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Things Are Changing in Pennsylvania – The Patriots Come Together
The GOP establishment in Pennsylvania traditionally has counted on the fact that it can largely ignore the Patriot movement in the state. Pay them some lip service. Make soothing noises. The ‘hayseeds’ may show up and hold a rally every once in a while, but then they will go home, put their pitchforks away and everybody in Harrisburg can continue with business as usual.
Maybe not anymore.
Senator Doug Mastriano is a relatively new legislator who has been at war with the Republican establishment ever since he came to Harrisburg. Not so long ago the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Jake Corman, took away Mastriano’s committee chairmanship, stripped him of his staff, and barred him from participating in the GOP senatorial caucus. In effect, Corman knee-capped Mastriano in broad daylight and left him for dead.
Mastriano just won the nomination to be the Republican nominee for Governor. He did so with relatively little funding but riding a wave of grassroots support.
Corman did not run for reelection to the Senate and his own campaign for Governor went nowhere. In a matter of months, Corman will be out of office.
Meanwhile, two of the most powerful Republicans in the legislature were just defeated in their primary elections. Pat Browne, the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee will be out of a job as will Stan Saylor his counterpart in the House. Both of them, at the heart of the GOP establishment, were defeated by opponents from the Patriot movement in the state.
Browne had been in office for 28 years. Saylor had been in office for 29 years. In Pennsylvania, incumbents who have been in office that long and wield the power that goes with control over the appropriations committees don’t lose. They stay until they decide to step down.
Or they used to.
Just as ominous for the establishment is the rise of a new coalition of Patriot groups now working together to push for a return to in-person voting in the state. On April 30th the leaders of 40 groups got together in Allentown and hammered out the Election Integrity Declaration demanding an immediate return to in-person voting in the Commonwealth. On May 11th those leaders appeared in the Rotunda in the State Capital and signed that document for the cameras.
On June 14th, that growing coalition conducted its first statewide action sending activists to state legislative district offices throughout the state in a deliberate move intended to show that the disparate groups in the coalition, could work together toward a common goal. Future actions are being planned and efforts are already underway to grow and unite the Patriot movement in the state. Over 75 PA-based patriot and conservative groups are now part of this coalition.
The establishment has taken note. Still absorbing the implications of the losses by Browne and Saylor, the powers that be in Harrisburg seem to be slowly awakening to a new reality. Already Kim Ward, majority leader in the Senate, Bob Mensch, the GOP Senate caucus chair, and Dave Argall, chairman of the powerful State Government Committee in the Senate have signed the Election Integrity Declaration. They are being joined daily by other members of the legislature. Senator Doug Mastriano has signed as well.
After years of defending mail-in voting, the official position of GOP leadership is now that that state must return to in-person voting.
None of this means the Swamp is dead in Harrisburg. Signing a declaration is one thing. Introducing and passing a bill to return the state to in-person voting is another thing entirely. Still, collectively all of the recent developments demonstrate that the political landscape in Pennsylvania is changing dramatically.
Up until now the calculus of the establishment has been that the Patriot movement posed no real political threat. Periodic, patronizing comments aside, the establishment largely ignored the significance of the growing number of Patriot groups in the state. They were judged incapable of acting in concert. In the hardball, bare-knuckles world of Pennsylvania politics, the men and women holding rallies and truck convoys were not taken seriously.
Today the men and women holding state office in Pennsylvania are waking up to a very different reality. The Patriot movement is coming together, organizing, and communicating statewide. It is growing in strength and sophistication.
Harrisburg you have a problem. They learned to work together.
Emboldened by these early successes, the Patriot movement is gathering momentum and increasing in confidence. Its leaders understand that the recent successes do not mean the war is won. They fully intend to intensify the scope and frequency of statewide efforts until either the legislators in Harrisburg give them what they want or they are replaced by people who will.
Times are changing in Pennsylvania. The Patriots have come together.