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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
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Author:  Tony Phyrillas
Bio: Tony Phyrillas
Date:  November 21, 2007
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Conservative newspaper debuts in Pennsylvania

Only 75 subscribers sign up for first edition. The publisher had a goal of 900 subscribers.

The state's newest conservative newspaper, the Pennsylvania Republican, has printed its first issue, but whether there's a second issue is anyone's guess.

Publisher Chris Voccio set a fairly modest goal of 900 subscribers for his first edition, but paid readership has fallen way short of expectations.

Only 75 people have signed up for the monthly newspaper by the time its first edition hits the street tomorrow.

The December issue has 28 pages, with content from various sources including the Allegheny Institute, the Commonwealth Foundation, the Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College, state Rep. Rick Geist (R-Altoona), and various other writers, Voccio said in a press release.

"I'm obviously disappointed with the low subscription number," Voccio said. "But I'm hopeful that once this first issue gets out there, we'll cover lost ground and begin to grow."

I think Voccio is on the right track. There are a lot of people in Pennsylvania who are not happy with the liberal slant of most of the state's newspapers.

An alternative voice is welcome. The trick is convincing people to fork over a few dollars for printed information when so much is available for free over the Internet.

Voccio has a goal of signing up 20,000 subscribers over the next three years. A one-year subscription to the newspaper is $34.95.

There's plenty of interest in Pennsylvania government and politics since the infamous July 2005 Legislative pay raise. Reformers have forced 55 incumbents out of the state Legislature and four of the seven seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court have turned over since the pay-jacking.

Top Democratic Legislative leaders are the subject of a grand jury investigation over $4.5 million in "bonuses" paid to legislative staffers before the 2006 election, in which Democrats regained the majority in the state House after 12 years. Did the Democrats use taxpayer money to pay their staffers to do campaign work?

The Pennsylvania Republican, which is not connected to the Republican Party, will be covering these issues ... if it can attract enough readers.

For more information about The Pennsylvania Republican, visit the paper's Web site at

Tony Phyrillas (Columnist)

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Biography - Tony Phyrillas

Tony Phyrillas is a leading conservative political columnist and blogger based in Pennsylvania. He is a veteran journalist with 25 years experience as a reporter, editor and columnist for several newspapers. Phyrillas received recognition for column writing in 2010 from the Associated Press Managing Editors, in 2007 from Suburban Newspapers of America and in 2006 from the Society of Professional Journalists, Keystone Chapter. A graduate of Penn State University, Phyrillas is the city editor and political columnist for The Mercury, a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning daily newspaper in Pottstown, Pa. In addition to The Mercury website (, his columns are featured on more than a dozen political websites and blogs. Phyrillas is a frequent guest (and occasional host) on talk radio and has been a panelist on the "Journalists Roundtable" public affairs TV program on the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN). Phyrillas was named one of the '10 Leading Greek-American Bloggers in the World' in 2007 by Odyssey: The World of Greece magazine. ranked Phyrillas the Most Influential Political Blogger in Pennsylvania for three consecutive years (2007-2010). You can follow Phyrillas on Twitter @TonyPhyrillas

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