It’s that time of year again. February 2nd means our famous Pennsylvanian weather prognosticator is working and campaign finance reports are in. Lots to discuss especially since Phil says we have six more weeks of winter. That means staying inside. Isn’t it funny how, every year, our groundhog comes out from Gobbler’s Knob in the middle of winter and makes a prediction? Since there are always six more weeks until spring arrives this isn’t exactly rocket science. How is it then he is only correct 40% of the time? I suppose that’s because he’s a groundhog and never attended Penn State’s acclaimed program in meteorology.
In the Democratic primary race for the 6th Congressional District seat Doug Pike and Manan Trivedi are both having problems raising money. Pike announced cash on hand of $1,107,482 but he has now contributed $962,000 of his own and family’s money to his campaign. Subtract that and he isn’t all that far ahead of Trivedi who has $123,000 COH. Pike raised $456,000 in the fourth quarter but $340,000 of it was from himself. Trivedi is spending money about as quickly as it is coming in. Jim Gerlach is desperate for cash after spending the past year running for Governor. His $5,300 COH leaves him vulnerable but he claims to have commitments for over half a million. Since none of those funds are his yet who knows what he’ll get. Gerlach has so angered the previous candidates in this race by stabbing all of them in the back who knows if he’ll mount a credible campaign? He certainly cannot count on their support and that could be the difference in the 6th.
In the 7th Congressional District Bryan Lentz got $295,000 compared with Pat Meehan’s $580,000. We need to help Bryan. He’s a great guy, a war veteran and a solid progressive.
Patrick Murphy continues to be a serious fundraiser. The 8th CD incumbent is being challenged by Mike Fitzpatrick whom he defeated for the seat. He raised $321,000 and has a prodigious $848,000 cash on hand.
Kathy Dahlkemper raised $1,000,000 and has $685,000 in the bank. She is a fervent support of the Stupak-Pitts Amendment so don’t give her money.
Jason Altmire, who also voted for Stupak-Pitts got $1,300,000. He has $980,000 in cash. Jason is a corporate Democrat and he came to Congress from UPMC. He voted against health care reform. He is also opposing using the rule of law against those arrested for terrorism in western PA courts.
Chris Carney got $680,000 last quarter and is sitting on $495,000. I don’t think Chris has much to worry about. He’s a conservative Democrat in a very red district.
Paul Kanjorski raised $930,000 and he has $975,000 cash on hand. His Democratic primary opponent Corey O’Brien raised $206,000 and has $110,000 in cash. He’ll have to do much better to be viable.
The 15th race is going to be one of the best to watch this year. Republican Charlie Dent raised has raised $840,000 and has cash on hand of $612,000 to Democrat John Callahan’s $630,000 cash on hand. Callahan has only been a candidate since September.
In my District the 17th Tim Holden has only $675,000 in the bank. This is a principal reason he now has a primary challenger. He’s vulnerable in more ways than one. Incumbents with heavy war chests tend to discourage challenges.
In the U.S. Senate race all three candidates are doing well and all have sufficient funds to mount major campaigns. Joe Sestak has $5,100,000 cash on hand and Specter $8,660,000.
The race for Governor is interesting. Dan Onorato has led in raising money from the start. In fact he began way before any other candidate excepting Jack Wagner. Onorato also has money he raised from his campaigns for Allegheny County Executive so not all of his funds were provided for this race. He is allowed to use them. Onorato raised $3,700,000 last year so the numbers people toss around trying to cite his inevitability as a candidate can be misleading. He does have a ton of money however. Jack Wagner raised $171,000 in the fourth quarter.
Joe Hoeffel told me last September he needed to raise a million dollars by the end of the year. The solid progressive in this race he got only $347,000 and has $229,000 banked. Joe is someone else we as progressives need to support financially. This is a big state and it costs money to travel and money to get one’s message out via the media. No one can do it without a media campaign.
There are rampant rumors Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty will drop out and run for Lt. Governor with Dan Onorato. There are already two candidates for the second spot and trying to leverage Jonathon Saidel out of that position could anger organized labor and cost Onorato in November. Doherty has only $94,500 cash on hand.
Tom Corbett, the presumptive GOP candidate has $3.2 million on hand. Sam Rohrer has but $28,000.
Thanks to Tom Fitzgerald of The Inquirer and Alex Roarty of PoliticsPA for compiling all these numbers.
The documentary film Out In the Silence has been screening all over Pennsylvania for months. I saw it last September at a conference in State College. It is about a gay teen growing up in Oil City and his struggles against bashing and discrimination in a small, conservative town. Joe Wilson who made the movie with his partner Dean Hamer is traveling and conducting question and answer sessions with each screening. This is a powerful film and I urge everyone to go watch it. See the movie here:
Feb 8th 6:00 PM-Vulcan Theater, Elmo Natali Student Center, 250 University Avenue, California, PA
Feb. 9: 5:30 PM – Screening followed by community dialogue – 1301 Seventh Avenue Beaver Falls, PA 15010
Feb 10th: 6:00 PM-Screening followed by community dialogue-311 N. West Street, Waynesburg, PA
Feb. 19: 7:00 PM-Community screening and dialogue-40 South Portage Street, Westfield, NY 14787
In the “life is strange” department reader Fran the Pipefitting man sent me this link. Documentary film maker Karen Schmeer was hit and killed by a driver escaping a robbery at a drugstore.
I added another blog to our Pennsylvania blogroll this morning. I have a few more to do yet. NEPArtisan is written by Tom Borthwick and is quite good. Go check it out.
Assassin Scott Roeder was convicted of killing Dr. George Tiller in a quick jury rendering of the evidence. It took just 37 minutes for the members hearing evidence and testimony to convict Roeder on all counts. Justice prevailed. Concerns remain that the domestic terrorists involved in such anti life activity will resurrect their barbaric behavior against clinics and doctors. These extremists need to realize they don’t have the power or responsibility to dictate to others how they must live their lives and how government must stay out of our bedrooms and medical care decisions. If one really wants to keep government out from between us and our doctors then support women’s reproductive rights.
Mike Veon and others went on trial Monday in the BonusGate prosecution. They are accused by AG Tom Corbett of using tax money, time and resources to run political campaign from inside our State Capitol. Veon was the second highest ranking leader of the Democratic Party. His defense seems to be blaming former Speaker Bill DeWeese for everything. Corbett indicted numerous Democrats for these illegal actions but, as yet, no Republicans. The GOP did exactly the same things as Democrats but Corbett allowed them two years to destroy evidence while he concentrated on Democrats. The Republicans eventually indicted were charged with different offenses.