Equality Pennsylvania Roasts Adrian Shanker

I’m not sure when I first met Adrian Shanker.  It may have been a Planned Parenthood event at Muhlenberg College, perhaps Gay Pride, maybe some political debate in the Valley.  I meet a lot of people doing what I do so its tough to recall.  I’ve met few young people with the heart, dedication and the passion that Adrian has though.  His drive to improve the lives of LGBT Pennsylvanians knows no bounds however and today, as President of the Board of Directors, Equality Pennsylvania roasted him on his 25th birthday.

Adrian impressed me when I got to know him.  He was a student leader at Muhlenberg and began working on Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski’s re-election campaign and other important progressive things.  He got involved with the Pennsylvania Diversity Network and then Equality PA.

This morning over 200 people, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and a few straight ones, gathered in Allentown to celebrate his 25th birthday by roasting him.  Adrian is so nice most of the roasters had to roast each other instead.  Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan, rumored to be a somewhat handsome fellow, went first followed by Easton Councilman and consultant Mike Fleck.  Comic Ryan Hill emceed the stage and attempted to teach the others some fine points of comedy.  Lehigh County Dems Chair Bar Johnston went next and then Pawlowski took his turn.  Finally Adrian got the chance to have his fun at their expense.  It was a fun Sunday and raised a good amount for Equality Pennsylvania.  I can’t post all the video because its such good blackmail material…  Opposition researchers would have a field day with it.  Therefore I’ll post a few pics:

The guest of honor Adrian Shanker:

Adrian, the Mayors and Mike Fleck:

The roasters:

Mayor Callahan:

Some of the attendees:

Chris Dietz:

Equality Pennsylvania head (on the left) Ted Martin (aka the Lavendar Light Special):

Jim Schlener:

John Campbell, Alex Reber and Dietz:

Kathryn Boockvar:

Doylestown Councilman Det Ansinn:

Jackson Eaton and his Congressional campaign manager:

The stage:

News & Notes April 1, 2012

Happy April Fools Day.  Rick Santorum decided to play one on the country by running for president.

I have oral surgery Monday morning so I may be AWOL for the day.  I’m having a wisdom tooth pulled, start the jokes now.

I was in Allentown today for an Equality Pennsylvania roast of their Board President Adrian Shanker.  Roasting him were Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan, Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski, Easton Councilman Mike Fleck, Lehigh County Chair Bar Johnston and emcee Ryan Hill.  I have video but I’m afraid to post it to the blog.  Opposition researchers could have a field day with it sometime.  I’ll have more on that later.

John Callahan did the joke about the difference between a gay man and a straight one:  five drinks.  I hung around after the event when I saw him by the bar.  He was already up to number two and I was willing to buy three more.

Our servers were down yesterday so I apologize for the blog not being accessible.  So much for moving to new cloud servers.  We’ll just blame it on the weather.

I didn’t win Mega Millions Friday so you’re stuck with me a little longer.  I needed the cash to pay my gas bill.  I’m not saying I’ve been driving much but I got into the car after Thursday nights debate in Annville and couldn’t remember where I was and which direction home was…  Thank goodness I have GPS on my iPhone.

Speaking of the Lehigh Valley former DA candidate Ed Koren is suing the Keystone Kops for disclosing what they thought was damaging information about him to the Morning Call.  It was dirty politics by an agency which shouldn’t be involved in anything political.  its yet another example of how political the current Governor’s office has become.

I love this story about how an abortion clinic’s landlord has turned the table on its protesters.

There’s a lot of new pressure on Santorum to exit the presidential field after he used the “N” word on President Obama this week.  It slipped through his lips like the comment about Blah people a while back.  Excuse yourself Rick, your racism is showing.

Former NBA player, Penn State alumnus and my Skull and Bones Brother John Ameachi had a few words to say on the subject:

PA Just Powers is running a powerful ad against Corbett:

Seven municipalities sued the state over the new law which strips them of their democratic right to govern their own towns, boroughs and townships.

Republicans were busy in DC last week.  They all voted to allow employers to demand your facebook password, further eroding personal privacy rights, then voted, once more, to dismantle and privatize Medicare.  Then they voted to keep corporate welfare payments to “struggling” oil companies and expand tax cuts for the very rich.  Explain to me again why you voted for all these fools?  On April 1st, you’re the fool if you did.

Here in Berks County the Commissioners are busy implementing a $60 million emergency radio system.  Tea Party moron Christian Leinbach ran against the $80 rainy day fund his Democratic predecessors socked away and promised to return it to the voters.  Instead he spent it on this monstrous system.  Now it may be endangering beautiful raptors near Hawk Mountain.  It’s for the birds Christian.

Also in Reading City Council has been giving new Mayor Vaughn Spencer nothing but grief.  Most of is personal animosity by some of them who are putting their grudges ahead of the good of the City.  At the same time they’re screaming about paying his staff they gave $6,000 raises to their own employees.

With all the lawsuits resulting from various state laws which are clearly unconstitutional I’d like to know from “conservatives” and Tea baggers where their cherished fiscal responsibility went.  These are going to begin costing taxpayers a chunk of money.  How do they explain their irrational actions going against our constitutions after they spent the past four years screaming about upholding them.

Pennsylvania did get some positive news this week when Monroe County resident David Gonzalez saved a Jet Blue flight after its pilot went berserk.

Longtime readers of this blog know I’m a huge baseball and Phillies fan.  experts are predicting this to be the year for a young and talented Pittsburgh team however.  The Pirates are a lock to break their 19 year losing record for sure.

Happy April Fools everyone, especially the Pirates fans.

Lehigh Valley Officials Endorse Patrick Murphy

A slew of elected Democrats from the Lehigh Valley convened at the Hamilton Family Restaurant to endorse Patrick Murphy for Attorney General.  City Council members, State Representatives, Mayors and Controllers were among the audience there to show support in a contested primary for the office.  Kathleen Kane, a highly qualified prosecutor is also running for the nomination along with former Congressman and Auditor General Don Bailey.

Northampton County Controller Steve Barron emceed the event and speakers included Bob Freeman, Sal Panto and Ed Pawlowski.

Patrick and Steve:

Teaching a toddler to high five:

Mayor Pawlowski:

Mayor Panto:

County Chair Walt Garvin (and my fellow co-host at Democratic Talk Radio) with Rep. Bob Freeman:


Endorsements For Congress

My endorsements for the U.S. House of Representatives are all from eastern Pennsylvania.  All but one are pro choice the exception being Paul Kanjorski.  I endorse him because of the critically important work he is doing on financial reform.  His vast experience and knowledge in these complicated policy areas has never been more important for the economic health of this nation.  His leadership the past two years shepherding Wall Street reforms through his House subcommittee has led to sweeping new controls on bankers.  The Kanjorski Amendment allowing the break up of the “too big to fail” banks could be strategically important in this vast foreclosure/investor fraud litigation beginning to sweep our state court systems.

Chaka Fattah is hero to all Pennsylvania liberals.  Our staunchest and most consistent ally in Washington also has the character to go his own way as his conscience dictates.  He is not part of the Philly machine.

Patrick Murphy is in another tough fight against former Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick.  Veterans and LGBT folks have no stronger friend in Washington.  He has led the fight against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and his gravitas as an Iraq War veteran has added greatly to those efforts.  

Bryan Lentz is seeking Joe Sestak’s former seat.  Another Iraq War veteran he is solidly progressive and a leader.  In the State House he has forged his own path and bucked Party Leadership to vote his conscience.  That isn’t easy to do but no one picks a fight with such a straight shooter as Lentz.  He will bring much needed character to Washington.

Yet a third Iraq War veteran is running in the 6th CD.  Manan Trivedi is the son of Indian immigrants who went to medical school then plied his trade serving in Iraq as a surgeon.  Now he is running against conservative Jim Gerlach.  Its time for a Democrat and a real progressive in a Democratic District.

The Lehigh Valley hasn’t seen a seriously funded Democrat in ages.  Charlie Dent runs as a moderate though his voting record, like Gerlach’s, is anything but.  John Callahan has raised enough money to give Dent a serious challenge.  In spite of a bad campaign manager with no knowledge of the 15th CD he is coming on stronger in debates and is a solidly pro choice endorsement.

Update:  And Lois Herr in the 16th!

News & Notes September 22, 2010

Pat Toomey is up by either 4 or 7 points in the latest polls.  I tend to rely on Quninnipiac the most and they have the race as seven.  That means Joe Sestak has his opponent right where he wants him.  I’m betting his powerful biography boosts him over someone who has spent his life shilling for Wall Street.  If Pennsylvania voters opt for Toomey after losing their jobs, homes and retirements to Wall Street they get what they deserve.

In the Governor’s race Tom Corbett is pulling away with a 15 point spread and has a decided cash on hand advantage.  Dan Onorato was a bad candidate from the start but got a jump on everyone and raised enough cash to saturate TV last spring.  No personality, no charisma, no record…  I’ll also bet the AGG is a one term Guv.  Next year’s budget battle is going to be historic because cowardly legislators refused to raise taxes in an election year.  With Corbett’s vow for no new taxes he has George Herbert Walker Bush tattooed on his forehead.

The 15 CD race is also over.  John Callahan self immolated at last week’s debate, or, rather, Q&A session.  I’m not sure I’ve ever watched a worse performance.  The Morning Call has that race at 11 points.  Why vote for the Bethlehem Mayor who wouldn’t even make an impassioned plea for someone who has moved 372 bills through the House this session?  He also failed at go after any of Dent’s lies.

Pat Meehan and Bryan Lentz had a debate last evening in the 7th CD but since Gov. Dean’s office has shut me out of tonight’s event in Wayne I passed on their debate last night.  If you want coverage you have to be more open than this folks.  This isn’t the first time I’ve been dissed by Howard Dean and I’m assembling all my old DFA stuff to burn in the BBQ when I return from New Mexico.  

The Pennsylvania ACLU is suing Pittsburgh for its police state tactics during the G20 summit last year.  Police rounded up peaceful protesters, forced them onto the grounds of the Cathedral of Oppression at Pitt, surrounded them so they couldn’t leave then arrested them for failure to disperse.  This is so Orwellian as to be scary.  Dan Onorato was Allegheny County Dictator at the time.

Jim Powers, the head of the state’s domestic terrorism unit, the one which terrorizes activists, remains in office.  

Pittsburghers are complaining about rising parking rates.  This is one reason, along with traffic, why I have stopped covering events in Philadelphia.  I even skipped President Obama’s event for Joe Sestak yesterday.  Sen. Specter, apparently still playing the sore loser’s role, met Obama at the airport then skipped out on reporter’s questions about why he skipped the event at the Convention Center for the Admiral.

Speaking of dissing the press (again, never a good idea) Pat Toomey is refusing to take time to respond to reporters on his campaign trail.  This is a guaranteed method for getting bad press.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell failed in a Senate cloture vote yesterday as both Arkansas Senators joined Republicans to filibuster the bill.  This means we have no Defense Appropriations bill as yet.  With troops on the ground in Iraq, Afghanistan and hundreds of other countries, the Pentagon has no funds.  All this because 43 Senators think its moral and right to destroy the integrity of our armed forces by forcing people to lie about who they are.  Hopefully either the courts will remedy this travesty or the President will finally act by Executive Order.

This is horrible news for Democrats who desperately needed something to close the “enthusiasm gap.  Now liberals and progressives are even angrier at the Party following Obama’s dissing and ridicule in Connecticut last week.  Just when the President needed to say something to motivate progressives to go to the polls he, instead, insulted us.  Again.  Is he tone deaf or just stupid?

The Tea Party announced a $1 million anonymous contribution.  We’ll never know who kicked that insane amount of money (but we can guess) since it isn’t being disclosed.  Karl Rove, meanwhile, is collecting another $50 million to rule the airwaves with propaganda next month.  Thank the Supreme Court and its activist Justices Thomas, Alito, Scalia and Roberts.

Larry Summers is leaving the White House so there is one sigh of relief for liberals.  The appointments of him and Geithner sounded the first alarms to the left wing of the Democratic Party that they’d been snookered by their candidate.  That was the onset of the enthusiasm gap.

Lisa Murkowski announced she will run for re-election tot he Senate in Alaska as a write-in candidate.  Good-bye Joe Miller.

The reaction in Delaware to Christine O’Donnell is so severe rank and file Democrats are actually talking about voting.  This is radical!  Republicans, more and more, are coming out of the closet and proclaiming they want to repeal the New Deal including Social Security and they want to begin executing gays and lesbians.  In the past they only intimated these positions.  

15th Congressional District Debate

Lafayette College was the setting last evening for a debate among three candidates in PA-15.  Incumbent Congressman Charles Dent sat between Tea Partier Jake Towne and Democrat John Callahan, Mayor of Bethlehem.  The event was sponsored by the League of Women Voters.  Callahan appeared stressed and tense all evening, leaning forward towards the microphone and looking uncomfortable.  Dent was relaxed, I’m not sure he ever appears stressed and Towne sat looking very cold all through the event.  All the questions were from the audience which gave Charlie Dent a pretty good reception when he entered the room after the others.  That told me it was largely a GOP crowd.   From the questions asked there were also a few tea baggers in attendance.

I’m not sure after listening to all three that any of them want to end this recession.  Callahan was vehemently against the TARP bailouts (as was Towne) and I’m not sure how he thinks that’s a good position.  TARP saved the country from a total and complete meltdown of our financial system.  Runs on banks were already underway and, indeed, since this recession began several hundred banks have failed even with TARP.  Add to that the collapse of Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and all the ingredients were present for a depression.  We all came very close to losing all of our savings yet Callahan is saying it was unnecessary.

I asked Justin Schall, his campaign manager, about it after the event.  He claims it isn’t an either/or issue, either vote for or against TARP but that “smart people in Washington” could have crafted a better bill.  In the time that would have taken it wouldn’t have been necessary as all the banks would have been closed.  Recall the initial bill as proposed by President Bush and Treasury Secretary Paulson was only a few paragraphs long and gave Treasury carte blanche to do whatever it deemed necessary.  A wary Congress balked and negotiations went forward for some time to enact a bill with safeguards.  Granted it didn’t limit CEO salaries and bonuses but at the time no one was thinking about executive compensation, only saving the system.  I think Callahan is going after Dent on this issue because he thinks it helps him.  Actually it hurts because he’s on the wrong side.  This was one vote of Charlie Dent’s which was correct, one of only a few.  There are many issues and votes on which to go after the incumbent but this isn’t one of them.

Another huge criticism of Mayor Callahan is his non answer to a question about Speaker Pelosi.  He was asked directly if he would vote fr her as Speaker and he dodged it by claiming he doesn’t know who Democrats will put up for Speaker.  Dent went after him for it and said he’d vote for either Eric Cantor, a nut case from Virginia, or Orangeman.  Why didn’t John Callahan make a strong argument for everything Nancy Pelosi has done as Speaker?  I sat there ashamed he was running as a Democrat because he was ashamed of Nancy Pelosi.  There’s nothing shameful about what this Congress has accomplished in the face of Republican obstructionism.

Charlie Dent spent the evening running from his record of voting for the Bush budgets which created the deficit.  How soon he has forgotten his own complicity in the fiscal disaster created by Republicans.  He voted for the deregulation policies which caused the recession but now he’s claiming to be a deficit hawk.  You can’t have it both wats Charlie.  He fully supports the tax cuts for the richest 1% of Americans and lied to the audience about how their expiration would hurt small businesses.  That lie has been debunked everywhere Mr. dent and you demean your audience by repeating it in public.  Either you don’t know of what you’re talking, you’re spouting GOP talking points, or you’re a liar.

He answered a question about cutting the federal budget by saying he voted against funding the F-22 engine development.  In the $700 billion Pentagon budget one line item is nothing.  You did nothing to trim that Budget Congressman, in fact you voted to double it under George W. Bush not even counting the cost of two wars which you also supported.  Saying he cut one measly item in the DOD budget is ridiculous and illustrates how ineffective he is.  The U.S. defense budget is more than the next 16 nations combined, we don’t need to spend almost a trillion dollars a year there.

Dent also voted against the stimulus bill and he and Towne spent all evening attacking a program which every economist says worked splendidly.  It could have been better if not for the tax cuts insisted upon by Republicans.  Instead of a quarter of that $767 billion going for job creating infrastructure improvements it went for tax breaks.  Tax cuts don’t create jobs.  The Congressman went after health insurance reform a very conservative program, and the stimulus bill which has pumped considerable money into his District.  I recall some of his staffers at events where ARRA funds were being distributed.  If he doesn’t want this money coming to develop clean energy systems or to fund new business development at a place like Ben Franklin Partners then he isn’t helping his District or his country.  ARRA has been very successful and Charlie Dent is benefiting from it even though he voted against the bill.  Does he really want an endless recession?  Did Charlie Dent prefer a depression?

In a question about Marcellus Shale drilling Dent said he is confident DEP will be able to manage and regulate the industry.  Is he living on some distant planet?  DEP’s budget is being slashed while drillers are sinking wells a mile a minute, while Pennsylvanians cannot drink their water but have found it to be a new source of fuel.  People are now living in homes which are worthless but Charlie Dent has full confidence in DEP.  Has Dent lost touch with reality?

Jake Towne is a typical Tea Party piece of work.  He spouts their rhetoric without knowing what he’s talking about on topics like economics.  Tea baggers don’t believe government has any role aside from civil defense.  They’ll scrap everything else and their economic points are scary.  Every time I see one of them saying families have to balance budgets so government should too, or that taxes are evil and infringements on liberty and so forth they illustrate their fundamental ignorances.  These Tea Party folks have no education in economics or they’d understand the difference between micro economics and macro.  A family unit is a good example of a micro economic model and government is macro.  The two are totally different and work totally differently.  One cannot impose micro economics on a macro scale which is what these morons are insisting upon doing.  Are they simply uneducated or are they pandering to stupid voters?  I report, you decide.

Towne constantly contradicts himself as when he claimed in one statement that government doesn’t create jobs then says government is the single largest job sector.  He insisted that the Social Security and Medicare trust funds are part of our national debt.  They are only to the point that they are forced, by law, to invest their surpluses in Treasury bonds.  These are the safest investments in the world which is why millions of people invest in them.  If that money isn’t real I wish Towne would explain that to the people who thought they put their money in a safe haven.  This is the same man who is criticizing TARP which saved trillions of dollars in savings from going up in smoke.  

Jake Towne’s real issue with money is money itself of course.  He indicated he is one of the gold standard extremists.  These folks want the country to return to gold as our medium of exchange, gold backing all of our currency.  That’s impossible because it limits wealth to a fixed amount of one commodity.  There can be no wealth expansion under that system and, indeed, it strangled the global economy.

Anything can be used as a unit of currency.  We accept our paper money as such and as long as everyone agrees piece of paper is worth ten dollars it is.  In history many things have been used as currency.  Items were bartered before money was devised and beads, wooden nickels, company scrip, all manner of things have acted as currency.  There is no need to use gold.  This philosophy only strangles working people and the poor, it is the device used by elitists to impoverish everyone else.  Jake Towne is a dangerous extremist who didn’t even follow state law in circulating petitions this year.

John Callahan claims to be a Democrat but talks like a Republican when he does take a definitive position on an issue.  Charlie Dent is a Republican who consistently votes against the financial interests of his people then lies about it in debates.  There isn’t much to choose from in this area this year once again.

News & Notes June 15, 2010

The DCCC has named Manan Trivedi to its red to blue list.  This means the 6th CD candidate will get additional resources and focus as he campaigns to unseat Republican Jim Gerlach.

The White House announced its 2010 internship program and Emily Fox of Merion, Saurabh Sanghvi of Pittsburgh, Hilary Krase of Elkins Park, Daniel Kessler of Wynnewood and Aaron Zucker of Bala Cynwyd will spend the summer working for their country.  No Monicas.

Republicans are continuing their war on science even as we poison our oceans in our greed for money over a viable ecosystem.  Here’s Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaking June 10th:

Congressman Patrick Murphy is co-sponsoring the Financial Crisis of 2008 Criminal Investigation and Prosecution Act so Wall Street criminals get prosecuted for their crimes.  The bill would authorize the hiring of additional investigators, forensic accountants and prosecutors to go after those who would steal our economic freedoms for their own personal gain.

Pat Toomey is trying to hide his being in bed with Big Oil by claiming Joe Sestak would slash 66,000 Pennnsylvania jobs by putting reasonable regulations on the gas drilling industry.  What Congressman Sestak is urging is a balanced approach to insure the safety of Pennsylvanians, our water resources and worker safety in the light of explosions at several Marcellus Shale locations recently.  As I listen to Toomey extolling the importance of jobs over lives and the drinking water we all rely upon for survival I question his priorities.  Pat Toomey thinks 66,000 jobs are more important than millions of lives.  What good are those jobs if the people doing them have no safe drinking water, if Pennsylvania landowners watch their property values disappear to nothing because there is no access to safe water, and we begin killing off our wildlife because of polluted rivers and streams?  Should we destroy our ecosystem for 66,000 jobs?  Pat’s been drinking the Kool Aid provided by Wall Street for too long, maybe he should begin drinking the water from some of the polluted wells poisoned by gas drillers in Dimmock.

While on the subject of these gas drillers two EOG Resources employees who chased Mike Morrill away from their errant well and threatened to kill him say “maybe he was trying to put something into the creek.”  So they think Mike’s couple of plastic bottles posed more of a threat to that water than the 35,000 gallons of toxic water they spilled?  Have they  yet been charged with terroristic threatening?

As schools begin cutting curriculum and teachers to balance budgets I’m aghast at their refusals to cut sports programs first.  While I acknowledge the importance of athletics the actual school work must be the first priority.  Simply because these school districts have spent millions of tax dollars building elaborate and expensive sports complexes doesn’t justify the continued use of tax dollars to use them when art, music, driver education and even gym are being cut.  Let the kids get their exercise in gym class if need be.  No wonder are chillen ain’t larnin’.

OVP Wastes My Morning

I thoroughly wasted a beautiful morning, not to mention gas, driving to Lehigh University’s Mountain Road campus to cover the Vice President.  Someone from the OVP (Office of the Vice President) needs to explain to the numbskull, stupid cops that some people actually go to these events and cover them for the public.  Some asshole cop refused to allow me into the campaus this morning.  As I went to bear left from Mountain Road to the campus to cover Joe Biden’s visit to Ben Franklin Technologies this idiot started screaming at me.  I thought he was going to pull his weapon he was so agitated.  No attempt to discover I was actually supposed to be there, no effort to discover I was credentialed media, just screaming at me to go the wrong way and back down the mountain.  

Doesn’t anyone train the security at these events?  I cannot something if I’m not allowed near it and the next time Joe Biden visits Pennsylvania don’t waste my time informing me because I won’t come.  Why waste another three hours driving back and forth?  It isn’t as if anyone actually supports us bloggers, we spend our own time, gas and cars covering these events and supporting the White House.

It wouldn’t have been quite so bad this morning had I been on the radio in Bethlehem as I normally am.  Since everyone complains, moans and bitches about all the right wing radio, the Laura Ingrahams (she follows us on WGPA), the Rushes, O’Reillys, Hannitys Reagans and other assorted hooligans, no one supports our side.  Democratic Talk Radio has been off the air more than on lately because no one on the left supports talk radio.  They are good at complaining about the lack of balance then refuse to provide the financial support to fight that imbalance.  So I drove from Douglassville to Bethlehem and back for nothing.  Thanks OVP, I’ll remember this.

Callahan, Lentz on DCCC’s Red to Blue List

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee released its first “Red to Blue” list today targeting what they think are Congressional seats ripe for the taking in 2010.  They include PA-10 (Charlie Dent) and PA-07 (Joe Sestak’s open seat) along with Delaware’s lone seat being vacated by Mike Castle who is running for the Senate.  John Callahan is mounting the first major Democratic threat to Charlie Dent in the Lehigh Valley.  He is out raising Dent in money and has put together a good team.

Bryan Lentz was the original challenger to Crazy Curt Weldon four years ago then ran for the State House so Joe Sestak could take the Congressional District.  Now that Sestak is running for the Senate Lentz is taking his great record working in Harrisburg with him to Washington.  I met with Bryan Lentz in early December to interview him for the national Progressive Change Campaign Committee.  I was quite impressed with him and his willingness to discuss progressive issues with me.  (I also interviewed Manan Trivedi)

The Delaware seat is intriguing also.  Our neighbor to the south was originally part of Penn’s Woods and was referred to as the “lower three counties” in early colonial times.  We share state colors and a circular border drawn from the courthouse in picturesque old New Castle.  Voters in Delaware tend to go with the person rather than Party but the state has been trending ble in recent years.  Once they like someone they tend to stay with them as they rise from Lt. Governor to Governor to Congress and then Senate.  Joe Biden went directly from New Castle County government directly to the Senate but Castle rode the train through the ranks.  He now wants Biden’s Senate seat.  He’s been a moderate Republican as Delawareans tend to prefer but Carney is quite a challenge for his vacated seat.

The DCCC has their work cut out for them this year and nowhere is more important than Pennsylvania.  Chris Carney has challengers in the 10th which is traditionally heavily Republican.  Paul Kanjorski has several challengers as does Tim Holden.  Two Democrats are trying to derail Jim Gerlach though I don’t see either of them winning, Patrick Murphy will have a rematch with Mike Fitzpatrick in Bucks, the 12th is wide open and ripe for a Republican takeover, and the GOP is setting their target on retaking the 3rd CD.  Lois Herr thinks Joe Pitts could be vulnerable after co-sponsoring the Stupak-Pitts Amendment and is waging a good campaign in the 16th.  There are few safe seats in Pennsylvania this year.

Evening Updates

Wow, a lot happened while I was out for a few hours.

Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty announced he is dropping out of the Gubernatorial race to run for Bob Mellow’s open Senate seat in Harrisburg.  He can use all that cash he raised for the statewide campaign for this one even though that isn’t the race for which it was given.

Gov. Rendell set the special election to fill John Murtha’s Congressional seat to coincide with the May 18th primary.  This saves all those counties the cost of a separate election.  Sen. John Wozniak will not run for the seat.  Nothing like having a political heavyweight like Barbara Hafer scare off potential challengers.  I wouldn’t want to run against her either.

State GOP Chair Rob Gleason filed a complaint against Congressional candidate John Callahan with the FEC.  He alleges that the Bethlehem Mayor comingled state and federal campaign funds (you can’t do that) by using funds from his state account to do self oppo research.  I’m not too sure there’s any violation here.  Prior to one’s declaring themselves a candidate for federal office and filing those papers no federal campaign exists.  If Callahan spent funds to see what would turn up in a search for his name before he was a candidate that, I believe, is OK.  Of course he has a very common Irish name so heaven knows how many “John Callahans” turned up.  A certain blogger in the LV might want to be careful how he accuses a major candidate based solely on a letter of complaint.

There are now ten Senators signed on to the letter to Harry Reid to use reconciliation to restore a public option to the health insurance reform bill.  I called both Sen. Specter and Casey this afternoon.  Specter’s office said he hasn’t yet decided whether to support this.  Casey’s office only allowed me to leave a voice mail.  I haven’t heard back from them.

Congressman Jason Altmire is bragging about his dislike for the rule of law.  Funny, I thought that was the basis for civilized societies.

The National Naval Medical Center has opened an inquiry into Congressman Murtha’s death.  Conspiracy theories already are spreading that Blackwater wanted him dead so they could gain a new contract.  Of course hospital infections happen all the time.  I write it off to just another conspiracy theory.  I don’t believe in conspiracy theories.

State Representative Scott Conklin is running for Lt. Governor.  I love the craziness of petition season.  How does he think he’ll beat Jonathon Saidel?  I hope he doesn’t give up his House seat to tilt at windmills, Scott is a nice guy.