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Obama, Biden Rally DelVal Dems to Back Fetterman, Shapiro

If anyone doubted Pennsylvania is Ground Zero for the 2022 election, the events on the final Saturday before the midterm elections left no doubt. The current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and two previous tenants came to the state to campaign for their favored candidates for governor and senator.

Former President Trump was in Latrobe to rally with Republican senatorial candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz and gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano. President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama came to the Liacouras Center at Temple University to rally for Democrats John Fetterman and Josh Shapiro before a largely young crowd.

President Joe Biden

Like a clean-up hitter, Obama spoke last.

He urged the crowd to vote, lashed out at the Republicans, and bemoaned the 2014 midterms when Democrats lost the Senate.

“Midterms are always hard for which every party is in the White House, and typically midterms are tougher on Democrats. A lot of folks don’t pay attention to politics the way they do in a presidential year. In fact, maybe they don’t know Congress matters…Young people, especially, are less likely to vote in midterms, and that hurts Democrats. Young people tend to be more progressive. I can tell you from experience that midterms matter a lot. Some of you are too young (to know).

“When I was president, I was elected in the midst of a financial crisis. We did the right thing to get the economy back on track, but it was hard, and people were frustrated just like they are now. Sometimes it takes a while for things to settle down, so in 2010 we lost the House. And then, in 2014, even though now the economy was improving, we saw the lowest voting rate in modern history, and because of it, we lost the Senate.”

So, his agenda on guns, climate change, and immigration reform stalled, he said.

Former President Barack Obama

“Sometimes I like to imagine what it would have been like if enough people had turned out to vote in those elections,” said Obama. “If we had maintained control of the House and maintained control of the Senate.”

It was clear from the loud and sustained applause he garnered Obama is still a Democratic Party rock star.

Biden mentioned his childhood in Scranton and that First Lady Jill Biden is from Philadelphia.

He told the audience of several thousand they have the power to make “John Fetterman your next United States Senator and Josh Shapiro your next governor in three days.”

“Your right to choose is on the ballot, your right to vote is on the ballot, Social Security and Medicare are on the ballot. And something else is on the ballot. Character. Character is on the ballot. When I think of character, I think of John Fetterman…John Fetterman is Pennsylvania.”

“I lived in Pennsylvania longer than Oz has lived in Pennsylvania, and I moved away when I was 10 years old,” said Biden.

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman

“Courage is also on the ballot,” he said. “When I think of courage, I think of Josh Shapiro…He stood up for the people of this state, and he’s going to be a fantastic governor.”

Fetterman mentioned that he is recovering from a stroke and gave his standard stump speech, taking shots at Oz, eliciting boos from the crowd.

Oz “likes to pander,” said Fetterman.  “I want to get this off my chest. Wawa is so much better than Sheetz.”

He said Oz would be on a stage with Trump and Mastriano, but “we are 100 percent sedition free,” an allusion to the Jan. 6 riots. Earlier in the day, when Fetterman made that same statement in Pittsburgh, the wind blew down the American flags behind him.

Fetterman said that he would vote to “codify Roe v. Wade” and to be the 51st vote to end the filibuster and “fundamentally change America.”

He also promised to ban “assault weapons.”

Shapiro said if elected, he would increase spending on public school education and teachers’ pay, start an apprentice program for high school students and remove the requirement of a college degree for thousands of state government jobs.

He said he “dedicated himself to public service” for his four children. He worries about their climate, their safety, and that they have “fewer opportunities than the world I was blessed to be born into.”

He also cited his Jewish faith where no one is required to complete the task of improving the world but “neither are we free to refrain from it.”

Shapiro promised to make sure that every child “has a safe community to live in.”

Attorney General Josh Shapiro

Shapiro also spoke about abortion, saying Mastriano would take that freedom from women, while he promised to veto any bill that would restrict it. Mastriano has said that while he opposes abortion, as governor he does not have the power to ban it. That would be up to the legislature.

Shapiro called his opponent extreme. However, during the primary Shapiro funded commercials that boosted Mastriano’s primary campaign, a move made by Democratic candidates across the country to pick the opponents they believed were easiest to beat.

Shapiro also mentioned Mastriano went to Washington D.C. on Jan. 6 and “he plans to decertify voting machines…Probably the ones here in Philadelphia. Are we going to let him get away with that? That is not how our democracy works.”

“It’s not freedom to tell women what to do with their bodies,” said Shapiro. “It’s not freedom to tell children what books they’re allowed to read.”

Delaware Valley parents have been objecting to obscene books in public school libraries, such as “Gender Queer.” Mastriano has sided with those parents.

Earlier in the rally, lieutenant governor candidate state Rep. Austin Davis (D-McKeesport) spoke about being the son of a bus driver and hairdresser, the first in his family to go to college.

“I’m going to be the first Black lieutenant governor,” Davis said.

Gov. Tom Wolf also spoke about abortion and touted the state surplus that he will leave the next governor.

And Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) accused Republicans of being about “fear, smear, and divide.”  He urged the crowd to vote for Democrats.

“Let’s win in 2022,” Casey said.

Rising Crime is Theme Running Through PA 2022 Campaigns

A man was shot in Collingdale Sunday evening in what police say may have been an attempted carjacking. It happened in Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon’s congressional district, herself a victim of a Philadelphia carjacking last December.

In Philadelphia, carjackings have doubled this year from the previous year, with more than 1,000 so far. Delaware County does not keep statistics on that crime, said a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office.

Crime is an issue in many political races this year, as it has spiked in cities helmed by progressive prosecutors like Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner. Krasner has been under investigation by a state House bipartisan committee for his prosecution or lack of prosecution of repeat offenders.  The committee, which may or may not ultimately recommend the House impeach Krasner, issued a report this week.

The pro-law enforcement mantle has been claimed by all four candidates at the top of the ticket. U.S. Senate candidates Republican Dr. Mehmet Oz and Democrat Lt. Gov. John Fetterman both claim to support the police. They are currently airing dueling commercials with Montgomery County Sheriff Sean Kilkenny supporting Fetterman and Bucks County Sheriff Fred Harran backing Oz. Oz has also garnered endorsements from many other law enforcement organizations, including the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association and the state FOP, as well as the Philadelphia FOP.

Oz even received the endorsement of the FOP that represents the Braddock police, the town where Fetterman served as mayor and where he claimed to be tough on crime.

Fetterman, the lieutenant governor, has also drawn fire for his role as chairman of the state Board of Pardons, where he voted to release a record number of prisoners, even when other members of the board voted no. For example, he was the one yes vote to pardon a man who killed his girlfriend’s mother with a pair of scissors. 

In the governor’s race, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a Democrat who was endorsed by the Philadelphia FOP, is claiming to be a crime fighter, running ads that say he has taken guns and drugs off the streets. But he did not implement a law passed by the legislature to allow him to step in and handle gun cases in Philadelphia. And like Fetterman, he favors the end of mandatory sentences and ending life sentences for felony murder.

State Sen. Doug Mastriano, takes a tough-on-crime stance, saying he will keep violent criminals behind bars and make sure that municipal police departments receive adequate funding.

Scanlon declined to comment about crime in her district. Her Republican opponent, David Galluch, has been outspoken.

“Congresswoman Scanlon has marched with Defund the Police. She has endorsed out-of-the-mainstream policies like the elimination of cash bail. She has stood alongside and refused to condemn Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner for his approach on the non-prosecution of repeat and violent offenders. It should come as no surprise that as a result, crime is on the rise in PA-05. In fact, every year since Mary Gay Scanlon has been in office, Philadelphia and Delaware County’s largest municipality, Upper Darby, have set murder records,” Galluch said.

“I’m committed to doing what Congressman Scanlon hasn’t done — delivering on enhancements to public safety through supporting and funding our police, investing in technology to help us catch offenders and get them off the street — but perhaps most importantly — using my office as a bully pulpit to demand that commonsense laws are enforced and that there is accountability for lawbreakers.”

 

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West Chester Elementary School Trains Kindergarten Teachers in Gender Curriculum

A ‘woke’ curriculum complete with transgenderism, Critical Race Theory, and an emphasis on drag queen performances rather than reading, writing, and arithmetic has permeated some Delaware Valley public school districts.

It has also become a hot-button issue in the governor’s race.

“Schools should be teaching children how to think, not what to think,” said state Sen. Doug Mastriano, the Republican running for governor. “Sadly, classrooms across Pennsylvania have turned into indoctrination facilities that are pushing radicalism on young kids.

“As governor, I will place an immediate ban on Critical Race and Gender Theory Studies in Pennsylvania schools on my first day in office. Unlike my opponent — who has been endorsed by groups who support irreversible medical transitioning of kids — I will protect young girls by ensuring that biological males are not allowed to use girls’ locker rooms. As your governor, I will put an end to the era of radical indoctrination of children once and for all,” Mastriano said.

Democrat gubernatorial candidate Josh Shapiro declined to comment for this article.

Part of the gender awareness curriculum

However, as attorney general, he signed an amicus brief in support of “transgender rights” to allow biological boys to use girls’ restrooms and locker rooms in Virginia. He also opposed a Pennsylvania bill, vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf (D), which would have prevented biological males from competing in girls’ sports.

And while Mastriano opposes obscene books in school libraries, Shapiro said, “I don’t want the politicians in Harrisburg telling my kids what books they’re allowed to read.”

But even as education becomes a cudgel in Pennsylvania politics, another program for kids as young as 5 years old has come to light.

Documents released through a right-to-know request and first reported by the Daily Caller show teachers at Fern Hill Elementary in the West Chester Area School District went to a training session about how to talk to children as young as kindergarteners about being transgender.

The materials also include a warning to keep children’s gender secret if they prefer: “Also, remember student privacy—it can jeopardize a student’s safety and well-being if they are outed by their peers or non-affirming adults.”

Some of the bullet points in the presentation were: “Moving beyond boys and girls, explaining what gay means, using picture books to challenge gender limits,” and “responding to concerned parents.”

Other topics included “gender inclusive classrooms” and “tackling bullying.”

The discussion included several books for kindergarten and up, including “Jacob’s New Dress,” and discussed with the children what pronouns the character Jacob uses.

The training includes, “Let your students know that there are lots of different ways that children can dress. There are lots of ways to be a boy or a girl or both or neither. Also, “home and school can be different. Here at school, students can wear whatever makes them happy.”

Another book, “Red: A Crayon’s Story,” talks about a crayon labeled “red” but is blue.

According to the materials, the teachers were also taught to use children’s preferred pronouns and teach children to use preferred pronouns.

Yael Levin, a spokesperson for No Left Turn in Education, a nonprofit that opposes student indoctrination, called the curriculum “disturbing.”

“Elementary schools serve children ages 5 -11. Elementary education should consist of reading, writing, arithmetic, science, history, and as much play time as possible. Children in that age range do not need to learn about sexuality and gender identity or expression. We should not be having these discussions at all as a society with children. If parents want to discuss these topics with their children, then they can do that. Generally, children in that age range are not even thinking of life and their friends in those terms.

“Why are we bringing such topics to the forefront of elementary school education? Especially considering how behind our children are due to the unnecessary COVID school shutdowns. We must get back to basics. Parents in West Chester and across Pennsylvania and the nation must demand that their public schools focus on academics. We have to be competitive in this global market. The USA is now ranked 30th in math out of 79 countries, while our spending per student is among the highest in the world and increases every year,” she said.

“It’s time for parents to demand a top-notch education for their children. On top of the poor performance and the learning loss, this particular training (and we have seen this in other trainings as well) mentions evaluating students based on their use of the term gender expression and their understanding of the meaning of the word,” said Levin. “It also references assessing students on their behavior around gender expression – if they are behaving like allies or not. This is reminiscent of a social credit system such as is used in China. This is not compatible with a constitutional republic.”

However, the school district defended the teacher training.

“The West Chester Area School District is continuously looking to improve our ability to provide supportive, welcoming environments for our students and families,” said Molly Schwemler, manager of district communication. “The training at Fern Hill Elementary School focused on developing staff awareness and understanding of gender-based information. The training was not focused on sharing the many elements of transgenderism with students, rather it shared additional ways that our staff can create an environment where all students can achieve their best and where all families feel welcome, valued, and respected.”

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Mastriano’s New ‘Hard to Watch” Ad Targets Parents

Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano is hoping a groundswell of angry parents will sweep him over the finish line.

Mastriano has seized on the issue of the sexualization of public school children and centered a new digital ad “Hard to Watch” on it, using events in schools in Montgomery and Chester Counties to illustrate the problem. He said it is a disturbing trend that his Democratic opponent Josh Shapiro supports.

The Mastriano video includes a Delaware Valley Journal article about obscene books in school libraries. And it mentions a lawsuit filed in court by Malvern mother Fenicia Redman to get those books removed from the Great Valley High School library. Her son is a student at that school.

Asked to comment about the ad, Redman told Delaware Valley Journal, “Sen. Mastriano and Pennsylvania parents see the extremist government actors who’ve held our children hostage and robbed them of their innocence. We’re coming to free our children!”

The ad also mentions a Montgomery County kindergarten class where children were required to read books about transsexuals because one student identified as their non-biological gender. That incident came from an anonymous tip to the senator’s office.

 

Republican political consultant Charlie O’Neill said, “The issues Mastriano is talking about in this ad are definitely issues he can win. But this ad is way too long to have an impact. Across the nation, parental rights have had a major impact on elections. If Mastriano is able to harness that energy in places like the Philadelphia suburbs it could be the boost he needs. However, the election is rapidly approaching, so his campaign better hope it’s not too late.”

For example, the parental rights issue was a big reason Republican Glenn Youngkin defeated Terry McAuliffe for governor of Virginia after the Democrat famously said, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”

The Shapiro campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

However, in a television interview Shapiro said that when Mastriano calls for restricting classroom content it contradicts his campaign pitch of freedom. “Walk as free people,” is one of Mastriano’s slogans.

“It’s not freedom when they tell our children what books they can read,” Shapiro said.

As Pennsylvania’s attorney general, Shapiro filed an amicus brief opposing Virginia’s moves to ban biological boys from using girls’ restrooms in schools.

Another parent who is a Mastriano supporter, Jamie Cohen Walker, said she supports him because he will keep the schools open. Children have been harmed by mandatory school closures, losing out on learning and becoming lonely and isolated.

“We knew that keeping kids out of school would harm them, so we fought, and we fought extremely hard because the Democratic politicians and their allies, the teachers union, made us their enemy,” Walker said.

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Chester County Democrats Welcome Fetterman, Shapiro, and Houlahan to Fall Dinner

From a press release 

A capacity crowd of nearly 250 enthusiastic Chester County Democrats on Monday attended the county committee fall dinner fundraiser at the Desmond Hotel in Malvern to hear from their party’s US Senate,  Governor and Congressional candidates. Chester County Democratic Committee Chair Charlotte Valyo addressed the gathering and introduced speakers John Fetterman, Josh Shapiro, and Chrissy Houlahan.

According to Valyo, “The crowd was energized and thrilled to see Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman in Chester County. Fetterman spoke for about 20 minutes and focused on key issues and the clear difference between his positions and his opponent’s positions on abortion, gun violence prevention, and even overturning wrongful convictions. Lee and Dennis Horton also attended; they are the two brothers who served 28 years in prison for a crime they did not commit, and who John’s opponent Mehmet Oz is using in ads portraying them as felons released early.”

Chester County Democrats Fall Dinner

 

Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan and Attorney General Josh Shapiro further inspired the crowd with speeches that outlined the accomplishments Democrats have made in Chester County, the state, and the country, and provided their visions for our future. The candidates focused on the significant stakes in the upcoming November 8 election, contending their MAGA (“Make America Great Again”) Republican opponents are focused on taking away freedoms.

These were freedom to have your vote count. Freedom for women to make their own personal reproductive healthcare choices and decisions on when it is right for them to start a family. Freedom to love and marry who you want. Freedom to choose the books you want to read, including those representing true narratives of “history” and gender. Freedom to join a union where you work.

The candidates also criticized the Republican platform.

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ROSICA: Who is Shapiro Really Fighting For?

“Throughout his career, Josh has taken on the status quo, brought people together, and fought to keep Pennsylvanians from getting screwed — and that’s exactly what he’ll do as Governor.”

According to his website, Josh Shapiro claims he fought to prevent Pennsylvanians from getting screwed. Whatever you think of his choice of words, let’s think about what that means. How many people suffered during the lockdowns and school closures? How many children failed school, dropped out, and/or committed suicide? How many businesses were forced to close and never reopen due to the current Administration’s failed policies? The numbers are staggering. Shapiro’s definition of “getting screwed” is as off base as his major flip on Gov. Tom Wolf’s response to COVID-19.

As attorney general, Shapiro did not oppose Wolf’s mandates, lockdowns, or closures; and he never spoke out against these policies. That is, until recently. Now, his current story is that the administration in which he played a vital role did not need to enact the mandates and closures.

As attorney general, why did he not push back on the governor rather than actively defending him? As an attorney, he could — and should — have provided guidance and recommendations to the Governor.  Either Shapiro’s advice was not heeded, in which case, he should state that publicly, or Shapiro did not advise the Governor correctly.  Shapiro’s lack of leadership and incompetence led to a Constitutional amendment limiting the power of the Governor and a State Supreme Court decision overturning Wolf’s school mask mandate as unconstitutional. How did Shapiro defend his constituents from this government overreach? Shapiro failed in both preventing Pennsylvanians from getting screwed, and he also failed to advise the Governor and the rest of the administration correctly.

Today, Shapiro states that he does not support mandates, lockdowns, or closures.  He also states that he supports school choice and supports public education, an interesting dichotomy. Shapiro has been supported by the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) for almost a decade. In this election cycle, he has received $525,000 from PSEA (his tenth highest overall donation thus far) and $250,000 from the National Education Association.

He is endorsed by both groups who are very much anti-school choice. In a  press release in April prior to Shapiro stating his new position, the PSEA said of House Bill 2169 that “it’s hard to imagine a worse voucher plan than this one.” This is the same legislation that Shapiro has vowed to support on his website: “Josh favors adding choices for parents and educational opportunity for students and funding lifeline scholarships like those approved in other states and introduced in Pennsylvania.”

Supported and endorsed by groups who vehemently oppose school choice, will he hold to his current, newfound position?  Why not?  His own children attend an expensive private school — the same one that he attended as a student — costing between $30 and $37k annually.

Shapiro states that he supports both public education and school choice and that he will not take money from public schools to support choice. What does that plan look like? And if he really supports public schools, why do his own children attend an expensive private school? Once again, Shapiro’s decisions are inconsistent with his words.

On election day, can we trust that the recent Shapiro positions will be the ones he sticks with, or will his allegiance to the teachers’ unions that openly endorse and financially support him win out?

Given that Shapiro has been financially supported by the PSEA since at least 2016 in his run for attorney general, it stands to reason that he will back the union and their positions most of the time. That is what Wolf did when he mandated masks for all K-12 students in the Fall of 2021 — because that is what the PSEA wanted and demanded of him.

Will Shapiro really be any different?

With election day only weeks away, it is incredibly convenient and highly suspect for Shapiro’s platform to take an almost 180-degree turn. Now his position is that the state needed to educate and empower people to make the best decisions for themselves. Where was that attitude over two years ago when Wolf closed schools and businesses and eventually mandated masks for all students? Now he supports school choice and the Lifeline Scholarship legislation when one of his largest and politically active donors is vehemently against it.

Can we trust Shapiro to live up to his newly articulated campaign promises or will he be responsible for ensuring that Pennsylvanians are screwed over for another four years?

This article first appeared in Broad + Liberty.

Mastriano Campaign Begins Airing TV Commercials This Week

Better late than never.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s gubernatorial campaign has been hammering opponent state, Sen. Doug Mastriano, with television ads for months. Shapiro has spent a whopping $34.6 million saturating the airwaves with commercials. On Tuesday came news Mastriano’s campaign was finally going on the air with its own ads.

The Mastriano campaign announced it will be spending $1 million on television commercials and online ads this week. It is Mastriano’s first TV spot of the election cycle, including the GOP primary. He has only spent $419,000 on advertising in the general election so far, according to AdImpact Politics.

“It’s never too late to share your message, but the ad disparity between Shapiro and Mastriano is eye-popping,” said Charlie O’Neill, a Republican political consultant. “The reality is, during the primary, Republicans were warned this would likely happen with a Mastriano nomination, but he prevailed regardless. The ad buy likely won’t do much to move the polls, but hopefully, this shows outside groups Mastriano is beginning to run a traditional campaign and (they will) jump on board with financial help.”

Long-time Republican political consultant Christopher Nicholas said, “It’s a good start for the Mastriano campaign.”

The spots feature 60-second and 30-second versions, which will be distributed on TV and digital platforms.

Mastriano served in the U.S. Army for 30 years before retiring as a colonel. He was elected to the state Senate to represent Franklin County in 2019. The ads highlight Mastriano’s leadership style, including his work to protect his soldiers and his ability to bring unity to his team.

“It’s important to me that I bring everyone along with me and bring everyone hope and opportunity,” Mastriano says in the ad. “I want every Pennsylvanian to know that I will have their back.”

The ad also features a testimonial from Staff sergeant (SSG) Lance Frazee, who served under Mastriano’s command in the Alpha Company, 229th Military Intelligence Battalion, from 1995 to 1997.

“We’d be on a run and soldiers were starting to get tired, and he would run all the way around trying to motivate soldiers,” Frazee says in the ad. “He would be back there with a soldier who was falling out [saying] ‘You can do this, you can do this!’ Next thing you know, he was bringing them back to the flock.”

Mastriano’s TV commercials will air in Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.

How did Mastriano win the GOP nomination without running any TV advertising? He had help from Democrat Shapiro, who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on ads during the Republican primary designed to help nominate Mastriano who, Democrats believed, would be easier to beat.  That strategy was employed by several other Democrats around the country this year, who spent millions aiding and abetting the campaigns of Republican candidates perceived to be the most “Trumpy” while portraying Trump supporters as extreme.

Former President Donald Trump endorsed Mastriano shortly before the primary, which Mastriano won handily with 44 percent of the vote. But Trump’s support only goes so far. Some old-guard Republicans and never-Trumpers, led by former Bucks County Congressman Jim Greenwood, have not backed Mastriano– even going so far as to support Shapiro.

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Mastriano to Bucks County: Crime Surge on Shapiro’s Watch ‘Disqualifying’

Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano unloaded both barrels on his Democratic opponent, Attorney General Josh Shapiro, over soaring crime in the Keystone State.

“On his watch as the senior law enforcement official in the state, crime has gone up 40 percent, that alone is disqualifying,” he told some 700 people at the Fuge in Warminster on Saturday afternoon. “He doesn’t want to talk about 1,000 or more carjackings in Philadelphia, a record number of homicides…and he is a complete, utter, and ridiculous failure.”

They can’t keep up  (with digging) the graves with the young people killed in the crossfire, mostly 15, 18-year-old kids,” Mastriano said.

Participants chanted “Doug for Guv.” Mastriano spoke without notes for about 45 minutes, making his case for why voters should elect him governor.

A 30-year Army veteran, he repeated the classic quote, “Old soldiers never die. They just fade away.”

“There’s no time for us to fade away,” he said. “Our country needs every one of us.”

Mastriano said he has offered to debate Shapiro and would allow him to “bring Donna Brazile,” but “he’s chicken.”

Shapiro has turned his back on “mostly women” who are being sex trafficked in the state, Mastriano charged. Instead, Shapiro sued the Little Sisters of the Poor, spending millions in taxpayers’ money to lose in the U.S. Supreme Court, and sued to keep kids in masks and businesses shut down. On his watch, nearly 10,000 criminals were released from jail.

Mastriano promised, “On day one, woke is broke.”

“Parents will have their powers back,” he continued. “There will be full school transparency…all the pornographic books will be pulled out. On day one and done, Critical Race Theory will be thrown out the window. And maybe bring back civics, the constitution, and Pennsylvania history.”

Mastriano said he was being attacked as not supporting women’s rights and called on his wife, Rebbie, to speak.

Sen. Doug Mastriano and his wife, Rebbie. (Courtesy Tom Sofield, editor/publisher Levittown/Now.com)

She said Republicans support a woman’s right to be born, to have baby formula, to have a say in her child’s education, raise a child in “a safe community where the government enforces the law, prosecutes crime, and doesn’t let criminals out early.”

“And we believe, as Pennsylvanians, that it’s a woman’s right to the Second Amendment,” she added, drawing loud cheers and applause.

“And we believe it’s a woman’s right to compete in sports that are not dominated by men,” said Rebbie, who also serves as Mastriano’s campaign manager. “They’re trying to cancel us. I know each and every one of you can define a woman and tell some of those in your neighborhood what a woman is. Ladies, we’re going to get out that vote like you’ve never seen before.”

Mastriano said boys in girls’ bathrooms threaten public safety. He backed a bill to ensure only girls and women play women’s sports. Gov. Tom Wolf (D) vetoed that bill, and Shapiro filed an amicus brief opposing Virginia’s efforts to keep boys out of girls’ restrooms and locker rooms.

While the Republican nominee trails in the polls, he told the crowd he is waging a grassroots campaign. Since the primary, he has been to all 67 counties, with Bucks, one of the original counties founded by William Penn, as the last.

Mastriano recalled Washington’s “daring raid” crossing the Delaware River from Bucks County to New Jersey, changing the course of the Revolutionary War. He told his supporters they would do the same and “beat back the Democrats and that far, extreme radial, dangerous policy vision they have for our state and nation. We just say no to Shapiro.”

“The Democrats haven’t changed much,” he said. “They don’t have an argument to stand on, so they call names.”

The Democrats are lying and “fearmongering,” he said. “It’s time to take the state back.”

The Democrats have a “laundry list” of things they do not want to talk about, like shutting down small businesses during COVID and the state deciding which could stay open.

“All the cabinet makers across Pennsylvania were shut down, except one. Wolf Industries,” he said. “You could go to strip clubs but not churches. Life under (Health Secretary Rachel) Levine and life under Shapiro.”

“I was in Germany behind the Iron Curtain in 1989 during the Cold War defending us from what the radical left is planning here,” he said. “The godlessness, the evil empire…The fight for freedom is still ongoing for our country, so our job is not done.”

“For our kids and grandkids, we have to win on the 8th of November,” he said. “Our motto is freedom.”

Conservative writer and commentator Jack Posobiec also spoke, saying he grew up in Norristown. He said when drugs flooded that small city, Shapiro was a Montgomery County commissioner and did nothing to help. Norristown has gotten so bad that Posobiec said he has never taken his two sons to see the street he grew up on.

“This (Democratic) cabal took from us, they took from our families, they want to destroy our families,” he said. “The only thing they care about is power.”

Mastriano’s message resonated with Eileen Storch of Newtown. She opposes boys in girls’ restrooms and biological boys competing in girls’ sports.

“That’s wrong,” she said.

David Fiori, Jr. of Yardley said Mastriano “makes a lot of good sense. He’s applying common sense to politics. He has great leadership skills. He relates to everybody. He understands what the stakes are, and he’s not afraid to face the issues of the day.”

A Montgomery Township woman who did not want to give her name said she supports Mastriano because of “schools, taxes, and the economy.”

Mastriano said he had spoken to 500 people in Chester County earlier in the day and had a second event with Gun Owners of America in Bucks County following the Fuge rally. Reports of the “early demise” of his campaign were utterly wrong, he said.

“You ain’t seen nothing yet.”

 

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Shapiro Promises No New Taxes, But Critics Say He’s Broken That Pledge Before

Democrat Josh Shapiro promises to cut taxes if elected governor.

Specifically, Shapiro says he would cut the cellphone tax, send $250 gas tax rebates to car owners, and expand the property tax and rent rebate program. Both Shapiro and his Republican opponent, state Sen. Doug Mastriano, agree the state’s corporate taxes  — the second highest in the country — should be reduced to attract businesses and jobs.

But Shapiro had a record of raising taxes when he served as a Montgomery County commissioner, despite promising voters during the campaign that he would not.

Shapiro voted to raise Montgomery County property taxes in 2015 and 2016 by a total of 21 percent. In 2015, Shapiro had just been re-elected as commissioner and in 2016, he had been elected as attorney general and was leaving his county post when he voted to again raise taxes.

Before being elected county commissioner, Shapiro pledged not to raise taxes.

In 2016, Joe Gale, the minority Republican Commissioner, called the tax increases “a money grab.”

Gale pointed out that in addition to hiking property taxes, Shapiro and Commissioner Val Arkoosh also voted to increase health inspection fees on businesses by 2 percent over three consecutive years. And Shapiro voted to increase the vehicle registration fees for county car and truck owners. The two Democratic commissioners also voted to increase the hotel tax by 100 percent. Shapiro voted to institute a separate community college levy, having the taxpayers pay for it separately and removing the county’s contribution to the college from the general fund, freeing up $22 million, said Gale.

“Josh Shapiro campaigned for county commissioner on a no-tax pledge, yet within weeks of being re-elected commissioner, Shapiro voted to increase taxes by 10 percent,” Gale said at the time. “Just a few weeks after being elected to his new position (attorney general), he’s increased taxes by 11 percent.”

Gale said, “There’s a pattern here. You elect Josh Shapiro on a Tuesday and the next week you’re hit with a double-digit tax increase…A 21 percent tax increase over the course of two years is outrageous.”

Skippack resident Mike Marino, a former Montgomery County Commissioners chair, said Shapiro “imposed an assessment as a contribution to Montgomery County Community College. It appears on my county bill of over $100 each year. It was a sneaking way of raising your taxes without calling it a tax. He is a typical Democrat that constantly raises taxes and then states that he does not. Just another attempt to deceive the public. Exactly the same tricks as Joe Biden.”

For his part, Shapiro tweeted on June 22, “As county commissioner, I inherited a deficit – so I got to work. I balanced our budget, and by the end of my term, Montgomery County was back on track to financial stability. Experience matters.”

Shapiro’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment about Shapiro’s record on taxes.

Gale, who had also run for governor but lost to Mastriano in a crowded Republican primary, added, “Josh Shapiro is, and has always been, a tax and spend liberal who has never seen a money grab he didn’t like. Once elected governor, he will grow the size of government and the already bloated state budget.”

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PA Governor’s Race May Hinge On Parental Rights, ‘Mama Bears’

Republican lieutenant governor candidate state Rep. Carrie DelRosso knows her running mate, state Sen. Doug Mastriano, is getting outspent by a huge margin. But she told a Montgomery County Moms for Liberty meeting in Lansdale Monday the GOP ticket is counting on a grassroots army of “mama bears” to take them to victory.

“Shapiro has a $16 million TV buy. What else can he say about a 30-year colonel in the Army, who knows strategy, who’s brilliant, he’s got his doctorate in history?”

While the event was billed as a discussion of Mastriano’s education plan, the conversation was open-ended. Many attendees expressed their worries the Nov. 8 election will be stolen through mail-in ballots and drop boxes. DelRosso encouraged them to sign up to be poll watchers and to turn off the TV and knock on doors and make phone calls.

Mastriano, who recently voted to increase state funding for education by $800,000, has noted the average Pennsylvania school district spends $20,000 per student.

Carrie DelRosso (center rear) with Montgomery County Moms for Liberty in Lansdale. Josh Herman, Mastriano campaign deputy campaign manager, front right.

As governor, his proposals include strengthening and enforcing statewide curriculum transparency requirements and working with the legislature to establish a universal “parental rights” statute, according to Josh Herman, deputy campaign manager, who also came to the Moms for Liberty meeting.

Mastriano believes schools should teach children how to think, not what to think. On day one, Mastriano will ban Critical Race and Gender Theory studies. He also opposes biological males using girls’ locker rooms and restrooms and would ban biological males from competing in women’s sports, Herman said.

Mastriano also supports school choice. He believes every child is entitled to a top-notch education and that, when schools compete, it promotes excellence. He will make sure public schools continue to receive level funding but will also back competition that will improve them. And Mastriano plans to work with the legislature to bring school choice to Pennsylvania families to prevent children from being trapped in failing schools, Herman said.

“It’s time that we empower the parents and not these institutions,”  Mastriano said recently.

DelRosso, who grew up in Scranton, was upbeat about the chances for the Republican ticket, despite being outspent massively by their opponents.

After going to college at the University of Pittsburgh, she stayed in that area.  The divorced mother of three children, who served on the Oakmont Borough Council, was running her own public relations business when she decided to run for a seat in the state House, mostly because she saw what was going on behind the scenes in her local school district.

She flipped her Allegheny County district and beat the state Democrat minority leader by working hard and going door-to-door. She said she believes the Mastriano/DelRosso campaign can use those same grassroots tactics to win in November.

She was going to lose her seat this cycle due to redistricting, so she decided to run for lieutenant governor “to serve the people.”

“The Democratic old boys’ regime tried to sideline me,” she said. “I was the last person in the (lieutenant governor’s) race and I ended up winning by 120,000 votes.”

Her oldest son, Vincent, 14, asked her what she was going to do when he learned about redistricting. She said she would find a job.

“He told me, ‘Mom, you don’t retreat.’” When her son was in 8th grade he did a presentation for his public speaking class on the person he admired most. He chose his mom. He gave her the speech that he had written for Mother’s Day and she framed it. Her other children, Domenic, 12, and Mia, 11, are also onboard with her campaign.

And, she said, all three kids know not to believe all the negative campaign commercials now running against their mom and Mastriano.

“My kids get it now. Even the negative ads now, (her son says), ‘Watch this one, Mom.’ He knows it’s propaganda.”

Herman said he first heard about Moms for Liberty because of a Libs of TikTok tweet about a North Penn School District teacher making White kids apologize to Black kids because of their skin color during a “privilege walk.” He talked to Mastriano about it and got involved, even though it was not his district.

“A lot of other politicians would have said, ‘It’s not our district, it’s another senator or representative’s issue,’” said Herman. “That’s not the kind of guy Doug Mastriano is.”

“There’s other stuff going on in every school district across Pennsylvania,” said Herman. “There’s a very clear contrast in this race.  When you look at what (Gov.) Tom Wolf’s Department of Education has done in this state, the results are pretty clear. The last test results statewide showed that only 22 percent of 8th graders were proficient in either math or reading, 22 percent.”

“It’s time to rethink education here in Pennsylvania,” said Herman. “Josh Shapiro stood with Tom Wolf in supporting the mask mandates, he supported the school closures, all the horrible things the pandemic brought in 2020, the school shutdowns, the escalation of these woke ideologies, whether it was CRT, gender theory, all kinds of this nonsense that has crept into our schools across Pennsylvania. One of the most encouraging things we saw was a grassroots movement that rose up.

“It was led by angry mamma bears,” he said. That led to elections in 2021 across America where parents elected new school boards, including the Back to School PA movement. In Virginia, it led to the election of (Gov.) Glenn Youngkin. “That election was mostly owed to parents saying, ‘Enough is enough.’  (Defeated Democrat) Terry McAuliffe is just basically a Virginia version of Josh Shapiro.”

“Doug Mastriano, as a state senator, his record is clear,” said Herman. “He is always going to stand with parents. He is going to stand for freedom…He is going to increase transparency.”

Wolf vetoed a bipartisan bill that said curriculum had to be posted online.

“Doug Mastriano will sign that into law,” said Herman. “The number one priority is going to be empowering the voices of parents.”

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