Northeast Times

Jon Runyan adds spice to clambake

U.S. Rep. Jon Run­yan, a former Eagles of­fens­ive tackle, was the star at­trac­tion at Sunday’s 28th an­nu­al Re­pub­lic­an City Com­mit­tee Billy Mee­han Clam­bake at Cannstat­ter’s. Run­yan, a fresh­man who rep­res­ents a South Jer­sey dis­trict, told the crowd that nobody 55 or older would be af­fected by the Medi­care re­form plan pro­posed by Wis­con­sin Rep. Paul Ry­an, the vice pres­id­en­tial run­ning mate for Mitt Rom­ney.

The United States is ap­proach­ing a fisc­al cliff, Run­yan said, adding that the coun­try needs a lead­er like Rom­ney who will make hard choices for the be­ne­fit of fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. He cred­ited New Jer­sey Gov. Chris Christie with be­ing the same kind of lead­er.

“It’s not about us. It’s about the fu­ture of the little ones,” said Run­yan, who also played for the San Diego Char­gers, Ten­ness­ee Ti­tans and the old Hou­s­ton Oil­ers.

Tom Smith, the Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate for U.S. Sen­ate and an Arm­strong County res­id­ent, spoke about how he star­ted a coal min­ing busi­ness and de­clared that he is not a ca­reer politi­cian.

“I am a cit­izen can­did­ate,” said Smith, who faces Demo­crat­ic Sen. Bob Ca­sey Jr. and Liber­tari­an Ray­burn Smith.

Dav­id Freed, the Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate for state at­tor­ney gen­er­al, is seek­ing to fol­low in the foot­steps of his fath­er-in-law, LeRoy Zi­m­mer­man, who was Pennsylvania’s first elec­ted at­tor­ney gen­er­al. Zi­m­mer­man served from 1981-89.

Freed, dis­trict at­tor­ney of Cum­ber­land County and vice pres­id­ent of the Pennsylvania Dis­trict At­tor­neys As­so­ci­ation, said his ex­ec­ut­ive ex­per­i­ence sets him apart from Demo­crat Kath­leen Kane and Liber­tari­an Marakay Ro­gers.

“I’ve tried all the cases, from the low­est shoplift­ing up to cap­it­al murder,” he said.

Oth­ers in at­tend­ance in­cluded state Rep. John Taylor (R-177th dist.) and can­did­ates John Feather­man (1st Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict), Joe Rooney (13th Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict), Mike Tom­lin­son (5th Sen­at­ori­al Dis­trict), Dave Kralle (169th Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict) and Al Tauben­ber­ger (172nd Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict).

En­ter­tain­ment was provided by the Ferko String Band and an Elvis Pres­ley trib­ute artist. 

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Demo­crats and lib­er­al in­terest groups cri­ti­cized a judge’s rul­ing up­hold­ing the state’s voter iden­ti­fic­a­tion law, while a Re­pub­lic­an lead­er and a loc­al Tea Party group hailed the de­cision.

Com­mon­wealth Court Judge Robert Simpson is­sued his rul­ing on Aug. 15, and crit­ics of the law have ap­pealed the de­cision to Pennsylvania Su­preme Court.

For now, voters will need to show photo iden­ti­fic­a­tion — such as a driver’s li­cense — at their polling places.

Any­one un­able to provide a birth cer­ti­fic­ate or oth­er doc­u­ment­a­tion for a non-driver’s li­cense can ob­tain a voter iden­ti­fic­a­tion card from a PennDOT driver’s li­cense cen­ter. They must give their date of birth and So­cial Se­cur­ity num­ber, along with two proofs of res­id­ence, such as util­ity bills.

Loc­al driver’s li­cense cen­ters are at 919-B Levick St. in Ox­ford Circle, 6420 Frank­ford Ave. in May­fair and 11685 Bustleton Ave. in Somer­ton.

The ACLU is among the groups chal­len­ging the law, ar­guing that it will dis­en­fran­chise minor­it­ies, the poor, the dis­abled and seni­or cit­izens.

Jerome Mondesire, pres­id­ent of the Pennsylvania State Con­fer­ence of the NAACP, said sup­port­ers of the law are “sup­press­ing the vote.”

Jen­nifer Aus­tin, the Pennsylvania press sec­ret­ary for Obama for Amer­ica, said the pres­id­ent’s cam­paign has in­cluded in­form­a­tion on the pro­vi­sions of the new law in vo­lun­teer train­ings, in­form­a­tion re­sources, on­line and in voter re­gis­tra­tion and edu­ca­tion activ­it­ies.

U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-13th dist.) called the court rul­ing “un-Amer­ic­an.”

Sup­port­ers of the law have a much dif­fer­ent opin­ion.

Pennsylvania House Ma­jor­ity Lead­er Mike Turzai, an Al­legheny County Re­pub­lic­an, said the law will be a tool to de­tect in­cid­ents of double vot­ing and vot­ing by non-cit­izens and those vot­ing un­der a fic­ti­tious re­gis­tra­tion.

Teri Adams, pres­id­ent of the In­de­pend­ence Hall Tea Party As­so­ci­ation, called Simpson’s 70-page de­cision “well reasoned,” agree­ing that the plaintiffs had not es­tab­lished that dis­en­fran­chise­ment was in­ev­it­able. 

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Wil­li­am Dun­bar, the Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate in the 177th Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict, is con­tinu­ing to press Re­pub­lic­an Rep. John Taylor to de­bate him three times between Sept. 10 and Oct. 26.

Dun­bar asked for the face-offs in a let­ter and when he saw Taylor dur­ing the 24th Po­lice Dis­trict’s Na­tion­al Night Out gath­er­ing.

“I am very sur­prised by Rep­res­ent­at­ive Taylor’s si­lence,” he said.

The Taylor camp said it is busy meet­ing voters and is con­sid­er­ing Dun­bar’s re­quest.

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Kath­leen Kane, the Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate in the race for state at­tor­ney gen­er­al, is ur­ging the NCAA and Penn State Uni­versity to en­sure that Chil­dren’s Ad­vocacy Cen­ters are the pri­or­ity for fund­ing from the $60 mil­lion en­dow­ment cre­ated by a con­sent de­cree to as­sist vic­tims of child ab­use.

Kane’s call comes after the Pennsylvania Dis­trict At­tor­neys As­so­ci­ation sent a let­ter to the NCAA and Penn State mak­ing that re­quest.

The cen­ters provide ser­vices deal­ing with child ab­use pre­ven­tion, in­vest­ig­a­tion and heal­ing for vic­tims and their fam­il­ies.

“What we’ve all learned from the Jerry San­dusky tragedy is that we must do a bet­ter job in this com­mon­wealth of pro­tect­ing our most vul­ner­able cit­izens — our chil­dren,” Kane said. “Chil­dren, their fam­il­ies and pro­sec­utors in every county in Pennsylvania de­serve ac­cess to CACs, and I am proud to stand along­side dis­trict at­tor­neys throughout our com­mon­wealth in ur­ging Penn State and the NCAA to pri­or­it­ize their fund­ing.”

Kane faces Re­pub­lic­an Dav­id Freed and Liber­tari­an Marakay Ro­gers. ••

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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