Oy vey, Rendell

After I was elected to the Pennsylvania State Democratic Committee, a friend of mine on the state committee sent me a copy of the bylaws for the state party. Today, I find the following passage of particular interest:SECTION 2. Only duly registered and enrolled Democratic electors shall be eligible to serve as members or officers of any of the committees provided in Section 1 of this rule.

(a) No person shall be eligible to serve as a member or officer of any Democratic committee as provided in Section 1 of this rule who:(...)

(3) by voice, vote, financial support or otherwise has, within two years, supported a candidate in a general or special election opposed to the duly nominated candidate of the Democratic Party in that election, except as provided in paragraph (c) of this Section. While Governor Rendell is not technically violating this section, with his recent remarks on Santorum, he comes very close to doing so:Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D) has confounded his party with some recent comments about Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA). He recently told the Weekly Standard that Santorum "has proven that he gets the job done. Time and time again he has come through." Rendell later praised Santorum again to the Philadelphia Inquirer: "How could I be tearing a new rear end for someone who worked effectively to get flood relief for Pennsylvania?"

The Inquirer reports that Rendell officially supports challenger Bob Casey (D) and plans to campaign for him, but that Santorum is already running radio ads in Philadelphia highlighting Rendell's remarks. Why is Governor Rendell saying positive things about Rick Sanotrum in the Weekly Standard? For that matter, why is Governor Rendell giving an interview with the Weekly Standard at all? Now Rick Santorum is using those comments in his ads. Of course, I am talking about a Democrat who went on Fox News in order to support Samuel Alito during the confirmation hearings and repeat the talking points Republicans were using about Democrats during those hearings. I am also talking about someone who was openly a member of the Fainthearted Faction during the Social security fight. Whatever lesson Democrats in DC may or may not learn from the Connecticut Senate primary, I wonder sometime how long it will take that lesson to filter down from DC and back into Pennsylvania.

This is a huge, huge, huge mistake by Rendell. Rick Sanotrum is closing the gap on Casey because he has gone on the air first. This isn't particularly worrying because it is a common phenomenon in politics: the candidate who goes ont eh air first often receives a boost. However, it is worrying because of Santorum's ridiculous war chest that should allow him to stay on the air pretty much continuously between now and Election Day. Fortunately, Casey has a lot of money too and we scored some points with the base this week by pointing out that the Green Party of Pennsylvania is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Republican Party. In the meantime, we do not need to show that the communications apparatus of the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania is operated by the same people who run the Republican shop. I do not care what 1990's school of triangulation politics Governor Rendell comes from, the simple fact is that he has consistently performed better than other Democrats in the state, and his consistent willingness to talk up Republicans and talk down Democrats is a major reason for this. He has no problem benefiting himself at the expense of his fellow Democrats. When I attended my first state committee meeting back in June, the party leaders repeatedly hammered the concept of "loyalty" to us newbies. Quite frankly, after seeing Governor Rendell do something like this yet again, I don't think that we were the ones who need to learn that lesson.

PA-Sen Santorum Surging

According to a recent Morning Call poll (hat tip TDGoddard at Political Wire), Santorum is now within single digits of Bob Casy in the PA senate race.  Other recent polls still show Casey up by double digits.
With his known propensity for losing huge early poll leads because of his lackluster campaign style are we getting ready to see another Casey implosion?  We need to see some more polling on this race before we start hollering that the sky is falling.
Take a break from the Nedmentum and give me your thoughts on the Pennsylvania race.

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Progressive Principles

On the rare occasions when I actually run into a Green Party activist (whenever I run into them they always looking to collect signatures--it is never anything else), the response I typically receive when I ask them to join the Democratic Party and help transform it is something along the lines of "I can't abandon my principles." Well, here is the great, principled Green Party in my state:Green Party candidate Carl Romanelli, making his first bid for statewide elective office, acknowledged Monday that Republican contributors probably supplied most of the $100,000 that he said he spent gathering signatures to qualify for the Nov. 7 ballot.(...)

Records on file with the Federal Election Commission show the Luzerne County Green Party received $66,000 in June from 20 contributors who gave between $1,000 and $5,000 apiece.

The Luzerne County Green Party in turn reported paying $66,000 in June to a Florida company called JSM Inc. for work that Romanelli described as an integral part of his signature-gathering campaign.

An analysis showed that at least $29,000 came from donors who also have given to Santorum's campaign, and nearly all the donors had given to Republican candidates in recent elections.

Santorum said he hopes Romanelli makes it onto the ballot. If people want to float into irrelevancy by working with the Green Party then fine, less power to them (less power, of course, being exactly what they will get). However, if your party is being funded almost entirely by large contributions from Santorum donors, don't talk to me about how "progressive principles" form your rationale for being a member of that party. Someone who is a principled progressive wouldn't take money from people like that.

Speaking of which, here is another one of my favorite "principled" politicians showing what a load of nonsense his principles really are:Apaprently, Sen. Lieberman has now asked to speak at the "Wake Up Wal-Mart" rally in Bridgeport tomorrow. Unsurprisng, since almost all Democratic elected officials and candidates in the state - including Ned Lamont, Rep. DeLauro, Destefano, Malloy, Farrell, and Dinardo - were scheduled to attend as of a few days ago.

But Sen. Lieberman's sudden opposition to Wal-Mart's policies would be a lot more believable if he didn't accept $1,000 from their PAC in February (major hat tip to Maura at MLN): So, Lieberman takes money from Wal-Mart back when the race wasn't supposed to be close, but now that he realizes that he is in trouble, he suddenly wants to speak out against Wal-Mart. What a principled guy. Fortunately, his campaign these days appears to be about as effective as campaigns run by the Green Party.

Help Me Mock Santorum!

Tonight I'll be in Philadelphia taking part in Philadelphian's Against Santorum's mockSantorum contest, and I need your help.

The Philly Metro features an article today about tonight's event, which features a quote from yours truly:

PHILADELPHIA -- Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg wants to be Rick Santorum.

"It's just crazy for gays to get married," he said. "It's like dogs getting married to a rock."

Actually, Urevick-Ackelsberg wants to be the first-ever "mockSantorum." Along with two other contestants, he'll go for the crown tonight at an event sponsored by Philadelphians Against Santorum (PAS), a group that wears its hatred for the conservative junior senator from Pennsylvania on its sleeves and Web sites.

"I like making fun of Rick Santorum," Urevick-Ackelsberg said. "I really think that comedy is our biggest vehicle for change. ... I really feel that kind of movement to fight against the fake seriousness of the right by mocking them is really kind of powerful."

Atrios posted a link to the Metro article, and the comment section filled up with other unlikely marriages that Rick Santorum is against (my favorite: "    Gays getting married is like stationery getting married to baked goods."), which gave me an idea. Since I'm going to be pretending to be one of the Republican "leaders" why don't I behave like them and pass the buck on to someone else. I figured it would be worth a shot to try and get other people to make my "jokes" for me!

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Santorum Can't Muster Votes to Rattle Saber at Iran

Rick Santorum, who hasn't done much in his lackluster Senate career outside of throwing red meat to religious conservatives and corporatists, is trying to make a name for himself in the area of foreign policy these days as he heads into his major electoral showdown with Demcorat Bob Casey.

With this effort in mind, Santorum put forward a bill that would up sanctions on Iran putting our country closer on the path to confrontation with that Muslim country. And coming into this week, it increasingly looked like Santorum would be successful. A filibuster-proof number of Senators had joined Santorum as co-sponsors and the House passed a similar piece of legislation in April by a 397 to 21 margin. But as The Hill's e-News reports this week, Santorum doesn't much sway within the Senate these days.

In a stunning defeat for Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), the Senate on Thursday rejected an amendment to the defense authorization bill that would enhance sanctions on Iran.

The 45-54 vote showcased 24 senators who had signed on as co-sponsors to the original bill yet voted against the amendment, including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.). The original bill had acquired 61 co-sponsors.

Rick Santorum is in some serious trouble these days. Not only is he approaching a monumental defeat in November -- even the Republican Strategic Vision poll shows Santorum at 40 percent against Casey -- he is also losing his sway within the Senate.

It is almost as if Santorum's fellow Republicans -- including GOP stalwarts like Lamar Alexander, Bob Bennett, Thad Cochran, Mike Enzi, Craig Thomas and John Warner (all of whom were among the 14 Republicans to vote against the Santorum legislation) -- have given up on the junior Senator from Pennsylvania and his cynical brand of conservatism. It is almost as if they know he will lose this fall so they no now longer have to pay him homage. And, really, that's just about all someone like Rick Santorum has had going for him during his two terms in the Senate.

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