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Great post Robin! How can anyone who has the gall to call themselves progressive support Bob Casey in the primary?!? Casey supports Samuel "Strip search w/o a warrant, job discrimination is OK, women don't have a right to control their own bodies" Alito!!!

Last night we had our Dem committee endorsement in my own county (Montgomery). I didn't expect Chuck to win because the chair personally endorsed Casey shortly after he announced his candidacy. Casey didn't show up to the meeting; but *several* surrogates spoke on his behalf. Joe Hoeffel shamefully told us to elect Bob Casey as Chuck and Alan sat there. Still Chuck got up there and lit the crowd on fire. He got more cheers and applause than anyone I saw that night.

When the committee's vote came in, Chuck got over 60 votes (Casey got 200). So while he didn't win the endorsement I think he won over most of the non-committee people there.

Thanks for that wrap-up. I wanted to know how MontCo went down.

I have no use for Hoeffel now that he's not doing Iraq Watch in the House. I'm glad he withdrew from the lieutenant governor race. He'd better hope the party doesn't ask him to jump off a bridge though.

eRobin,

I am on the ballot as Rick Santorum's only challenger in the primary. As a pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-stem cell Republican, I promise to give Sen. Santorum a spirited challenge. And for those who are Pennacchio supporters, I can promise that with my entry into the Republican primary that I will make Santorum's campaign spend money and have to answer questions. He will get no automatic bye into the first round.

Good luck with your primary race.

John Featherman
Republican Candidate, US Senate-PA
www.featherman.com

Thanks for coming by, John. I wish you nothing but luck.

Would you vote for Featherman if he won his primary and Casey won the Democratic primary? From what I remember he's better than Casey (you had that article on their different positions).

Absolutely.

Dear Chuck,

I hope the third time is the charm. My Grand daugher wrote this for me and it needs a few corrections.

I wrote this idea before and got an answer, but not from you personally. We met in State College at the Center county breakfast. Remember, I gave you a check at the front of the room. I also talked at the Goldschmidt's home. My Idea is that if both you and Alan Sandals are running the two of you will take votes from each other. Casey will win for sure. Look what happened in Texas with their election, With the republican votes split between the three republican candidates Tom Delay will get on the ticket. And may be elected and will probably find a way to govern from jail.
I'm sure you will win the debate. At that time it should be a good time to make a deal with Alan Sandals for him not to run. .
Sincerely,
Owen Trout

Hi Owen. You didn't meet me. I'm not in a position to take checks for the campaign and I've never been to State College, although I'd like to visit there.

I agree with you about Sandals. I wish he'd drop out because it would be better for Chuck, but he has reasons for running and I'm not going to second guess them. As far as I know, he's a progressive running in good faith.

Robin,

I think Owen must have confused your blog for Chuck's personal blog. He even addresses you as Chuck.

I'll not go as far as to say that Alan Sandals doesn't deserve to be called progressive; but there are several issues on which Chuck is clearly *more* progressive:

(1) Pennacchio advocates a top marginal income tax of 50% (for the wealthiest tax bracket) while Sandals argues it should only be 39%... That is fiscally irresponsible! We have a huge defiicit and (illegal) war debt to pay!

(2) Pennacchio supports a true living wage (about $9.30 / hr, which would mean all working families would rise above the poverty line). Sandals is on record saying he'd push for saying that Rendell's proposal to raise it to $7.25 over the next couple of years is sufficient.

(3) Pennacchio is calling for an immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. Sandals says we should gradually phase out troops by the end of the year. Why? What would delaying the withdrawal do other than rack up debt and US casualties?

(4) Fair trade; To quote Chuck "Alan, so far, has said that he opposed NAFTA CAFTA, and the WTO, and I praise him for that, but he has not taken that next step, which is to push for what I call bilateral fair-trade relations with all 192 nations around the world.. What the United States needs to do is adopt a fair-trade strategy with the other 192 that addresses the unique relationship between ourselves and those other countries. Alan does not have a fair-trade strategy; I do."

(5) PAC money. Sandals accepts PAC money. He claims he won't take from PACs with corporate sources but will take from issue based PACs (he claims this is needed 'cause some people give only to PACs not to candidates)... The problem with this is, there's no such thing as a "free lunch". All special interests demand some degree of subservience for their dollars. The only way you can trust a candidate to represent the people 100% is if he's 100% PAC-free.

So there are at least a few issues where Chuck clearly alone can offer a crystal clear alternative to Casey / Santorum. But I think the most important reason that Chuck is the best candidate is that he has built a strong grassroots network over the past 2 years and received the endorsements of many groups (Dem. for Lancaster, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Upper Bucks, etc.)

I disagree about the PAC money. The problem isn't that Alan Sandals or Chuck Pennacchio might recieve PAC money -- or even corporate money -- it's when a crook like Tom Delay does. So it's essentially symbolic. It's a way of advertising a view that the rules ought to be changed, and a way of advertising that the candidate themselves is not a crook.

But I was already sold on both statements so I don't need someone to convince me.

If you are happy with people making donations as individuals to a campaign I don't see how you can have a problem with a union of voters donating through a PAC.

Of course I am NOT happy with that situation either.

At any rate I don't think it's a progressive issue in the sense that camapaign finance itself is.

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