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Kill Switch is a podcast series that explores the alarming rise of anti-democratic internet shutdowns and related digital rights violations across the world. The series will follow inter-related stories looking at unique facets of internet shutdowns and digital rights violations from the unique perspectives of different role-players centered in different geographic locations. Hosted by Felicia Anthonio. Produced by Access Now, the #KeepItOn coalition and Volume. With funding support from Int ...
 
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show series
 
Incoming state Senator Devlin Robinson defeated incumbent Democrat Sen. Pam Iovino in Nov. 2020, flipping the 37th Senate seat in Allegheny and Washington counties from blue to red. Commonwealth Partners President and CEO Matt Brouillette speaks with Devlin about his background as a Marine Corps veteran who served three combat tours in Iraq and Afg…
 
For those of us who grew up in the United States, it can be easy to take for granted the freedoms we enjoy. But when we experience these freedoms through the eyes of someone who knows what it's like not to have them, our perspective can change. Abhi Samuel, who serves as Director of Entrepreneur Engagement for Commonwealth Partners Chamber of Entre…
 
In perhaps the biggest upset of the 2020 elections in Pennsylvania, Republican Carrie DelRosso defeated Democrat House Minority Leader Frank Dermody, who had been in office for nearly 30 years. Shortly after the election, Commonwealth Partners President and CEO Matt Brouillette spoke with Carrie about her motivation for running and her priorities a…
 
Lenny McAllister is a name well known in Pennsylvania and beyond. As the new CEO of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools, Lenny joins Commonwealth Partners President and CEO Matt Brouillette to talk about his passion for expanding educational opportunity for children across Pennsylvania and how his organization is doing just that.…
 
From fighting overseas as a Captain in the United States Army to fighting in Harrisburg so kids can get a better education, Pennsylvania State Senator Ryan Aument traveled a unique path to the Legislature. In this conversation with Commonwealth Partners President and CEO Matt Brouillette, Sen. Aument shares how he became interested in public servic…
 
As the economy slowly reopens, businesses small and large are under significant threat of COVID related lawsuits, even when they do everything right. Curt Schroder, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Coalition for Civil Justice Reform, talks with Commonwealth Partners President and CEO Matt Brouillette about how lawmakers can protect businesses…
 
Pennsylvania has not had a Republican Auditor General in decades. Tim DeFoor wants to change that. With 25 years of experience in fraud investigations and auditing, Tim is passionate about bringing transparency to government. In this conversation with Commonwealth Partners President and CEO Matt Brouillette, Tim talks about how he chose his career …
 
Over the course of this podcast series, we have taken a look at the troubling rise of government-created internet shutdowns. We heard activists, journalists, startup founders, and technology experts from around the world tell their stories. Today we are wrapping up this series with our sixth and final episode in which we look towards the future. Wi…
 
Capitalism has been accused of many ills over the years, but is it guilty as charged? In this episode, Commonwealth Partners Chamber of Entrepreneurs President and CEO Matt Brouillette talks about lessons learned from the Jamestown settlement's economic experience. He shares how capitalism has proven to be the best antidote to poverty and explains …
 
In response to the recent internet shutdown in Belarus, more than 50 human rights organizations, including Access Now, signed an open letter condemning Belarus' actions. The letter cites a number of international articles and resolutions from the European Court of Human Rights, the United Nations, and others in support of its central argument. As t…
 
In the fourth episode of Kill Switch, we deep dive into the technical side of internet shutdowns, and provide you with some tools to help circumvent government tactics that prevent people from getting online. We hear from a digital security helpline expert about setting up private Virtual Private Networks; get an introduction to the world’s largest…
 
Have we forgotten the true purpose of public education? As the COVID-19 pandemic has upended the educational landscape, more and more parents are considering options other than traditional brick-and-mortar public schools for their children. Now more than ever, we should revisit the original purpose of public education—and reclaim our education syst…
 
In the third episode of Kill Switch, we take a look at what it is like to live through an internet shutdown. We talk to people about how these shutdowns impact their lives in small and unexpected manners - as well as in profound life-changing ways. We hear from a startup founder in Cameroon’s ‘Silicon Mountain’ tech-hub whose business had to surviv…
 
In the second episode of Kill Switch, we take a look at what happens when you decide to take your government, president, or even your telecom service provider, to court in a desperate effort to get an internet shutdown stopped. We hear about a daring court case in which a Sudanese lawyer fought to get his personal mobile internet connection reinsta…
 
It’s not every lawmaker who can say his district includes the Grand Canyon—Pennsylvania’s Grand Canyon, that is. But Rep. Clint Owlett (Tioga, Bradford, & Potter counties) can make that claim. In this conversation with Commonwealth Partners Chamber of Entrepreneurs president and CEO Matt Brouillette, Rep. Owlett shares why he considers himself an e…
 
The first episode of Kill Switch comes to you just as RightsCon 2020 kicks off - the world’s leading event on human rights in the digital age. In this inaugural episode, we take a look at what exactly internet shutdowns, slow-downs, and social media blocks are. We also delve into the reasons behind the troubling rise in government-mandated internet…
 
In late June, 2020, PA Attorney General Josh Shapiro issued a scathing Grand Jury report taking aim at Pennsylvania's natural gas industry. But the report was more anti-natural gas politics than fact. Marcellus Shale Coalition President Dave Spigelmyer joins Commonwealth Partners President & CEO Matt Brouillette to set the record straight and corre…
 
Pennsylvania's newly elected House Speaker Bryan Cutler discusses his path from Majority Whip to Majority Leader to Speaker of the House. He also shares his thoughts on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the state Legislature’s priorities and why some of those who supported him for Speaker actually wanted him to remain Majority Leader. For a mo…
 
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Tom Wolf assured Pennsylvanians his decisions would be driven by data and science. But as “flatten the curve” slowly turned into “flatten the economy,” it became clear Gov. Wolf’s science of choice was political. Now, however, political science has given way to “affective science,” as Wolf’s rhetoric has …
 
Public sector unions are supposed to represent their workers, but where can workers go when they’ve been mistreated by union officials? In this conversation with Commonwealth Partners president and CEO Matt Brouillette, Nathan McGrath, president and general counsel of The Fairness Center, explains how this non-profit public interest law firm helps …
 
Among the many things Pennsylvanians saw throughout Gov. Tom Wolf’s shutdown of the economy during COVID, the disaster of the state-run liquor system ranks among the more frustrating. From closed stores to an attempt at online selling that launched with abysmal failure, government-run booze underwhelmed, to say the least. In this episode, Commonwea…
 
One topic that’s been front and center during the COVID-19 pandemic in Pennsylvania is the state’s response to helping residents and staff of long-term care facilities. Zach Shamberg, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Health Care Association (PHCA), shares a first-hand view of how PHCA, as a private membership organization, acted early to equip…
 
PA Gov. Tom Wolf has proposed creating a “Commonwealth Civilian Coronavirus Corps” to combat COVID-19 and help put unemployed Pennsylvanians back to work—working for the government, that is. Commonwealth Partners Chamber of Entrepreneurs Board Member David Hogg, an entrepreneur who is the founder and CEO of a hospitality development and management …
 
In light of PA Gov. Tom Wolf's threats to retaliate against counties and businesses that re-open without his permission, Rep. Seth Grove addresses what powers the governor does and does not have and discusses the growing frustration over Wolf's refusal to listen to Pennsylvanians who are hurting.By Commonwealth Partners
 
With much focus in Pennsylvania on the state's response to COVID-19, how are county leaders responding? In this conversation with Commonwealth Partners President and CEO Matt Brouillette, Dauphin County Commissioner Mike Pries details his county's response, along with what communication the governor's administration has--or has not--had with county…
 
With traditional public schools shuttered for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year, are kids being shortchanged amid COVID-19? In this audio version of an op-ed by Matt Brouillette--a former high school and middle school teacher and current president and CEO of Commonwealth Partners Chamber of Entrepreneurs--you'll hear how the education es…
 
Buying liquor in Pennsylvania in normal times is bad enough, given the state's government-run liquor monopoly. But trying to buy liquor through the government-run system during a pandemic is downright maddening (and slightly hilarious). David La Torre shares his experience trying, trying, trying, and finally succeeding in buying some booze!…
 
As weeks of Gov. Wolf’s shutdown order drag on, we’re told to rely on the data, trust the science, and believe the experts. But what is the data? What is the science? Who are the experts? As Wolf repeatedly refuses to answer such questions, it seems more likely his decisions are being driven by political science more than actual science.…
 
Nearly six weeks into Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s business shutdown order in response to COVID-19, attorney and business owner Jonathan Goldstein joins Commonwealth Partners president and CEO Matt Brouillette to discuss a federal lawsuit he’s filed challenging Gov. Wolf’s order—but not for the reasons you might think.…
 
In the fall-out of PA Gov. Tom Wolf's executive order closing wide swaths of the state's economy, David Taylor, president and CEO of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association, discusses the disastrous impact the haphazard order has had on critical supply chain companies and considers how well Pennsylvania is poised to come back once the state’s e…
 
As a child, PA State Rep. Cris Dush got to know not one or two but three of his great-grandparents—who knew people who fought in the Civil War. This led to his love of history. And Cris is the descendant of both Civil War and Revolutionary War veterans, which led to his love for our military. Now, Cris is wrapping up three terms serving in the stat…
 
Recounting a 30-year military career, a family background of unbelievable stories of heroism, and a passion for America, freshman PA state Senator Doug Mastriano has a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. In this conversation with Commonwealth Partners president and CEO Matt Brouillette, Sen. Mastriano discusses his experiences as a c…
 
In 2015, Martina White became the first new Republican elected to the State Legislature in Philadelphia in 25 years. Now, as the newly elected chair of the Republican Party of Philadelphia, she faces the challenge of revitalizing a party in need of a resurgence. In this conversation with Commonwealth Partners president and CEO Matt Brouillette, Mar…
 
Chris Frye made history on Election Day by being elected the first black mayor of New Castle, Pennsylvania. His historic win also crossed party lines, as Democrats in New Castle far outnumber Republicans in voter registration, and Chris is a Republican. In this conversation, Chris shares his compelling story of growing up on the welfare system then…
 
You might say PA State Representative Dawn Keefer grew up with small business in her DNA. Coming from an entrepreneurial family, she launched her own business and didn't intend to run for office. In this conversation with Commonwealth Partners president and CEO Matt Brouillette, Rep. Keefer shares the tipping point that inspired her to run, tells o…
 
Former Mayor Rick Gray spent 12 years leading the Red Rose City—Lancaster, PA. As a lifelong student of American government and history, Rick kept charts in high school of how U.S. Senators voted on various issues. In this episode, Rick talks about his time leading Pennsylvania’s eighth-largest city and addresses the state of partisanship today.…
 
From baseball umpire to … state legislator? That’s the path of Representative Jesse Topper, who also has the somewhat unique experience among legislators of having earned a degree in music. In this episode, Rep. Topper talks about his transition from umpire to lawmaker and how sports prepared him for public service. He also dives into his work on t…
 
Teacher, principal, superintendent, secretary of education, teachers’ union executive director—Dr. Carolyn Dumaresq knows education inside-out. Now, she’s fighting opposition in an effort to open a charter school in Harrisburg. In this conversation with Commonwealth Partners president and CEO Matt Brouillette, Dr. Dumaresq shares how someone who on…
 
Founded in 1909, the Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association (PMA) has worked consistently for more than a century to advance pro-growth public policies in the state. PMA President & CEO David Taylor joins Commonwealth Partners President & CEO Matt Brouillette to talk about the strength and intricacies of the state's manufacturing industry and how …
 
Pennsylvania’s Gov. Tom Wolf recently took aim at public charter schools, threatening to cut their funding and limit options for even more students. Ana Meyers, the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Coalition of Public Charter Schools, joins Commonwealth Partners president and CEO Matt Brouillette to set the record straight on how these school…
 
Chester County, PA, located outside Philadelphia, went from red to blue between the 2016 and 2018 elections. Is this the beginning of a trend?Chester County Chamber of Business and Industry president Guy Ciarrocchi talks with Commonwealth Partners president & CEO Matt Brouillette about the county's economic growth, how educational opportunity is ac…
 
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