PA Democratic Primaries May 16 Offer Rich Opportunities

Pennsylvania has 19 congressional seats and a U.S. Senate seat in the November election, making it one of the most important battle grounds in the country. Rick Santorum, one of the most narrow-minded, bigoted, extreme right-wing and corrupt of anyone in the entire Congress, is widely thought to be the incumbent senator with the least chance for survival. Currently among the 19 House members 11 are Republicans, all of the rubber-stamp variety. Not a single one ever stands up against the extremist Bush-DeLay-Boehner agenda. Several of these rubber-stamp Republicans are thought to be in as much jeopardy from the voters as is Santorum, particularly Jim Gerlach (PA-06), Curt Weldon (PA-07), and Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08) and possibly Phil English (PA-03).

There is a very bitter primary race among Democrats to oppose Santorum. The Inside-the-Beltway establishment candidate is a right-of-center Democrat with a big-name daddy, State Treasure Bob Casey (whose father was a beloved governor). He would probably prefer to be a governor himself but Chuck Schumer of the DSCC (and the current governor, Ed Rendell) imposed on recruited him to run against the much-hated Santorum. Not many Democrats are aware that Casey is anti-choice and, no doubt, Santorum-- also virulently anti-choice-- is hoping (and plotting) that closer to November Democratic women and progressives will find out about this and other reactionary Casey positions that will cause disillusionment and revulsion and hold down turnout among Democrats. Schumer doesn't seem to see this as a danger, and hopefully in November people won't be saying he had his head up his ass. I am worried that by electing Casey-- if that is even possible-- the Democrats will be creating another Zell Miller or Joe Lieberman or Ben Nelson, Democrats who tend to vote with Republicans on crucial issues. During the heated debate over Bush's extreme right-wing Supreme Court nomination, Sam Alito, Casey gratuitously chimed in that he would have voted to confirm Alito, something that was done by only 4 Democrats-- all in red states-- and something that even a sole Republican moderate, Lincoln Chafee, could not bring himself to do.

The progressive alternative to Casey is Chuck Pennacchio, although Schumer and the DSCC has been spectacularly successful in portraying Casey as THE Democrat running against Santorum and, with the lazy and superficial mass media, has given Casey's candidacy an air of inevitability. It's a damn shame because come November, more and more Democrats are going to find out that Casey is a kind of "Santorum-lite." Pennacchio's positions and values are Democratic positions and values. He would make a much better Senator. Another excellent progressive, Alan Sandals, is also in the May 16th primary, although he seems even a longer shot against Casey than Pennacchio is.

There are several Democratic primary races for House seats on May 16th as well. None of the 8 Democratic incumbents are in jeopardy in 2006. And of the Republicans, the most likely to lose is Jim Gerlach in the northwest Philadelphia suburbs (Ardmore, Norristown, Pottstown, Coatesville). Last year he barely won-- with less than 50% of the vote-- against Lois Murphy, who is poised to beat him this year. She's a solid candidate who has been endorsed by both progressive grassroots Democrats as well as the Inside-the-Beltway power-mongers. An even further left Democrat, Mike Liebowitz hasn't generated enough enthusiasm to make him a serious contender against Murphy. PA-06 is a moderate suburban district-- the kind of district that abandoned the Republican candidates in Virginia and New Jersey en masse in 2005-- and Lois fits the district a lot better than the extreme far right Gerlach or the somewhat more liberal Liebowitz. Gerlach consistently tries to pass himself off as a moderate -- although pro-choice supporters know he is as radical and extreme as DeLay and any garden variety far right fanatic. And when it comes to selling out his constituents to Big Business and to the radical DeLay agenda, Gerlach is considered one of the 3 or 4 easiest lays in the House. Jim Gerlach defines rubber-stamp Republican.

Between PA-06 (Montgomery County) and the New Jersey border is PA-08, primarily Bucks County. It goes from Croydon, Bristol and Levittown up through Doylestown and Quakertown. The seat is current held by another arch rubber-stamper, Mike Fitzpatrick won the seat in 2004 with 55% of the vote. In all likelihood he will face a far stronger challenge in November from Patrick Murphy, the archetypal "Fighting Dem." I fell in love with Murphy's candidacy when I noticed that he is one of the only DCCC-blessed challengers who had the balls to ignore Rahm Emanuel's instance that no one say a word about Iraq. Instead of embarrassingly ignoring the issue, like too many Democrats, Murphy-- a decorated Iraq vet and former West Point professor-- took the bull by the horns the way progressives wish Emanuel and the DCCC would. From his website: "When Rep. John Murtha, the first Vietnam combat veteran elected to Congress, started the debate on America's role in Iraq by saying 'Our troops have done all they can do,' he was right. Our troops toppled the Saddam Regime and made sure that there were no WMDs.  It is time to change the direction in Iraq, and we need to start bringing our men and women home now.
Patrick believes in a responsible exit strategy, with benchmarks and a timeline, which encourages the Iraqis to stand up on their own, brings our men and women home, and most importantly, closes this chapter of our history and refocuses our efforts to win the War on Terror." Every Democrat running for Congress should tell Rahm Emanuel to go to hell and take a clear, ethical, reasonable-- and popular-- stand the way Murphy has. His stands on other issues are consistent-- pro-choice, pro-environment, in favor of balancing the budget and saving Medicare and Social Security from the deprecations of the Far Right.

Yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer has a spectacular story on Patrick Murphy, which makes it clear why he would make an exceptionally great U.S. congressman and details his transformation from a naive Bush supporter in 2000 to a dedicated Kerry backer in 2004. "I fell for it when he said he was a compassionate conservative. I can't compound a mistake by doing nothing about it. I tried to change it in 2004," having grown disillusioned with the Bush Regime while he was in Iraq. "The administration wasn't looking out for us," he said.

Before Murphy can get to Fitzpatrick he has to defeat former Bucks County Commissioner-- and recent Republican convert-- Andrew Warren. Warren's website looks good and his positions look progressive, but friends in the district tell me his current positions ring somewhat hollow. In any case, the district's official Democratic club overwhelmingly endorsed Murphy last month.

The third of Pennsylvania's "big 3" pits former Admiral Joe Sestak against a right wing Moonie nut case, reeking of corruption, Curt Weldon. There is no primary and Democrats, independents and sane Republicans have rallied to Sestak's campaign.

In the northwest corner of the state (Erie), PA-03 is going to see a rematch of 2004, with Doctor Steven Porter taking on Congressman Gluttony, Phil English. In 2004 English was able to beat Porter with a campaign of outrageous lies and innuendo. Porter, who was accused of everything from wanting to force drunks to undergo sterilization to prohibiting hunting, is prepared for his sleaze this time and with volunteers and some financing a truly progressive and serious-minded Porter could rid the congress of a rubber-stamp dullard who has disgraced his office.

Although Democrats are also challenging Republican incumbents in PA-05 (north central Pennsylvania from State College, Lock Haven and Oil City, right up to the New York border-- John Peterson v Don Hilliard), PA-09 (south central PA from the western outskirts of Harrisburg to Altoona and Connellsville-- Bill Shuster v Paul Politis, PA-10 (the northeast corner of the state, around Carbondale and Williamsport down to Sunbury-- Don Sherwood v "Fighting Dem"Chris Carney, PA-16 (the extreme southeast corner of the state from Reading and West Chester down to Maryland-- Joseph Pitts v Lois Herr, and PA-19 (a southern district that includes Gettysburg, Hanover, Carlisle, Mechanicsburg and the western suburbs of Harrisburg-- Todd Platts v "Fighting Dem"Phil Avillo, none of these districts have primaries.

There are Democratic primaries coming up in PA-18 (the suburbs south of Pittsburgh where wingnut Tim Murphy will have to face either Chad Kluko or progressive Tom Kovach) and PA-04 (the northern suburbs of Pittsburgh up to New Castle where Melissa Hart will have to face whoever wins the primary contest between progressive Jason Altmire and Georgia Berner). And just as I was about to put this up I Chris Bowers here at MyDD reported that the Democrats finally came up with a strategy to have someone-- Charles Dertinger-- run agaist wingnutia rubber-stamper Chares Dent in PA-15.

The DWTACT BLUE Page is accepting contributions on behalf of Lois Murphy, Patrick Murphy, Steven Porter and Joe Sestak for the House and on behalf on Chuck Pennacchio for the Senate. Be part of a grassroots movement of people putting in $10 and $20 at a time to give us a government that a country we love and cherish as much as America deserves-- instead of one that is bought and paid for by the corrupt special interests that have brought us the nightmare of George W. Bush, Tom DeLay, Rick Santorum and the rubber-stamp Republican Congress.


Tags: Bob Casey, Chuck Pennacchio, Curt Weldon, Jim Gerlach, Joe Sestak, Lois Murphy, Mike Fitzpatrick, Patrick Murphy, Phil English, Rick Santorum, Steven Porter (all tags)



Re: PA-08

Your "friends in the District" are obviously Patrick Murphy supporters, who've been trying  for months to make people believe that Andy Warren is a closet conservative.  You're right that Andy's positions are progressive; more so than Patrick Murphy's on at least two issues - choice and impeachment - and probably a good many more.

It seems to me that many progressives in Bucks County have simply projected onto Murphy their own beliefs and hopes for a Democratic white knight to beat Fitzpatrick, who is quite definitely beatable in a District that John Kerry won.  But in fact, no one can really be truly certain of what core set of political views Patrick Murphy holds.

Incidentally, I'm taking it at face value that you are indeed not involved in this race, but are simply trying to make an honest assessment of Murphy v. Warren.  I've found that many who post on MyDD and elsewhere are in fact committed Murphy supporters (and sometimes campaign insiders) who sling mud at Andy while pretending to be objective observers and hiding behind the anonymity of screen names.

The truth is that Andy Warren is a far more committed Democratic progressive than Patrick Murphy, who voted for Bush in 2000 and initially praised the Iraq invasion and Bush's leadership of it.  Andy deserves at least equal consideration by the progressive online community.

Bob Goldstein
Finance Director
Warren for Congress

by BobinDC 2006-04-10 11:00PM | 0 recs
Oh, Bob.

Welcome back.  Let's hope you don't post and run again.

Gee, why should we believe that Andy Warren is a "closet conservative", given that in 2004 and 2005, he sought the Republican Party endorsement for this congressional race and the open county commissioner's slot?

Yes, I've chosen to support Patrick Murphy.  I'm not a "campaign insider", nor, despite your insinuations, is anyone else who's posted here, to my knowledge.  I assume that if you have some basis for your charges, you'll share them with us?

Regardless, we do have long memories and ethical standards here, Bob.  So before we go any further, can we all ask again -- why did your candidate encourage a former Republican committeewoman convicted in 1996 of forging signatures (and consequently barred from holding elected office) to file a worthless petition challenge on his behalf?

When we get past that, then I'd be happy to review the length of your candidate's commitment to progressive values.

by Adam B 2006-04-11 03:58AM | 0 recs
Re: PA-08

Yeah, those damned librul blog readers try to "sling mud" at Warren by trying to make people believe that Republicans are "closet" conservatives. There's nothing about Warren's conservatism that's in the closet- he's a Republican who turned Dem out of spite (despite what he now claims), and who, as Adam notes, cannot break free from his Republican campaigning ways.

I know you won't address Adam B's questions- none of Warren's paid staffers or his few supporters have or will. It's hard to defend the indefensible, isn't it?

Warren is many things- a Republican, an opportunist, a dirty trickster- but he most certainly is not a committed Democratic anything.

by Alex Urevick 2006-04-12 08:40AM | 0 recs
The msot importnat primary
Takes palce in Wad 27, Division 23. I'm gonna win!
by Chris Bowers 2006-04-11 06:08AM | 0 recs
Re: The msot importnat primary

Not if spelling counts you won't! Hey, Chris, is there an Act Blue Page for you? I bet all the people who have been appreciative of your writing and analysis here would love to chip in. I know I would!

by DownWithTyranny 2006-04-11 06:21AM | 0 recs
Re: PA Democratic Primaries May 16

I'm taking a hands-off approach to some of the races you mention until after the primary. I've got green lights up already for the Sestak campaign, for Lois Murphy (because her primary opponent is negligible), and for Chris Carney.

As the primary approaches I'm trying to focus on the Senate primary, and to gather information about winnable upsets in the state legislature.

by Christopher Walker 2006-04-11 07:07AM | 0 recs
Re: PA Democratic Primaries May 16

How sure are you about Paul Politis in PA-9? That's one of the two PA districts officially listed as not having a Democrat running, and your link leads to a site prominently identifying itself as a 2004 race.

I'd love to see Politis making another go of it, but how do you know he is?

by admiralnaismith 2006-04-11 07:19AM | 0 recs
Re: PA Democratic Primaries May 16

Admiral, I think you may be onto something there. Act Blue identifies him as the only Democrat in the race but the DCCC seems to think Shuster is getting a free ride this year. I know Politis attended a DCCC candidates workshop in Washington (with Steve Porter and Tom Kovach) last September. Maybe meeting with Rahm Emanuel was enough to deter him from running. (I just checked Barry Welsh's website and Shuster is listed as unopposed.)

by DownWithTyranny 2006-04-11 07:49AM | 0 recs

Who else can really win? Pennachio is polling 2-5% in the most recent surveys. If PA Democrats truly didn't want Casey, why haven't Sandals and Pennachio caught fire? Could it be that people like you are a minority in the PA Democratic Party? Honestly, if there was so much anti-Casey emotion and sentiment, Pennachio would be faring much better in the polls. It's clear to me that most Democrats don't want Pennachio.

Again, if Chuck really wanted to get into politics, why can't he run for Congress or something at the local level? That way he wouldn't be the joke that he is now in his campaign for Senate. Maybe if he actually ran against the GOP incumbent in PA-8, if he won that office, then when the next vacancy were to come up, he would be a stronger candidate. Then people would not see him as the joke he is today.

I don't understand the left. It seems like many people would honestly want Santorum if it meant defeating Casey to "send a message."

by jiacinto 2006-04-11 09:26AM | 0 recs

I'd love to see that rat Phil english taken out. Just another lying, gluttonous Gingrich-revolution Republican. Term limits my ass.

We used to tear him up when he'd come to some College Republican-hosted meet and great and Allegheny - I have no idea how he could win an election if he couldn't out debate college kids.

That guy relies on strawmen in the worst way.

by surfbird007 2006-04-11 10:35AM | 0 recs
Well get a clue

Wow man you don't miss a chance to stump for Casey on any message board. Actually before the debate this weekend Casey and Chuck Pennacchio had spoken to the same room and Chuck's people polled it finding 80% of the exits in favor of Chuck.

Also you know those polls are niether balanced nor an accurate representation of the people who will vote.

Also about experience Bob Casey has no legislative experience at all and Chuck has worked as a senior aide for several US Senators and Congressmen personally I don't feel Casey is at all qualified to be a US Senator.

But just for the hell of it I'll let Casey himself tell you about his positions.

Bob Casey in His Own Words:

On Stem Cell Research:
"I support the current federal policy on embryonic stem cell research and would oppose the Castle bill to expand federal support of embryonic stem cell research."

On the Influence of Religion on His Role as a Public Official:
"My Catholic faith and the values reflected in that faith have always had a profound impact on me as a person and as a public official. I try to live up to the teachings of my faith in my personal life and in my public life. "

On Abortion Rights:
"As a pro-life Democrat, I have a different position on abortion than many national elected officials and that's why an organization like NARAL won't support me in the campaign."

"Most Americans people recognize [the right to privacy] to some degree or another, and I think that some privacy-related court decisions... are correct. But let me add that I do draw a line. The right to privacy does not trump the right of the unborn." "You can't say you have a position I have and not believe that [Roe v Wade should be overturned]." "You can't have it both ways and say, 'I am pro-choice but,' or 'I am pro-life but."

Lancaster County Action Questionnaire asked whether Casey supported a woman's 'right to abortion. He responded 'Oppose.'

On Equal Rights for Gays:
"I don't support gay marriage, but I also don't support a constitutional amendment banning it. That would be tremendously divisive. However, I do support same sex unions that would give gay couples all the rights, privileges and protections of marriage."

But he responded differently to a Questionnaire that asked: What is your position on government requiring that benefits be provided to same sex partners? Casey's response: "Oppose"

Questionnaire: What is your position on legislation allowing homosexuals to adopt children? Casey's response: "Oppose"

On the Iraq War:
"I don't think we were intentionally mislead [in the runup to the war in Iraq]."

"I don't think you can, as a matter of policy, articulate a long-term strategy if you don't have the facts to make that determination."

"Once [Iraq] was underway, like a lot of Americans, I was supportive of what our troops were trying to do there, based on what we were told by our government. We found out later the intelligence was, at best, faulty and, at worst, misleading. We can learn a lot of lessons from that, but the key thing now is to finish the job."

"Some people think that pulling out is a good idea and a timeline is a good idea -- I don't agree with that."

On Congressional Intervention in the Terry Schiavo Case:
"I think you should err on the side of life. I think some kind of congressional review was appropriate."

On Display of The Ten Commandments in Government Buildings:
"I don't oppose [such displays]. I do think politicians spend a lot more time talking about that question than trying to live the 10 Comandments. No matter what your religious beliefs, there are some universal truths in those commandments that we all ought to live by."

On the Death Penalty:
Questionnaire: What is your position on repealing the death penalty in Pennsylvania? Casey's Answer: "Oppose"

"I believe that the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for those who have committed heinous crimes."

On Gun Control:
"I've been a strong supporter of the second amendment, the right to bear arms. That's evidenced not just by what I've said but the support I've gotten over the last decade from sportsmen's groups, including the NRA."

"I don't think [the people of Pennsylvania] want battles to take place on a whole list of laws and regulations that impact gun owners and the right to bear arms."

"Casey is not only not with us on this stuff, but he's a little bit hostile," said Peter Hamm of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

On the Patriot Act:
"The agreement on the PATRIOT Act reauthorization is a victory in the war on terror and a triumph of bipartisanship. This agreement should clear the way for the renewal of this vital law and will continue to give law enforcement the tools that they need to target terrorists and prevent another terrorist attack. We cannot let the PATRIOT Act expire and we cannot give the terrorists an opening to plan another attack. I am pleased that the reauthorization addressed some of the issues regarding the protection of the rights of Americans."

On the Nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court:
"...the arguments against Judge Alito do not rise to the level that would require a vote denying him a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court."

On Warrantless NSA Wiretaps:
"I think we should be making sure we give law enforcement and federal agents the tools they need to fight terrorism."

And on their legality: "Well, that is a judgment that lawyers are going to make," said Casey, a lawyer.

by Austinsford 2006-04-11 10:35AM | 0 recs
Re: Well get a clue

Why is Chuck only getting 2-5% of the vote in all the surveys? Also most PA voters are pro-gun and pro-death penalty and anti-criminals' rights.

by jiacinto 2006-04-11 11:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Well get a clue

Because people are willing to hold their nose and vote.  They may "like" Chuck, but think Casey is "electable".  Sounds familiar...

If I were Santorum I'd run ads highlighting Casey's socially conservative views to turn off the Progressive and liberal voters.

It's just like Schumer said, "it's all about winning."  

by dayspring 2006-04-12 01:52PM | 0 recs
Casey's biggest vulnerability?

His unibrow.

by HellofaSandwich 2006-04-11 12:04PM | 0 recs
Re: PA Democratic Primaries May 16 Offer Rich Oppo

One correction to an otherwise fine article: Georgia Berner is the progressive candidate in the CD-4 Dem primary. Jason Altmire is anti-choice and is a former lobbyist for a huge HMO.

by pghprgsv 2006-04-11 12:27PM | 0 recs
Re: PA Democratic Primaries May 16 Offer Rich Oppo

I'm in Mongomery County...

I'll support Patrick... I didn't even know he voted for Bush in 2000. So he voted for Bush in 2000? Everyone makes mistakes and we all know that a majority of Americans are now  waking up to the face that Bushco is nuts. Can we say Captain Queeg in the Caine Mutiny????

I'll vote for Casey  

I am female...I'll vote for Casey and work here in PA to find progressive candidates to run. Like Anne Dicker who is running for State Rep. I fully expect her to run for Congress and or Senate some day. But you don't just start at the top like Chuck. I have a real problem with that.

by cybermome1207 2006-04-12 04:49AM | 0 recs
Re: PA Democratic Primaries May 16 Offer Rich Oppo

You have a "problem" with Chuck being the only person willing to challenge the affront to democracy and progressive values that is the coronation of Bob Casey? You have a "problem" with the only person willing to speak out against a candidate who wants to overturn Roe v. Wade, who is against ending the war, who is in favor of allowing Bush to spy on American citizens, who opposes universal health care? You have a "problem" with the only candidate who is talking about traditonal Democrat issues like a living wage and health care for all? All because he didn't pay his dues on the way up? His desire to be a citizen legislator rather than a professional polticial should deprive of him of his right to run for office and deprive progressive of a voice?

Anointing Casey is not only a betrayal of progressive values and democracy, it is a completely misguided electoral strategy. If he wins it will become common wisdom that backroom deals and Republican-lite is the way for Dems to win up and down the ticket. Progressives will be marginalized even more within the party than they already are. And the most powerful Democrat is PA will be a right-wing conservative. It pains me that anyone has bought into this.

by pghprgsv 2006-04-12 06:06AM | 0 recs
Re: PA Democratic Primaries May 16 Offer Rich Oppo

My point exactly. Why couldn't Chuck run for office in Bucks County? There are tons of offices held by Republicans that he could have run for. In time he could have built up a record and THEN run for the next statewide vacancy. He would then be taken seriously and not be registering the paltry 2% he earns in most polls right now.

by jiacinto 2006-04-12 07:04AM | 0 recs
Re: PA Democratic Primaries May 16 Offer Rich Oppo

Perhaps he just doesn't feel he could make as much of a difference as dogcatcher.

I am grateful for Chuck's candidacy because he is the only person speaking my vision of our country and our party. I am grateful for Georgia Berner, and Tom Kovach, and Chris Carney, none of whom have held public office before. I don't know much about Patrick Murphy, but neither has he. People are sick of professional politicians. As long as progressives follow polls and follow the rules set by those who betray democracy to gain power for themselves, we will always lose no matter which party is in power.

by pghprgsv 2006-04-12 01:19PM | 0 recs
Re: PA Democratic Primaries May 16 Offer Rich Oppo

I like Chuck, but I have to ask: How do you think Conservatives, especially Theocons, gained so much power?  The answer - by running people LOCALLY, including town dog catcher.  

Y'all gotta start somewhere.

by dayspring 2006-04-12 01:56PM | 0 recs
Re: PA Democratic Primaries May 16 Offer Rich Oppo

Exactly. That's how they started. They started at the very local level and worked their way up.

by jiacinto 2006-04-12 02:45PM | 0 recs
Re: PA Democratic Primaries May 16 Offer Rich Oppo

by cybermome1207 2006-04-12 04:49AM | 0 recs
Re: PA Democratic Primaries

Politis is not running in the 9th at this stage but a write in can get on the ballot in november.

Good diary.

by BENAWU 2006-04-12 05:15AM | 0 recs
PA Democratic Primaries May 16 Offer Rich Oppo

The race is divided...My DFA group cannot agree. And I don't agree with how Casey was picked.

But I am not annointing Casey and I don't like being accused of this by you or other Chuck  supporters.

by cybermome1207 2006-04-12 06:59AM | 0 recs
Re: PA Democratic Primaries May 16 Offer Rich Oppo

Unless you are either Chuck Schumer or Ed Rendell I'm not accusing you, although I will tell you that I think you're foolish for believing that it's ok for them to pick your representatives for you.

by pghprgsv 2006-04-12 01:24PM | 0 recs
Sorry, Chuck

But how long have the Chuckites been pushing him in the liberal blogoshpere?  And has it even really caught fire here?

The truth is, the left missed their chance to get a social liberal to run against Casey when they completely ignored Barbara Hafer and let the establishment basically buy her off with the promise that she will get to be the #1 off the bench when the next big offices come up (Hafer will get her pick of governor or senator in 2010).

Sure, Hafer is a GOP convert, but she was as sincere as one can be since she was run out of the GOP for being too liberal.

I only point this out because no one seemed to really be buying that argument a year ago when this discussion came up.  

Next time, focus on finding the social liberal who is most electable sooner.

Until then, don't be adversely oppositional just for the sake of maintaining purity.

Casey has been good during his time on workers' rights, minimum wage and fiscal discipline.  Plus, railroading him into the Senate guarantees that his national ambitions die there.

Other than gay rights (couldn't hurt the abortion rate, right?) and Terry Schiavo, I'm not deeply opposed to Casey's positions.  

On the flip side, I do think Casey vs Santorum is match up between two patent dumbfucks.  Not a lot going on upstairs for either one of them.  The Casey-Santorum debates are going to be painful.

Casey will end up winning because this just isn't the year to be a Republican, and his father's name has grown in respect over the years since his death.

I started out supporting Hafer . . . but, I was apparently the only person on this planet who knew she was even alive.

I accept that the power-that-be leaned on her, and that Chuck is no real alternative.

by jcjcjc 2006-04-12 08:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Sorry, Chuck

Hafer never gave anyone a chance to supporter. She dropped out as soon as the powers that be told her no. You are not the only one who was terribly disappointed by this. But she proved herself a tool of the same establishment as Bob Casey when she backed away from her convictions and did what they asked. We are in desperate need of candidates like Chuck who won't act this way.

by pghprgsv 2006-04-12 01:22PM | 0 recs
When I get to that point

I'd rather see a third party than spend my time begging the Dem establishment for their forgiveness.

Put another way, if they find a way to screw up 2006, then I think we need to seriously consider whether a progressive thrid party might not be the best option.

by jcjcjc 2006-04-12 07:26PM | 0 recs
PA 03

As for PA-03, Phil English would be very beatable--if we had a competent Democrat running against him.  Steve Porter, while he was running against English in 2004, insisted on calling President Bush stupid and comparing him to a chimp while on the campaign trail.  I'm sorry--it doesn't matter if it's true, you just don't do that.  When asked at a debate how he planned to work with a president when he had insulted him at every turn, Porter had no good response.  The vibe he gave off was very elitist and borderline insane.  None of that went over well in a rural/blue-collar area.  And this year, he hasn't gotten any better.  At a College Dems meeting, he looked at the table the entire time, didn't seem to be able to connect different issues--you can't talk about energy independence without connecting it to the economy and national security.  Ditto for universal health care and the economy.  Rather than give a stump speech, he just read through his list of positions and went on for about 10 minutes on HR 25 something about health care.  And to cap it all off, he tried to get us to support coal gasification because "the Nazis had it back in WWII, so we know it's practical."  Sorry to burst anyone's bubble, but Steve Porter will not win in this district, ever.  Not when he has every single member of local College Dems chapters against him, and has a generally negative impression in the area.  

For any of you reading this who are from this district--if you have any interest in being a Congress(wo)man, please, start planning for 2008 right now, because we need you.  Phil English can be beaten, we just need a real candidate.

by conantd 2006-04-12 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: PA 03

Agreed. As someone who was in the district and saw one of the debates, let me say that giving money to Steve Porter is flushing it down the toilet. And, frankly, I think he'd be a worse representative then Porter.

The man is insane.

by dantheman 2006-04-12 02:13PM | 0 recs


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