penny gerber
Penny Gerber


As you are probably aware of by now, a couple of days ago, the PA Democratic Party State Committee meeting in Lancaster, PA passed a resolution in support of a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (fracking).

Opposing the resolution was Vice-Chair of the PA Democratic Party, Penny Gerber.

“This bill as it currently stands says it is a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, but it specifies that the moratorium will last until the practice can be done safely. Because no set period of time is provided it truly is a ban on fracking, and this is a thriving industry. It is for that reason I cannot support this bill,” she said.

In addition to being the Vice-Chair, Gerber is also an Associate at Ceisler Media & Advocacy.  In her position she specializes in grass roots work.

As was mentioned in FIRST STEP: PA DEMS PASS FRACKING MORATORIUM post, Gerber is from Montgomery County where there is currently a six-year moratorium for drilling in the South Jersey Basin.  The Marcellus Shale does not extend into Montgomery County.

Gerber’s backyard is may be safe from direct fracking, but air and water contamination pays little attention to town, county and state borders.  Gerber may want to pay a little more attention to the air she’s breathing and water she’s drinking.


Ceisler’s clients include:  Chesapeake Energy, Reliant Energy, and Spectra Energy – all with interests in the Marcellus Shale.

In May 2012, the city of Philadelphia hired a team of advisors to help sell off the Philadelphia Gas Works.

The Nutter administration in March hired the law firm Kleinbard, Bell & Brecker as a lobbyist and Ceisler Media as communications consultant, each to receive $30,000 through the end of June, when the contracts will need to be renewed in the new fiscal year.

The website PoliticsPA is co-owned by Keegan Gibson and is intended to be a one-stop shop for political junkies in Pennsylvania.

In addition to his editorial responsibilities, Gibson also sells ads for the site, and his compensation is tied in part to the site’s revenue as well. That arrangement does not affect his approach to coverage, he said. Among the site’s current advertisers are Urban and Ceisler’s own firms, the Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association, and conservative activist Scott Wagner.

Other Co-Owners:

Articles in PAPolitics about the issue of natural gas is somewhat a mixed bag between leaning towards the promotion natural gas and weak attempts at a “fair and balanced” approach to reporting both sides.  (See latest article: Gas Industry Bullish on PA Jobs Estimate).

Julelirer Stategies blog did a puff piece on itself in October 2012: Playing Offense in a Defensive World extolling the need for blitzing the media to “put out the news with your take”.


Today, conversely, “citizen journalists” (i.e., anybody) can impact your reputation before you or your organization can respond to a rumor or negative story through multiple mediums and modalities without filter. Here’s the rub though: Organizations haven’t likewise set up strategies to combat these hurdles. It’s not so much that more crises have occurred in these times, but rather there’s the perception that more crises have emerged because the public is bombarded 24 hours a day, seven days a week with constant news. At the same time, most organizations have continued to hope for the best and avoided the media and critics when in the unwelcome spotlight.


 For example, there’s the burgeoning Marcellus Shale and natural gas industry in our state. Reporters are thirsty for new information about this industry, so your opportunity to be of value is great. Be a special teams superstar by being ready when you get the call or, in public relations language, being available to the media at all times and answering or returning their calls, even if you don’t have the answers that they may be looking for from you.


Former PA Senator Rick Santorum received $65,000 in consulting fees from American Continental Group (a Washington Lobbying group) as well as $142,500 from Consol Energy.

Rules in Congress prohibit former House members from lobbying former colleagues for one year, Senators have a 2-year lobbying prohibition.   To get around this, former Representatives and Senators are usually characterized as “consultants”, “advisors” or as in the case of Former Representative and former presidential candidate, Newt Gingrich, they are called “historians”.


©2013 by Dory Hippauf


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