Tuesday, January 02, 2007

PA Speaker of the House elected

January 3, 2007
New state House leader calls for reforms

Bucks, Montco lawmakers will lead study panel on issue.
By John L. Micek and Christina Gostomski Call Harrisburg Bureau | Newly elected state House Speaker Dennis O'Brien said he wants to put legislative reform front-and-center and make sure that children with disabilities have a seat at the state's budgetary table...

In one of his first acts as speaker, O'Brien oversaw creation of a special legislative commission to travel the state holding hearings on reform proposals and producing recommendations within months. The panel will be headed by Reps. David Steil, R-Bucks, and Josh Shapiro, D-Montgomery. Shapiro spearheaded the effort to woo O'Brien...


Keep watching who wants a PA Constitutional Convention and for what?

PA House Panel To Make Reform Recommendations. ALSO: Everyone A ‘Reformer’. AND: Convention?

Caltagirone To Switch? Dem Sits In On GOP Caucus…

After the speaker’s election, Mr. Caltagirone sat in on the House Republicans’ caucus, a sign that he might jump parties. That would give the Republicans a 102-101 majority unless the Democrats can convince a Republican to switch.

Posted by Chris on Wednesday, January 3, 2007 at 11:59 pm


Update: What is sad, because of articles wherein reporters don't really ask any tough challenging questions, the people will actually start believing this move by the Democrats - nomination and support of a Republican other than Perzel for Speaker of the House - was about "reform" and "nonpartisanship," not about H. William DeWeese.

House Democrats elevate Republican to speaker's post
By Alison Hawkes, Herald-Standard

HARRISBURG - In a dramatic move that caught many by surprise, House Democrats orchestrated the appointment of a new Republican Speaker to lead the chamber for the next two years.

The presumed House Democratic Leader H. William DeWeese, who had set the stage to become speaker himself, made a stunning reversal by dropping his ambition under a new Democratic majority. Instead, he backed Philadelphia Republican Dennis O'Brien for the post.

Former GOP House Speaker John Perzel lost his bid when six GOP lawmakers crossed sides - including Bucks County Rep. Dave Steil - and voted with Democrats for O'Brien.

The move came shortly after swearing-in, when 50 new members, roughly one-quarter of the House, took office for the first time, many touting the need for government reform.

It was the largest turnover in recent history, sparked by a record number of retirements and two dozen upsets at the polls.

But the flowers and well-wishes of family quickly turned into a political brawl lasting more than an hour on the House floor. It all started on Saturday with the news that House Democratic Rep. Tom Caltagirone, of Berks County, would vote for Perzel. Doing so would have upset the fragile 102 to 101 majority that DeWeese, of Greene County, needed to become Speaker.

When DeWeese realized he didn't have the votes, he turned to making sure Perzel didn't get the post.

This may be the first time in Pennsylvania history that the House has a Speaker from a different political party than the chamber's majority. O'Brien, a 30-year lawmaker from a heavily Democratic district in northeastern Philadelphia, would only answer questions about a possible switch to the Democratic Party with the words: "I am a Republican."


Local Democrats support GOP speaker
By Amy Zalar, Herald-Standard

Following the lead in a historic strategy devised by state Rep. H. William DeWeese, D-Waynesburg, local Democratic legislators supported Republican Dennis O'Brien of Philadelphia for Speaker of the House, saying they believe a reform agenda will still be top priority this year.

Locally, longtime state Rep. Peter J. Daley, D-California, and freshmen legislators Deberah Kula, D-North Union, and Timothy S. Mahoney, D-South Union, supported O'Brien's election as speaker on Tuesday when it became apparent that a Democrat could not win.

Democrats hold a 102-101 majority over Republicans in the House, but Democratic Rep. Tom Caltagirone, of Berks County announced over the weekend he would vote for John Perzel, a Philadelphia Republican who had held the speaker's chair since 2003, and not DeWeese. Daley said he knew something was in the air New Year's Day, but did not know exactly what it was until DeWeese nominated O'Brien on the floor of the House.

Daley said the Democrats were going to go into caucus at 11 a.m. but decided not to do that because they "didn't want to show their hand." He said after the deal was made, the members finally went to the floor and revealed their plan.

Mahoney said Wednesday that he voted for O'Brien because it was the "only way to get true reform." He said he looks for O'Brien to work with the Democratic Party closer than any other Republican would. He said rumblings were heard among the members that "something extraordinary" was about to happen, and it did when nearly every Democrat and several Republicans supported O'Brien to wield the gavel for the next two years.

Mahoney said for Perzel, who started taking about reform in the last few days, it was too little, too late. "He wanted to start talking about reform but it took too long. The Republicans were in charge for 12 years and they did midnight pay raises and everything else. There was no reform," Mahoney said...


January 2, 2006

New slogan for state of Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania: State of Stultification

In developments that are continuing to be discussed across the internet in Pennsylvania lala land, state Representative Dennis O'Brien, a Republican was nominated by state Rep. Bill DeWeese, a Democrat to be Speaker of the House of Representatives. Meanwhile Republican John Perzel was nominated by Richard Geist, a Republican according to a 2 PM news report and follow-up information.
PCN reports O'BRIEN 105 PERZEL 97 LIVE 1-877-PA6-5001


Nice place...

New Members

Find your legislator

Now we're tracking how our local district representatives voted, particularly Timothy Mahoney, who pre-election win offered that he would not vote for Rep. Bill DeWeese for a leadership position, then after the election, when Dems captured the House, stated he would support DeWeese for Speaker of the House. In light of Majority Leader DeWeese's action today, it will be interesting to see what Mahoney thinks of the politics of DeWeese, who he would have voted for as Speaker of the House, but DeWeese didn't give him a chance!

Mahoney will have to explain to constituents why if he did he voted for a Republican for Speaker of the House - per the leadership maneuverings of Majority Leader Bill DeWeese!

102 Dems 101 Republicans

Meanwhile, as we watch PCN now to see what in the PA polluted Harrisburg happened, we find the PA Publishers' Newspapers Association project Brighter PA


fascinated by PA politics says a caller has first hand knowledge of DeWeese, surprised he was re-elected, a small majority of Fayette County, says caller, put him back... she has one great fear DeWeese could not be re-elected (as Speaker) thinks there is some deal where Philadelphia and that eastern part of the state will come out better... skeptical that there will be an evening out of handing out the "goodies..." the southeastern part will come out with the goodies...

wayesburg county - caller says DeWeese knew he couldn't be elected speaker with Dem Caltilione planning on casting his vote for a Repubican.

Rendell and DeWeese press conference - O'Brien being elected a good thing for PA...

Fun stuff. Are we in the Twilight Zone of Pennsylvania?

Mario F. Cattabiani: all came together at the last minute...3:20 p.m.

From my colleague Angela Couloumbis:

Rep. Dwight Evans (D., Phila.) said O’Brien’s ascent to speaker only came together in the last three days.

He said Rep. Josh Shapiro (D., Montgomery) first approached O’Brien about the job on New Year’s Eve, and that initially, O’Brien was hesitant about being nominated by Democrats.

So on New Year’s Day, Evans said he and other top Democratic leaders met with O’Brien at the Marriott in West Conshohocken for three hours. Gov. Rendell later got on the phone. The meeting resumed today at the governor’s mansion in Harrisburg, and later at Evans’ office...


Continuing at the press conference, PCN TV televising, about 4 pm, O'Brien is asked whether he will sit with the Democrat or Republican caucus.

He said he is a Republican.

Rendell says, he, Denny, didn't approach us, we approached him.

DeWeese interjects, unlike Caltagirone...

DeWeese is acting odd, odd, odd... he shouts out Democrat Rep. Thomas R. Caltagirone's name several times now. Whew, just think, had Tim Mahoney held his ground, DeWeese could've been shouting out two names (even though Mahoney could have also held his ground and said he'd vote for a Democrat for speaker, anybody but DeWeese)

Governor Rendell makes a statement regarding Caltagirone setting this process this mechanism in motion! What power. We are tickled that one individual can truly make a difference there in that power-infested place.

DeWeese says... we've had speaker Perzel who has stultified things for the past 12 years...

Host asks if that's a word: stultified...

verb stultifies, stultified, stultifying

1. To make someone or something appear absurd, foolish, contradictory, etc.
2. To cause something to be useless, worthless, futile, etc.

Thesaurus: prevent, frustrate, check, stop, repress, thwart, stifle, smother, negate, nullify, blunt; Antonym: encourage, boost.

3. To dull the mind of someone, eg with tedious tasks.
4. law. To allege or prove someone or oneself to be insane and so unfit to plead or to be regarded as legally responsible, etc.



Caller notes, why wasn't the Minority Leader asked to be present...

Whatever happens, O'Brien has made the political history of Pennsylvania much more interesting.

pagavel noted in the how he did it post http://pagavel.blogspot.com/2007/01/how-he-did-it.html

Rep. Dennis O'Brien became speaker by defeating former speaker Rep. John Perzel in a 105-97 vote.

He has six Republicans, who broke ranks with their leadership, to thank: Reps. Kerry Benninghoff (R., Center), Jim Cox (R., Berks), Brad Roae (R., Crawford), Sam Rohrer (R., Berks), Curt Schroder (R., Chester) and David Steil (R., Bucks).

They outnumbered the three Democrats -- Reps. Thomas Caltagirone (D., Berks), Angel Cruz (D., Phila.) and Rosita Youngblood (D., Phila.) -- who voted for Perzel.


Catch me if I'm wrong - all the Democrats except for 3 voted for O'Brien. (102-3 = 99) O'Brien got 105 votes. 6 Republicans voted for O'Brien. = 99 plus 6 = 105

All but 6 Republicans voted for John Perzel. (101 - 6 = 95. Perzel captured 3 Democrat votes. 98. But the tally says 97. 105 O'Brien and 97 Perzel.

That only adds up to 202. Somebody didn't vote as it was noted on PCN 102 Democrats and 101 Republicans. It must have been a Democrat who didn't vote. 101-3 = 98 OK it was O'Brien - he abstained!

Well, whatever - Democrats - all but 3 of them apparently fell behind H. William DeWeese's nomination of a Republican for Speaker of the House of PA. That is very revealing of DeWeese's gamesmanship, and the rank-and-file who well, were ranked and filed, or else, we guess.

A new slogan contest should ensue. I nominate Pennsylvania: State of Stultification!

This Democrat election of a Republican Speaker of the House should make for some fun interviews back home as well as town hall meetings!

At any rate, why'd DeWeese nominate a Republican, even over another Democrat?

All we can figure at this end of PA is DeWeese must have heard there are going to be two or even three Democrat defections to the Republican side of the aisle - not just those speakership votes - thus placing the Republicans in the majority and the Democrats in the minority of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

It's possible O'Brien could switch to Democrat, but why if two or three Democrats are going to switch to Republican. Then O'Brien has the status to hold to his Republican ideals intact, yet reach out to the now minority Democrats who put him in the speakership spot!

This was posted after 6 PM
Dennis O'Brien is new Pa. House speaker; Perzel is out
1/2/2007, 6:08 p.m. ET
The Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Newly seated members of the state House of Representatives, in a surprising turn of events, replaced Speaker John Perzel with another Philadelphia Republican, Dennis M. O'Brien, after Democrats were unable to maintain unity in their fragile majority.

O'Brien has served in the House for nearly 30 years and chaired the House Judiciary Committee in the last session. He was nominated by Rep. Bill DeWeese, a Democrat who hailed him as "a fine-hearted idealistic Republican" who is well-suited to lead "a clean slate" in House leadership, which Republicans have controlled for 12 years.

Perzel, who had served as speaker since April 2003, lost the vote 105-97. O'Brien was the lone member to abstain, but later said he had intended to vote for himself...

Joining 99 Democrats were six Republicans — Kerry Benninghoff of Centre County, Sam Rohrer of Berks County, Curt Schroder of Chester County, David Steil of Bucks County and two freshmen, Jim Cox of Berks County and Brad Roae of Crawford County...


Friends of Denny O'Brien


Dennis O'Brien

PA Legislative Autism Caucus


See Phila Inquirer and Inquirer blogger


blogger Mario F. Cattabiani posting at Pa Gavel for interesting updates on this development


Note by Net the Truth Online see bio pagavel

Mario F. Cattabiani covers state government and politics for The Inquirer from Harrisburg. He is blogging about the bitter tussle over who will become the next Speaker of the House of Representatives...


Philadelphia Republican Dennis O’Brien speaker of state House
By Brad Bumsted Tribune Review
Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Members of the state House have elected Philadelphia Republican Dennis O’Brien as speaker.

O’Brien was nominated by Rep. Bill DeWeese, a Greene County Democrat who put forth O’Brien’s name after acknowledging he did not have enough votes to win the top leadership position himself.

Former House Speaker John Perzel, also a Philadelphia Republican, congratulated O’Brien after his election by a 105 to 97 vote. Perzel held the position for almost four years.

O’Brien chaired the House Judiciary Committee last session. A moderate Republican, he is considered by many to be on good terms with Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell and largely supportive of the governor’s programs...

Since the November election, there has been speculation that O’Brien might switch his registration to the Democratic Party, but he gave no immediate indication today that he might do so...

Also see discussion

Penn Live Capitol forum


Rep. O'Brien of Philadelphia elected speaker
Tuesday, January 02, 2007

By Tom Barnes and Tracie Mauriello, Post-Gazette Harrisburg Bureau

HARRISBURG -- Philadelphia Republican Dennis M. O'Brien has been elected speaker of the House.

Mr. O'Brien, who has served in the House for nearly 30 years and chaired the House Judiciary Committee in the last session, received 105 votes over Republican John Perzel's 97.

This sets up the unusual situation of having a Republican speaker in a Democratically controlled House.

Democratic Rep. H. William DeWeese nominated Mr. O'Brien, a longtime rival of incumbent Speaker John Perzel, also a Philadelphia Republican.

The Democrats have a one-seat majority in the House but the speakership was thrown into question because of Democrat Rep. Thomas R. Caltagirone's intention to cross party lines to support Mr. Perzel...


Bloggers on the developing news

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

And the winner is...

1:35 p.m.

Dennis O'Brien, 105 votes to Perzel's 97...


It's Dennis O'Brien!
by phillydem on Jan 02, 2007 - 01:36 PM in State House

105 O'Brien, 97 Perzel. YoungPhillyPolitics reports O'Brien is switching parties.


Listing of informative items and live updates

Perzel Out New State House Speaker Elected



O’Brien, Not as Bad, but Good? January 2
Filed under Pennsylvania, Pa House by Bill Fitz

I don’t know about O’Brien, He is better than Prezel and better than DeWeese I want to see the Roll Call; it is a crock of you know what that each member does not publicly vote yes or no for Speaker. I just hope O’Brien pulled the wool over DeWeese’s eyes

Party Change? January 2
Filed under Pennsylvania by Ben Wren

Brett Lieberman is reporting unconfirmed rumors that O’Brien will switch parties.


SHOCK: Dems Nominate Rep. Dennis O’Brien (R) For PA House Speaker. Denny Tops Perzel 105-97...




Follow along chronology from (PCN) eyewitness blogger (thanks)

LIVE: Speaker Drama January 2
Filed under Pennsylvania by Ben Wren | 1 comment / trackback


(below is a chronological account that I made during the proceedings. It is incomplete because my feed of pcntv.com went in and out but I think it is more or less complete)

Deweese has nominated Philly Republican Dennis O’Brien as Speaker!

Calling for a Tabula Rosa, or a clean slate, he nominates an ‘honorable, idealistic Republican Dennis O’Brien.’

Richard Geist of Blair County nominates Perzel and Katie True of Lancaster County seconds it.

A point of inquiry was made to determine the number of votes needed. The Master Roll call showing all members being present, 203, 102 votes would be needed...


Rep. Thomas Caltagirone was present, pagavel's Mario F. Cattabiani reported in a post entitled Caltagirone-in-house-on-wrong-side

This was noted in a reference at pawatercooler.com

While we are on break in Harrisburg I’ve been checking some other websites and interesting note over at the PA Gavel :...

There is a spotting of Rep. Thomas Caltagirone. The Democrat was tough to spot because he is sitting on the Republican side of the House.


Dennis O'Brien is new House speaker; Perzel is out
1/2/2007, 1:45 p.m. ET
The Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Newly seated members of the state House of Representatives, in a surprising turn of events, replaced Speaker John Perzel with another Philadelphia Republican, Dennis M. O'Brien, after Democrats were unable to maintain unity in their fragile majority...

O'Brien, who has served in the House for nearly 30 years and chaired the House Judiciary Committee in the last session, was nominated by Bill DeWeese, a Democrat


Philadelphia’s O’Brien is House speakerBy Angela Couloumbis and Amy Worden

HARRISBURG - In a stunning development, Philadelphia Republican Dennis O'Brien was elected the new speaker of the House, edging out Philadelphia Rep. John Perzel after weeks of political maneuvering by both Democrats and Republicans for control of the House.

The vote was 105 to 97.

In a bizarre twist, O'Brien's nomination actually came from the Democratic side, no less from Majority Leader Bill DeWeese (D., Greene), who had been considered the front-runner for the speaker post.

O'Brien has been recently targeted by Democrats, to get him to switch parties or to garner his support...


Past articles



PennPatriot said...

Thanks Net the Truth Online. I've updated all my posts.


Net the Truth Online said...

You're welcome, will be visiting agains...