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This is awesome:

To say that Millersville University has picked a controversial speaker for its spring commencement this year is putting it mildly.

Students, faculty and alumni in Marauder Nation have signed a petition to oppose the university's choice. A group has set up a Facebook page voicing their outrage. Emails are pouring into the university administration's offices. Students are meeting this afternoon to organize some kind of response.

So who is generating this reaction?

None other than Pennsylvania’s 46th governor – Tom Corbett.

Earlier this month, the university posted an announcement on its commencement website that Corbett was selected to deliver the address to the spring graduates.

He was invited to speak by former President Francine McNairy after learning Corbett was available that day, said university spokeswoman Janet Kacskos. - The Patriot News, 3/27/13

The protest over Corbett giving the commencement speech is due to his harsh education cuts to the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, of which Millersville is a part.  You can join the call on their Facebook page:

By the way, Corbett is going to court over his pension cut plan:

Gov. Tom Corbett's legal chief said Wednesday that the administration is ready for a court battle over pension reform plans that are tied to the governor's proposed 2013-14 budget.

"This is something we can handle in-house," General Counsel Jim Schultz said.

Winning, however, is another matter.

Since 1934, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has held that pension benefits are contractual obligations that cannot be taken away as long as workers abide by the terms of their employment. The precedent has withstood numerous challenges over the decades.

But the administration first has to persuade the Legislature to back the pension plans in a law before Schultz can attempt to change precedent with his legal argument he plans to use against lawsuits that have been promised by state workers and teachers unions.

The window to sell those plans to lawmakers is closing. - The Morning Call, 3/27/13

Also, the National Journal points out that privatizing the liquor stores might help Corbett's chances in 2014:

Corbett realizes that a victory on liquor-store privatization could give him a much-needed boost. Privatization has majority support, according to recent polling, which isn't surprising since Harrisburg heavily regulates liquor sales. And editorial boards across the state, who are rarely the governor’s allies, are coming to his defense. The Philadelphia Inquirer, for example, referred to the state-store system in a recent editorial as the “state booze ministry.”

Asked to weigh the privatization effort against other priorities such as transportation funding public-pension funding, Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley suggested just how high the stakes are for the governor.

“Every state is dealing with transportation issues and many states are dealing with public pension issues,” Harley said. “We are only one of two states dealing with state control of liquor stores. This touches a lot more people in a tangible way that they can see because they can go to another state and see what's available to people of other states.” - National Journal, 3/27/13

But Corbett shouldn't pop open the bubbly in victory just yet:

Union representatives and others have expressed concern about the number of jobs that will be lost if the state system is privatized. Representative Duane Milne said that there will be more jobs because the privatized system will be larger than the current one.

Milne wrote, “Privatization will yield more employment opportunities for workers, as a state store system with 600 stores gives way to a market-driven system of upwards of 1,800 outlets. These private operations all will be seeking to hire employees experienced in the adult beverage sector. Additionally, entities hiring employees of the state store system will be granted a $2,000 per year tax credit for each such employee hired.”

Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi said finding 26 votes in the senate to allow the plan to go forward may prove difficult. He said, “One of the issues that has been raised many times is the access issue for rural areas that are served by the state store system, that might not get sufficient service from private licensees.” He added that the focus of a bill supported by the senate would have to address convenience, selection and a competitive price. - The River Reporter, 3/27/13

Corbett shouldn't catch a break from anyone and he shouldn't.  His ideas and agenda are absolutely awful for Pennsylvania.  Pennsylvania Democrats are already fundraising off Corbett's lousy approval numbers:
Gov. Tom Corbett is on the ropes. Recent polling has him trailing every potential Democratic candidate. But his radical, Tea Party allies have deep pockets and are surely rallying behind him right now, as we come up on the most important fundraising deadline to date.

Our critical FEC deadline is coming and we still need to raise $8,342 before midnight tonight. We need it in order to set up field offices, staff them with volunteers and provide them with phones to reach out to voters across the state. Building an organization that can win has to start now – we can’t let Gov. Corbett get back on his feet. Will you help us, right away?

Click here to give $5 or more before midnight tonight to help us make this deadline. We have to do what it takes now if we want to defeat Corbett in 2014:

Even within his own party, Corbett’s polling at just 37%. This is a huge opportunity for us, but we’ll let it slip away if we don’t take advantage of it now.

We need to build the kind of organization that can elect a Democratic governor and win back control of our legislature in Harrisburg. The Republicans have had their turn, and instead of uniting Pennsylvanians, they’ve used it to pass ideological bills that have done nothing for our economy.

We have a chance to move Pennsylvania in a new direction. We can’t wait to begin this work.

Click here to give $5 or more – before the deadline at midnight tonight – so we can lay the groundwork for winning big:

We need to seize this moment and stop Corbett before he can do any more damage.

Thanks so much,

PA Dems

Also, I received what appears to be the first fundraising e-mail from Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz (D. PA-13) in her big for the governorship next year:
Here in Pennsylvania, as in Washington, Republicans certainly seem to be keeping themselves busy. Are they working to strengthen our economy? To build a strong environment for private sector job growth? To invest in education and innovation to ensure that we can compete in a global job market?

Not so much:

Republicans in the Pennsylvania Senate are again working to pass a law changing the way our state’s electoral votes are awarded.

Governor Tom Corbett is walking away from a chance to ensure that more than 700,000 uninsured working men and women have access to health coverage.

And in Washington, Republicans in Congress are back to their old tricks - manufacturing crises and bringing our nation to the brink of economic turmoil, rather than working to find common ground and strengthen our country.

The fact is – Republicans in Washington and in Harrisburg just don’t get it.:

Pennsylvanians, as well as all Americans, want us to work together to get things done. They want us to stand up for middle class families and to maintain a strong environment for private sector job growth. They want to see us invest in education, innovation and infrastructure to make sure our economy can grow in the future.

That is what I am focused on every day:

I am focused on finding that common ground, and working with those on both sides of the aisle. It’s what I have always done - as a state Senator, and as a member of Congress and I am grateful to have had your support in these campaigns.

With a critical fundraising deadline approaching, I need your support again to ensure a strong start to our next campaign together.

Will you consider an early contribution of $500, $100 or $50 before Sunday night’s fundraising deadline?

The Republican leadership in Harrisburg and Washington don’t understand that Pennsylvanians aren’t interested in partisan bickering, ideological agendas and made up crises. Our constituents are looking to us for leadership – to make smart, strategic decisions to invest in our future and ensure the security, stability and prosperity of our Commonwealth and our nation for generations to come.

That’s what I am working on – and will continue to work on in the days, months and years ahead.

Your support now will enable me to continue to stand for the values and priorities that we share.

Please consider a contribution of $500, $100 or $50 today to give us an early start on the next campaign:

I look forward to working with you to make sure Pennsylvania remains a place for hope and opportunity.

Thanks for you continued support -


Schwartz would become Pennsylvania's first female Governor.  So if you'd like to contribute to her campaign, you can do so here:

And if you want to donate to the Pennsylvania Democratic Party, you can do so here:

Originally posted to pdc on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 11:50 AM PDT.

Also republished by DKos Pennsylvania, In Support of Labor and Unions, The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, Pittsburgh Area Kossacks, and Philly Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (8+ / 0-)

    Funny Stuff at

    by poopdogcomedy on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 11:50:53 AM PDT

  •  Wasn't it Corbett (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poopdogcomedy, Sylv, wintergreen8694

    Who said that women having to have an evasive ultrasound before having an abortion should just close their eyes?  Well, I suggest that these students at commencement turn their backs and walk out on their commencement when Corbett gets up to speak.

    Never be afraid to voice your opinion and fight for it . Corporations aren't people, they're Republicans (Rev Al Sharpton 10/7/2011)

    by Rosalie907 on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 12:09:08 PM PDT

  •  It's always amusingly ironic when college and (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rich in PA

    university students, faculty, or trustees promote the free exchange of ideas by discouraging speech.

  •  Corbett is all that and likely more... (0+ / 0-)

    ...but I take it as a given that it's OK to invite the governor to speak at a state-owned university.  If people don't like him they can boo him.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Thu Mar 28, 2013 at 02:02:59 PM PDT

  •  Coverage of Millersville Student Organizing here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If you are interested in more coverage of the Millersville University students organizing against Corbett speaking at their commencement ceremonies, check out Raging Chicken Press coverage. I've been reporting on this since the organizing began:

    The story just gets more interesting by the day. Not only are students and faculty pissed that Corbett is speaking at commencement, we've found out that the administration ignored its own policies for choosing a speaker - effectively locking out student and faculty input - and two key figures in the Millersville U administration have direct ties to the Corbett administration.

    •  Why am I not surprised, deepdemocracy? (0+ / 0-)

      They almost always think that rules only apply to others, not to them. Hope you will keep us posted as the situation develops.

      Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. (Click on orange text to go to linked content.) Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

      "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

      by nomandates on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 05:04:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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