Radio Pennsylvania Roundtable – November 21, 2014

On this week’s Radio PA Roundtable, a recap and reaction to President Obama’s immigration action; how Pennsylvania is helping Buffalo dig out from an historic snowfall; and a Pennsylvania Congressman speaks out against the NCAA.

Radio PA Roundtable is a 30-minute program featuring in-depth reporting, commentary and analysis on the top news stories of the week.

Click the audio player below to hear the full broadcast:

Sequestration Cuts Loom Friday in Washington…and in PA

Little, if any, progress is being reported out of the talks to head off those automatic spending cuts known as “sequestration.” Without a deal between Congress and President Obama, the cuts kick in on Friday.

The latest salvo in the war for public opinion and support comes from The White House, as the administration released a state-by-state report on the impacts of sequestration. Among the expected casualties for Pennsylvania:

  • $26.4 million in funding for primary and secondary education
  • $21.4 million in funding for education of students with disabilities
  • 26,000 civilian military job furloughs
  • Elimination of Head Start services for about 2,300 children
  • $5.7 million in environmental funding
  • Additional cuts in funding for public health, child care, job search assistance, law enforcement and more



RadioPA Roundtable

Radio PA Roundtable 01.25.13

On this week’s Radio PA Roundtable, Brad Christman & Matt Paul have a preview of Governor Tom Corbett’s budget address, which is set for February 5th.  Also, Franklin & Marshall College political science professor Terry Madonna looks ahead to President Obama’s 2nd term, and we’ll recap this week’s legislative hearing on the planned closure of two state prisons in western PA. 

Radio PA Roundtable is a 30-minute program featuring in-depth reporting on the top news stories of the week.

Click the audio player below to hear the full broadcast:


Electoral College Vote Makes Presidential Election Official

It was a scene being played out across the country as Pennsylvania’s presidential electors cast their ballots Monday for President and Vice President in Harrisburg.   The 57th Electoral College of Pennsylvania met at noon in the chambers of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. The outcome was expected; the 20 electors cast their ballots for President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

Clifford Levine, who served as president of the electoral session, explained why it was important. He told the electors and tellers that they were honoring the votes of a broad and diverse electorate, the aspirations of our founding fathers and the sacrifice of those who marched in our streets and fought in our wars to secure the right to vote.

Governor Corbett added that the gathering bears witness to the genius of our founders and enduring qualities of our national union.    He says the president exemplifies our national values and becomes in many ways a personification of America among other countries.

President Obama and his running mate defeated Republican Challenger Mitt Romney by about 310 thousand votes in the November 6th election in Pennsylvania.

URGENT – President Obama Carries Pennsylvania

President Barack Obama has won Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes. As expected, the President won strong support in the southeast, including Philadelphia where Democrats outnumber Republicans by about 6-to-1 in the state’s largest city.

The President also saw strong support in the Pittsburgh area while Mitt Romney did well in the so-called “Pennsylvania T,” consisting of central PA and the northern tier.

Notable Reactions to the Passing of Arlen Specter (1930-2012)

President Barack Obama:

“Arlen Specter was always a fighter.  From his days stamping out corruption as a prosecutor in Philadelphia to his three decades of service in the Senate, Arlen was fiercely independent – never putting party or ideology ahead of the people he was chosen to serve.  He brought that same toughness and determination to his personal struggles, using his own story to inspire others.  When he announced that his cancer had returned in 2005, Arlen said, “I have beaten a brain tumor, bypass heart surgery and many tough political opponents and I’m going to beat this, too.”  Arlen fought that battle for seven more years with the same resolve he used to fight for stem-cell research funding, veterans health, and countless other issues that will continue to change lives for years to come.  Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to Joan and the rest of the Specter family.”


Vice-President Joe Biden:

Jill and I are deeply saddened. Arlen Specter was a great Senator who lived his life the way he died, with dignity and courage. He was my friend and I admired him a great deal.  For over three decades, I watched his political courage accomplish great feats and was awed by his physical courage to never give up.  Arlen never walked away from his principles and was at his best when they were challenged.  Jill and I are thinking of Joan at the moment – she was an incredible partner through his life journey. Our hearts go out to Shanin and Stephen and all who were deeply touched by his life.  


Governor Tom Corbett:

“For more than five decades, Arlen Specter lived a life devoted to public service on behalf of the people of Pennsylvania and the United States. Pennsylvania has lost a political figure whose career stretched from Philadelphia’s City Hall to the chambers of the U.S. Senate. We are saddened to hear of his death.”


U.S. Senator Pat Toomey:

“A man of sharp intelligence and dogged determination, Sen. Specter dedicated his life to public service and the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. His impact on our state and public policy will not be forgotten. My wife Kris and I send our thoughts and prayers to Joan and the entire Specter family.”


Pennsylvania Republican Party Chairman Rob Gleason:

“The Republican Party of Pennsylvania extends its deepest sympathies to the friends and family members of former U.S. Senator Arlen Specter.  Senator Specter will always be remembered for his many years of dedicated public service.”


Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairman Jim Burn:

Senator Arlen Specter was a true Pennsylvania institution whose record of fighting for our Commonwealth is unmatched. Senator Specter’s contributions to Pennsylvania and the United States will leave a lasting legacy. Our thoughts and prayers are with Senator Specter’s family during this difficult time.” 


PA Speaker of the House Sam Smith (R-Jefferson):

“Arlen Specter was always a fighter who loved the battle over public policy. He loved Pennsylvania, and he loved public service. While I did not always agree with some of Senator Specter’s decisions, he was always willing to listen about local problems and try to help fix them. He was a strong advocate for the state’s interests while in Washington, and the Commonwealth lost one of its most dedicated public servants today. I share my thoughts and prayers with Senator Specter’s family and friends at this difficult time.”