• PA-18: A Not-So Special Election

    Written By: Arnaud Armstrong | @Arnaud996

    It’s been a very busy week for our friends in the mainstream media.

    Taking a short respite from their daily shrieking about President Trump’s faux-pas du jour, those in the business of delivering comically skewed distortions of current events so as best to bolster the image of the Democratic Party and diminish that of the GOP (sometimes referred to as “journalism”), gleefully jumped at the opportunity to cover a “surprisingly” competitive special election for a congressional seat that, thanks to the regal dictate of the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court, no longer exists.

    The election was hard fought, and in the end, the Democrat, Conor Lamb, very narrowly beat the Republican candidate, Rick Saccone. The victory has no significant consequences, however. Unlike Scott Brown’s Massachusetts Senate win in January 2010, one of the very few special elections I can think of that have garnered such an intense degree of media attention, this changes virtually nothing about the legislative dynamics of Congress, with the GOP still holding a very large majority in the House.

    This, however, didn’t stop the media from breathlessly offering a litany of uniformly identical opinions on the results, explaining that the race represented a cataclysmic disaster for the GOP, and that the lesson of the race is that the Party should dramatically change (presumably to become far more like the Democrats) if it wants to cling to any hope of retaining control of the House.

    There are, of course, a handful of modest corrections which ought to be pointed out to those advancing the conventional wisdom this past week, namely that the entire story is a ludicrous farce.

    Let’s start with the most common talking point; this was a district that went for President Trump by 20 points. This is a factoid that’s been repeated ad nauseam, but that stubbornly ignores some far more prevalent statistics, namely the fact that every single county in the district had a Democratic registration advantage. To repeat, there were significantly more Democrats in the district than Republicans, including in the counties that went for the Republican. Much to no one’s surprise, however, those in the media preferred headlines more like “Republican humiliated in district Trump won” than “Republican impressively outperforms in majority Democrat district.”

    But surely I’m just being paranoid; it’s not as though those in the business of crafting headlines would ever exhibit a blatant partisan bias. After all, we can at least expect that if a titanic anti-Republican wave is forming in Pennsylvania, a significant shift in party registration would be seen. For example, between 2004 and 2008, a period when PA Republicans were dealt a series of serious blows, Democrats increased their registration advantage by four percent, equivalent to hundreds of thousands of votes. To illustrate the similar GOP collapse in 2018 we can just compare registration data released last week to the data from late 2016. Doing so, we can see that Democrats have dramatically increased their numbers by… oh, my mistake, they’ve lost 200,000 voters.

    At the very least, though, Democrats can surely argue that this election was a referendum on the performance of President Trump, given that he won a majority in this district in 2016. As such, this race served the Democrats splendidly, illustrating that they can sweep Pennsylvania races simply by making an issue out of the President. But a cursory review of the pre-election polls for the district tell a different story. Had journalists taken a moment to peruse the polls rather than simply pointing to those polls which had Conor Lamb ahead and declaring that it spelled doom for the President, they might have noticed that the polls showed Trump with positive approval ratings in the district.

    I’ll let the good folks at Emerson elaborate: “Trump currently has a 47% job approval in the district with 43% disapproving, despite 46% of the district being registered Democrat. Similarly, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi only has a 20% approval rate, with 57% disapproving.” A separate poll by Gravis was even better for the President, with 49% approving and 42% disapproving.

    Now, surely, if this was a referendum on the performance of the President, wouldn’t one expect that Rick Saccone would have won by a fairly comfortable margin?

    Of course. But the media, with rare exception, has conveniently glossed over these obvious facts. At the end of the day, the Republican lost not because of any obvious wave, but because of the skill of his opponent and his own political deficiencies. I’m more than happy to give credit where credit is due: Conor Lamb is young and attractive, campaigned as a distinguished veteran and centrist reformer, displayed far more charisma than his opponent, attracted strong union support in a union-heavy district, and staked out conservative opinions on guns and energy, even declaring his belief that life that life begins at conception (which is pretty egregious considering that he also came out against a 20-week abortion ban, but I digress).

    The bottom line is this: Any freshman college student who’s taken a class on American politics, regardless of whether they had an opinion on the President or the GOP, could have guessed that the more moderate, charismatic candidate who belongs to the region’s majority party would win the election. Absolutely nothing about this election is surprising or even noteworthy, nevermind deserving of thorough nationwide coverage or the kind of outlandish extrapolation we’ve witnessed from increasingly unhinged Democrat columnists.

    In fact, the closeness of this race serves just as well as a warning to the Democrats as to the Republicans. Conor Lamb is a genuine centrist in a party that finds itself increasingly driven to the left by Bernie Sanders/Liz Warren wing. Come the primaries, Conor Lamb’s ideological position within his Party’s set of candidates will be the exception, not the rule. In that, Republicans can take comfort.

  • President Trump Hits the Mark on his 2018 SOTU Address

    Written by: Gabrielle Fleming, PAFCR Communications Team

    President Donald Trump presented a side of himself in his first State of the Union address on January 30, 2018 that impressed many, as he stayed on script and appeared more ‘presidential’ than usual.

    CBS found that a remarkable 75 percent of viewers regarded the speech favorably, including 97% of Republicans, 72% of Independents, and even 43% of Democrats. Over half of viewers (65%) remarked that the speech made them feel “proud.” Overall the speech was unifying, well-delivered, and particularly Reagan-esque with its use of many honored guests being presented during the speech. Democratic members of Congress and far-Left protesters outside the venue, however, unsurprisingly managed to make complete fools of themselves and reaffirmed that they do not care about the well-being of the United States and its citizens.

    While hundreds of protesters outside whined and held profane signs, Democratic Congressmen and women inside were as obstructionist as ever. President Trump repeatedly called for bipartisanship and to find commonality in the American Dream and identity, but the Democrats were more focused on their phones and staying in their seats. Democrats sat for jobs, economic growth, tax cuts, defeating ISIS, the national anthem and flag, healthcare choice, veterans benefits, government accountability, unifying America, the American dream, curbing crime, eliminating the opioid crisis and more. President Trump rightly applauded low unemployment in Hispanic and African American populations, the creation of new jobs, and rising wages. Despite all of this, the Congressional Black Caucus sat through these numbers unimpressed and uncaring. To make matters worse, Democrats audibly groaned when the President introduced the parents of children who were murder by MS-13. If that isn’t a signal of blatant disrespect for innocent lives and that Democrats don’t actually care about Americans and their safety, I don’t know what is.

    In the days leading up to the State of the Union address, the mainstream media also bothered to focus more on allegations about porn star Stormy Waters than middle class tax savings and the positive impact on earnings for families because of corporate tax cuts. Per usual, they were too busy lauding the various inefficient forms of fashion protest than focusing on the day to day bureaucratic changes that actually affect working Americans. Once again, the media proved itself to be a diversion more than a harbinger of genuinely useful insight.

    Unlike President Obama who continually suggested during his State of the Union addresses that Americans were not living up to their best natures, President Trump provided nothing but empowering messages to the American people. He boldly stated that “to every citizen watching at home tonight — no matter where you have been, or where you come from, this is your time. If you work hard, if you believe in yourself, if you believe in America, then you can dream anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve anything.” But according to Vogue this message is “grim.”

    During his address, President Trump reinvigorated the concept of the American Dream. He reaffirmed that America is a wonderful place that is thriving and filled with opportunity and that American liberty is a dream for billions around the globe. He is exactly right, and Democrats sat mutely and grimaced in disagreement through all of it.

    President Trump has his priorities straight. He continually stressed his commitment to serve the interests of the American people above all else. While he has sympathy for undocumented immigrants, as a leader he has genuine sympathy for American citizens as well. President Trump recognizes that it is his duty “and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans–to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American dream.”

    While Democrats may desire to risk the safety of American citizens and continue degrading the moral fiber of their families and communities, President Trump is committed to unifying our nation and ensuring it remains a country where, with hard work, individuals of all backgrounds can pursue their dreams and become successful. Unlike so many disrespectful members of the audience, President Trump recognizes that United States citizens are “dreamers too” and that it is his job to place America first and protect their physical safety and economic well-being above all else.

    To watch the 2018 State of the Union Address, visit this link.

  • The Gerrymandering Excuse

    Written By: Arnaud Armstrong | @Arnaud996

    Last week, the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court, in a ruling consistent with a court whose judges have benefited tremendously from millions in public-sector union donations, handed down a victory to the special interests who point to gerrymandering as the root cause of their electoral incompetence, ruling that the current map of congressional districts is unconstitutional and needs to be redrawn. The decision sparked celebrations among Democratic leaders and their public-sector backers, who hailed it as a victory for democracy, but who, of course, were really celebrating a victory for politics as usual.

    Lost in their celebrations, however, have been any discussion of other possible causes for the steady series of electoral defeats that have wracked the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania since 2010.

    In recent years, as the electoral defeats mounted and the Democratic congressional delegation from Pennsylvania fell from 12 in 2010 to only 5 today, frustrated Democrats have pointed to gerrymandering on the part of Republicans as the cause of their collapse. This is, very simply, utter nonsense. First, let’s consider the fact that the redistricting map completed after the 2010 vote was passed with bipartisan support and the endorsement of a sitting Democrat Congressman. If the redistricting map was as comically biased as Democrats currently claim, shouldn’t they have spoken out when it actually mattered?

    Short memories aren’t the only thing damaging the Democrats’ case, however. They are also suffering from a failure to consider their difficulties in all races. Republicans have been improving their majorities not just on the congressional level, but on the local and state level as well, building strong majorities on local councils and in the State Legislature; one shouldn’t have to remind the Democrats that, in 2016, Pennsylvania went red in a presidential election for the first time in nearly three decades. Perhaps instead of instead of bemoaning the state’s political cartography, the Democrats should turn their attention towards considering why their registration advantage (number of voters registered with one party versus another) fell by over 400,000 between 2008 and 2017.

    Despite all of this, though, I do have a confession to make: I think the current map probably does benefit Republicans. “Aha!” some of you announce, “if he’s admitting that the map gives the Republicans an advantage, then surely it’s unfair to Democrats!” Not quite.

    Let’s consider the last presidential election. In 2016, Hillary Clinton received over 40% of her total votes in the entire state of Pennsylvania from only three counties: Allegheny, Philadelphia and Montgomery. Most of the rest of her vote came from her rural counties where she made a rather pitiful showing, consistently attracting less than 30% of the vote. This is indicative of a serious and growing problem for Democrats in Pennsylvania and around the country: their voters are clumped into cities where, like in Philadelphia, they can receive over 80% of the vote. The result is a situation in which cities remain firmly in the hand of the Democratic leaders, but the Party exerts less influence than ever in the overwhelming majority of remaining geographical space. In short, of course the Democrat Congressional representation is small; the Party is only performing well in a handful of the state’s 67 counties and getting swamped everywhere else.

    Recently, the New York Times did an experiment in which it compared a so-called “non-partisan map” (which is a ridiculous thing to call it considering that the current map had bipartisan support) with the current map. Using 2016 presidential vote counts, they found that, hypothetically, Clinton would have received a majority of votes cast in only one more district (a still weak 7 of 18) in a “non-partisan” map scenario versus the current map. In addition, GOP congressional candidates sometimes outperformed Trump in their districts in 2016 (the Party has 13 representatives but the President only carried 12 districts), so it’s entirely possible that absolutely nothing would have changed if the “non-partisan” map had been used.

    Knowing this, the Democrats have adopted the practice of conflating non-partisan with competitive. Apparently licking their chops at the possibility of a strong overall performance in the coming midterms, Democrats across the country have decided that the best map would be one with as many competitive districts as possible, thereby raising the potential of an enormous swing in states with many competitive districts. In typical Democratic fashion, the Party’s siren song of “fair representation” masks a purely cynical drive for political advantage.

    More importantly, though, it’s critical to consider what the kind of “competitive” map the Democrats are trying to finagle would look like in practice.

    Because their strongholds are, with the exception of Pittsburgh, bunched tightly into the Southeast corner of the state, one would have to get terribly creative with the use of borders to achieve a competitive effect on the scale sought by the Party. It would require dividing Philadelphia and its immediate neighbors and then have their districts jutting out into rural areas far away.

    Certainly such a map would be appreciated by Democrats, but it makes for a very poor way of selecting representatives. When constituents in a district vote on a representative, they are literally voting for the person who will best represent their interests. When districts are created to primarily represent certain groups (i.e. urban vs rural, farm worker vs computer programmer, etc.), it makes the job of the representative easier. If, however, we were to have a district where the interests and ideologies of a farmer in Lancaster, a doctor in Delaware County, and a teacher in Philadelphia all competed fairly evenly, it would make the job of a representative extraordinarily difficult. Worse still, it would risk creating a new generation of completely unprincipled representatives who would vote according to the however the political winds drifted that day.

    The bottom line is this: so long as the Democratic Party relies almost exclusively on cities to win, it cannot reasonably expect to win a majority of the congressional seats in Pennsylvania.

    Instead of whining to the State Supreme Court about the map approved on a bipartisan vote six years ago, Democrats ought to do some introspection and figure out why voters outside the cities are no longer interested in their tired policies and divisive rhetoric. So long as Democrats focus exclusively on a handful of population centers (though I do wish Republicans would try a bit harder to win urban voters) at the expense of the rest of the state, they have only themselves to blame for their electoral failures.

  • Hillary Clinton Endorses Michael Wolff’s ‘Fire and Fury’

    Written by: Reagan McCarthy and Karly Matthews | @reagmccarthy and @karlymatthews_

    Hillary Clinton still cannot seem to get out of the political spotlight, and once again came out swinging against conservative women.

    At the Grammy’s the two-time Presidential hopeful read an excerpt from Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury, which the Left has given praise to, despite Wolff’s low credibility. Mr. Wolff has already conceded that some parts of his book are not completely accurate, including the misspelling of important names or misrepresentation of events.

    Mr. Wolff is also responsible for a slanderous rumor about Ambassador Nikki Haley, claiming she had a secret affair with President Trump. Unsurprisingly, Secretary Clinton embraced a man who purposely smeared a conservative woman of high power, ensuring she herself stays in the spotlight. Clinton’s endorsement of Wolff is not the first time she has chosen political gain over standing with other women–multiple women who have accused former President Bill Clinton of sexual assault, have also credibly accused Mrs. Clinton of silencing their testimony.

    As well, allegations of sexual misconduct on Clinton’s 2008 Presidential campaign have surfaced recently. Instead of firing the offender, Clinton’s staff moved the victim to a different position and allowed the offender to continue on unscathed. Meanwhile Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio immediately flew from his home in Florida to the Capitol in order to fire his Chief of Staff accused of misconduct as soon as he was made aware. Yet, despite her lack of actual action, Clinton is still revered as a feminist icon by so many.

    Once again, Mrs. Clinton, self-proclaimed champion of women, proves that she is only willing to stand with other women when they abide by her agenda, or when it is convenient.

  • Hey Nancy Pelosi, I’ll Take Some “Crumbs”

    Written by: Paige Gianfortune | @paige_mariaa

    Company bonuses may seem like “crumbs” to a wealthy bureaucrat like Nancy Pelosi, but I am sure the majority of Americans would gladly take a serving.

    Due to recently passed Trump tax bill, which slices the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, employers are rewarding and incentivizing their current employees to remain loyal to the company through monetary bonuses.  Companies such as Wal-Mart, AT&T, Comcast, and several others have jumped on this bandwagon.

    More money in the pockets of everyday Americans should be celebrated, right?  Well, maybe, except if you are a Democratic politician like Nancy Pelosi.

    One of the biggest talking points the Democrats have against Republicans is that Republicans are a bunch of greedy, wealthy businessmen who run the oh-so-evil “corporations” of the country.  Democrats argue that corporations – otherwise known as the “rich” – should be taxed more to create equity amongst everyone, “the middle class” and “low-income,” in our country.

    So what happens when those corporations are taxed less and reward employees with extra cash?  Well, this goes entirely against the Democratic talking points, and Democrats’ criticisms don’t carry much validity.  That’s why Pelosi had to diminish the magnitude of these bonuses by calling them mere “crumbs.”  But calling a bonus, no matter how small, a “crumb” shows just how out-of-touch Democrats like Nancy Pelosi actually are.  Take Fiat Chrysler Automobiles for example, who is giving 60,000 of their employees a $2,000 bonus.  $2,000 can pay for food for a family for a year, help defray the cost of medical bills, or, on a lighter note, help a family take a fun, much-needed summer vacation.

    From a woman who once said the government had to pass a health care bill to see what was in it, I guess the government had to cut the corporate tax rate by 14 percent to see what happens when companies have to give less to Uncle Sam and more to the average American.

  • STATEMENT: January Special Election


    HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Federation of College Republicans Executive Board released the following statement regarding its special election, held at 11 am on December 23, 2017.

    On December 16, former Chairman Brandon Ferrance resigned upon his graduation from Shippensburg University. The Federation’s bylaws state that a special election should occur within a week. In accordance with the bylaws, the Executive Board gathered today on a conference call to fill the vacancy. The PAFCR team’s new executive board, effective until April 7, 2018, is as follows:

    Chairman: Ryan DeMara, Villanova University
    Co-Chairman: Paige Gianfortune, Temple University
    Vice Chairman: Matt Deegan, East Stroudsburg University
    Secretary: Mitchell Snyder, Dickinson College
    Treasurer: Amanda Parrish, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

    To fill vacancies in the positions of Communications Director and Deputy Communications Director, Chairman Ryan DeMara appointed Karly Matthews (Temple University) and Reagan McCarthy (Penn State University) respectively. We look forward to starting the New Year off with a revitalized team.


  • Tom Wolf Refused to Stand Up for Life

    Written By: Reagan McCarthy | @reagmccarthy

    Tom Wolf once again exposes his radical liberal agenda and defies the wishes of the Commonwealth’s residents whom he represents.

    Per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Wolf vetoed a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks into pregnancy, with exceptions for emergencies, sent to his desk by the Republican-majority legislature. The legislation also would have protected unborn babies from violent, second-trimester abortion techniques such as dismemberment, which refers to a procedure during which doctors tear apart the unborn child, limb by limb, from the mother’s womb.

    Ironically, Governor Wolf called the Senate Bill 3 an assault on liberty:

    “Make no mistake about it…It’s an attack on their [women’s] health, their freedom, their choice, their liberties.”

    What Tom Wolf fails to recognize is that allowing late-term and partial birth abortion to be legal is an infringement upon liberty in and of itself–a violation of the individual liberty and right to life of the unborn child. His sentiments not only blatantly deny the scientific evidentiary support for the claim that babies at 20 weeks of age can indeed survive outside their mother’s womb, but also ignore Pennsylvanians’ support for a dismemberment ban.

    According to a poll by the PA Pro-Life Federation, “A survey of Pennsylvanians showed that the vast majority—61 percent—approve of a ban on lethal dismemberment abortions…The support is even higher among women, with 64 percent of female respondents in favor of such a ban.”

    Wolf’s veto of Senate Bill 3 is yet another exemplar of his radical agenda, and disregard for the will of his state legislature, and his constituents.

  • STATEMENT: Bob Casey’s & PA DNC’s failure to denounce Harvey Weinstein


    HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Federation of College Republicans Executive Board released the following statement on the PA Democratic Party & Bob Casey’s failure to denounce Harvey Weinstein:

    “The details of major Democrat insider and major Bob Casey donor Harvey Weinstein’s serial sexual harassment demonstrates just how deep the swamp is that Bob Casey swims in Washington DC.

    “Not only has Bob Casey not denounced his donors actions, but he and the PA Democrat Party have not returned more than 7k in dirty money given to them by this serial sexual harasser.

    “Bob Casey should immediately denounce Harvey Weinstein and return his funds.”


  • Bob Casey, Its Time For You To Stand Up For Life

    Written By: Reagan McCarthy | @reagmccarthy

    The House of Representatives passed HR36, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a new version of a previous bill that the GOP has tried to implement during former President Obama’s tenure, with a vote of 237-189. The bill would, with limited exceptions, make performing abortions after 20 weeks unlawful at the federal level. The legislation is consistent with the abundance of scientific evidence that makes clear that unborn babies can feel pain well before 20 weeks of fertilization.

    Although the policy passed the House easily, as expected, the Senate will be a tougher pass for this pro-life legislation. The Senate GOP would need to flip 8 Democrats from their likely- party-line no vote, including Senator Bob Casey. Representing the Commonwealth in the US Senate since 2006, Casey is a self-proclaimed pro-life Democrat, but his recent voting record does not reflect such views– the National Right to Life gives Casey a zero on their pro-life voting card. Casey also has recently voted to keep funding Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, with taxpayer dollars. Casey’s support for a political operation with abortion at the center of their business model and no display for respect for human life, which profits off of selling human body parts, is hardly pro-life.

    Science backs up the Pain-Capable legislation given that medical evidence shows babies can feel pain before 20 weeks of life; late term abortion is no longer about ‘a woman’s choice,’ it is killing a human being. The abortion argument at this stage is no longer pro-life versus pro-choice–support for abortion as late as 5 months into a pregnancy, when an unborn human being can feel excruciating pain, is pro-abortion.

    In 2015, when legislation nearly identical to the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act came to the Senate floor, Senator Bob Casey voted to protect the unborn. I call on Senator Casey to stand up to his own party’s radical views on abortion, to keep his pro-life promise to Pennsylvania voters and most importantly, to stand up for the unborn–those without a voice at the table. I call on Senator Bob Casey to vote yes, once again, on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act when introduced in the Senate.