What Fresh Hell Is This?

July 30, 2011

Daryl Metcalfe Gets Some Press!

In the Philadelphia City Paper.

Go read it. Here's Daniel Denvir's opening:
State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, a gun-toting 48-year-old who represents Pittsburgh's fast-growing, far-out Butler County exurbs, has spent more than a decade slogging his way toward power. For years, he was a nobody in Harrisburg, and the media paid far more attention to his strong-worded comments about gays, guns and immigrants than his colleagues ever did to his legislation. But in the wake of President Barack Obama's election, things changed: A national movement of angry conservatives took hold and voted out any Republicans or Democrats who smelled of moderation.

Or, as Metcalfe put it to the liberal news website Talking Points Memo, "I was a Tea Partier before it was cool."
Here's that TPM piece on him. In it, there's this about Metcalfe:
Metcalfe says he's a dyed-in-the-wool conservative (he told me "I was a tea partier before it was cool") and promises to fight his own party if necessary to maintain purity on issues like gun rights, tax reduction and "keeping marriage between a man and a woman."

Last October, Metcalfe landed in hot water after he called veterans who support global climate change treaties "traitors to their oaths to uphold the constitution."
But back to the PhilyCP. There's this defining his legislative power:
Metcalfe is now chairman of the powerful State Government Committee, and he's savoring the political moment: He was a key supporter of an expansion of gun owners' rights to fire on an assailant, a bill signed by Gov. Tom Corbett. The House passed Metcalfe's legislation requiring voters to present government identification, which could disproportionately keep the poor, elderly and nonwhite from the polls. This fall, he is expected to move legislation to pass a constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage; anti-immigrant measures modeled on Arizona's draconian law; and an anti-union "right-to-work" bill that Corbett pledges to sign.

Crucially, Metcalfe, who did not return repeated requests for comment, will help oversee the decennial process of redrawing congressional districts to reflect population changes from the 2010 census. He wields enormous power to reshape districts and, thus, elections, for years to come.
And this on his gay agenda:
Metcalfe is the House's most prominent critic of gays: He opposed Philly's program to market the city to gay tourists, saying that tax dollars should not be used to "promote immoral behaviors"; he tried to cut state funding to universities such as Temple because they offer domestic-partner benefits; he sued a gay New Hope couple for attempting (and failing) to get a marriage license; and he opposed Domestic Violence Awareness Month, calling it part of "the homosexual agenda" to support a "sinful lifestyle" because it recognized male victims of rape. "The gentleman from Butler has made this problem even worse and more men may be abused, even killed in their homes," decried Rep. Babette Josephs, a Democrat from Philadelphia, on the House floor in 2009.
All that really fun stuff aside, here's where some ongoing threads intertwine once again. It's all about Daryl and ALEC:
Like many right-wing state legislators nationwide, Daryl Metcalfe is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which produces model legislation drafted in part by big business. This year, ALEC has come under criticism for its role in pushing legislation like Wisconsin's anti-union bill. What's surprising is that Pennsylvania taxpayers pick up the tab for Metcalfe's involvement.

Documents obtained by City Paper from the Pennsylvania State Ethics Commission show that ALEC reimbursed Metcalfe $832.91 in 2007, a "scholarship" that is funded by major corporations. And state documents obtained by good government group Common Cause and reviewed by City Paper reveal that taxpayers also reimbursed Metcalfe $509.25 in per diems, and for parking and transportation, food and other fees for the 2007 ALEC conference in Philadelphia.

Since 2007, taxpayers have footed $1,164 in ALEC expenses for the self-professed small-government advocate. He isn't the only Republican steering taxpayer dollars to the conservative advocacy group — other legislators also had fees and per diems covered.

That same year, the documents also show that a $50,000 appropriation to cater the ALEC meeting was added into the state budget, a food bill footed by taxpayers that included $30,450 in roasted chicken breast and $3,000 for cheesecake lollipops. The budget outlay was described as "for the payment of expenses related to hosting conferences, meetings or conventions of multistage organizations which protect the member states' interests or which promote governmental financial excellence or accountability."

Metcalfe's agenda more or less mirrors that of ALEC model legislation, including efforts to compel local police to enforce immigration laws and prohibit localities like Philly from enacting their own gun restrictions.
Daryl and ALEC,
sittin' in a tree,

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