Tuesday, February 16, 2010

PAGOP Party Bosses Ban Facebook Comments

It's all over the blogosphere. The PAGOP has been feverishly deleting any Facebook comments critical of their coronation of Tom Corbett for governor or Pat Toomey for senator. A blogging colleague of mine was even threatened for posting his disapproval.

Instead of an open primary, the PAGOP "nominates" the best insider, party hack for the job. You may remember such great choices as Lynn Swann, Mike Fischer, Tom Ridge...

Seeing how Corbett has been too busy campaigning for the last year or two to do his job, and Toomey has gone from firebrand conservative to squishy moderate, you can understand why the PAGOP would nominate such grand candidates and not let the people have a say in the matter.

Yes, the people still get to vote in the primary, but the endorsement means more than words. The PAGOP has scrubbed all other candidates from its literature, making it seem like no one else is running. The endorsed candidates will get truckloads of cash. The endorsed candidates will be led around like prize hogs to all of the local events around the state.

*hint* Check and see who is speaking at your county's Lincoln Day dinner and other upcoming events.

Make your voices known. Let the hacks know you're tired of being told what is best for you. DON'T DONATE to the PAGOP. Study the candidates and determine who would be best for you and your family, then support that person.

PA-3 Update: Tom Trevorrow Drops Out

Hat tip to Politics PA.

Citing his father's recent diagnosis with pancreatic cancer, Dr. Trevorrow has dropped from the race.

From his campaign:
“My parents sacrificed their entire lives to put me through school and help me become the person I am today,” Trevorrow said in a statement posted on his Web site. “I remain committed to restoring fiscal responsibility to Washington and bringing real health care reform to America, but in the coming months it will be in a much more limited role than a race for Congress demands.

“The only decision for me is to end my candidacy so that I can focus my full attention on helping my father and family through what will be a long journey.”

The Politics PA story notes an interesting piece of info:
His departure means car dealer Mike Kelly and businessman Paul Huber likely become the favorites to win the primary.

The story doesn't say where they got that little tidbit of info. But seeing how Kelly is rumored to be the party pick, I can understand why they pushed his name. Sources have told me that he was picked and pushed to run by the party. If that's true (which it seems to be in Mercer County) then that's the kiss of death for conservative voters. We'll see.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

More PA-3 Candidates Visit Grove City

Hat tip to The Herald (Sharon, PA):
This week, 3rd District candidates Ed Franz, 48, Conneautville, and Paul Huber, 65, Meadville, visited Grove City to meet and greet the locals.

Whether to announce a campaign or to shake hands with groups of a dozen or fewer, nearly all the Republican candidates have made an appearance in Mercer County, most at least once in the GOP-leaning college town of Grove City.
GOP-leaning? Heh. Grove City is THE conservative stronghold of Pennsylvania.
Huber, who said he has been in the race longer than most of his opponents, presented a meaty jobs address to employees and businessmen at George J. Howe Co., Grove City. He talked about extending tax cuts and tinkering with the tax code to make it friendly to small businesses, among other proposals.

He also addressed concerns over the fact that he’d been a registered Democrat as recently as spring 2009. He said passage of the stimulus bill, on top of the prior bank bailouts, drove him to re-register as a Republican. He added that he has supported many Republican candidates, and described himself as a fiscal and social conservative.
Uh, oh...

Now, it's possible that Huber had a "come-to-Reagan" moment. After all, Reagan was a Dem who famously claimed that the party left him. But if it took the stimulus to realize he was a Republican, then he must have an insane amount of liberal "tolerance" in his system. Ugh.
Ed Franz, meanwhile, popped in to Beans on Broad, also in Grove City, on Tuesday and spoke to a crowd of Grove City College professors and local conservatives.

An hourly worker at the General Electric plant in Erie,
Franz is also a veteran volunteer campaigner who has worked on a number of campaigns for Republicans.

His concerns, he said, include the high national debt and poor economy. Like Huber, he also recommended extending tax cuts and passing a balanced budget amendment.

In all, nearly every Republican candidate has expressed concern with the national debt and economy, proposing remedies in the conservative vein: tax cuts to spur economic growth and reduced government spending.
Uh, oh...

I'm far more of a grassroots guy instead of a "campaign" guy. I have heard some good thing about Franz, but I haven't talked to the guy yet. I have heard that he's worked on campaigns for Santorum (uh, oh!) and English (UH, OH!). Working to elect fiscal RINOs doesn't look good on any resume when people are sick of overspending.
Besides Franz and Huber, other candidates who have announced include: Steven M. Fisher, 52, Cochranton, a health insurance salesman; Dr. Tom Trevorrow, an Erie ophthalmologist; Clayton W. Grabb, 47, Butler, a pharmaceutical salesman; Mike Kelly, 61, Butler, a car dealership owner; and Donna Reese, an Erie small businesswoman.

Petitions have not yet been circulated or even returned, and there is also time for more candidates to announce. There could be more or fewer candidates by the time the May ballot is finalized.

Here's to hoping for an open primary chock full of info!

Friday, February 05, 2010

Mercer County GOP "Accidentally" Reveals PA-3 Endorsement

You know the RCA dog Nipper? His cute, little head tilted to one side when he heard sound from the RCA phonograph in years gone by.

Well, my head went "RCA dog" when I attended the Mike Kelly meet-and-greet at Beans on Broad in Grove City, PA. Kelly is one of many GOPers who want to unseat Kathy Dahlkemper in PA-3. When I showed up, many of the party insiders were there. I briefly spoke to Kelly before he was about to give his speech - seemed like a nice guy.

Mercer County GOP Chairman David King stood in front of the group to introduce Kelly. And that's when it happened - King called Kelly "our" candidate. Really.

I asked him about it afterward, wondering if I missed an announcement about an endorsement. King quickly got defensive and said he must have misspoke since the MerCo GOP has an open primary. Fine. I'm not naive, but people do make mistakes. Explanation accepted.

I then asked him if he was going to the Clayton Grabb event in Hermitage that afternoon. He knew NOTHING about it. It was an incredibly strange admission for the person who is the leader of the county party. I had heard rumors that Kelly was the GOP pick, and when coupled with the "accidental" endorsement, this ignorance of Grabb's event was quite striking.

Then Grabb's event came along, which I sadly missed - my class at Duquesne was calling, of course. Fortunately, The Herald showed up to report on it (Matt Snyder was also at the Kelly event). To my "surprise" it seems that Chairman King took Grabb to task when he said that the GOP needed to return to its roots of conservatism. Now, in all fairness, I don't know how much of the story is embellishment. The encounter might have taken ten seconds. But the substance is what matters.

A participant in several Tea Party events, Grabb promised to bring conservative values back to the Republican Party.

David O. King, Mercer County’s Republican party chair, took issue with that. He said he’s been active locally for 20 years and wasn’t aware their values had changed. He also asked why more Tea Party activists can’t swing by the Republican headquarters in Mercer.

Grabb initially said that Republicans had swung too far toward the center, which King said he “doesn’t believe.”

Several members of the audience, who said they attended Tea Party rallies, took issue with that. They cited the 2008 presidential run of Sen. John McCain and last year’s House race in New York in which party leaders chose liberal Dede Scozzafova as their nominee. Conservative opposition to that choice sunk Scozzafova’s campaign and highlighted the gulf between party leaders and rank-and-file voters.

You see, King said NOTHING when Kelly said basically the same thing. In fact, he was glowing as Kelly spoke. Kelly lampooned the fiscal mess the GOP and the Dems have made.

And BOTH Kelly and Grabb are right. The GOP is a mess. You only have to look at the slobbering support for McCain (a socialist Republican if there ever was one). When you get to the county level, there was support for Arlen "he's with us when it counts" Specter and continual glowing praise for Phil "I never met pork I didn't like" English. And then there's state senator Bob Robbins who gladly catalogs his pork on his own Web site. Most recently, we have seen overwhelming support for Tom "I'm too busy campaigning to do my job" Corbett. Ugh.

Yes, King has a job to do - to show a unified GOP. Personally, such a job would make me sick. I'm conservative first and foremost. The GOP just happens to be the closest political party to match my views. But it has been a pathetic shadow of its former self since 1994. After that, the GOP congress got greedy and sloppy. Bush killed us with his spending and getting TARP I underway. Our Harrisburg contingent (with few exceptions) went spending-silly, including the disgusting payjacking, WAM abuse, and staff bonusgate.

If King isn't aware that the GOP has steered violently to the left, then perhaps he should step down. And if he can't appear equal during an "open" primary, then he absolutely needs to step down immediately.