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GOP sweep predicted in fall elections

HARRISBURG -- Pennsylvania will be the "epicenter" of sweeping change that's coming in national elections this fall, political strategist and author Dick Morris told a gathering of 500 conservatives Friday night.

Morris was the keynote speaker at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference, the premier annual gathering for grassroots activists and groups touting conservative causes.

The former adviser to President Clinton, and a favorite of many conservatives for his stinging rebukes of the Clintons and of President Obama, predicted Republicans will sweep the House and Senate races to take control of Congress, stop the health care law in its tracks and force a government shutdown when Obama vetoes the reversal.

"We can zero-fund health care," Morris said. "When we force a government shutdown over the issue of no new taxes, that is a fight we will win."

People across the state are worried about the explosion of government spending and debt, said Pat Toomey of Allentown, the Republican-endorsed candidate for Senate.

"Do not despair," Toomey said. "There is an energy, there is a groundswell. There's a big, big change coming. It's called elections. We're going to win and take back our country."

Toomey called for a repeal of the unspent portion of the federal stimulus money and the health care law. "Let's repeal it and replace it with common-sense reforms."

Morris said a Republican-controlled Congress would need to stand firm in a government shutdown.

Morris advised activists to vote for candidates who have taken a pledge with Americans for Tax Reform not to raise taxes. With politicians, he said, there's a 50-50 chance they'll keep the pledge. "If they don't take the pledge, you know what they are going to do."

Conservatives will play a "huge" role in the November elections, said Charlie Gerow, a Republican strategist.

The Pennsylvania Leadership Conference serves to "energize" activists and give practical advice on how to win elections, he said.

"The taxpayers' movement and conservative activists are going to swing the 2010 elections not only in Pennsylvania but across the country. The (intensity of) activists you saw for Barack Obama two years ago, you'll see this year for Republicans," Gerow predicted.

GOP gubernatorial candidates Attorney General Tom Corbett of Shaler and Rep. Sam Rohrer of Berks County are among the featured luncheon speakers today. The activists will also hear from former Gov. Dick Thornburgh and House Minority Whip Mike Turzai of Bradford Woods.

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