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February 2010

Jon & Kate: When 8 is More than Enough


A Guest Post by Eric Fiedler, M.D.

Note: Dr. Eric Fiedler is medical director of the Central Pennsylvania-based Advanced Center for Infertility and Reproductive Medicine.  Portions of this correspondence were originally published in the Sunday Harrisburg Patriot News on February 21.

Recent news reports concerning the questionable practices of the “Octomom” doctor, Michael Kamrava, M.D., underscore the importance of knowledgeable and ethical medical conduct in the treatment of infertility.  As medical director of The Advanced Center for Infertility and Reproductive Medicine, RPC, one of Central Pennsylvania’s most respected fertility clinics, I am concerned that a similar situation could occur here in Pennsylvania.

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Who is PA's Newsom, Mayor of Twitterville?


The Pennsylvania media by and large has not focused on how our candidates for Governor and the United States Senate have used – or in some cases, not used -- social media in their political campaigns.  We shared with you news stories and articles from Maine (Kara Matuszewski, the news anchor who did the story is now a friend and follower – the power of social media!), Illinois, and just this past weekend, Texas and San Francisco.  What these stories have demonstrated is that politicians all over the country are dipping their toes into the social media ocean.  In many cases, they are swimming.  And in some cases they are cruising along on jet skis.

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Statewide Candidates and Social Media: Weekly Update


By Roy J. Wells, President, Triad Strategies

As I was tossing my junk “snail” mail into the garbage, it reminded me that we will all start receiving plenty of mail from candidates running for statewide office.  My wife and I put aside the pieces from the candidates that we like and toss the pieces of those we are unlikely to vote for.  Some of you might read every piece, while others may simply throw it all into the waste basket.  Everybody handles unsolicited mail differently.  I am always amazed at how much candidates pay for these pieces, both the printing and the postage.  Depending upon the piece, you could be looking at as little as fifty cents to as much as one dollar.  It seems like a lot of money to spend in the hope that someone will read the candidates name before they throw it away, let alone read the message.

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Bridge Out Ahead


Perhaps the most under-reported story of Governor Ed Rendell’s budget address was not that he proposed a sales tax expansion and a few other new revenue sources, but instead what he proposed to do with those new dollars.  The governor wants to begin socking away some money from a proposed expansion of the state sales tax, the taxation of natural gas extraction, and the taxation of certain tobacco products to help prepare us for when the federal stimulus dollars dry up.  This type of “lock box” proposal was made famous by then-Presidential candidate Al Gore, who spent quite a bit of time explaining how he wanted to apply the same principles to Social Security.

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Maine Leads in Social Media


A guest post by Roy J. Wells, President of Triad Strategies

Yesterday I saw a news story posted on WCSH6, the NBC affiliate in Portland, Maine explaining how Maine’s gubernatorial candidates were turning to social media.  Given my interest (some would say obsession) in social media and its impact on advocacy and politics, I decided to take a closer look at a few of the candidates (having no idea who the top candidates were I only looked at the ones quoted in the story).  These are the things I do when buried under two feet of snow.

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Rendell's Teachable Moment?


It was hard to miss, for sure.  Not far into Governor Ed Rendell’s final budget address of his career, he proposed to lower the state sales tax by one-third, from 6% to 4%, while at the same time expanding the list of taxable items by 74.  If you were casually watching the address while reading a magazine, you might have even asked yourself “Hey, am I crazy, or did this magazine just get 4% more expensive?”

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Measuring the Twitter profile of PA political candidates

By Triad Strategies President Roy J. Wells

Today I provided our readers with another snapshot of the social media presence of the candidates for Governor and U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania. Though it is relatively easy to assess the standing of the candidates on Facebook by simply counting the number of fans someone has (I believe fans is a misnomer since you do not need to be a “fan” of someone in order to be interested in what they are saying), it is not as easy with Twitter. The total number of people you are following – or are following you – does not easily translate into who is most effectively using the technology. So, how do you measure the value of your Twitter profile? A number of unique tools have been developed in order to measure the influence, popularity, clout, ranking, and trust of people on Twitter. I thought today we could examine how the candidates stack up by using one of these tools.

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State police fees would do more harm than good

Widespread tax increases a likely result


By Guest Blogger David M. Sanko, Executive Director, Pa. State Association of Township Supervisors

Hundreds of pieces of legislation are introduced in Harrisburg each year. While many float by unnoticed, others strike a nerve. One such cringe-inducing measure, House Bill 1500, would impose budget-strangling requirements on municipalities that rely on the Pennsylvania State Police for protection.

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Politics and Social Media in Pennsylvania

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By Triad Strategies President Roy J. Wells

The day after Scott Brown won the special election in Massachusetts to fill the U.S. Senate seat of the late Ted Kennedy, a number of pundits pointed to the use of social media to help explain the Republican victory.

In fact, a number of political analysts credit Facebook and Twitter as helping to reverse the Democratic edge in the 2008 Presidential election. So, I thought it would be interesting to look at how some Pennsylvania politicians are using social media as we move toward the 2010 primary.

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