No One Can Afford To Sit It Out!

Published: Network (October 1, 2015)

Though the 2016 presidential field gets most attention, Pennsylvania voters should elect well-qualified Democratic nominees Christine Donohue, Kevin Dougherty, and David Wecht to Pennsylvania’s highest court this November to block partisan attempts to neutralize our impact next year. Likewise, prospects for a responsibly managed Northampton County depend on electing Democrats: Sam Murray judge and Lori Vargo Heffner to county council, and re-electing Controller Steve Barron and County Councilmen Scott Parsons, Ken Kraft, and Bob Werner. read more

Here’s the real reason Scott Walker dropped out of the 2016 presidential race

Published: The Daily Dot (September 22, 2015)

On Tuesday morning, Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisc.) announced what many had widely speculated, following a nationwide drop in support: He is dropping out of the presidential race. Walker emphasized in a Facebook post that he hopes his withdrawal will encourage a more “positive” race. That’s a nice message, but optimism isn’t entirely the reason for his withdrawal: The presidential hopeful simply ran out of money.

According to the New York Times, “Walker was among the most successful fundraisers in his party, with a clutch of billionaires in his corner and tens of millions of dollars behind his presidential ambitions.” However, this didn’t allow his campaign to cover all of its expenses, as running for president is increasingly expensive. “Super PACs, Mr. Walker learned, cannot pay rent, phone bills, salaries, airfares or ballot access fees,” the Times’ Nicholas Confessore wrote. read more

Voters are already sick of the election—and it’s not just because of Trump

Published: The Daily Dot (August 14, 2015)

Does anyone care that our election cycles are getting increasingly longer? If the Republican National Committee is to be believed, then the answer is no. Despitepledging at the beginning of the year to limit the number of presidential debates that it would allow during the 2016 election season, Nancy Reagan will be hosting yet another presidential debate at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. Sixteen candidates will be participating in the September 16 event, with CNN moderating the event. Consider the Internet warned. read more

3 things Americans need to do if they’re sick of money in politics

Published: Daily Dot (June 12, 2015)

A new Iowa group wants to teach the Internet about the evils of money in politics. Called “Iowa Pays the Price,” the Washington Times reports that “the group plans to spend about $500,000 on an educational campaign that will include social media and online videos.”

However, the Internet seems to already share the sentiment. Last week, a comprehensive survey by the New York Times discovered that 85 percent of Americans support campaign finance reform. A whopping 84 percent of the respondents argued that “money has too much influence” in politics today, and 66 percent believe the wealthy have more influence on the political process than ordinary Americans. read more

Voting machine hack proves your ballot isn’t as safe as you think

Published: Daily Dot (April 18, 2015)

American democracy is quite literally under attack. Why aren’t we spending as much money as it takes to protect it?

According to a security review published by the Virginia Information Technologies Agency earlier this week, the electronic voting machines sold to that state (as well as Pennsylvania and Mississippi) by Advanced Voting Solutions “operate with a high level of risk.” Its administrator account, WiFi network, and voting results database were protected by easily guessable passwords; the AVS WINVote machines operated using Windows software that hadn’t received a security patch since 2004; and the WiFi network was encrypted with an algorithm so weak that most hackers can break it within minutes. read more

What John Oliver doesn’t understand about America’s justice system

Published: Daily Dot (February 24, 2015)

John Oliver’s eloquent rant about corruption from this weekend’s edition Last Week Tonight about the American judiciary has been going viral since the show aired Sunday night. “What he revealed was truly disturbing,” wrote Sarah Gray of Salon. Forrest Wickman of Slate echoed this sentiment, observing that “as a British immigrant, John Oliver has often demonstrated a knack for bringing fresh eyes to America’s absurdities. Kyle Whitmire of AL.com, an Alabama news website, captured the essence of this commentary with his proclamation that Oliver’s video “should be required viewing in pretty much any high school civics class.” read more

Can We Learn Anything From Losers

Published: Good Men Project (January 13, 2015)

Matthew Rozsa looks for lessons in the lives and legacies of the presidential ‘Also Rans.’

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I have looked by the way at what happens to anybody in this country who loses as the nominee of their party. They become a loser for life, alright?
—Mitt Romney, from the documentary, Mitt

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There is something oddly poignant about the plight of America’s “Also Rans,” the 38 men throughout our history who were officially nominated as the presidential candidate of a major party only to lose in the general election. Of those 38, only nine were ever given a second chance by being renominated; and of those nine only four actually won in one of their subsequent attempts—Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, William H. Harrison, and Richard M. Nixon. As Irving Stone put it in his classic biographical collection, “They Also Ran”: read more

Observations from the primary campaign trail

Published: The Morning Call (June 16, 2014)

After more than two years as a political columnist for PolicyMic and other publications, I made the decision last month to undertake a career hiatus and work as the Northampton County field organizer for Tom Wolf’s gubernatorial campaign.

Although I knew this would probably be a temporary position, I embraced it not only to help the Democrats nominate the strongest possible candidate for governor but also to learn more about what it’s like to work at politics at the ground level — locally, where our elected leaders have the most immediate and direct impact on our lives. read more