Sheila Dow-Ford’s Last Pitch to PA-17 Voters

Its the day before the election and candidates are scrambling to get poll workers packets to them, signs organized to put at each precinct and a few final words to the voters.  I asked Sheila Dow Ford what message she wanted to convey to Democrats voting tomorrow in PA-17.  Tim Holden has run a totally despicable campaign and not all the stories about threats and intimidation have been told because people have been fired, jobs threatened, private dicks hired to intimidate others and a laundry list of thuggish behavior coming from Congressman Holden which disgraces the entire process.  Still Dow-Ford remains positive, focuses on the issues and makes one believe there’s still hope.

Congressman Holden Accused of Fraud in Petition Challenge

A woman who signed a nominating petition for Sheila Dow-Ford says a private investigator hired by Congressman Tim Holden falsely identified himself as a Census Bureau worker while seeking information to challenge his primary opponent’s place on Tuesday’s ballot.  Janet Lenoir says a man came to her door on or around April 1st claiming to be a census worker.  It is a federal crime to impersonate a federal employee.  He said her name was on a list which he was checking.  He then referred to a nominating petition for Sheila Dow-Ford and asked if she had signed it and who had asked her to do so.  She said it at the market and a woman running for office asked her to sign the petition.  She then identified Dow-Ford from a photo lineup the man presented.

This is outrageous.  A sitting Congressman hired a private investigator to break federal law on his behalf and to intimidate her supporters.  The man wasn’t even very smart about doing so since he showed a nominating petition and asked if she’d signed it.  It obviously had nothing to do with the census and, in fact, census workers weren’t even knocking on doors yet.  The investigator wound up on Holden’s witness list for the court hearing challenging said petitions.  Here is the affadavit:

The Dow-Ford campaign filed a complaint with the U.S. Attorney because the Holden agent was impersonating a federal employee and they kicked it to Tom Corbett’s office due to the fact it is an election issue.  Will the Attorney General investigate?

Sheila Dow-Ford on Congressman Holden’s Absence From Debate & Tactics

There was supposed to be a debate last evening between Congressman Tim Holden (PA-17) and his Democratic primary challenger Sheila Dow-Ford sponsored by the Kutztown University College Democrats and the Kutztown Area Democratic Club.  Both were invited and Holden elected not to appear before his constituents and answer questions.  KADC President Karen Feridun tells the audience it is because he had important work to do in Washington.  She goes through the list of critical votes (cough, cough) including recognizing the Connecticut women’s basketball team for winning the national championship.  Now I’m sure we all can relate to how important that is.  Dow_Ford also had a few remarks after the event.

Holden’s Intimidation Efforts Fail, Dow-Ford Is On the Ballot

Tim Holden’s challenge of Sheila Dow-Ford’s position on next month’s primary ballot failed today.  The Congressman from the 17th CD used every threat and intimidation trick in the book to keep citizens from circulating her petitions, from turning them in to challenging them in court.  He actually seems to have hired investigators who went to their homes to verify their residence and subpoened some so they would have to miss work and go to court.  Going after someone’s government related job because they circulated a petition is almost as low as one can go but Tim Holden went there.  Some are saying he went even lower and I am working on that story.  I called Eric Nagy, Holden’s campaign manager, Friday and he has neglected to return my call.  I’d ask what it is they’re hiding but I already know…

How desperate does one have to be to go to the lengths Holden is to keep his seat?  This is the same abusive behavior in which he has conducted himself the past several years and, ironically, one of the driving forces behind the primary challenge.  The Congressman has not simply lost touch with his constituents he treats us with disdain and disrespect.  He no longer cares what we think, what we believe, where we stand, what is good for the people of the District or what is best for the country.  Tim Holden has morphed into Arlen Specter:  a politician willing to do anything, go to any length, to hold onto power.  For Holden it is all about keeping his seat in Congress and nothing will come between him and his power.  He is willing to do anything, perhaps even break federal law, to do so.  He has shown he isn’t fit to serve as a member of Congress.

Congratulations to Sheila Dow-Ford for fending off the challenge.  Though considerable precious campaign funds had to be expended to fight Holden’s challenge how about if everyone disgusted with Tim Holden and his conduct contribute ten or twenty dollars for Sheila?  Give more if you can but even some will certainly help.

Tim Holden: Heartless Bastard

The AFL-CIO refused to endorse Congressman Tim Holden (PA-17) in his primary against Sheila Dow-Ford.  This is significant because Holden received major labor support and help in the past.  This automatically makes Dow-Ford a significant contender.  Holden has always enjoyed the “boots on the ground” which organized labor brought to his campaigns and now they will be absent.  Add to that the fact his many GOP supporters in his home county cannot vote in this primary and he faces a double whammy.  

Perhaps Holden would make better use of his time organizing instead of threatening and intimidating Dow-Ford supporters.  This is one reason she entered the race:  the Congressman has made some sort of decision to throw his constituents under the bus then take the wheel and shout out in glee as backs it up and runs over them again.

Democrats who signed Dow-Ford petitions are beginning to receive subpoenas to appear in court as part of Holden’s challenge to his opponent’s petitions.  Tim Holden is showing he’ll give no quarter at stopping Sheila from exercising her right to challenge his voting record, his shouting at people who disagree with his extreme conservative positions, his arrogant attitude or his harsh treatment.  Signing someone’s petition for office shouldn’t mean being subpoenaed and having to miss a day of work because your Congressman is a heartless bastard.  The Judge should either quash these or those subjected to such treatment should swear affadavits they signed Dow-Ford’s petitions so they can go to work.

This is a prime example of why Tim Holden has to go.  When I attempted to contact him about such matters (I first heard of this threatening, harassment and intimidation during the petition process) I discovered the loon doesn’t even have a campaign website or office.  I stopped by his local District office and asked him to call, he hasn’t.  Holden won’t call me, a constituent, because he’s afraid to answer my questions.  Instead he uses his time to go after ordinary people because they signed a petition.  

It is time for Tim Holden to go.

Tim Holden: Stuck in 18th Century Technology

Driving through coal country can be depressing.  Schuylkill County is about a 30 minute drive for me and I often go through Schuylkill County to get to I-81 and up to Wilkes-Barre and Scranton.  If you drive through the desperate towns like Mahanoy City, Shenandoah and Tamaqua you see how they continue to be trapped in the old days of King Coal.  While global climate change threatens our very existence movement towards clean energy isn’t something these good folks are prepared to embrace.  Most continue to be stuck in some fantasy that coal will make a comeback.  Sure it will, just like the horse and buggy and dinosaurs.  There is no such thing as “clean coal” and anyone who says so is pandering for votes.

These towns and communities need hope and change, real hope and change.  They need new green technology jobs to replace the 18th century coal economy which dissipated long ago and took their economic health along with their black lungs.  Coal never was good for the region.  Too many miners died inside unsafe mines, too many died fighting the company towns which strangled generations of immigrants and poisoned too many of them with Black Lung Disease.  Unfortunately coal disappeared as an economic engine and no one has done much to restore the regional economy with replacement jobs.  Congressman Tim Holden is from Schuylkill County and I have yet to see him to do anything constructive to bring new clean energy jobs to his people.

Perhaps it is because of Tim Holden’s family connections to coal.  John Holden, Tim’s father, is the owner of an auto insurance agency in St. Clair, their hometown.  The John J Holden Insurance Company is actually owned by Jack Rich, Inc. an energy company stuck in the coal ages.  I’d like to ask Congressman Holden how much influence Mr. Rich has on his actions, or inactions, in Washington but the Congressman doesn’t respond to my requests.  Perhaps the voters in the 17th Congressional District can pose such questions since Mr. Holden will be forced to defend his sorry record this spring.  To whom is he beholden:  the people or the coal industry?  What has he done to bring new clean, green jobs to Schuylkill County?  Where are these new technologies?  Aside from a few windmills atop a ridge in northern Schuylkill I haven’t seen much.  Manufacturing these windmills, solar panels, geothermal systems and things like biomass could rejuvenate the economy in Coal Country but our Congressman is stuck in the past.  Now we may know why.

Holden Still Doesn’t Understand Health Insurance Bill

For a Congressman Tim Holden sure is stupid.  He voted NO on the first, good House bill because of “Medicare” cuts and his anti-immigration bigotry.  Now he says he voted NO on the bad bill because of the union benefit taxes and “Medicare” cuts.  The AFL-CIO was OK with the taxes but Holden wasn’t.  I, of course, think they’re a travesty.  What I cannot figure is how and why my Congressman still thinks Medicare was cut because it wasn’t.  Medicare Advantage was cut.  Medicare Advantage is NOT Medicare.  How stupid can you be and continue to sit in Congress?

As I explained yesterday Medicare Advantage is a privatized plan devised by Republicans to kill real Medicare.  These are NOT government run Medicare but plans offered by private health insurers such as Humana which compete with Medicare.  They cost 9% more for taxpayers than real Medicare so Congress is cutting them.  They should be eliminated.  Tim Holden is obviously too stupid to comprehend something as simple as this.   We need a new Congresswoman in the 17th.

Sheila Dow-Ford: “The Game is Afoot”

Tim Holden has challenged Sheila Dow-Ford’s right to be on the May ballot through Yesenia Rosado who used to attend our Berks County Howard Dean meetings.  Yesenia used to be a progressive so this is a mystery to me.  Why would she support Tim Holden who thinks torturing human beings is good but providing them medical care is bad?

Tim Holden is playing very hardball politics in this struggle to keep his seat.  I am hearing from people, especially in Schuylkill County, being intimidated by Holden through his people and supporters for supporting Sheila.  I understand Tim is afraid of running on his sorry record but that’s how our system works.  He ought to be cognizant that everything he does in this primary will get back to me an dbe reported here.  If he isn’t quite sure what that means we’re now calling it “getting Critzed.”

One of Holden’s challenges to Dow-Ford are the petitions circulated by her husband Les Ford.  Les went door to door in Harrisburg amassing several hundred signatures.  Tim Holden doesn’t seem to think that’s plausible.  In 2006 I personally obtained 358 signatures for a candidate in my rural area.  I can only imagine how many Les can obtain in an urban area.  Memo to Tim:  your conduct is really motivating people to work against you.  Les compared this outrage to Mississippi style racial politics.  Is Holden’s conduct motivated by race?  His anti-immigrant rhetoric may be a strong clue that it is so.

I contacted Congressman Holden’s office a week ago and said I was working on some stories and had some questions for him.  He has not responded.  My question to Yesenia is this:  why are supporting this man?

Young Dems to Dow-Ford: Get Out Of Race

The Pennsylvania Young Democrats sent Congressional candidate Sheila Dow-Ford a letter telling her she should drop out of the PA-17 primary against Tim Holden.  Tim Brenna, who describes himself as “President of a statewide progressive organization” is trying to help family friend Holden by pressuring his challenger.  It doesn’t sound very progressive to me.  Dow-Ford, of course, is the progressive candidate.  Interestingly no other Democratic primary challenger in Pennsylvania received a similar letter so Dow-Ford was specifically targeted.  Why?

I sent Tim Brennan several questions but he didn’t respond.  I stopped at Congressman Holden’s office and requested to speak with him but he, also, didn’t respond.  The PAYD’s told Sheila Dow-Ford she’s “too progressive” for the District and she shouldn’t be running.  Ryan Bucchianeri is also running as a progressive in a conservative District (PA-12) but Mr. Brennan didn’t see fit to send him a similar letter.  Dow-Ford is running against a Brennan family friend however.  

Sheila Dow-Ford is a very intelligent woman and I’m sure she doesn’t need the Young Democrats telling her what the make-up of the District is and I’m sure the good folks of the 17th District don’t need Tim Brennan telling us who should be our candidate.  The letter was a huge insult to both Dow-Ford and the people in this District.  I know I don’t need Tim Brennan telling me who I can and cannot vote for.  If he wishes to endorse Tim Holden, someone who voted with Bush more than Obama, someone who votes for torture but not health care, that’s his prerogative.  Just don’t try and tell me my candidate cannot even run.  What supreme arrogance.

Many people in the 17th CD are fed up with Tim Holden.   He has lost touch and doesn’t represent us or our values.  He wouldn’t even call me about this story (not that I expected him to).  Dow-Ford was insulted by the YD’s letter and they should be ashamed to make such a foolish, stupid attempt at intimidation.