Sunday, June 28, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
(Waiting to leave Norristown High School!)
Yesterday, I rode in my very first motorcycle "run", the Friends of the Forgotten Ride for Freedom, which honors POW/MIA's and their families.
I've watched this "run" from the sidelines, every year, since I've lived in this area. This time I was a (more than) willing participant. To say it was fun is an understatement.
The ride started at Norristown High School at 8 am for registration. The actual "heel's up" ride commenced at 11:30 sharp. My riding partner, George, and I arrived at about 11:10, registered and saddled up in plenty of time to get going. We were somewhere in the middle of the "pack" of near 1500 motorcycles, trikes and (a few) scooters.
We left at approximately 11:45 and arrived in Conshohocken about 12 noon. We then proceeded through Conshohocken to the Schuylkill Expressway, onto Rte 422, and ended at Valley Forge Park Visitor's Center. The total "parade" was about 25 minutes long, and averaged about 30-40 mph (counting highway travel).
When I exited Rte 422, I happened to look down the expressway, from the overpass, and could not see the end of the procession. I was really in awe of what I was part of. In past years, I had told my wife, Karen, that if I ever had the opportunity to do "that" I would. This year I was fortunate enough to achieve out one of my personal goals, to ride in the Ride for Freedom...a group I have watched for 17 years pass my "corner"...always wanting in, but never quite getting there.
Needless to say, I will strive to participate in this event every year from now on.
After the ride, I spent about a half an hour picking bugs from between my teeth...the sure sign of a "happy biker". I should have pics and some video later today.
The photo below is my friend, George, who invited me to tag along with him this year...thanks, George, I had a blast! (Photo was taken at the end, in Valley Forge Park)
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Wednesday, June 3, 2009
There's a new buzz in Montgomery County politics. Senator Wonderling's departure to join the private sector has opened the door for his seat in the 24th PA Senatorial district to become a hotbed of activity over the past few days. Three well-known local pols have been mentioned by the big three local papers, The Times Herald, The Inquirer and the Intelligencer.
The "three" possible candidates? State Rep Bob Mensch has declared, democrat Jim Maza is considering the possibility, and lastly, none other than Republican County Commissioner, Bruce L. Castor, Jr. has shown some interest in running for the open seat. This all hinges on whether or not Senate President Pro-Tempore, Joseph Scarnati III decides whether to hold a special election or leave the seat vacant until the 2011 election.
Amongst all of the hoopla concerning the "race" for the vacant Wonderling seat is one underlying factor...who will replace Bruce Castor in Norristown, if he decides to run and wins? We'll get to that later...
Castor had this to say to Keith Phucas in today's Times Herald:
“I’ve always enjoyed helping people, and that’s why I worked in the district attorney’s office,” he said. “I’m most satisfied when I’m solving people’s problems, but I’m unable to have an effect because of my minority commissioner status.”As for Castor's replacement (should he run and win) I'm sure Matthews and Hoeffel are looking for a doormat, but who does the party choose?
With a Republican majority in the state Senate, Castor thinks his fiscally conservative views would find favor. He called the current Senate the “last bastion” against Gov. Rendell and the growing number of Democrats in the state Legislature.
“I’d like to be a part of the Senate, if the (Republican) party deems me the appropriate candidate,” he said.
Unfortunately, that's putting the cart before the horse and I'll cover that in a later post. Of course, The Turd is totally behind Castor (officially) entering the race. He is quoted in today's Inquirer (at Philly.com):
Yesterday, Matthews said he believed Castor would have "an excellent chance" of maintaining Republican control of Wonderling's Senate seat.
"That would be very, very good for the party," Matthews said.
Should Castor leave for the Senate, Matthews said, he likely would continue his bipartisan agreement with Hoeffel.
"There's a greater potential for more unanimous votes," Matthews said.
Right. Matthews backing Castor. And I have some swampland in Florida and a bridge in Brooklyn that I'd like to sell you...
But would this give Jimbo the opportunity to strengthen his ties with Hoeffel and garner more "unanimous votes"? I doubt it. Of course, that depends on two things...that Bruce Castor is actually running and who the nod goes to to replace Commissioner Castor.
Thus far, Castor hasn't tipped his hand as to whether or not he's running for the seat. He's "considering the possibility" but hasn't made a firm decision as of this post.
So, who else is vying for this seat? The first to declare was State Representative Bob Mensch, who represents the 147th district here in Montgomery County. Also interested is Democrat Jim Maza, who now holds the post of deputy chief operating officer, a position that gives him great power in Montgomery County, thanks to JimTurd's alliance with Hoeffle.
In an interview with The Intelligencer's Margaret Gibbons, Maza had this to say:
I have always been interested in the state Senate and will continue with the discussions but I really like the job I have now," said Maza. "I have always wanted to be a public servant who makes a difference and both of these jobs allow me to do that.
Boring. (State Rep Robert Freeman of Easton has also expressed interest, so Maza may have a challenge on the "d" side)
Of the three papers reporting this morning, only Keith Phucas (of the Times Herald) reported on Mensch this morning:
Mensch, 63, is serving his third term in the state House. The Pennsburg native has lived in Marlborough Township since 1975. He worked at AT&T for 28 years before entering politics.
For more than 25 years he’s been a member of the Upper Montgomery Republican Club, which he served as chairman.
Mensch believes becoming a senator would help advance his legislative priorities of job creation, economic development, health care reform and tax code simplification.
“I see an opportunity to expand on what I’ve done,” he said.
In the past, the state politician supported Castor, but is now ready to take him on in the 24th District race.
“I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t expect to win,” Mensch said.
So, the questions that are left hanging are this...will Castor run, will Maza run, and will there be a contested Republican race for this seat? I'm sure that all three questions will be answered before this week comes to a close.
I, for one, am excited that another dimension has been added to the ballot for November's general election. Judges, municipal races and now this special election...We'll sure be a busy lot over the next few months.
Gentlemen, enjoy the ride. Friends, judicial races notwithstanding, this'll be the one to watch.
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Tuesday, June 2, 2009
REGARDING PENNSYLVANIA’S 24th SENATE DISTRICT
“Over the las t twenty four hours I have been humbled by contact from many Republican Party leaders and citizens from Montgomery, Bucks, Lehigh and Northampton counties encouraging me to seek the nomination to replace Senator Robert Wonderling in Pennsylvania’s 24th Senate District.
I have had the pleasure of serving Montgomery County residents as an Assistant District Attorney, the District Attorney and now as County Commissioner.
As D.A., I saw laws written and strengthened with my input that helped make streets safer and close loopholes used by criminals to subvert the justice system. As a County Commissioner I know the important role Harrisburg plays in delivering funding and legislation that improve our roads and bridges and make life better for residents in our county.
I am weighing all of these factors and considering whether my experience in government and in the judicial system would offer the best representation to residents of the 24th Senate District. I am continuing to discuss this decision with citizens, Republican Party leaders and my family.
The most important factor in my decision is whether I think I can do more good in Harrisburg then I can in Norristown.”
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