Friday, October 19, 2012

Jon tells how to vote in his newsletter and shares some poetry

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jon Robison
Date: Friday, October 19, 2012

Jonathan and Mary Robison

154 N. Bellefield Ave. #66, Pittsburgh, PA  15213

412-683-0237  www.jonrob''

October 14, 2012


Robison Political Newsletter


Testing…  Testing…


            As the Nov. 6 election looms, it might be good to re-read President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.  Consider the beginning of his speech: "... a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.  We are now ... testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure."    '... testing …'

            'Liberty' and 'equality' are not mandates handed down in books or on stone tablets.  President Lincoln called them 'propositions'.  Liberty and equality are being tested by events in Lincoln's era and in ours.  Let us share some specifics.

Our fundamental election processes are being distorted by astronomical amounts of money, facilitated by the Supreme Court's Citizens Union decision.  It seems as if we moving from "One person, one vote" to "One dollar, one vote".

Everyone's equal right to vote is threatened, in Pennsylvania and other stares, by the voter ID legislation, which will hinder the handicapped, the poor, the elderly, and anybody without a PA drivers' license.  We're glad the Pennsylvania courts put enforcement on hold until after the Presidential election.

The lesbian and gay communities want equal rights, such as the freedom to marry.  People are coming out, and testing whether they have the freedom to be themselves.

Reproductive rights as a liberty issue has spiritual as well as political difficulties.  Much has been said on this.  We both have thought about the question.  (Mary is a pro-choice Catholic.)  If you have qualms about a woman's right to decide, please consider the alternatives.  Who should decide?  We also remind people that abortion did not begin when the Supreme Court decided Roe v. Wade.  The President's policies, especially on health care, probably prevent more abortions than any hostile laws.

The rights of immigrants, people from other lands, are under attack. Remember that this country was built by immigrants, and that until the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed in 1882 most were undocumented.  Only the Native Americans have good cause to complain about being overrun by foreigners imposing an alien culture, and they know it's too late.

Entitlement programs are being attacked.  These programs ensure that everyone has the essentials of life.  That is why they are entitlement programs -  because we are all entitled to live decently.  The programs being cut are foundation stones of equality in our society.

The attack on unions threatens the existence of the middle class.  When the frontier was closed and free land was gone, most folk would have had little wealth and power in our country without unions.  Unions created the middle class in America.  Before the laws passed when Franklin Roosevelt was President, people had no legal protection if they tried to start a union. 

The gap between rich and poor is increasing.  This growing inequality is not only unjust and immoral.  It is a danger to our country's  stability.

            There are other issues, such as environmental protection, consumer protection, prisons, and peace.  But fundamentally, this election is a test of liberty and equality in our country.

"We are taking our country back."  So said New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention on Aug. 28.  Who are 'we'?  'We' is the cohort of white, straight, prosperous, Christian men of European ancestry who historically held the most of the power and control   (Just look at Congress.)   People like Gov. Christie seem to believe that they have the right to run the country, as if they were somehow the majority.  Now they perceive their dominance diminishing.  They fear that this election is their last chance to reassert themselves before demographics redistributes power and control permanently.  This perception may account for the bitterness in the opposition to President Obama.  Our country is more polarized than any industrialized democracy since Germany in the 1920's.   

Have confidence in our country.  This is a rich nation, and it belongs to all of us.  Our wealth is more than gold or iron or coal.  It is the diversity of our people.  As our diversity grows, our wealth increases.  Let us not be frightened into foolish attempts to repress our differences.

Please help preserve our nation, "… conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."   We respectfully request that traditional Republicans and genuine conservatives vote to re-elect President Barack Obama.

Testing …  Testing …

Let us go from philosophy to politics.  Before we discuss specific candidates, we wish to make an explanation and a couple of apologies.


First we want to APOLOGIZE to anyone distressed that all the candidates we are supporting are Democrats.  We never before endorsed the straight Democratic ticket.  Our obligation to you is to give you our honest opinion.  (Most Democratic leaders have given up telling us to be 'loyal' to the party.)  We are sorry this issue of our newsletter is so partisan.

            We also apologize if you missed the primary newsletter.  We simply ran out of time to send the regular mail copies.


What did you do to deserve this addition to your mailbox or e-mail in box?

This is the Robison political newsletter.  It is sent free in advance of the primary and general elections to about 2,000 people by e-mail and bulk mail. 

            How did we get your name?  Some people have been on our list for years.  Some requested the newsletter.  Jon gets some names of presumably sympathetic people at meetings.  Frankly, in some cases we're not sure.  Of course, if you want off our list, please tell us.  Please also contact us with any corrections.  We try to keep our list corrected.  Please tell us if you prefer that we send this to a different e-mail address.

If you receive this by mail or otherwise, and have an e-mail address we can use, please tell us. This saves us money on postage and printing.  E-mail gets you the newsletter a few days earlier. In addition, our bulk mailing is limited to four pages. We can add additional information to an e-mail.  Recently we have appended to the e-mail some of the poetry which I, Jon, wrote. You might consider this a plus.

We will be happy to add any names to the list, preferably with their e-mail address.  Some people find the newsletter interesting and even useful, especially about races which receive less media coverage.  Some of our friends contribute to help support the newsletter, and we are grateful.  (If you would like to help with the costs, you are invited to send a check to Robison Political Action Committee, 154 N. Bellefield Ave., #66, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.) 

Please forward or give copies of this to any interested friends.  The newsletter also will be up on our website.

            Of course, we welcome any comments, criticism, and questions.


Finally we come to the candidates. 

For President of the United States and Vice President, Barack OBAMA and Joe BIDEN.  We could discuss at length economics, jobs, environmental protection, peace, Congressional gridlock, and other issues.  But you have doubtless heard all you want on these problems, and perhaps more.

President Obama and his opponent both want more jobs and a stronger economy.  Obama points to progress, despite obstruction from the Republican dominated House, which would not even extend the Violence Against Women Act after it passed the Senate with bi-partisan support on a  68 –to 31 vote.  Romney says that he will increase employment without public investment in infrastructure such as roads and bridges, public transportation, and education.  He says that he won't cut social security or health care.  He wants to extend Bush's tax cuts for the rich.  He would reduce the debt without cutting the military budget, even though we have enough nuclear weapons to kill every human on earth ten times over.  Either he does not want us to know how he would do all this or he himself doesn't know.


            For the U.S. Senate, with some reluctance we support the re-election of Bob Casey.  He is a mainstream Democrat on economic issues and strongly pro-union. He has always been hostile to a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion, although he's not as extreme on that as his father, Governor Casey.  His Republican opponent is even more anti-choice and offers Tea Party rhetoric on health care, unions, etc.

For Pennsylvania Attorney General former Lackawanna County prosecutor Kathleen Kane is an easy choice, on the web at  Kane said the state Attorney General should have stood up against the voter ID law recently mostly suspended by Commonwealth Court until next year.  She also criticized the now-shelved proposal that would have mandated an invasive ultrasound before abortions.

            For state Auditor General, we support Atty. Eugene DePASQUALE, State Representative from York.  He is a solid liberal Democrat and a feminist and a friend of ours, you can click on  He was born and raised in Pittsburgh and is the grandson the late Pittsburgh City Council President Eugene 'Jeep' DePasquale, a traditional old-time Oakland Democrat.  We were eventually friendly with 'Jeep' although we had some sharp disagreements on social issues and on party loyalty.
            For State Treasurer, we support the incumbent, Rob McCORD, a successful businessperson.  His website is


            For Congress, the 14th is basically the Pittsburgh District.  Our own Mike DOYLE has almost nominal opposition.   He is a hard worker and a real fighter, especially on economic justice issues.  He is good on the rights of the lgbt communities.  His position is mixed on abortion, although he solidly supports Planned Parenthood.  We think that he is following the path of his predecessor, Bill Coyne, who started out as a typical organization Democrat of Irish heritage, and gracefully evolved into a supporter of every woman's right to decide. We consider him a friend and are happy to support him.  .

            In the 12th District, to the north and east of Pittsburgh, reapportionment resulted in a primary contest, and Congressman Mark S. Critz defeated another incumbent Democrat, Jason Altmire.  Critz is a strong union supporter, good on economic issues.  We don't care for his positions on social issues, particularly reproductive rights.  We recommend a vote for him because we need a Democratic, progressive majority in the House of Representatives.
            In the 18th Congressional District, Washington County Commissioner Larry Maggi seems to be a strong underdog

Mark Rauterkus    
PPS Summer Dreamers' Swim and Water Polo Camp Head Coach
Pittsburgh Combined Water Polo Team
412 298 3432 = cell

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