2013-10-17 / Front Page

County Dems Hear PA Party Chair

Garlock recognized for his contributions
By Jean Snyder


State Democratic Chair Jim Burns State Democratic Chair Jim Burns STAFF WRITER

Democratic Party faithfuls gathered Saturday night in Needmore for their fall banquet and were rallied by Pennsylvania Democratic Chairman Jim Burns, who urged them to fight against Republican “fake patriots” who would “run out” traditional Republicans like Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan for being too liberal.

Burns, a western Pa. native, has been chair of the party for three years. In 2010, he was named as one of Pennsylvania’s Top 50 Political Influencers by Politics PA. His knowledge of Pennsylvania’s political landscape has led to frequent appearances on television and radio news programs as a spokesperson for Pennsylvania’s Democrats.

Burns talked about appearing on “Hardball” with Chris Matthews, where Matthews referred to him as President Obama’s best surrogate during the 2012 campaign for the White House.


Fulton County Commissioner Irvin Dasher (left) presents a plaque to former County Commissioner Bob Garlock at Saturday evening’s fall Democratic dinner. The crowd held a birthday celebration for Garlock and recognized him for his many accomplishments for Fulton County. Fulton County Commissioner Irvin Dasher (left) presents a plaque to former County Commissioner Bob Garlock at Saturday evening’s fall Democratic dinner. The crowd held a birthday celebration for Garlock and recognized him for his many accomplishments for Fulton County. In talking about the current government shutdown, Burns said, “This is not a fight, it is a debate.”

He urged those in attendance to rally the vote and put Gov. Corbett out of office.

Commissioner Irvin Dasher kicked off the evening’s events with a special presentation to former Commissioner Bob Garlock. In honor of Garlock’s 84th birthday, he was presented with a cake, and Dasher said Democrats should thank Bob for serving as a Democratic commissioner, preventing a nuclear waste dump from locating in Fulton County, organizing earthquake relief for Haiti by using old JLG shipping crates and for the building of all three senior centers in the county. Garlock will serve as this year’s Fulton Fall Folk Festival parade marshal.

Former Rep. Mark Critz, candidate for lieutenant governor, also spoke, and talked about the importance of making Gov. Corbett “one-term Tom.” Critz, from Johnstown, Pa., said he is running solely to use his organization to “get out the vote” to elect a Democratic governor. Critz worked as a legislative aide to the late Congressman Jack Murtha. He then ran for Murtha’s seat and served the 12th District from 2010- 2013 when he was defeated by a Republican. Critz blames redistricting and gerrymandering for his loss and said he is back now to assure the Democrats take over the state House in the 2014 election.

Critz said that Corbett’s record of not raising taxes means simply that counties and school districts have had to raise taxes to make up the cuts made by the governor. He cited Corbett’s drastic cuts to education and his failed transportation plan two important things to remember when voting for a new governor.

Laura Feldman, grassroots organizer for the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, rounded out the evening’s speakers. Feldman asked those in attendance to give the Affordable Care Act (ACA) a chance. “It’s good business,” she said, “and it’s not scary and it’s not too much government because it uses the free markets for insurance.” She said the ACA is “just the beginning of getting a handle on rising healthcare costs, and it opens the possibility for everyone to be able to afford healthcare.”

Feldman also talked about the fact that it is “budget time,” and she talked about the new chained consumer price index idea as “a cut that is on the table. What will Democrats do?” she asked. She also mentioned other cuts on the table such as raising Medicare age to 67, a surtax on Medi-gap and new means testing.

This year’s election, a municipal election, will be held on November 5, 2013

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