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Sen. Pat Toomey Holds Fundraiser Hours After Skipping Hearing on Long-Term Unemployment

On Wednesday, the 19-member Congressional Joint Economic Committee panel met to discuss long-term unemployment. Just four members of the panel decided to show up. As ThinkProgress notes, “perhaps the poor attendance at a hearing dealing with unemployment shouldn’t be a surprise, given the general lack of focus from members of Congress on unemployment since the end of the recession.”

More transparency in Pittsburgh

On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on the connections between city contracts and campaign contributions. According to their analysis 53 of the top 100 donors to city officials received contracts or special consideration from city officials. These 53 interests have donated $1.3 million to city campaigns since 2005.

While all of the elected officials in the article say there is no quid pro quo, the appearance is troublesome.

Pennsylvania Rep. Proposes Public Financing

Harken back to the Philadelphia Clean Elections pledge when we teamed up with individuals and organizations who wanted to put candidates in the city on record in support of a full public financing option for campaigns. It would seem the idea has reached the statehouse, where State Rep.

Vote By Day, Fundraise By Night

Pennsylvania's Citizens Voice notes that June is a month fraught with conflict for state lawmakers who must vote on a series of controversial issues even as they enter a heavy fundraising period where interested parties will be laying down thousand-dollar checks to bend lawmakers ears on their issue of choice.

Revisit Pulled Proposal

Last week saw a flurry of campaign finance activity on the Philadelphia City Council surrounding a proposal by Councilor Jim Kenney to do away with campaign contribution limits. Kenney eventually pulled this proposal and others from consideration, a move the Philadelphia Inquirer praises while recommending that Kenney's proposal for public financing for municipal elections be given consideration in due time.


Testimony to Philadelphia City Council

Philadelphia’s City Council's Law and Government Committee was scheduled to consider a proposal by City Councilor Jim Kenney to change or eliminate the the city's contribution limits for municipal elections in the middle of an election cycle; a move prompted by a wealthy mayoral candidate self-financing his campaign. Abolishing or increasing the limits would set up a desperate dash for cash by all candidates just before the primary; forcing candidates to spend even more time with those who can write big checks, and less time with ordinary voters.

Don Sherwood Got His

Public Campaign Action Fund's Campaign Money Watch project has launched a new ad in Pennsylvania taking on Rep. Don Sherwood for taking $205K in campaign contributions from insurance and drug companies and - surprise! - voting to help them rake in the cash at the expense of senior citizens.


Two Places At Once: PA and IN Get Visits From Bush Today

A few more stories on the Bush White House’s cross country fundraising efforts on behalf of congressional candidates in tight races.


Yesterday was not a good day if your last name starts with an S, ends with an M, and has the letters "antoru" in the middle

Sen. Rick Santorum's (R-PA) $500,000 five year mortgage on his home in Leesburg, VA is in question. The loan came from a small Philadelphia bank (who also happens to be a major financial contributor to Santorum's political interests) even though the loan is contrary to the Bank's stated policy to "make loans only to its 'affluent' investors'" of which Santorum is not. From the Philadelphia Daily News:

Tom DeLay crowing to Pittsburgh Tribune

Here's Tom DeLay crowing to Pittsburgh Tribune Review columnist Salena Zito:

For all the hand-wringing people do about partisan politics, the fact of the matter is that the redistricting process pretty accurately reflects the will of the people. It can be nasty and partisan, but it works, just as the Founders imagined it would.