josh Shapiro next year.

Barletta makes the case that he’s got both the name ID and the ability to appeal to Democrats that the Republican Party needs to win the general election.

Hosted by Michael Graham.