Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski has suspended his U.S. Senate campaign following a raid on City offices last week by the FBI. Thursday his political consultant Mike Fleck also shut down his firm H Street Consulting. Democrats had recruited Pawlowski to run against Joe Sestak in the Senate primary. Now they, again, have egg on their faces as it appears he’s headed for an indictment.
Allentown just completed the PPL Center, a local convention hall and hotel which hosted the Pennsylvania Democratic Party meeting last month. It was a horrible venue for such an event and I left early Friday evening and didn’t return because the venue was so bad. The entire thing was designed to be a launching pad for Pawlowski’s campaign. Oops.
Fleck has run the Mayor’s political operations for some time and expanded south to Reading where his tendency to ignore election laws and regulations got that Mayor in some hot water recently. Fleck has never seen an election law he respected. I always advised candidates going against his clients to expect some last minute illegal shenanigans. I was never disappointed.
This is yet another black eye for PA Dems who seem to be lost in the woods under Chair Jim Burn. The decision six years ago to back party switcheroo Arlen Specter blew up in their faces when Sestak beat him in the primary. In a big GOP sweep year Pat Toomey narrowly beat Sestak for the Senate seat when other Democrats lost in landslides across the Commonwealth. Then last year they lost Tom Wolf so badly he created a shadow Party apparatus and simply ignored them. So, in the space of six years the Pennsylvania Democratic Party has completely alienated their two top candidates: the sitting Governor and their U.S. Senate candidate. After disrespecting Sestak six years ago they dug their hole deeper by recruiting Pawlowski to challenge him this time. Oops. The only seat Ed is going to get next year is likely in a ten by ten cell shared with Fleck.