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Ex-Pa. Justice Melvin Gets House Arrest and Probation

joan-orie-melvin-2012-0672e990d5012481Former state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin and her sister avoided prison time for their corruption convictions but were sentenced Tuesday to house arrest for what a judge called crimes of “arrogance.”

Although Allegheny County Judge Lester Nauhaus stopped short of incarcerating either woman, which is what prosecutors sought, he chided Melvin in particular for her conceit and her claims that she had always tried to be a role model for her children.

“What kind of role model are you? These are felonies, this isn’t a parking ticket, and your children’s mother is a convicted felon,” Nauhaus told Melvin, a married mother of six.

Melvin was convicted of using her former court staff — and that of her sister, former state senator Jane Orie — on her political campaigns. She was sentenced to three years of house arrest followed by two years of probation.

Melvin’s third sister, Janine Orie, 58, was sentenced to one year of house arrest and two years of probation for the illegal campaigning, which she helped coordinate.

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Harrisburg Liberty Alliance Featured in PA Independent

24141_365819017657_4826262_nBy Eric Boehm, Melissa Daniels | PA Independent

CAMP HILL, Pa. – Capping off a difficult week, U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey addressed a crowd of Pennsylvania conservatives outside Harrisburg on Friday afternoon, acknowledging both his support for new gun control measures that have angered many conservatives and the failure of those proposals in the Senate this week.

Toomey did not apologize for his support of legislation that would have enhanced background checks on those who want to purchase firearms, and instead offered a detailed explanation of what was in the legislation and why he had proposed it. He spent more than nine minutes of his 30 minute remarks discussing the gun issue.

In the end, he said he hoped to “agree to disagree” with conservatives angered by it.

“We had the vote on Wednesday. I lost. I get that. I think this issue is probably settled for now,” Toomey said.

He also promised to resume his focus on economic issues, winning him cheers from the conservative crowd inside the Radisson ballroom in suburban Harrisburg.

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Harrisburg Liberty Alliance Featured in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

pittsburgh_post_gazette260By Tracie Mauriello and Kate Giammarise / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

WASHINGTON — The Senate’s rejection of a plan to expand background checks for gun purchasers was a public policy failure but not necessarily a political one for Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey, who bucked his party to sponsor the legislation.

The first-term Republican’s attempts to bridge the policy gap endeared him to moderates and Democrats even as it alienated him from conservatives who now are angry, disappointed and pledging to hasten his ouster at re-election time in 2016.

President Barack Obama thanked Mr. Toomey for his courage in sponsoring the controversial background checks bill, which failed Wednesday to get the needed 60 votes in the Senate.

Even the head of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party had unusual praise for him. But at the other end of the political spectrum, some once-loyal supporters abruptly turned their backs on the senator because they saw his legislation as an infringement on the right to bear arms.

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Central Pennsylvania 2013 Primary Elections

11438596-largeIt may be called an “off-year,” but the 2013 elections present crucial choices for central Pennsylvania.

Voters will be asked to weigh in on municipal, school board, and county races in the Mary 21 primary.

Let’s put it more directly: voters will choose the people who set their property tax rates, oversee area schools and decide if new housing developments or shopping centers are built across the street. Voters will decide who gets to serve as judges on county benches.

So there are plenty of reasons to pay attention to these races and vote.

Here’s another: Turnout for local elections pales in comparison to presidential races. So a relatively number of people can decide the outcome of these contests.

Candidates had to file petitions to get on the primary ballot earlier this week.

If you’re not registered to vote, go to the state’s elections website to get information on how to make your vote count.

Here’s a quick snapshot of key races, along with links to stories on the contests:

Harrisburg Mayor’s Race: Mayor Linda Thompson is running for re-election and she’s engaged in a four-way race for the Democratic nomination. Thompson is finishing her first term after unseating Stephen Reed in 2009. City controller Dan Miller, Eric Papenfuse, owner of the Midtown Scholar, and city resident Lewis Butts Jr. are challenging Thompson in the primary. Nevin Mindlin is running as an independent.

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The Rise And Fall Of The Orie Sisters

OB-TB520_0523or_G_20120523104625Feel free to write to the Orie Sisters in prison.  Joan Orie Melvin and her sister face a May 7 sentencing for their conviction.

The story has more irony than a Greek tragedy. Three sisters from a devoutly Catholic family have seen their personal and political careers ruined by a scandal that began with, of all things, a letter to some nuns.

Thursday’s conviction of suspended Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin along with her aide and sister, Janine Orie, on campaign corruption charges mean they might join a third sister — former state Sen. Jane Orie — in state prison. No sentencing date has been set.

The former senator was sentenced last year to 2½ to 10 years for using her state-paid staff to run her campaigns, though she was acquitted of having them campaign for Melvin, then a lower appellate court judge, who was running for the Supreme Court in 2003 and 2009. Joan Orie Melvin and Janine Orie were convicted in a spinoff investigation and found guilty of similarly misusing Melvin’s former staff and the senator’s.

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Friend of HLA Anthony Antonello on Adam Kokesh

Mayors Against Illegal Guns: Urban Problem…Not the Suburbs!

MeetMayorsLet’s not forget that the Coalition of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, is a pro assault weapons ban organization.  If you are still not convinced, the organization was founded in 2006 by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

It is comical to see that mayors from Shippensburg, Burnham, and Newport are part of the coalition. We know that illegal guns are not an issue in these rural communities. These mayors must be bored or they need to look like they are earning their pay.

Don’t forget to be active in your local government!!!

On April 25, 2006, an initial group of 15 mayors, hosted by Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, held a summit at Gracie Mansion in New York City to discuss strategies for stopping the flow of illegal guns into America’s cities. The mayors attending the summit drafted and signed a statement of principles to guide their efforts.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns is dedicated to making America’s cities safer by cracking down on illegal guns. 30,000 Americans are killed every year as a result of gun violence, destroying families and harming communities. Mayors have a responsibility to protect their communities by holding gun offenders and irresponsible gun dealers accountable, demanding access to trace data that is critical to law enforcement efforts to combat illegal gun trafficking, and working with legislators to fix gaps, weaknesses and loopholes in the law that make it far too easy for criminals and other prohibited purchasers to get guns.

Pennsylvania:
Mayor James Hopely
Aldan, PA

Mayor Ed Pawlowski
Allentown, PA

Mayor Charles T. “Bud” Wahl
Ambler, PA

Mayor Gretchen Dosch
Applewold, PA

Mayor Bernard Killian
Aspinwall, PA Continue reading