Reid Prevents Senate Votes While Specter Raises Funds

Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 20, 2009 | Go to article overview

Reid Prevents Senate Votes While Specter Raises Funds


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid performed some disgraceful maneuvering to provide Sen. Arlen Specter with political cover so he could attend a campaign event.

Reid, D-Nev., announced that the Senate would hold no votes after 3 p.m. on Sept. 15. The reason? So that Specter wouldn't miss voting on any legislation while he was holding a fundraiser in Philadelphia attended by President Barack Obama.

The move was intended to shield Specter from allegations of hypocrisy. Specter has hammered U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak, D-Delaware County, for missing a handful of House votes.

Said Sestak: "Can Arlen Specter -- or anyone in this fundraiser - - explain why it's OK to hold up the entire U.S. Senate to benefit his political campaign, but it's -- in Arlen's words -- a 'court- marital offense' for missing a few primarily procedural votes"?

The answer, unsurprisingly, was no.

RALLY FOR CITY SERGEANT NIXED. Pittsburgh officials are fuming over an application from retired state Rep. Thomas Petrone to hold a rally during the Group of 20 summit this week on behalf of his friend, city police Sgt. Ray Rippole.

Petrone, 72, of Crafton Heights, has appointed himself chairman of The Committee for Justice for Police Officer Rippole, which he created.

Petrone, a 28-year veteran of the state House who retired last year, believes Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Public Affairs Director David White "screwed over" Rippole after he sought a promotion to commander in 2007.

Instead of promoting him, police Chief Nate Harper promoted then- Detective George Trosky to commander. Harper then transferred Rippole from his motorcycle beat in the city's western neighborhoods to the police training academy in Highland Park, where he was censured for helping two recruits cheat on a test.

Rippole now works in Zone 5 and doesn't have access to a police motorcycle. Petrone believes Rippole deserves to have his old beat and bike returned to him.

City officials rejected Petrone's request to hold a rally for Rippole at the West End Overlook in Elliott during the G-20. The summit will be held Thursday and Friday at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

IS CASEY NUTS? Forgive people who might be questioning Sen. Bob Casey's sanity.

That's a natural reaction after Casey, D-Scranton, was one of only seven senators who on Monday voted in support of continued federal funding for ACORN.

By a bipartisan 83-7 tally, the Senate voted to prohibit the Department of Housing and Urban Development from granting funds to the anti-poverty, pro-voter-registration-fraud organization. …

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