On March 18 Commonwealth Club members gathered at The Irish Pub in Philadelphia for a late St. Patrick's Day reception with Congressman Pat Meehan (PA-7) and Congressman Mike Kelly (PA-3). The packed house was in a very festive mood as they met the two Congressmen.
Vice Chairwoman Joyce Haas opened the event by reminding us of the reasons that we gather to celebrate St. Patrick ’s Day. The Irish that immigrated to America chose to leave their homeland because of the opportunity to start their lives anew in the land of opportunity said Haas. Millions of people made that difficult voyage in pursuit of the American dream. Now, that very same American dream is under attack like never before. Luckily we have people like Congressmen Meehan and Congressman Kelly who fight every day for Pennsylvanians.
With that, Congressman Meehan took the floor. Meehan echoed Haas by remembering the resiliency that the Irish had when faced with such extreme difficulties upon entering America. He continued that our party faces extreme opposition in Pennsylvania but we can’t turn back on the great strides we have made.
Haas then introduced Congressman Mike Kelly. Most attendees were not as familiar with Congressman Kelly, who hails from the western side of the state, as they are with Congressman Meehan. Kelly certainly did not disappoint. Congressman Kelly opened up by talking about the importance of party unity. In a time when the Democrats continue to delay the rollout out of the disastrous Obamacare, solidarity within our party has never been more important
After both Congressmen took a few questions, the Commonwealth Club Chair Chris Gleason gave an update on the Club. The growth of the Commonwealth Club is crucial to the state parties success come November. If this event is any sign of the results in the upcoming election, then we are on the path to victory!.
On July 30 at the Radnor Hotel, the Commonwealth Club hosted a reception with Governor Tom Corbett. The reception was a full house that included many longtime members as well as a lot of new members to the Commonwealth Club.
PA GOP Chairman Rob Gleason kicked off the event and welcomed everyone to the Commonwealth Club. He then introduced Executive Director, Bob Bozzuto, to give a political update on what our Party is doing. He went into detail on what is happening with the 2013-14 field program. In 2012, our field team knocked on more doors and made more phone calls than in 2004 and 2008 combined. While this helped cut Obama’s margin of victory in half from 2008, it still wasn’t enough. Our Party is dedicated to building a field program earlier and closer to the ground, targeting the precinct level across the Commonwealth. Bozzuto explained that it is a long and costly process that we are dedicated to, to ensure victory for Governor Corbett’s re-election in 2014.
Chairman Gleason then introduced Governor Tom Corbett. Governor Corbett then spoke to the crowd, talking about the accomplishments during his first term, and how much more they can do in a second term. In his first term, the Governor has passed a budget on time every year and has kept his promise of not raising taxes. Governor Corbett wrapped up the event by taking questions from members and mingling with guests after the formal program came to a close.
Members of the Commonwealth Club had the opportunity to sit down with Lt. Governor Jim Cawley at the Duquesne Club in downtown Pittsburgh on July 25. The luncheon provided an opportunity to discuss the new PA GOP campaign initiatives and vital importance of local elections in the face of President Obama's ultra-liberal DC agenda.
Commonwealth Club Chairman Chris Gleason Jr. hosted the event, while member Charles Breene gave the invocation and member Hilary Holste led the pledge of allegiance. Bob Bozzuto, Executive Director, gave a political update to attendees and emphasized the importance of the new grassroots and field programs being enacted in 2013.
Vice Chair Joyce Haas introduced Lt. Governor Cawley, who took the time to emphasize how important local elections were, especially when in what some refer to as "off-season" election cycles.
Attendees to the luncheon also included Majority Speaker Mike Turzai, Representative Eli Evankovich, and Representative Lee James, who all could speak to the importance of local engagement and political awareness.
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Washington, DC – The Commonwealth Club held our First Annual Keystone Congressional Summit on June 5 in Washington, DC on Capitol Hill. The day started off with a Roundtable with Senator Pat Toomey and Congressman Jim Gerlach. Members were able to discuss important topics for Pennsylvanians with the Senator and Congressman.
After the Roundtable, Keystone attendees were joined by our 13 Republican Congressmen for lunch. Members were able to mingle and speak with our Congressmen. Congressman Joe Pitts, the Dean of the Pennsylvania Delegation, spoke about the significant Republican wins we’ve had across our Commonwealth over the last few years. He pointed out that we now have 13 out of 18 of our Republican Congressmen, which makes Pennsylvania one of the largest Republican delegations in the country.
After lunch, our members went to the Republican National Committee for an exclusive briefing from RNC Executive Director, Mike Shields. Shields discussed with members the RNC’s Growth and Opportunity Project and innovative changes happening to continuing making our Republican Party strong year round.
Republican Party of Pennsylvania Chairman Rob Gleason was very happy with the Summit. “This is a wonderful event that we have started. It gives our Keystone Members a great opportunity to meet with our Republican Leaders on a personal level. I am looking forward to having this event every year.”
If you are interested in becoming a Keystone Club Member, please contact Margot Crouch at 717-234-4901 or at email@example.com.
The Commonwealth Club hosted Congressman Tim Murphy at the rooftop of the Six Penn Kitchen in Pittsburgh on May 30, for an in-depth discussion about the unfortunate side effects of ObamaCare for the citizens of Pennsylvania.
State Representative (R-54) Eli Evankovich performed as Master of Ceremonies for the reception, providing a member update about upcoming events like the PA GOP Summer Meeting in Hershey (June 27-29) before introducing the congressman. Murphy provided a much needed dose of reality compared to claims made by Democrats about The Affordable Care Act. He made it clear how vital continued support of the GOP (including the 13 Pennsylvanian Republican Congressmen) is to prevent even more harm to the economy.
We had the opportunity to host the April an event at the historic Victorian Mount Hope Mansion, on the grounds of the Mount Hope Winery and Lancaster Renaissance Fair. Guests had the opportunity to walk through the grounds before mingling with Chairman Rob Gleason and Commissioner Scott Martin at reception.
Chairman Gleason provided an update on the 2013 and 2014, and the intention to run an aggressive two year campaign to reelect Governor Corbett and 13 Republican Congressman. Commissioner Scott Martin addressed guests, providing an update on the successes of the Lancaster Republican administration to cut spending for the county without sacrificing quality of life. He emphasized the importance of small government and allowing free markets to work without disruption.
Our Pittsburgh reception provided the perfect platform for Congressman Mike Kelly to discuss hurdles the embattled Republican majority is facing against President Obama's unwillingness to negotiate and the Senate's inaction on a budget.
He shared, "To sit there now and rail about Mr. Ryan's budget, about how it's so ineffective and how it doesn't work is, to me, the greatest, most hypocritical statement I've heard since coming here…If you want to start the reelection campaign and the strategy for 2012 now, that's fine. But how about we just fix what's broken? Instead of standing here pointing fingers at each other, let's quit spending money we don't have, let's not keep borrowing money and using our kids and our grandkids as note signers."
Philadelphia hosted its first Commonwealth Club event of the year with Senator Jake Corman at the Courtyard Philadelphia Downtown. While across the street union protesters forced Mayor Nutter to cancel his annual budget address, Commonwealth Club members had a far more positive discussion with Senator Corman regarding the direction and goals of the Republican Party.
Citing the film "Lincoln", Corman used the luncheon as a time to characterize the equality Abraham Lincoln fought for. As the spiritual father of the party, equality, not brinkmanship, he claimed, was the true essence of conservatism.
"Equality is the hallmark of the Republican Party. Every man and women should be free to pursue their own chosen path to prosperity. The role of government is not to pick in choose winners, but it is to protect and enforce the means the people need to go on their own path to prosperity…2012 is now in our rear view mirror, as we move toward 2014, let's make sure that equality is the first thing people think about when they say Republican."
Erie played host to Governor Corbett for an intimate luncheon. The lunch provided an exclusive opportunity for Commonwealth Club members to speak with the Governor in a casual, relaxed atmosphere. A hot topic was the $1 billion in proceeds from the sale of the state's liquor system to be divided among Pennsylvania's school districts to refine STEM course-work and training programs.
"Government not only needs to provide for an education for our young people, it needs to provide a quality education that gets them ready for the careers of this new century," Corbett said. "More money into STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – addresses the needs of our growing economy but also, more importantly, the needs of every young person to have a bright future in a vibrant state."
It is clear that Republican leaders across the state have big plans for the next two years. Governor Corbett and Lt. Governor Cawly certainly have no intention of slowing down when it comes to steering Pennsylvania towards a brighter future.
Lt. Governor Cawley headlined the luncheon at the Federal Taphouse in Harrisburg on Thursday, February 28. He cited his fear for school children commuting across older bridges and roads in support of the infrastructural over-haul, for both safety and potential job creation. Cawley also took time to address specific questions about the administration’s stand against expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act until state legislatures were given flexibility in administering the program.