Joe Sestak Hits the Stump for Haas

Joe Sestak found the right exit for the Bowers Hotel (inside local joke) last night and appeared at an event for 187th House candidate Joe Haas.  The Admiral and former Congressman has been traveling all across the state supporting individual candidates.  He even made it all the way to Erie.  I noticed he’s inserted new material pertinent to the Governor’s race into his stump speech.

The video:

State House 187 Endorsement: Joseph Haas

First off, a bit of a disclaimer:  I’ve advised Joe on his campaign in an unpaid capacity.  Joe Haas has what it takes to win this seat from Republican Gary Day.  Day is an extremist conservative who is one of ALEC’s supporters in Harrisburg.  He’s out of touch with a District which can be won by a Democrat.  Recent Dems have been snake bitten there, John Ritter coming down with a serious illness and Archie Follweiler getting fleeced by a campaign consultant…  Joe Haas can win this seat through good, moderate positions and hard work.

Attorney Bill Bispels repeatedly labeled himself a libertarian at their debate which puts him on the right wing.  He took several progressive stands but is, essentially, a one issue candidate calling for a complete moratorium on fracking.

Such a position is unrealistic.  There’s way too much money in shale gas to ban such extraction.  What we need to do is regulate it heavily so our water supplies are protected, keep it away from valuable river systems, tax it adequately and insure everyone’s water supply is safe.  These are the positions Haas has taken and reflect a more common sense approach.  He also is running a strong pro education position and would use gas extraction taxes for public education.  He also has shown a strong willingness to get out and campaign.  I haven’t seen any inclination of that from Bispels and this is what it takes to win a House seat.  These are Districts where candidates can knock on most doors and talk with voters.  Bill hasn’t shown any proclivity to do that.  Haas is a bright young man with extensive experience operating campaigns and would bring  a positive approach to Harrisburg representing the 187th.

Bispels-Haas Debate in Democratic Primary for the House 187

Gary Day sits in the State House representing Lehigh and Berks Counties and two men want his seat.  Both are residents of Kutztown and last evening they debated at the Kutztown Area Democratic Club.  I recently interviewed Haas for the blog.  Bill Bispels is an attorney who co-founded Berks Gas Truth and is largely running on the issue of fracking.  He also wants to reform the prison system which he sees as wasteful of taxpayer resources.  He is an active member of KADC.

Joe Haas is a technology consultant who has worked on campaigns in the Wisconsin recall effort, in Kansas and Tennessee as part of a combined campaign effort to elect Democrats.  When I spoke with him recently he had already knocked on over 1,000 doors.  Bispels referred to himself several times as a libertarian which concerns me.  Libertarians want little to no government and are on the right wing.  Joe, while not as progressive as I’d like (he favors term limits which means legislators have little thorough knowledge of issues) is clearly to the left of Bispels.  One especially good idea of Joe’s is to pass a gas extraction tax to pay for schools.  He also thinks issues like sludge and fracking are secondary to job creation and restoring the massive cuts to education and welfare done by the Corbett Administration and supported by incumbent Gary Day.  The room was mall and full so I had to rotate the camera as the candidates spoke, sorry for any slip ups.  Mike Morrill was the debate moderator.

Meet Joe Haas, House District 187 Candidate

Joseph Haas is running for the Pennsylvania House in the 187th District which includes parts of both Berks and Lehigh Counties.  Gary Day is the incumbent and he co-sponsored the vaginal ultrasound bill which recently died in Harrisburg.  If you’re a woman you cannot trust Mr. Day to protect your rights.  Mr. Haas will.

I met Joe at a coffee shop in Kutztown where we chatted about a number of issues.  Unfortunately the camera ( a new one) missed the first part so the video picks up where we spoke about Voter ID and on from there.  He has been endorsed by Equality Pennsylvania.

Also running in the primary is attorney Bill Bispels who got on the ballot after challenging the dismissal of his petitions (they were a real mess and the Dept of State rejected them on filing day).  He seems to be running on only two issues, fracking being the primary focus of his campaign.  Unfortunately hydrofracturing is here to stay.  There’s much too much money at stake and all we can realistically do is limit the areas to be drilled, regulate the industry, pass a fair extraction tax and insure our water supplies remain safe.  Campaigning on a complete moratorium shows an absence of reality.

Here’s Joe: