Blair Dem Blog

News, Announcements, and Opinions from the Blair County Democratic Committee

February 16, 2014
by gkratzer
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The Blair Dems Want You!

The Blair Dems wants you to be a County Party Committee Member.  You may think it’s difficult to get involved, but it’s not.  It’s as simple as picking up a petition and getting ten Democratic signatures in your voting precinct.  Not sure you know ten Democrats in your precinct?  Don’t worry, we can help you find them!  There are 97 precincts that each need 2 committee members.  That’s 194 committee members!  Your basic responsibility as a committee member would be to make it to monthly meetings and from there you can be as involved as you want.

Petitions can be picked up through the Blair Dems or at the County Courthouse.  You can start collecting signatures on February 18 and petitions are due at the Courthouse by 4pm on March 11.

If you have questions and/or you’d like to get a petition but can’t make it down to the Courthouse, please email us at

Committee Member Petition

February 9, 2014
by gkratzer
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Stand Up For the Community With UPMC Nurses

Screenshot 2014-02-09 at 5.34.04 PM


Join Altoona Nurses Tuesday, February 11 for their one day strike.  From the Support Nurses flyer…

“Registered nurses at UPMC Altoona hold themselves to very high standards, and know their patients expect and deserve nothing less­

When UPMC – a S10 billion global health enterprise based in Pittsburgh – took over the hospital last summer, its executives promised to put the community first. But so far, they seem more interested in bolstering their corporate bottom line. They are proposing to lower our community’s standards and limit
nurses’ rights to advocate for the best staffing and highest quality of care for patients.

That is Why nurses made the difficult decision to issue a l-day strike. Come out to show your support as they stand up for quality care for patients and quality jobs for our community.”

Come down to the Altoona Hospital and support Altoona’s nurses.  For months Altoona Nurses, along with concerned community members like you, have fought to maintain the level of community support that Altoona and the Blair County area deserve.  Stand alongside Altoona’s nurses and fight for the community care that we deserve.

January 26, 2014
by gkratzer
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Important Election Dates!

If you were at our recent Altoona Dems Breakfast you will have gotten a handout with some important upcoming election dates.  In case you missed the breakfast here are all the election dates you need to know!


Tuesday, February 11: Petitions available from courthouse for Precinct Rep.

Wednesday, February 12: Office open from 11am to 5pm for petition pick up.  (If you don’t feel like driving over to the courthouse and finding a parking space, just come down to the Dem’s office and we’ll have some ready for you!)

Thursday, February 13: Office open from 1pm to 6pm for petition pickup.

Tuesday, February 18 – Tuesday March 11: Circulate petitions.  Petitions due at the courthouse by 4pm on March 11th.

Monday, March 3: Democratic committee meeting at Friendly’s, Plank Rd. 7pm.  Self-pay dinner at 5:30pm. (Petitions still available if you’ve been procrastinating)

Monday, April 21: Last day to register to vote

Tuesday, May 13: Last day to apply for civilian absentee ballot

Tuesday, May 20: Primary Election Day


Precinct Rep
In order to get your name on the ballot you need to have turned in a petition signed by ten people that live in your precinct.


We’re also still looking for people to run against Bill Shuster, John McGinnis, John Eichelberger, and for Jerry Stern’s seat.  If you are interested in running or know anyone that is, please contact Frank Rosenhoover at

November 23, 2013
by gkratzer
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Important Information from the Altoona Dem Breakfast

If you missed the monthly Altoona Dem Breakfast  you missed some great conversation.  We talked about some very important issues and, whether you were at the breakfast or not, here’s some important information that we talked about today.

Marty Baronner brought to our attention some really important information about Penelec’s assault on union workers.  The following is from a flyer that Marty brought:

Penelec execs leave union workers high and dry

“Penelec and parent company FirstEnergy have launched a vicious attack on utility workers and retirees, and if the company gets its way consumer service may also suffer.  Utility Workers Union of America Branch 180 is also asking for citizens’ support to stop this assault on local living standards.

Penelec has short-circuited legitimate bargaining and recently issued a ‘last and best’ offer that would be hugely damaging to the local economy in central Pennsylvania.  The company’s contract demands would eliminate health coverage for all future retirees and those that have retired since 2005.  Penelec’s demands would also impose reduced pension benefits for all new hires in the form of a so-called ‘cash balance’ plan – a plan the company hasn’t even provided yet to the union committee!

Penelec seeks to change work schedules for first responders in ‘trouble-truck’ crews, a change that could result in longer delays for customers during power outages.  In addition, Penelec rejected out of hand a proposal made by Local 180 that the company should reserve at least one spot in its apprenticeship schools for linemen or substation jobs for a U.S. military veteran.

While Penelec chisels workers and retirees, turns a deaf ear to veterans, and places customer services at risk, FirstEnergy is not shy about lining the pockets of top executives.  Since 2010, CEO Tony Alexander has seen his total compensation package double from $11.6 million annually to $23.3 million in 2012.  Last year, FirstEnergy doled out $40 million to only five executives from revenues collected from ordinary ratepayers.”

The Utility Workers Union of America, Branch 180 would like you to write or email Scott Wyman, Penelec President, to tell him to stop the assault on working families, customer service standards, and the local economy.

Mail, e-mail, or fax to:
Scott Wyman, Penelec President
5404 Evans Road
Erie, PA 16509-3680
Fax:  814-868-8724

Richard Flarend suggests that the best way to show Penelec you mean business is to take yours elsewhere.  You have the right to choose your electric supplier.  Go to and you can shop for an electric supplier and take your business away from Penelec and FirstEnergy and save money on your electric bill while you’re doing it.


Continue Reading

October 12, 2013
by gkratzer
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Blair Democratic Women’s Book Club Sees Stars

This weekend some members of the Democratic Women’s Book Club took a trip to Seneca Falls, NY for the Women’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony and got to meet some really amazing women.  Check it out!

Robin, Kathy, Ann and Susan meet Nancy Pelosi

Robin, Kathy, Ann and Susan meet Nancy Pelosi


Susan, Robin, Ann, and Kathy meet Lily Ledbetter


October 8, 2013
by gkratzer
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October Meeting Round-Up

If you couldn’t make it to the meeting tonight here are the broad strokes of the evening.

First, and very most important: Buy Banquet tickets!  Our Fall Banquet is coming up on November 10th and if you’re interested in a ticket, please don’t wait until the last minute.  You can click right there –> BCDCommitteeFallDinner2013Form to download the Ticket/Ad form.  Print it out, fill it out, and send your money in to Gail Thompson.  Ann Rosenhoover and Gillian Kratzer would also be happy to accept your form and payment and get them along to Gail.  Tickets are $30 each and patron ads are only $10!  It’s going to be a great night and our keynote speaker will be fmr. Congressman, ret. Admiral, and current Senatorial candidate Joe Sestak.

So again, download that form, get your tickets now!


John Donley, speaking at the monthly meeting

John Donley, speaking at the monthly meeting

John Donley came and spoke to us about his campaign for AASD School Board. I cannot stress how important it is that you get out the vote in November.  School board elections are extremely important.  John Donley is our Democrat, but he is running alongside John Klingeman and Elizabeth Chapman, both of whom also have our support.  What we absolutely don’t want is for Tea Party candidate, Judy Berryman to win a seat on the school board.  If you want the school board to be concerned with the education of our children rather than the race to cut, cut, cut; vote for John Donley, Elizabeth Chapman, and John Klingeman.  Mr. Donley spoke passionately about his desire to put the interests of Altoona’s kids first and that’s the kind of school board member Altoona’s kids deserve.


In service of helping John Donley get elected to the AASD school board, please consider writing a letter to the editor to the Altoona Mirror.  Letters relating to political candidates in the November election must be submitted no later than 4pm on October 15th, which is only 8 days away.  There have already been three letters in for Judy Berryman, so please let’s show some support for Donley.  We cannot win elections if we are not active.


After a brief pause for introductions, we talked about funding for the Blair Dems Public Access show, Plain Speaking.  Plain Speaking costs $150 per episode.  Each episode airs at 9am and 6pm on the day it’s taped and then repeats in those time slots until we tape the next episode.  It’s a great value and a great show.  If you’d like to sponsor an episode or get together with friends to sponsor an episode, please let us know.

Please remember that November 11th is the Veteran’s Day Parade.  The parade starts at 10am and Marty Baronner will be providing his truck for parade.  If you’re a veteran and would like to ride along or walk along in the parade, please email Frank Rosenhoover (

The Cove Dems Breakfast is this Saturday at 9am at the Spring House in Roaring Springs and the Altoona Dems Breakfast is the fourth Saturday of the month at the Sixth Ave Kings at 8:30am.

One very last reminder, our next meeting will be the night before the November General Election.  Our office will be open all day the day of the election and rides will be available for anyone who needs a ride to their polling place.  If you can give people rides to the polls, let us know.

August 3, 2013
by gkratzer
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2013 Fall Banquet

It’s time to start planning for the Fall Banquet.  The Banquet Committee has been hard at work planning another great banquet and we’re ready to announce our 2013 Fall Banquet.

Our banquet this year will be held on November 10th, again at the beautiful Casino at Lakemont.


We are thrilled to announce that our keynote speaker this year will be ret. Admiral and former Congressman, Joe Sestak!

Tickets will be $30, and as in previous years we’ll be selling both business and patron ads for our booklet.  We’ll also have baskets up for auction.

We’ll have a social hour from 5:30 to 6:30pm and dinner will begin at 6:30.

Whether you are interested in selling tickets/ads or simply buying your own, you can click here to open the Ticket/Ad form.  The form can be given to Gail Thompson, or mailed (the address is on the form).  We’ll accept cash or check.  Please note that, even for business ads, the check must be a personal check, not a corporate check.

We encourage anyone, if you have a business and would like to buy an ad or if you know of a business that you think would like to advertise in our booklet, please print out a form.  If you’d like to, you could also buy a patron ad.  Patron ads only cost $10 and purchasers will be listed by name in the booklet.  Buying a patron ad is a great way to support the Blair Dems even if you can’t attend the event or a great way to support us even more if are attending!

Ticket/Ad Form

If you’d like to donate basket items or have any questions about the banquet, please email Ann Rosenhoover at

May 27, 2013
by gkratzer
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Summer Picnic

A date has been set for our Summer Picnic.  It will be June 29 from 12p to 4p at the Duncansville Memorial Park (map below)

Duncansville Memorial Park

Tickets will be $3 for adults, children are free.  Meat and beverages will be provided, but please bring a side dish to share.  For more info and to get tickets, call Ann Rosenhoover at 942-2542.