Friday, July 29, 2005

Scranton: 'I lost 20 years ago. I'm not going to lose again.'

Capitol Notes: Grillin' with the Guv, everybody loves a parade and the contenders: "Scranton, whose willingness to conduct an all-out fight to the finish next year is sometimes questioned, sounded tough. Referring to a loss for governor in 1986 to Democrat Robert Casey, he said sternly, 'I lost 20 years ago. I'm not going to lose again.'"

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Daily and Sunday Review - News - 07/18/2005 - Candidates stump at Madigan pig roast

Daily and Sunday Review - News - 07/18/2005 - Candidates stump at Madigan pig roast: "Candidates stump at Madigan pig roast

By Aaron Cahall 07/18/2005
LUTHER'S MILLS - Republican gubernatorial candidates Lynn Swann and Bill Scranton gave Bradford County residents a preview Sunday of next year's race, with each seeking support to unseat Governor Ed Rendell.

The candidates were on hand for state Senator Roger Madigan's annual Pig Roast, held Sunday afternoon at the senator's Madadale Farm in Luther's Mills. Swann and Scranton both ripped Rendell, painting him as a "governor of Philadelphia," and criticizing him for damage they said has
been done to Pennsylvania's rural areas under his administration.
Swann, a broadcaster and Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame wide receiver, was at the farm on his first trip to the area, and said he was "extremely impressed" with Bradford County. Swann added that no incumbent Pennsylvania governor has ever been unseated, but said no governor has had "a record as bad as Ed Rendell."
"I've been a broadcaster for 28 years," Swann said, "and I want to be governor. Rendell has been governor for four years, and I think he wants to be a broadcaster. I think it's a fair exchange."
Scranton served as lieutenant governor from 1978 to 1986 under Gov. Dick Thornburgh, and lost the 1986 gubernatorial election to the late Robert P. Casey. Scranton called Rendell "one of the worst governors we have seen in our lifetime," and said his political experience would help him rejuvenate the state's farms.
"I know Bradford County very well," Scranton said. "We have to have a governor that values agricultural areas. Keeping small farms alive is essential to the state."
Scranton asked for the support of those present to "unseat a governor that richly deserves unseating."
Swann and Scranton will face off with State Senate Majority Whip Jeff Piccola for the Republican gubernatorial bid in next May's primary election."

Bill Scranton's Second Wife Campaigns in Wysox - Good bye Coral Hello Maryla

Daily and Sunday Review - News - 07/01/2005 - Gubernatorial candidate's wife speaks in Wysox: "Gubernatorial candidate's wife speaks in Wysox

In a speech Thursday in Wysox, Maryla Scranton urged Republicans to work to elect her husband, former Lt. Gov. Bill Scranton, as the next governor of Pennsylvania.

Scranton said her husband would work hard to improve the economy in Pennsylvania, would work to reduce the tax burden on citizens, and believes the legalization of gambling will cause a host of social and moral problems for the state.
Scranton delivered her speech at the Bradford County Council of Republican Women's annual banquet, which was held at the Towanda County Club.
At the banquet, a representative of U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum announced that Santorum will be the Bradford County Courthouse in Towanda at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday to participate in a program that will focus on possible cuts to the federal Community Development Block Grant program. Santorum opposes the cuts.
Bill Scranton had served as lieutenant governor under Gov. Dick Thornburgh from 1979 to 1987.
After serving as lieutenant governor, Scranton moved to California, where he ran a number of successful businesses in the Silicon Valley, said Tim Kelly, a spokesman for the Scranton-for-governor campaign.
Scranton moved back to Scranton, Pa., in the mid- to late 1990s, and then worked for the family business, Kelly said.
In the Republican primary for governor, which will take place in May 2006, Scranton will face state Sen. Jeffrey Piccola of Dauphin County.
Lynn Swann, a former Pittsburgh Steelers star, will also likely run in the Republican primary for governor, Kelly said.
"First and foremost, we need a governor who understands what it is to compete in the global economy," Maryla Scranton said in her speech. "Bill Scranton is the right man for the right time. The governorship is not on-the-job training. Bill Scranton knows how the state works. He's been inside government. He served the state with distinction in times of challenges.
"We live in a time of unprecedented growth and opportunity," she said. "But that is somehow passing Pennsylvania by. It drives us crazy when we hear that Pennsylvania is 45 out of 50 states, or 47 out of 50 states. We look at each other and wonder why."
"My husband's passion is (for an) economic turnaround," she said.
In 1986, Bill Scranton ran unsuccessfully for governor, but lost narrowly to Democrat Robert Casey, Kelly said.
Scranton received his undergraduate degree from Yale University and is the son of former Pennsylvania Gov. William Scranton."

Casey vs Santorum: Bill Scranton Supporters Reject Santorum - Money Men Want a Winner not an Ideologue

Casey vs Santorum: Bill Scranton Supporters Reject Santorum - Money Men Want a Winner not an Ideologue: "Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Bill Scranton Supporters Reject Santorum - Money Men Want a Winner not an Ideologue
Republican tech executives keep politics local: "Republican tech executives keep politics local
Saturday, July 23, 2005

By Corilyn Shropshire, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The politics matched the attire on this balmy summer evening, as a crisply suited, closely cropped crowd mingled at Downtown's Euro Cafe.

Conservative in mind and appearance, they munched on cheese and cold cuts Wednesday evening while awaiting the arrival of former Republican Lt. Gov. Bill Scranton, who would welcome FreeMarkets Inc. founder and local tech celebrity Glen Meakem as fundraising chair for his gubernatorial campaign.

This bunch of about 50 was eager to talk about Scranton, why he was the better man to run against Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell next year than his perceived closest Republican rival, former Pittsburgh Steeler turned broadcaster Lynn Swann, and why local politics are critical to a business-friendly economy.

What they didn't want to talk about was Sen. Rick Santorum. In fact, the mention of Santorum elicited a game of verbal dodgeball. Asked about the third-highest ranking Republican senator in the country who appears to be in line to confront a strong challenge next year from state Treasurer Bob Casey Jr., some local tech executives simply changed the subject or refused to talk on the record.

Santorum's widely publicized social agenda, it seems, is a bit too polarizing for some members of his party. Particularly those in the tech community, who maintain that local politics, not the culture wars, have galvanized them to do more than write checks in support of Republican candidates and causes.

"State and local policies make the difference," said Ed Engler, the chief executive officer of Downtown-based technology firm Summa Technologies, who was among those who collected signatures for the row office reform referendum.

"I care much more about how businesses in town are going to be affected."

Conventional wisdom says that techies aren't the most political bunch. Notoriously nerdy, they are known for preferring chatter about gigabytes and the latest computer code than waxing political.

But beyond clamped lips on the subject of Santorum, some local tech execs are getting their hands dirty, circulating petitions for row office reform or volunteering on the Republican political campaigns.

"A lot of what drives us is frustration," said Pittsburgh attorney Bob Ridge, who helped organize the Scranton/Meakem coming-out party and includes technology firms among his clients. "Your livelihood depends on a vibrant economy, you'll either move or take action to change the status."

Meakem is the second high-profile tech executive to recently jump into the political fray on the Republican side of the fence in a town where Democrats still dominate. Last month, Ariba Inc. President David McCormick, who formerly worked for Meakem, was nominated by President Bush to serve as an undersecretary at the Department of Commerce.

McCormick is unavailable for comment on political matters while his nomination is mulled by a Senate committee, and Meakem, like his tech GOP brethren, didn't have much to say about the upcoming Santorum race.

For him, too, all politics are local. "The big eye-opener for me, was the Pittsburgh fiscal crisis," he said, completely deflecting any questions about Santorum, whose views on gay marriage, stay-at-home parents and abortion fall on the conservative side of the ledger. "A lot of policies start in Harrisburg and we need reform."

Mark Evans, the chief executive officer of North Side-based financial services software firm Confluence and chair of the tech-advocacy nonprofit Pittsburgh Technology Council, is a Republican who says he doesn't care which side of the fence a candidate falls as long as he or she addresses business and technology issues. "The social issues "neb themselves out," he said.

Business is what brought them to the table, politically active tech executives say -- the social agenda is an afterthought. "First and foremost, we care about creating a fertile soil for our business," said Mark Desantis, a former staffer of the late Sen. John Heinz, who is now a tech consultant and fixture in local GOP politics.

Desantis also heads Citizens for Democratic Reform, the group pushing to reduce the number of elected row offices. He is a conservative who, after deciding he had enough of working on the national level, decided that local politics hit both his home and pocketbook. Now he spends 80 percent of his time working on his consulting practice, the other 20 percent doing political work.

Amicus Corp. CEO Ric Castro can't spend that much time being political -- he's too busy building his South Side-based software firm. But that doesn't mean he hasn't scraped out time to work on the issues he cares about -- mainly business and not the cultural issues that have kept Santorum in the news lately.

That many people were unable or unwilling to talk about Santorum's re-election campaign or possible presidential bid didn't surprise John Dick, a former staffer for the senator who now leads his own tech-focused lobbying group.

"I believe that most people choose their partisan affiliation due to their social leanings," he said, but taxes and other business-minded issues are what draws the ire and passion of people in Pittsburgh. "Most people in the technology community vote based on how they perceive the candidate will affect their daily lives.""

The Meakem factor -

The Meakem factor - "The Meakem factor

Sunday, July 24, 2005
Indeed, it's early in the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race. But already there's been a sea change in this young sweepstakes: Former GOP Lt. Gov. Bill Scranton has named FreeMarkets founder Glen Meakem as his campaign chairman.
Mr. Meakem is the uber-successful Pittsburgh entrepreneur who himself would make a great governor. Instead, he has "entered" the race -- by proxy, if you will -- at a level of double import:

The Meakem appointment fires a red-hot cannonball across the bow of the eastern Pennsylvania GOP moneybags who appear to be all too willing to make next year's election a sacrificial affair because of their business dealings with Democrat Gov. Ed Rendell's administration.

Meakem is very influential -- not just in conservative circles but in coteries of common sense. And with good reason. He understands how markets work; he detests the liberal machinations that have damaged Pennsylvania's economy. Aligning with Mr. Scranton should foster significant financial support against a very well-financed incumbent.

Conventional wisdom has it that Mr. Rendell will be hard to beat. But Rendell is not invincible. His poll numbers are sagging. Rendell is vulnerable.

The sooner the state Republican apparatus can catch up with Messrs. Scranton and Meakem and embrace this reality, the sooner Ed Rendell's political obituary can be effected."

Transcendental Meditation: Scranton 's Ties to Pagan Religious Cult Haunts Candidacy

Transcendental Meditation: Scranton going for governor again - News about religious cults and sects: "Scranton going for governor again

Some in GOP don't think Attorney General Mike Fisher can beat Democrats. But just as in '86, Scranton faces grilling over ties to transcendental meditation.

The Morning Call, Apr. 23, 2001
More Religion and Cult News

HARRISBURG -- Former Lt. Gov. William W. Scranton III, who narrowly lost the governor's race in 1986, is preparing to re-enter politics after a 15-year hiatus and again seek the state's top political prize.

Over the past month, the 53-year-old Scranton has been doing everything a serious candidate needs to do to join the race for the 2002 GOP gubernatorial nomination. He's met with deep-pocketed and influential Republicans across the state, and he's embarked on a search for someone to manage his campaign.

But even at this early stage, Scranton has found himself answering questions about a political bugaboo that many believe cost him the 1986 race: his connection with the transcendental meditation movement.

Most political observers believe Scranton, although not running the most energetic of campaigns, was leading Democratic nominee Robert P. Casey until late in the 1986 race.

That all changed just days before the fall balloting when Casey unleashed the "guru ad" -- a TV commercial that used old photographs of a long-haired and bearded Scranton to paint him as unfit for office. It worked.

The ad tipped the race toward Casey, who had lost three prior gubernatorial bids. Casey won by fewer than 80,000 votes, or about 2.5 percentage points.

Scranton left politics and the state soon after the defeat. He ventured west and, over seven years, ran three direct marketing and mail order companies in California. He returned to the Keystone State in 1994 to take control of his family investments.

The Harrisburg Patriot reported recently that Scranton had supported John Hagelin, the Natural Law Party candidate, during last year's presidential election. Scranton told the paper that he was merely helping Hagelin, an old friend from the transcendental meditation movement, because he didn't believe Hagelin was a threat to George W. Bush. Scranton said he actively supported Bush.

And Scranton also said he was no longer active in the movement.

Hagelin founded the Natural Law Party to bring transcendental meditation into America's politics. Hagelin's Web site features comments Scranton made soon after a February 2000 debate between Bush and and U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

As late as last summer, Scranton's biography listed a 1975 degree from the Maharishi European Research University, Seelisberg, Switzerland, right below a mention of his 1969 bachelor's degree from Yale University.

Opinions differ on the significance of Scranton's connection with transcendental meditation. Time will tell, said Mike Young, a Penn State University professor who tracks Pennsylvania politics.

If Scranton is able to "shun the flake factor" and convince the public that his ties with the movement are over, he can succeed, Young said. If he can't, he won't."