Rock The Capital - Our Contributors
Rock The Capital - (Rockthecapital.com - RTC) is a political platform designed to engage objective and non-ideological dialogue, promote political commentary while capturing timely issues and themes with a focus on honesty, transparency and efficiency. RTC is a venue that goes beyond political polarization and is a network of political stakeholders who concentrate on addressing local and regional elements of politics.
Recent Post: PA Transportation Bill Money: Fix-ups or New Roads?
Recent Post: Russ Diamond Launches Bid for 102nd District Seat
Recent Post: Kristallnacht Commemoration
Andrew Stein is the Principal of Stein Consulting Group, an organization that advises on government, energy, and financial policy. Mr. Stein, is Chairman of the Board for Sustainable Energy Fund and is the Economic Advisor for EFMR Monitoring Group. Mr. Stein has over 20 years of real estate banking experience. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.
Recent Post: Capital Punishment for Penn State
Recent Post: Dauphin County Watch
Recent Post: The Ubiquitous Mr. Green
Recent Post: A Patriot Against School Vouchers
Eric J. Epstein is RocktheCapital‘s coordinator and a community advocate for good government for over 25 years. Mr. Epstein is also Chairman of the Three Mile Island Alert, Inc., a safe-energy organization founded in 1977; President of EFMR Monitoring Group, Inc., a non-profit economic development corporation established in 1977, and Chairman of the Stray Winds Area Neighbors (SWAN), a smart growth association organized in 2005. Mr. Epstein was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Humanities at PSU-Harrisburg (1992-1999) and co-authored the Dictionary of the Holocaust, which was released by Greenwood Press (1997)
Recent Post: The Nation’s Highest-Paid College Presidents
Recent Post: Top 10 Signs of Spring
Recent Post: Top Ten Biggest Daily Snow Falls by State
Recent Post: Top Ten Coldest Temperatures in U.S. History
Eric is a national award winning storyteller. Eric’s work is credited with changing laws, saving lives, and in one instance, saving taxpayers about $2,000,000.00. Mr. Zager’s career in journalism is ripped from the pages of an adventure novel. Upon graduating from the esteemed Newhouse School of Public Communications, he headed north, about as far as one can travel and still stand in the Continental U.S. The call of journalism not a penchant to play with Polar Bears brought Zager to the ‘Last Frontier-Juneau, Alaska. Over the course of Zager’s more than 20 years in journalism, he has covered the political side of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, dodged horse manure on the backside of Churchill Downs, and has uncovered numerous scams and scam artists. Eric is constantly in search of a meaningful story to tell.
Recent Post: RTC Interview With George Mitchell
Recent Post: Now the Investigation
Recent Post: Rock The Capital Minute
Recent Post: Rock The Capital Minute
Scott Paterno is an accomplished policy analyst and political consultant based in Hershey, PA. Mr. Paterno, never one to sit still, has practiced law, run for a house seat, and worked as lobbyist in Harrisburg and Washington. Paterno is Vice Chairman of the Sustainable Energy Fund and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Political Science. He is happily married with three children.
Recent Post: Enslaved by Debt
Recent Post: The Middle Ground
Recent Post: Sign the Anti-Pledge Pledge
Recent Post: Notes and Asides – July 11, 2011
Pat Carroll has worked as a writer and editor for newspapers and television for three decades. His checkered career path also included gigs as a personal chef, iron pourer, dishwasher and commercial real estate appraiser. He writes now only to finance his golf addiction.
Recent Post: PublicK NuisancE: Driving Home a Point
Recent Post: PublicK NuisancE: When Teapublicans Attack
Tom Owad is owner of Schnitz Technology, an IT consultancy providing Mac OS X and Linux support in south-central Pennsylvania. He is also the webmaster of Applefritter, a 25,000-member tech community, and author of Apple I Replica Creation: Back to the Garage.
Recent Post: Forbes’ Ten Most Powerful People for 2013
Recent Post: RTC Minute: Do We Need a Full-Time Legislature?
Recent Post: The iPhone 5: a Solid, Incremental Upgrade
T.W. Burger was born in western Pennsylvania but spent more than 30 years growing up in Athens Ga., with a two-year side-trip to Greenville, Mississippi. He has lived in the Gettysburg area since 1985. Before becoming a newspaper reporter at 35, he was an apprentice mortician, concrete mixer driver, garbageman, salesman, laboratory technician and all-around roustabout. He has written professionally since the late 1970s. He lives along Marsh Creek near Gettysburg with his partner Sue and a loose affiliation of cats. He is the author of the “Burger to Go” blogsite at Burger2go.wordpress.com.
Recent Post: Shooting Straight with the Gray Ghost, Take Two
Recent Post: Something Wrong With the Math
Recent Post: Twist and Creak
Recent Post: A Promise in a Mean Season
Phil is a career survivor now helping coach others through their own employment struggles. A recent search executive specialist for Management Recruiters International, he has an eclectic background. He worked in journalism, then later as a public relations manager for Merck and GlaxoSmithKline, a vice president for leading PR agencies, and a director of communications in both the NJ Senate and for the NJ State Bar. He now splits his time between his work as a career coach with business credit counseling. Phil writes creatively and is the author of a published murder mystery and two unpublished screenplays. He is also a big fan of absurdist theater, which is why he loves to write about Congress. These days Phil often mixes searches for fossils of dinosaurs with quests for our most endangered species: the middle class. He recently thought he found a middle class property paid off in full only to learn the modest carriage home housed rottweilers raised by one of Wall Street's leading hedge fund managers.
Recent Post: A Souper Bowl that delivers more than Hype
Recent Post: The Anatomy of School Choice
Recent Post: Governor Rendell weighs-in on School Choice
Recent Post: Is School Choice the right formula for Pennsylvania
Tom Dochat was a newspaper reporter for more than 32 years, with most of that time at the Harrisburg Patriot-News. He received or shared journalistic awards for his work on the hostile takeover attempt of AMP Inc. in 1998, the manufacturing restructuring plan at The Hershey Co. in 2007, and the botched retrofit project at the Harrisburg incinerator.
Recent Post: Haste Makes Waste: The Central Dauphin School Board’s decision to privatize its bus transportation service. The flawed process to save money.
Recent Post: Haste Makes Waste: Epilogue
Recent Post: Haste Makes Waste: Timeline
John Messeder is an award winning journalist with more than 35 years experience writing about education, environment and local government issues. He has lived in Maine, Florida, California and Alaska, and, by temporary turns, numerous places in between. John also is an accomplished photographer, and avid hiker, conservationist, oral history buff, and author of several books he has not yet got 'round to writing. He lives in Adams County, Pa., just over a hill from Gettysburg, with his wife and Golden Retriever. He may be contacted at john@JohnMesseder.com
Recent Post: Fracking Pennsylvania: Flirting with Disaster
Walter Brasch is a social issues columnist and a professor emeritus of mass communications and journalism. His latest book is Fracking Pennsylvania, a look at health, workplace, and environmental issues, as well as political corruption and collusion. He was a newspaper and magazine reporter and editor, specializing in investigative and public affairs reporting; writer-producer of multi-screen multimedia productions; and publicist for social action and non-profit organizations. He is co-founder and executive vice-president of the Northeast Pennsylvania Homeless Alliance, and vice-president of the ACLU Central Susquehanna chapter. Other information is available at www.walterbrasch.com.
Recent Post: No Merit Badge for This Scout
Recent Post: The Propaganda Olympics
Recent Post: Pets Are No More Than Kitchen Chairs
Recent Post: Train Derailments Another of Fracking’s Problems
A product of rural Central Pennsylvania, Josh First enjoys hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, canoeing and saltwater fishing. He is a graduate of Westtown School in Chester County, Penn State University, where he majored in political science and minored in history, Middle East Studies, and Spanish, and Vanderbilt University, where he obtained a Masters Degree in Government with emphases on economics and statistics. Josh's work experience includes the U.S. EPA in Washington DC, the PA Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, the first Pennsylvania Director for the Conservation Fund, a national non-profit conservation group based in Arlington, VA, where Josh helped protect about 50,000 acres, including the Flight 93 crash site, and the acquisition of the last piece of Pickett's Charge in Gettysburg Park. Josh now runs www.appalachianland.us, a full-service real estate company in Harrisburg, with clients and investors in the natural resource, timber, natural gas, mining, and construction industries. Josh is a serial political campaign volunteer, and ran in the 2009-2010 Republican primary for the PA-17th Congressional District (www.joshfirst.com). He served on the Tom Corbett for Governor Environment, Energy and Sportsmen committees, and was a member of the Corbett-Cawley Administration Transition Team for Environment and Natural Resources. Josh is a board member of several state-wide and regional organizations. He is married with three children, and lives in Harrisburg.
Recent Post: Joe Paterno Dies of a Broken Heart
Recent Post: The Top Fake-Out of 2011
Recent Post: The Hangover, Penn State Style
Recent Post: Freak Snow Storm: Proof of Global Warming?
Garry Lenton is an editor and freelance journalist who has worked in Pennsylvania for more than three decades. Since 2008 he has served as an editor for Press And Journal Publications in Middletown, which produces the weekly Press And Journal as well as monthly and bimonthly magazines. Lenton spent most of his career at The Patriot-News, where he served, among other things, as a bureau chief, capital correspondent, and a specialist in database reporting and the nuclear industry. He has won national and state awards for investigative reporting, and his coverage of science, health, environmental, and criminal justice issues. He serves on the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Society of Newspaper Editors and is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors. He lives in Lebanon, Pa., with his wife, Peggy. They have three children.
Recent Post: Peach Bottom Nuclear: Reevaluating the Danger
Recent Post: NRC Japan Task force proposes regulatory change
Recent Post: NSA
Recent Post: Gas
Terry was employed for fifteen years as the District Office Manager for State Representative Frank LaGrotta. During that time, he organized and led campaigns which halted the construction of a high-voltage electric transmission line, a natural gas pipeline and a landfill. In 2007, before the term “Bonusgate” had been coined, Terry approached the Attorney General’s office with crucial information related to crimes committed within the caucus and he was the first witness to testify before the Western Pennsylvania Grand Jury. The information led to the conviction of his former employer, who received a reduced sentence for cooperating with investigators examining the activities of members of caucus leadership. For the last three years, Terry has worked in various capacities for Democracy Rising PA and presently serves as the Research Director. He is in the process of completing a novel which relates the story of his career in the corrupt world of Pennsylvania politics in a science fiction genre because, he says, if he presented it as fact, no one outside Pennsylvania would ever believe him. Interested publishers may querie.
Recent Post: At Home with the Republicans
Recent Post: Promises, Promises
Recent Post: Sludge
Recent Post: Tom Corbett – A Retrospective
Chris Courogen began his journalism career as a sports writer before moving to the news side. These days he writes about both. In over 20 years as a reporter, Courogen has covered everything from cops and crime to presidential campaigns, Little League baseball to the NCAA Basketball Tournament, and has won state awards for both his news and sports reporting. His coverage of Patriot League basketball can be found at http://www.hooptimeonline.com
Recent Post: Say it ain’t so Joe: Paterno’s bittersweet farewell
Carey N. Lening, Esq. is a solo practitioner, writer, and lecturer who is devoted to legal issues relating to technology, security & privacy, social media, and intellectual property. She writes on areas ranging from business data privacy and security to the legislative changes affecting privacy, copyright, and trademark law. Ms. Lening received her Juris Doctorate from Pierce Law Center of Concord, NH. Prior to opening her practice, Ms. Lening was a journalist for BNA’s Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal.
Recent Post: The “Legacy of JoePa” May Go Further Than Football
Recent Post: The Curious Case Of The Posthumous Steve Jobs Doll
Nell McCormack Abom is an award-winning broadcast journalist who for the last ten years has hosted Central Pennsylvania's only live, primetime weekly broadcast public affairs program, Smart Talk. The Pennsylvania Associated Press Broadcasters Association has honored Smart Talk with awards in each of the last six seasons. Ms. McCormack Abom and Smart Talk have been honored with Emmy nominations from the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. In addition to Smart Talk, Ms. McCormack Abom hosts Talk to the Governor and Issues PA on the Pennsylvania Public Television Network. Prior to joining the program, Ms. McCormack Abom helped direct media relations for Pennsylvania Governors Tom Ridge (R) and Bob Casey (D). Under Ridge, Governing magazine described it as "Pennsylvania's masterful P.R. machine." Among her many accomplishments are co-producing the award-winning live broadcast and webcast of the historic Safe Schools Summit; directing and producing Pennsylvania's first-ever, multi-live shot, interactive state budget address in 1998; and collaborating on the 1995 Emmy-winning documentary, "Fighting Back: Pennsylvania's Special Session on Crime." Ms. McCormack Abom also has worked as a field producer/writer for KYW-TV in Philadelphia, as State Capitol Correspondent for WITF-TV, and has reported for television stations in Baltimore, Charleston, West Virginia and Duluth, Minnesota. She has won numerous awards for her reporting and public relations work. Ms. McCormack Abom has a degree in Television and Radio Communications from Ithaca College, Ithaca, New York.
Recent Post: This Year’s Smarties Awards
The Rev. Timothy Dewald was Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Lebanon Valley College joining the faculty in 1989. He retired in May 2010. In 1993 he won the College's Evelyn J. Knisley award for Inspirational Teaching. In addition to teaching mathematics, Rev. Dewald served the College in 1992 as acting chaplain, taught courses in East Asian religions, a First-Year Seminar on Darwin and evolution, Einstein’s general relativity, and the New Testament, as well as a mathematics and statistics courses. He also served as a parish minister for 23 years. Rev. Dewald graduated from Dickinson College with a degree in political science and religion. He earned a master of divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1987, he received certification in mathematics from the Pennsylvania State University.
Recent Post: Stairway to Heaven
Recent Post: Making a Biblical Circle
Recent Post: Biblical Marriage – Part 3
Recent Post: Paris is Worth a Mass
Kenneth L. Mickens II was born and raised in Harrisburg, Pa. He attended Hampton University and graduated with a B.S. in Sport Management, Kenneth also attended East Stroudsburg University of PA where he attained his Master’s degree in Management and Leadership. Kenneth works as an educator in the Harrisburg School District.
Recent Post: Data on Northeast Supreme Courts
Recent Post: Analysis of Northeast Governors
Micalagh Beckwith Moritz is a social worker who practices in Harrisburg, PA as an outpatient therapist for low-income youth and adults. She also works with the Joshua Group, a non-profit that mentors youth in Harrisburg, focusing on providing opportunities for education. She completed her undergraduate degree at Messiah College, and her Masters of Social Work at Temple University. She is passionate about helping to empower individuals to share their stories (through writing or other means) and to create positive change in their lives and the lives of others. She and her husband live in an intentional community in Harrisburg with five other members.
Recent Post: Ten Reasons Why I Love Harrisburg
Recent Post: Voter ID: The Good & The Bad
Recent Post: Uptown Harrisburg: A Story of Gentrification
Molly Weaver is a graduate of Harrisburg Area Community College with an Associates Degree in Graphic Design. She is continuing her education at The Arts Institute to obtain a Bachelors Degree in Media Arts and Animation. The love of Art has followed Molly as she has traveled and lived in Africa, Europe, and many states here in the U.S.
Recent Post: The Great American Chocolate Bar
Recent Post: Back Taxes
Recent Post: Internal Revenue Service
Recent Post: Political Gifts
Shawn Raymond is 1983 graduate of Wyalusing Valley High School where he gained acclaim as an amateur cartoonist. His single panel comic, ‘Moxie’, has been featured in weekly newspapers from Connecticut to Virginia. His political/editorial work, ‘Moxie Politick’, focuses on PA and has been seen in many PA weekly newspapers and blogs. His monthly online humor magazine, FARCE-A Family Humor Magazine, began in 2012 where he features his own comics and humor column known as FARCE News. His goal is to feature work from non-syndicated cartoonists and humorists producing quality, family friendly entertainment. He lives outside Wyalusing, PA with his wife of 19 years and their two daughters.
Recent Post: Re-Election Endorsements
Recent Post: Et tu, Tonto?
Recent Post: Bridge Rating
Recent Post: Rare Sighting
Tim Potts is chairman of The Majority Party PA, a political action committee dedicated to using public opinion research as the basis for public policy. He lives in Dickinson Township, Cumberland County, with his wife and cat.
Recent Post: Retain Ron Castille on the Supreme Court?
Mark D. Schwartz, Esquire is a Bryn Mawr, PA based lawyer who handles widely publicized cases throughout the United States that include civil rights, employment and whistleblower case In Pennsylvania, his work in attempting to block the Barnes $30 billion art collection move to Philadelphia was featured in the film "Art of the Steal.". He has also been involved with litigation dealing with the City of Harrisburg's fiscally bankrupt state as a result of what he has termed as a $300 million ponzi scheme orchestrated by Wall Street bankers and local lawyers. He was a former legislative aid to state Representative K. Leroy Irvis , a civil rights advocate who became Pennsylvania's longest Speaker of the House.
Bill Keisling is the author of more than a dozen books. He's editor of yardbird.com. He's a lifelong resident of central Pennsylvania. In the 1990s, he played a small part in fighting the proposed burning of infectious medical waste at the Harrisburg incinerator.
Recent Post: See no evil: DA Ray Gricar drops the ball
Recent Post: PA Supreme Court Chief Justice Castille accepts $50,000 political contribution from Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association PAC
Ryan's interests in U.S. foreign and domestic polices began during a four-year stint abroad, during which he visited over thirty countries and lived in seven, most formatively Israel and Indonesia. A graduate of Juniata College (B.A., English), since returning to the States Ryan earned a Master’s in Education from Millersville University with an emphasis in English as a Second Language. He has worked in various educational disciplines as a counselor, teacher, and mentor, and ardently researches and chronicles corporate-politico partnerships in education and public policy.
Recent Post: Accidental Dissent: Athens to Sochi
Recent Post: Private vs State-Owned Enterprises: A Meta-Assessment Approach for the Commonwealth & Beyond
Recent Post: The “STEM Shortage” and Immigration
Recent Post: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Pension Systems
Steve Todd's concentration at Rock The Capital is in documenting the activity of PACs, how they are funded, and how they wield influence. Todd is a self-employed civil engineer in Hershey. He has been a Municipal Affairs Reporter for The (Hummelstown/Hershey) Sun since Oct 2009. Todd is also Board of Directors' Secretary of the Stewards of the Lower Susquehanna; a member of the Uniform Construction Code Appeals Board, and former Chair of the Derry Environmental Action Committee, both in Derry Township, Dauphin County, PA.