Thursday, September 30, 2010

Natural Gas Donations Predict Marcellus Tax Votes

An analysis of the House of Representatives vote on SB 1155 by

Harrisburg –, a project of Common Cause PA and Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, tracks the more than $3 million that the natural gas industry has spent on campaign contributions and $5 million spent on lobbying efforts in the Commonwealth.

Yesterday, by a vote of 104 to 94, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted in favor of SB 1155, a bill to establish a tax on drilling companies that extract gas from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale. Though a victory for environmental protection, yesterday’s vote reveals just how insidious natural gas money has become.

The 104 who voted for the bill have taken an average of $824 from the natural gas industry, while the 94 legislators who voted against the bill took an average of $2,900 from the gas industry, or 3.5 times as much as those in favor of a severance tax. The vote split largely along party lines, with Democrats generally in favor, Republicans generally against. The vote count and accompanying data can be downloaded here:

The ten Democrats who voted against the bill, Representatives Barbin, Casorio, Deweese, Harhai, Kotik, Markosek, Pallone, Petrarca, Sainato, and White, accepted a total of $64,700 from the gas industry, an average of $6,470 each. Of these Democrats, only Rep. Barbin took no contributions from the natural gas industry.

The twelve Republicans who voted in favor of the bill, Representatives Beyer, DiGirolamo, Harper, Hennessey, Killion, Micozzie, Milne, Murt, O’Brien, O’Neill, Quinn, and Ross, accepted a total of only $1,500, an average of $125 each. Only three of these representatives (DiGirolamo, O'Brien, and O'Neill) received any contributions from the natural gas industry.

“Some gas drillers may not want to pay their fair share, but a Marcellus Shale drilling tax is good for the Commonwealth, good for local communities, and good for the environment,” said Josh McNeil of Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania. “When legislators take thousands of dollars from the gas industry and vote to let that industry take our resources for free, we have to wonder whose interests they’re really serving.”

"This correlation between the natural gas industry's campaign contributions to our elected officials and the way in which they vote on a bill that directly affects that industry's profits speaks volumes about the current state of our elections and campaigns," said Alex Kaplan of Common Cause Pennsylvania. "In Pennsylvania, out of state gas companies are allowed to give unlimited campaign contributions to elected officials charged with protecting our environment and crafting policy to benefit our state. In Pennsylvania, wealthy special interests have the ability to speak louder than everyday citizens."

SB 1150 would tax gas drillers 39 cents per thousand cubic feet of gas extracted, competitive with similar taxes in other gas producing states. The tax is expected to raise $120 million next year, $326 million the next. These funds will be used to plug gaps in Pennsylvania’s state budget, to help local communities deal with impacts of increased drilling, and to fund the regulatory and environmental clean-up efforts required to protect Pennsylvania’s health and safety.

The passage of a tax on drilling was part of a June deal between Governor Ed Rendell and legislative leaders to pass a gas tax by October 1. The funds from a tax are needed to fill $70 million of an estimated $280 million budget deficit.

Now that the bill has passed the House, it is up to the Senate to approve the amended bill.

Natural gas companies have contributed $359,827 to members of the House of Representatives, an average of $1755.25 per member. Current State Senators have accepted more than $407,440, an average of $8148.80 per Senator.

To find contributions to individual candidates, visit

NOTE: Because data from the most recent campaign filing has not yet been released by the Pennsylvania Department of State, the numbers above reflect donations made before June 7, 2010. Early indications are that the gas industry has donated heavily to PA candidates in the last three months. will make public the data of the following reporting cycle (early June through early September) as soon as it is available.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

As the National Organization for Marriage, or NOM, embarks on a fall election campaign to defeat candidates who support full marriage equality, the Human Rights Campaign, in collaboration with the Courage Campaign, unveiled "NOM Exposed," a live, interactive website which reveals NOM's deep anti-gay affiliations, its long connections to the Mormon and Catholic churches and its quest to keep voters in the dark about its financing. The site is at

At the same time, HRC announced the formation of the NOM Project to follow the ongoing political work and propaganda of NOM as it attempts to influence elections and legislative campaigns across the country. The project will be led by Kevin Nix, a longtime LGBT advocate and political and media consultant. A former communications director at both Servicemembers Legal Defense Network and the Family Equality Council, Nix also worked at Media Matters in the 2004 presidential cycle.

NOM Exposed builds off the success of Courage Campaign's NOM Tour Tracker - a blog of first-hand accounts, photos and videos chronicling NOM's "2010 Summer for Marriage--One Man, One Woman" bus tour of 17 states. The Courage Campaign deployed three staffers to follow NOM's tour and file reports from the road, generating more than one-million page views and more than 15,000 comments. During the course of the tour, federal courts declared two of NOM's top policy priorities - California's Proposition 8 and the Federal Defense of Marriage Act - unconstitutional.

The NOM Tour Tracker showed NOM's summer tour consistently outnumbered three-to-one by pro-equality counter rally participants organized by Freedom to Marry and state LGBT organizations. It also showed NOM staff attempting to limit public access to their events, and NOM's sparse supporters doing everything from speaking in tongues, to comparing marriage equality to genocide and advocating the murder of LGBT families.

NOM Exposed, the result of several months of research and collaboration, reveals the following:
  • At a time of the country's greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, NOM's financial growth has been explosive. NOM has amassed huge resources - estimated to reach or exceed $10M in 2010 - from modest beginnings in 2007.
  • NOM is a highly secretive organization that tries to not only hide the identity of its political donors from the voting public in state after state, but operates in a way to discourage people from knowing who its key players and associates are.
  • NOM has deep connections to the Catholic Church hierarchy, to the Mormon Church, to evangelical right-wing pastors and churches and to those who have a long history of anti-gay rhetoric and activity. These are individuals and organizations which not only oppose same-sex marriage, but oppose domestic partnerships, civil unions, hate crimes protections and even fertility treatments for women because some of those women could be lesbians.
  • Since 2008, NOM and its allies have engaged in a radical, nationwide plan to flout long-established campaign finance disclosure laws. This is nothing short of a strategic, coordinated plan to hide NOM's political activities from voters. This effort has prompted several state investigations and resounding legal defeats for NOM.
In addition to the rich archive of information, NOM Exposed features a blog where the latest on NOM's activities will be tracked. LGBT leaders will also contribute guest posts to the blog with their own research and experiences with NOM. Freedom to Marry which organized the Summer For Marriage tour in response to NOM has the inaugural guest post up today.

The Courage Campaign is the California partner organization of Keystone Progress. Both organizations are members of the Progress Now network.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Searching For Excuses

Searching For Excuses
By Lorenzo Canizares

Every day something happens in Afghanistan that reminds us that we should be out of there as quickly as we can, one of the latest being the Kabul Bank inability to meet its financial obligations to 250,000 public employees including security officials and the military. To indicate the seriousness of the situation, barbed wire was placed around the Kabul Bank which had been encircled by armed trucks and national security forces from the Afghan Intelligence Agency who had replaced guards from a security company owned by the brother of the Bank’s former chief executive officer.

Dexter Filkins in an excellent article in the New York Times’ Week in Review section of 9/5/10 “Inside Corrupt-istan” let us know that the corruption is so well-established that intricate charts have been drawn up by American officers and their NATO counterparts outlining the criminal syndicates that connect the Afghan business and political elites. They have even given a name to the charts “Malign Actor Networks” aka MAN. Transparency International awards Afghanistan the title of the most corrupt nation in the world.

But, Filkins also let us know that some of the same “Malign Actors” that our officers are railing against are on the payroll of the CIA. One of them being President Hamid Karzai’s brother who has been long suspected of being a key player in the nation’s booming drug trade. No wonder Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, a Republican holdover from the Bush years, has developed a sweeping plan for adjusting downward the nation’s ever-increasing military budget. Our corruption minded contacts have no compunction about taking American taxpayers monies for their own gratification!

In this given scenario, how can we expect to find the necessary stability to be able to defeat the Taliban? As per Filkins, if his reliable Afghan contacts are to be believed, it’s the corruption itself that is the instability’s root cause. As former Afghanistan’s Deputy Attorney General Fazel Ahmad Fargiyar has said “The law in this country is only for the poor.” And the hate for the thieves-in-power is very palpable. Filkins quotes Ahmed Shah Hakim, who runs a Currency Exchange in Kabul, as saying “What the Americans need to do is take these Afghans and put them on a plane and fly them to America – and then crash the plane into a mountain. Kill them all.”

Filkins provides another example of what we are trying to defend. President Karzai made a political appearance to a gathering of tribal elders. He came in, gave a rousing speech and left. Nobody that came in with Karzai including Americans seemed interested in hearing what the elders had to say. As per Filkins the elders had a lot to say. There was no lost love for the Taliban, but they hated their Afghan leaders even more.

Our military seem not too concerned about these corruption problems or political failings. Gen. David Petraeus have been parading through the TV circuit letting the nation know that Obama’s timetable is ultimately subjected to his professional advice. Gen. Petraeus suggested that Obama had left wiggle room in the pullout timetable, by taking in consideration the conditions on the ground.

Amongst Barack Obama’s many projected tasks is to reform the country he took upon himself the responsibility for winning the war in Afghanistan. Afghanistan has now become Obama’s war. The Republicans have been very happy to cooperate with him in this issue. It’s a win-win situation for them. The longer the war prolongs the more money their friends in the military/industrial/security complex continue to make. If the war is lost they could point out to Obama’s inability to lead the nation to victory, unlike the perception that the Surge “won” Iraq. If they are able to mobilize their massive spin machine they will be able to capitalize on Obama’s defeat as they did with LBJ inability to win in Vietnam. Who remember the many programs that were passed during the Johnson presidency?

There is no doubt in my mind that President Obama’s inclination is to leave Afghanistan as soon as possible. Bob Herbert, New York Times columnist, refers to Jonathan Alter’s “The Promise” where Obama is quoted as saying to Gen. Petraeus “If you can’t do the things you say you can in 18 months then no one is going to suggest we stay, right?” And Petraeus is quoted as replying “Yes Sir, in Agreement.”It now seems that Petraeus was just telling Obama what he wanted to hear. The New York Times recently had an article with the headlines “General opposes a rapid pullout in Afghanistan.” Obama, in the other hand, opposes any attempt to engage in nation-building going beyond 18 months. Even though as Jules Witcover states in an article published in Liberal Opinion on 9/1/10 “while not explicitly stated, the timetable was clearly a political sop to antiwar Democrats in Congress and the recognition of growing public impatience with the long war in the face of deep economic distress at home.”

On 9/21/10, it was reported nine of our soldiers perished when a helicopter fell down. The initial impression given was that the helicopter fell down because of mechanical failure. No, I don’t believe so. Michael O’Hanlon, a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, in an excellent article on Foreign Affairs 9-10/10 edition established that the Taliban and other insurgent groups have substantially improved their battlefield tactics. Their capabilities to attack have grown by leaps and bounds. Militarily, they have the upper hand, and we can’t handle that truth.

The logical conclusion is for us to start looking for ways to establish a process of peace talks with the Taliban while adhering to the timetable stated by President Obama. The members of the MIS complex (those that Gen. Eisenhower warned us about) will say that then we will be negotiating from a position of weakness. What do we care from what position do we negotiate from? We are not making any nor we have the wherewithal to make military headway, our allies are speaking out with their feet, our economic distress keeps going deeper (we are talking nation-building in Afghanistan or Corrupt-istan while American people keep losing jobs, homes, health benefits, teachers, and hope). The Taliban is not Al-Qaeda. It is disingenuous to say they are of the same. It will be much cheaper for us to negotiate a ‘Peace Package” than to continue in a war that is bankrupting our nation. As said before, those that want us to remain engaged militarily their main worry is losing the huge subsidy that American taxpayers are providing them. Maybe if we could go to war with Iran?

Equality Pennsylvania and the Human Rights Campaign Partner in Fight for Equality

New partnership to focus on employment protections and working with communities of faith

HARRISBURG - Equality Pennsylvania (EQPA) - the LGBT advocacy organization for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania - and The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) - the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization - have formed a partnership to secure equality in the Keystone State. The new partnership, which includes a joint staff member, will focus on securing support to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) at the federal level and statewide non-discrimination legislation, as well as improving relationships between the LGBT community and various communities of faith.

"We are extremely excited to join Equality Pennsylvania in their great work for fairness," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "EQPA clearly knows its mission and has recently undergone significant changes aimed at making it a truly effective state LGBT civil rights organization. We recognize the importance of those changes and we look forward to working with them to make equality a reality in Pennsylvania."

With an eye on the upcoming elections, HRC and EQPA will target six congressional districts, over 50 state house districts, and 25 state senate districts to gain support for employment protections and to elect fair-minded candidates. Special attention will be paid to the faith community to gain support for passing non-discrimination legislation at the federal and state levels.

"Equality Pennsylvania has been working very hard over the past several months to improve our effectiveness and sharpen our message," explained EQPA board president, Brian Sims. "Our goal remains to represent all of the state's LGBT community in finding better avenues to equality, and we knew from the beginning that this partnership was a perfect way to help us meet the many challenges the organization and our citizens face all the time."

The organizations will be sharing the staff work of Allyson Diane Hamm. As the Statewide Organizer, Hamm brings years of organizing experience to the job. Currently the vice-chair of the Allentown Human Relations Commissions, she is also vice president of Interweave, the LGBT organization of the Unitarian Universalist Church. Hamm is also the former president of PRIDE of the Greater Lehigh Valley and worked as a special project and regional coordinator for PA-GALA (Pennsylvania Gay and Lesbian Alliance). She has campaign experience and has been active in the LGBT community for over a decade.

Hamm's responsibilities will include outreach to groups located throughout Pennsylvania that could be helpful in the efforts to pass non-discrimination legislation on both a state and federal level. Her job will also involve special attention being paid to faith community outreach in the hopes of generating improved support for passing non-discrimination legislation within that large constituency. Hamm will also assist in efforts to educate the LGBT community on the upcoming election as well. She will be based in the Lehigh Valley.

This is one of EQPA's first partnerships with a national LGBT civil rights organization and one of HRC's most in-depth partnerships with a state equality organization.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

GOP Lt. Gov. Candidate promises to weaken unions if elected

What are the stakes in this election? If Tom Corbett and Jim Cawley are elected, they will push for "Right to Work" legislation. "Right to Work" would be more accurately named "Right to Work Without Union Protection," because it weakens unions and worker rights.

Corbett/Cawley promise to weaken workers rights. Don't believe us? Here is Cawley promising to support "Right to Work Without Union Protection."

Keystone Progress Sues Corbett's Office over Right to Know Denial

Keystone Progress (KP) filed a suit in Commonwealth Court today, appealing the Office of Attorney General’s denial of its Right to Know request. KP suit is seeking information on correspondence concerning Attorney General Tom Corbett’s politically motivated suit to overturn the federal healthcare reform legislation.

Keystone Progress has been denied this information in two requests and an appeal of its second denial.

“We are saddened that we have to take the Attorney General to court,” said Michael Morrill, KP’s executive director. “The Office of Attorney General should be above reproach, and should be setting an example for transparency and following the letter of the law. We know that the OAG has been in correspondence with some of the political entities in our suit because we have copies of the correspondence. We just do not know the extent of the interaction. It might be within the bounds of the law, or it could be using the OAG for political purposes. We’re suing Corbett’s office to answer that question.”

Fourteen state attorneys general have filed suit to overturn the Affordable Healthcare for America Act, the federal healthcare reform law. Corbett has repeatedly denied that his efforts are political, despite the fact that he agreed to join the suit even before he had read the healthcare reform law. The lawsuit was filed just seven minutes after President Obama signed the bill into law.

The staff of the attorneys general have been working with the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC). RSLC describes itself as “the only national organization whose mission is electing Republicans to the office of Attorney General, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State and State Legislator.”1 RSLC is organized as a 527 organization which has contributed over $58 million to elect Republicans at the state level. RSLC was Corbett’s largest contributor during his race for reelection as attorney general, giving him $691,000, according to the PA Department of State.2 Keystone Progress has copies of emails from RSLC to OAG staff.

The request seeks all correspondence between OAG and the following:

  • Republican State Leadership Committee
  • Republican Attorneys General Association
  • Republican Party of Pennsylvania
  • Republican National Committee
  • American Justice Partnership
  • Caleb Consulting
  • Tom Corbett for Governor
  • Tim Barnes, Chairman, Republican State Leadership Committee
  • Scott Ward, President, Republican State Leadership Committee
  • Ben Cannatti, Political Director, Republican State Leadership Committee
  • Erin Berry, Associate General Counsel, Republican State Leadership Committee
  • Casey Phillips, Regional Political Director, Republican State Leadership Committee
  • Michael Luethy, Regional Political Director, Republican State Leadership Committee
  • Adam Temple, Press Secretary, Republican State Leadership Committee
  • Robert Sechrist, Director of New Media, Republican State Leadership Committee
  • Michael Steele, Chairman, Republican National Committee
  • Karl Rove
  • Chirag Shah, Campaign Manager for JB Van Hollen WI Attorney General
  • Rob Gleason, Chairman of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania
  • Joyce Haas, Vice-Chair of the Republican Party of Pennsylvania
  • Christine J. Toretti, Republican National Committeewoman
  • Robert Asher, Republican National Committeeman

1 Republican State Leadership Committee website
2Pennsylvania Department of State

Keystone Progress is Pennsylvania’s largest online progressive network with over 200,000 subscribers. Keystone Progress is also a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

As House Minority Whip Eric Cantor Raises Funds for Pat Meehan, Pennsylvanians Reject Cantor’s Ruinous Ideas

Does Pat Meehan Support Eric Cantor’s Plans to
Privatize Social Security and Replace Medicare with Vouchers?

You can tell a lot about someone’s values by the friends they keep, and Republican Pat Meehan is welcoming with open arms a Washington politician who couldn’t be less representative of Pennsylvania values. As House Minority Whip Eric Cantor has been tramping around the country, promoting his “Young Guns” book and raising money for candidates – Keystone Progress is calling on Meehan to come clean on if he endorses Cantor’s plans to ruin our retirement.

"Young Guns” trumpets Rep. Paul Ryan’s ‘Roadmap’ budget plan that would privatize Social Security and replace Medicare with a voucher system that shortchanges seniors on medical care. As the Minority Whip, Cantor along with his follow young guns, ranking Republican Member of the House Budget Committee Paul Ryan and GOP House Leader Kevin McCarthy, could one day be in a position to advance the Bush-era scheme to turn our guaranteed benefits over to their friends on Wall Street.

“Pat Meehan may appreciate the money Eric Cantor will be raking in for him tonight, but Pennsylvanians will be the ones left behind if Cantor and his buddies are able to enact their devastating agenda,” said Michael Morrill of Keystone Progress. Eric Cantor enabled the disastrous Bush economic policies that left so many Pennsylvanians without jobs, retirement savings and health care. And now the man who could help run the House of Representatives one day is in Pennsylvania to raise money for politicians he knows will help him go back to same exact policies that got us into this mess. Is this what Pat Meehan believes? It’s time for Meehan to say if he stands with Washington politicians or the people of Pennsylvania.”

***Click Here to View ‘Young Guns Reloaded’***

“Reps. Ryan, Cantor, McCarthy: Middle-aged conservatives recycling ideas
that were young … when they were.”

Washington Post’s Ezra Klein calls the ‘reforms’ detailed in Ryan’s budget proposal “nothing short of violent.” Indeed, according to an in-depth analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: “[T]he Ryan plan would raise taxes for most middle-income families, privatize a substantial portion of Social Security, eliminate the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance, end traditional Medicare and most of Medicaid, and terminate the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The plan would replace these health programs with a system of vouchers whose value would erode over time and thus would purchase health insurance that would cover fewer health care services as the years went by.”

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Bible believer" in Coudersport, PA promotes violence against trasgender people

by Joe Wilson, August, 31, 2010:

Diane Gramley sat peacefully behind Robert Wagner in the Coudersport Public Library as the retired physician shared his views on transgender individuals with the assembled audience. “I'm gonna put a ball bat in my car,” he said, “and if I ever see a guy [Wagner refuses to use proper pronouns] coming out of a bathroom that my granddaughter's in, I'm gonna use the ball bat on him.” Moments later he added: “In the good old days, before 'she-males' existed, they just called such people perverts.”

Read the entire posting here:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Republican Governors Association transfers $1.5 million from Wisconsin to Pennsylvania

Not sure what this means, but it's interesting nonetheless.

In a campaign finance report filed with the State of Wisconsin (Form GAB-2), the RGA Wisconsin 2010 PAC revealed that it has transferred over a million and a half dollars to the RGA Pennsylvania PAC.

The Wisconsin report shows two transfers out of the Wisconsin fund into the PA fund. On July 6 they sent to $20,000 to support Corbett. On July 27 they sent an additional $1,500,000.

RGA is the Republican Governors Association. They maintain separate state PACs in states where they intend to spend money in an election cycle.

This may be a maneuver to send money to support GOP gubernatorial nominee Tom Corbett under the radar, since PA's next reporting date is not until September 21. Or it could be an admission that Corbett need a lot more help than the GOP is willing to admit publicly.

Again, we're not positive. but it sure seems like the sign of a party and a campaign that isn't very confident about being able to generate the support they need in PA.

The Wisconsin report is available at The report # is 0501405.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Delaware Teabag candidate opposes masturbation

This just rubs me the wrong way:

From the Huffington Post:

Long before she became the latest fascination of the political press and the cause-of-the-moment of the Tea Party movement, Christine O'Donnell (R-D.E.) was appearing on news outlets large and small extolling the sins of not just sex but masturbation.

The Delaware Republican, who is challenging Rep. Mike Castle in the state's Senate primary and has earned the financial backing of a portion of the Tea Party movement, made an appearance in the MTV series "Sex In The 90s." Entitled "The Safest Sex Of All," the episode was ostensibly geared towards understanding the importance of abstinence. But O'Donnell's guidance went a bit further. Masturbation, she argued, is not a moral substitute for sex. "The

Thursday, September 2, 2010

12,000 Pennsylvania Jobs to Disappear on September 30 If U.S. Senate Fails to Extend TANF Emergency Fund

As many as 12,000 workers in Pennsylvania could lose their jobs this month if the Senate fails to extend federal funding that allowed the state to create Way to Work, a highly successful program that subsidizes private- and public-sector jobs for unemployed parents and youth, according to a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

PA GOP Congressional Candidate Yells at Voters

Tom Marino, who is challenging Democrat Chris Carney for PA's 10th congressional set, yells at voters in this video.

In the video, which was shot last week at an appearance with Pat Toomey, Marino yells at voters "What do you do for a job?"

Then he asks them, "What kind of welfare are you on?"
Someone off screen asks him what HE does for aliving and Marino responds "I work for the people."

New AAM Report Finds that Import Relief from Chinese Tires Is Succeeding

Initial Results Show Increased Domestic Production, Growth in Market Share and Reversal of Employment Losses

Washington, DC. The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) has found that, nearly one year into President Obama's decision to provide import relief on certain consumer tires from China, the move has succeeded in restoring production, market share, and employment to the U.S. tire sector.

"Enforcing trade laws works," said AAM Executive Director Scott Paul. "The Obama Administration was absolutely right to provide three years of relief to American workers, firms, and their communities that suffered injury from a flood of Chinese tires."

In 2009, the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) found that the statutory requirements for an affirmative decision were met Under Section 421 of U.S. trade law to impose restrictions on imports of Certain Passenger Vehicle and Light Truck Tires from China. Specifically, in the period under investigation (2004-2008), imports had increased 215 percent by volume (from 14.57 million tires to 45.98 million tires) and nearly 300 percent by value (from $453 million to $1.788 billion). Simultaneously domestic capacity declined from 226.8 million tires to 186.4 million tires while production declined from 218.4 million tires to 160.3 million tires.

The ITC agreed that there had been such a rapid increase in imports that it caused market disruption for domestic producers. President Obama subsequently imposed three years of relief with tariffs of 35 percent the first year, 30 percent the second year, and 25 percent in the third year.

The study "Obama's Bold Economic Move on Chinese Tire Imports is Paying Off," released today by AAM has found that, thanks to the President's imposition of safeguard duties, production by U.S. producers has subsequently increased significantly. Looking at the first six months after imposition of relief (October 2009-March 2010) vs. the same six months in 2008-09, domestic production increased roughly 15%, or more than 10 million tires (based on Rubber Manufacturing Association data). Data also shows domestic consumption is up.

"What we're seeing is extremely good news for U.S. tire producers and their workers at an incredibly difficult time," said Paul. "We know that Goodyear Tire, for example, has seen sharp increases in domestic sales volume. We commend the President for successfully fighting for American manufacturing. The last thing the Administration should do is heed the calls of the outsourcing lobby and Beijing government to end the relief and cause further manufacturing job loss."

The AAM study also concluded that because the Section 421 safeguard was used, the price discrepancy between American- and Chinese-produced tires has decreased, allowing the pricing disruption in the market to also decrease. Adds Paul, "This is exactly what a safeguard mechanism is intended to do. And we can only hope that these findings will inspire the Administration to provide a level playing field for American workers and businesses who have brought forth legitimate complaints on dumping, subsidies, import surges, and other unfair trade practices."

In 2007, AAM published an analysis, "Enforcing the Rules," that looked at the economic benefits of enforcing U.S. trade laws across 10 different industries. A copy of that report is available by clicking here.

A full copy of AAM's new report, "Obama's Bold Economic Move on Chinese Tire Imports is Paying Off," is available by clicking here.

Perzel Listed as One of the 12 Dirtiest State Lawmakers in the Nation

League of Conservation Voters Adds Representative John Perzel to the Inaugural State-Level Dirty Dozen

Philadelphia - Today, the national League of Conservation Voters (LCV), which works to turn environmental values into national priorities, announced the inaugural state-level Dirty Dozen program. Pennsylvania State Representative John Perzel is one of 12 candidates for state office from around the country named to the list for failing to accurately represent his district’s strong environmental values. LCV’s local ally, Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania (CVPA), will work to defeat Perzel during the remaining months of the election cycle.

"Representative Perzel continues to put the interests of corporate polluters above the health and safety Pennsylvania’s citizens," said CVPA Executive Director Josh McNeil. "His environmental values are so at odds to those of the people of the 172nd District that he has well earned his place on the Dirty Dozen.”

When tough votes come before the legislature, Representative Perzel routinely votes against clean energy and reasonable environmental protection. On the 2007-2008 Sierra Club/Clean Water Action Environmental Scorecard, he earned a pathetic 20%. On the 2007-2008 PennEnvironment Scorecard, he earned a 29%, despite broad public support for environmental stewardship in his district.

On that same PennEnvironment scorecard, Senators Shirley Kitchen, Michael Stack and Tina Tartaglione, whose districts overlap the 172nd, scored 86%, 71% and 71%. Likewise, overlapping US Representatives Robert Brady and Allyson Schwartz both scored 100% on the 2009 League of Conservation Voters Scorecard. Perzel’s underperformance seems unlikely to change.

Oil and gas companies have donated $13,200 to Perzel since 2001 and he has been a worthwhile investment. Perzel’s district does not sit above the Marcellus Shale natural gas deposit and has little to gain from Marcellus drilling. In fact, hasty and haphazard drilling may seriously pollute the Delaware River, from which Philadelphia gets its drinking water. Nevertheless, on May 10, 2010, Perzel voted to reduce the term of a moratorium on drilling in state lands from three years to one (Representative Reed’s amendment to HB2235). That vote wasn’t in the interests of his constituents, but did serve the purposes of the oil and gas companies eager to get access to more state land.

The people of District 172 deserve representation that puts their health and well-being ahead of the financial interests of out-of-state drilling companies. That’s why John Perzel has been named to the state-level Dirty Dozen.

The full list of state-level Dirty Dozen candidates can be found at

"From Congress to the state house there has never been a more urgent time to defeat politicians who stand with Big Oil and block progress on clean energy reform," said LCV President Gene Karpinski. "With the U.S. Senate's recent failure to act on comprehensive energy and climate legislation, we need strong environmental leaders at the state level to move the ball forward on new energy policies that will put America on the path to a clean energy future."

LCV's trademark Dirty Dozen program targets candidates for Congress - regardless of party affiliation - who consistently vote against clean energy and conservation and are running in races in which LCV has a serious chance to affect the outcome. Since 1996, more than 60 percent of the federal candidates named to Dirty Dozen have been defeated. Today's announcement marks the first time LCV has named a state-level Dirty Dozen consisting of gubernatorial and state legislative candidates.

For a list of federal candidates named to the 2010 Dirty Dozen, visit

For more information on Conservation Voters of Pennsylvania, visit