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“Yes, We Can!”

A Newsletter for Liberals, Progressives and Democrats of Lebanon County

January 2016 Issue

“You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time--not only with the votes we cast, but with the voice we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring Ideals.  “

---BARACK H. OBAMA, 2nd Inaugural Address, January 21, 2013


Information Update links: for facts and reference material for all the latest news to DONATE to VOLUNTEER



(It goes without saying that calendar info may change without notice.)

Events in the calendar are of interest to Lebanon County Democrats, but are not necessarily sponsored by the LCDC or even the Democratic Party.


LCDC=Lebanon County Democratic Committee, 23 S. 6th St, Lebanon


Wed, JANUARY 6, 7 PM

LCDC Executive Committee, LCDC. If you are an officer, district leader, or committee head you are expected to attend.  If you are a committee person, we hope you will come, too.  Registered Democrats in Lebanon County are also welcome.

Sat, Jan 9, 11 AM-12PM

Penn Ag Democrats Jefferson Luncheon,

Farm Show Complex and Expo Center 2300 N Cameron St Harrisburg, PA 17110

Make plans to attend the Penn Ag Democrats Annual Jefferson Luncheon on Saturday, January 9, 2016. Confirmed speakers are: Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, Senate Candidates, John Fetterman, Katie McGinty and Joe Sestak. We have also invited Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
The cost is $25.00 and checks can be made payable to the Penn Ag Democrats, and mailed to: 2120 Rosedale Ave., Middletown, PA 17057.
Please contact Peggy Lucas at with any questions.
Her cell - 814-360-3341
More info:

Sun, Jan 10 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Team Litz Victory and Debt Retirement Party, Humane Society Thrift Shop. See below for details.

Tues, Jan 12, 9 PM

President Obama’s last State of the Union message

Sat, Jan 16, 9:30 am - 12 PM

LCDC Campaign Seminar 1 – Election Rules and Procedures Quentin Haus, PA-72, Quentin

Guest Speakers: Gregory Paulson, Jen Porter

Federal, State, or Municipal Candidates and potential candidates
Campaign Treasurers, Finance Directors, and anyone who touches a petition should attend

More details here.

Tue, Jan 19-21

PA Progressive Summit - Hilton Harrisburg, 1 N 2nd St, Harrisburg, PA 17101, United States

The 2016 Summit is a time for progressives to come together to strengthen the movement, build stronger relationships with those working on the issues you care most about, and learn how to achieve real progressive victories. The experience is profound, but registration is easy. Do it now, because we're starting to sell out and there will be NO registration at the door.
Official Details:

Wed, Jan 20, 7 PM

LCDC Executive Committee, LCDC. If you are an officer, district leader, or committee head you are expected to attend.  If you are a committee person, we hope you will come, too.  Registered Democrats in Lebanon County are also welcome. We will be discussing the 2016 budget and planning for the committee at this time.

Thu, Jan 21, Noon

LEAD Meeting. Sinkhole Saloon, Palmyra

LEAD is Lebanon County’s premier liberal/progressive discussion group. Meets 3rd Thursday every month, exc. Aug

Fri, Jan 22

Delegate pledge forms due to PADems (DNC Convention)

Fri, Jan 22-3

PA State Dems Committee Meeting

Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey Hotel, 4650 Lindle Rd, Harrisburg.
Reservations must be made on or before January 7, 2016
The Reservation Phone # is: 800-325-3535.

Mon, Jan 25

Deadline for Delegate statement and pledge forms (DNC Convention)

Tue, Jan 26

First Day to circulate and file nomination petitions.

Wed, Jan 27

Presidential campaigns notify delegates, send petitions (DNC Convention)

Thu, Jan 28, 7 PM

Annville-Cleona Dem Meeting, Annville Town Hall, 36 N Lancaster St. Meets the fourth Thursday of each month.

Contact Pat Stephens, 867-1275 for more details.


LCDC Executive Committee, LCDC. If you are an officer, district leader, or committee head you are expected to attend.  If you are a committee person, we hope you will come, too.  Registered Democrats in Lebanon County are also welcome.

Wed, Feb 10

Notary Event

Fri, Feb 12

Delegate petitions due to PADems with affidavit & fee (DNC Convention)

Sat, Feb 13

Notary Event

Mon, Feb 15

Notary Event

Tue, Feb 16

Last date to circulate & file candidate & delegate     


Wed, Feb 17

First day to circulate and file nomination papers

Thu, Feb 18

LEAD Meeting. Sinkhole Saloon, Palmyra

LEAD is Lebanon County’s premier liberal/progressive discussion group. Meets 3rd Thursday every month, exc. Aug

Sat, Feb 27

Seminar 2 - Candidates & Campaigns

Wed, MARCH 2

Last Day for withdrawal by candidates who filed nomination petitions

Sat, Mar 19

Seminar 3 - GOTV and Election Day Activities

Mon, Mar 28

Last Day to Register before the primary

Sat, APRIL 9

Spring Fling

Sat, Apr 16

LCDC Adopt-a-Highway Cleanup (tentative)

Tue, Apr 19

Last day to apply for a civilian Absentee ballot

Wed, Apr 20

LCDC County Committee meeting

Thu, Apr 22

Last day for County Board of Elections to receive voted civilian absentee ballots

Tue, Apr 26


Wed, Apr 27

First day to register after primary

Tue, MAY 3

Last Day for County Board of Elections to receive voted military and overseas absentee ballots (submitted for delivery no later than 11:59 P.M. on April 25)

Tue, JUNE 7

Deadline for at-large and PLEO delegate candidates to file statement and pledge with PADems for DNC

Sat, Jun 11

PA Dems State Comm Meeting

Mon, JULY 25-31

Democratic National Convention, Philadelphia

Mon Jul 25-31

Lebanon Area Fair


Last day to circulate and file nomination papers

Mon, Aug 8

Last day for withdrawal by candidates nominated by nomination papers

Sun, Aug 14

LCDC Summer Picnic (tentative)

Mon, Aug 15

Last day for withdrawal by candidates nominated at the primary

Sat, Aug 27

Fiesta Latina (tentative)


LCDC County committee meeting


Last Day to register before the November election

Wed, Oct 19

LCDC County Committee meeting


Last day to apply for a civilian absentee ballot

Fri, Nov 4

Last Day for the county Boards of Elections to receive voted civilian absentee ballot

Sun, Nov 6

Salsa the Vote (tentative)

Tue, Nov 8


Wed, Nov 9

First day to register after November election

Tue, Nov 15

Last day for county Boards of Election to receive voted military and overseas absentee ballots (submitted for delivery no later than 11:59 P.M. on November 7)


LCDC Holiday Open House


I.                    Local News


    a.    Call to Action - Tax increase in Lebanon County



FOR RELEASE: January 4, 2016

Unless citizens are willing to voice their support and the Republican commissioners are willing to listen and compromise, the opportunity for any change in the decision of the Republican Commissioners to cut programs and raise taxes appears slim. We encourage citizens to attend the January 7th  Commissioners meeting at 9:30 AM at the municipal building to know more about how Lebanon County plans to tax and spend their money.


On December 24, the Lebanon County Republican Commissioners passed their annual budget and gave us all a great big Christmas present… a 32% increase in property taxes instead of the planned 40% increase which still totals over $8 million in 2016.  They did this by cutting funding to upgrade the outdated computer technology system that supports our county government and court system.


Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz voted against the 32% tax increase and requested that the Commissioners revisit the budget discussion at the January 7, 2016 Commissioners meeting.   Commissioner Litz proposed a 0% tax increase based upon her review of the county budget which includes annual reimbursements from state, federal and local sources of $3.5 million that would cover county expenses with no tax increase while maintaining a reserve fund balance of 10% of the General Fund for any unanticipated expenses in 2016.


b.    Lebanon County Democratic Committee Seminar

  • Federal, State, or Municipal Candidates and potential candidates

  • Campaign Treasurers, Finance Directors

  • Anyone who touches a petition


The Lebanon County Democratic Committee invites you to attend the first of its 2015 Seminars


ELECTION RULES AND PROCEDURES - Saturday, January 16, 2016 - Guest Speakers: Gregory Paulson, Jen Porter


Program 9:30 am – 12 pm, Coffee & breakfast can be ordered at 9, The seminar is free: The only costs for the seminar will be your food order. Quentin Haus Restaurant - Corner of Routes 72 and 419, due south of Lebanon and not far from the turnpike



  • Ballot access & petitions

  • Filings and Financial Reports

  • Campaign activity and advertising regulations

  • Working with other campaigns


RSVP: or 717-371-5721

Plan ahead to attend:

Seminar 2 – CANDIDATES & CAMPAIGNS – 2/27/16

Seminar 3 – GOTV & ELECTION DAY ACTION – 3/19/16

    c.    The Future of the LCDC: Strategic Planning--

LCDC Leadership Summit the group identified priorities for the Democratic Party to address in our effort to grow support in Lebanon County and beyond.   Starting in January, Action Planning meetings will be held to identify objectives and strategies to meet each priority goal.  While one face to face meeting is beneficial to get started, much of the work can be done via email.


The priority goals are listed below with the members who have already volunteered to serve.  If you want to help with any one of the Priority goals, please contact Lois Herr or Dan Sidelnick and let us know which goal(s) you are interested in working to develop.



Priority Goal #1:  Enhance the Image of the LCDC to educate and attract Lebanon County voters

Joe Carfley, Ed Rutter, Lorraine Scudder, Lois Herr, Bob Griffiths, Pat Stephens, Franz Messerschmidt


Priority Goal #2:  Fill all District and Committee Positions:

Bea Brown, Pat Stephens,  Ed  Anspach,  Joel Smith, Pam Bishop;


Priority Goal #3:   Expand and Broaden Party membership by reaching out to multiple constituencies.

Joel Smith; Lou Caputzal;  LCDC Secretary & Asst. Secretary; District Leaders


Priority Goal #4:   Have a sound financial base and be fiscally responsible

Joe Carfley; Cornell Wilson; Finance Committee


Priority Goal #5:  Identify, develop and support strong candidates for Local office to Win Elections

Franz Messerschmidt;  Pat Stephens; Kay Gardner; Campaign Committee


d.    Thinking about running for office in 2016 or 2017?  Please get in touch with the Campaign Committee at, text or call 717-873-7680 and we can steer you to the resources you will need.  Also, plan to attend the LCDC Seminars we are scheduling for 2016.  More details to come.  


e.    The 2016 Democratic National Convention is on the horizon!.  If you want to get advance information about the delegate selection process, you can get a preview on the state party website:


As for volunteering at the convention, all we know now is that there is a site on the web where you can indicate your interest in volunteering:


f.    Use of the LCDC office

Doug Lorenzen is in Florida for the winter (lucky snowbird); if you want to book LCDC's HQ for a meeting or event, please contact Dan Sidelnick on 717-926-0473 or  If there is a  physical building emergency, contact Lou Caputzal on 717-867-0779.


II.          Volunteers and Events


a.       Team Litz Victory and Debt Retirement Party Team Litz will hold a victory and debt retirement party in the basement of the Humane Society Thrift Shop, 129 Cumberland St, Lebanon on Sunday, January 10 from11:30AM-1:00PM.  Hot Dogs and Sauerkraut for a donation.  To also help the Humane Society in an off-month, please consider shopping in the Thrift Shop and/or adopting a kitten too.  Thank you for your consideration.

To say thank you to everyone who helped me in the November 3election, I'm hosting a Party in the Humane Society Thrift Shop basement. Hot Dogs and sauerkraut will be served for a donation to help offset campaign expenses. Stop by, if only to say hi, and walk through the Humane Society Thrift Store. You might find a treasure, or a kitty to take home, and help more animals at the same time.

b.    Organizing for Hillary

(LCDC doesn’t endorse primaries and neither does this newsletter. When we get info about local efforts for Sanders, O’Malley, or whomever, as well as Clinton, we will include it. In the meantime, we encourage you to get involved in any campaign that gets your heart pumping!)


Thursday, January 7, 2015, 6:30PM-8PM, 23 S 6th St, Lebanon PA  17042

Supporters are getting together to figure out the best way to support Hillary in our community, and we need your help to decide!  An event is coming up soon, so RSVP now so you don't miss out.  And why not bring a friend or two?


Get in on the ground floor as we in Lebanon County PA organize efforts to turn out voters for Hillary Clinton and win.  You can be an essential part of Hillary's campaign by helping to establish confidence among voters.  We have in Hillary the most qualified candidate who was Secretary of State, a United States Senator, and is an attorney.  Hillary knows the issues.  Hillary knows the world.


Meet your neighbors.  Knock on some doors.  Pick up the phone.  Eat snacks and drink coffee.  Drink more coffee.  Make plans.  Make Friends.  Make a difference.  Let's  go.


Register at


    c.     Voter registration

Nothing has been scheduled yet, but be thinking about getting involved in voter registration in this most important year. People who have not voted before will be coming out for this one. We’ll need all hands on deck. Whether you’re supporting a particular Democrat or ANY Democrat, you’ll want to chip in here.


    d.    Pipelines

Concerned Citizens of Lebanon County, led by Pam Bishop and Doug Lorenzen, have been doing an incredible job of fighting corporate America to keep new pipelines out of Lebanon County. Consequences include eminent domain grabs for property owners and future pollution for all the rest of us. They could really use our help to keep the fight going. Here is a link to their GoFundMe site. Please help.


    e.    Minimum Wage

Pennsylvania has not raised the minimum wage since 2007. Lebanon County Representative Mauree Gingrich, as Chairman of the appropriate committee, is keeping a bill to raise it from coming for a vote. For this “effort,” Raise the Wage PA has given Mauree the “Grinch of the Year” award and a number of Democrats and others held a Press conference to award her in absentia. Here’s the press release::


Rep. Gingrich to be named Grinch of the Year for her role in blocking a minimum wageincrease in PA

Raise the Wage PA, a statewide coalition fighting for a fair minimum wage in Pennsylvania, will announce Rep. Mauree Gingrich’s selection as Grinch of the Year for her role in blocking passage of minimum wage legislation in the state.

As Chair of the House Labor and Industry Committee, Gingrich has kept legislation to raise the state minimum wage to at least $10.10 per hour bottled up in her committee since February of this year.  She has not even held hearings on the issue.

13,000 Lebanon County workers would get a raise if the minimum wage was raised to $10.10 per hour. This would provide over $20 million in increased wages for county workers. The Coalition has been pressing for an increase since 2014, but bills remain stuck in committee.

A local committee of the Coalition met recently with Gingrich asking that she report a bill out of committee, but she declined to commit to any action. As a result the group decided to give her the Grinch of the Year Award.

“We are demanding that she move a $10.10 or higher minimum wage bill immediately in the new year,” said Lebanon County coordinator of Raise the Wage PA, Jake Long.  “We will soon begin radio ads to inform the citizens of the county of Gingrich’s role in blocking a PA increase.  Every state surrounding Pennsylvania has already raised their minimum wage.”

Speakers at the presentation will include Long, Rev. Sandy Strauss of the Pennsylvania Council of Churches, Rick Bloomingdale, President of the PA AFL-CIO.

The state minimum wage was last raised in 2007.  1.3 million PA workers would receive a raise if a $10.10 minimum wage was enacted. It would generate $1.9 billion in new wages in the state.


III..    News and Views


a.    Diversity Explosion

Cool map showing population diversity by county. A steady hand on the mouse will show you how Lebanon and surrounding counties shape up. Bottom line: the fastest growing group of non-Caucasians in almost every county is in the 0-4 age range. Diversity is the future.


b.    Facts on the economy - good news!

As we enter into a presidential year, please be armed with the facts about what Democratic presidents accomplish for the economy versus Republicans.  Republican policies cause job losses and a depressed economy.  This is FACT and everything you hear to the contrary from Republican candidates is bluster. than it looks


c.    Good News of 2015

Sometimes it feels like we’re in the proverbial downward handbasket, but a lot of good things happened this year, too. Here's a link to a Democratic twitter account that gives a lot of facts and reviews 2015 accomplishments:


d.    Minimum Wage in the News

Until we get a Democratic majority in the US House and Senate, the battle for higher minimum wage is going to be fought state by state. So far 14 states have raised the minimum wage and the outlook looks good for more states in 2014.  This is the result of persistent hard work on the part of thousands of people across the US.

    e.    The Iran Deal

For those who question the importance of the Iran deal, which essentially removed the threat of a nuclear armed Iran, lessened tension in the Middle East, and laid the groundwork for the opening of Iran to trade, here is what Iran has been accomplished so far:


    f.    Overtime Pay

Quietly, our Democratic President has been making a difference in the lives of workers.  Thanks to a little known Executive Order, overtime pay will help workers across the country get a raise.


    g.    World-wide positive news in 2015

News about national, state and local political issues dominate our attention, but for those who take a world view, there were major achievements for the human race in 2015--some medical, some economic, some regarding the climate, which seems to have reached a tipping point.


    h.    The truth about Democratic Presidents - The Facts!

In the coming year, Republican candidates for president are going to lie about what our Democratic president has accomplished and many people we talk to will mouth those lies.  That's why it's so important that every Democrat knows the truth and can speak about it comfortably without becoming flustered or angry.   Since 1992, the only times that we have had a truly thriving economy and made progress in international relationships was under Democratic presidents:  Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.


    i.    Why We Must Vote!

Staying home is not is NOT an option in 2016.  Here's just a glimpse of what will happen if Democrats refuse to vote because their preferred candidate isn't running.  Each of us could expand this list with several more points.  Bottom line is that this country will become unlivable and the damage done will be irreversible if we don't stir ourselves to GOTV and VOTE!


    j.    Republicans come up short in search of diverse voters

A problem for the GOP is an opportunity for us!


For the overall best source of government and media contacts, see this link:

Most representatives do not expect people to be paying attention.  That’s why the more people call and express their opinions, the more likely we will be listened to. Even if you know they will never vote your way on an issue, they do keep records of how many constituents disagree with them and it might help if they hear push back from their colleagues.

United States Senate:

Sen. Bob Casey (Dem)                      (866) 802 - 2833 (toll free) or (202) 224 - 6324

Sen. Pat Toomey (Rep)                      (814) 453 - 3010


US House of Representatives:

Dist. 15, Rep. Charles Dent (Rep)      (717) 867-1026

342 W. Main St, Annville, PA 17003

Dist. 6, Rep. Ryan Costello (Rep)     (610) 376-7630 in Wyomissing

840 North Park Road, Wyomissing, PA 19610


State Senate:

District 48, Sen.  Mike Folmer            (717) 787 - 5700

           101 Municipal Bldg, 400 S. 8th St, Lebanon, PA 17046


State Assembly:

District 101, Mauree Gingrich     (717) 838-3823

    1044 E. Main Street,  Palmyra, PA  17078

District 102,  Russ Diamond              (717) 277-2101            

2230 Lebanon Valley Mall, Lebanon, PA 17042

District 104, Sue Helm                        (717) 651-0100

2090 Linglestown Rd., Suite 100, Harrisburg, PA 17110


PA House Democratic Caucus


County Democratic Commissioner:

Jo Ellen Litz                                                     (717) 644 - 4698


PA State Democratic Party:


Lebanon County Democratic Headquarters

PO Box 1128 or 23 S. 6th St.,

Lebanon, PA 17046                                        (717) 273-8761 (answering machine)


Chairman, Lebanon County Democratic Committee

Lois Herr                                                         (717) 964-5029

County Vice Chair

Cornell Wilson                                                            (717) 679-1509  

City Vice Chair

Lee Cessna                                                    (717) 507-2751

Lists of the districts and their constituencies can be found at our website:

To contact the White House go to: www.White

V.         RESOURCES

    a.         LCDC Website:

We now have a Community News section on the website for community events or news not directly related to LCDC, but of interest to some of our members.

Joel Smith is seeking photographs of local democrats at democratic functions or with democratic candidates. He’d like to compile a photo album for our website. If anyone has photos email them to and please try to include the names of the individuals in the photo, date of the event, and event name if applicable.

If anyone has content suggestions for the website please send an email to The committee is open to any suggestions that will help maintain a successful web and social media presence.”

Blog: (for a list of posts by our members)

    b.         Facebook pages Check out these sites for more information from the Lebanon County Democratic Party on local events. If you haven’t joined this Facebook page, now’s the time!!


Lebanon County Democratic Party on Facebook:

“Like” us at this site!


Lebanon County Democratic Committee:


Lebanon County Young Democrats FB page:


Women’s Democratic Club of Lebanon Valley

c.         And we’re tweeting, too!

Twitter @LebDems

d.         This newsletter

e.         Lebanon County Events and Fundraisers FB page:

f.          Southeastern PA Progressives

This website is a great source for information on activities in the region.

Their calendar is here:


g.         Latest Election Results (2015 General Election)

Complete Official Lebanon County Results:


h.         Calendar of Events

LCDC is now using Google Calendar for all of our events. The direct link to our public calendar is you can also search for our calendar by using our Google Calendar

Our public calendar can be added to your already existing private Google Calendar. For instructions on how to do this you can visit

Don't use Google Calendar? Not a problem! You can still view all of our events at

To add, cancel, or correct event listings please email

i.          Political Statistics of interest

John Harvey has found an interesting website that has all types of statistical and demographic information related to politics. For example, here is a graph comparing the change in family income for each president since Kennedy.

j.          True Blue News

The PA Democratic Committee puts out a regular bulletin with news about Democrats state-wide. There is news about the Governor, legislature, county and general news. Not sure how to subscribe to it, but it looked pretty good. You can try writing to if you’re interested.


If there’s anything you want to share with this newsletter audience, please let us know.

Please feel free to share it with like-minded Democrats or progressive Independents.

This newsletter is also available at

Take care.

Steve & Jackie Grumbacher,, (717) 838-8485

(The monthly Editorial and snarky asides are strictly our opinion and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Lebanon County Democratic Committee or even both editors! All content of the newsletter is exclusively the responsibility of the editors, so if you would like to contribute or correct, please contact us directly.)

Copyright © 2014 Lebanon County Democratic Committee, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Lebanon County Democratic Committee
PO Box 1128
Lebanon PA  17042-1128

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