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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Governor's Race 2006: Where Do The Candidates Stand On Abortion?Sue Cirba, The Pro-Life Reporter Spring 2005

We know where Governor Rendell stands on abortion. We knew it before he was elected. On the evening of his primary election victory in 2002, gubernatorial candidate Ed Rendell introduced a small and select group of people he felt obliged to acknowledge. One of those persons was Kate Michelman, President of the National Abortion Rights Action League(NARAL) the fiercest proponent of abortion in the country. "This little lady behind me," stated Rendell, "who Philadelphia may not be too familiar with-but she was a true saint, Kate Michelman of NARAL." Rendell is blatantly pro-abortion, as he openly acknowledged the involvement of pro-abortion leaders in his campaign and has taken campaign contributions from pro-abortion organizations like NARAL.

While the gubernatorial primary election is still a year away, William Scranton and Jeff Piccola, Republican candidates for Governor, addressed a Pennsylvania Leadership Conference breakfast held April 16 in Harrisburg. Scranton made no overtures whatsoever to the pro-life movement. Apparently his stance has not changed since his days as Lt. Governor when The Centre Daily Times of State College printed an interview which revealed the extent of Scranton’s support of abortion. Mr. Scranton stated in the March 3, 1985 piece, "I am not one of those who supports a constitutional amendment to ban abortion. I just don’t think you can or should....My position on this issue is clear and it isn’t going to change or turn around, so that’s part of the baggage that comes with me and if they want to make it an issue, it becomes an issue...but I think there are more pressing problems that are of more legitimate interest in Pennsylvania." Garnett Biviano, President of the Pa. Pro-Life Federation in 1985 commented in an article in Lifelines: "A more pressing issue than life or death of a human being? What is more pressing than that?" It will be interesting to see if Mr. Scranton changes his position when facing two pro-life challengers.

Jeff Piccola expressed interest in conservative and religious issues at the Leadership Conference Breakfast. A January 18, 2005 article on GrassrootsPa.com reported State Senator Jeff Piccola (R-Dauphin) had been "on the wrong side of the abortion issue"..."According to High Street Communications’ Dean Quellette, who is currently consulting Piccola’s likely run for the Governor’s mansion, Piccola has had a gradual change of heart on the contentious issue and is now unequivocally pro-life." Piccola’s growing involvement in his church, with issues like stem cell research, as well as a "personal pregnancy-related experience within the family," have influenced his change of heart. Piccola voted pro-life on Pennsylvania’s fetal homicide bill in 1997.

Lynn Swann, former Pittsburgh Steeler Hall of Fame receiver came out assertively as pro-life in a recent television interview. When asked about his views on abortion, without hesitation Swann said he was pro-life. Draft Swann for Governor (www.draftswann.com) lists ten reasons to support Lynn Swann. Reason five states he is "A conservative: Pro-Life, Pro-Sportsman, Pro-Family."

The Governor’s race influences pro-life policies throughout the state, and makes a huge difference in the presidential election. Numerous visits to PA by President Bush and John Kerry in 2004 (including visits to downtown Scranton and Lackawanna County stadium) attest to that fact.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Columbia/Montour Pro-Life Group Activities

The Columbia/Montour Chapter of Pennsylvanians for Human Life is collecting books, videos, CD’s and DVD’s for an upcoming media sale to offset the cost of the booth at the Bloomsburg Fair. Anyone from Columbia or Montour county wishing to donate media materials should contact lifeissues@hotmail.com for further information. Also volunteers are needed to man the booth at the Bloomsburg Fair September 24 until October 1 from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Interested persons should send their contact information (e-mail address or phone number) to lifeissues@hotmail.com and it will be forewarded to chapter leaders.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Scranton Times-Tribune "Casey" Ad Controversy Snowballing

On Aug. 8 an article " Why is Bob Casey Smiling?" was posted on this blog. A revised version "PA Politics: Why is Bob Casey Smiling?" was sent to American Chronicle in the Aug. 8 opinion section and grassrootspa.com who posted a link to it.

Since then Carrie Budoff of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote an article on the Scranton Times-Tribune Casey ad controversy. She writes: "The newly merged Scranton Times-Tribune wanted to call attention to itself with advertisements that appear this summer on TV, billboards and buses. The ads featured a mock newspaper with a banner headline 'Casey to run for Senate.' " Budoff continues..."at issue now.....is whether the ads are a harmless promotion for a business or a possible campaign-finance violation." Ms. Budoff discovered that the Lynett family, publishers of the Scranton Times-Tribune have contributed more than $120,000 to the campaigns of Bob Casey Jr. and his brother Pat Casey.

The Scranton Times-Tribune printed a story on the ad controversy on Aug. 17, "Times-Tribune Ad Riles Santorum's Supporters". Lawrence K. Beaupre, the Scranton Times-Tribune's managing editor says he came up with the promotion and the publisher had "nothing to do with the portotype."

George Lynett who publishes the Scranton Times-Tribune along with his brothers, does not deny that he and his family have made substantial contributions to the Casey campaigns, but says he and his brothers William and Edward, do not dictate daily newspaper coverage, but leave that up to Beaupre and other editors.

Republicans believe the ad campaign amounts to in-kind advertising and are attempting to discover the dollar value of the ad campaign which included television spots. Republicans are considering officially asking the Federal Election Commission to investigate whether campaign finance laws have been violated. The controversy was also the subject of conversation on WILK's Sue Henry show on August 18.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Bittersweet Time for Torres Family

Within 24 hours, the Torres family celebrated the birth and baptism of Susan Anne Catherine Torres and mourned the passing of the child's mother, Susan Michelle Rollin Torres...
Read this incredible story of love by Angela E Pometto. Visit www.catholic.org and type in Susan Torres in the site search.
"I am deeply moved by the extraordinary witness to the sacredness of life from its very beginning which the Torres family has given to our society" Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Why is Bob Casey Jr. Smiling?

by Susan Cirba

I wonder how much cash is in the Casey for Senate bank account right now. He must have plenty because it looks as though he’s got a whopping bill coming from the Scranton Times.
Oh, you say Bob Casey Jr. did not PAY to have his name appear in dozens of Scranton Times - Scranton Tribune newspaper ads, television ads, billboards and ads plastered on the side of Lackawanna County Colts Buses? Then how did they get there?

The Scranton Times and Scranton Tribune (the evening and morning papers respectively) recently merged into a single paper, the Times-Tribune. The ad graphics include samples of the Health, Classified, Sports, Lifestyles, and Business pages with the front page on top. What a coincidence! The front page just happens to have a headline which reads "Casey to run for Senate", with Bobby Jr.’s smiling face on front. And why shouldn’t he be smiling? Look at all the free advertising he’s gotten from his friends at the Scranton Times! Times advertisers were even nice enough to remind voters of the Terri Schiavo case, an issue Democrats believe will hurt Casey's opponent, Senator Rick Santorum in the upcoming election.

Interesting thing about that front page. It never existed except on the pages of these ads.
Casey announced his candidacy on March 3rd. or 4th . The March 4 Times story featured in the mock-up ad originally had the headline "Casey at Bat". The Saturday paper’s headline read "Casey In, Hafer Out" And the Terri Schiavo article did not appear that same weekend, but after Easter which would have been March 26 or 27.

Times-Tribune "Better Together" ads have been running in the Times and Tribune the entire months of June and July. What the actual value of this Casey promotion amounts to is anybody’s guess, but I’d say easily a million dollars or more. Ads appeared daily in the Times and Tribune before the papers merged and continued with another Casey promo in the "New" paper. Add to this a least five billboards, numerous television spots and bus ads.

The second Times ad focused on food, columnists, cartoons and Surprise! under the "Better Together" ad text is a copy of the mocked-up "Casey to run for Senate" paper.
I don’t know much about campaign finance laws but I understand politicians. If Casey won’t be paying for these ads with cash, I believe he’ll be paying for them with political favors.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Free Samples of Pro-Life Pamphlets

Several pamphlets are available from Pa. for Human Life's Pro-Life Information Center, 506 Broadway, Scranton, Pa. 18505. Leaders of college, community or church pro-life groups may request a sample. Pastors may wish to order them for Bible Study groups or put them on church pamphlet racks.
Titles include:
1. The First Nine Months published by Focus on the Family "The growth patterns described in this brochure is recognized medical information, documented by scientific research. It includes photos of the unborn child taken by Lennart Nilsson reprinted from A Child is Born c. 1977."
2. Adoption: A Loving Choice - Life Cycle Books.
3. Sing a Little Louder - Heritage House - Discusses a Christian's responsibility to end the Abortion Holocaust.
4. You're Considering an Abortion: What can Happen to You? discusses abortion complications for women. Heritage House.
5. Mary's Pregnancy - Quotes from the King James Bible.
6. Mary and the Gospel of Life-(for Roman Catholics).
7. Rachel's Vineyard retreats for healing after abortion.
For a Free Sample of any of the above titles, e-mail lifeissues@hotmail.com.
Please be sure to include your name, mailing address, and zip code.